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Phnom Penh Royal Palace complex

Pearl of the Orient - Upstream

Saigon to Phnom Penh - Example 4 Day Cruise aboard The Jahan
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Join this 4-day Lower Mekong river cruise from Saigon to Phnom Penh aboard the luxurious British-Indian colonial-style riverboat, The Jahan. During your trip, learn about the culture and heritage with visits to rural villages, historic pagodas, and colorful markets. Engage with locals and witness skilled artisans who create exquisite handicrafts and delicacies. Take a motorized tuk-tuk tour of Phnom Penh to see the Royal Palace, the Silver Pagoda, and the National Museum of Cambodia, which has the largest collection of Khmer art. Experience all this and more on this life-enriching cruise along the Mekong.
Floating village in Southeast AsiaBoat floating along the Mekong RiverBoy on wooden fishing boatBoat House in MekongKhmer PotteryFloating Market in Cai BeLocal Market in Tan ChauLocal Village in Lower MekongLocal Silk ProductionPhnom Penh Royal Palace complex
Highlights
  • Learn about the culture and life of the locals along the river with an expert guide
  • Visit the floating market in Cai Be and see local products and delicacies.
  • Discover Phnom Penh, once named "Paris of the East."
  • Board local boats and head to a floating fish farm in Tan Chau.
Activity Level: Relaxed
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Saigon | My Tho | Embark | Cai Be

  • Ship
  • 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Upon arrival, you will receive a welcome greeting in the lounge in Saigon. Kick back with a second coffee as the staff collects your details for the boarding. Bid a fond farewell to the hustle and bustle of Saigon and travel 70 kilometers south over land towards My Tho to embark on our vessel. After checking into your luxurious floating “home” for the next several days, your first inclination may be to step on your balcony to watch the ship set sail on its fascinating Mekong River voyage.

A lunch buffet is served in the restaurant while the vessel steadily glides upstream. Now it is time to get acquainted with one of the largest streams in Asia, which runs an estimated length of 4,909 km (3,050 mi) and discharges 475 cubic km (114 cubic miles) of water annually. Millions of people – from China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam – pay tribute to this mighty river, which provides sustenance and protection for its inhabitants.

Let your soul float and your eyes wander while the boat makes it's way upstream. In the afternoon, you are invited to afternoon tea in the open-air bar. Get to know your fellow travelers while enjoying some tasty treats. While cruising, relax for the rest of the day on your private balcony or be pampered by the therapists at the Apsara Spa.

While you savor your delightful dinner, the ship reaches Cai Be. Cai Be would later become the surrounding region's predominant water-based trading hub. The ship will anchor mid-stream near Cai Be and moors there overnight. If you are in the mood for some evening entertainment, there is a cinema in the lounge showcasing classic movies and interesting documentaries on a nightly basis.

Day 2: Cai Be | Sa Dec | Tan Chau

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Wake up early to witness the spectacular scenery at the break of dawn. To make the experience complete, join the daily morning Tai Chi class. Afterward, a rich breakfast buffet awaits, or if you prefer, breakfast can be served directly to your room.

Cai Be is a charming market town famous for its Catholic-French church and the manufacturing of traditional crafts and food products. The once enormous floating market of Cai Be gets smaller year by year since trading on the water is continually shifting towards modern markets. However, you can still see boat-to-boat trading of local goods, such as fruits and agricultural products, and imagine what this must have looked like on a larger scale. You will also learn from the guide about the long-lasting trading culture and how each boat has a special marker to let buyers know what goods they are selling.

By local boat, sail along the green canal network and watch the farmers working in the fields. A visit ashore to a workshop shows us the manufacturing of rice paste, rice paper, rice cookies, and rice wine. Cai Be’s surrounding areas are covered by palm trees, which is why the region is also famous for the production of coconut candy. While the vessel continues sailing upstream, you can enjoy time to yourself or head to the bar to enjoy an authentic Vietnamese coffee as you watch the life on the riverbanks floating by.

In the afternoon, the vessel reaches the area of Sa Dec and arrives at one of the larger islands in the vast stream of the Mekong, Binh Thanh Island. Several communities have settled here and made their living by growing water hyacinths. Visit one of these untouched areas exclusively. By wandering through the village, you will get a deep understanding of native life. A local artisan will demonstrate the entire process of traditional mat-making and let you try weaving yourself. You will also meet a local elderly couple who will share their story of living on this island. They are always happy to chit-chat with our guests.

