Tour Route: Siem Reap – Tonle River – Kampong Chhnang – Kamp. Tralach – Kampong Cham – Kampong Cham – Okhna Tey – Phnom Penh – Tan Chau – Sa Dec – Binh Thanh Island – Cai Be – My Tho – Saigon
Duration: 8 Days
Start/ End: Siem Reap/ Saigon
River Cruise Name: Jayavarman
Cruise Line: Heritage Line
Day 1: Siem Reap – Tonle River
In the morning, you will meet the guide and driver at the appointment in Siem Reap. Leave the sights of Angkor behind and travel to the pier at Tonle Sap Lake. We transfer to the river cruise by a local boat.
After checking in on the cruise, have lunch on board while sailing gently glides over the Tonle Sap Lake. You need to note that the Tonle River can only be crossed in high water season (from August to Mid-November). Blow your mind, free your eyes to wander while the boat makes its way across. In the afternoon, enjoy tea in the bar, and relish your first cruising day. Relax on your balcony or revel in a spa treatment before dinner. The boat moors on the Tonle River.
Day 2: Kampong Chhnang – Kamp. Tralach – Kampong Cham
Wake up early to see the stunning scenery at the break of dawn, and join in the Tai Chi class for a flawless start to the day. Then, savor the breakfast buffet in the dining hall while the river cruise is reaching Kampong Chhnang, the water world of Cambodia. In this place, everything is on sticks balanced on water-rich soil.
We head to a rural village nearby for a walking tour, the guide will introduce you to the stable product of the village, they are Khmer style pottery and palm sugar.
Continue to explore the village and wetlands of the region, then we are back on board. Lunch is served whilst cruising along the Tonle River towards Kampong Tralach. Glide through leafy swaths of the jungle, we reach Kampong Tralach. Witness the river life since it’s so different than ours. Back on board, we sail downstream passing the confluence of the two rivers of Tonle and Mekong.
Day 3: Kampong Cham – Okhna Tey – Phnom Penh
After a savory breakfast, stay on board to learn more about the education of the young Cambodian generation (NGO project). Children will join us on board, they are excited to show you their skills in music as well as art. Be sure to be bathed in smiles upon your applause. Leave the boat around 09:30 am to get to the temple of Wat Hanchey (7th century). This complex sits on a hill top right on the shore with breathtaking views over the Mekong. Later on, back to the ship, lunch will be serv at lunchtime. Watch the riverbanks’ life along the Mekong, and enjoy high tea as the ship proceeds to its next stop. Arrive at the Island of Koh Oknha Tey, situated in the middle of the Mekong. The island owns its fame for manufacturing high-class silk products. Hop on a tuk-tuk to explore the island with its workshops
After some additional cruising time, the boat arrives and docks at Phnom Penh. Feel free to have your first exploration by yourself after dinner. Stroll along the river and watch the locals chit-chatting, selling odds and ends or have a drink in one of the numerous bars (kindly inform our crew once you are leaving the ship on your own).
Day 4: Phnom Penh
Welcome to Phnom Penh, the Paris of the East, a place that retains a lot of rustic charm and elegance. It’s a mesmerizing town with centuries of history and culture which can be felt at every street corner.
Start with a full sightseeing tour after breakfast. We first visit the Killing Fields at outside of the city, which displays a sad and cruel chapter of Khmer history. Next, explore the city before transferring to a local restaurant in town.
After lunch, our exploration continues with a visit to the fascinating cultural heritage of Phnom Penh, Royal Palace with Silver Pagoda and National Museum are our afternoon highlights. Your day trip ends with a cyclo ride back to the ship.
Have dinner while relishing in the enchanting traditional dance with the soothing sound of music. The river cruises moors and overnight in Phnom Penh.
Day 5: Phnom Penh – Border Crossing – Tan Chau
After breakfast, we gather at the lounge for a great lecture about Cambodian modern history. We are next free on the boat and the afternoon is based on your arrangements. A cooking class is offered in the afternoon to sharpen your knowledge about local cuisine. Before slumbering in a nap, revel in the high tea with coffee and snacks if you like.
The river cruise reaches the border of Vietnam, we moor near Tan Chau with views of the riverbanks. Dinner will be served soon and you can join in the evening cinema with many selections.
Day 6: Tan Chau – My An Hung – Sa Dec
Start your day with a hearty breakfast at the dining hall. Hop on a local vehicle called “xeloi”, this kind of vehicle can be used as a taxi in the big city.
Stroll around the streets, visit the workshops, and houses, and get to the laid-back vibes of this place. Stop at the local market near one of the temples in town. It’s the best time to interact with the vendors and make your own bargain experience. Board the local boats and cruise floating houses until when reach the floating farm.
We next set off for the village of My An Hung. In this village, relish in the wonderful insights into the private vegetable fields via a monkey bridge. Also, we are invited to the house of locals for Vietnamese tea tasting, we’ve also invited some fruits – juicy right from the tree.
When the sun sets and the light bathes everything in golden, settle on a riverbank gathering with cocktails to recap the day. Transfer back to the ship. The ship moors mid-river near Sa Dec.
Day 7: Binh Thanh Island – Cai Be – My Tho
This morning, the cruise arrives on Binh Thanh Island. Embark on a local boat, and head to Binh Thanh Island, one of the largest islands in the vast stream of Mekong. Wandering through the village, we get a deep understanding of the local life. Moreover, we can follow the traditional mat-making process and try weaving it ourselves. Back on the boat at lunchtime.
In the afternoon, the cruise arrives in Cai Be. The town is famous for its Catholic French church and the manufacturing of traditional crafts, and local foods. We still witness some boat-to-boat trading of local products such as fruits. Later on, we go on shore to visit a workshop where we learn how rice paper and rice wine are made. Continue your trip to explore the lush green canal network and see the farmer in their work.
When the sun sets, there has a farewell event waiting for you. Before dinner, you can revel in traditional dances and music together with the crew.
The river cruise ship moors in My Tho.
Day 8: My Tho – Saigon
After breakfast at your floating home, we disembark the ship and then take the bus to Saigon. We will arrive in Saigon by mid-morning. Your Mekong river cruise end here.
Hope you have enchanting memories along with you that lingers on with the stories of this mesmerizing Mekong River cruise.