A fascinating, leisurely downstream cruise along the mighty Mekong River from Siem Reap in Cambodia to Vietnam aboard the Heritage Line Jayavarman ship. There are on board presentations by expert guides, daily Tai Chi on deck and guided city and temple visits along the way.
Please note this itinerary is based on the high water season (approximately August to mid-November). In low water season the cruise will start with an over land journey to Kampong Cham where the ship awaits, with a slightly different itinerary for days 3 to 5.
Including international return flights with Thai Airways, internal flights, private transfers, the services of English–speaking representatives and guides, accommodation on bed & breakfast basis and cruise on full board basis.
The Kampong Chhnang region with its amazing marshlands and floating villages, the silk process on Koh Oknha Tey Island, starting with the breeding of silkworms to the final high quality products and the rustic charm, elegance and history of the rapidly developing Phnom Penh.
Depart the UK on an overnight flight to Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Arrive early morning. Be met by our English-speaking representative at Siem Reap airport and transferred to your hotel. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure. Stay at Heritage Suite Hotel, Sima Reap for 2 nights on a bed & breakfast basis.
A morning visit to the outstanding Angkor Wat complex is enhanced by the guidance of a renowned, knowledgeable Khmer scholar. Learn about the history, culture, archaeology and civilisation of the Khmer empire as you stroll through the site on this private two hour tour. The rest of the day to be used exploring independently, or if you prefer, choose an optional afternoon tour* to Ta Prohm Temple, overgrown with fig trees and lush jungle it has a haunting yet exotic atmosphere.
Transfer from your hotel and settle into your stateroom on board the Heritage Line Jayavarman ship for the next seven nights. Enjoy lunch as the vessel gently glides over the Tonle Sap Lake. Relax and take in the passing scenery and in the afternoon a high tea will be prepared for you. The boat will moor on the Tonle River and you can enjoy dinner and a classic movie in the evening. Heritage Line Jayavarman Ship for 7 nights on a full board basis.
Rise early to experience the spectacular scenery at the break of dawn and join in with some gentle Tai Chi to start the day. Leave the ship at Kampong Chhnang for the onward journey by coach into the countryside and a walking tour around a rural village, followed by exploration of the floating villages and wetlands of the region before returning to the ship for lunch. Cruise to Kampong Tralach to see daily life along the river by traditional ox–cart ride. Back on board enjoy dinner whilst the ship sails downstream overnight.
Learn about the education of the young in Cambodia through an NGO project with a visit on board by children demonstrating their skills in music and art. Leave the ship late morning for a visit to the 7th century Wat Hanchey temple before lunch back on board and afternoon arrival at the island of Koh Oknha Tey, famed for its silk production. Explore the island by tuk–tuk before re-joining the ship for the onward cruise to Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh. Evening at your leisure after dinner on board.
A full day guided excursion of Phnom Penh starts with a visit to the harrowing Killing Fields and Khmer Rouge’s security prison S21, or alternatively spend the morning exploring the city independently. After lunch at a restaurant in the city, continue to the Royal Palace with its Silver Pagoda and a visit to the National Museum. End the tour with a cyclo ride through the bustling streets of downtown Phnom Penh before re-joining the ship for an al fresco barbecue dinner and an Apsara dance performance.
Depart Phnom Penh in the morning after a captivating lecture on Cambodian modern history by a university professor. Enjoy lunch on board and free time, or a culinary class in the afternoon as the ship heads for the laid back border town of Tan Chau for the crossing in to Vietnam.
In the morning explore Tan Chau by traditional rickshaw stopping at a colourful, local market before boarding a local boat to cruise along amidst the floating houses to reach a floating fish farm. Re-join the ship and continue to the My An Hung village to meet with a local family for a Vietnamese tea tasting and a traditional dragon dance performance. Back on the ship cruise downstream the Mekong, mooring up mid-river near Sa Dec.
Catch a local boat to Binh Thanh Island to witness village life and the process of traditional mat making and the chance to try your hand at weaving. Lunch is served on board and in the afternoon on arrival in charming Cai Be town, renowned for its manufacturing of traditional crafts and its floating market. Visit a workshop to learn about the art of making rice paper, rice paste, rice cookies and rice wine and cruise the lush canal network by local boat before returning to the ship, mooring at My Tho and enjoying a farewell dinner on board.
Disembark after breakfast and transfer to Saigon (70km) for the flight back to the UK.
Day 2 – Angkor
Add a beach stay to your tour and make the most of the enchanting beaches of Vietnam.