A fascinating cruise onboard the elegant “Dragon Eyes”; purpose-built for sailing through small secondary canals allowing passengers to discover a hidden world in the Mekong Delta. Pass through the Vietnam – Cambodia river border by Express Boat before boarding the charming Toum Tiou for your leisurely upriver cruise from Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital towards SiemReap, the legendary land of Angkor.
Price : £1,895 per person
SAIGON – CAIBE – CANTHO – LONG XUYEN - CHAUDOC – PHNOMPENH – KO CHEN - KAMPOMG CHNANG – TONLESAP – CHNOC TRU – SIEMREAP
Price includes : All airport/jetty transfers, hotels in Saigon, CaiBe, ChauDoc, PhnomPenh & SiemReap with daily breakfast, fullboard cruise on the Dragon Eyes and Toum Tiou boats, Express boat ChauDoc- PhnomPenh, guided visits, admission fees, visa to Vietnam.
Price excludes : International flights, visa to Cambodia (obtainable on the river border), Cambodian departure airport tax, other meals, tipping and any service not specified.
Single supplement : £795
Important notes :
1. This tour operates with a minimum of 2 persons and a maximum of 4 for each departure date. Departures available all year round. Best time to go is Oct - Feb.
2. As the boats only have a few departure dates a month, please ring us to let us know which month you are planning to go and our dedicated team will work out possible dates for you.
3. One or two extra nights in Saigon or PhnomPenh may be necessary.
4. Extension to the 4,000 islands in the South of Laos on the peaceful Wat Phou cruise is also possible.
DAY 01 Departure on scheduled flights.
DAY 02 SAIGON (-/-/-)
On arrival in Saigon, transfer to 4* Grand hotel in Dong Khoi Street (formerly Rue Catinat). Time at leisure to explore Saigon and its colonial quarter in city centre. Overnight at Grand Hotel.
DAY 03 SAIGON / BENTRE / CAIBE (B/L/D)
After breakfast, drive to Ben Tre, an island province renowned for its coconut plantations. Board a local boat for a cruise on the Ben Tre River stopping to see how the local cottage industry produce bricks, coconut sweets and other products from coconut. Walk in the village stopping by a house where family members make sedge mats for a living. Tea break with a variety of tasty tropical fruits. Enjoy a ride on a cart drawn by motorbike on peaceful country lanes bordered by well manicured vegetable gardens. Lunch in a farmer's house. Sampan ride on a quiet creek to the boat for a cruise back to the pier. Car transfer to Cai Be for dinner & overnight at Mekong Riverside Resort.
DAY 04 CAI BE / CANTHO (B/L/D)
Rise to sounds of life on the Mekong river and enjoy your breakfast by the river. Later in the morning board the Dragon Eyes traditional boat. After a refreshing welcome drink, you will be guided to your cosy cabin with French balcony. Lunch will be served just after cast off. Sit back on the sun deck or lounge and observe the fantastic scenery and the daily life of the Mekong people. Later, disembark briefly for a leisurely stroll through the village and surrounding orchards or rice fields. Meet friendly locals and taste the local produce and fruits. Re-board and enjoy a drink at the bar or relax on deck as the sun sets over the magnificent water landscape. The day ends with a delicious dinner on-board and the boat will anchor for the night.
DAY 05 CANTHO / LONG XUYEN (B/L/D)
At 6.30 am the boat sets off for a sunrise cruise to see the locals go about their daily work drying fruit and building ships on wooden yards. Then board a sampan to explore Cai Rang floating market, one of the region’s busiest and most lively markets. Marvel at the sheer abundance of exotic fruits, vegetables and skillfully handcrafted regional products. While you enjoy lunch on board, the “Dragon Eyes” cruises towards Long Xuyen, where you will see an abundance of floating houses and fish farms. This is the local centre of Hoa Hao, a religion based on Buddhism. Later in the afternoon visit Bang Lang bird sanctuary known for its population of storks.
DAY 06 CHAUDOC (B/L/-)
The “Dragon Eyes” starts cruising towards Chau Doc early in the morning. After breakfast on the top deck, visit a floating fishing village and take part in an excursion to a Cham village. The cruise ends after a delicious lunch on board. Check out and disembark , then transfer to Victoria ChauDoc for overnight.
DAY 07 CHAUDOC / PHNOM PENH (B/L/-)
After breakfast, board a speedboat to continue your Mekong river expedition across the Vietnam/Cambodia river border. Arrive in PhnomPenh at lunch time, where you will meet our representative and transfer to Pavillon Phnom Penh boutique Hotel. Lunch followed by an orientation tour of Phnom Penh.
