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Journeys : April May 2010
with RACT Travelworld Kingston Shop 49A Channel Court Phone 6242 3211 Glenorchy Corner Terry Street and Main Road Phone 6212 9500 Launceston Cor ner York and George Streets Phone 6335 5655 Devonport 119 Rooke Street Mall Phone 6421 1977 Ulverstone RACT Travelworld 38 Reibey Street Phone 6425 8050 Burnie 24 North Ter race Phone 6434 2955 Rosemary Ravani has worked in the travel business for many years. She enjoys consulting with loyal clients who book with her from year to year. She can't pin down one favourite destination -- each has its own appeal -- but Eastern Europe impresses, particularly the city of Budapest; and she also loves China and Japan. Contact Rosemary at RACT Travelworld in Launceston on 6335 5655. Rosemary travelled to Vietnam as a guest of Singapore Airlines and Cruiseco. Iwas able to undertake this wonderful holiday recently -- and I recommend that you do the same. Our flights were with Singapore Airlines and as always were of a very high standard. Being able to travel on the A380 added to the experience. Before joining our cruise we spent two nights in Saigon seeing the main attractions. An optional tour to the Chu Chi Tunnels was also offered. I'd suggest adding another night, as there was no free time to unwind and just savour the city. On day three we transferred to the port at My Tho, a short coach drive from Saigon, where we boarded the Pandaw Indochina, the latest in the Pandaw fleet. It is extremely comfortable, with spacious cabins and plenty of deck space to rela x and enjoy the amazing scenery. This area of the Mekong River is a fascinating place to explore, with whole towns floating on rafts and a rich river life -- lush tropical plantations and gardens extend off endless channels. In mid- November, the dry season was just beginning and the weather was perfect. The river level was quite low and the villagers were getting their plots ready for flooding, as the water empties from Tonle Sap Lake, bringing with it the natural fertilisers that make the Mekong Delta Been there, done that Rosemary Ravani cruises the Mekong such a rich agricultural area. Briefings every evening kept us infor med about the next day's activities -- each day we undertook at least one excursion, always accompanied by local guides. We visited local orphanages, many of which are supported by the Pandaw Pro-Bono Program, as well as villages, local factories, floating markets and fish far ms. Transport for these excursions varied from long-boats to rickshaws and also cyclos in Phnom Penh -- a great way to see the sights. The ser vice from all staff couldn't be faulted. The meals were first-class, with a wide and generous choice of Asian and Western cuisines and all dietary requests catered for. Local spirits, beer, soft drinks, tea and coffee were included. There are no lifts on the boat and with three decks to negotiate up and dow n fairly steep stairs, you do need to be reasonably agile. This also applies to getting on and off the boat, either up and down the river banks or on and off the long-boats. Staff are always there to assist, which I found very useful with my fractured arm! Some passengers were unable to undertake all the excursions but just stayed on-board and still had a wonderful holiday. To end a m arvellous cr uise we spent the last two nights in Siem Reap at the Raffles Grand Angkor Hotel. Another night here would also be advisable as we did not have enough time to enjoy the pool and other hotel facilities, nor wander around Siem Reap. We did visit Angkor Wat -- an absolute must -- plus Angkor Thom, the spectacular Bayon Temple, Thommanon, Chau Say and Ta Prohm. As the Cr uiseco brochure says, this tr uly is 'an adventure without danger, a kaleidoscope of scenery, a meeting of cultures and an experience to be shared.' 51 April / May 10
Feb March 2010
RACT MNJ June July 2010