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Tonle Sap Lake, Cambodia

From the Mekong Delta to the Temples of Angkor

Example 11 Day Cruise aboard RV Indochine II
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From the heights of the Himalayas to the southern coasts of the South China Sea, winding over 2,700 miles, the Mekong is much more than just irrigation for Indochina—everywhere it flows, it fascinates men and shapes their lives. Come take an expedition on this grand and plentiful “water snake,” from Ho Chi Minh City, still largely influenced by the French colonial days, to Phnom Penh, Tonle Sap Lake and the ruins of Angkor, following the footsteps of Henri Mouhot. Our meditative trip takes you along the Mekong River on board a ship combining charm and colonial-style comfort.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : HO CHI MINH CITY
Day 2 : HO CHI MINH CITY
Day 3 : CHAO GAO - MY THO - VINH LONG - CAI BE - SA DEC
Day 4 : SA DEC - CHAU DOC
Day 5 : CHAU DOC - PHNOM PENH
Day 6 : PHNOM PENH
Day 7 : KOH CHEN - KAMPONG TRALACH - KAMPONG CHHNANG
Day 8 : KAMPONG CHHNANG - LAKE TONLE
Day 9 : Siem Reap - Angkor
Day 10 : Siem Reap
Day 11 : Siem Reap

Highlights

  • Discover 3 historical cities: Ho Chi Minh City, Phnom Penh and Siem Reap
  • Cross through the splendid Cho Gao canal
  • Visit the 4 major temples in Angkor
  • Meet the locals and learn about their daily lives in Koh Chen, My Tho

Ship

RV Indochine II

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Tonle Sap Lake, Cambodia Bustling Ho Chi Minh City City Museum, Ho Chi Minh Aerial view of Angkor Wat Sunset over Tonle Sap Lake

Day 1 HO CHI MINH CITY

strong>Program depending on your time of arrival in Ho Chi Minh City. Program as follow if your flight lands beetween 6am and 11am:
Built by the French in 1859, at the beginning of the colonial era, Ho Chi Minh Cityt has retained some of its French atmosphere which characterises it. We will tour the city: Reunification palace, Notre Dame cathedral and Central Post office. Lunch in a local restaurant between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m..
We’ll visit Cholon, the Chinese-influenced section of the city, including its hectic market. After comfortably settling into your cabins, we’ll introduce our crew at a welcome cocktail, have dinner and spend the night on board.

Day 2 HO CHI MINH CITY

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
We’ll 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. Lunch will be served on board. Visit the Museum of Vietnamese History. We’ll then set out to cross the very narrow Chao Gao Canal. Night on board.

Day 3 CHAO GAO - MY THO - VINH LONG - CAI BE - SA DEC

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
We continue our cruise to My Tho along the magnificent Chao Gao Canal. Visit of a bee farm and enjoy some honey tea and exotic fruit. Lunch. We’ll 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*. Night on board.

Day 4 SA DEC - CHAU DOC

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Visit of Sa Dec and discovery of the local market and visit the former house of Huynh Thuy Le, the man who Marguerite Duras based her book The Lover on. We’ll return on board our ship and have lunch. Sailing towards Cambodia. Night on board.

Day 5 CHAU DOC - PHNOM PENH

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Breakfast on board. Located on the border between Cambodia and Vietnam, the prosperous city of Chau Doc has developed around fish and fish farming. We’ll pay a visit to the Ba Chua Xu Temple and the Tay An Pagoda. Lunch on board. Arrival in the evening in Phnom Penh. Dinner on board. We'll remain in port overnight.

Day 6 PHNOM PENH

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
We’ll 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, a former detention, torture, and execution center run by the Khmer Rouge during the civil war. Afterwards, enjoy some free time at the market. As we get back on board, we will enjoy an Apsara dance show. Dinner and overnight on board, in the port of Phnom Penh. Free evening.

Day 7 KOH CHEN - KAMPONG TRALACH - KAMPONG CHHNANG

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Visit of Koh Chen, a small village where craftspeople specialize in silver and copper work. Lunch.Visit of the beautiful Vihara at the Wat Kampong Tralach Leu pagoda. To access the pagoda we 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. Our ship will remain anchored overnight.

Day 8 KAMPONG CHHNANG - LAKE TONLE

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Visit of Kampong Chhnang, one of the largest fishing ports on the Tonle Sap. Here they also have many fish farms. The region is best known for its fine traditional pottery which is a major source of revenue for the entire country. Tasting of some local products. Lunch. then continue our cruise to lake Tonle Sap, the largest freshwater lake in southeast Asia which forms the heart of the hydraulic system of the Mekong. Cocktail and gala dinner tonight. Our ship will remain anchored overnight.

Day 9 Siem Reap - Angkor

We spend the morning cruising. Disembarkation, and lunch. Visit of the famous temple of Angkor Wat, masterpiece of Khmer architecture. This is the most famous and most imposing of all the monuments in Angkor. Enjoy a stroll through the Angkor Night Market. Dinner and overnight in hotel (Accommodations will be at either a 4-star or 5-star hotel according to the cruise you choose).

Day 10 Siem Reap

  • Hotels
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Visit of 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. This afternoon we explore Angkor Thom, have a wander in the heart of the ancient Royal palace where the sanctuary of Phimeanakas is located, then we visit the terrace of the Elephants and the terrace of the Leper King. Lunch. Visit of the temple at Banteay Srei, which means "the citadel of women”. Dinner. Then, enjoy a show with Phare, the Cambodian circus. Overnight in the hotel.

Day 11 Siem Reap

  • 1 Breakfast
Visit of the "Senteurs d'Angkor” (or perfume workshop), where they make candles, soaps and prepare spices. Afterwards, we visit 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. Lunch in the hotel.
Well bid you farewell at approximately 2:00 p.m. Please do not book your flight before 5:00 p.m.

