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Saigon to Siem Reap Along Mekong River 12 days

Duration: 12 days 11nights

Tour Type: Private Tour

Destinations: Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Cu Chi, Ben Tre, Can Tho, Soc Trang, Long Xuyen, Chau Doc, Phnom Penh, Kompong Cham, Kompong Thom, Siem Reap

Take part in the Cross Border Tour, you will have chance to enjoy a noticeable place in Southeast Asia which consists of Vietnam and Cambodia with many stunning landscapes of beauty and historical relics. First, let have a quick glimpse of bustling Ho Chi Minh City before visiting Mekong delta - the southernmost region of Vietnam. You get a boat trip through beautiful Mekong River to witness the peaceful daily life of local people; the tour continues to bring you to Can Tho, the city bearing a simple, poetic beauty. Then, you will be greeted by diversified products of floating markets that are extremely colorful and worth visiting. Together with Islamic culture and farming activities of Cham minority in Chau Doc, the friendliness of local people will leave you a purely cultural experience. Continue your tour to Phnom Penh and Siem Reap with its unique temple, Angkor Wat.

Highlights

  • Tour the charming city as Ho Chi Minh, Phnom Penh & Siem Reap
  • Explore the incredible Cu Chi Tunnels
  • Visit colorful floating markets on the banks of the Mekong
  • Visit the authentic local villages in Vietnam and Cambodia
  • Dine the best Vietnamese, Khmer and international cuisine
  • Explore UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Angkor Wat Temples
  • Enjoy traditional Apsara dancing and other folkloric performances

 

Itinerary in brief:

Day 1:

HCMC Arrival

(D)

Day 2:

HCMC – Cu Chi Tunnels - HCMC

(B, L)

Day 3:

HCMC – Ben Tre - Can Tho

(B, L)

Day 4:

Can Tho – Soc Trang – Can Tho

(B, L)

Day 5:

Can Tho – Long Xuyen – Chau Doc

(B, L)

Day 6:

Chau Doc – Phnom Penh

(B, L)

Day 7:

Phnom Penh

(B, L)

Day 8:

Phnom Penh – Kompong Cham – Kompong Thom

(B, L, D)

Day 9:

Kompong Thom – Siem Reap

(B, L)

Day 10:

Siem Reap

(B, L)

Day 11:

Siem Reap

(B, L, D)

Day 12:

Siem Reap Departure

(B)

Select your departure
 

Data not found in this time.

Welcomed at Tan Son Nhat International airport Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) by our guide and transferred to your hotel. Relax after a long journey before you have a Welcome Dinner at a local restaurant – the perfect start to your Vietnam & Cambodia journey. Overnight stayed in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC).

Meals: Dinner

Accommodation: In Saigon

 

This morning take a step back in time and revisit the military history of the area. Visit the Cu Chi Tunnels, built by Vietnamese resistance fighters during the Vietnam War. Part of a larger network, the tunnels were used by Viet Cong guerrillas as hiding spots during combat. They also served as communication and supply routes, hospitals, weapon caches and living quarters for numerous guerrilla fighters. Then, drive back to HCMC for lunch at a local restaurant.

Your afternoon city tour begins at the century-old Reunification Palace, which witnessed the growth of Ho Chi Minh City during peacetime and throughout the Vietnam War until its end in 1975. Continue to the nearby French colonial area, including a stop at the impressive Saigon Notre-Dame Basilica, a famous cathedral located in Paris Square. Discover the magnificent neo-Romanesque architecture as you take in the tranquil atmosphere inside. At the opposite Central Post Office, one of the oldest buildings in Ho Chi Minh City, learn about this significant landmark — the busiest post office in Vietnam. Admire the neoclassical-style of the post office interior as your guide points out the painted maps of former Saigon, once the capital of South Vietnam. Take a look at the embroidery workshop of XQ Vietnam Company before a visit to Ben Thanh Market, a lively market in District 1, where your guide can help you barter for goods. You’ll be dropped off at your hotel by private vehicle. Overnight stayed in HCMC.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation: In Saigon

At 08:00, we depart from your hotel and make our way through HCMC traffic. Upon arrival in Ben Tre, we board a boat straight away for a nice cruise along the Ham Luong River. We go at easy pace and enjoy several stops en route to discover some traditional know-how of the region. They have been passed from generations to generations for centuries and practices were kept intact. To end a busy morning and prepare for a slightly late lunch, we hop on bikes and start a leisure ride through forest and orchards. We reach a nice riverside restaurant and get ready to finally taste some typical cuisine of the Mekong delta. 

