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Facilities, Activities & Dining on Pandaw River Expeditions

  • Cruising entertainment
  • RV Katha Bar
  • RV Katha Deck
  • RV Katha Gift Shop

Facilities & Activities:

Whilst the peace and tranquility of the passengers is the priority and many passengers prefer to read, write or engage in painting or photography we do offer a number of unobtrusive activities that have become a traditional part of any Pandaw river expedition. These include: cooking, fruit carving and napkin arrangement demonstrations; exploring local markets with the chefs; talks from the on board guides; film presentations, with documentaries on local history and culture as well as movies; Tours of the working ship and many other activities.

During the expedition there will be at least one cultural performance on board whether the Royal Khmer Ballet in Cambodia, the Marionette Theater in Burma or Iban tribal dances in Borneo. On longer cruises there will be at least two performances per cruise.

There are a number of social events during an expedition which will include a welcome dinner, cocktail parties on deck, a farewell gala dinner and dinners themed with local menus and costume. In the Burma dry season, we often tie up on a sandbank and have a barbeque beach party on the sands, usually around a bonfire in winter.

Currently only available on the Mekong ships, the Pandaw Spa offers head massage, foot massage and body massages in dedicated spa areas on each ship. Due to lack of space we only carry one spa lady on each ship so be sure to book in advance as they can be in good demand.

Excursions ashore a key part of any Pandaw river expedition. These may be in the form of a good walkthrough countryside and villages; further explorations by speed boat going deeper into jungle or up river; horse cart rides in Burma or cyclos in Cambodia. We try not to use cars or coaches wherever possible and in some places, only the most basic of local transportation is available, like at Katha in Burma where you may find yourself in the back of a truck looking for a working elephant camp.

We stop at least once a day, usually twice. On the Mekong we will spend a day and a night in exciting Phnom Penh; in Burma we need at least a day and a half in both Pagan and Mandalay. The expert guides will accompany you on these explorations ashore or you are welcome to make individual excursions as there are no issues of safety or security in any of the ports or stops we visit.


The Pandaw dining rooms are designed to open up along the sides and only at night do we close them up and use air conditioning. We know the passengers want fresh air not chilled air. The new Katha Pandaw, designed according to feedback from the passengers, has no formal dining room but rather open-air dining on deck.

We offer a great choice of local cuisine and exotic foods. We source supplies as locally as possible, given environmental health regulations. Breakfast is a buffet whilst lunch has a buffet soup, salad and dessert table with the main these served at the table and dinner is served at the tables. Passengers who do not like hot or spicy foods are offered European alternatives and vegetarians are well catered for. Special diets may be catered for by prior agreement. The chefs know that the majority of passengers want to eat the best of each country they pass through.

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