Trip reference number: 103674

Trip Operator: Wexas Travel

Vietnam & Cambodia Highlights By River

From: £5245.00

Holiday overview

Sailing between Ho Chi Minh City’s colonial charm and the world-wonder temples of Angkor, this luxury river cruise showcases the very best of southern Vietnam and Cambodia. You’ll ply the mighty Mekong River, weaving along its verdant delta to pause everywhere from Phnom Penh’s golden palaces to riverside villages and off-the-beaten-track monasteries. Each pause is brought to life by a choice of included, expert-led touring. Think local cooking classes, tuk tuk tours and ox-cart rides. The all-inclusive indulgences continue on board, with open bars and gourmet full-board dining. Then, either side, you’ll enjoy stays in luxury French-colonial hotels.

Holiday itinerary

Day 1: Depart UK

After enjoying a complimentary private transfer and airport lounge access, board your overnight flight.

Day 2: Arrive in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

Flying into Vietnam's largest city, you'll be met on arrival and transferred to your hotel. Housed in a grand French-colonial building, it's an attraction in its own right, complete with spa treatments, elegant rooms and a pair of superb restaurants. It’s lucky, then, that you’ll be dining here tonight – the chance to meet your fellow guests over a welcome dinner.

Day 3: Ho Chi Minh City: Long Tan or Cu Chi Tunnels

You’ll be treated to your first choice of included excursions today. Perhaps you’d like to attend a service at Long Tan Cross – a memorial to Australian troops set among a rubber plantation. Alternatively, you’ll be brought out to the Cu Chi Tunnels. This vast subterranean network was once used by the Viet Cong, serving as hiding spots, supply depots and even hospitals. At day’s end, you’ll be treated to dinner at Vietnam House; it’s one of the city’s best-reviewed restaurants.

Day 4: Ho Chi Minh City: freedom of choice touring and embark cruise

This morning you’ll have some time to explore the city proper, taking in its bustling markets and beautiful colonial architecture on a walking tour. The Independence Palace is a particular highlight; it’s a palm-fringed 1960s vestige with a unique war-time history. There’s also the option of visiting artisan workshops to learn about Vietnamese lacquer art, or taking a Vietnamese cooking class. Whichever you choose, you’ll then be brought to your luxury river ship, settling in to your stylish suite to watch the river scenery from your private balcony. It’s then time for the first of your all-inclusive on-board dining, with a multi-course dinner, perhaps capped with a drink in the open bar.

Stay: Mekong Serenity

Day 5: Cai Be and Sa Dec

You’ll enjoy the first of your breakfasts today as you wind on to Cai Be. Here, a traditional boat will bring you ashore for a visit to a local rice-paper manufacturer before you cruise on to Sa Dec. It’s the chance to visit the beautifully carved house of Marguerite Duras’s amor – Huynh Thuy Le. Its centuries-old façade is just as romantic as the author’s seminal work, The Lover. After, you’ll visit a traditional Cao Dai temple.

Stay: Mekong Serenity

Day 6: Tan Chau, Evergreen Island and border crossing

Boarding a small boat this morning, you’ll be brought to shore with Cai Be, where you’ll enjoy a typically Vietnamese experience. Hopping onto a rickshaw, you’ll tour this archetypal Mekong-Delta town on three wheels, taking in bustling markets and cottage industries. Then, after pausing at some of the many lush-green islands that dot the Mekong, you’ll cruise into Cambodia. It’s the chance to relax on the sun-deck pool as rural river life plays out.

Stay: Mekong Serenity

Day 7: Phnom Penh

Arriving into the Cambodia capital, you’ll once more have a choice of included excursions. Perhaps you want to take in the dazzling Royal Palace, whose burnished tiers sweep skywards, looking down on the Silver Pagoda. Otherwise, there’s the country’s tragic past, showcased in the Killing Fields and Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum – a high school turned deathcamp. As always, each visit is brought to life by your expert guide. There’s also the option of exploring with a tuk tuk rickshaw tour, bringing you among such city sights as the Independence Monument and the garden-ringed Wat Phnom temple.

Stay: Mekong Serenity

Day 8: Oudong and Koh Chen

Disembark in Phnom Penh and discover Oudong, an important place of pilgrimage in Cambodia where you’ll be treated to a special Signature Experience. Return to your ship via the village Koh Chen, where you will perhaps visit some home workshops that manufacture copperware. Later, your ship glides along the lush banks of the Mekong to Oknha Tey, a small island renowned for its skilful silk weaving traditions. Enjoy dinner onboard tonight.

Stay: Mekong Serenity

Day 9: Angkor Ban

Join a walking discovery of Angkor Ban, one of the few villages in Cambodia that was not destroyed under the Khmer Rouge regime in the 1970s. Experience rustic agricultural life as you wander past the wooden stilted houses in this quiet, rural place

Stay: Mekong Serenity

Day 10: Kampong Chhnang

Those who wish to climb Wat Hanchey this morning will be rewarded with stunning hilltop panoramas and some of the best views of the Mekong River. Following lunch on board, take a tuk tuk to explore the island of Koh Pen with its wooden stilt houses and local farming culture. It’s all capped off with a special farewell dinner.

Stay: Mekong Serenity

Day 11: Siem Reap and the Temples of Angkor

Disembarking today...

This trip has no fixed departures but restrictions may apply - check operator website

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