A beautiful combination, the Mekong Explorer tour showcases the Mekong Delta in Vietnam with its delightful estuaries and countryside before heading up the Mekong River to Cambodia and the incredible Angkor temples.
On this Mekong Explorer tour, you depart Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) and travel through the fruit bowl of Vietnam to discover the Mekong River area in-depth staying in river-side 4 star hotels, including a boat trip to witness the floating market. From thee travel upstream by bat to Phnom Penh and on to experience Siem Reap and the glorious Angkor Temples.
7.30am – Make your own way to the Active Asia tour departure hotel to meet your guide for a briefing and welcome. Note: Please arrive into Ho Chi Minh City the night before this tour.
8.00am – This morning depart Ho Chi Minh City for the drive through the beautiful agricultural areas known as the fruit bowl of Vietnam – the Mekong Delta. On arrival in the Mekong, a boat trip takes you across the river to explore the myriad of estuaries and islands. Visit orchards and bonsai gardens and sample the wonderful array of fruit. After a light lunch continue by road to Can Tho to overnight.
After breakfast travel by boat to the biggest floating market in the Mekong at Cai Rang. An amazing spectacle awaits as you witness the daily ritual of the markets. Boats filled with fruits, vegetables and other products anchor along the banks of the river daily selling their wares. The merchandise sold in each boat is hung on a high pole in front of the boat as a sample to attract customers from a distance.
Continue by road further into the Mekong arriving in the early afternoon at the Victoria Chau Doc Hotel. Lunch will be served on arrival at the hotel.
This afternoon visit Sam Mountain. With influence from Chinese, Vietnamese and Khmer cultures, Sam Mountain is renowned for its traditional pagodas secluded in caves and is the site where devout local Buddhists make their annual pilgrimage.
During your tour, you will visit the main sites of Lady Chua Xu built in 1820, Tay An Co Tu built in 1847 and Thoai Ngoc Hau Mausoleum dated from 1930. These key locations will be the base of your introduction to Buddhism, Hinduism and worship to ancestors. Your guide will explain how these three religions were brought to Vietnam and how they impact the daily life of the Vietnamese.
Overnight at the 4 star colonial Chau Doc Hotel. Built in a colonial style right on the banks of the Bassac River. Relax in style enjoying the swimming pool, fitness centre or billiards – or hire a bicycle to explore the surrounding area.
Early this morning farewell your Vietnam guide as you board the Victoria speed boat for your journey up river to Phnom Penh. On board this unique means of transportation, explore one the most mysterious rivers of the world, the Great Mekong, and admire the natural beauty of its timeless scenery. From the comfort of your seat, watch life unfold in front of you: encounter tiny villages, bamboo-stilt houses, colourful floating markets, farmers at work and smiling children.
During border formalities, you’ll enjoy cool drinks offered by the on-board staff.
On arrival in Phnom Penh, you will be met by your local Cambodian guide and transferred to your hotel for check-in and time to freshen up. Phnom Penh was once known as the “Pearl of Asia”. It was considered one of the loveliest French-built cities in Indochina in the 1920’s. In 1975 Phnom Penh was evacuated by the destructive Khmer Rouge, and now is regaining its place on the map of upcoming cities.
In the afternoon, visit the Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda. From here we’ll stop for a visit to the Daughters’ Visitor Centre a beautiful space, home to Daughters of Cambodia. Daughters of Cambodia reaches out to victims of sex trafficking. Their centre provides women with good-paying jobs at Sugar ‘n Spice Café, Hands ‘n Feet Spa and the entry-level boutique. Here you are free to browse the boutique, grab something to eat at the café or enjoy a foot spa. For those who wish to stay on, you are welcome to make your own way back to your hotel and spend your evening enjoying the river-front restaurants and bars. Alternatively you can be transferred back to your hotel.
1 night at a 4 star chic and modern boutique hotel close to the downtown riverfront area.
Day 4: Phnom Penh – Siem Reap (B, D)
This morning visit the notorious Tuol Sleng Museum and Killing Fields located just outside of Phnom Penh. Note: Some images may be disturbing for some people. We then transfer to Phnom Penh Airport with time for lunch (own expense) before a short flight to Siem Reap. On arrival in Siem Reap you will be transferred to your hotel.