The afternoon is dedicated to waterways exploration. On a sampan along narrow canals first, and then back on the boat to cruise back to the pier. We have loop-the-loop in Ben Tre and then get back on the car to drive to Can Tho. Spend the evening at your leisure seeing the town by foot or pedicab, or find a quiet place for a cocktail by the river. Overnight stayed in Can Tho.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation: In Can Tho

Early in the morning, take a boat to explore the picturesque tributaries of the Hau River. Visit the Cai Rang floating market which is the most original and bustling places of region. You also have the opportunity to watch local villagers producing rice paper, pop-rice, and rice husking. Proceed to Soc Trang by land. Lunch served at local restaurant en route.

Continue to visit to Dat Set, Kh’leng and Doi Pagoda. Continue the trip to Bac Lieu, visit to the house of mandarin’s son Bac Lieu. Then, drive back to Can Tho overnight accommodation.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation: In Can Tho

After breakfast at hotel, you will depart Can Tho for Chau Doc with an en route visit by boat to the Bang Lang stork sanctuary in Thot Not, which offers also the view of the local people’s vivid life on the water. Checks in hotel for relax.

In the afternoon, visit Sam Mountain, Lady Xu Temple, Thoai Ngoc Hau Temple, floating fish farm and boat trip to Champa Village. Overnight stayed in Chau Doc.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation: In Chau Doc

In the early morning, you are driven to the pier where you embark on a speed boat - traveling time including customs and immigration formalities at border check points takes about 4 hours. Upon arrival, transfer to the hotel for lunch.

You have Phnom Penh city tour. First, visit the National Museum, also called Musee des Beaux-Arts. A French archaeologist and painter, Georges Groslier, designed it in Khmer style in 1917. The museum contains a collection of Khmer art - notably sculptures - throughout the ages. Then, proceed to the Central Market, a landmark of the city. End your afternoon with the visit of the Wat Phnom Temple, Phnom Penh’s namesake. Overnight stayed in Phnom Penh.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation: In Phnom Penh 

 

After breakfast, visit the Royal Palace, built by King Norodom in 1866 on the site of the old town, and the Silver Pagoda. Located within the Ground of Royal Palace, the Silver Pagoda is so named because of its floor, which is made up of 5000 silver tiles. The treasures found inside include a solid gold Buddha encrusted and weighing 90kilos and a small 17th century emerald and baccarat crystal Buddha. A 1hour cyclo tour will show you the finest colonial-style architecture of the town. End the cyclo tour at the hotel. Lunch served at a local restaurant.


Visit the notorious Tuol Sleng Museum (S 21 prison). This former school was used as a prison by Pol Pot’s security forces. It became the largest center for detention and torture during the rule of the Khmer Rouge. Time at leisure at the Russian Market (Psah Tuol Tom Poung), a lively outdoor market where you will find antiquities, silver and gold jewelry, gems, silk, kramas, stone and wood carvings, as well as T-Shirts, CD's and other souvenirs. End your day with a stroll along the Tonle Sap River. Overnight stayed in Phnom Penh.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation: In Phnom Penh

 

In the morning, depart Phnom Penh by car for Kompong Cham. En-route, visit Wat Nokor with its ancient temple and modern style pagoda (12thC). Take a dhort tour of Kompong Cham to view examples of colonial architecture. Lunch served at local restaurant.


Continue to Kompong Thom. En route, visit Wat Kohear Nokor (11thC). You will also visit the nearby village and its pagoda where you can observe the daily life of the monks. Continue to Phum Prasat with its single ancient temple and the nearby modern pagoda. Arrive in Kompong Thom and check-in at a hotel. Dinner served at local restaurant and overnight stayed at the Hotel.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: In Kampong Thom  

After breakfast at hotel, depart Kompong Thom for Sambor Prei Kuk. Enjoy traditional daily life scenes of rural Cambodia. Visit the ancient capital of Chenla with its 100 temples dating from the pre-Angkorian period. Return to Kompong Thom for lunch at local restaurant.

