Linked by the mighty Mekong River, Vietnam and Cambodia abound with magnificent carved temples, lush landscapes, and cities where rich imperial and colonial legacies mingle. Encounter the incomparable treasures of Angkor, and then set off on a river voyage to Vietnam's Mekong Delta aboard the elegant Jahan. Explore traditional villages and gain insight into the daily lives of farmers, monks, and craftspeople.
Depart for Siem Reap and arrive the following evening.
Settle into our stunning Khmer-style hotel,
perched on the banks of the Siem Reap River.
La Residence d’Angkor
Awaken early to watch the sunrise reveal the magic of Angkor Wat, a 12th-century Khmer temple adorned with elaborate bas-reliefs and sculptures. Explore Ta Prohm, whose shrines remain tangled in the roots and branches of kapok and fig trees, and see the exceptional carvings of the temple of Banteay Srei. Pay a visit to Les Artisans d’Angkor, a school where local youth are trained in age-old Khmer arts. Ride a tuk-tuk, or motorized rickshaw, to the walled city of Angkor Thom. Wander among dozens of colossal stone faces at the Bayon Temple, and visit the Terrace of the Elephants.
La Residence d'Angkor (B,L,D; B,D)
Drive through the countryside to the Mekong River, stopping along the way for a picnic lunch. In the riverside town of Kampong Cham, embark the stunning Jahan, our home for the next seven nights. Set sail along the Mekong into a landscape of rice fields and picturesque fishing boats. Catch the sunset on deck before a welcome dinner.
R.V. Jahan (B,L,D)
At Wat Hanchey, set on a hilltop overlooking the Mekong, see a variety of temples including an eighth-century temple from the pre-Angkor Chenla period. Meander past interesting traditional homes in Angkor Ban and meet the friendly local residents.
Anchor at Kampong Chhnang and drive to a village where artisans make traditional pottery for local use. Then glide along the Tonle Sap in local boats and glimpse a unique way of life in the clustered houses and shops that float in midstream. In the town of Kampong Tralach, ride local oxcarts through the rice paddies to see an age-old Buddhist temple.
Enjoy a full day to explore the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh. Ride a cyclo (bicycle taxi) to the Royal Palace and its opulent Silver Pagoda. Browse the world’s finest collection of Khmer sculpture at the National Museum of Cambodia, and venture into a local market. This afternoon,
learn about the reign of the Khmer Rouge on
visits to the Choeung Ek “killing fields” and the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum. Back aboard ship, enjoy a traditional Cambodian apsara dance performance.
Spend a relaxing day on the Mekong. Take in
views of everyday life along the river, attend talks by our experts, and join our chefs to learn how to cook regional dishes. This afternoon, cross the border into Vietnam.
Meander past colorful produce in the markets of
Chau Doc. Next, stop in an island village to watch
traditional fish farming methods. Continue to small floating market on the river and a floating fish farm.
Take 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. Tonight, enjoy a gala farewell dinner
aboard the Jahan.
Disembark in My Tho and visit the splendid Vinh Trang Pagoda. Then journey to Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) and enjoy a panoramic view of the city before checking into our hotel. Late this afternoon, meet with a local expert on Vietnam’s modern history. Gather for dinner tonight in one of Saigon’s elegant restaurants.
Park Hyatt Saigon (B,L,D)
Set out on a tour of Saigon’s historic landmarks, including colonial gems such as the Opera House, the former city hall, and Notre Dame
Basilica. Stop by the Central Post Office, designed
by Gustave Eiffel; and visit the Reunification
Palace, headquarters of the South Vietnamese
government during the Vietnam War. If you wish,
continue to the War Remnants Museum. Enjoy
a free afternoon to explore the city.
In the evening, transfer to the airport for your
return flight, arriving home the next morning.
Accompanying each expedition is a diverse team of experts — from naturalists to regional specialists — who will share their knowledge and insights on the wildlife, landscapes, and local culture. See one of the members of our extraordinary team below.
Paula Swart is an expert on Asian culture and history, and has been a museum curator for more than 20 years. Her travels have taken her to Vietnam and Cambodia numerous times, including a rail journey that she led from Beijing to Hanoi in 1994. Paula holds degrees in archaeology, Asian art history, and Chinese history. She speaks five languages, including Mandarin, and has published several books and numerous articles on the art and architecture of Asian cultures. Paula has enjoyed introducing visitors to Asian culture and history for more than 25 years.
Paula will join the following departure:
Jan 06 - 19, 2015
This trip is offered in association with Lindblad Expeditions.
REV Indicates trip operates in reverse.
Venture further into Vietnam on an 8-day extension. Discover Hoi An’s Old Town, explore the Forbidden Purple City in Hue, encounter traditional water puppets in Hanoi, and sail amid the limestone pinnacles of Halong Bay. Please call for details.
Prices are per person, double occupancy. For a single cabin in Category 1, add $4,480 in 2014 and $4,920 in 2015.
International airfare to Saigon and return from Siem Reap is not included in the expedition cost.