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Cruise the Mekong River, from Phnom Penh, Cambodia, to Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), Vietnam. Even on a whistlestop tour, you will gain insight into the histories and culture of two immensely important cities and countries. Visit some of Phnom Penh’s attractions whilst enjoying its vibrant and lively street markets. Meanwhile, the National and Tuol Sleng museums begin to convey the horrific past the country has endured.
Cruise in comfort along the vast Mekong River, with en route stops including a trishaw ride in Chau Doc and Cai Be floating market. Conclude the cruise in another historically and culturally rich city, Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City). The city offers great contrasts with modern skyscrapers and authentic wooden huts, gourmet restaurants and street food stalls all in one welcoming and fascinating city.
The cruise may be fantastic on its own or as an add-on for your holiday. This tour starts in Phnom Penh and ends in Saigon, or vice versa, however transfers from other locations can be arranged as required. Discuss options with our Asia Travel Experts.
Embark on the ship for lunch before venturing into the city independently to discover its beauty and charm. The former French city will entice you with its pungent markets and boutique shops, while the audio backdrop of scooters and cars offers something for all the senses. There is a wealth of landmarks and attractions, namely the glistening Royal Palace, the National Museum with its excellent Khmer collections as well as various temples and monasteries. Having suffered from war and revolution, Phnom Penh invites visitors to learn about its traumatic past from the haunting Killing Fields and S21 Detention Centre. On the other hand visitors can enjoy the present day fine dining and boutique shopping.
You will have your overnight stay in Phnom Penh city port with its lively bars, restaurants and night life.
Itinerary Option: If you wish to spend some more time in Phnom Penh before embarking on the cruise, discuss additional nights with our Asia experts.
Early sailing to the Vietnam border for formalities and during this stationary period there is an optional tour of the working ship and fruit carving classes on deck. Afternoon, explore the labyrinthine canal system around Tan Chau to visit a Taoist temple where the monks will read fortunes. Continue through local villages by Xi Loi stopping off to help locals tend their fields before stopping off to visit a fish farm and earn merit by releasing fish back into the Mekong.
In the morning sail up a small canal to moor off Con Phuoc Island and go ashore to explore the island by tuk-tuk seeing basket production and visiting a 100-year old Catholic Church and local woodworking artisans.
After a short cruise downstream in the afternoon we take a short coach trip where we visit Gao Giong ‘green oasis’ with its bird sanctuary. Here a diverse selection of water birds and egrets that gather in the tens of thousands across the Duong Tharp Muoi or ‘Plain of Reeds’. Rowing boats traverse the canals to take us to see the principal nesting areas.
After breakfast the ship moors off Cho Lach island for pot making and further glimpses of Delta life, agriculture and local Viet hospitality including a culinary lesson in making traditional Banh Xeo. Upon return to the boat we take a cruise downstream to Ben Tre. Where we travel by sampans through mangroves and bamboo groves to the fruit orchards of Ben Tre. In these local artisans are at work and are invite visitors into their homes for tea, fruit and honey products made from their own honey. This is an area rich in bird life and on our return journey we travel by horse cart through the lush countryside.
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.
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 $2,216|
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!
4 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.
"Thank you for arranging our Mekong Cruise, it was smooth sailing and the people and food were very nice. You went above and beyond to assist with changes. Laos was a beautiful place too." — Catherine, Adelaide, March 2019