From the Angkor Temples to the Mekong Delta

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SIEM REAP - ANGKOR - TONLE SAP - KAMPONG CHHNANG - KAMPONG TRALACH - KOH CHEN - PHNOM PENH - CHAU DOC - SA DEC - VINH LONG - CAI BE - MY THO - HO-CHI-MINH CITY

From the heights of the Himalayas to the coast of the China Sea, over the course of its almost 2,800-mile journey, the Mekong River passes through much more than just Indochina. Wherever it flows, it fascinates people and shapes their lives. From the Delta and Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), a town still filled with souvenirs of the French colonial presence, right to the great lake of Tonlé Sap and Siem Reap, a city at the foot of the Angkor Sites, the Mekong today has to work hard to maintain suitable water levels, with many dams along its course, and subject to more and more extraordinary monsoons.

 

 

DAY 1: SIEM REAP - ANGKOR

On arrival at the airport in Siem Reap, you’ll be greeted by your guide and transferred to your hotel. You’ll have lunch at the hotel, and can check into your room at 2 p.m. This afternoon, we’ll visit the Senteurs d'Angkor and its workshop to observe how many of their products are made. We’ll have dinner in the city and spend the night at the hotel.

DAY 2: SIEM REAP - ANGKOR

Enjoy breakfast before leaving early this morning to visit Banteay Srei, a 10th-century Cambodian temple dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva, widely praised as the “Jewel of Khmer Art.” We’ll then visit the temple of Ta Prohm, built in the late 12th century and still as it was found centuries later with trees growing out of the ruins. We’ll have lunch in the city before exploring Angkor Thom and the monumental temple of Bayon, famous for its towers and 172 faces of Avalokitesvara. We’ll end the afternoon tour with Phare, the Cambodian circus, before having dinner. Afterwards, enjoy a stroll through the market at night. We’ll spend the night at the hotel.

DAY 3: SIEM REAP - TONLE SAP

Enjoy breakfast before visiting the Angkor Wat temple, the epitome of Khmer architectural art. 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, we’ll introduce our crew at a welcome cocktail and have dinner on board. We’ll spend the night on board.

DAY 4: TONLE SAP - KAMPONG CHHNANG - KAMPONG TRALACH

Enjoy breakfast while crossing the lake. We’ll have lunch before visiting Kampong Chhnang, one of the largest fishing ports on the Tonle Sap. Fish farming is abundant here. The region is also known for its particularly archaic pottery. We’ll taste the palm sugar harvested from the Thnot, a sugar palm that is also a national symbol, and visit the floating village on small boats. We’ll return back on board and depart for Kampong Tralach. We’ll have dinner and spend the night on board.

DAY 5: KAMPONG TRALACH - KOH CHEN - PHNOM PENH

After breakfast this morning, we’ll visit the beautiful Wat Kampong Tralach Leu pagoda. We’ll then explore the small village of Koh Chen, where craftspeople specialize in silver and copper work. We’ll also visit the village school. Afterwards, we’ll return to the ship and cruise to Phnom Penh, where we’ll cross the city in an infamous “Tuk-tuk.” We’ll return again to the ship and enjoy a performance of classical Khmer dancing and music. We’ll remain in port overnight.

DAY 6: PHNOM PENH

Enjoy breakfast before visiting the Silver Pagoda and the Royal Palace, one of the finest examples of Cambodian architecture inspired by the traditional Khmer style. The Silver Pagoda houses many national treasures, including gold and jeweled Buddha statues. Onward to visit the National Museum, home to the Museum of Fine Arts, built in 1917 by the French but using the traditional Khmer style. We’ll have lunch in the city before visiting the Tuol Svay Prey School, a former detention, torture and execution center run by the Khmer Rouge during the civil war. Afterwards, spend some free time at the market. We’ll return on board for dinner and the night.

