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Locals moving in carts pulled by cattle in Cambodia.

Vietnam and Cambodia: Along the Mekong River, including Angkor and Saigon

Siem Reap to My Tho - Example 12 Day Cruise aboard Jahan
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Exploring Vietnam and Cambodia along the Mekong River offers access to traditional villages as well as bustling cities. Join this 12-day voyage for a panoramic and immersive experience of these two very different countries. Enjoy time on land, exploring historic Angkor Wat before embarking for a 7-night cruise aboard the 48-guest Jahan, an extraordinary riverboat that offers a level of luxury previously unavailable on the Mekong. End your tour in exciting Saigon; spend three days here at the conclusion of your voyage to explore Vietnam's bustling city.
A local fishing boat on the Mekong River in Vietnam.
Highlights
  • Spend two days exploring the legendary religious sites of Angkor
  • Visit proud communities and learn about life along the river
  • Tour important historical sites of Phnom Penh and Saigon
  • Discover a blend of tradition & innovation in these rapidly changing places
Places Visited
Trip Type:
  • Small Ship
Activity Level: Relaxed
0

Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Siem Reap, Cambodia

Arrive in Siem Reap, the gateway to Angkor. We spend the next three nights at outstanding La Résidence d’Angkor, built along the Siem Reap River in traditional Khmer style, with spacious rooms with teak furniture and bamboo screens. For guests arriving in time, we'll have an afternoon visit to the Angkor National Museum, which gives a fine orientation to the region's history.

Day 2: Angkor | Siem Reap

  • Hotels
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
In the morning we venture out for an introduction to the area at the fine small temple of Banteay Srei, known for its exceptional carvings. After lunch, we stop at Les Artisans d’Angkor, where we see how local artisans preserve age-old Khmer arts. Then we visit the evocative temple Ta Prohm. The jungle has been allowed to continue growing here, framing the structures with the twisted roots and branches of ceiba and fig trees, giving you an idea of what archaeologists encountered when they began their work in the area. This evening we gather for welcome drinks and dinner at our hotel. (B,L,D)

Day 3: Angkor | Siem Reap

We begin early in order to get to Angkor Wat in time for sunrise. This visionary 12th-century temple, the world’s largest religious monument, represents the apogee of Khmer art and architecture. Crowned by five towers, with elaborate bas-reliefs and a profusion of statues that dramatically depict complex religious tales, along with some 2,000 carved apsaras (beautiful female spirits), Angkor Wat is enthralling. We return to our hotel for a late breakfast. In the afternoon we take tuk-tuks (motorized taxis) to the great remains of Angkor Thom, seeing the Bayon Temple, known for its dozens of serene stone faces of King Jayavarman VII, and the Terrace of the Elephants. Tonight we have a very special treat: a private dinner, just for us, by candlelight at one of Angkor's temples, complete with Cambodian music and dance. The effect of seeing the temple gently illuminated and taking in the age-old performing arts is magical, and is bound to stand out as a highlight of your travels. (B,D)

Day 4: Kampong Cham | Embark

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This morning we drive eastward, with a box lunch, to the Mekong River. We embark Jahan, our home for the next seven nights, at the town of Kampong Cham. In the late afternoon we begin sailing along the Mekong, with welcome drinks and dinner aboard our ship. (B,L,D)

Day 5: Wat Hanchey or Koh Dach | Angkor Ban

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Wat Hanchey, which we visit in the morning, is a large temple complex atop a hill overlooking an exceptionally pretty stretch of the Mekong, offering outstanding views. There is a lot to see here: an 8th-century temple from the pre-Angkor Chenla period, an Angkor-era temple, some fine contemporary temples, and a school. Or we may visit the Mekong island of Koh Dach, which has a lively and active monastery and also an extensive community of silk weavers, where we may watch artisans at work. In the afternoon we visit the community of Angkor Ban, with many old-style houses that are built on stilts—some of them very tall. There’s a chance to walk through town and meet the friendly local residents. There is a fine pagoda along the riverside, and views of the fields across the river that runs into the Mekong. (B,L,D)

Day 6: Kampong Chhnang | Kampong Tralach

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This morning, we visit Kampong Tralach, on the banks of the Tonle Sap River. Kampong Tralach is a small village that relies on subsistence fishing and working the rice paddies. We’ll take local oxcarts through the rice paddies, seeing the age-old rhythms of life in the Cambodian countryside. Later we cruise up the fascinating Tonle Sap River. In the afternoon we visit the town of Kampong Chhnang. We drive a short way to a village where pottery is still made for sale to local residents by traditional methods. We’ll see how the pots are made and learn about the uses of the palm tree, complete with a taste of palm sugar if you’re so inclined. Then local boats will take us along the Tonle Sap for a glimpse into a unique way of life: seeing the floating houses and shops that line the riverbanks here. (B,L,D)