Continue to Siem Reap. En route, visit traditional villages and stop at the ancient Naga Bridge (Spean Pratpo), located 40 Km from Siem Reap. Arrive in Siem Reap and transfer to the hotel. Have the first visit of Angkor complex (if time permits, and only after 17:00 hrs). Overnight stayed in Siem Reap.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation: In Siem Reap 

This morning, we use Tuk Tuk’s (motorbike-pulled rickshaws) for transportation. First, visit Prasat Kravan with its unique brick sculptures and Ta Prohm. One of the area’s most beautiful temples, Ta Prohm has been relatively untouched since it was discovered and retains much of its mystery. Its appeal lies in the fact that, unlike the other monuments of Angkor, it was abandoned and swallowed by the jungle, looking very much the ways most of the Angkor temples appeared when European explorers first stumbled upon them. Visit as well Takeo, Chau Say Tevoda and Thommanon. Next, visit to Preah Khan temple. Built by the King Jayavarman VII, Preah Khan is, like Ta Prohm, a place of towered enclosures and shoulders-hanging corridors. Unlike Ta Prohm, however, Preah Khan is in a reasonable state of preservation and ongoing restoration efforts should maintain and even improve this situation. Continue your visits to Neak Pean, a fountain built in the middle of a pool and representing the paradisiacal Himalayan mountain-lake and visit the temple of Ta Som as well as Srah Srang (“The Royal Baths”), undoubtedly used in the past for ritual bathing. Overnight stayed in Siem Reap.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation: In Siem Reap 

Transfer to the archaeological site for the sunrise from the Phnom Bakheng, one of two hills dominating the plain of Angkor, from where you will have a spectacular view of the Western Baray and Angkor Wat. Return to the hotel for breakfast. Then, visit the most famous of all the temples on the plain of Angkor: Angkor Wat. The temple complex covers 81 hectares and is comparable in size to the Imperial Palace in Beijing. Its distinctive five towers are emblazoned on the Cambodian flag and the 12th century masterpiece is considered by art historians to be the prime example of classical Khmer art and architecture. Angkor Wat’s five towers symbolize Meru’s five peaks - the enclosed wall represents the mountains at the edge of the world and the surrounding moat, the ocean beyond. Visit the ancient capital of Angkor Thom (12th century). See the South Gate with its huge statues depicting the churning of the ocean of milk, the Royal Enclosure, Phimeanakas, the Elephants Terrace, the Terrace of the Leper King and Bayon Temple (unique for its 54 towers decorated with over 200 smiling faces of Avolokitesvara), until sunset. Dinner served with Apsara dance show at a nice atmosphere restaurant. Overnight stayed in Siem Reap.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: In Siem Reap 

Breakfast at the hotel and visit Banteay Srei temple (10th century), regarded as the jewel in the crown of Classical Khmer Art.  Continue to visit Banteay Samre, one of the most complete complexes at Angkor due to restoration using the method of “anastylosis”. The name Samre refers to an ethnic group of mountain people, who inhabited the region at the base of Phnom Kulen and were probably related to the Khmers. No inscriptions have been found for this temple, but the style of most of the architecture is of the classic art of the middle period similar to Angkor Wat. The proportions of Banteay Samre are splendid. A unique feature is an interior moat with laterite paving, which when filled with water must have given an ethereal atmosphere to the temple. Visit to “Les Artisans d’Angkor - Chantiers Ecoles” of Siem Reap or the Silk Farm of Puok.

Transfer to Siem Reap airport for departure flight to the next destination. End of the trip.

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Not available. Standard check out time is at 12.00 (noon time) 

Tour price includes

  • Transfers and tours with local English or French speaking guides.
  • Entrance fees, boat fees.
  • Speet boat Chau Doc - Phnom Penh.
  • Meals as specified in the program (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner),
  • Accommodation in double/twin shared rooms with private bathroom,
  • Service charges, room tax and baggage handling

 

Tour price excludes

  • International airfare;
  • Airport taxes,
  • Visa
  • Meals not indicated,
  • Personal expenses
  • Peak season surcharge and Christmas and New Year's Eve Dinners.

Remarks

  • We reserve the right to deviate from this itinerary for any reasons, including road and weather conditions, frequency of visits to  village, or for any other factor which may influence client safety.

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