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Downstream Mekong: Laos Cambodia Vietnam 14 Days

7 reviews

Tour code: ASW-VCL-SP14

Duration: 14 days

Destination: Pakse-Vat Phou Cruise-Siem Reap - Angkor Wat - Tonle River - Kampong Chhnang - Kamp. Tralach - Okhna Tey - Phnom Penh - Border Crossing - Tan Chau - Sa Dec - Cai Be - My Tho - Sai Gon - Cu Chi

US$ 3,472 per person

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Set off your adventure with boat cruises to experience the culture-rich regions along Mekong River, starting from Laos, Cambodia, then to Vietnam. The mix of culture, culinary experiences, and natural exploration combined with the premium facilities will make this river cruise an unforgettable experience. 

trip highlight

  • Cruise along Mekong River - the longest river in Southeast Asia, downstream from Laos to Vietnam and immerse yourself in the unique water world
  • Explore untouched rural villages, floating villages & markets along the river & encounter directly with locals, listen to their stories and discover their ways of life
  • Marvel at green endless paddy fields, abundant tropical orchards and generosity of residents
  • Watch the sunrise light up Angkor Wat's conical tower & visit the infamous Killing Fields, explore the bustling vibe of Ho Chi Minh City
  • Enjoy premium facilities & services on the cruise ship

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Day 1: Arrival – Pakse

Meal provided: No meal

On arrival at the Pakse airport, you will be met and transferred by private car (no guide) to check in the hotel.
You are free to stroll around the city for your own first impression of this ancient city.

Stay overnight in Pakse

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Day 2: Pakse – Vat Phou Cruise

Meal provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After meeting at the Sinouk Coffee House in Central Pakse at 9:30am, we transfer you to a longtail riverboat for your 2.5 hour journey to Champassak.
Upon arrival at the Vat Phou boat, we help you to your cabins to unpack then serve lunch on deck. The highlight of the afternoon is the Vat Phou ruins - the majestic pre-Angkorian 10th-century temple complex and boat's namesake. You have time to visit the museum at the ruins site, walk up to the highest temple and take as many photos as you would like. As dusk falls, we transfer you back to the Vat Phou boat for a chance to enjoy the tropical sunset on the deck. Dinner is served on board, while the boat docks for the night alongside a remote Laotian village.
Stay overnight on cruise

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Day 3: Vat Phou Cruise

Meal provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Breakfast is on board as we set sail for the village of Huei Thamo. This is a small village a few minutes walk away from the mysterious hidden forest temple of Oum Muong. Afterward, we rejoin the boat to continue our cruise southwards. Lunch is on the deck, while leisurely sailing closer to the wild paradise of the "4,000 Islands".

Late afternoon we disembark from the boat to walk through Ban Deua Tia, a small Laotian Village where the traditional way of life has not changed in centuries. Our day's cruise finishes at the most northern tip of Don Khong, the largest inhabited island in the river archipelago. After dinner, the evening is yours to relax and enjoy.

Stay overnight on cruise

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Day 4: Vat Phou - Pakse

Meal provided: Breakfast, Lunch

While you breakfast on the deck, the Vat Phou boat cruises the Mekong to the small village of Ban Veuthong, where you board a small boat to meander among the 4,000 Islands to Khone Island. You will visit the old French railway and walk across the bridge that links Khone and Det Islands. We continue on the boat back to the mainland for lunch at a local restaurant in a small fishing village, Xieng Di, on the banks of the Mekong. A bus transfers you to the historically significant Pha Pheng waterfall, "the Niagara of the East", close to the Cambodian border.
After your visit to Phapheng waterfall you will be transferred back to Pakse by bus where the tour will end.
Check in hotel.

Stay overnight in Pakse

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Day 5: Pakse – Siem Reap – Angkor Wat - Noon flight

Meal provided: Breakfast

Morning is let for a short break till meeting your private car (no guide) for airport transfer out to Siem Reap.
On arrival, pick up and visit the most famous of all the temples on the plain of Angkor: Angkor Wat. The temple complex covers 81 hectares and is comparable in size to the Imperial Palace in Beijing. Its distinctive five towers are emblazoned on the Cambodian flag and the 12th-century masterpiece is considered by art historians to be the prime example of classical Khmer art and architecture. Angkor Wat’s five towers symbolize Meru’s five peaks – the enclosed wall represents the mountains at the edge of the world and the surrounding moat, the ocean beyond.
Sunset at Angkor Wat.

