Multi-Day Tour | Group, Independent, Private

Cambodia, Cruise & Vietnam Summer Package with The Jahan (12 days)

Trails of Indochina - Vietnam

Siem Reap, Cambodia To Saigon, Vietnam

Itinerary

DAY LOCATION(S) HOTEL MEALS DESCRIPTION
Day 1
Siem Reap, Cambodia
Raffles Grand Hotel d'Angkor None

Upon arrival Siem Reap International Airport, after clearing all customs procedures, walk to the main exit gate, you will be met by Trails of Indochina representative carrying Trails of Indochina signboard with your name on it. Transfer from airport to your hotel with guide.

Siem Reap, located north-west Cambodia, is a charming provincial town defined by a cluster of villages, Chinese-style shop houses, and French-colonial architecture. As a gateway to the ancient temple ruins of Angkor, Siem Reap has experienced exponential growth in recent years with hotel and resort developments turning this once sleepy village into a tourism mecca.

Much more than the gateway to the Temples of Angkor, Siem Reap has earned a reputation for its many trendy boutiques and artsy workshops.

Spend an enjoyable afternoon getting to know Siem Reap, visiting places including: Artisans Angkor, a social Cambodian company originally created to help young rural people find work near their home village by training them in Cambodian arts and crafts including silk fabrics and garments, stone and wood carving, lacquerware, and silk painting; Wat Damnak, once a royal palace during the reign of King Sisowath and now one of the major pagodas in Siem Reap, to receive a blessing from one of the monks; and the new and old market on both sides of the river, an excellent spot for photos and picking up handmade souvenirs.

Day 2
Siem Reap, Cambodia
Raffles Grand Hotel d'Angkor Breakfast

Transfer by private vehicle to Ta Prohm, this beautiful temple, built in 1186 as a Buddhist temple dedicated to the mother of Jayavarman VII, is one of Angkor’s jewels and is overgrown with fig trees, giving a haunting yet exotic atmosphere. One of the largest temple sites in Angkor it took almost 80,000 people to maintain the temple. Drive a short distance to Ta Keo, which would have been one of the finest temples in Angkor had it been completed.

Continue to Angkor Thom, not a temple, but an entire walled city of 9 square kilometres and the royal Capital from 1181. With a population of 1 million, it was far bigger than any city in Europe at the time. The centre piece is Bayon temple crowned with 216 giant, smiling faces of King Jayavarman VII. Also visit the Terrace of the Elephants and the Terrace of the Leper King, which houses almost perfectly preserved carvings.

Return to your hotel to relax and have lunch (on your own).

After a leisurely break your exploration continues as you enter the rear gate of Angkor Wat (early 12th century). Surrounded by a 190-metre-wide moat 1.5 kilometres by 1.3 kilometres it is claimed to be the largest religious building in the world. The temple, which took 30 years to construct & used the labours of 300,000 workers was built as the earthly representation of the universe with its' central tower symbolizing Mt Meru which, Hindus believe, is at the centre of the Universe. Later, return to your hotel late afternoon.

Day 3
Kampong Chhnang, Cambodia
The Jahan Cruise Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

0800: We gather in the morning at our welcome lounge at Victoria Siem Reap. Relax with a drink as our staff collects your details for the boarding. Then, we bid farewell to the iconic sights of Angkor and travel over land south to the town of Kampong Cham where our ship awaits us. The transfer takes about 4.5 hours, snacks and water are provided during the trip.

Upon arrival you check in to your well prepared staterooms. A lunch buffet is served in the dining hall. Make yourself familiar with all facilities on board and take some rest.

In the afternoon we learn more about the education of the young Cambodian generation (NGO project). The children join us on board, always excited to show their skills in music and art. Be sure to be bathed in smiles upon your applause. After the performance, we leave the ship by bus for an afternoon excursion. During low water season, we have the chance to see a bamboo bridge which connects the mainland with an island. Local communities re-build the bridge every year when water levels drop.

We continue our land journey to the enchanting pre-Angkorian temple of Wat Hanchey (7th century). This small complex sits on a hill top on the shore with a breath-taking view over the Mekong. When returning to the ship, you can enjoy some private time until dinner is served in the dining hall. Our lounge cinema features selected classic movies (every night).

Day 4
Kampong Chhnang, Cambodia
The Jahan Cruise Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Every morning, our Tai Chi class on the sun deck will give you energy for the day ahead. Breakfast is served in the dining hall. The ship sails up towards the small Angkor Ban village on the Mekong River. The Angkor Ban village is famous for its unspoiled community and beautiful, traditional houses. It feels like being transported back a hundred years ago, into an era unaffected by modernity. Villagers are characterized by their unbridled warmth. Back on board a Monks’ blessing ceremony will deliver spirits and wishes for health and prosperity for all.

Enjoy your lunch as we set sail downstream the Mekong.

