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Take in World Heritage ancient ruins at Siem Reap’s Angkor Wat to begin the itinerary emphatically. You will journey through the famous Mekong Delta, past fish farms, passing by French colonial architecture and important religious monuments, until the height of the cultural medley that is Phnom Penh. The city offers fashionable bars and restaurants with tree lined avenues and charming squares in stark contrast to its haunting past, accessible through the Tuol Sleng Museum for one.
Continue to Vietnam, gaining an insight into a tribal village and its market before experiencing a floating market. The final port of call will be Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) with its impressive colonial architecture, mixed with modern edifices. A delve into its past is a fascinating one, through the National Museum and Chu Chi tunnel complex. Visitors love the exciting mix of delectable Vietnamese cuisine, rich history, and stunning natural beauty. However, the Vietnamese people often steal the show with their demonstrations of ingenuity and their friendliness to visitors.
The cruise may be fantastic on its own or as an add-on for your holiday. This tour starts in Siem Riep and ends in Saigon, or vice versa, however transfers from other locations can be arranged as required. Discuss options with our Asia Travel Experts.
You will meet your guide on arrival in Siem Reap and transfer to your luxury cruise ship. A packed lunch will be provided on the coach and a stop at Kampong Thom made along the way. Embark and settle into your appointed luxury cabin and enjoy the views of your floating hotel, while the vessel departs.
Siem Reap, situated in the north west of the country, is an enchanting town with Chinese-style shop houses, French colonial architecture and tree lined boulevards. It is the gateway to the World Heritage ancient temple ruins of Angkor, eighth wonder of the world and spectacular ancient capital of the powerful Khmer Dynasty. As well as the myriad of awe-inspiring temples and Khmer relics to explore, Siem Reap and its rural outskirts offers craft villages, silk farms, Khmer cuisine cooking classes, traditional Cambodian ‘apsara’ dance performances and the floating villages on the tranquil waters of Tonle Sap Lake
Itinerary Option: If you wish to spend some more time in Cambodia before embarking on the cruise, discuss additional nights in activities with our Asia experts.
Today, you will visit the hilltop temple of Wat Hanchey in the morning. In the afternoon, travel by bus to visit the Twin Holy mountains of Phnom Pros and Phnom Srey (Man and Woman Hill). Continue to the ecotourism village of Choeungkok supported by the French-Cambodian NGO Amica.
Kampong Cham is an important provincial capital with French colonial buildings, busting markets and an attractive setting overlooking the Mekong.
Excursion up the Tonle River to Kampong Chhnang by coach or the ship depending on water levels. Beyond Kampong Chhnang travel with the excursion vessel to discover the vast wetlands around the mouth of the river. Here many fish traps may be seen.
Situated close to the mouth of the Tonle River, Kampong Channang is the main centre for fishing and trading in the vast wetlands that surround the great Tonle Sap lake. The town was an important French provincial capital and the main administrative centre with fine French villas and public buildings a couple of kilometres inland. Crocodile farming is a local business activity along with the by now ubiquitous fish farms, mainly in the hands of Vietnamese settlers. The river port is one of the busiest on the Mekong with several thousand vessels rafted up to make a complex river city. Enjoy a stroll up the river bank and see the amazing stilted houses - some 10 metres off the ground.
Leaving the tranquil and beautiful countryside behind, you will be heading to Phnom Penh, the country’s political and economic capital. Here you will have the opportunity to explore the city in a private cyclo. The Cyclo Centre Phnom Penh which provides the cyclos is a charity that provides basic welfare and medical services to cyclo drivers. There is much to choose from in this attractive former French city, and you can decide what to do.
In the afternoon, optional excursion to the Killing Fields and the Khmer Rouge's grim Tuol Sleng or S21 Detention Centre. This tour is included in the cost of your cruise but must be requested at the time of booking.
The riverside capital of Phnom Penh, once known as ‘The Pearl of Asia’ and long considered the most beautiful French-built city of the Orient, is a charming and captivating city. The old French ochre-coloured colonial buildings are now being filled with trendy cafes, boutiques and art galleries and many traditional ornate temples still remain. The bustling squares and frangipani-lined boulevards create an atmosphere that is unlike any other city in South East Asia. Rich in history, Phnom Penh has a number of cultural and historical sites including the National Museum, Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda, and offers an insight into its darker past with the haunting Killing Fields and Tuol Sleng Museum.
Spend the day cruising in the main Mekong channel, an International shipping route with a marvellous scenic backdrop, before reaching the Vietnamese border.
Visit a Cham tribal village to witness the traditional way of life before making a visit to a cat fish farm, which are contained in great bamboo vats suspended beneath the floors of the Cham houseboats.
The town of Chau Doc retains a 'French' style charm with many old colonial buildings now housing offices of the Vietnam Communist Party and its many branches. The market is excellent and well worth a wander through. The town is easy to walk around or you can enjoy a trishaw ride. There is a Catholic church with Jesus, the Virgin Mary and various saints happily transmogrified with Vietnamese physiognomies.
Board a sampan boat excursion to Sa Dec via Vinh Long along canals and backwaters. You will visit Sa Dec and see the local market and the ancient house of Mr Huyn Thuy Le, the 'lover' of Marguerite Duras, a famous French novelist. Sa Dec is also famous for its flower gardens. Even in colonial times Sa Dec was known as the “Garden of Cochin-China”. At Cai Be, you will cruise through its colourful floating market which takes place daily in front of the catholic church.
Sail from Cai Be for My Tho, the hub of the Delta, to disembark in the early morning to transfer to Saigon.
Saigon or Ho Chi Minh is the capital of southern Vietnam and after Hanoi the country's second city. Remarkably despite the boom of the past ten years much of old Saigon has survived and there is still a real L'Indochine feel to the place. It is easy to walk around the central district exploring the broad leafy boulevards and splendid French colonial architecture - the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Post Office and Opera. The Town Hall, scene of the 'fall of Saigon' on April 30th 1975 is well worth a visit as is the war museum. An excursion to the Chu Chi tunnel complex is a must. Here the Viet Cong held out against successive carpet bombing in an underground city.
Phone now to discuss options to personalise your itinerary.
The Cruise Ship
The beautifully crafted cruise ships have been hand finished in brass and teak by traditional craftsmen. Whilst luxury and comfort are discreetly present, it is the colonial character and friendly atmosphere that prevail. Each ship has an ultra shallow draft allowing for travel to remote areas, which would be unreachable by other vessels, let alone overland.
All Get About Asia trips have been designed to make sure you have an unforgettable travel experience. We have developed several trip styles to cater for our diverse range of travellers. Read what your ideal Get About Asia experience might look like here.
|Superior:||from AU $2,419|
All GetAboutAsia prices are based on twin share and depend on availability and season. All our itineraries can be customised including international flights and extra nights. For questions or further information, Enquire Now!
7 nights aboard your Cruise Ship. All GetAboutAsia accommodation is handpicked by us. Upgrades are available for this itinerary.
Visa for Vietnam
When obtaining your visa you should allow 2-3 weeks for processing, the cost is approximately US$60 to US$100. Check with your embassy or consulate for further details. The Vietnamese Embassy in Edgecliff, Sydney has been known to issue a visa in 4 working days if all the correct documents are submitted at the time of application.
Visas for Cambodia
It is possible to obtain your Cambodian visa on arrival at the Phnom Penh or Siam Reap international airports or any border crossing for approx. US$30 (cost subject to change) - you will need 2 passport photos.
Availability of accommodation and season.