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Markets, monuments and riverside communities - this tour covers a lot of ground! See the best of the Mekong Delta while cruising pass riverside communities and markets of Vietnam. Then, explore the fast-changing cityscapes of Phnom Penh where its tragic history and recent rapid development beckons every curious traveller.
Spend three days exploring Vietnam’s Mekong Delta, an immersive look at the ways of life of its residents.
See a blend of ethnic groups, meet skilled craftsmen and travel by local transportation for an authentic Mekong Delta experience.
Take insightful tours of the Cambodian capital to learn its ancient history, tragic recent past and current rapid developments.
Through the Mekong, Ho Chi Minh to Phnom Penh - 6 Days / 5 Nights
Leave the busy streets of Ho Chi Minh City and drive and cruise deep into the Mekong Delta on this Cai Be day tour. Upon arrival in Cai Be, disembark the boat at Tan Phong Island and start a very interesting cycling tour on the backroads of small villages and be immersed in nature. Take the opportunity to visit local families making traditional products such as handicraft items made from water hyacinth, roofs made from palm leaves, hammocks made from coconut ropes and rice paper.
Enjoy lunch with specialties of the Mekong Delta in the ambience of an ancient house. After lunch,
walk through narrow lanes of a local market and enjoy the hustle and bustle of activities. Then get back on board and continue cruising the Mekong River. Witness everyday life of riverside communities and sample local fresh fruits along the way. Leave the boat for a while to visit local businesses such as family-run rice wine making and rice mill factory and interact with the host and learn about their daily lives.
In the late afternoon, following the river cruise, continue by vehicle to Can Tho.
Overnight in Can Tho City.
Wake up early for a breakfast cruise to the colourful Cai Rang Floating Market bustling with wholesalers on big boats. Here, during the early morning market hours, larger sized boats anchor and create lanes that smaller boats weave in and out of. The main items sold here are fruit and vegetables and every boat has a long upright pole at its bow from which samples of the goods for sale are hung. The waterway becomes a maze of hundreds of boats packed with mango, bananas, papaya, pineapple, and even floating pho vendors.
Following the visit to Cai Rang and Can Tho depart for the 3-hour drive to Chau Doc.
Spend the rest of the evening at leisure.
Overnight in Chau Doc.
After breakfast visit Chau Doc’s local market which overlooks the confluence of three rivers, and later take a boat to Chau Giang District where a tiny mosque serves the local Cham community. The Cham minority who dominated coastal Vietnam from the 2nd to the 9th centuries were originally Hindu, but became Muslim as a result of contact with Arab seafarers and merchants in the Middle Ages. In Southeast Asia Islam was disseminated primarily by merchants who, following the monsoon winds, lived in various coastal towns for months at a time. The Chams also practice silk weaving and there is an opportunity to see them at work. The architecture here is rather distinctive.
Visit a beautiful Khmer temple, and later visit the floating houses that double as catfish farms, now a huge industry for the country.
Late this afternoon visit Sam Mountain, an important pilgrimage site that is frequently visited by pilgrims from all over the Mekong Delta. There are dozens of pagodas and temples around Sam Mountain and reaching the peak is the highlight of the visit. The views from the top are spectacular (weather permitting) and one can easily see Cambodia.
Overnight in Chau Doc.
Upon arrival in Phnom Penh around 12:00, be welcomed by a local English-speaking guide and be accompanied to the hotel for check-in.
Phnom Penh was once considered one of the most beautiful cities in the Orient, and despite its turbulent history and more recent (and rapid) development, it still retains a colonial charm. Cambodia’s capital, majestically located at the confluence of the mighty rivers of the Mekong and Tonlé Sap, is at once bustling and laid back. Wide tree-lined boulevards and many colonial-era buildings reflect the glorious days of old and add to the allure of the city, where Asian and Western traditions meet in a fascinating way.
After a relaxing break, be greeted by a driver and be taken on a tour to the most remarkable sights of Phnom Penh in a Cyclo, an original Phnom Penh means of transportation and a fun way to explore this lively city.
First, head to Wat Phnom, a small hilltop temple that marks the founding place of the city. Then continue along the riverfront to the Royal Palace. This palace dates back to 1866 and houses the Silver Pagoda, named for the over 5000 heavy silver tiles that cover its floors. Its original name is Wat Prakeo, meaning Temple of the Emerald Buddha. In this temple view a collection of Buddhas in gold, silver, crystal, and bronze.
The next stop is the National Museum, which was built in traditional Khmer style. It houses the world's foremost collection of ancient Khmer artistic, archaeological, and religious artifacts from prehistory to the 17th century. Over 5,000 pieces are on display, constituting the repository of the Kingdom's cultural wealth. In addition, the roof space is home to a large bat colony!
Late afternoon, enjoy an atmospheric sunset river cruise with a coconut juice degustation on board while watching how Phnom Penh’s popular riverfront comes to life in the early evening.
Phnom Penh has an excellent selection of restaurants for all tastes. Tonight, enjoy dinner at the renowned Foreign Correspondents’ Club located on the Riverside. The building is a colonial gem with great views of the confluence of the Upper Mekong, Lower Mekong, Bassac and Tonle Sap rivers. Dinner is à la carte with a good selection of both Western and Asian dishes.
Overnight in Phnom Penh.
This morning, gain insight into Cambodia’s recent dark history on a visit to the remarkable Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, housed in the former school that was taken over by the Khmer Rouge and used as its main detention and torture centre named S-21. Spend the rest of the morning browsing through the colourful markets of Phnom Penh, including the Russian Market, the best place in the city for wood and stone carvings, jewellery, clothes and Cambodian silk souvenirs.
Spend the rest of the afternoon at leisure.
Overnight in Phnom Penh.
Enjoy the day at leisure before being transferred to the airport for the onward departing flight.
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