RV Orient Pandaw, Rajang River, Sarawak
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The RV Orient Pandaw began cruising the
The boat has three decks for passenger use. The lower one has a few cabins and the dining room; the middle one has most of the cabins and a small office/shop; the upper one is the sun deck (mainly covered) and bar/hot drinks station. There is also a lecture/TV room/mini library below the lower deck, where they sometimes showed a DVD in the evening. Our cabin was compact, but with more room than the one we had on a Costa cruise earlier this year, and the en-suite was more generous than on most cruise ships. The surfaces are all dark wood, and each cabin has a small amount of outside deck space, with a couple of rattan chairs. These chairs went on two tours with us, as we had to use small cargo boats to navigate the shallower parts of the river, and they were taken off the boat so we could sit in comfort for a rather good riverside barbeque of fish and chicken, with a variety of vegetables and salads!
Breakfast was a buffet, lunch and dinner were à la carte with a choice of starter and main course. Some of the food was a bit spicy, and you had to watch out for chillies, but the food was good.
The organisation on the boat is superb. Pandaw have been running almost identical boats on rivers in
We had daily excursions, sometimes two, visiting four towns, a “best kept” village, an Iban longhouse, a boarding school, rapids, a pepper plantation, and two jungle walks. As tourism is so new, we tended to attract attention, but people were very friendly. The most interesting excursion was probably to the Iban longhouse.
We recommend this cruise highly. Many of the passengers travelling with us had already been on other Pandaw cruises, and we are certainly considering doing the