DAY 08 PHNOM PENH (B/L/-)
Enjoy a PhnomPenh guided city tour to the National Museum, former Royal Palace & Silver temple, Toul Sleng and Wat Ounaloum. Lunch at a local restaurant. Afternoon at leisure to enjoy Phnom Penh or explore the Central & Russian markets. Overnight in Phnom Penh.
DAY 09 PHNOM PENH / KÔH CHEN / OUDONG (B/L/D)
Early embarkation on the “Toum Tiou” cruise (from 07:45) and sail for Kôh Chen (Chinese Island) after a security briefing. Kôh Chen is a small village whose inhabitants specialize in silver and copper smiting. They make ornamental items, including delicately engraved tropical fruits, used in traditional ceremonies at the pagoda or for marriages. Here you can see the distant hills of Cambodia's old capital, Oudong, and its royal stupas, and at the top of the hill - the ruins of Anthareu temple.
Re-embark the Toum Tiou for an onboard lunch on the way to Kampong Tralach to visit its wonderful Vihara belonging to Wat Kampong Tralach Leu pagoda. To get to it, we cross Kampong Tralach Krom village along a small road perpendicular to the river, crossing some gorgeous stretches of emerald green rice paddy as we leave the river behind. The Vihara dates back to early last century. It was probably built on an older site, as indicated by the latérite foundations, and is home to some outstanding mural paintings. They remain one of the last survivors of cultural destruction that continues unabated due to widespread indifference. Standing alone in the middle of the rice fields, it is a modest pagoda that receives very few visitors. Its isolation may well be its undoing, as was the case for Wat Tani Pagoda in the province of Kampot.
Return to the Toum Tiou for a welcome drink and crew introduction. Enjoy a sumptuous welcome dinner and overnight onboard.
DAY 10 KAMPONG TRALACH / KAMPONG CHNANG / CHOC TRU (B/L/D)
Set sail early in the morning towards Kampong Chnang. After breakfast, we arrive in the town of Kampong Chnang, 56 miles from Phnom Penh and one of the largest fishing ports on the Tonlé Sap. Fish farming is also widely practiced in the area. The area is famous for its pottery ware, unchanged in style for centuries, which is produced in sufficient quantities to supply the entire country. Also not to be overlooked are the products of the Thnot tree (sugar palm – a real national symbol) abundant in the area: a mellow tasting, caramel-colored sugar sold in large cakes and palm wine.
After visit, re-board the Toum Tiou for lunch. Afternoon arrival in Kampong Luong, and transfer onto a local boat for further exploration. Almost totally overlooked by tourists because of its remoteness and difficult access, the village is completely self-sufficient. A floating school, factories to make ice for fish preservation, church, pagoda, service stations, pigsty, stores, boat or television repair shops, video club, karaoke bar, police station... everything is on the water. All trades are represented here and everybody travels by boat through the network of canals that cross this little town.
Afterwards, re-embark The Toum Tiou for an overnight stay under the protection of the flooded forest. Enjoy a cocktail with the Master of Ship & Cruise Manager, followed by the Captain’s farewell dinner. Overnight on board.
DAY 11 CHNOK TRU / SIEM REAP (B/L/-)
High Waters (Jul - Dec)
The Toum Tiou sets sail again early in the morning. Time to pack and relax whilst crossing the expanse of Tonlé Sap Lake. Afternoon disembarkation after a last lunch onboard, whereupon our local representative will meet and transfer you to your hotel.
Low Waters (Jan - Jun)
After an early breakfast, passengers will be picked up by speedboats and transferred across the massive Tonle Sap Lake. Upon arrival at Phnom Krom pier, you will be met by our local representative and transferred to a restaurant in Siem Reap for lunch before going to your hotel.
Overnight at Pavillon d’Orient Hotel.
Please note: Towards the end of March, it is impossible to visit the floating village.
DAY 12 SIEM REAP (B/L/-)
Guided tour to the Angkor temples. Enter Angkor Thom by the South Gate, visit the Bayon with its myriad of stone faces, Baphoun, Terrace of the Elephant, Terrace of the Leper King. Lunch during visits. Afternoon is reserved for the magnificent Angkor Wat Temple and its pavilions. Overnight at Pavillion d’Orient Hotel.
DAY 13 SIEM REAP (B/L/-)
Further exploration of this archaeological gem including the famous Taprohm jungle temple, where “Tomb Raider” was filmed, and the Roluos group: Lolei, Preakho and Bakong. Drive to further temples including BanTey Srei, Bantey samre. In the evening, enjoy a panoramic view of the sunset on Bakheng hill. Overnight in Siem Reap.
DAY 14 DEPARTURE (B/-/-)
After breakfast, time at leisure before transfer to airport for flight home.
DAY 15 Arrive home