Stay overnight in Siem Reap

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Day 6: Siem Reap – Tonle River

Meal provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

We gather in the morning at our welcome lounge in Siem Reap. Relax with a drink as our staff collects your details for the boarding.
We bid farewell to the iconic sights of Angkor and travel a short distance to the pier at the Tonle Sap Lake. By local boat, we transfer to our luxurious “home” for the next days. While you check in to your prepared staterooms the ship sets sail and a fascinating journey on the Mighty Mekong begins.
Have lunch on board while the vessel gently glides over the Tonle Sap Lake. The lake can only be crossed during high water season (approx. from August to mid-November). Let your soul float and your eyes wander while the boat makes its way across.
In the afternoon we serve a High Tea at the bar. Enjoy your cruising day on board, relax on your balcony or relish a spa treatment before dinner.
Our expert guide will also give a presentation about the “Geography of the Mekong and Tonle Sap Lake”.
The boat moors on the Tonle River. You can join our evening cinema session (offered every night) featuring selected classic movies.

Stay overnight on cruise

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Day 7: Kampong Chhnang - Kamp. Tralach - Kampong Cham

Meal provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Wake up early to witness the spectacular scenery at the break of dawn. Our morning Tai Chi class offers the perfect scenery today. Breakfast buffet is served in the dining hall.
We are at Kampong Chhnang, Cambodia’s “water world”, where everything is on sticks balanced on water-rich soil. It’s perhaps the most fascinating cruising spot in Cambodia.
We take a local boat to the shore. By mini buses, we head to a rural village nearby for a walking tour. Our guides introduce us to the village specialties – Khmer style pottery and the making of palm sugar. You should definitely bring some home. Before returning to the boat, we explore the floating villages and wetlands of the region.

Back on board, lunch is served while we continue cruising with a languid meander along the Tonle River towards Kampong Tralach. A Monks’ blessing ceremony on board delivers spirits and wishes for health and prosperity for all.
Gliding through leafy swaths of this jungle-like landscape we reach Kampong Tralach. Cacophonous children wave enthusiastically while bringing their livestock for a bath in the meandering river. We will stop at the “Green School” which is partly supported by Heritage Line. See all of the river life - which is so different than ours - by a local ox cart ride.
Back on board, we sail downstream passing the confluence of the Tonle and Mekong Rivers. The boat cruises overnight while you enjoy dinner in the dining hall.

Stay overnight on cruise

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Day 8: Kampong Cham - Okhna Tey - Phnom Penh

Meal provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After a sumptuous breakfast, we stay on board to learn more about the education of the young Cambodian generation (NGO project). The children will join us on board, excited to show their skills in music and art. Be sure to be bathed in smiles upon your applause.
We leave the boat around 09:30 am to the enchanting pre-Angkorian temple of Wat Hanchey (7th century). This small complex sits on a hilltop right on the shore with breathtaking views over the Mekong.
After some refreshment back on the ship, lunch will be served. Our staff is keen on showing you a variety of traditional Khmer fashion in the afternoon. Watch the riverbanks’ life along the Mekong during our High Tea as the ship proceeds to its next stop.
We arrive at the Island of Koh Oknha Tey. This spot in the middle of the Mekong owns its fame for manufacturing high-class silk products. By tuk-tuk, we explore the island with its workshops and learn how silk is processed from its source, provided by little silkworms, to a final top quality product made of original Cambodian silk.
After some additional cruising time, the boat arrives and docks at the pier of Phnom Penh. Feel free to have your first exploration by yourself after dinner. Stroll along the river promenade and watch the locals chit-chatting, selling odds and ends or have a drink in one of the numerous bars (kindly inform our crew once you are leaving the ship on your own).
Stay overnight on cruise

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Day 9: Phnom Penh

Meal provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Welcome to Phnom Penh - the once called Paris of the East. Despite its rapid development, it has retained a lot of its rustic charm and elegance. It is an amazing town with centuries of incredible history and culture which can still be felt at many street corners.
We start with a full sight-seeing tour right after breakfast. By bus we visit the Killing Fields at outside of the city and afterward the centrally located prison “S21”. Both historic sites display the sad and cruel chapter of Khmer history when the Khmer Rouge ruled the country with terror and suppression. Those places have not changed much since this horrific time back in the early seventies and it can be quite heartbreaking. Alternatively, you can explore the city in the morning on your own before re-joining the group.
We take lunch at a fine restaurant in town. Our exploration of Phnom Penh continues on the fascinating cultural heritage of Phnom Penh. The golden edifice of the Royal Palace with its Silver Pagoda and the exceptional Khmer crafts at the National Museum are our afternoon highlights. The day trip ends with a “cyclo” ride back to the ship through the bustling streets of downtown Phnom Penh.
Take some rest in your spacious cabin or join other fellow passengers at the bar for refreshing drinks before our captivating evening activities start.
In the early evening, barbecue dinner on the sun deck commences. The dinner is accompanied with an Apsara dance performance. You have to witness the brilliance and richness of this dance along with the soothing sounds of the traditional music.
As the evening unwinds, enjoy your supper with a good glass of wine and marvel at the skyline of Phnom Penh, and the calming flow of the Tonle River.
Stay overnight on cruise

