Cruise along the mighty Mekong River through Vietnam and Cambodia and be transported back in time to an era when the rhythms of the countryside moved at a slower pace. On this tour you get a fascinating glimpse into a traditional way of life, visiting rural villages, colourful markets and a monastery, where you receive a special blessing by Buddhist monks. This wonderful cruise begins in Ho Chi Minh City and ends in Siem Reap, gateway to the Angkor temple complex, and you also stay in Phnom Pehn along the way.
Ho Chi Minh City
Leave your hotel in Saigon and travel by coach to My Tho Port where you board your boat for the seven night cruise. It is well worth arriving in Ho Chi Minh City, as it is now called, a day or two before your Mekong river trip which will give you time to see all the famous sights in this remarkable and historic city. Then, as you sail away and the sun sets, it's time to join fellow guests for a welcome dinner on board.
Cai Be / Sa Dec
Once ashore in Cai Ba you tour the town visiting the colourful local market. Then after lunch travel by coach to Xeo Ouyt, which was once used as a military base during the French war and is now an important ecological site. During this trip you can visit candy and rice making workshops and the historic Kiet Old House. Then when you reach Sa Dec you can go ashore and explore before returning to the boat for dinner.
Tan Chau / Border Crossing
Today you stop at Tan Chau, a small Mekong river town unspoilt by tourism. Leave the boat and take a trishaw ride around the area with stops at silk-making and rattan mat workshops, followed by a boat trip after lunch through some of the narrow channels of the river to explore lush Evergreen Island. Then return to your ship and relax as you cross the border into Cambodia on route to the country's capital city Phnom Penh.
This morning when you arrive in Phnom Penh visit Cambodia's infamous Killing Fields and the Khmer Rouge's grim Tuol Sleng S21 detention centre, where so many people were tortured and murdered during the Pol Pot regime. If you would prefer not to visit this genocide museum you can go to the Central Market instead. After lunch you see the highlights of the city including the Royal Palace, the Silver Pagoda and National Museum. Back on ship you are entertained by young folk dancers.
Today you take a morning excursion to Oudong, the country's former royal capital. Oudong is a place of pilgrimage for Cambodians and while here you will take part in a memorable Buddhist blessing ceremony at a monastery and enjoy a walking tour. Then in Kampong Tralach you have an authentic experience riding in an oxcart through a village before touring Phnom Penh on a tuk tuk seeing the French architecture and tree lined boulevards.
Oknhatey and Angor Ban
This morning you say farewell to Cambodia's capital city and set sail for Oknhatey Village. This is the Silk Island located on the lush banks of the Mekong River and known for its rich tradition of silk weaving. While here, you visit an elementary school as well as seeing some of the silk weavers at work and have the chance to appreciate an art that has been preserved for centuries. Then return to your boat and enjoy dinner as you sail on to Angkor Ban.
Angkor Ban and Kampong Cham
Today you go on a walking tour of Angkor Ban, one of the few villages in the country that wasn't destroyed under the Khmer Rouge regime in the 1970s. Here you will meet the people who still live in traditional stilt houses. Later sail to Kampong Cham where you take an afternoon coach tour to the Twin Mountains, which have played a big part in the country's folk lore. Then finish the day with a festive farewell dinner back on board.
Today your wonderful Mekong River cruise comes to an end when you are driven to Siem Reap, gateway to the amazing Angkor temples complex. Once in this resort town it is worth staying on for a few days and visiting stunning Angkor Wat and some of the other temples that have become some of the world's greatest tourist attractions. This cruise makes a great add on to any longer holiday in south east Asia and will leave you with so many great memories.