Cruise along the Mekong, visiting rural villages, historic pagodas, local markets and a Buddhist monastery
Charms of the Mekong River Cruise
$ 2,999 per person*
7 nights luxury accommodation in a balcony stateroom
8 Days, 7 Nights
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Siem Reap, Cambodia
Day 1: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Board the AmaDara at My Tho Port. Meet your fellow travelers at a Welcome Dinner as the ship cruises to Cai Be. (B,L,D)
Note: We recommend that you fly into Ho Chi Minh City at least one day prior to embarkation; please inquire about important arrival arrangements prior to your cruise.
Day 2: Cai Be – Sa Dec, Vietnam
Take a local boat to Cai Be. You will have an opportunity to visit candy and rice paper making workshops and the historic Kiet Old House. Later in the day, journey to Sa Dec, a sprawling town on the Mekong Delta, where French writer Marguerite Duras spent part of her youth. You will visit the local market, Cao Dai Temple and the house of Mr. Huynh Thuy Le, Duras’ Chinese paramour, which her prize-winning novel, “The Lover,” is said to be based on. (B,L,D)
Day 3: Tan Chau – Border Crossing
Enjoy a visit to Tan Chau, a small Mekong River town unspoiled by tourism. You will have the opportunity to take a traditional “xe-loi” (trishaw) ride around the town, with stops at silk-making and rattan mat workshops, followed by a boat ride through the narrow channels of the Mekong River to “Evergreen Island.” Alternatively, simply take the boat ride to Evergreen Island and return to Tan Chau, where you will visit a rattan mat workshop. Later in the day, cruise from Vietnam to the Cambodian border en route to Phnom Penh. (B,L,D)
Day 4: Phnom Penh, Cambodia
This morning’s excursion takes you to Cambodia’s infamous Killing Fields and the Khmer Rouge’s grim Tuol Sleng S21 detention center (Genocide Museum) just outside the city. After lunch on board, you’ll explore the highlights of the city, followed by a visit to the Royal Palace, the spectacular Silver Pagoda and the National Museum, which has an outstanding collection of Khmer crafts. After returning to the ship, enjoy Khmer folk dancing performed by local children in the Saigon Lounge. (B,L,D)
Day 5: KAMPONG TRALACH – OUDONG – PHNOM PENH.
In Kampong Tralach, you will have a truly authentic excursion – an oxcart ride through a local village along the river bank. Afterwards, you will go to Oudong, Cambodia’s former royal capital from the early 17th century until 1866. Today, Oudong is a place of pilgrimage for Cambodians. While here, be treated to a memorable Buddhist Blessing Ceremony at a monastery. You may also take a walking tour of Oudong. Later in the day, experience Phnom Penh via a tuk tuk ride and be enchanted by the city’s French Colonial architecture and tree-lined boulevards set amidst monumental Angkorian architecture. (B,L,D)
Day 6: Oknhatey Village, Cambodia
In the morning, set sail for Oknhatey Village. Oknhatey 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 will visit a local elementary school and observe the silk weaving of handicrafts. Later in the day, set sail to Angkor Ban. (B,L,D)
Day 7: Angkor Ban – Kampong Cham, Cambodia
Angkor Ban is the only village that was not destroyed during the Khmer Rouge regime. Take a morning walking tour of the village to see some of the stilted houses, some dating back nearly 100 years, and witness this slice of rural life, which has barely changed for centuries. Then set sail for Kampong Cham and travel by motorcoach to the 12th-century Angkorian temple of Wat Nokor, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The temple has been “fused” with a modern Wat. Continue by motorcoach to the Twin Mountain, known as Phnom Pros and Phnom Srei (male and female mountains). In the annals of Khmer legend, the twin mountains were formed as the result of a competition between the men and women of an ancient Cambodian kingdom to resolve which gender would be responsible for wedding proposals. As the story goes, the women lit a fire at night, which made the men believe the sun was rising. As a result, the men stopped working and the women won the competition. Thus, men still need to ask the women’s parents for permission and Phnom Srei is higher than Phnom Pros. (B,L,D)
Day 8: Disembark Kampong Cham – Siem Reap, Cambodia
Your cruise comes to an end as you disembark in Kampong Cham. (B) Note: We recommend that you schedule your onward flight to depart after 7:00pm today to avoid potential missed connections.