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.