Help me plan my trip

Help me plan my trip

Mekong Cruise - Vietnam and Cambodia - 8 Days

7 reviews

Tour code:

Duration: 8 days

Destination: Saigon / My Tho / Cai Be / Sa Dec / Tan Chau / Phnom Penh / Kampong / Siem Reap

US$ 1,948 per person

  • 1
  •  
  •  
  •  

Experience the masterpiece of all Mekong cruises - the Jayavarman cruise - on an authentic, legendary excursion to the upstream of the mighty Mekong River from Saigon to Tonle Sap Lake. You're in for a surprise!

trip highlight

  • Enjoy the most exquisite and luxury Mekong River cruise – the Jayavarman of Heritage Line
  • Soak up the unique cultural atmosphere in Mekong Delta’s floating market
  • Ride to visit Mekong River’s upstream and enjoy the wilderness and local indigenous culture 
  • Let yourself explore the beauties of Kampong – the less touristy destination in Cambodia which will offer you a different perspective

expand all

collapse all

Day 1: Saigon - My Tho - Cai Be

Meal provided: Lunch, Dinner

We greet our guests in the morning at our welcome lounge in Saigon. Kick back with a second coffee as our staff collects your details for boarding. We bid farewell to the hustle and bustle of Saigon and travel 70 kilometres south over land towards My Tho to embark on our vessel. After checking into your luxurious floating “home” for the next several days, your first inclination may be to step on your balcony to watch the ship set sail on its fascinating Mekong River voyage.

A lunch buffet is served in the restaurant while the vessel steadily glides upstream. Now it is time to get acquainted with one of the largest streams in Asia, which runs an estimated length of 4,909 km (3,050 mi) and discharges 475 cu km (114 cu mi) of water annually. Millions of people – from China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam – pay tribute to this mighty river which provides sustenance and protection over its inhabitants.

Let your soul float and your eyes wander while the boat makes its way upstream. It is often stated that “nautical air” makes you hungry, so you are cordially invited to our afternoon tea in the open-air bar as twilight bathes the Mekong Delta in a golden haze. Get to know your fellow travellers while enjoying some tasty treats. The rest of this cruising day is fully yours to relax on your private balcony or be pampered by our therapists at the Apsara Spa.

While you savour your delightful dinner, the ship reaches Cai Be. This historic town was established in the 19th century by Vietnam’s last ruling family, the Nguyen dynasty, on the Mekong River where three provinces meet: Tien Giang, Vinh Long, and Ben Tre. Cai Be would later become the surrounding region’s predominant water-based trading hub, as we will see in tomorrow’s visit to the floating market. We anchor mid-stream near Cai Be and moor there overnight. If you are in the mood for some evening entertainment, there is a cinema in the lounge showcasing classic movies and interesting documentaries on a nightly basis.
Stay overnight on cruise in your private cabin

Back to top

Day 2: Cai Be – Sa Dec – Tan Chau

Meal provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Wake up early to witness the spectacular scenery at the break of dawn. To make the experience complete, join our daily morning Tai Chi class. Afterwards, a rich breakfast buffet awaits, or if you prefer, we can serve breakfast directly to your room.

We arrive at Cai Be, a charming market town which is famous for its Catholic French church and the manufacturing of traditional crafts and food products. The once enormous floating market of Cai Be gets smaller year by year since trading on the water is continually shifting towards modern markets. However, you can still see boat-to-boat trading of local goods, such as fruits and agricultural products and imagine what this must have looked like on a larger scale. We learn from our guide about the long-lasting trading culture and how each boat has a special marker to let buyers know what goods they are selling.

By local boat, we sail along the green canal network and watch the farmers working in the fields. A visit ashore of a workshop shows us the manufacturing of rice paste, rice paper, rice cookies and rice wine. Cai Be’s surrounding areas are covered by palm trees, which is why the region is also famous for the production of coconut candy. While the vessel continues sailing upstream, you can enjoy time to yourself or head to the bar to and enjoy a true Vietnamese coffee as you watch the life on the riverbanks float by.

In the afternoon, the vessel reaches the area of Sa Dec and arrives at one of the larger islands in the vast stream of the Mekong, Binh Thanh Island. Several communities have settled here and make their living by growing water hyacinths. We exclusively visit one of these untouched areas. By wandering through the village, we get a deep understanding of native life. One of the local artisans, for example, demonstrates the entire process of traditional mat making. You can try weaving yourself. We also meet a local elderly couple who share their story of living on this island. They are always happy to chit-chat with our guests.