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Day 10: Phnom Penh - Border Crossing - Tan Chau

Meal provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

The lounge is set up for a captivating lecture about Cambodian modern history, held by a professor of the Royal University of Phnom Penh. Definitely a highlights of this cruise receiving knowledge first hand as our lecturer has studied the subject extensively and personally.
The whole afternoon is at your own arrangements. From now on, even the last passenger will turn on his cruise mode and hopefully experience the therapeutic influence that this mighty river radiates. It is time for massages, relaxation on the sun bed, and private balcony kick-backs - it’s time to merge with the river.
Some may like to visit the bridge as the captain always has a little story to share about “his” river. Float into a state of mild bliss. Before totally drifting away, do not forget lunchtime around noon.
A culinary class is offered in the afternoon to sharpen your knowledge and skills on the local cuisine. Before slumbering in a nap, join our High Tea with coffee and snacks if you like to.
We reach the border and finally arrive in Vietnam. From here it is just a short distance to Tan Chau, a pleasant, slow-paced border
town with a sizeable Chinese, Kinh and Khmer community. We moor near the city with views on the riverbanks.
Dinner will be served soon and you can join our evening cinema with another selected classic movie afterward.

Stay overnight on cruise

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Day 11: Tan Chau - My An Hung - Sa Dec

Meal provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Welcome to the fish sanctuary of Vietnam. Begin your day with a hearty breakfast at the dining hall or in the quiet privacy of your balcony.
Brace yourself for a tour around Tan Chau, a pleasant, slow-paced town near the Cambodian border with a sizeable Chinese, Kinh and Khmer community. Once arrived on-shore we hop on “xelois” to explore Tan Chau. A “xeloi” is a local vehicle which is still used as a taxi in this region. We slowly move around the streets to see all the workshops, houses and domiciles. Get to feel the laid- back vibes of this place.
We stop at the colorful, local market near one of the ancient temples. This is the best time to interact with the vendors of this friendly town and make your own bargain experience. We board our local boats and cruise along floating houses until we finally reach a floating fish farm. This region is the source of fish production that is sold all over the world. We get an exclusive insight into how fish farmings works.
Back on board before lunch is served, you may like to pamper yourself with some spa treatments or take a dip into the pool on the sun deck.
Our expert guides offer a presentation on the “Life on the Mekong Delta” as the ship continues to My An Hung near the Sa Dec province. Before we arrive to mingle with fellow passengers and share some stories.
We will set off for the My An Hung Village. In the village, we receive wonderful insights into the private household of a local family. We are allowed to visit their vegetable garden and access the seasonal vegetable fields via crossing a monkey bridge. We are also invited to their house for a Vietnamese tea tasting. Vietnamese tea is often bitter and locals sweeten it with honey. The honey is produced by the family, a true delicacy in this region. We are offered fruits - juicy, fresh, and right from the tree. A local artist group performs a typical traditional dragon dance while we munch on those natural “vitamin bombs”.
As the sun sets and the light bathes everything golden, we settle on a riverbank gathering with cocktails to recap the day.
Back on the ship, we cruise downstream the Mekong. Refresh yourself and get ready for dinner. The ship moors mid-river near Sa Dec.
Stay overnight on cruise

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Day 12: Binh Thanh Island - Cai Be - My Tho

