Tour Route: Ho Chi Minh city – My Tho – Cai Be – Vinh Long – Sa Dec – Chau Doc – Phnom Penh – Siem Reap
Duration: 11 Days
Start/End: Ho Chi Minh/Siem Reap
River Cruise Name: L’Amant Cruise
Cruise Type: Deluxe, Sharing, 12 cabins
Day 1: Ho Chi Minh city arrival (D)
Welcome to Ho Chi Minh City! At the airport, our guide and driver are ready to pick up and escort you to hotel for resting after a long flight. The remaining time is your leisure to explore the city, you might be surprised at the pace of life here. Tonight, we invite you to enjoy a welcome dinner on the Saigon River and contemplate the shimmer of the city at night.
Overnight in Ho Chi Minh city.
Day 2: Ho Chi Minh City – My Tho – Cai Be (B, L, D)
Start your journey on the Mekong river when we get to the pier. After embarking, the crew will greet and serve you lunch on board. In the afternoon, hop on a small boat to explore the hidden treasures of the Xep Canal, the fun will be doubled when you visit the farming village on a horse-drawn carriage. Don’t forget to taste some natural fruit, tea, and honey. Next, sit on the sampan boat to go deeper into the small canals. A hearty dinner awaits at the moment you back the L’Amant Cruise, please enjoy and relax.
Day 3: Vinh Long – Sa Dec (B, L, D)
After breakfast, we will join in a morning excursion to explore Cai Be floating market by local sampan boats, the boatman will take you through many bustle trading areas, visit the typical houses here and a popcorn factory, tasting local specialties. In the afternoon, we will change to a small boat to discover An Binh Island. On arrival, ride on a bicycle to visit Tien Chau Pagoda, tropical gardens, and learn about the daily life of Mekong’s inhabitants.
Tonight, after dinner, enjoy watching some famous films such as The Lover or I’ Indochine while the vessel moves near Sa Dec.
Day 4: Sa Dec – Near Chau Doc
Be ready for an excursion to Sa Dec city this morning, an old-fashioned town and famous with flowers and bonsai trees. Sa dec is also the place where the writer Marguerite Duras spent her childhood. Along the journey, you will have the opportunity to visit the old house of Huynh Thuy Le, described in Marguerite Duras’s novel as the house of the Chinese. You will also have the chance to visit other famous places such as the Chinese temple, tomb of L’Amant, the local school where Marguerite’s mother taught.
L’Amant Cruise sails to Chau Doc in the afternoon, at the same time, we will attend a cooking demonstration then relax on the sundeck. Dinner and overnight on board.
Day 5: Chau Doc
Today, the boat heads to Chau Doc, a small town close to the border with Cambodia. In the early morning, dozens of sampans gathering to buy and sell fruits and vegetables, very crowded. When the boat arrives at a floating fishing farm, where thousands of fish are exported, you will visit Cham village. Next, visit Sam Mountain, many Chinese, Cham, and Khmer temples are located here, which are also a popular pilgrimage site. Returning the boat, a farewell dinner is waiting for you to enjoy.
Day 6: Chau Doc – Phnom Penh
After disembarking the vessel, the speedboat will take you to the border. Upon arrival in Cambodia, you will be greeted and escorted to the hotel by local tour guide and driver. Check-in and free time to relax.
Overnight in Phnom Penh.
Day 7: Phnom Penh – Highlight City Tour (B, L)
Following our guide this morning, we will take you to the most outstanding attractions of the Cambodian capital. The first destination is Silver Pagoda, another name in the local language is Wat Preah Morakot, you will see 5329 solid silver tiles, each weighing 1kg is paved on the floor exactly as the name suggests. The Royal Palace is located not far from the pagoda, we will visit the architecture, the residence of the king and his family. The National Museum of Cambodia is an ideal place not to be missed to have more knowledge about Khmer culture and history, it is preserving an excellent art collection, more than 14,000 exhibits including the most wonderful pieces.