In the afternoon a High Tea is offered and our staff is keen to show you the variety of traditional Khmer fashion. 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, passing the confluence of the Mekong and Tonle Rivers, the boat anchors near Kampong Chhnang. Have a fresh drink before dinner and marvel at the amazing marshlands of this beautiful area.

Day 5
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
The Jahan Cruise Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Wake up early to witness this 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 now in Kampong Chhnang, Cambodia’s “water world”, where everything is on sticks balanced on water rich soil. We take a local boat to the shore. By mini buses we head to a rural village nearby and go on a walking tour. Our guides introduce you 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 the cruise continues with a languid meander along the Tonle River towards Kampong Tralach. 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 this river life - which is so different than ours - by a local ox cart ride. After some additional cruising time the boat arrives 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).

Day 6
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
The Jahan Cruise 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 the outside of the city and afterwards 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 by 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 a 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.

Day 7
Tan Chau, Vietnam
The Jahan Cruise Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After breakfast we gather at the lounge for a great lecture 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 afterwards.

Day 8
Sa Déc, Vietnam
The Jahan Cruise 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 laidback vibes of this place. We stop at the colourful, 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 a fish production that is sold all over the world. We get an exclusive insight in how fish farming 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 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 “vitamins 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.

Day 9
My Tho, Vietnam
The Jahan Cruise Breakfast, Lunch

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 make 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 story on this island. They are happy for any chit-chat with you.

Back on board lunch is served and you have some time to leisurely spend on board 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

CAMBODIA, CRUISE & VIETNAM SUMMER PACKAGE | 8

that lets buyers know what goods they are selling. Afterwards 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.

Day 10
Saigon, Vietnam
The Reverie Saigon Breakfast, Dinner

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 kilometres on the highway. You will arrive in Saigon by mid-morning. 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 that will linger on with the stories of this amazing river - the Mighty Mekong.

Formerly known as “Saigon” prior to 1975, today the city is Vietnam’s commercial centre. The city’s dynamic energy is apparent in the bustling street scenes with thousands of people on motorbikes constantly on the move. Although Saigon has rapidly developed into a modern city with skyscrapers and shopping centres, there are still remnants of its past visible in the historic landmarks and beautiful French colonial buildings dotted throughout the city.

Follow a lane dotted with colonial-era mansions until you reach a gate, behind which lies a truly enchanting villa. Home to Henry Cabot Lodge, the US Ambassador to South Vietnam in the 1960s, the villa is now a private residence and has been fully restored to its former glory, a beautiful mix of Vietnamese, French and American architecture. Perfectly suited to social gatherings for up to 40 persons, enjoy a welcome reception complete with traditional Vietnamese dance performances in the intimate courtyard. A fusion of traditional Vietnamese and western cuisine will be served in the magnificent dining room accompanied by live music, creating a uniquely memorable atmosphere.

Day 11
Saigon, Vietnam
The Reverie Saigon Breakfast

From Saigon, take a 2hr drive northwest to the famous Cu Chi Tunnels, an immense network of connecting underground tunnels started in 1948 to protect the Viet Cong guerrillas from the French air and ground sweeps. The tunnels also served as living quarters, communication and supply routes, and housed hospitals, food and weapons caches. Touring the underground compounds will provide a better understanding of the history of the tunnels, the hardship of life in the tunnels and the Vietnamese resilience during combat.

Return to Saigon.

With over eight million inhabitants and four million motorbikes, Saigon is truly a city that never sleeps. Despite its modernity, Saigon maintains a strong link to the past and our city tour takes in some of Saigon’s most historic landmarks including the Notre Dame Cathedral, a red brick edifice with twin spires constructed from materials imported from France (entrance is only permitted when no services are being performed). Then head across the square to the Central Post Office, completed in 1891. A short drive away is the former Presidential Palace, the headquarters of the Saigon Government during the American War.

Day 12
Saigon, Vietnam
None None

Free time to explore the city or enjoy shopping on your own before you take the departure flight home.

Tour Features

Experience(s)

  • Cruises & Water Tours
  • Culture, History & Arts
  • Family Vacations
  • Romance, Weddings & Honeymoons
  • Sightseeing

Description

Combining the old world tradition of the iconic Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor in Siem Reap, a cruise along the Mekong River aboard Heritage Line's The Jahan, and the luxury of Ho Chi Minh City at The Reverie. Discover the highlights of Cambodia and Vietnam on a 12-day journey with this summer package.

About Us

Trails of Indochina had its humble beginnings in 1999 as a boutique inbound tour operator. Headquartered in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), and now with more than 250 employees throughout the region, Trails of Indochina has grown to be a full-service Destination Management Company and tour operation across Indochina. At Trails of Indochina, our personal relationships can make anything possible. We invite you to experience our part of the world where you will uncover the hidden gems and see a different perspectives of Southeast Asia.

Insider Tip

Vietnam is a top destination for foodies with its cuisine differing greatly from north to south. We suggest a combination offood experiences including food tours, cooking classes and craft beer tours.

Terms & Conditions

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