Meal provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

In the morning we arrive at the island of Binh Thanh. We embark on a local boat and head towards Binh Thanh Island. Binh Thanh is one of the larger islands in the vast stream of the Mekong. Some communities have settled here and made their living by growing water hyacinths.
We exclusively visit one of those untouched areas. By wandering through the village we get a deep understanding of the native life. But moreover, we can follow the whole process of their traditional mat making. You can try weaving yourself which is still done manually. We will also meet an old local couple who share their stories on this island. They are happy for any chit-chat with you.
Back on board lunch is served and you have some time to leasurely spend onboard while we cruise along the Mekong.
In the early afternoon, we arrive in Cai Be, a charming town which is famous for its Catholic French church and their manufacturing of traditional crafts and food products. The floating market of Cai Be is getting smaller every year since trading on the water is shifting more and more to the modern central markets. We can still see some boat to boat trading of local goods, such as fruits and agricultural products.
Our guide will explain all the particulars of this long lasting trading culture. Each boat has a special marker that lets buyers know what goods they are selling. Afterward, we go on-shore to visit a workshop where we learn how rice paste, rice paper, rice cookies, and rice wine is manufactured. Cai Be and its surrounding areas are covered by palm trees and hence the region is also famous for the production of coconut candies. The city is criss-crossed by many water canals. By local boat, we will explore the lush and green canal network and observe the farmers working in the fields.
As the sun sets, our crew invites you to a farewell event. Before dinner, you can enjoy dances and music together with the crew. The ship moors at My Tho.

Stay overnight on cruise

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Day 13: My Tho – Saigon – City tour

Meal provided: Breakfast

Enjoy your last breakfast aboard your floating home.
We will disembark the ship after breakfast and take a bus transfer from My Tho to the drop off point in Saigon. It is only around 70 kilometers on the highway. You will arrive in Saigon by mid-morning.
Meet your private car and guide, escort at the hotel for luggage leaving before starting for a day tour.
Enjoy the sightseeing to Reunification Palace formerly known as Independence Palace, built on the site of the former Norodom Palace, a landmark in Ho Chi Minh City. Our next stop is the War Remnants Museum. Operated by the Vietnamese government, an incipient form of the museum opened on September 4, 1975, as the "Exhibition House for the US and Puppet Crimes, located in the premises of the former United States Information Agency building. Continue to visit City Hall, Ho Chi Minh Monument and Central Post Office which was constructed when Vietnam was part of French Indochina in the early 20th century. It has a neoclassical architectural style. It was designed and constructed by the famous architect Gustave Eiffel in harmony with the surrounding area. Today, the building is a tourist attraction.
Right nearby, you can see Notre Dame Cathedral, a magnificent building located in the heart of the city and was established by French colonists. This cathedral was constructed between 1863 and 1880. It has two bell towers, reaching a height of 58 meters (190 feet).

Stay overnight in Saigon

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Day 14: Saigon – Cu Chi Tunnel – Departure

Meal provided: Breakfast

Transfer to visit the famous Cu Chi Tunnels, an incredible underground tunnel network constructed by Vietnamese resistance fighters during the long struggle for independence. The Cu Chi Tunnel system had been created a long time back, from 1948 to assist Viet Minh in the combat with French. And it was continuing built over 25 years later. It was an underground city with living areas, kitchens, storage, weapons factories, field hospitals, command centers. In places, it was housed up to 10,000 people who virtually lived underground for years.... getting married, giving birth. During the American War the entire area of Cu Chi was designated a free fire zone and was heavily bombarded. From 1988, two sections of tunnels have been open for visitors.
Back to Saigon for flight to the next destination.
End tour

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Remark: Because of the departure of cruise, the travelling day should be kept in coordination with suggestion

Quotation based on USD per pax, with 4-star level of accommodation or similar

Group of 2 pax

(1Oct – 31Mar)

Group of 2 pax

(1Apr – 30Apr)

Group of 2 pax

(1Jun – 30Sep)

4260 USD/pax 3800 USD/pax 3472 USD/pax

 

Including

Excluding

+ 03 nights at hotels with breakfast based on a double or twin sharing room

+ 10 nights on a sharing cruise based on a double or twin sharing room

+ Meals mentioned in the itinerary

+ Entrance fees for all visits as mentioned in the program

+ Travel by private, air-conditioned vehicle with an experienced, safe driver

+ Air ticket and airport tax

PKZ-REP

+ Private English speaking guide with legal license in each region as mentioned

+ Sharing English speaking guide on cruise

+ 01 bottle of mineral water/ pax/ day and souvenir

+ All taxes and service charge

- Bank fees for both sides (Prefer cash on arrival)

- Visa letter of approval to Vietnam

- Vietnam visa stamping (25 USD per pax for one time entry)

- Cambodia visa stamping (30 USD per pax for one time entry)

- Laos visa stamping (20 USD per pax for one time entry)

- Single room supplement

- Personal expenses (laundry, telephone, shopping)