Back on board, you may take a dip in the pool on the sun deck. In the evening, our expert guide offers a presentation on life on the Mekong Delta as the ship continues sailing to Tan Chau, a pleasant, slow-paced border town near the Cambodian border with a sizeable Chinese, Kinh and Khmer community. We moor near the city with views on the riverbanks.

With our local boat we continue to cruise through the lush and green canal network and observe farmers working in the fields. Back on board, lunch is served. Afterwards, you have free time for yourself to either enjoy a true Vietnamese coffee at the bar or simply watch the life on the riverbanks floating by.

In the afternoon, the vessel reaches the area of Sa Dec and arrives at one of the larger islands in the vast stream of th
mekong cruisee Mekong, Binh Thanh Island. Several communities have settled here and make their living by growing water hyacinths. We exclusively visit one of these untouched areas. By wandering through the village, we get a deep understanding of native life. One of the local artisans, for example, demonstrates the entire process of traditional mat making. You can try weaving yourself. We also meet a local elderly couple who share their story of living on this island. They are always happy to chit-chat with our guests.

Back on board, you may take a dip in the pool on the sun deck. In the evening, our expert guide offers a presentation on life on the Mekong Delta as the ship continues sailing to Tan Chau, a pleasant, slow-paced border town near the Cambodian border with a sizeable Chinese, Kinh and Khmer community. We moor near the city with views on the riverbanks.

Stay overnight on cruise in your private cabin

Back to top

Day 3: Tan Chau – Border Crossing – Phnom Penh

mekong delta vietnamMeal provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Welcome to the fish sanctuary of Vietnam.

Once on shore, we see Tan Chau’s vibrant town-life as we hop on “xelois”, which are local vehicles still used as a taxi in this area. Your personal xeloi driver slowly navigates through the streets to observe all the workshops, houses and shops while feeling the laid-back vibe of this place. We stop at the colourful, local market near one of the town’s temples. This is a great opportunity to interact with the vendors of this friendly town and try your hand at bargaining with them.

To see what Tan Chau is famous for, we board local boats and head to a floating fish farm. You are about to get an exclusive look into the world’s largest inland aquaculture industry. Each of the floating structures has netting hanging down into the water to enclose the fish, which are raised and fed on a daily basis. The region’s specialties are tilapia and the Basa catfish, or Pangasius, which is unique to the Mekong River basin and rapidly gaining popularity on the international seafood market.

Back on board our “home”, we sail towards the Vietnamese-Cambodian border. Get ready for a fascinating and leisurely cruise through the deep Cambodian countryside towards Phnom Penh.

The whole afternoon is at your own disposal. From here, even the last passenger turns on their cruise mode and hopefully experiences the relaxing influence this mighty river emanates. The afternoon is perfect for massages, relaxation on a terrace deck sunbed or private balcony kick-backs. Conjure up a spell to merge with the river and float into a state of mild bliss.mekong cruise

You also may like to visit the bridge as the captain always has a little story to share about “his” river. Or, if you are curious to learn more about Khmer gastronomy, join a culinary workshop to sharpen your knowledge about local cuisine.

After some additional cruising time back aboard, the boat arrives and docks at the pier of Phnom Penh. Feel free to go out and explore 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.
Stay overnight on cruise in your private cabin

Back to top

Day 4: Phnom Penh

Meal provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Barbecue Gala Dinner

Welcome to Phnom Penh – the city once named 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 outside the city and afterwards the centrally located prison “S21”. Both historic sites display the sad and cruel chapter of the country’s history when the Khmer Rouge ruled Cambodia with terror and oppression. Those places have not changed much since this horrific time back in the early seventies and it can be quite heart-breaking. Alternatively, you may explore the city on your own in the morning before re-joining the group.

We have a lunch at a well-renowned restaurant in town and experience the elegant air Phnom Penh’s top addresses are known for. Our exploration of Phnom Penh continues with the cultural highlights of the city’s heritage. The golden edifice of the Royal Palace with its Silver Pagoda and the exceptional Khmer crafts at the National Museum top the list of the city’s must-sees. The day trip ends with a “cyclo” ride along the bustling streets of downtown Phnom Penh and back to the ship.
In the early evening, the lounge is set up for an eye- and ear-catching lecture about modern Cambodian history, held by our friend and local expert, Mr Jean-Michel, professor from the Royal University of Phnom Penh. Receiving first-hand knowledge from our lecturer who has studied the subject extensively and in-person is a highlight of this cruise.
Take some rest or join fellow passengers at the bar for refreshing drinks. Today’s evening is a special one: let us invite you to a wonderful open air gala featuring a barbecue dinner feast. The dinner is accompanied by a classic Apsara dance performance along with other folklore dances.

