Destinations: Ho Chi Minh-Ben Tre-Cho Lach-Sa Dec-Cho Moi-Chau Doc-Phnom Penh-Siem Reap
Welcome to Vietnam - the Land of the Ascending Dragon. Upon arrival to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), your friendly local guide will greet you at airport and then take you to your hotel to check-in. The rest of the day is yours to relax, settle in and, if jet lag permits, do a little exploring on your own.
Day 1: Arrival in Ho Chi Minh City
Day 2: Ho Chi Minh City Highlights
Day 3: Ho Chi Minh- Ben Tre-Cho Lach- Sa Dec
Day 4: Sa Dec-Cho Moi
Day 5: Cho Moi -Chau Doc-Phnom Penh
Day 6: Phnom Penh Highlights
Day 7: Phnom Penh Departure- Siem Reap
Day 8: Angkor Temples Discovery
Day 9: Discover Angkor Wat- Banteay Srei
Day 10: Tonle Sap Lake- Siem Reap Departure
Welcome to Vietnam - the Land of the Ascending Dragon. Upon arrival to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), your friendly local guide will greet you at airport and then take you to your hotel to check-in. The rest of the day is yours to relax, settle in and, if jet lag permits, do a little exploring on your own.Overnight in Ho Chi Minh.
After breakfast at your hotel, you will start your tour by visiting Cu Chi Tunnels; a vast network of tunnels made by the Viet Cong during the war. On the way back to the city, you will make a stop to have a traditional Vietnamese cooking class, which includes a fascinating trip to a local organic farm. At the end of the lesson, you can sit down to enjoy the fruits of your labour!
After your delicious lunch, drive back to Ho Chi Minh and enjoy an afternoon of sight seeing, which will include: admiring the architecture of the Old Saigon Post Office, getting a taste of a local marketplace at the Binh Tay Market, learning more about the wars of Vietnam and the effects they had on the country, at the War Remnants Museum and finally visiting the impressive French colonial-style City Hall.The evening is yours to explore the city and sample some of the world's favourite food!
after breakfast in the hotel, you will be transferred to Ben Tre. From Ben Tre, you will sail along the Ham Luong River to the Cho Lach canals, where you will board your private sampan. Enjoy a refreshing welcome cocktail as you enjoy the breathtaking scenery and fresh air. Next, head towards Cai Nhum Village where you will cycle through the orchards and along the canals. You will stop for a visit at the local Catholic Church before cycling across the suspension bridge leading to the other side of the canals.
Upon your return to the ship, lunch will be served as we continue to cruise to Vinh Long. On our way, we will make a stop at a local fish farm where you will be able to experience the culture and daily lives of the local river people. Next, we will discover the charming town of Sa Dec, where you will take a short panoramic tour of its tree-lined streets, fading colonial villas and a myriad of orchards and flower markets. French writer Marguerite Duras spent her childhood here, writing about many of these sites in her novels. As you walk around the town, you will pass the school where Marguerite's mother taught as well as the house she used to live in. On your way back to the ship, visit the beautiful Temple Kien An.The rest of the night is for you to relax and enjoy a peaceful welcome dinner on board. We will spend the night here in the Sa Dec Province.
After an early breakfast on board, we will stop in An Phu Dong, where you will begin your morning with a bicycle tour. For hundreds of years this village has provided Saigon with its daily flower supply. Once you finish the tour, you will return to the ship to relax and freshen up as we set sail towards Cho Moi. We will make various stops on the way to explore the quaint local villages by bike. Lunch will be served on board.
As we continue to cruise down the Mekong River, you will notice many houses on stilts and an increase in flooded fields. We will be sailing past an area prone to severe flooding, making it one of the Delta's poorest regions.Admire the majestic sunset as we sail towards Chau Doc. Relax and enjoy your cooking demonstration and savory dinner on board. The boat will drop its anchor near Vien Island and you will spend the night in our floating hotel on the Mekong Delta.
We will begin this morning with a lovely breakfast on board as we finish our journey to Chau Doc. On our way, you will explore many local villages, including a beautiful ancient temple. We will stop in the Chau Giang district, where you will visit the fascinating Cham Islamic village, the biggest Muslim town in Vietnam. Here you will discover a combination of kampung-style wooden houses, white prayer caps, and sarongs. People read the Qu'ran in Arabic and the men in the village wish to make a pilgrimage to Mecca in their lifetime. You will admire the twin domes and stunning white minaret of the Mubarak Mosque.
Next, we will return to the ship, finishing our odyssey to Chau Doc town, where you will be dropped off, your guide will be waiting for you on the border and take you to your hotel in Phnom Penh for check-in.the rest of the day is free at your leisure to explore the city on your own.
Today after breakfast, your highlights of your Phnom Penh tour starts with a visit to the beautiful grounds of the Royal Residence complex; which includes the fascinating National Museum, the Silver Pagoda and incredible the Royal Palace itself. Lunch will be held at a local restaurant, before a reflective afternoon touring the Killing Fields and Toul Sleng Genocide Museum.The evening is yours; perhaps a stroll down the recently remodeled waterfront.
Today you will have the opportunity to explore the city on your own, until it's time for your guide to take you the airport for your ongoing flight to Siem Reap. Welcome to Siem Reap, the gateway to the Kingdom of Wonder! Upon your arrival, a friendly local guide will be waiting at the airport to greet you and take you to your hotel to check-in.The rest of the day is yours to relax, rest and if jet-lag permits, do a little exploring of the downtown area.
After breakfast at your hotel, your awe-inspiring Angkor tour begins. First you will visit Angkor Thom, the last capital of the once great and vast Khmer empire. You'll enter through the grand South Gate, so you can see the ancient bridge depicting the legend of the 'Churning of the Milk'. Through the entrance and its on to visit the iconic Bayon temple, with its many wise smiling faces, Baphoun, the impressive Elephants Terrace and the Terrace of the Leper King. Lunch will be held at local restaurant.
In the afternoon, enjoy a tour through the famous Ta Prohm temple, the so-called 'jungle temple', where beautiful fig trees are slowly reclaiming the temple site.This evening, you will enjoy a delicious welcome dinner, whilst watching a traditional Apsara Dance Performance at Angkor Village Resort.
After breakfast, you will start your tour by visiting the spectacular World-Heritage site, Angkor Wat. This incredible monument built in the 12th century, stands as a testament to the dedication and skill of the ancient Khmer people and is truly one of the wonders of the modern world. Lunch will be held at a local restaurant.In the afternoon, you'll explore the beautifully preserved 'Citadel of women' - Banteay Srei Temple. This temple is located a bit further out of the city, so on the way back you can stop at a typical Khmer village to have a little insight into what everyday life is like for most of local people.This evening is yours to explore the town and soak in the atmosphere.
In the morning, you will head out of town to learn about the unique ecosystem and biggest largest fresh water lake in Southeast Asia, the Tonle Sap Lake. Enjoy the breathtaking views and see the local fishermen and their families living their lives. Once you're back on dry land, you'll get the chance to take a stroll through the bustling Old Market and maybe pick up a souvenir or two.After the tour, you will be taken to the airport for your outgoing flight. Leaving Cambodia with fond memories, stories and no doubt, lots of photos!