Vietnam and Cambodia: Along the Mekong River, including Angkor and Saigon

Lindblad Expeditions
4.8 . Excellent
95%
Travel Style: Array Relaxed
Physical Level: Walking or physical activity half to most of day - no carrying equipment. 2- Easy
Lodging Level: 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Comfort (4*)
15 days
From: $ 10,980 $ 732 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights (Bullets)

  • Spend two days exploring the legendary religious sites of Angkor, in the company of our experts and local guides
  • Visit communities and learn the ways of life along the river, including subsistence fishing and small industries
  • Explore Phnom Penh and Saigon, touring sites important to the cities’ 20th-century histories
  • Travel in extraordinary comfort and see many of the countries’ cultural highpoints.

Short Description

Exploring Vietnam and Cambodia along the Mekong River offers access to traditional villages as well as bustling cities, for a panoramic and immersive experience of these two very different countries. You’ll spend seven nights aboard the 48-guest Jahan, an extraordinary new riverboat that offers a level of luxury previously unavailable on the Mekong.

Style Small ship cruise
See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Lodging Level Comfort (4*)
Flight & Transport Inclusions All internal ground transport
Start City Siem Reap
End City Saigon

Itinerary

Day 1: Depart U.S.

Take connecting flights to Siem Reap, Cambodia.

Day 2: En route

This day is en route, partly "lost" to the International Date Line.

Day 3: Siem Reap, Cambodia

Arrive in Siem Reap, the gateway to Angkor, in the evening. We spend the next three nights at outstanding La Résidence d’Angkor, built along the Siem Reap River in traditional Khmer style, with spacious rooms with teak furniture and bamboo screens.

Day 4: Angkor / Siem Reap

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

In the morning we venture out for an introduction to the area at the fine small temple of Banteay Srei, known for its exceptional carvings. After lunch, we stop at Les Artisans d’Angkor, where we see how local artisans preserve age-old Khmer arts. Then we visit the evocative temple Ta Prohm. The jungle has been allowed to continue growing here, framing the structures with the twisted roots and branches of ceiba and fig trees, giving you an idea of what archaeologists encountered when they began their work in the area. This evening we gather for welcome drinks and dinner at our hotel.

Day 5: Angkor / Siem Reap

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

We begin early in order to get to Angkor Wat in time for sunrise. This visionary 12th-century temple, the world’s largest religious monument, represents the apogee of Khmer art and architecture. Crowned by five towers, with elaborate bas-reliefs and a profusion of statues that dramatically depict complex religious tales, along with some 2,000 carved apsaras (beautiful female spirits), Angkor Wat is enthralling. We return to our hotel for a late breakfast. In the afternoon we take tuk-tuks (motorized taxis) to the great remains of Angkor Thom, seeing the Bayon Temple, known for its dozens of serene stone faces of King Jayavarman VII, and the Terrace of the Elephants. Tonight we have dinner at a fine local restaurant.

Day 6: Kampong Cham / Embark Jahan

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

This morning we drive eastward, with a box lunch, to the Mekong River. We embark Jahan, our home for the next seven nights, at the town of Kampong Cham. In the late afternoon we begin sailing along the Mekong, with welcome drinks and dinner aboard our ship. (B,L,D)

Day 7: Wat Hanchey Or Koh Dach / Angkor Ban

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Wat Hanchey, which we visit in the morning, is a large temple complex atop a hill overlooking an exceptionally pretty stretch of the Mekong, offering outstanding views. There is a lot to see here: an 8th-century temple from the pre-Angkor Chenla period, an Angkor-era temple, some fine contemporary temples, and a school. Or we may visit the Mekong island of Koh Dach, which has a lively and active monastery and also an extensive community of silk weavers, where we may watch artisans at work. In the afternoon we visit the community of Angkor Ban, with many old-style houses that are built on stilts—some of them very tall. There’s a chance to walk through town and meet the friendly local residents. There is a fine pagoda along the riverside, and views of the fields across the river that runs into the Mekong.