DAY 7: CHAU DOC - SA DEC

Enjoy breakfast on board as we cruise to the Vietnamese border. We’ll spend the morning taking care of customs formalities. We’ll have lunch before arriving at Chau Doc, a small city that has prospered around fishing and fish farming. We’ll set out on small boats to visit a fish farm, returning through Chau Doc and visiting the temples of Ba Chua Xu and Tay An. We’ll return on board and continue towards Sa Dec. We’ll have dinner and spend the night on board

DAY 8: SA DEC - VINH LONG - CAI BE

Enjoy breakfast before exploring the local market and visiting the former house of Huynh Thuy Le, the man who Marguerite Duras based her book The Lover on. We’ll have lunch on board as we cruise to Vinh Long. We’ll then take a boat ride through the arroyos and orchards to Cai Be. We’ll discover a brick and pottery factory, a fruit tree nursery in Binh Hoa Phuoc, puffed riced and the rice paper wrappers used to make nems, rice alcohol and coconut candies. Afterwards, we’ll return on board and start to cruise once again. We’ll have dinner and spend the night on board.

DAY 9: MY THO - HO CHI MINH CITY (formerly Saigon)

All meals served on board. On one of the largest islands, Thoi Son, enjoy a visit to a honey farm and taste their honey tea and exotic fruits. Lunch will be served while we cruise on the Cho Gao Canal towards Ho Chi Minh City. We'll have dinner and spend the night on board. The evening is free to do as you please.

DAY 10: HO CHI MINH CITY

After breakfast this morning, we’ll tour Ho Chi Minh City, conquered by the French and made a colony in 1859. We’ll see the Reunification Palace, Notre Dame Cathedral and the Saigon Central Post Office. After lunch on board, join us for a visit to a lacquer painting workshop. Afterwards, enjoy some free time in the local souvenir market. Tonight a cocktail will be served followed by dinner. We’ll remain in port overnight. The evening is free to do as you please.

DAY 11: HO CHI MINH CITY

Have breakfast on board before disembarking and spending the morning exploring the neighborhood of Cholon.

 

 

The itinerary, ports of call and visits are subject to modification by the boat owner and/or our representatives on location. The excursions may be amended or completed in the reverse order if deemed necessary. For the safety of our passengers, the captain and crew of the boat may decide to modify the navigational itinerary.
The banks of the river on which we travel can be very steep and slippery, depending on the water levels.

(1) Crossing the Tonlé Sap (Lake Tonlé): when water levels are high, from August to the end of November, the RV Indochine crosses the lake When water levels are low, from December to February, we cross the lake with speed boats to join the RV Indochine at Koh Chau. Finally, when water levels are very low, from February to April, transfer between Siem Reap and Koh Chen is by air-conditioned coach.
Alcohol can damage your health. Please drink in moderation.
Transport

Port-to-port cruise. No transfers included.

More info

HEALTH CONCERNS
There are no compulsory vaccinations for this destination. However, it is strongly recommended that you ensure that your vaccinations are up-to-date for the following diseases: Tetanus, Polio, Hepatitis A and B, Diphtheria and Typhoid. Drinking tap water is not recommended. Bottled mineral water is preferred (you should take care to watch the seal being broken before accepting the bottle), as well as tea. You should make sure to bring any of your usual medication with you (aspirin, anti-diarrhea tablets, etc.). Mosquito repellent is strongly recommended. This type of tour/cruise is not recommended for passengers with limited mobility.
CLIMATE
The dry season lasts from December to April, but the atmosphere remains humid (77° to 86°F). During the rainy season, from May to November, there are frequent violent but short rainstorms which usually occur towards the end of the afternoon. The best season is from November to March.
CURRENCY
The currency aboard the RV Indochine ship is the US dollar (preferably in small denominations). During embarkation, you have the option of providing your credit card to run a tab (imprint) so that your expenses on board can be paid at the end of the cruise. Cash (US dollar) or credit cards (Visa or Mastercard) are accepted on board.