Back on board, you may take a dip in the pool on the sun deck. In the evening, the expert guide offers a presentation on life on the Mekong Delta as the ship continues sailing to Tan Chau. This town is a pleasant, slow-paced border town near the Cambodian border with a small Chinese, Kinh, and Khmer community. The ship will moor near the city, with views of the riverbanks.

Day 3: Tan Chau | Phnom Penh

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Welcome to the fish sanctuary of Vietnam. Once on shore, see Tan Chau’s vibrant town life. Hop on a xelois, which are local vehicles still used as taxis in this area. Your Xeloi driver will slowly navigate through the streets to observe all the workshops, houses, and shops while feeling the laid-back vibe of this place. Make a stop at the colorful local market near one of the town’s temples, interact with the vendors of this friendly town, and try your hand at bargaining with them.

To see what Tan Chau is famous for, board a local boat and head to a floating fish farm. You are about to get an exclusive look into the world's largest inland aquaculture industry. The specialties of this region are tilapia and the Basa catfish, or Pangasius, which are unique to the Mekong River basin and are rapidly gaining popularity in the international seafood market.

Back on board, sail towards the Vietnamese-Cambodian border. Be ready for a fascinating and leisurely cruise through the deep Cambodian countryside toward Phnom Penh. The whole afternoon is at your disposal. The afternoon is perfect for massages, relaxation on a terrace deck sun bed, or private balcony kickbacks. You also may like to visit the bridge, as the captain always has a little story to share about the river. Or, if you are curious to learn more about Khmer gastronomy, join a culinary workshop to sharpen your knowledge about local cuisine.

After some additional cruising time back aboard, the boat arrives and docks at the pier in Phnom Penh. Feel free to go out and explore by yourself after dinner. Stroll along the river promenade and watch the locals chit-chatting, selling odds and ends, or have a drink in one of the numerous bars.

Day 4: Phnom Penh | Disembark | Return Home

  • 1 Breakfast
Welcome to Phnom Penh, the city once named Paris of the East. It retains much of its rustic charm and elegance despite its rapid development. This lovely town has a rich history and culture that are still evident on numerous street corners. 

Enjoy your last breakfast on board this floating home before disembarking the ship.

 

Ship/Hotel

The Jahan

The Jahan
The Jahan
The Jahan Lobby and Lounge

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$976
The Jahan - Superior Stateroom
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Superior Staterooms
Room Size: 30 sqm/323 sqft (8 double beds and 4 twins) Located in the main deck and all have private balconies. It comes with air conditioning, an espresso machine, a minibar, and a hot water kettle. The spacious rooms are designed gracefully with hand-painted wall-to-ceiling decors and a private balcony for relaxing. The in-cabin bathroom has an out-sized shower.
The Jahan - Deluxe Stateroom
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Deluxe Stateroom
Room Size: 30 sqm/323 sqft (6 double beds and 2 twins) Located in the upper deck, the stateroom features interconnected cabins ideal for families and groups of friends. Each cabin comes with multiple features from a luggage rack, in-room safe, music and cabin system, inhouse phone, a sun hat, and desk and chairs.
The Jahan - Signature Suite
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Signature Suites
Room Size: 36 sqm/388 sqft (2 doubles with 32 sqm and 2 doubles with 36 sqm) Located in the upper deck area, while two more are based at the very front of the main deck.
The Jahan - Taj Noble Suites
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Noble Suite
Room Size: 51 sqm/549 sqft. The majestic suites are individually designed and situated at a prime location at the front part of the upper deck. Guests can enjoy these spacious suites that feature a private balcony with a jacuzzi as they enjoy the beautiful scenery. The room comes with butler service for all the guests' needs. The stylish private bathrooms include bathrobes and a hairdryer.
Included
  • 3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners
  • 3 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Professional English-speaking guide
  • Internet access (in limited areas)
  • Daily Group Shore-Excursions
  • All entrance fees as per program
  • All transfers as per itinerary by air-conditioned Vehicles
  • Welcome drink, brewed coffee, tea and mineral water
Excluded
  • Gratuities
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Spa Treatments
  • Port taxes/fees
  • Passport or Visa fees

Map

When to Go

Jan
Feb
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May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.

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Kate was great to work with in the planning stage. She was prompt, helpful, and efficient. Our tour guide, Edwin, was knowledgeable and passionate. We were very happy to have traveled with Adventure Life, it made the trip easy and a true pleasure. We could concentrate on enjoying the experience rather than the details of travel.
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