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 in your private cabin

Back to top

Day 5: Phnom Penh – Kampong Tralach – Kampong Chhnang (Tonle)

mekong cruiseMeal provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Before the sun peeks over the horizon, the cruiser sets sail towards Kampong Tralach on the Tonle River. This part of the Tonle River is quite interesting to watch from the terrace as the river at certain points is very narrow. The boat glides through leafy swaths of this jungle-like landscape.

We reach Kampong Tralach, where laughing children wave enthusiastically at our arrival and traditional ox carts are still a common means of transportation. Our ox-powered vehicle takes us on a journey along the riverside and through back roads lined with rice-paddy fields until we arrive at a tiny village. Beginning a few short years ago, local underprivileged children have had the opportunity to receive an education at the “Green School”, a local project supported by Heritage Line. The students, who are dressed in green shirts, are always happy to meet us every week as the principal gives an introduction to the students and the school.

While we sail upstream, lunch is served and afterwards our crew displays a variety of traditional Khmer fashion locals wear on special occasions. Conversely, the Cambodian scarf, the Krama, is a garment worn by people of all ages and walks of life not just around the neck, but also as a bandanna, facemask, belt, swimwear, and even as a hammock to carry children.
Later in the day, the ship cruises along the narrow Tonle River towards the most fascinating cruising spot in Cambodia, Kampong Chhnang’s “water world”, where everything is balanced on sticks in water-rich soil. We take a local boat to the shore and hop on a mini bus to reach a nearby, unique rural village to explore the village’s specialties – Khmer style pottery and the process of mak
ing of palm sugar from the Cambodian “skor t’not” palm tree.

We drive back to the shore where our local boat starts an exploration of nearby floating villages. Although we are in the heartland of Cambodia, the residents of these floating villages are actually of Vietnamese descent who were expelled by the Khmer Rouge and soon returned after the ruling party was overthrown in 1979. No longer having land to settle on, they have since lived “on the water”.

Once we are back on board, relax until dinner is served and take in the beautiful countryside and its gentle evening sounds.
Stay overnight on cruise in your private cabin

Back to top

Day 6: Tonle River - Koh Oknha Tey - Kampong Cham (Mekong)

mekong cruiseMeal provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

In the early morning, we sail from the lower Tonle River towards the Mekong passing their confluence at Phnom Penh. We arrive at the island of Koh Oknha Tey, which lies in the middle of the Mekong and owes its fame to manufacturing high-class silk products. We go sightseeing along the island’s roads a bit via tuk tuk before arriving at the village’s workshops and witnessing the curious process of making silk, starting from a tiny silkworm larva to cocoon, then dyeing, spinning and weaving the fibres into high-quality Cambodian silk.

Before lunch, our expert guide holds a presentation about the geography of the Mekong River and Tonle Lake along with the unique attributes of the area. Afterwards, a monks’ blessing ceremony delivers spirits and wishes for health and prosperity for all.

The ship sails towards the small Angkor Ban village up in the Mekong River. The village is famous for its unspoiled community and beautiful, traditional houses. It feels like being transported back a hundred years, into an era unaffected by modernity where villagers are characterized by their unbridled warmth.
The sun sets and the light now bathes everything in a golden hue. The surrounding natural beauty is a perfect backdrop for a riverbank gathering with cocktails and dancing with the crew in this remote, secluded location.

We continue cruising while dinner is served and the boat finds its overnight spot at the riverbank of Kampong Cham.
Stay overnight on cruise in your private cabin

Back to top

Day 7: Kampong Cham (Mekong)

mekong cruiseMeal provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After a sumptuous breakfast, we leave the ship for enchanting pre-Angkorian temple of Wat Hanchey (7th century). Formerly built to honor the Hindu god, Hirahara, the complex is now a Buddhist temple, a testament to the country’s past and present religious’ beliefs. This small complex sits on a hilltop with breath-taking views over the Mekong. Many young, novice monks live on the compound of Wat Hanchey, and we have the chance to observe a bit of their daily lives: eating simple meals, praying, studying, or hanging out and making conversation while in their saffron-coloured robes.

