Cruise the Mekong - Between Siem Reap and Saigon

8 Days, from AU $2,419

The Cruise Ship

Flower Garden in Sa Dec

Fishermen in Chau Doc

Grand Palace, Phnom Penh

Floating Market of Cai Be

Sugar Palms on the Rice Field, Chau Doc

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Take in World Heritage ancient ruins at Siem Reap’s Angkor Wat to begin the itinerary emphatically. You will journey through the famous Mekong Delta, past fish farms, passing by French colonial architecture and important religious monuments, until the height of the cultural medley that is Phnom Penh. The city offers fashionable bars and restaurants with tree lined avenues and charming squares in stark contrast to its haunting past, accessible through the Tuol Sleng Museum for one.

Continue to Vietnam, gaining an insight into a tribal village and its market before experiencing a floating market. The final port of call will be Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) with its impressive colonial architecture, mixed with modern edifices. A delve into its past is a fascinating one, through the National Museum and Chu Chi tunnel complex. Visitors love the exciting mix of delectable Vietnamese cuisine, rich history, and stunning natural beauty. However, the Vietnamese people often steal the show with their demonstrations of ingenuity and their friendliness to visitors.

The cruise may be fantastic on its own or as an add-on for your holiday. This tour starts in Siem Riep and ends in Saigon, or vice versa, however transfers from other locations can be arranged as required. Discuss options with our Asia Travel Experts.

Suggested Itinerary

Day 1: Siem Reap

Embark on your Pandaw at Kampong Cham following a road transfer from Siem Reap (Angkor). The vessel will proceed upstream to moor midstream for cocktails and to meet key crew.

Day 2: Kratie and the Dolphin Grounds

Morning visit to Koh Trong Island a small Mekong River hamlet which can be explored by bicycle or ox cart with a real immersion into Khmer rural life visiting local schools and English classes then visiting a reforestation site where you can leave your mark by planting your own tree. Passengers should feel free to donate items for use in the schools such as books & pens etc. After lunch, moor off Kratie and continue to the dolphin grounds by local boat where we will observe the elusive Irrawaddy Dolphins.

Day 3: Silk Island

Sailing downstream all morning, with lectures and film presentations, past Phnom Penh and up the Tonle River to board our expedition vessel, the Pandaw Explorer, to visit Koh Okhna Tey, or ‘silk island’ to study the entire silk making process from worms to weavers. There will be a demonstration of the ancient Khmer martial art of Bokator. Return to ship and return down the Tonle River to turn up the Mekong at the confluence. Evening lecture on Angkor and Khmer culture.

Day 4: Phnom Penh

Morning orientation of Phnom Penh by cyclo visiting the Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda followed by the National Museum with its marvellous collection of Angkorian statuary. Afternoon optional visit to the Killing Fields and Genocide museum or take a tuk-tuk to explore the riverfront and finish with High Tea at Raffles Hotel. Overnight in Phnom Penh city port with its lively bars, restaurants and night life.

The riverside capital of Phnom Penh, once known as ‘The Pearl of Asia’ and long considered the most beautiful French-built city of the Orient, is a charming and captivating city. The old French ochre-coloured colonial buildings are now being filled with trendy cafes, boutiques and art galleries and many traditional ornate temples still remain. The bustling squares and frangipani-lined boulevards create an atmosphere that is unlike any other city in South East Asia. Rich in history, Phnom Penh has a number of cultural and historical sites including the National Museum, Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda, and offers an insight into its darker past with the haunting Killing Fields and Tuol Sleng Museum.

Day 5: Vietnam Border

Early sailing to the Vietnam border for formalities and during this stationary period there is an optional tour of the working ship and fruit carving classes on deck. Afternoon, explore the labyrinthine canal system around Tan Chau to visit a Taoist temple where the monks will read fortunes. Continue through local villages by Xi Loi stopping off to help locals tend their fields before stopping off to visit a fish farm and earn merit by releasing fish back into the Mekong.

Day 6: Con Phuoc Island

In the morning sail up a small canal to moor off Con Phuoc Island and go ashore to explore the island by tuk-tuk seeing basket production and visiting a 100-year old Catholic Church and local woodworking artisans.

After a short cruise downstream in the afternoon we take a short coach trip where we visit Gao Giong ‘green oasis’ with its bird sanctuary. Here a diverse selection of water birds and egrets that gather in the tens of thousands across the Duong Tharp Muoi or ‘Plain of Reeds’. Rowing boats traverse the canals to take us to see the principal nesting areas.

Day 7: Ben Tre

After breakfast the ship moors off Cho Lach island for pot making and further glimpses of Delta life, agriculture and local Viet hospitality including a culinary lesson in making traditional Banh Xeo. Upon return to the boat we take a cruise downstream to Ben Tre. Where we travel by sampans through mangroves and bamboo groves to the fruit orchards of Ben Tre. In these local artisans are at work and are invite visitors into their homes for tea, fruit and honey products made from their own honey. This is an area rich in bird life and on our return journey we travel by horse cart through the lush countryside.

Day 8: My Tho/Saigon

Moor at My Tho for road transfer to Saigon.

Travel Styles

All Get About Asia trips have been designed to make sure you have an unforgettable travel experience. We have developed several trip styles to cater for our diverse range of travellers. Read what your ideal Get About Asia experience might look like here.

Superior:from AU $2,419

All GetAboutAsia prices are based on twin share and depend on availability and season. All our itineraries can be customised including international flights and extra nights. For questions or further information, Enquire Now!

Important Information

Accommodation:

7 nights aboard your Cruise Ship. All GetAboutAsia accommodation is handpicked by us. Upgrades are available for this itinerary.

Inclusions:
  • All main meals on board
  • All itinerary attractions including fees or permits
  • English speaking guide
  • Gratuities to crew
  • Coffee, tea and water as well as all locally made alcoholic beverages.
  • Transfer from and to the ship to Saigon or Siem Reap

 

Notes:

Visa for Vietnam
When obtaining your visa you should allow 2-3 weeks for processing, the cost is approximately US$60 to US$100. Check with your embassy or consulate for further details. The Vietnamese Embassy in Edgecliff, Sydney has been known to issue a visa in 4 working days if all the correct documents are submitted at the time of application.

Visas for Cambodia
It is possible to obtain your Cambodian visa on arrival at the Phnom Penh or Siam Reap international airports or any border crossing for approx. US$30 (cost subject to change) - you will need 2 passport photos.

Price Dependent:

Availability of accommodation and season.

Trip Information

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