After lunch, we will head for the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, which is currently a testament to the atrocities of the Khmer Rouge. Here, you see a lot of torture tools, pictures of prisoners, a chill running down the spine with a map made from a human skull. All are a testament to the cruelty inflicted on innocent people. The last attraction today is the Killing Fields, the burial ground for the victims of the Red Khmer. Return to hotel in the late afternoon.
Overnight in Phnom Penh.
Day 8: Angkor National Museum and Angkor Wat Tour (B)
Enjoy breakfast then we will take you to the airport to catch a short flight to Siem Reap. Local guides will escort you to hotel after arriving.
Starting our Siem Reap trip in the afternoon, the first stop is Angkor National Museum, which preserves the imprint of the Khmer empire, through priceless artifacts collections and public exhibitions artistic multimedia, we can imagine a legendary civilization with world-class heritage. When mentioning Cambodia, the land of pagodas, it is impossible not to mention Angkor Wat, the wonder of the world, the pride of this country. This magnificent complex was built in the 12th century within 35 years and is considered the largest religious monument in the world. The direction of the temple is located in the West, there is no unified explanation of the meaning but we will have a stunning sunset view from Bakheng Mountain.
Overnight in Siem Reap.
Day 9: Angkor Wat Sunrise – Angkor Thom Ancient Capital – Cambodia Phare Circus (B, L)
Prepare yourself for splendid sunrise over Angkor Wat temple at 4 or 5 am, admire the sight of the sun gradually rising from the horizon, not inferior to the sight of the sunset. Enter the temple at dawn and enjoy the fresh air beside the library pools. You will then have breakfast in the nearby food stalls. Continue to explore the remains of an ancient civilization, Angkor Thom. Very good opportunity to witness the unique architectural center. The first stop is Ta Prohm Temple, considered a symbol of the power of nature. Traces of huge trees passing through the walls or roofs of ancient towers form a rare landscape. Just step through the gate, immediately you feel like stepping into another dimension of the mysterious world where nature owns. What makes the temple stand out are the giant stumps winding on the crumbling stone walls, towering old trees with giant canopy, and the long, dark courtyard corridors attract those who love to explore. For hundreds of years, Ta Prohm was swallowed by the Cambodian jungle. Next is the Victory Gate, the Terrace of King Leper, the Royal Palace, Baphuon, and Bayon, you will see mysterious smiles from statues carved on the rocks.
On the way back to the hotel, we will stop at Apopo center to enjoy a very unique and highly appreciated performance, Phare Cambodian Circus. Not just a circus, Phare artists use theater, music, dance, and contemporary performing arts to tell Cambodian’s stories, a perfect way to end this day.
Overnight in Siem Reap.
Day 10: Kbal Speal – Banteay Srei Temple and Landmine Museum (B, L)
Energized this morning with breakfast, we will drive by the countryside before reaching the foothills off Kbal Speal, taking a short walk to visit a series of sandstone carvings of the river bed “Valley of a 1000 Lingas”. Refresh yourself in a waterfall near the river bed, the falls will dry in the hot season.
Afterward, back to the car to visit the Banteay Srei temple, built of beautiful pink sandstone, a tinted substance added to the elaborate decorative sculptures on the walls that are still visible today. These factors make the temple popular with tourists, and are referred to as “jewelry of Khmer art”.
Overnight in Siem Reap.
Day 11: Half-day Tonle Sap Lake Discovery – International flight (B)
On the last day in Cambodia, we will take you to visit Southeast Asia’s largest freshwater lake, also one of the richest fishing lakes in the world – Tonle Sap Lake, experience an ox-cart ride through the village and the rice green fields, along the way, you will enjoy fresh coconut water at a local house and learn their daily life. Upon arriving at the lake, board a traditional wooden boat to visit the largest floating village on the lake, observing their daily activities in this fascinating community.
After lunch, the journey will end at the airport for your flight back home. Trip end.