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4 NIGHTS MEKONG CRUISE
Cambodia Phnom Penh – Vietnam Saigon
PHNOM PENH - SAIGON CRUISES
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 tranquility of Cambodia and the bustling Vietnam delta. We pass from the Cambodia’s capital Phnom Penh and travel along the main channel through the vast delta. Your journey will end in the vibrant French colonial port of Saigon. In 2003, with the RV Mekong Pandaw, we were the first ship to attempt this extraordinary journey, surmounting complex bureaucratic and navigational obstacles. We now have four ships plying this amazing waterway.
RV MEKONG PANDAW
RV TONLE PANDAW
PHNOM PENH - SAIGON EXPEDITION ITINERARY
DAY 1 PHNOM PENH
Embark the ship for lunch. The check-in time should be no later than 12.00 noon, as we need your passport to process the immigration formalities for the border crossing. Rest of day at leisure. Overnight in Phnom Penh city port with its lively bars, restaurants and night life.
DAY 2 VIETNAM BORDER
Early sailing to the Vietnam border for formalities and during this stationary period there is an optional tour of the working ship and fruit carving classes on deck. Afternoon, explore the labyrinthine canal system around Tan Chau to visit a Taoist temple where the monks will read fortunes. Continue through local villages by Xi Loi stopping off to help locals tend their fields before stopping off to visit a fish farm and earn merit by releasing fish back into the Mekong.
DAY 3 CON PHUOC ISLAND
In the morning sail up a small canal to moor off Con Phuoc Island and go ashore to explore the island by tuk-tuk seeing basket production and visiting a 100-year old Catholic Church and local woodworking artisans. After a short cruise downstream in the afternoon we take a short coach trip where we visit Gao Giong ‘green oasis’ with its bird sanctuary. Here a diverse selection of water birds and egrets that gather in the tens of thousands across the Duong Tharp Muoi or ‘Plain of Reeds’. Rowing boats traverse the canals to take us to see the principal nesting areas.
DAY 4 BEN TRE
After breakfast the ship moors off Cho Lach island for pot making and further glimpses of Delta life, agriculture and local Viet hospitality including a culinary lesson in making traditional Banh Xeo. Upon return to the boat we take a cruise downstream to Ben Tre. Where we travel by sampans through mangroves and bamboo groves to the fruit orchards of Ben Tre. In these local artisans are at work and are invite visitors into their homes for tea, fruit and honey products made from their own honey. This is an area rich in bird life and on our return journey we travel by horse cart through the lush countryside.
DAY 5 MY THO TO SAIGON
Disembark in the early morning for a coach transfer to the InterContinental Asiana Saigon Hotel, arriving late morning at around 09.30 – 10.00.