Highlights: Boating, walking, kayaking, trekking, and cultural experience.
Summary: With six luxury ships exploring five countries, Pandaw is the largest luxury river cruise company in Asia. In 2003 we were the first on the Mekong River in Cambodia and the backwaters of the Mekong Delta in Vietnam.
Tour Type: Land tour + well selected hotel + domestic flights/trains, private guided with your own English speaking guide ( unless otherwise specified), your own driver at your own pace and schedule.
Day 1: Ho Chi Minh City Arrival (D)
Arrivals to former Saigon late afternoon/evening. Pick up from airport to hotel and time for relax after a long traveling on plane. Overnight at hotel in Ho Chi Minh city.
Day 2: Ho Chi Minh City Tour (B/L)
Meet your local guide during the buffet breakfast at your hotel. Then depart on your morning motor coach tour of this fabulous and vibrant city! Your first stop will be at the History Museum, followed by a unique Water Puppet Show. From there continue past some of the city’s major attractions including the 19th century Post Office and the Notre Dame Cathedral. The tour will end with sightseeing of the Presidential Palace. In the afternoon, visit the unique War Remnants Museum followed by a welcome dinner featuring Vietnamese specialties..Overnight in hotel in Ho Chi Minh city.
Day 3: Ho Chi Minh City - Cu Chi Tunnels (B/L)
The morning is reserved for an excursion to the fascinating Cu Chi tunnels. To protect themselves from bombing raids, the local villagers and Viet Cong built a series of tunnels covering an area of over 212 km where they survived allied attacks for years. The tunnels, ranging in depth from 3 to 12 meters underground, included boarding rooms, schools, kitchens, meeting halls and military production facilities – a whole city underground. Return to the city for a lunch break (on own). In the afternoon, a delightful 45 minute cyclo tour through the heart of the city’s bustling China Town will precede another wonderful dinner at one of Saigon’s many popular local restaurantsOvernight in hotel in Ho Chi Minh city.
Day 4: Ho Chi Minh City - My Tho - Embark Ship - Cai Be (B/L/D)
After breakfast, transfer from the Renaissance Riverside Hotel by coach to My Tho (approximately 2 hrs) where you will embark your luxurious floating hotel. Set sail during a light buffet lunch. In the afternoon, arrive near Cai Be and take a trip by traditional “junk” to Vinh Long and Tien Giang islands. Here you will tour the former mandarin residence of An Kiet where surviving members of the family will welcome you with homemade tea! Overnight onboard.
Day 5: Cai Be - Chau Doc (B/L/D)
In the morning, visit the floating market of Cai Be with local boats. Stop and tour the French Gothic Cathedral and colourful port area. Then tour several small riverside villages to see locals hand make coconut candy and rice paper. Return to the ship for lunch and continue sailing to Chau Doc to arrive in the early evening. Overnight onboard.
Day 6: Chau Doc - Border (B/L/D)
Enjoy a morning rickshaw ride around this French style town. Then board smaller boats to visit a local Cham Minority Tribal village and a cat fish farm. Return to the ship for lunch and sail on towards the border with Cambodia for border formalities. End the day moored near Phnom Penh. Overnight onboard.
Day 7: Phnom Penh (B/L/D)
The capital of Cambodia retains a French colonial charm. The crumbling colonial architecture makes an attractive backdrop to lively cafes and the redeveloped river front promenade. Your morning tour will highlight several impressive Wats (temple-monasteries) and the magnificent Royal Palace. Return to the ship for lunch. In the afternoon you may wish to join an optional excursion to the infamous Killing Fields. The evening is free to explore Phnom Penh on your own. Overnight onboard.
Day 8: Phnom Penh - Kampong Cham (B/L/D)
Your first stop is at the Chong Koh silk weaving village for a morning walk at leisure. Then continue cruising this less travelled part of the Mekong. In the afternoon stop at Peam Chi Kang village to visit the local monastery and school (educational gifts, pens, crayons will be appreciated by the kids). Return to the ship and continue sailing. Overnight onboard.
Day 9: Kampong Cham Area (B/L/D)
Morning journey upriver to the hilltop pre-Angkorian temple of Wat Hanchey. Dating from the 8th century, these ancient brick structures characterise the architecture of the Chenla Empire which predated the glories of Angkor. Sail back downstream over lunch for an exploration of the Kampong Cham Area. We travel by bus to the 12th century Angkorian temple of Wat Nokor. This colourful temple is unique in Cambodia, as a modern wat is set within the ruins of an ancient temple. We continue to the twin holy mountains of Phnom Pros and Phnom Srei, or Man and Woman Hills. Legends abound about the origins of these hills, and there are many pagodas and shrines on the hilltops. Overnight onboard.
Day 10: Tonle River (B/L/D)
We glance by the capital Phnom Penh in the early morning to change pilots, and then sail the Tonle River which connects Tonle Lake with the Mekong and Bassac Rivers that merge at Phnom Penh. This river journey is a highlight of the trip. We wind our way through jungle, and as the river narrows we feel we can almost reach out and touch the houses and people who come out to cheer our ship on. Temples abound along the river banks at Kampong Chhnang, and we see the rich tapestry of Cambodian rural life. This is a busy rural port town with bustling markets. Mooring mid-stream, we make a truly wonderful motor boat excursion into the lakeside wetlands that form the mouth of the river. Here a stunning variety of birdlife may be seen and of considerable interest are the great fish traps, some half a kilometre long, which net a huge tonnage of fish after each monsoon as the fish migrate from the falling lake into the Tonle River. Overnight onboard.
Day 11: Siem Reap - Angkor (B/L/D)
The great lake dominates Cambodia and is over 150 Km in length. Here bird life is profuse, and from the middle of the lake one cannot even see the shores. There is a great stillness and tranquility as we pass floating fishing villages. Because the water levels of the lake and river vary a great deal according to the time of year and rainfall, we will then either: 1. High water, approximately July - November. Cross the Tonle Lake at dawn and disembark at Siem Reap Port for onward coach transfer to the Angkor Century Hotel 2. Low water, approximately November - March. In the early morning depart by speedboat and disembark at Siem Reap Port for onward coach transfer to the Angkor Century Hotel 3. No water, approximately March to July. In the early morning depart by coach from Phumi Prek Chik Village on the Tonle River, stopping for sightseeing at Angkor Thom to see Prem Srei Kuk temples, arriving by midday at Angkor Century Hotel. Overnight in hotel in Siem Reap
Day 12: Angkor (B/L/D)
Begin with a tour of the lesser known Temples of the Angkor Wat Complex including; Angkor Thom, Elephant Terrace and Leper King. After the tour proceed to the “Red Piano” restaurant for lunch. Serving excellent Cambodian and Asian specialties the place is best known as a favorite of actress Angelina Jolie who was a frequent visitor during the filming of the Tomb Raider movies. Continue to the fabulous main Angkor Wat Temples for a truly magnificent sunset tour of this unique UNESCO World Heritage Site. End the day with a special dinner accompanied with a performance of the Apsara Dances – Cambodia’s national folklore. Overnight at hotel in Siem Reap.
Day 13: Siem Reap - Departure (B)
A full free day to relax in the luxury of your resort style hotel or explore this unique World Heritage town on your own! Visit the local marketplaces, bargain for those last minute souvenirs or take an optional Tuk Tuk tour to the local Crocodile farm! Transfer to airport in the afternoon for flight back home.
Note: Number of Person in Group/Pax Tour cost per Person (in US $)