1 Arrive Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Embark Ship
On arrival in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), you’ll be met and transferred to My Tho where your river ship awaits for an eight-day Mekong River cruise. Tonight, get to know your fellow passengers as you enjoy an exclusive Luke Nguyen Welcome Dinner on board. Featuring a fusion of exciting Vietnamese and Western flavours, presented with Luke Nguyen’s culinary finesse, this contemporary menu is the perfect way to celebrate the beginning of your cruise. After dinner, perhaps wind down in the lounge with a nightcap. Stay Seven Nights: Mekong River, APT’s RV AmaLotus (L/D)
2 Cai Be, Sa Dec
A local boat will take you to the river-land town of Cai Be today. Once here, step ashore to visit the French Gothic cathedral as well as the colourful port area, which is filled with crumbling colonial buildings and delightful flowering gardens. The morning then takes you onwards to a rice paper manufacturer where you’ll see how Vietnamese rice paper is made. The sleepy locale of Sa Dec is where French writer Marguerite Duras met her Vietnamese-Chinese lover, Huynh Thuy Le. On arrival, tour Huynh Thuy Le’s old house and learn the story behind Marguerite Duras’ best-selling novel, The Lover. Later, pay a visit to a traditional Cao Dai temple. (B/L/D)
3 Tan Chau, Evergreen Island
Transfer to a small boat for a journey along the tiny tributaries that snake around the riverside town of Tan Chau. Cruise right past a floating fish farm, then step ashore for a rickshaw tour of Tan Chau. Ride past shops, rice wine rooms and friendly locals eager to say hello, and pay a visit to a local silk and rattan weaving workshop. Later, step back in time during a visit to an evergreen island where you’ll experience authentic rural Mekong life. The remainder of today is left free for you to relax on board your luxurious river ship. This afternoon, perhaps take in a fruit-carving demonstration by one of the ship’s chefs. Alternatively, sit back and watch daily life unfold on the riverbanks before enjoying dinner later this evening. After entering Cambodia, your ship will continue to cruise towards the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh. (B/L/D)
4 Phnom Penh
Your discovery of Phnom Penh begins with the chance to select from our range of Freedom of Choice activities. The evening has been left free for you to discover the city at your own pace. (B/L/D) Freedom of Choice:
- Perhaps enjoy a guided tour of the dazzling white and gold Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda, which is located on the south side of the palace complex and houses many national treasures. Alternatively, you may wish to discover some of Cambodia’s sobering history with a moving excursion to the infamous Killing Fields, before visiting the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum which is located on the site of the Khmer Rouge’s notorious Security Prison 21 (S-21). Here, you’ll learn of the atrocities inflicted upon Cambodians during Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge regime in the mid-to-late 1970s. Your other options are a visit to the National Museum of Cambodia or a guided city tour in a tuk tuk which is an exciting way to take in a range of city sights, including the Independence Monument and Wat Phnom, a sacred Buddhist pagoda.
5 Phnom Penh, Koh Chen
With a free morning at hand in Phnom Penh, you may like to enjoy a restful start to the day and stay aboard your ship. Or, make use of your time in this beautiful city and head out on your own to discover the attractions. Later in the day, your ship will cruise to Koh Chen, a small village specialising in copperware. Here you’ll visit some of the home-workshops that manufacture handmade copper souvenirs. (B/L/D)
6 Oudong, Kampong Tralach
Today you’ll step ashore and travel by coach to Oudong, the fascinating royal capital of Cambodia from 1618 until 1866. During your time here, you’ll call on a monastery for a Buddhist blessing experience with local monks. Afterwards, continue to the village of Kampong Tralach for a visit to the Wat Kampong Tralach Pleu pagoda. Then, take an exciting ox cart ride through the countryside, passing lush rice fields and smiling locals on your way back to your ship. Enjoy a relaxing afternoon before dinner. (B/L/D)
7 Kampong Chhnang
Today brings you an authentic glimpse into the local way of life as you jump aboard a small boat and head into the wetlands near Kampong Chhnang. Known as the ‘Clay Pot Port’, the local people craft pottery under their stilt homes on the river - a delight to watch. Afterwards, you’ll return to your ship and cast off towards Prek K’dam on the edge of Tonle Sap. This evening, reflect on the days that have just gone by as you enjoy your last night on board your luxury river cruise. Meet your fellow travellers for a pre-dinner drink before celebrating the end of your cruise with a Farewell Dinner. (B/L/D)
8 Prek K’dam, Disembark Ship, Siem Reap
Your journey comes to an end after breakfast. Disembark the ship in Prek K’dam and transfer to Siem Reap for your flight home. Stay Three Nights:
at Siem Reap, Hotel Sofitel Angkor (B/D) Freedom of Choice:
- In Siem Reap tonight, you can select from a number of local restaurants for dinner.
9 Siem Reap
After soaking up the majesty of Angkor Wat in the early morning sun, enjoy a guided tour of this impressive temple, the best-preserved temple of Angkor and said to be the world’s largest single religious monument. Return to your hotel for breakfast and some time at leisure. This afternoon, you’ll explore the intriguing temple of Ta Prohm, a World Heritage-listed site famous for its bewildering intertwined trees. Later, visit ‘Opportunities of Development thru Art’ (ODA), a Siem Reap organisation that provides education opportunities for disadvantaged children. (B) Signature Experiences:
- Rise early this morning and travel back to Angkor Archaeological Park to enjoy a special sunrise experience at Angkor Wat with drink in hand. As the sun rises over the spectacular World Heritage-listed monument, raise a bubbling glass.
10 Siem Reap
Embark on your selected sightseeing activity. With the afternoon at leisure, you might like to step out and explore the city independently. Tonight, enjoy a traditional Apsara dance performance before a memorable Farewell Dinner. (B/D) Freedom of Choice:
- Perhaps visit the temple of Wat Preah Prom Rath and participate in a Buddhist blessing; enjoy a tuk tuk ride to the Senteurs d’Angkor workshop, where you can shop for local handmade crafts; participate in a fun Apsara dance class; take off on a thrilling quad bike adventure; enjoy a leisurely bicycle tour across the Cambodian countryside; take a horse and cart ride; partake in a traditional Khmer cooking class; go on a shopping adventure; or perhaps indulge in a relaxing spa treatment.
11 Depart Siem Reap
Enjoy breakfast this morning in Siem Reap. You might like to take the time to converse with fellow travellers about all the special moments you have shared. Afterwards, say farewell to your Tour Director and other travellers, and transfer to the airport for your onward flight. (B)