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Joining us for the full 7-night Mekong Expedition Cruise allows us to share with you all the mysteries and wonders we have discovered between the Mekong and Tonle Sap Rivers and among the diverse cultures thriving in our midst. Passengers who travel with us during the high water season (August-November), from Siem Reap(REP) to Ho Chi Minh (SGN) experience the full history of Mekong life, meeting Khmer farmers, Buddhist monks and our entrepreneurial friends in Vietnam’s kaleidoscopic wet markets along the way. Sailing in the opposite direction, from the colonial chic of Saigon to the legendary Angkorian heritage in Siem Reap is to travel leisurely back in time across this legendary landscape. During the low water season (December-August), our program includes much more time on the Cambodia stretch of the Mekong and along the Tonle Sap River.
Below outlined is an example of the high water itinerary (From August to November).
The cruise may be fantastic on its own or as an add-on for your holiday. This tour starts in Saigon and ends in Siem Reap or vice versa, however transfers from other locations can be arranged as required. Discuss options with our Asia Travel Experts.
Receive 30% discount on selected Aqua Mekong departures between 01 May 2018 - 27 July 2018 and 03 May 2019 - 30 July 2019. Enquire now for full details.
We will collect you at the Saigon meeting point and transfer you by air-conditioned coach to My Tho dock where we will welcome you aboard the Aqua Mekong. Settle into your floating retreat, with its window wall conferring an endlessly captivating panorama. Enjoy these private Mekong moments on your California king bed, terrace or daybed.
Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) in southern Vietnam is a sprawling metropolis of ten million people. Formally renamed Ho Chi Minh City in 1975 at the end of the Vietnam-American war, locals still refer to Saigon. With thousands of motorbikes zipping past luxury cars, French colonial buildings dwarfed by modern skyscrapers and traditionally dressed school girls riding bicycles past trendy city workers, Saigon is an exciting city of contrasts.
Saigon is a city that never sleeps and offers a plethora of great restaurants and bars catering to all tastes, from street food vendors to the rooftop bar at the Rex Hotel, where international correspondents covered the Vietnam War and where the U.S. military attaché’s press briefing was held daily and dubbed the “Five O’clock Follies”. Whatever your interests, be sure to ask us for personal recommendations.
Itinerary Option: If you wish to spend some more time in Saigon before embarking on the cruise, discuss additional nights in Saigon with our Asia experts.
Begin the day at Binh Thanh mat weaving village or opt to visit Sa Dec where we will peruse the vibrant market and see the famous house of Marguerite Duras' legendary lover, Mr. Huynh Thuy Le. In the afternoon, visit a typical Mekong Delta village called My An Hung where we will walk through verdant plantations. We will be invited to a local's home to taste local fruits while hearing traditional folk songs performed by villagers followed by a unique unicorn dance. A 17-kilometer Biking option is also available.
Travel by skiff along Bassac Canal to Chau Doc floating market then head off by van to Long Son Pagoda atop Sam Mountain. Ask the monks about their age-old Buddhist practices. Return via the bustling morning market. Optional 18 kilometers bike ride on Long Khanh Island or take a rickshaw ride to visit Tan Chau Market with chef. After lunch, relax by the pool, try traditional Khmer massage or learn to cook Mekong inspired dishes while we cross the border.
On this river of time we admire dexterous Khmer artisans dyeing and weaving kroma, the ubiquitous item no Khmer lives without. Explore the riverbank on two wheels if you wish, past Buddhist temples and thatch houses perched on spindly wooden stilts while white oxen wade just offshore. After lunch, we board our marine-grade luminium skiffs and head towards the tamarind trees of Preah Prosop, a remote village little changed over several lifetimes.
We show off the Cambodian capital to our passengers by motorized tuk-tuk, the Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda and the National Museum of Cambodia, home to the world’s largest collection of Khmer art. For those who wish, we visit the Tuol Sleng Museum of Genocide and the Killing Field or shopping at Russian Market. We bid farewell to 4-night guests who are disembarking in Phnom Penh.
Return to welcome our 3-night passengers over custom sundowners like the Salted Watermelon Crush with Thai basil. Together we celebrate the onward journey towards the heart of this mighty river with a Khmer Apsara performance, an indigenous tradition memorialized on the temple walls at Angkor Wat.
This morning, we visit Koh Chen, a silversmith village known for its fine craftsmanship. Keep an eye out for their famous silver bowls, regularly chosen by Cambodia's king as gifts for visiting dignitaries. In the afternoon, we continue learning about Khmer riverside life in Kampong Chhnang, the 'Port of Pottery' so called because archaeological findings here date to the 6th century. Bike option is available.
Continue exploring the remote communities around the Tonle Sap Lake, designated as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1997. In Chhnok Tru, we “slide” into an ice factory and learn from locals what it’s like to live in a town where schools, churches, pagodas, and even the karaoke bar and police station all float. After lunch, we visit the floating village of Moat Khla, accessible only by water, and attend a Buddhist blessing ceremony.
Set off by skiff into the 22,000-hectare Prek Toal Core Bird Reserve, one of the largest freshwater bodies in Asia and the last refuge in Southeast Asia for large waterbirds like the spot-billed pelicans, milky stork, black-headed ibis and the elusive masked finfoot. Disembarkation.
Phone now to discuss options to personalise your itinerary.
Aqua Mekong was designed by Saigon-based architects at Noor Design to embody the aesthetic of a sophisticated five star hotel. Local sustainable materials and artisanal touches of the Mekong’s multifaceted cultures round out these generous interior spaces designed to welcome guests in the utmost comforts between on and off shore excursions along this fascinating river, and to Chinese wing tipped pagoda temples and remote Buddhist monasteries.
Spacious and indulgent, yet intimate enough to feel entirely exclusive, the Aqua Mekong incorporates relaxed yet refined lounging and dining areas, and can accommodate a maximum of 40 guests plus crew. Modern navigation technologies and the highest cruise ship standards as well as our experienced river pilot and crew ensure smooth travel and safety on the water.
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.
|Deluxe:||from AU $11,835|
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 luxury Cruise Ship.
The above is only an example itinerary and sights visited might change due to weather conditions.
Availability of accommodation and season.