Arrive at Tonle Sap Lake to board your river cruise ship. The great lake has dominated Cambodia and its people for centuries. Meet your fellow travelers at a Welcome Dinner as the ship cruises to Kampong Chhnang.
After breakfast, a local boat takes you into the lakeside wetlands that form the mouth of the Tonle Sap River. Enjoy the stunning variety of bird life here and be on the lookout for the traps used to catch fish in this area – some are over a half-mile long. In the afternoon, take a leisurely walk to the Koh Chen village. Also visit home workshops specializing in silversmithing and coppersmithing.
This morning transfer to Oudong, the former capital of Cambodia, to tour a monastery and receive a special Buddhist blessing. In Kampong Tralach, take part in a truly memorable excursion: an oxcart ride through the rice paddies surrounding a small village. Later, your ship departs for Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, where an afternoon walking tour gives you a wonderful introduction to the city. Return to the ship for dinner and an onboard Khmer folk performance presented by local children. The vessel moors overnight in Phnom Penh.
A morning tour explores the highlights of the city, famous for its French colonial architecture, busy cafes and colorful nightlife. Visit the Royal Palace, the spectacular Silver Pagoda, and the National Museum, which has an outstanding collection of Khmer crafts. After lunch onboard, take an afternoon excursion to Cambodia’s infamous Killing Fields, and also visit the Khmer Rouge’s grim Tuol Sleng S21 detention center (Genocide Museum) just outside the city. An overnight on the waterfront provides an opportunity to dine on your own in one of many nearby restaurants, if you so choose.
Spend the day cruising the Mekong River as your ship crosses the border into Vietnam. Your vessel moors at the small town of Tan Chau, Vietnam.
Today take a small local boat through narrow channels to several scenic locations, including a small village known as “Evergreen Island.” Later, you can see Tan Chau from the vantage point of a traditional “xe-loi” (trishaw) that takes you around to all the sights, with stops at a silk-making workshop and another that produces rattan mats and slippers. This afternoon, your ship cruises to Sa Dec, where it moors overnight.
Once ashore in Sa Dec, tour the town where French writer Marguerite Duras spent many years in her youth. Visit a colorful local market, and the house of Mr. Huynh Thuy Le, Duras' Chinese paramour, now a small museum. Afterwards, board a motor coach for Xeo Quyt, once used as a base during the French and U.S. wars and now an important ecological site. After lunch on board, a local boat takes you to Cai Be’s spectacular floating market. You also have an opportunity to visit candy and rice paper workshops. This evening, enjoy a festive Farewell Dinner on board.
Your cruise comes to an end as the ship docks at My Tho Port, followed by a transfer to nearby Ho Chi Minh City. Transfer to airport for your homeward journey.