Classic Mekong River Cruise 8 days
From Saigon To My Tho, Ben Tre, Gao Giong, Chau Doc, Sam Mountain, Vietnam/Cambodia border, Phnom Penh, Silk Island, Tnle Sap River, Prek Kdam, Oudong, Kampong, Chhnamg, Tonle Sap Floating Villages & Markets, Siem Reap - 7 Nights
- Departing from:
- My Tho, Ben Tre, Gao Giong, Chau Doc, Sam Mountain, Vietnam/Cambodia border, Phnom Penh, Silk Island, Tnle Sap River, Prek Kdam, Oudong, Kampong, Chhnamg, Tonle Sap Floating Villages & Markets, Siem Reap
- 7 Nights
- Cruise operates weekly in alternate directions from October to March between Saigon and Siem Reap.
- Tour Operator:
- Cruise Traveller,Pandaw
- Reference Code:
Price per person
THE ORIGINAL AND BEST CRUISE ON THE MEKONG
There can be no tapestry of river life as fascinating and varied as the River Mekong. Indeed there can be no more striking a cultural contrast as that between the bustling Vietnam delta and the tranquility of Cambodia. We pass from the vibrant French colonial port of Saigon, through the vast delta so rich in human life and endeavour, to travel along the main channel into the rich countryside of Cambodia. With a full day in charming Phnom Penh we then explore remoter waterways as we progress to the great monuments of Angkor.
NOTE: Tour operates both upstream and downstream itineraries.
The Mekong River is the 12th largest river in the world flowing 4,350km from SW China to discharge into the sea through a vast delta in Vietnam. Discharging 16,000 cubic meters per second this great beast of a river actually flows through or marks the boundaries of six different nations: China, Laos, Burma, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam
DAY 1 SAIGON – MY THO – BEN TRE
Pick up from your city hotel or airport for the road trip from Saigon to My Tho City on the mighty Mekong River to embark your Pandaw Vessel and the commencement of your adventure. After lunch, we travel by sampans through mangroves and bamboo forests to the fruit orchards of Ben Tre. This is an area rich in birdlife which we will explore via local transport before transferring to a local rowboat. We will journey slowly through the bamboo covered canals before arriving at a village specialising in coconut candy & rice wine. Here you can view the process of manufacturing these specialities and try them for yourself including the local “Moonshine.” In the evening you will be entertained by a Vietnamese Cultural Group highlighting “Life on the Mekong Delta”.
DAY 2 GAO GIONG
A morning of sailing through the delta provides an insight into life along this mighty waterway. After lunch, a short coach journey through the lush countryside to Gao Giong ‘green oasis’, a 1,000-acre eucalyptus forest and listed wildlife sanctuary. Here a diverse selection of water birds and egrets gather in their tens of thousands across the Duong Tharp Muoi or ‘Plain of Reeds’. Rowboats traverse the canals to take us to view the principal nesting areas where photo opportunities abound.
DAY 3 CHAU DOC – SAM MOUNTAIN – VIETNAM/CAMBODIA BORDER
Our boat docks alongside the picturesque border town of Chau Doc where we visit the famous floating markets & fish farms by Sampan. We make a stop at a local Chham Village and observe the lives of these local Vietnamese Muslims before boarding minivans for a short drive to Sam Mountain, location of Phuoc Dien Tu or the Hang Pagoda. We climb the 400 steps to the top to visit the pagoda, proclaimed an ‘official historic monument’ on 10th July 1980 by the Ministry of Culture and Information of Vietnam. Upon return to our boat, we cruise the local canals before dropping anchor on the Vietnam/Cambodia Border to undergo Immigration Formalities.
DAY 4 PHNOM PENH
We dock in the Cambodian Capital of Phnom Penh where we will partake in a morning orientation of the city by cyclo, visiting the Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda followed by the National Museum with its marvellous collection of Angkorian statuary. In the afternoon, we visit the Killing Fields and Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum to learn about the tragic history of the area and local people. Optional half-day and full-day tours are available during our stay in Phnom Penh at extra cost. Please contact us in advance or see your in-cabin information manual for further details. Overnight in Phnom Penh city port with its lively bars, restaurants and nightlife.
DAY 5 SILK ISLAND
We start the day by cruising upstream from Phnom Penh along the Mekong River before returning in the afternoon to visit Koh Nghe Tei (Silk Island) to study the entire silk-making process from worms to weavers. You will have the chance to visit local silk purveyors and purchase the locally made products before we enjoy a demonstration of the ancient martial art of L’bokator. L’bokator, which roughly translates as ‘pounding a lion’ includes weapons techniques and is one of the oldest existing fighting systems in Cambodia. Oral tradition indicates that L’bokator, or an earlier form thereof, was the close quarter combat system used by the armies before Angkor 1,700 years ago.
DAY 6 TONLE SAP RIVER – PREK KDAM – OUDONG
After a short morning cruise along the Tonle Sap River we will disembark at Prek Kdam and travel by coach to the Ancient Capital of Cambodia, Oudong. We visit the Vipassana Dhura Meditation Centre for a morning of relaxation & meditation before taking a drive around the old capital. We re-join our boat in Kompong Trollach for lunch. After lunch, we board our local limousines (Ox-Carts) for a meander along the Tonle Sap River visiting the local villages, markets and temples. Tonight, we will host our Cocktail Hour around a fire pit in one of the local Khmer Villages where we will join the villagers dancing and learning about the local culture.
DAY 7 KAMPONG CHHNANG – TONLE SAP FLOATING VILLAGES & MARKETS
Experience one of the highlights of our trip as we navigate the very narrow canals of the Tonle Sap River where we get up close & personal with the local riverside villagers. After lunch, we arrive in our final stop of Kampong Chhnang and board our Tender Boat “Pandaw Explorer” to visit the famous Tonle Sap Floating Villages & Markets, observing locals fishing and tending their floating vegetable gardens. We then cruise back to Kampong Chhnang City and disembark our Tender for a walk along the newly constructed River Walkway.
DAY 8 KAMPONG CHHNANG – SIEM REAP
We disembark our Pandaw Boat and travel by coach from Kampong Chhnang through the countryside before arriving in the historical town of Siem Reap, home to the famous Angkor Wat.
Cruise Price Includes: Entrance fees, guide services (English language), gratuities to crew, main meals, local mineral water, jugged coffee, teas & tisanes. Transfers between the meeting point and the ship at the start and end of a voyage.
Cruise Price Excludes: International flights, port dues (if levied), laundry, all visa costs, fuel surcharges (see terms and conditions), all beverages except local mineral water, jugged coffee, teas & tisanes and tips to tour guides, local guides, bus drivers, boat operators and cyclo drivers.
Pre and Post extension are available in Saigon and Siem Reap/Ankor Wat. Check with our office for other Pandaw itineraries and tours.