The Mekong River is the heart and soul of mainland Southeast Asia. This twelve-day tour starts at an idyllic lodge in Vietnam’s rural Mekong Delta where you are slipped unobtrusively into the midst of local life. Spend the next two nights on a luxuriously fitted private sampan, meandering up the Mekong Delta’s labyrinthine maze of small rivers and canals, passing through floating markets and orchards laden with fruit, pausing here and there amidst the seemingly inexhaustible vibrancy of Mekong life. Crossing the border to Cambodia, explore or simply relax in the laidback beach town of Kep before continuing to the historic capital city Phnom Penh. Your tour winds down on a high note as you visit Cambodia’s iconic Angkor temple complex in Siem Reap, a UNESCO World Heritage Site which has far more to offer than can possibly be described here. If you are looking for the real Asia, this is your ticket.
|Sample travel plan only: for a 'no obligation' comprehensive itinerary within 24 hours, click here.
Day 1: Arrival in Ho Chi Minh City airport: chauffeured transfer to Cai Be and half hour boat trip to Mekong Lodge for check in, relax and explore the island, join a cooking class before dinner, overnight in Mekong Lodge.
Day 2: Board Song Xanh sampan, cruise through Cai Be floating market, visit an 1890 mandarin house and an artisanal brick and tile workshop, in Sa Dec town visit the classic house immortalized in Marguerite Duras’ “The Lover”, dinner and overnight on board.
Day 3: Breakfast on board, take a walking tour of Sa Dec town and market, then cruise upriver to Long Xuyen, visit Ton Duc Thang Museum, cycling excursions possible along the river, enjoy dinner in ancient house by Cho Moi, overnight on board sampan.
Day 4: Breakfast on board as you cruise toward Chau Doc while observing the riverbanks bustling with activities like boat-making and fishing, disembark at Chau Doc and spend afternoon and evening exploring the town on your own, overnight in Chau Doc.
KEP / PHNOM PENH
Day 5: Take the 3hr drive to Ha Tien on the coast, cross the border into Cambodia, and drive another half hour to Kep, a beachfront town with French colonial architecture.
Day 6 & 7: Free time in Kep: relax on the beach, visit nearby islands, try out the famous crabs, or visit the nearby national park.
Day 8: After transferring to Phnom Penh in the morning, visit National Museum and Silver Pagoda, relax on sunset cruise on Chactomuk River, overnight in Phnom Penh.
|Alternative: S-21 Prison and the "Killing Fields"
Day 8: After arriving in Phnom Penh, you will visit the Tuol Sleng Museum of Genocide at a former high school which became S-21 Prison under the Khmer Rouge, then view the Choeung Ek extermination centre known as the "Killing Fields". These historically significant sites give an unvarnished view of the genocide under Khmer Rouge rule; they can be disturbing for those of sensitive disposition.
SIEM REAP / ANGKOR WAT
Day 9: After breakfast catch flight to Siem Reap, tour Angkor temples: the Bayon, the Elephant and Leper King Terraces, and the Baphoun Temple in Angkor Thom, and Angkor Wat itself, view sunset from Phnom Bakheng Hill, overnight in Siem Reap.
Day 10: Visit temples a bit further afield: Preah Khan, Neak Pean Lake and sanctuary, East Mebon, Ta Prohm, Prasat Kravan (Cardamom Sanctuary) and Srah Srang Lake and landing terrace, an ideal and quieter sunrise alternative to Angkor Wat.
Day 11: Visit Wat Athovea and Siem Reap River, take boat tour to massive Tonle Sap Lake and visit floating village, tour nearby fishing village by ox-cart, free afternoon and overnight in Siem Reap.
Day 12: Free time until transfer to airport for your departing flight.
The prices for this sample tour are per person in US dollars
These prices are valid until 31 October, 2018. Please note that bank transfer fees are not included.
|Number in group
Supplement for single hotel room occupancy*
* ‘Single room occupancy’ refers to the accommodation element of the programme only, and applies to someone who is travelling with others but requires an additional room for him or herself. Single traveller prices are available on request.
Inclusions in brief:
- Breakfast and accommodation sharing a twin or double room.
- Eight lunches and three dinners
- Experienced English-speaking guides
- Private chauffeur-driven air conditioned vehicles
- All boat transport as listed in itinerary
Exclusions in brief
- Drinks, gratuities and personal expenses
- Alternatives in blue
- Mekong: Mekong Lodge (an evergreen eco-tourist resort, 28 cottages in tailored layout of rural garden with excellent modern hospitality services – Bungalows)
- Mekong: Song Xanh Sampan (unique sampans, all stylishly designed and inspired by ancient authentic traditional Indochinese river boats – Private sampan)
- Chau Doc: Victoria Chau Doc Hotel (**** French Colonial architecture, on the banks of the Bassac River – Superior room)
- Kep: Veranda Natural Resort (*** hidden below Kep National Park viewing ocean & mountain, artistic decoration, private bungalows, biggest saltwater pool in Kep – Deluxe bungalow)
- Phnom Penh: Sunway Hotel (**** centrally located, surrounded by colonial buildings - Deluxe room)
- Siem Reap: Victoria Angkor Resort (**** Khmer architecture combined with French colonial-era decor – Superior room)
Please note that Vietnam hotels do not recognise provisional reservations, so specific hotels cannot be guaranteed until you have booked your chosen tour. As many of the better hotels are often full during the October to April peak season, early booking is advisable.