Day 7: Phnom Penh

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today will be a full, rewarding day exploring the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh, situated at the confluence of the Mekong, Bassac and Tonle Sap Rivers. We begin with a cyclo (bicycle taxi) ride to the magnificent Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda, home and place of worship to Cambodia’s kings. The architecture, displays and furnishings are remarkable. We continue to the excellent National Museum, which has sculpture and many other artifacts from Khmer temples and other aspects of Cambodia’s history. After lunch at a local restaurant, visit the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, a former prison where exhibits show the determination of Cambodians that this should never happen again. If you’re so inclined, venture to the countryside to the Choeung Ek “killing fields,” where thousands of Cambodians were murdered and buried in mass graves. Back aboard ship, an evening “Apsara” dance performance shows how well the arts have been able to reestablish themselves. (B,L,D)

Day 8: Sailing the Mekong

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
As we sail along the Mekong, there’s a chance to see life along the river, with traditional ships, barges and freighters plying the waterway. There will be a chance to enjoy Jahan’s many amenities, to hear talks by our staff and for our chefs to show you how to prepare some of Cambodia and Vietnam’s signature dishes. We cross the border into Vietnam, where we will spend the rest of our journey. (B,L,D)

Day 9: Chau Doc |Tan Chau, Vietnam

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Friendly Tan Chau has one of Vietnam’s most interesting markets, with an astonishing variety of tropical fruits, vegetables and other goods. We continue to a small floating market on the river and a floating fish farm, where we see fish being fed through trap doors in the floating platforms. Alternatively, we may visit the village of Chau Doc, also with an outstanding market and fish farms. In the afternoon, we continue sailing the Mekong. (B,L,D)

Day 10: Sadec | Cai Be

From the hamlet of Sadec, we’ll take a local boat along a channel off the main river, with much activity to be seen along the way. We’ll visit a small community where the villagers grow, process and fashion water hyacinths into floor mats and rattan baskets—a real slice of life in the Mekong Delta. At the town of Cai Be, we see the floating market, where people in boats sell their wares. Each boat has an object attached to a pole that shows what is being sold. We then visit a rice “factory,” where varieties of rice-based candies are made. Rice husks are reused as fuel for the cooking process, and ash is sold to famers for use as fertilizer.  (B,L,D)

Day 11: My Tho | Saigon | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Disembark in My Tho and visit the Vinh Trang Pagoda. Then journey to Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) and check into the Park Hyatt Saigon for two nights. Meet with a local expert on Vietnam’s modern development,then enjoy dinner at a local restaurant. (B,L,D)

Day 12: Saigon | Depart

  • 1 Breakfast
In the morning we see some of Saigon’s historic landmarks, which include a rich selection of fine colonial buildings. We continue to the Reunification Palace, headquarters of the South Vietnamese Government during the Vietnam War. The breaching of the gates by North Vietnamese tanks symbolically marked the war’s end. If you wish, end at the War Remnants Museum, which gives a strong view of the war through the eyes of the Vietnamese. The afternoon is free, or if you wish you can visit, with our compliments, the Cu Chi tunnels, part of a huge network of tunnels used by the Viet Cong during the war. Rooms are reserved until departure (or until the following morning, if you wish), and in the evening (or the next morning) we transfer to the airport for flights home. (B)

Photo Gallery

Locals moving in carts pulled by cattle in Cambodia. A local fishing boat on the Mekong River in Vietnam. Statues located at the temple of Wat Nokor. The Angkor Wat Temple complex in Cambodia. A Killing Fields offering in the capital city of Phnom Penh.

Map

Ship/Hotel

Jahan

Saigon

Siem Reap - Hotels

Dates & Prices

Per person starting at
$12,220
Relax in this beautiful cabin aboard the Jahan.
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Category 1
323 sq ft. Located on Main Deck. Private balconies with floor-to-ceiling glass doors. Twin and queen beds. Sitting area and spacious bathroom with glass-walled shower.
Jahan's Category 1 Cabin.
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Category 1 Single
323 sq ft. Located on Main Deck. Private balconies with floor-to-ceiling glass doors. Twin and queen beds. Sitting area and spacious bathroom with glass-walled shower.
Jahan's Category 2 Cabin.
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Category 2
323 sq ft. Located on Upper Deck. Private balconies with floor-to-ceiling glass doors. Twin and queen beds. Sitting area and spacious bathroom with glass-walled shower.
Jahan's Category 3 Cabin.
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Category 3
376 sq ft. Located on Main and Upper Deck. Each cabin has a queen-size bed and a private balcony with floor-to-ceiling glass doors. Television, private DVD player, balcony with two sun beds and a table, sitting area, and a spacious bathroom.
Jahan's Suite.
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Suite
Located on Upper Deck. Largest cabins with a queen-size bed, a private Jacuzzi, and a private balcony with floor-to-ceiling glass doors. They have separate sitting and living areas, plus a spacious bathroom.

Notes

Cost Includes:
  • Accommodations ashore and aboard ship
  • Meals indicated
  • Excursions
  • Services of Lindblad Expeditions’ Leader and expert guides
  • Internet access (in limited areas)
  • All port charges and service taxes
Not Included:
  • Air transportation
  • Personal items such as alcoholic beverages, emails, etc.
  • Discretionary tips to ship’s crew


Rates are capacity-controlled and are subject to change without notice.

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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!
Meyer Smolen

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