Mekong Expedition-Upriver Cruise

Aqua Expeditions
Chau Doc
Aqua Expeditions
Vietnam's bird sanctuary
Aqua Expeditions
The floating village of Tonle Sap, Cambodia
Aqua Expeditions
The beautiful Angkor Wat
Aqua Expeditions
Monks above the water in Tonle Sap
Aqua Expeditions
The dining room aboard the Aqua Mekong
Aqua Mekong
Sail up the Mekong River on this cultural 8-day cruise. Begin in Saigon and sail past magnificent floating villages, interact with local monks, and admire the pristine beauty of this colorful region.

Day 1

Saigon/ My Tho / Mekong River

Arrive early in the morning and meet your guides and porters. Board an air-conditioned bus for the scenic 1.5-hour countryside ride to My Tho and meet the Aqua Mekong. Settle into your elegantly appointed, river facing suite as the vessel begins to cruise and thus begins one of life's most memorable and photogenic adventures. Take in the beauty of the Mekong as the ship sets sail.

Day 2

Caibe/Binh Thanh Island, Vietnam

Start the day by paddling through the Cai Be floating market on a sampan, a flat-bottom wooden boat. Then, explore the area on foot or bicycle.

In the afternoon, take a skiff ride to Binh Thanh Island. Observe villagers weaving baskets and mats from reeds and water hyacinths from the Mekong River, go the local temple, and meet local villagers. Before heading back to the Aqua Mekong, stop by a local fish farm and learn how the locals fish directly underneath their floating homes.

Day 3

Tam Nong Bird Sanctuary-Ka'am Samnor-Vinh Xuong Border

After breakfast, take a skiff ride to Tam Nong- the largest bird sanctuary in South Vietnam. This protected national park is home to over 200 waterfowl species as well as one-fourth of the bird species in all of Vietnam. Then cruise through lush cajuput forest. Key a look out for painted storks, rare white-winged wild ducks, lesser adjutants, spot-billed pelicans and sarus cranes-the largest crane species.

The evening is spent on board the Aqua Mekong. Relax by the pool, try a traditional Khmer massage, or listen to a lecture about Vietnam from an expert guide in the lounge.

Day 4

Koh Oknha Tey-Preah Prosop,Cambodia

Welcome to Cambodia! Begin today with a trip to the beautiful island of Koh Oknha Tey. Take a tuk-tuk to a village known for it weaving and silk. You even have an opportunity to witness the entire process, learning how silk starts with worms and ends with a shimmering, beautiful piece of silk. You may also take part in a biking option for travelers interested in exploring the island deeper.

After lunch, cruise further down the Mekong to Preah Prosop, where you may walk through stilt house villages, meet local community members, visit a local brick factory, and visit one of the oldest Buddhist temples in the area. You may also choose to explore Preah Prosop by bicycle.

Day 5

Phnom Penh - Cambodia

Shifting gears from the sleepy countryside to this country’s political and economic capital, sail into Phnom Penh, where Art Deco buildings still stand in the shadows of ever-rising skyscrapers and vintage cyclos cruise alongside imported European sports cars. Buddhist temples, French colonial villas and the Royal Palace provide photogenic backdrop to international business and a new generation of boutique hotels, chic shopping and cosmopolitan nightlife. Board a motorized tuk-tuk and explore this historic city’s most important sites, including the 1866 Royal Palace, which is still home to the reigning monarch and its Silver Pagoda, the royal compound’s most famous attraction, so called because in 1962 then Prince Sihanouk ordered the floor inlaid with 5,329 genuine silver tiles.

In the evening, enjoy a performance by renowned Cambodian apsara dancers who continue an ancient tradition venerated on the walls of Angkor Wat.

Day 6

Tonle Sap River / Koh Chen / Kampong Chnang

Embark by skiff to visit Koh Chen. The inhabitants of this riverside village are renowned throughout the region as silver and coppersmiths. They purchase the precious metals in Phnom Penh and return here to make ornamental items such as the cups, boxes and delicately engraved tropical fruits used in Buddhist ceremonies and marriage blessings. Each family member carries out an aspect of these ancient methods and the intricate, beautiful workmanship belies its humble origins. Purchase whatever catches your eye before you continue on to the pagoda. If the monks are in residence, experience an authentic Buddhist blessing ceremony.

Later in the day, continue exploring Khmer riverside life in the floating village of Kampong Chhnang. Archaeological findings link this now sleepy area as far back as the Dvaravati kingdom, dating to the 6th through 11th centuries when Kampong Chhnang was an important coastal stop on the trade route linking China and India. More recently, Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen was born in this province. Colorful shrines with gilded Buddhas, villagers sporting conical hats more often associated with Vietnam, and simple houses on bamboo stilts are among today’s striking sights along the waterfront.

Day 7

Chnok Tru / Tonle Sap Lake/Moat Khla-Cambodia

Continue exploring remote communities around Tonle Sap, an ecological hot spot designated as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1997. Travel by skiff to the village of Chnok Tru and 'slide' into an ice factory, the importance of which is obvious after a few days in Southeast Asia. As local factory workers explain how they make and use the ice for fish preservation, expert guides translate and get answers to your questions about this livelihood so different from ours. Also be on the lookout in this lake village for floating schools, riverside churches and pagoda, and even the karaoke bar and police station. Literally everything and everyone in Chnok Tru travels by small boat through the intricate network of canals crisscrossing this tiny town.

In the afternoon, sail to Moat Khla, a beautiful village that is accessible only by water. The ship company has arranged for guests to attend a blessing ceremony conducted at Moat Khla's Buddhist temple.

Day 8

  • Breakfast

Prek Toal/Tonle Sap Lake / Siem Reap - Cambodia

The adventure is far from over as you head off by skiff after breakfast into Prek Toal Core Bird Reserve on Tonle Sap Lake, one of the largest freshwater bodies in Asia and the last refuge in Southeast Asia for large waterbirds like the spot-billed pelicans, milky stork, black-headed ibis and the elusive masked finfoot. Along the way, visit floating houses and fish farms, and learn about sustainable development initiatives like Saray, a cooperative of women who weave water hyacinth into 100% organic mats and home accessories for some of Southeast Asia's finest hotels. Visitors like us are invited to test our knotting skills, usually to the amusement of the resident experts.

Return to the Aqua Mekong to pack up and disembark for the road journey back to Siem Reap.

 First Deck Mekong SuiteSecond Deck Mekong Balcony Suite
2015-Jul-17
2015-Jul-31
2015-Aug-14
2015-Aug-28
2015-Sep-11
2015-Sep-25
2015-Oct-09
2015-Oct-23
2015-Nov-06
2015-Nov-20
$7,735$8,085
All rates are per person double occupancy; single supplement +25% regular rates.
Child Policy: 7 year age minimum on all departures, children under 12 years old will receive a 20% discount.
Third person sleeping on sofa bed will receive a 20% discount
Third person being a child under 12 years old sleeping on sofa bed pays US $500 per night

Included:
*All meals while onboard the Aqua Mekong
*All excursions
*All beverages (non-alcoholic, house wine and beer)
*Transfers to/from vessel and the meeting points in Siem Reap and Saigon
*Entrance fees en route
*Internet wireless

Excluded:
*Air tickets
*Guide and crew gratuities
*Boutique purchases
*Spa treatments
*Visa fees
Places
Asia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Siem Reap, Tonle Sap Lake, Phnom Penh, Chau Doc, Sadec, My Tho, Saigon, Vinh Xuong, Koh Chen
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