Destinations: Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)–My Tho–Cai Be–Chau Doc–Phnom Penh–Kampong Cham–Wat Hanchey–Kampong Chhnang–Tonle Sap–Siem Reap
Join us on a magical adventure from Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap as we sail up the mighty Mekong River. This Avalon ship offers an intimate experience, so you can truly immerse yourself in the culture, people, and sights along the Mekong River. Visit local riverside villages, watch their ancient village traditions, and marvel at mysterious caves.
Day 1: Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)
Day 2: Cai Be- Sa Dec
Day 3: Chau Doc- Border Crossing
Day 4: Phnom Penh Highlights
Day 5: Prek Bang Kong- Angkor Ban
Day 6: Kampong Cham- Wat Hanchey
Day 7: Prek Dam- Oudong- Kampong Tralach
Day 8: Siem Reap
Welcome to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)! Your journey will begin in the late afternoon, where you will be transferred to the port to board your Mekong River Cruise. Settle into your cabin and prepare for a breathtaking 8 day adventure to Siem Reap, home of the mysterious Angkor Temples.Tonight, become acquainted with our ship and relax before your dinner and welcome reception.
This morning, cruise by local sampan boat across Cai Be Harbour to tour An Kiet House and gardens. Here, walk through the gardens and discover the many different types of indigenous fruit. Visit a local establishment to see how rice paper, rice wine, and traditional candy are made before viewing the beautiful French Gothic Cathedral on the waterfront.After lunch on board Avalon Angkor, sail by sampan to the quaint riverfront town of Sa Dec, enjoying rural river scenes en route. Visit a Brick Factory and the adjacent Rice Factory for an insight into their production and the importance of the rice husk in fuelling the brick kilns. Later, explore the bustling waterfront market before visiting the delicately ornate House of Hyunh Thuy Le.
Today, cruise the beautiful backwaters o
f the Mekong in a sampan boat, passing traditional floating markets and raft-house villages on our way to the charming village of Chau Doc. Visit a local fish farm to learn about the different species of fish in the Mekong and take a stroll through the cheerful outdoor market before ending the morning with a visit to the stunning pagodas at the base of Sam Mountain.Upon your return to the ship, enjoy a delicious lunch as we set sail for the Cambodian border. The rest of the day is free for you to relax as we sail towards Phnom Penh.
Welcome to Phnom Penh, Cambodia's industrious and bustling capital! Phnom Penh is a fascinating city, steeped in French colonial charm. This morning's tour offers a glimpse at the atrocities inflicted on the Cambodian people by the Khmer Rouge regime. Visit the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and later, one of the Killing Fields, where over 200,000 people were killed under orders of the Khmer Rouge.After lunch on the ship, join a sightseeing tour by private cyclo to take in city highlights such as the Royal Palace with the spectacular Silver Pagoda, and the National Museum.
This lovely morning, explore the village of Prek Bang Kong, where silk weaving is a well-preserved tradition. Discover the intricate art of silk weaving in local houses where you can watch how the silk is produced.After lunch, you will take a walking tour through the rural village of Angkor Ban. This tour will take you through traditional Khmer Houses, a local School, and a Buddhist Monastery, where you can meet the local monks.
Travel by coach to the twin holy mountains of Phnom Pros and Phnom Srey (man and woman hill), where you will admire the beautiful stupa as well as two giant statues of Buddha. Next, visit Nokor Bachey, an Angkorian temple complex featuring several original statues of Buddha.After lunch, visit Wat Hanchey, an 8th century temple dating back to the Chenla Empire. Perched on a hilltop, the temple offers lovely views of the surrounding area. Visitors are welcome to partake in a Traditional Water Blessing given by local monks.
Note: The climb to Wat Hanchey features a steep incline. If you feel you are unable to make the climb you will be driven to the top by car.
This morning we will dock at Prek Dam and drive to the village of Oudong, the former capital of Cambodia, for a visit to a monastery and a lecture on Buddhism. Later, continue to Kampong Tralach for a traditional ox-cart ride alongside shimmering rice paddies and through the beautiful Cambodian countryside. Return to the ship for lunch and an afternoon to relax on board.
As we approach our final destination, admire the spectacular floating villages and sun-hardened fisherman as we begin to sail through the Tonle Sap, Southeast Asia’s largest freshwater lake. After the rainy season, this massive body of water can cover around 10,000 square miles and is a perfect breeding ground for fish, which play a vital role in providing food for the people living on the lake.
Once we reach Siem Reap, you will be transferred to your hotel, the Victoria Angkor Resort & Spa. This afternoon, visit the majestic Temples of Angkor. Constructed between the 9th and 13th centuries, the architectural grandeur of this Khmer temple complex is arguably unmatched among ancient ruins anywhere in the world. First, visit Angkor Thom to see the Bayon Temple, adorned with over 200 carved faces. Next, admire the famous Angkor Wat and its five trademark towers. Here you will be joined by an archaeologist from the Apsara Authority for a special guided tour of the ruins. This evening is yours to explore charming Siem Reap (or stay to witness sunset over Angkor Wat)!