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Boat floating along the Mekong River

From Mekong River to Siem Reap

Example 9 Day Cruise aboard RV Indochine
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Discover the charms and exhilarating history of Vietnam and Cambodia on this 9-day cruise along the Mekong River. Sail from Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap, making daily stops to discover fascinating destinations including the Thien Hau Pagoda, My Tho islands, the former home of Huynh Thuy Le, the Silver Pagoda, and the Royal Palace. During this trip visit floating villages using small local boats, observe magnificent landscapes of rice fields, and stop at vibrant and colorful local markets 

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Ho Chi Minh City | Embark
Day 2 : Ho Chi Minh City | Chao Gao Canal | Nha Be
Day 3 : My Tho | Vinh Long | Cai Be | Sa Dec
Day 4 : Sa Dec | Chau Doc
Day 5 : Phnom Penh
Day 6 : Phnom Penh
Day 7 : Koh Chen | Kampong Tralach | Kampong Chhnang
Day 8 : Kampong Chhnang | Lake Tonle
Day 9 : Siem Reap | Disembark

Highlights

  • Visit My Tho islands in small boats and observe local craftsmen at work
  • Experience a “tuk tuk” trip, Phnom Penh´s traditional mode of transport
  • Attend an Apsara dance show by student dancers and musicians
  • Visit a traditional grove of palm trees and taste some palm sugar

Ship

RV Indochine

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Boat floating along the Mekong River City Museum, Ho Chi Minh Local moving cattle through the fields Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda Aerial view of Angkor Wat

Day 1 Ho Chi Minh City | Embark

  • Ship
  • 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today´s program depends on your arrival time to Hô-Chi-Minh Ville. If arrived from your flight between 6:00 am and 11:00 am, schedules as follows: Arrive in Ho Chi Minh City. This city was built by the French in 1859, at the beginning of the colonial era. It has retained some of its French atmosphere. After you enjoy lunch in a local restaurant, leave for a tour of the city: Reunification Palace, Notre Dame Cathedral and Central Post Office. Afterwards, board the RV Indochine, followed by a welcome cocktail and dinner. Remain in port overnight.

Day 2 Ho Chi Minh City | Chao Gao Canal | Nha Be

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
After breakfast, spend the morning visiting Cholon, whose name means “great market”, a district bustling with people, where almost half the population of the city lives and where trade reigns supreme. Visit the market and the Thien Hau Pagoda, dedicated to the Goddess of the Sea. Have lunch in town before your afternoon visit to the National History Museum followed by a visit to a lacquer-ware factory. Then return on board and head for Chao Gao Canal. Enjoy dinner and an evening on board, and drop anchor and moor for the night at Nha Be.

Day 3 My Tho | Vinh Long | Cai Be | Sa Dec

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Early in the morning, continue your cruise to My Tho along the magnificent 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. Have breakfast as you arrive in My Tho. The town is named after the My Tho River which means “beautiful reed”, and it is peaceful and prosperous. It is known for its many vegetable gardens and fruit orchards. The climate here is hot and pleasant all year long. The surrounding countryside includes one of the most luxuriant gardens in Vietnam with coconut, banana, mango and longan trees.  Visit My Tho islands in small boats. Along the maze that makes up the network of small canals, pretty country villages appear and you can see the local craftsmen at work.

Return on board for lunch and continue your cruise to Vinh Long, and then Caï Be. The town is located in the middle of the delta region, between two arms of the Mekong. Set off in small boats through the arroyos and gardens which lead to Caï Be's colonial church. Vinh Long, with its rich delta soils, is the country of mandarins and oranges. Life is organized around the water, and you can observe houses built on stilts and hundreds of small boats that criss-cross in all directions. Depart for Sa Dec, have dinner and stay in port overnight.

Day 4 Sa Dec | Chau Doc

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Early in the morning make a visit to Sa Dec, famous for its horticulture and known as the “Garden of Cochin-China” in colonial times. Then, take a tour of the small town where there are still a few colonial mansions. Discover the local market and visit the former home of Huynh Thuy Le, who was French novelist Marguerite Duras' lover (Duras spent part of her childhood in Sa Dec). Return on board for a hearty breakfast and continue your cruise to Chau Doc, a town at the border between Cambodia and Vietnam which became part of Vietnamese territory some 300 years ago.

Have lunch on board, and arrive in Chau Doc early in the afternoon. Situated in the heart of a gigantic grid of rice fields, the city of Chau Doc embraces both banks of the Mekong, and the floating farms overspill into the waters. It is a very prosperous town that developed around fishing and farming. Inside the town, you can still see a few colonial buildings with their old-fashioned charm. The market surrounding them is the vibrant heart of the city and offers a multitude of colors. Afterwards, transfer by small boat to visit a fish farm. Weather permitting, visit the top of Sam Mountain. Then, return to Chau Doc and visit the Phat Thay Tay An Pagoda and the Ba Chua Xu Temple. Have dinner and stay in port overnight in Chau Doc.

Day 5 Phnom Penh

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Have breakfast, and spend the day afloat, first heading for the Cambodian border, where you must pass through customs during the morning, and continue your journey. Enjoy lunch and dinner on board, and arrive towards the end of the day in Phnom Penh. Late in the afternoon or after dinner, experience a trip in a “tuk tuk”, a motorized tricycle which is the traditional mode of transport in Phnom Penh. Stay in port in Phnom Penh for the night.