Day 8: Kampong Tralach / Kampong Chhnang

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

This morning, we visit Kampong Tralach, on the banks of the Tonle Sap River. Kampong Tralach is a small village that relies on subsistence fishing and working the rice paddies. We’ll take local oxcarts through the rice paddies, seeing the age-old rhythms of life in the Cambodian countryside. Later we cruise up the fascinating Tonle Sap River. In the afternoon we visit the town of Kampong Chhnang. We drive a short way to a village where pottery is still made for sale to local residents by traditional methods. We’ll see how the pots are made and learn about the uses of the palm tree, complete with a taste of palm sugar if you’re so inclined. Then local boats will take us along the Tonle Sap for a glimpse into a unique way of life: seeing the floating houses and shops that line the riverbanks here.

Day 9: Phnom Penh

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Today will be a full, rewarding day exploring the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh, situated at the confluence of the Mekong, Bassac and Tonle Sap Rivers. We begin with a cyclo (bicycle taxi) ride to the magnificent Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda, home and place of worship to Cambodia’s kings. The architecture, displays and furnishings are remarkable. We continue to the excellent National Museum, which has sculpture and many other artifacts from Khmer temples and other aspects of Cambodia’s history. After lunch at a local restaurant, visit the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, a former prison where exhibits show the determination of Cambodians that this should never happen again. If you’re so inclined, venture to the countryside to the Choeung Ek “killing fields,” where thousands of Cambodians were murdered and buried in mass graves. Back aboard ship, an evening “Apsara” dance performance shows how well the arts have been able to reestablish themselves.

Day 10: Sailing The Mekong

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

As we sail along the Mekong, there’s a chance to see life along the river, with traditional ships, barges and freighters plying the waterway. There will be a chance to enjoy Jahan’s many amenities, to hear talks by our staff and for our chefs to show you how to prepare some of Cambodia and Vietnam’s signature dishes. We cross the border into Vietnam, where we will spend the rest of our journey.

Day 11: Tan Chau, Vietnam

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Friendly Tan Chau has one of Vietnam’s most interesting markets, with an astonishing variety of tropical fruits, vegetables and other goods. We continue to a small floating market on the river and a floating fish farm, where we see fish being fed through trap doors in the floating platforms. In the afternoon, we continue sailing the Mekong.

Day 12: Sadec / Cai Be

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

From the hamlet of Sadec, we’ll take a local boat along a channel off the main river, with much activity to be seen along the way. We’ll visit a small community where the villagers grow, process and fashion water hyacinths into floor mats and rattan baskets—a real slice of life in the Mekong Delta. At the town of Cai Be, we see the floating market, where people in boats sell their wares. Each boat has an object attached to a pole that shows what is being sold. We then visit a rice “factory,” where varieties of rice-based candies are made. Rice husks are reused as fuel for the cooking process, and ash is sold to famers for use as fertilizer. On board Jahan, we have a gala farewell dinner.

Day 13: My Tho / Saigon

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

We disembark Jahan in the morning in My Tho, and visit the great Vinh Trang pagoda, originally built in 1850. We then transfer to Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), Vietnam’s greatest commercial center, where we’ll have panoramic views from a tower in the heart of town. We’ll see the grand exteriors of the 1911 Opera House, the former city hall dating from 1908 and the Notre Dame Cathedral, a red-brick edifice with twin spires; and visit the General Post Office, designed by Gustave Eiffel. Then check in to the Park Hyatt Siagon or InterContinental Asiana Saigon, located in the heart of the city. In the late afternoon, we meet with a local expert on Vietnam’s modern history. This evening, we gather at an excellent local restaurant for dinner.