This evening, enjoy a special cultural experience with dinner and a traditional Apsara Show. It is a rice to riches story for owner Por whose name proudly names this restaurant. In 1983 Por had a vision of owning a fine restaurant. He started by opening a humble kiosk serving his traditional noodle creations to the people of Siem Reap. His simple dish became an essential part of the community food chain, a taste that made his family well known and celebrated. Now 30 years later, the dream has come to life with an exciting array of flavours.
2 nights in a 4 star hotel within walking distance to evening attractions.
Day 5: Siem Reap / Angkor Temples Excursion (B, L)
Today, enjoy a full day exploring the stunning Angkor Temples. Begin with Banteay Srey then the South Gate of Angkor Thom. The vast area of the Angkor Thom ruins, over a mile on one side, contains many stone temples and other features to explore. The city has five monumental gates (one in each wall plus an extra in the eastern wall), 20m high and decorated with stone elephant trunks and the king’s favourite motif, the four faces of Avalokiteshvara.
Continue to the ruins of Bayon, Baphoun, the Royal Enclosure Phimeanakas and the Elephant terraces. The Bayon Temple (circa 1190) is a Buddhist temple but retains elements of Hindu cosmology and imagery. Standing in the exact centre of the walled city, it represents the intersection of heaven and earth. It is known for its enigmatic smiling faces of Avalokiteshvara and its extraordinary bas-reliefs.
Then visit the jewel – Angkor Wat. Angkor Wat is the best preserved example of Khmer architecture in Cambodia and is so grand in design that some rank it among the seven wonders of the world. It appears on the Cambodian national flag, a very rare instance of a flag incorporating an image of a building.The “lost city” of Angkor first attracted the interest of Europeans in the 1800’s after Cambodia was colonised by the French.
The evening is yours at leisure, enjoy ‘Pub Street’ and the night markets if you wish.
Sadly today is the end of your tour. We include a transfer to Siem Reap Airport for your onward travel arrangements.
April to September 2018: $ 1,255 per person twin share | March, October to December 2018: $ 1,389 per person twin share – tour price includes a saving of $250.00 per person | Single Supplement available – please enquire
Tour Dates: 2018: 14, 25 April | 9,19,30 May | 9,23 June | 7,21 July | 4,18 August | 1, 15, 29 September 2018
17, 31 March | 13,27 October | 10, 24 November | 22 December 2018
Guaranteed Departure applies as soon as 2 people are booked on this tour.
NOTE: We regret we do not accept children under 15 years old on our Mekong & Cambodia Tour.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Due to the nature of this tour, a good level of physical mobility is required. Some boat excursions require you to be able to step into and out of boats from a variety of wharf’s/piers.
Price Includes: All accommodation in 4 star hotels including daily breakfast; sightseeing tours detailed with local English speaking guide in each area and all entrance fees; boat journey from Chau Doc to Phnom Penh and flight Phnom Penh to Siem Reap, additional meals indicated (L = Lunch, D = Dinner), emergency contact numbers in Vietnam & Cambodia.
Price Excludes: International flights; Vietnam & Cambodia entry Visa*; Travel insurance; departure taxes; personal items & gratuities.
* NOTE: A visa is required for both Vietnam and Cambodia. These must be arranged before you depart your home country, please contact your travel agent to arrange these.
T&C’s: Valid for new bookings only. Valid for travel on set tour departure dates between Mar-Dec 2018 and for sales to 30 Nov 17. Prices are per person in New Zealand dollars. International airfares are additional. A non-refundable NZD100 per person deposit is required at the time of reservation with full payment required no later than 30 Nov 2017. Advertised price includes the savings as stated above. Discount applies to the tour price only and not the additional single supplement rate. Prices are correct as at 12 Oct 17 but may vary due to currency fluctuations and are subject to change without notice due to unforeseen circumstances until paid in full. Guaranteed departure applies as soon as two people are booked on a tour date. Maximum group size: 14 people. Children under 15 years are not permitted on these tours, if you are travelling with young children please ask us to customise a special family holiday for you. Close-outs and surcharges may apply. Cancellation and amendment fees apply. Airfares, Vietnam and Cambodia visas, travel insurance, departure taxes, gratuities and any other personal expenses are at passenger’s own expense. For full terms and conditions please visit www.activeasia.co.nz.
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