- Tipping for guide, driver

- Drinks and other meals which are not indicated in the program

- Travel insurance  

- Arrival and Departure International air ticket and airport tax

- Any additional expenses caused by reasons beyond our control such as natural calamities (typhoon, flood), flight delays, rescheduling or cancellations, any accidents, medical evacuations, riots, strikes etc…

- Surcharge for Holiday/Peak Season

- Other services which are not mentioned clearly in the “Including” item

- PORT FEES AT Jayavarman Cruise: Surcharge 65 USD per person (subject to change within a 30 days’ notice period)

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Service Details During The Trip

We’ll immerse you in the diverse cultures of Vietnam by showcasing the unique local flavors. And with the perfect balance of included sightseeing and free time, you can customize your dream vacation with the things you have always wanted to do.


  • Private Local Tour Guide You will have legally licensed local tour guide in each destination, from welcome and farewell you at the airport. Your guide will guide, help, assist and taking care of you in order to make your tour worry-free. The good guide for you means we arrange the right guide. Asianwaytravel.com will arrange tour guide base on the feature of the itinerary and consists of the group, to maximize your experiences in traveling.

  • Private Drivers & Vehicle Safety is first priority for transportation. A well maintained good condition car with legal business licensed and an experienced driver to make sure you are in safe hands. To maximize your comfort and joyful experience with driving service, cold drinking water, cold towel and soft drink are provided in the car.

private

  • Local Flavor Meals Don’t worry about meals; we select both restaurants and menus for you. Asianwaytravel.com will select clean and good environment restaurants for our customer. Menu is also carefully selected by us to ensure you try different food every meal.
    We will recommend and arrange local cuisine since it is part of the cultural experience while traveling. We also recommend dinners are free on your own so you can choose your favorite food by yourself under necessary assistance of your local guide.

  • Well-Selected Hotels Comfort and good value is our priority for choosing hotels for our customers. Comfort of mattress and bedding, joyful decoration style, user friendly facilities, good service and good breakfast!

meals

Travel Visa

Most countries in South East Asia require you to obtain a visa. Please check carefully with your travel specialist regarding specific visa requirements for each country you plan to visit as the legislation does change frequently. Thailand offers a free visa on arrival to most nationalities. Other countries including Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar offer a “visa-on-arrival” service which requires you to pay a fee at the airport, or you may prefer to obtain this in advance through the relevant embassy or a visa agent. For visa-on-arrival in Vietnam, you must submit some paperwork before you arrive.

This is an option to get your visa for Vietnam instead of getting visa at the Vietnam consulate in your country.


  • Step 1: Provide us your application details
     • Your full name (as exactly seen on your passport)
     • Your gender
     • Your date of birth
     • Your nationality
     • Your passport number
     • Your passport expiration dates ( valid for at least 6 months)
     • Date of arrival ( dd/mm/yy)
     • Date of exit (dd/mm/yy)
     • Arrival airport
  • Step 2: Process your visa information into a visa application
    We will contact you for reviewing your visa information and then submit your application on your behalf to Vietnam Immigration department and follow other procedures pursuant to the regulations of Immigration department to get Visa approval letter granted by Immigration department.

visa

Step 3: Send the visa approval letter via email to you after 2 working days
After we obtain the visa approval letter from the Immigration department for you, we will forward you a scanned copy of it by email (Your visa information then have been recorded to the Visa system of the Vietnam Immigration department).

Step 4: Get your visa stamp on your arrival
Just print the approval letter out, prepare 2 passport sized photos and an amount of USD for stamping fee ($45 for single entry visa; $65 for 1 month multiple entry visa and $95 for 3 multiple entry visa). Put all above mentioned things along with your passport in a package, then show them to Immigration officer at Vietnam arrival airports.

Upon arrival at Vietnam’s airport, expect a simple form to fill in (or you can download here to fill beforehand), present the visa approval letter, passport, photos to the Immigration officer inside the counter and look for a place to hear your name be called to get the passport back and pay for the stamping fee. The actual process takes around 15 minutes without hassle or trouble.

What are the differences between this process and getting visa at Vietnam embassies?
It is only applicable for those who travel to Vietnam by air. You only need fill out the visa application form online instead of visiting the Vietnam embassies or sending documents to Embassies over by post.The online visa application does not require sending your passport away.You get a visa approval letter issued by Vietnam Immigration Department indicating that you are allowed to enter Vietnam and have your visa stamped upon arrival at one of Vietnam international airports.

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