Day 14: Saigon / Depart

Meals: Breakfast

In the morning we see some of Saigon’s historic landmarks, which include a rich selection of fine colonial buildings. We continue to the Reunification Palace, headquarters of the South Vietnamese Government during the Vietnam War. The breaching of the gates by North Vietnamese tanks symbolically marked the war’s end. If you wish, end at the War Remnants Museum, which gives a strong view of the war through the eyes of the Vietnamese. The afternoon is free, or if you wish you can visit, with our compliments, the Cu Chi tunnels, part of a huge network of tunnels used by the Viet Cong during the war. Rooms are reserved until departure, and in the evening we transfer to the airport for flights home.

Day 15: Arrive U.S.

Arrive in the U.S.

Availability

Checking price
Price From $ 10,980
Price Per Day: $ 732 per day
Checking price
  • Deposit Price: $ 550

Check Current Availability, prices, specials with Lindblad Expeditions.

Prices may vary due to local taxes and trip seasonality. Click "Request Info" to inquire directly with the tour operator for the final trip price.

42 Lindblad Expeditions Travel Reviews & Ratings

95%
4.8 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 40
Great 0
Average 0
Disappointing 0
Terrible 2
Value
4.8
Guide
4.8
Activities
4.8
Lodging
4.8
Transportation
4.8
Meals
4.8

Vietnam and Cambodia: Along the Mekong River, including Angkor and Saigon

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UnCruise is an amazing dream!!

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UnCruise is an amazing dream!! The crew, the sales team, the office team, all go out of their way to make sure your experience is unforgettable. We were on the August 1, 2020 cruise. Even tho things didn’t go quite the way we planned, UnCruise was unbelievable. We will be back. UnCruise was my first ever cruise. They will be the only company we ever cruise with.
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Great small ships with knowledge filled historians ans naturalists to find the birds and animals. Several trips made and will do more!

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Details

Ship Name

Jahan

Ship Description

Jahan is a new 48-guest riverboat that offers a level of luxury not previously found on the Mekong River. Accommodations are in 22 spacious outside-facing staterooms and two suites, each with a private balcony. Jahan is the ideal platform for sailing along the Mekong River and allows effortless access to the villages and communities built along the riverbanks. Large, beautifully appointed gathering spaces accommodate the entire expedition community for lectures and Recap, and there are many private places you can tuck away to read a book or enjoy evening cocktails with new friends. There is a spa offering a choice of massage treatments and a fitness room with a steam bath. Morning Tai Chi classes are held in the open air of the terrace deck.

Optional Activities

Hoi An, Hue, Hanoi and Halong Bay Post Voyage Extension

POST-TRIP / 8 DAYS / FROM $4,870

The post-voyage extension includes all the same experiences as the pre-extension, timed and paced to accommodate some travelers’ schedules.

Hoi An, Hue, Hanoi and Halong Bay Pre-Voyage Extension

Experience the breadth of culture and customs of Vietnam over eight days by exploring the bustling city of Hanoi, the imperial capital of Hue, and the ancient town of Hoi An. Plus, embark on an overnight sailing among Halong Bay’s iconic limestone karsts. In all, explore three UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Flight & Transport Inclusions

All internal ground transport

Group Size

Standard Group - 25 + people

48 Guest

Accommodations

Voyage aboard Jahan, a richly-appointed river ship

The new 48-guest river ship Jahan affords us access to places that would otherwise be difficult to reach. Her cabins are spacious, each with a private balcony, and she offers a standard of accommodation and service that has until now been unknown in this part of the world.

Cancellation policy

Number of Days Prior to Expedition Start             Per Person Cancellation Fee

120 or more days                                                             $350*

119–90 days                                                                       Advance payment cost

89–60 days                                                                          25% of trip cost

59-45 days                                                                           50% of trip cost

44-0 days                                                                             No refund

Additional Information

All day-by-day breakdowns are a sampling of the places we intend to visit, conditions permitting.

Trip ID#:

VieCamLin

What's excluded

  • Air transportation
  • Personal items such as alcoholic beverages, emails, etc.
  • Discretionary tips to ship’s crew

Meals Included

11 Breakfasts, 8 Lunches and 10 Dinners

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