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Travelling up the Mekong River
Ho Chi Minh City - Angkor

 

 

      

From the heights of the Himalayas to the coast of the China Sea, over the course of its 4500 km journey, the River Mekong irrigates much more than Indochina. Wherever it flows, it captivates man and shapes their lives. We invite you to travel up this great noble "water snake" from Ho Chi Minh City, a town still filled with souvenirs of the French colonial presence, right to the great lake of Tonle in the footsteps of Henri Mouhot and the ancient sites at Angkor.  This is an ideal journey to relax and meditate, spending 7 days following the rhythm of the River Mekong on board a charming and comfortable vessel. 


 
Days
11 days
Code
13H - Ho Chi Minh City - Siem Reap
Cruise Boat
RV Indochine (4 star)  or RV Indochine II (5 star)
                               
 
Itinerary
 
Day 1 HO CHI MINH CITY
  Arrive at Ho Chi Minh Airport.
If you arrive between 6 - 11 am join a city tour to the Reunification Palace, Notre Dam Cathedral and the central post office.  Lunch in town (between 11.30 - 12.30 pm).  Continue exploring in the afternoon with a visit to Cholon, a major centre of Chinese trade, the Ben Thanh Markets and the Thien Hau Pagoda.  You will be welcomed aboard your cruise ship with a cocktail, followed by dinner on board.
   
Day 2
HO CHI MINH CITY
  After breakfast depart by coach for the Cu Chi tunnels - a former Viet Cong hiding spot during the Vietnamese War for both soldiers and civilians.  Learn about their survival techniques and their everyday life during the War.  In the afternoon visit the National History Museum and a lacquer-ware factory.  Once back on board set sail for Chao Gao canal with dinner and overnight on board at anchor.

Day 3 MY THO - VINH LONG - CAI BE - SA DEC
  Start the day cruising to My Tho along the scenic Chao Gao Canal which passes from the Saigon River to the Mekong Delta.  The delta is made up of four main arms and thousands of canals, both large and small. My Tho is named after the River My Tho which means "Beautiful Reed", and is renowned for its many vegetable gardens, fruit orchards (coconut, banana and mango) and huge rice fields, with a hot and pleasant year round climate.  We visit the islands near My Tho in small local boats, including a beekeeping farm on the largest island of Thoi Son.  Back on board the ship continues cruising to Vinh Long and Cai Be.  Again we set off inn small local boats through the arroyos and gardens to Cai Be to discover the bricks, pottery, chinaware and fruit tree nursery's on the island of in Hoa Phuoc.  Gain an understanding of the traditional craft of rice popcorn, rice wafers used in the production of spring rolls and rice alcohol.  Vinh Long is particularly well known for its oranges and mandarins.  Dinner and overnight mooring near Sa Dec.
   
Day 4 SA DEC - CHAU DOC
  After an on board breakfast visit Sa Dec, famous for its horticulture and known as the "Garden of the Cochin Chine" in colonial times. Tour this small town where a few colonial mansions are still in existence. Discover the local market and visit the former dwelling place of Huynh Thuy Lee.  Back on board continue cruising to Chau Doc, a town at the border between Cambodia and Vietnam which became part of Vietnamesee territory some 300 years ago. Arrive in Chau Doc early afternoon. Situated in the heart of a gigantic grid of rice fields, Chau Doc embraces both banks of the Mekong and the floating farms overspill into the waters. Inside the town, a few colonial buildings with their old fashioned charm still remain. The market which surrounds them is the vibrant heart of the city. Set off by minibus and visit the top of Sam Hill to admire Phat Thay Tay Pagoda and Ba Chua Xu Temple, an important place of pilgrimage for the Vietnamese, also offering views of the Delta and rice fields.  By local boat navigate through the floating village.  Dinner and overnight on board in Chau Doc.
   
Day 5 CHAU DOC - PHNOM PENH
  Spend the day afloat today, first heading for the Cambodian border and completing customs formalities before arriving in Phnom Penh towards the end of the day. Before dinner experience a local "tuk tuk" trip, a motorised tricycle which is the traditional mode of transport in Phnom Penh, along the way discovering some of the iconic monuments of the city like the Royal Palace. Moor for the night in the port of Phnom Penh.
   