Day 6 Phnom Penh

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Founded in 1434, the capital of Cambodia retains much of its colonial charm, thanks to the rehabilitation of part of its architectural heritage. Visit the Silver Pagoda, a wooden construction from 1892, and subsequently rebuilt in 1962, and the Royal Palace, the symbolic heart of the nation and one of the finest examples of Cambodian architecture in classical Khmer style. Then, visit the National Museum built in 1917 by the French in traditional Khmer architectural style.

Enjoy lunch in a local restaurant, and this afternoon join a visit of Tuol Svay Prey S21 school, the former detention, torture and execution center used by the Khmer Rouge during the civil war. Have free time in the market, overflowing with all types of businesses. In the evening, attend an Apsara dance show by student dancers and musicians. Return on board for dinner, and stay in port overnight.

Day 7 Koh Chen | Kampong Tralach | Kampong Chhnang

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Depart early in the morning, having breakfast on board before you visit Koh Chen, a small village where the inhabitants are experts in etched and silvered copper work. The ornaments and decorations used during traditional ceremonies in the pagoda or for weddings are made here. Visit the private school of Mr. Thom Umson, a bright mathematics teacher who speaks French. He always seems to need more pencils and notebooks for his students.

Have lunch on board, and arrive in Kampong Tralach to visit the beautiful Vihara of the Wat Kampong Tarlach Leu Pagoda. Get there by crossing through the village of Kampong Tralach by oxcart, 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 the last century and has many magnificent wall paintings which are starting to suffer the ravages of time. Completely isolated in the middle of the rice fields, the pagoda is quite unassuming and does not receive many visitors. Its isolation makes it a truly magnificent spot. Then, return on board and continue your cruise to Kampong Chhnang. Enjoy dinner on board and remain in port overnight.

Day 8 Kampong Chhnang | Lake Tonle

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Have breakfast on board, and then visit Kampong Chhnang. Located about 56 miles from Phnom Penh, the town of Kampong Chhnang is one of the largest fishing ports on the Tonlé Sap. There are also many fish farms here. The region is best known for its fine traditional pottery, a major source of revenue for the entire country. The region's very name Kampong Chhnang means “the port of pottery” in Khmer. 

Visit a traditional grove of palm trees and taste some palm sugar before you visit a traditional pottery shop. Next, visit a floating village using small local boats. All the buildings here float - the school, the shops and so on, and life develops along the canal network. Return on board for lunch then continue your cruise to Lake Tonlé (Tonlé Sap), the largest freshwater lake in southeast Asia which forms the heart of the hydraulic system of the Mekong. In the evening have a cocktail and gala dinner. Remain in port overnight.

Day 9 Siem Reap | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Spend the morning cruising, having breakfast on board. Depending on the water levels, cross Tonlé Sap on board the RV Indochine. Arrive in the port of Siem Reap and disembark. Saty farewell to your fellow passengers and prepare for your return home. 
 

RV Indochine

Per person starting at
$2,384
Select a Date
Main Deck
14 outside-facing cabins on the main deck equipped with two low beds that can be moved together; large storage space under the box spring; private bathroom with sink, toilet and shower; air-conditioning; safe; hair dryer; and dresser.
Cabin on the RV Indochine
Select a Date
Upper Deck
10 outside-facing cabins on the upper deck equipped with two low beds that can be moved together; large storage space under the box spring; private bathroom with sink, toilet and shower; air-conditioning; safe; hair dryer; and dresser.

Notes

Please Note: The itinerary, ports of call and visits are subject to modification by the ship owner and/or our representatives on the spot. The excursions may be amended or completed in the reverse order if it is deemed necessary. The ship’s captain reserves the right to modify the cruising itinerary to ensure the safe navigation of the vessel. The banks of the river on which we travel can be very steep and slippery, depending on the water levels.
 
(1) Crossing the Tonle Sap Lake : when water levels are high, from August to the end of December, the RV Indochine crosses the lake. When water levels are low, from January to April, we cross the lake by air-conditioned coach to join the RV Indochine at Koh Chen.


This offer includes:
  • The cruise in the category of cabin chosen at booking stage
  • All meals throughout the tour
  • All transfers, visits and excursions as listed in the itinerary
  • English-speaking national Vietnamese and Cambodian guides for the visits to Ho Chi Minh City
  • Local guides throughout the cruise
  • Tour leader throughout the cruise and tour
  • Drinks at all meals (1 soda or 1 beer or 1 water and 1 coffee or tea per person and per meal)
  • Emergency and repatriation insurance INCLUDED FREE OF CHARGE
  • All tips for crew during the cruise included.
This offer does not include:
  • Drinks that are not listed in the program
  • Personal expenses
  • Cancellation and baggage insurance
  • Compulsory Vietnamese and Cambodian visas
  • Tips for guides, bus drivers and local boats pilots during the 9-day cruise
Formalities
Valid passport compulsory. Non-EU nationals are advised to consult their embassy or consulate. Please note: Your passport must be valid for six months beyond the last day of your travels.
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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