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Go With The Flow

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Go With The Flow

story by: Anna Sarjeant

The water arteries that make up the back waters of Asia provide a unique insight into the continent's less accessible landscape.

Asia has long been a favourite among travellers for its lush scenery, incredible hospitality and mouth-watering cuisine. For a different perspective on an all-time classic, take to the water.

THE MEKONG
Opening the curtains hasn’t been this exciting since, well never actually. Onboard a Mekong River cruise you’ll be greeted with a new (and totally unexpected) view every morning. Whether it’s a silver pagoda towering on the hillside, a congress of wooden sampans heaving with fruit, or an overly excited gibbon wishing you a cheery hello, every day is different. As the longest river in Southeast Asia, the Mekong effortlessly transports its guests from Vietnam into Cambodia, across Laos and through Thailand, via a vast network of backwater river arteries. A rich tapestry of life that explores everything from Phnom Penh’s eroded French architecture, the famed Angkor Wat and little-visited communities that move with an unquenchable energy.

THE IRRAWADDY
Detox from the Western World; from flashy technology and a relentless pace. Take to the river. Cruise along the Burmese Irrawaddy and open your eyes to a country that’s still emerging from isolation. Run-down motorbikes zip their way along pot-holed dirt tracks, racing past bare-footed monks and fishermen heaving their catch home. Water buffalo paddle the shallow fringes of the riverbed and heat-fatigued cows pull wooden carts. The land is lush with thick foliage and forged gorges, the occasional glint from sun bouncing off its pagodas. For scenery that has remained unchanged for centuries, now is the time to visit the beautiful waterways of Myanmar.

THE PANDAW EXPERIENCE
The nights are balmy but an iced G&T cures all. Sit atop the deck and watch paddy fields float by, flanked with children playing on the muddy banks of the river. So is the life onboard a Pandaw. These waterborne boutique hotels are usually replete in teak and brass, their twin-decks carrying between 30-60 privileged guests. Bespoke staterooms are spacious but free from TVs, internet or phones, the entertainment is outside not in. For the intrepid traveller with a penchant for the finer things in life, the dining is refined and the amenities include a spa, gym and plenty of space for relaxing; book in one hand, beverage in the other. For all those with an appetite for luxury as well as discovery, Pandaw cruising supplies both.

> VIEW ALL OUR HOT DEALS TO VIETNAM, MYANMAR AND THE REST OF ASIA HERE

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