After returning to the ship and partaking in lunch, we stop at the tranquil monastery of Wat Nokor. Although not massive in comparison to the vast complexes of Angkor Wat, Wat Nokor is the largest of its kind in Kampong Cham Province and is distinctive from other temples with its black sandstone walls. Here, we might have the chance to engage in light banter with some of the sociable monks living in the area.

As it is low water season, we may be fortunate enough to visit a nearby spectacle only present during the Mekong’s dry months (December to May). The Koh Paen Bamboo Bridge connects the mainland with Koh Paen Island and is re-built by the local community every November when water levels drop.

We cruise further up the Mekong to visit a local school and learn more about the education of the young Cambodian generation. Children from the Organization for Basic Training (OBT) are provided a free, supplemental education in English, maths, and the arts, and they are always excited to show their skills in music and dance. Shower the young performers with applause and in return, you are bestowed upon with the most genuine and happy Cambodian smiles.
Stay overnight on cruise in your private cabin

Back to top

Day 8: Kampong Cham (Mekong) - Siem Reap

Meal provided: Breakfast

Enjoy your last breakfast on board our floating sanctuary. We disembark the ship for a transfer by bus to the drop off point in Siem Reap.


Kampong Cham is an important trade and transportation hub. The highway connecting the town and the capital of Phnom Penh is among the best maintained in Cambodia, and the country’s first bridge across the Mekong (Kizuna Bridge) was built here in 2001.

The transfer takes approximately 4.5 hours including rest stop. To keep you entertained during the ride, our expert guides share interesting insights about Cambodia and the region we journey through. Snacks are provided during the trip. You will arrive in Siem Reap in the early afternoon.

We hope you enjoyed this fascinating river cruise, just as our crew does every single time. Moreover, take the enchanting memories and friendships along with you and share the stories of this amazing river – the Mighty Mekong.
End of tour. 

Back to top

Please contact us for the best price offer

* This cruise will be closed  on 29 April – 07 July 2023, 27 April – 05 July 2024

* This trip is available from Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap or vice versa, depending the specific dates, low or high water season

Tour prices shown are 'per person', and sharing a twin/double cabin on the sharec cruise.  If you intend to travel alone, the cost might be much higher.

The 'Single supplement' applies for single travelers who require their own room and needs to be added to the tour price.

Note
: Amendments CAN be made to this tour to suite your requirements, but may incur price changes

What's included:

  • 7 nights base on double/twin sharing rooms on cruise
  • Daily (group) shore-excursions as mentioned in the program
  • All entrance fees
  • Transportation following the program
  • Tour guide services (English speaking)
  • Daily Taichi classes and onboard entertainment
  • Steam bath
  • Welcome drink
  • Transfers from/to Heritage Line’s meeting point to/from the ship
  • Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner (on full sailing days or as indicated in program)
  • Free flow of beverages (mineral water, soft drinks, juices, tea, coffee…) at all times
  • Free flow of local beer and house wine by glass during lunch and dinner
  • Afternoon tea
  • Drinking water on room and during excursions
  • Insurance (passenger liability)
  • Internet throughout the boat (subject to cellular network signal)
  • Additional complimentary room benefits apply subject to room category


What's excluded:

  • Port tax (at this moment, it is US$60 per person)
  • Crew and guide gratuities
  • Any visa fees
  • Private transfer and any other transfer not stated in the program
  • Personal expenses and purchases
  • All further beverages
  • Premium spirits and other services not mentioned under inclusion or in the program
  • Fuel surcharges if any
  • Medical services
  • Spa treatments
  • International flight tickets and Visas stamp (US$ 25 paid on arrival at airport)
  • Hotels in Ho Chi Minh City and Siem Reap
  • Transportation to/from cruise’s meeting point from/to your hotel in HCMC and Siem Reap

Note: The Child policy will be applied upon real ages of children and the Child policy of Cruise.

Back to top

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 ( with at least 3 vacats pagess and 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

We will send the visa approval letter via email to you after 7 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 3: 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 ($25 for single entry visa; $50 for 1 month 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.

  • For those who is applicable for E-visa, our travel experts will consult case by case.

    Back to top

    Be the first review this tour

    review__write.png

    Related tours

    Want a customized trip
    just for you?

    Send us a quick inquiry so that we can offer you an itinerary
    with price for your information. This short inquiry is FREE and
    NOT a commitment for booking.

    why asianwaytravel.com ?