Charms of the Mekong (Ho Chi Minh City to Kampong Cham)
10 days with AmaWaterways Rating:
DAY 1 ARRIVE IN HO CHI MINH CITY, VIETNAM
Ho Chi Minh City, still affectionately referred to by locals as Saigon, is Vietnam’s former capital. Once known as the “Paris of the Orient,” it is now an industrial, cultural and educational hub. to know Ho Chi Minh City, still affectionately referred to by locals as Saigon. It iis Vietnam’s former capital. Once known as the “Paris of the Orient,” it is now an industrial, cultural and educational hub.
DAY 2 HO CHI MINH CITY
Always bustling, Ho Chi Minh City is a city of contrasts blending old and new, and east and west. In the morning, explore some of the city’s most famous landmarks, including the former Presidential Palace, the Central Post Office, Notre Dame Cathedral and the War Remnants Museum. In the afternoon, visit Chu Chi, an immense underground network built during the Vietnam War. (B,L)
DAY 3 HO CHI MINH CITY (MY THO PORT) – EMBARKATION
In the morning, visit Ben Thanh Market—one of the oldest and most iconic structures in Ho Chi Minh City. Board the AmaDara at My Tho Port. Meet your fellow travelers at a Welcome Dinner as the ship cruises to Cai Be. (B,L,D)
DAY 4 CAI BE – SA DEC
Take a local boat to Cai Be. You will have an opportunity to visit candy and rice paper making workshops, as well as the historic Kiet Old House. Later in the day, journey to Sa Dec, a sprawling town on the Mekong Delta, where French writer Marguerite Duras spent part of her youth. You will visit the colorful market, Cao Dai Temple and the house of Mr. Huynh Thuy Le, Duras’ Chinese paramour, which her prize-winning novel, “The Lover,” is said to be based on. (B,L,D)
DAY 5 TAN CHAU – BORDER CROSSING
Enjoy a visit to Tan Chau, a small Mekong River town unspoiled by tourism. Be treated to an authentic experience on a traditional “xe-loi” (trishaw) ride around the town, with stops at silk-making and rattan mat workshops, followed by a boat ride through the narrow channels of the Mekong River to “Evergreen Island.” Alternatively, take a boat ride to Evergreen Island and return to Tan Chau, where you will visit a rattan mat workshop. Later in the day, cruise from Vietnam to the Cambodian border en route to Phnom Penh. (B,L,D)
DAY 6 PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA
This morning’s excursion takes you to Cambodia’s infamous Killing Fields and the Khmer Rouge’s grim Tuol Sleng S21 detention center (Genocide Museum). Alternatively, you may wish to shop for unique treasures at the bustling yellow-colored Central Market. After lunch on board, you will explore the highlights of the city, followed by a visit to the Royal Palace, the spectacular Silver Pagoda and the National Museum, which has an outstanding collection of Khmer crafts. After returning to the ship, enjoy Khmer folk dancing performed by local children in the Saigon Lounge. (B,L,D)
DAY 7 OUDONG – KAMPONG TRALACH – PHNOM PENH
Visit Oudong, Cambodia’s former royal capital from the early 17th century until 1866. Today, Oudong is a place of pilgrimage for Cambodians. While here, be treated to a memorable Buddhist Blessing Ceremony at a monastery. You may also take a walking tour of Oudong. In Kampong Tralach, you will have a truly authentic excursion – an oxcart ride through a local village. Later in the day, experience Phnom Penh via a tuk tuk ride and be enchanted by the city's French Colonial architecture and tree-lined boulevards set amidst monumental Angkorian architecture. (B,L,D)
DAY 8 OKNHATEY - ANGKOR BAN
In the morning, set sail for Oknhatey Village. Oknhatey is the “Silk Island,” located on the lush banks of the Mekong River and known for its rich tradition of silk weaving. While here, you will visit a local elementary school and observe the traditional silk weaving, an art that has been preserved for centuries. Your cruise continues to sail to Angkor Ban. (B,L,D)
DAY 9 ANGKOR BAN – KAMPONG CHAM
Go on a walking tour of Angkor Ban, one of the few villages in Cambodia that was not destroyed under the Khmer Rouge regime in the 1970s. Here people still live in their traditional wooden abodes and keep their old cultural traditions alive. Hundreds of wooden houses stand intact on stilts, shaded with banana trees, among the hustle and bustle of the daily agricultural on-going of the local villagers. After visiting here, the ship sets sail for Kampong Cham, where you will go on an afternoon excursion via motorcoach to the Twin Mountains, known as Phnom Pros and Phnom Srei (male and female mountains). In the annals of Khmer legend, the twin mountains were formed as the result of a competition between the men and women of an ancient Cambodian kingdom to resolve which gender would be responsible for wedding proposals. Cap the day off with a festive Farewell Dinner on board. (B,L,D)
*Based on seasonality, the port of Angkor Ban may be inaccessible from August - September. During this time, Wat Hanchey will replace Angkor Ban as the port of call.
DAY 10 KAMPONG CHAM– DISEMBARKATION
Your cruise concludes in Kampong Cham, where you disembark and Motorcoach transfer to Siem Reap. (B)
*Note: For those not staying in Siem Reap, we recommend that you schedule your onward flight to depart Siem Reap after 5:30pm to avoid potential missed connections.
All This Included
Two lively cities, Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, provide the perfect start and end to your incredible journey. Cruise along the Mekong, visiting rural villages, historic pagodas, local markets and a Buddhist monastery where you’ll witness a special blessing by monks. Indulge your inner adventurer in Siem Reap, exploring the grand temples of the UNESCO-designated Angkor Archeological Park, including Banteay Srei, Angkor Thom, the Terrace of the Elephants, the pyramid temple of Bayon, Ta Prohm—the vine-covered “jungle temple”—Angkor Wat and other key sites. Conclude your journey in Hanoi, Vietnam’s current capital, along with an overnight sojourn on board an elegantly appointed ship in the UNESCO-designated Ha Long Bay.
AN ARRAY OF AMENITIES
A WORLD OF EXPLORATION
Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon): Sofitel Saigon Plaza (or similar)
Cruising: Cabin onboard MS AmaDara
Terms and Conditions
For AmaWaterways terms and conditions, please click here.
* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.