Cast off on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure on the legendary river that begins in the mountains of Tibet and meanders through no less than six countries. The Mekong traces the authentic, profound, and mesmerizing history of Vietnam and Cambodia along its riverbanks. You’ll finish your extraordinary vacation in Indochina with a discovery of Hanoï, the Vietnamese capital, and on an unforgettable cruise on the legendary Halong Bay among the fantastically formed islands, crags, and cliffs.
Discover 3 historical cities: Ho Chi Minh City, Phnom Penh and Siem Reap
Cross through the splendid Cho Gao canal
Visit 4 major temples in Angkor
Meet the locals and learn about their daily lives in Koh Chen, My Tho...
Your program will begin according to your time of arrival in Siem Reap. If your flight arrives between 6:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m., your program will be:
Accommodations will be at either a 4-star or 5-star hotel according to the cruise you choose. Lunch will be served at the hotel between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., and you’ll be able to check into your room at 2 p.m. This afternoon, visit the Senteurs d'Angkor: a diverse collection of silk and carvings, as well as a superb range of traditional beauty products and spices, all made locally. Also visit Artisans Angkor, which states its goal as "the ambitious belief that it is possible to revive ancient Cambodian arts & crafts while improving the lives of thousands of people living in rural areas." Enjoy a stroll through the Angkor Night Market. We’ll have dinner and spend the night at the hotel.
Day 2: Siem Reap | Angkor Temples
1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Explore Angkor Thom, the monumental temple of Bayon—famous for its towers and 172 faces of Avalokitesvara, and Ta Prohm. After lunch in town, leave for a visit of Banteay Srei. This evening, have dinner in a restaurant in town before ending the day with Phare, the Cambodian circus, and spending the night at the hotel.
Visit the Angkor Wat temple: the epitome of Khmer architectural art. It is the largest religious monument in the world and an architectural masterpiece. Lunch will be served at the hotel. In the early afternoon, you’ll be transferred from the hotel to the ship. After comfortably settling into your cabins, be introduced to the crew at a welcome cocktail and have dinner on board.
Day 4: Tonle Sap Lake | Kampong Chhnang | Kampong Tralach
Enjoy breakfast as you cruise across the lake. After lunch, visit Kampong Chhnang, one of the largest fishing ports on Tonle Sap Lake. Fish farming is abundant here. The region is also known for its traditional pottery combining ancient knowledge with modern techniques—Chhnang itself means "pot." Enjoy a tasting of regional products before returning on board and beginning to cruise to Kampong Tralach.
Set out to visit the beautiful Vihara at the Wat Kampong Tralach Leu pagoda. To access the pagoda you need to cross the village of Kampong Tralach in ox carts, moving along a small road that runs perpendicular to the river in the middle of magnificent rice fields. After lunch, arrive in Koh Chen. You can explore this small village where craftspeople specialize in silver and copper work. After returning on board, spend the afternoon cruising towards Phnom Penh, arriving in the early evening. Enjoy a brief tour of the area by "tuk-tuk," the easiest way to get around the city. Return to the ship and enjoy a performance of classical Khmer dancing and music and have dinner.
Enjoy a tour of the fabulous Royal Palace, one of the most impressive examples of Cambodian architecture, and its Silver Pagoda. Onward to visit the National Museum. After lunch in town, you can pay a visit to the Tuol Svay Prey School, former detention, torture, and execution center run by the Khmer Rouge during the civil war. Afterward, enjoy some free time at the market.
Located on the border between Cambodia and Vietnam, the prosperous city of Chau Doc has developed around fish and fish farming. Pay a visit to the Ba Chua Xu Temple and the Tay An Pagoda. Once we are back on board, begin to cruise toward Sa Dec.
Once you arrive in Sa Dec, discover the local market and visit the former house of Huynh Thuy Le, the man who Marguerite Duras based her book The Lover on. Have lunch on board and cruise to Vinh Long. We’ll set out in smaller boats and travel through canals and orchards before arriving in Cai Be. Discover a brick and pottery factory as well as a traditional factory producing puffed riced, rice-paper wrappers used to make nems, and rice alcohol*. Return on board your ship and begin to cruise.
Visit a bee farm and enjoy some honey tea and exotic fruit. We'll then take a ride in small sampans along the canal lined with mangrove palms. Lunch will be served on board. We’ll then set out to cross the very narrow Chao Gao Canal, heading for Ho Chi Minh City.
Ho Chi Minh City was heavily influenced by French colonialism in the 19th century. Enjoy a tour of the city to see the Reunification Palace, Notre Dame Cathedral, and the Saigon Central Post Office, and visit the Museum of Vietnamese History. Lunch will be served on board. In the afternoon, leave by coach for the Cu Chi tunnels, an immense network of underground tunnels that were used by Viet Cong soldiers as hiding spots during combat, as well as serving as communication and supply routes, hospitals, food and weapon caches. After your excursion, return on board our ship. Tonight have your farewell cocktail and dinner.
Enjoy breakfast on board before disembarking. Spend the morning visiting Cholon, the Chinese-influenced section of the city, including its hectic market. After lunch in town, you’ll be transferred to the airport and board a flight to Hanoi. You’ll check into a 4-star hotel and have dinner.
Spend the day on a guided tour of the capital, visiting the outside of the historic Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum on Ba Dinh Square, Ho Chi Minh's humble stilt house behind the mausoleum, and the unique One Pillar Pagoda Buddhist temple. Visit the Temple of Literature, built in 1070 and dedicated to Confucius. After lunch in town, we’ll take a pedi-cab ride. Have a tour of the local "Embassy Row" with its French colonial-style architecture. This evening, watch a traditional water puppetry show and have dinner in the city before spending the night at the hotel.
Leave early in the morning for Halong Bay (approx. 3.5 hours travel time). Be welcomed aboard a junk, enjoy a cocktail, have lunch, and begin our cruise to discover the thousands of various limestone islands dotting the emerald-colored bay. Enjoy dinner on board this evening. The ship will remain anchored overnight.
Day 14: Halong Bay - Hanoi
1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Rise early with us this morning and participate in a Tai Chi class on deck. We’ll continue our cruise through the bay, discovering more of its extraordinary scenery and visiting one of the largest caves. Brunch will be served before you disembark at 11:00 a.m. and begin your trip back to Hanoi. Before arriving, we’ll stop off at the Dinh Bang communal hall. You’ll enjoy a light dinner before being transferred to the airport.
We’ll bid you farewell at the airport at approximately 6:00 p.m. Please do not book your flight before 8:00 p.m.
Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!