Expedition cruise - 7 nights | Upriver: Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap
DAY 1 | MEKONG RIVER – MY THO – HO CHI MINH – VIETNAM
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 CRUISE. 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.
DAY 2 | MEKONG RIVER – BINH THANH/SA DEC – MY AN HUNG – VIETNAM
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.
DAY 3 | MEKONG RIVER – CHAU DOC – VINH XUONG – KA’OM SAMNOR BORDER
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.
DAY 4 | MEKONG RIVER – KOH OKNHA TEY – PREAH PROSOP – CAMBODIA
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 aluminum skiffs and head towards the tamarind trees of Preah Prosop, a remote village little changed over several lifetimes.
DAY 5 | PHNOM PENH – CAMBODIA
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.
DAY 6 | TONLE SAP RIVER – KOH CHEN – KAMPONG CHHNANG – CAMBODIA
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.
DAY 7 | MOUTH OF THE TONLE SAP LAKE – CHHNOK TRU – MOAT KHLA – CAMBODIA
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.
DAY 8 | TONLE SAP LAKE – PREK TOAL – SIEM REAP – CAMBODIA
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.