Day 6 PHNOM PENH
  Founded in 1434, the capital of Cambodia has retained much of its colonial charm, thanks to the rehabilitation of part of its architectural heritage. Visit the Silver Pagoda, paved with over 5000 silver tiles to which it owes it name and the Royal Palace, symbolic heart of the nation and one of the finest examples of Cambodian architecture in classical Khmer style. Continue to the National Museum housing the Fine Arts Museum, built in 1917 by the French in traditional Khmer architectural style. Lunch today is at a local restaurant and in the afternoon visit the Tuol Svay Prey S21 School, a former detention, torture and execution centre used by the Khmer Rouge during the civil war.  This is followed by free time at a local market.  In the evening there will be an Aspara dance show by student dancers and musicians.  Dinner & overnight on board in the port of Phnom Penh.
   
Day 7 KOH CHEN - KAMPONG TRALACH - KAMPONG CHHNANG
  Leisurely breakfast on board before arriving at Koh Chen, a small village whose inhabitants are experts in silver and copper work. Ornaments and decorations used during traditional ceremonies in the pagoda or for weddings are made here. After visiting the local village school we board our ship for lunch before arriving at Kompong Tralach to visit the beautiful Vihara of the Wat Kampong Tralach Leu Pagoda. Traverse the village by ox cart to reach the pagoda on a small path running perpendicular to the river amidst a magnificent landscape of rice fields. The Vihara dates back to the beginning of last century and has many magnificent wall paintings which are sadly starting to suffer from the effects of time. Completely isolated in the middle of the rice fields, the pagoda is quite unassuming and does not receive many visitors. Return on board and continue cruising to Kampong Chhnang. Dinner and overnight on board.
   
Day 8
KAMPONG CHHNANG- LAKE TONLE SAP
  Breakfast on board followed is followed by a visit to Kampong Chhnang. Located some 90km from Phnom Penh, the town of Kampong Chhnang is one of the largest fishing ports on the Tonle Sap and home to many fish farms. The region is also known for its fine traditional pottery which is a major source of revenue for the entire country.  The region's name Kampong Chhnang means "the port of the pottery" in Khmer. Taste some local products before touring the floating village on small local boats. All the buildings here are afloat – the school, the shops and so on, and life develops along the canal network. Cocktail and gala dinner tonight. Overnight stop.
   
Day 9
SIEM REAP - ANGKOR
  Spend the morning cruising before arriving in the port of Siem Reap to be welcomed by a local guide. Transfer to your hotel and check-in before taking lunch. In the afternoon, visit the famous temple of Angkor Wat, a masterpiece of Khmer architecture. This is the most famous and imposing of all the monuments in Angkor and its five towers have become the emblem on the national flag of Cambodia. After returning to Siem Reap have dinner in a local restaurant followed by an overnight in a hotel.
   
Day 10
SIEM REAP
  Today start early with a visit to the temple of Banteay Srei - the jewel in the crown of classic Khmer art.  The site was cleared from creepers and the forest in 1924, and means 'the citadel of women' or 'citadel of beauty'.  It is known for the intricacy of its fine carvings and sculptures.  Continue to the temple at Ta Prohm.  Today nature has taken over the site and the result is stunning - trees spring out from the temple buildings and thick roots now cover the temple.  After returning to your hotel for a quick lunch set off in the afternoon to explore Angkor Thom, a huge architectural masterpiece accessible through five monumental gates with the mountain temple of Bayon at its centre.  Bayon Temple is famous for its towers with 172 faces of Buddha.  Wander through the heart of the ancient Royal Palace where the sanctuary of Phimeanakas is located, also visiting the Terrace of the Elephants and the Terrace of the Leper King.
In the evening attend the magnificent spectacle of Cirque Phare and dine in a downtown Siem Reap restaurant, followed by free time to explore the Angkor Night market in the cool night air.  Overnight in your hotel.

   
Day 11
SIEM REAP
  After breakfast at the hotel depart for an early visit to the "Senteurs d'Angkor" (or Perfume workshop), where candles and soaps are made. Continue to the workshops of the "Artisans d'Angkor" where young Cambodians are trained in the art of traditional wood carving and stonework based on long-standing Khmer craftwork traditions. After lunch in the hotel our services end.
If you are departing today do not book any flights before 5 pm.

   
   
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