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Journey Along the Mekong River ~ Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City

In a nutshell

This itinerary includes a 7-night luxury cruise down the Mekong River. The journey begins in Siem Reap with the magnificent temples of Angkor and ends in the energetic modern city of Saigon. 

Once aboard, the focus shifts to the life and ever changing scenes along the Mekong. Start your day with Tai Chi on the sun deck and round off the day with Mai Tai sundowners. This is a journey of reflection and relaxation.

Trip highlights

- Magnificent temple complex of Angkor, Siem Reap (incl. Banteay Srei)

- River life along the Mekong

- 7 night luxury cruise

- Daily excursions

- Colonial architecture of Phnom Penh 

- Cai Be's floating market

- Explore Ho Chi Minh City 

- and more...

  • Start/Finish

    Siem Reap (Cambodia) / Ho Chi Minh City (Viet Nam)

  • Duration

    13 days - 12 nights

  • Price from

    $5,363

  • Places visited

    Siem Reap, Kampong Chhnang, Kampong Cham, Phnom Penh, My Tho, Ho Chi Minh City

  • Send your Inquiry Now

Day by day

DAY
01
Arrive in Siem Reap, Cambodia

Upon arrival at the airport you will be met by your guide and transferred to the hotel for check-in. The remainder of the day is free at leisure. Siem Reap town is easy to navigate on foot or by tuk-tuk.

Overnight in Siem Reap
DAY
02
Siem Reap

Optional: enjoy sunrise at Angkor Wat temple. Return hotel for late breakfast. If you’re an early riser consider catching sunrise over Angkor Wat temple. It is certainly one of the most unique places in the world for sunrise but be forewarned, you won’t be alone! After breakfast, return to visit the intricately carved Khmer ruins at Angkor – one of the world’s most impressive heritage sites. The temple still holds fine examples of stone carvings and engravings from the rich Angkorian era. Look for Apsara’s or celestial angel figures dancing in intricate still life scenes on the bas-reliefs. In the afternoon, take an elephant ride from the Southgate of Angkor Thom to Bayon and explore the mysterious Royal city of Angkor Thom. Angkor Thom’s 50-tower temple is an inspiring sight. At first glance it seems to be a shapeless mass of stone, but further scrutiny reveals a face, and then another and another until suddenly you are engulfed by the heavy, enigmatic and silent gaze through half-closed eyes. Enjoy sunset at one of the quieter temples.

Overnight in Siem Reap
DAY
03
Siem Reap

This morning drive further into the Cambodian countryside to visit the petite but magnificent temple, Banteay Srei, built in the 10th Century and dedicated to Shiva. The temple was the birthplace of Khmer classical style architecture and the bas-relief work is the best remaining example of Khmer classical art. The pink sandstone structure hosts a series of striking and beautiful sculptures, lintels, pediments and friezes. Khmers say women must have carved the temple for the details are too fine for the hands of a man. We continue our sightseeing after lunch to visit the striking Ta Prohm. The temple was once reclaimed by the jungle and disappeared from sight until a French explorer uncovered the ruins. It remains overgrown, an oddly haunting and powerful scene. The ficus family continue to embrace the ruins with their twisty, winding roots and branches, ever threatening to reclaim the temple.

Overnight in Siem Reap
DAY
04
Siem Reap/Kampong Chhnang

The Tonle Sap (The Great Lake) is the flowing heart of Cambodia, giving life to this nation. The Tonle Sap supposedly has more fish species than any other lake in the world and is home to an incredible variety of birds. At noon we rendezvous for a quick transfer to the boutique boat. The ever-smiling crew receives us onboard, offering refreshments. Lunch follows as we set off across the lake. Position yourself on the deck for a spectacular sunset. In the early evening the boat will moor to overnight, dinner will be served on board.

The ship then moors overnight on The Great Lake
DAY
05
Kampong Chhnang/Kampong Cham

Before dawn the boat sets sail across Tonle Sap Lake. Coffee and tea await the early bird. The morning routine on board starts with a gentle but invigorating Tai Chi lesson on the sundeck, timed with sunrise. Watch the changing riverscapes as the boat floats across the large water mass of Tonle Sap. Marshlands and small islands float by as we cruise along the riverbanks of Kampong Chhnang province. The afternoon cruise continues with a languid river meander, which narrows through leafy swaths of the Southeast Asian jungle. Here, the river is very narrow and kids waving enthusiastically from the banks greet us. We have the opportunity to disembark later in the day, with a short land transfer to the Aundaung Russey village, renowned for their traditional Khmer-styled pottery. We continue from Kampong Chhnang to see the wetlands, floating houses and fish farms in the region before reaching Kampong Cham in the evening.

Overnight in Kampong Cham
DAY
06
Kampong Cham/Wat Hanchey

Wake in the early hours of the morning to embark on a land journey to the pre-Angkorian temple of Wat Hanchey. Travelers can either take a motor-taxi or climb the 291 steps to the top. Located at the top of a hill overlooking the river, it offers one of the most breathtaking views in Cambodia. Built in the 8th century, this ancient structure, together with an enlarged and later addition represents the superb architecture of the Chenla Empire, which predates the mighty Angkor temple complex. When the tide allows, zip off in our zodiacs (inflatable boats) to the nearby bank for a swim in the tea-coloured Mekong River, an experience that will, no doubt, dominate dinner conversations in the weeks to come. We will then cruise towards Kampong Cham to visit Wat Nokor, a wat built within the ruins of an ancient temple, which tells a timeless story.