RV Indochine II

Angkor Wat

Siem Reap - Hotels

Per person starting at
$2,809
Accommodations aboard the RV Indochine II
Select a Date
Main Deck
8 outside-facing cabins on the main deck equipped with two low beds that can be moved together; ample storage space; private bathroom with shower; air-conditioning; safe; hair dryer; and dresser.
Comfortable cabin aboard the RV Indochine II
Select a Date
Upper Deck
22 outside-facing cabins on the upper deck equipped with two low beds that can be moved together; ample storage space; private bathroom with shower; air-conditioning; safe; hair dryer; and dresser.

Notes

20% discount on children between 2-10 years
30% discount for 3rd person in triple cabin

This offer includes
Your cruise in the cabin category of your choice - double-occupancy accommodations in a top-category hotel - all meals - beverages with meals (1 mineral water or 1 soft drink or 1 beer* and coffee or tea per person and per meal) - unlimited tea, coffee, and mineral water on board the RV Indochine II - visits and excursions mentioned in the program – French and english-speaking tour guides and services provided by our CroisiEurope cruise director on board the RV Indochine II -  travel assistance and repatriation insurance - all port fees - tips.

Tips: To make your vacation worry-free, the equivalent of €80 per passenger will be given to the onboard crew and service providers for your destination countries as tips. We feel this amount is appropriate in consideration of local customs and practice, and it is included in the cost of your cruise.

This offer does not include
International travel and any taxes - transfers - Cambodian and Vietnamese visas - cancellation and baggage insurance - drinks not mentioned in the program.

Formalities
For French, Swiss, and Belgian nationals: Passport that is valid for 6 months after your date of return, with at least two consecutive pages free of any markings and mandatory Cambodian visa. The visa for Vietnam could be required depending on your nationality.

For other nationalities: Please consult the competent authorities (consulate/embassy) before your trip.

VISA INFORMATION FOR CAMBODIA/VIETNAM

The average delay for a Cambodian visa if you apply directly to the embassy yourself is approximately four to six working days. CroisiEurope can take care of the paperwork and request for you for a fee, and in this case, the application would need to be processed 45 to 60 days before your departure date.

Additional information
THE ROYAL CITIES in 7 DAYS


Ref. 1H9_MUSPP – POST-CRUISE PROGRAM AVAILABLE starting with 2 participants

The 7-day post-cruise program lets you discover the essential sites in two Vietnamese provinces formerly known as Annam and Tonkin. Visit the capital, Hanoi, as well as thousand-year-old pagodas, lakes, and historical monuments. Set out on an unforgettable cruise on the legendary Halong Bay among the fantastically formed islands, crags, and cliffs.


4 DAYS IN HANOI AND HALONG BAY


Ref. 1H6_MUSPP – POST-CRUISE PROGRAM AVAILABLE starting with 2 participants

The 4-day post-cruise program will let you discover Hanoi, the capital, and many of the unforgettable sites in the country. Set out on an unforgettable cruise on the legendary Halong Bay among the fantastically formed islands, crags, and cliffs.

Useful information
FLIGHTS


Domestic and regional flights: Bangkok Airways (PG) between Bangkok and Siem Reap. Vietnam Airlines for flights within Vietnam.


PRECAUTIONS


Vaccines are not mandatory for this trip. However, it is advisable to be up to date with all vaccinations (tetanus, polio, hepatitis A and B, diphtheria, and typhoid fever). Your doctor will prescribe an antimalarial drug if necessary.


WEATHER

Vietnam and Cambodia: The dry season lasts from December to April, but the air remains humid (temperature: 77° to 95°F). The rainy season, from May to November, can present very strong but brief storms that generally take place at the end of the afternoon.

CURRENCY EXCHANGE


 For the current exchange rates for the Vietnamese dong and the Cambodian riel, please consult websites such as www.xe.com or www.oanda.com/currency/converter/.


The currency accepted on board is the US dollar. You can pay in dollars or using an international credit/debit card (Visa and MasterCard) at the end of the cruise. We recommend bringing some US dollars in cash with you during your trip.

NATIONAL HOLIDAYS


The Pchum Ben religious holiday is from September 27 to 30.
The traditional Water Festival is from November 10 to 13.


During these periods, certain sites can be closed without prior warning.

TIME DIFFERENCE

You can consult www.worldtimezone.com to see the time difference between your home and your destination.

Mentions
This cruise and tour is not recommended for PERSONS WITH REDUCED MOBILITY or those who have difficulty walking. There is no elevator on the ship. You must be in good physical condition to participate.


The banks of the river we will cruise on can be steep and slippery depending on the water level.
The itinerary, stopovers, and excursions can be modified by the cruise company and our on-site representatives if needed. The captain of the ship is the sole authority who can modify the ship itinerary for safety or navigational reasons.
The excursions can be modified and the order of the visits can be reversed if necessary.
Crossing Tonle Sap Lake: During the high-water season, usually from August to the end of November, the crossing will be done on your ship. In the low-water season, from December to February, the crossing will be done on high-speed boats (approximately 4 hours). In the very low-water season, from approximately February to April, the transfer from Siem Reap to Koh Chen to join your ship will be done in an air-conditioned coach (approximately 5 hours).
Low waters can happen at any time during the year. The time frames are given as examples, but are dependent on the quality of rainfall.


*Alcohol can be dangerous to your health. Please drink in moderation.Valid information for year 2019
Jess L

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The trip might have been the absolute best of our lifetime (thus far). We particularly want to commend our guide Peter in the Guilin area-he was so incredibly attentive, energetic, enthusiastic-and absolutely dedicated to ensuring that our meals were 100% vegetarian.
Jack Charney

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