Vietnam and Cambodia: Along the Mekong River

 

February 10-24, 2020

A 15-day journey from Siem Reap to Ho Chi Minh City

Vietnam and Cambodia: Along the Mekong River

Days 1 - 3 - Arrive CambodiaDepart the U.S. for Siem Reap, setting clocks ahead a day as we cross the international dateline and arrive the next morning. Settle into our stunning Khmer-style hotel, perched on the banks of the Siem Reap River.
La Residence d’Angkor
Days 4 - 5 - Angkor WatRise early to watch the sunrise over Angkor Wat, one of the world’s largest religious monuments. Explore the interiors of this 12th-century Khmer temple, adorned with elaborate bas-reliefs and sculptures. Then ride a tuk-tuk, or motorized rickshaw, to the walled city of Angkor Thom, and gaze at the immense stone faces carved into the Bayon Temple. Continue to Ta Prohm and lose yourself in temples shrouded by tree roots and limbs. Visit a workshop where local youth are trained in age-old Khmer arts. In the evening, enjoy traditional Cambodian music and dance at a beautifully lit private dinner at one of Angkor’s temples.
La Residence d’Angkor
Day 6 - Kampong Cham Drive to the bustling town of Kampong Cham and embark the Jahan, our home for the next seven nights.
Day 7 - Wat Hanchey or Koh Dach/Angkor Ban At Wat Hanchey, see a variety of temples, including an eighth-century structure from the pre-Angkor Chenla period. Or, we may visit the Mekong island of Koh Dach—home to a lively and active monastery as well as an extensive community of silk weavers—where we may watch artisans at work. Continue to the village of Angkor Ban and stop at its traditional houses to meet with friendly residents.
Day 8 - Kampong Chhang/Kampong TralachAnchor at Kampong Chhnang and visit a village known for traditional pottery. Glimpse a unique way of life in the floating villages of Tonle Sap, and in Kampong Tralach, ride oxcarts to a local school.
Day 9 - Phnom PenhExplore the Cambodian capital by cyclo, or bicycle taxi, and visit the Royal Palace and the National Museum of Cambodia. Learn about the reign of the Khmer Rouge on a visit to the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum. This evening, enjoy a dance performance.
Day 10 - Cruising The MekongTake in views of everyday life along the river, attend talks by our experts, and join our chefs to learn how to cook regional dishes. Cross the border into Vietnam.
Day 11 - Tan Chau or Chau Doc, VietnamMeander through the colorful markets of Tan Chau or Chau Doc, each a feast for the senses where piles of exotic fruits and vegetables are juxtaposed with live fish, simmering sauces, and sacs of noodles and rice. Visit nearby floating villages and a fish farm, where fish are fed through trap doors, then continue cruising the Mekong.
Day 12 - Sa Dec/Cai BeTake a local boat up a tributary to experience rural life in the Mekong Delta. See the floating market of Cai Be, step into a rice “factory” to watch rice-based candies being made, and cruise among floating markets and fish farms. In the evening, gather for a gala dinner aboard the Jahan.

Day 13 - My Tho/Ho Chi Minh CityDisembark in My Tho to visit the Vinh Trang Pagoda. Journey to Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) and embark on a tour of the city landmarks, including the Reunification Palace—headquarters for the South Vietnamese government during the Vietnam War. After lunch, check in to our hotel in center of the city. In the early evening, meet with a local expert on Vietnam’s modern history, then enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.
Days 14-15 - Ho Chi Minh CityIn the morning, take a tour of the Cu Chi tunnels, part of a huge network of underground passageways used by the Viet Cong during the war. Choose to visit the War Remnants Museum, offering an in-depth account of the conflict through the eyes of the Vietnamese. After a free afternoon, attend a lively performance of water puppetry—a distinctive Vietnamese folk art practiced for over 300 years. Later, gather for a private cocktail reception at the exquisitely restored home where Henry Cabot Lodge Jr. lived when he was U.S. ambassador to Vietnam during the war. Enjoy dinner on your own. Depart the following morning.