Overnight midstream near Phnom Penh
DAY
07
Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh was once the Paris of the East. Despite its rapid development, it has retained a lot of its rustic charm and elegance. After breakfast, be captivated by a comprehensive lecture on Cambodia's modern history. This will be followed by a city tour of this dynamic, historical capital city of Cambodia with its French colonial charm. Sightseeing in the morning will include visits to the Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda and the National Museum, housing a collection of beautiful Khmer crafts. After lunch at a local restaurant, an option is to visit the Genocide museum and the Killing Fields. It is a somber and heart wrenching reminder of the genocide that transpired during the rule of the Khmer Rouge regime. We return to our floating sanctuary after the museum visit. As way of your final night in Cambodia, cocktails will be served followed by a traditional Apsara dance performance onboard. Reflect on the richness of this culture over the soothing sounds of traditional music whilst a barbeque is prepared on the sundeck.

Overnight in Phnom Penh
DAY
08
Phnom Penh/Border crossing

We set sail for a lazy day of cruising along the main Mekong Channel. As this is an international shipping route, you will see large commercial ships plying this stretch of river. Late in the afternoon, we hold position at the Viet Namese border for the requisite cross border paperwork. As the process tends to take some time, bask in the glow of the afternoon sun on the Sun Deck, pamper yourself at the Spa, or sharpen your culinary skills with the Heritage Line's Cambodian and Viet Namese cuisine cooking class.

The ship moors midstream overnight
DAY
09
Chau Doc/Sa Dec, Viet Nam

Welcome to the fish sanctuary of Viet Nam. We begin our day with a hearty breakfast in the Dining Hall or in the quiet sanctuary of your balcony. Disembark for a short excursion in Chau Doc, a pleasant town near the Cambodian border with sizeable Chinese, Kinh and Khmer communities. We will also visit the colorful local market near an ancient temple. This is followed by a boat excursion to the floating villages and catfish farms. We will certainly get to watch schools of Basa fish being fed by hand. Then, it is back to the boat for lunch. In the mid afternoon, we will set off for My An Hung Village. Walk to a family house through the vegetable garden to see the boat-building yard and canals. We will cross a monkey bridge and see chilli, corn and beetle nut plantations amongst other vegetable fields. Then gather at the family’s house for tea and a tasting of local delicacies and fruits before returning to the boat to set off for Sa Dec.

Overnight in Sadec
DAY
10
Sa Dec/Cai Be/My Tho

In the morning we embark in a traditional sampan (a flat bottomed traditional Viet Namese wooden boat) to tour Binh Thanh Island with its man-made canals. Here, every villager is involved in the process of growing and processing water hyacinths into natural fiber floor mats and rattan baskets. After lunch onboard, the boat arrives in Cai Be. The tour starts with a visit to Cai Be's boisterous and colorful floating market where traders gather in a cacophonous congregation. During the cruise, we pass breathtaking landscapes along the river and get a feel for the rustic river life. The evergreen islands along the Mekong River remain unknown to many people. The cruise will halt intermittently to allow us to observe how rice paste, rice cookies and coconut candies are made, along with the Longan fruit drying process. After touring the canals, we head to an ancient house surrounded by fruit orchards before heading to the boat for dinner. The day rounds off with a tranquil evening cruise towards My Tho. A wonderful farewell party awaits us on the deck.

Overnight in My Tho
DAY
11
My Tho/Ho Chi Minh City

Our cruise comes to an end as the boat approaches My Tho, approximately 70km south of Saigon on the upper Mekong River in Viet Nam. We bid farewell to the boat, crew and Mekong as our journey comes to a close. We disembark at around 8:30 am and transfer to join the energetic bustle of Saigon. *Notice from the cruise: Although it is our intention to operate the itinerary as detailed proposal, we will do our utmost to stick to the set itinerary, however we cannot be held responsible for any last minute changes that might occur. It may be necessary to make some changes as a result of climatic conditions, alterations to cruise schedules or other operational factors.

Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City
DAY
12
Ho Chi Minh City

This morning your guide will present the historic overview of the city as you take in the main historic points of interest. Visits include the Notre Dame Cathedral, built between 1877 and 1883. The stone used to create it was exported in its entirety from France. Next to the cathedral stands the Central Post Office, finished in 1891. It is another fine example of French architecture and is Viet Nam's largest post office. Continue to the Reunification Palace, the former residence of the President of South Viet Nam until April 30, 1975. We end the architectural highlights with a stroll through the bustling Ben Thanh Market. Cu Chi Tunnels option It is possible to include a morning visit of the site, followed by an afternoon visit of Saigon. This network of tunnels, which stretched for over 200km, became legendary during the 1960s. The Cu Chi tunnels played a vital part in the U.S.-Viet Nam War in that they allowed the Viet Cong to control a large rural area only 30 to 40 km from Saigon. At its height, the tunnel system stretched from Saigon to the Cambodian border. The network, parts of which were several levels deep, included innumerable trap doors, specifically constructed living areas, storage facilities, weapons factories, field hospitals, command center and kitchens. Today the remaining tunnels have become a major tourist attraction giving the visitor a glimpse of the underground life and strategy during the war.

Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City
DAY
13
Ho Chi Minh City Departure

A private transfer with your guide to the airport for your flight home takes us to the end of your stay with us. Safe onward travels.

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Dear Thom,
Thank you so much for making this an informative and wonderful trip for us. We are happy to be able to share and exchange our different culture and to realize in the end we are all human beings. Wishing & hoping for good health, good future and happiness. read more

Andy & Tom - UK
What Ansova loves

Angkor

Angkor is one of the most important archaeological sites of South East Asia. It extends over approximately 400 square kilometres and consists of scores of temples, hydraulic structures (basins, dykes, reservoirs, canals) as well as communication routes. For several centuries Angkor was the centre of the Khmer Kingdom. Angkor is a major site exemplifying cultural, religious and symbolic values, as well as containing high architectural, archaeological and artistic significance. UNESCO Inscription, 1992.

Hotel & Price Guide

Our selection of Deluxe hotels offer a more competitive price point,
without compromising on comfort or amenities.

The Jahan, Mekong River Cruise
Evoke the bygone elegance of boat travel with this luxurious vessel that plies the Mekong waterways. The Jahan was inspired by the romance of British Colonial India and the opulence of the Maharajas. With only 26 cabins spread over two decks, each with private balcony, The Jahan is sufficiently spacious whilst offering an intimate and unforgettable experience.
InterContinental Asiana Saigon Hotel
The newest InterContinental in the city, in the heart of the city's commercial center is also close to several points of interest. Nearby attractions include the Notre Dame Cathedral, Reunification Palace and General Post Office.
Raffles Grand Hotel D'Angkor Hotel
The luxury Siem Reap hotel offers personalized pampering at the award-winning Raffles Spa, as well as an array of fine dining choices, from exotic Khmer cuisine at the Restaurant Le Grand to the Elephant Bar where fine wine, champagne and cocktails, including the signature Airavata is served. For a one-of-a-kind dining experience, opt for private dining at one of the magnificent temples of Angkor.

Our suggested hotels go beyond the expected amenities of deluxe hotels. They are inspirational properties defined by exceptional service, stunning design and offer an experience that sets them apart.

Park Hyatt Saigon Hotel
This hotel experience is encapsulated through service excellence. The property stands majestically on Lam Son Square, a superb central location. Classic colonial style meets with elegant modern decor throughout the hotel. Dinner at Square One is a must, consistently ranked as one of Vietnam’s top restaurants.
The Jahan, Mekong River Cruise
Evoke the bygone elegance of boat travel with this luxurious vessel that plies the Mekong waterways. The Jahan was inspired by the romance of British Colonial India and the opulence of the Maharajas. With only 26 cabins spread over two decks, each with private balcony, The Jahan is sufficiently spacious whilst offering an intimate and unforgettable experience.
Amansara Resort
Amansara resort lies in the former grand guesthouse of King Sihanouk. A garden compound, this classic sixties structure has been converted into a calm oasis of utmost privacy. Listed in Travel & Leisure 2013 awards as one of Asia’s Top Resorts and ranked amongst the Top 50 of the World’s Best Hotels by T & L.

Luxury travel to fit your pocket? Send through your tailor-made request.


Send Your Tailor-made Request Now

Pricing Notes

Prices are in USD, per person, based on two people traveling together and sharing a room. 

At Ansova Travel, we carefully select all hotels to ensure that your accommodations match our standards of trip and service excellence.

 

Prices include the following:

. All hotel accommodation including all taxes and breakfast 

. Internal economy flights with airport taxes

. All transfers & sightseeing transportation in private vehicle

. Private services of local guides

. All special events & private tours, guest experts

. All entrance fees into historical sights & museums 

. Drinking water and refreshing towels for touring

. 24/7 support from the Ansova Team

 

*Notes: 

Peak Season supplements may be applied at some hotels (typically over the Christmas and New Year period).

There are a number of factors which will influence the price; these include the standard of accommodation, the season, the class of flights, the airline used and the level of private guiding versus shared excursions.

A single supplement may appply

 

This tour was carefully designed by our Trip-Planner.  However, a designated Trip Planner can assist you with identifying your travel needs so as to match and hopefully exceed your expectations. Our Trip Planner will review your inquiry and respond via email within 24 business hours, with an itinerary proposal aligned to your requirements and budget.

SEND YOUR
Tailor-made Request
NOW!

Tailor made travel to Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Indochina

This tour was carefully designed by our Trip-Planner.  However, a designated Trip Planner can assist you with identifying your travel needs so as to match and hopefully exceed your expectations. 

Our Trip Planner will review your inquiry and respond via email within 24 business hours, with an itinerary proposal aligned to your requirements and budget.

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