Southern Vietnam, Cambodia Tour & Cruise with Pandaw

Ho Chi Minh - My Tho - Sa Dec - Chau Doc - Phnom Penh - Siem Reap

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TOUR DETAILS

Different from other tours in our collection of Indochina luxury travel, this trip is designed to combine the luxury Mekong river cruises with tour to discover Southern Vietnam which is perfect to learn about the authentic culture of locals. Go with us and experience!

Day 01 HO CHI MINH ARRIVAL

Welcome to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), you will meet our guide at Ho Chi Minh Airport and get transferred to the hotel to check in. From 14:00 PM, you can freely use the room. Spend the time at your pleasure. Meals by yourself, stay the night at the hotel.

  • Meals: N/A
  • Accommodation: Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City
Day 02 HO CHI MINH SIGHTSEEING (B/L)

In the morning, we explore the city, starting with a trip to Notre Dame Cathedral and the General Post Office, then continuing along Dong Khoi Street. We also pass by the Peoples’ Committee building, and the Opera House served as the Lower House Assembly’s home. Moving on, we come to the Reunification Palace (or Independent Palace) – a charming and historic building.

Afterwards, we take a tour around China Town and Thien Hau Pagoda.

Lunch will be served at a local restaurant, then we return to your hotel. Spend the time at your pleasure. Dinner by yourself, stay the night at the hotel.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
  • Accommodation: Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City
Day 03 HO CHI MINH - MY THO - CHECK IN PANDAW CRUISE (B/L/D)

In the morning, we leave from your hotel to your Pandaw ship for embarkation. We’ll have welcoming drinks, briefing and have lunch. Then set sail on the great Mekong Delta.

You will have your passports collected by your guide at the gathering site so we can manage the immigration formalities.

Lunch and dinner are served onboard, stay the night on the ship.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Accommodation: RV Pandaw Cruise
Day 04 CRUISE TO SADEC (B/L/D)

We will travel to Sa Dec via sampan boat, along canals and backwaters. We will be able to observe the local market and the old house of Mr. Huynh Thuy Le – “lover” of Marguerite Duras, a famed French writter with her immortalized book in the film L’Indochine.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served onboard, stay the night on the ship.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Accommodation: RV Pandaw Cruise
Day 05 CRUISE TO CHAU DOC (B/L/D)

We can choose to take a trip at a village of Moslem Cham and a cat-fish farm in Chau Doc , accompanied by our guide, or explore the area by yourself with our mountain bikes. The highlights of this area are the local market and the Catholic Church. Afterwards, we back to the ship and have lunch, then cruise to the Cambodian border for the common formalities.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served onboard, stay the night on the ship.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Accommodation: RV Pandaw Cruise
Day 06 CRUISE TO PHNOM PENH - CHECK OUT PANDAW CRUISE (B/L)

After having breakfast, we leave the ship for our trip in the capital of Cambodia - Phnom Penh. You will meet our guide at the harbour and get transferred to your hotel in Phnom Penh. From 2:00 PM, you can freely use the room. We’ll have lunch at a local restaurant. 

In the afternoon, we start our tour around Phnom Penh, a capital resides at the junction of the Mekong’s four arms. We’ll get to the Royal Palace, built by King Norodom in 1866, which includes various structures in one complex. These preserve many significant Khmer arts. We’ll also see the Silver Pagoda and its signature 90-kilogram golden Buddha embedded with 9584 diamonds, and the emeralds and Baccarat crystal-gemmed Buddha dated back to 17th century. 

Dinner at your pleasure, stay the night at the hotel.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
  • Accommodation: Hotel in Phnom Penh

* Notes:

- Local guides will lead you in the trips to the Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda as our guides does not have that privilege.
- Occasionally The Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda have official ceremonies, so they could be closed untold. In that case, alternative tour will be provided.

Day 07 PHNOM PENH - SIEM REAP (B)

After breakfast at hotel, we take a 3.5-hour drive to Kompong Thom. During the drive, we will stop by Skuon (also known as "Spiderville" in local language) famed for its fried spiders. Lunch will be served at a local restaurant in Kompong Thom. Next, we continue journey with 3.5-hour drive to Siem Reap. In the afternoon, we’ll reach Siem Reap. Dinner at your pleasure, stay the night at the hotel.

  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Accommodation: Hotel in Siem Reap
Day 08 SIEM REAP SIGHTSEEING (B)

In the morning, we will take a tour at Angkor Thom (or “Great City”), built by King Jayavarman VII in the late 12th century. The site was the last and also the most-surviving capital of Khmer Empire. Within the area of 9 sq.km, there are many temples built during the reign of Jayavarman and his descendants.

Residing in the Angkor Thom center are the National Temple of Jayavarman, the Bayon Temple along with many others around the Victory Plaza. Here, we’ll get to see many ancient sculptures.

The next destination is the ancient temple of Ta Prohm, built in 1186 for King Jayavarman VII’s mother. The temple was once the shelter for more than 12,500 people, 18 priests, and 80,000 Khmer people. After the fall of Khmer Empire, the temple was abandoned and filled with tropical jungles.

After your own lunch in a local restaurant, continue our journey to Angkor Archaeological Site, including its largest and most exquisite temple - Angkor Wat Temple. The temple built by King Suryavarman II in 12th century to honor Vishnu, nowadays, it is the spirit and the symbol of Cambodia and included on the country’s flag. Angkor Wat was also recognized as one of the World heritages and needs to be preserved.

The temple represents the Hindu gods’ legend and the immortality. We can see the disproportion between squares, stairs, towers and only imagine what used to be the golden age of Khmer Empire. Even now, Angkor Wat is an essential site for Buddhist works and also where many Buddha statues reside, though it was once abandoned in 15th century.

After the visit, we back to the hotel. Dinner at your pleasure, stay the night at the hotel.

  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Accommodation: Hotel in Siem Reap
Day 09 SIEM REAP COUNTRYSIDE TOUR (B/L)

You will get transferred from your hotel to Meanchey Commune through the countryside via tuk-tuk. During the drive, we also stop by Bakong Temple, built in 802AD, which is among the oldest temple cities near Siem Reap. We’ll learn about the place’s history and take chance for photographing, then move on to the huge rural pagoda of Wat Roka. The place has three different buildings and generational stupas. On our way, we also come to several local workshops (pottery, weavers, and blacksmiths) where we can observe the traditional craftsmanship, and a local market.

While at Wat Roka, your guide will tell you more about Buddhism in the region and the functions of various buildings within the Pagoda area. Afterwards, we take on a pleasant ox-cart ride to the nearby village and countryside. While riding, you can enjoy and take chance to capture the sceneries of the countryside, traditional buildings, and local lifestyle. After the ride, we will take a stroll through the farming fields of rural Cambodia.

What we’ll see are the ingredients for our lunch today. Here, we’ll be able to witness the farmland and local farming techniques which is unchanged. Those who’re interested can join in the farming process themselves. During the time, your guide will answer every question you ask, regarding the farming and the fresh products of this region.

We’ll stop at a small farm which grows various fresh products. Here we’ll get to understand more about the countryside life in Cambodia, and it is also where we have lunch. Our lunch includes traditional delicacies made by local family (dietary requests are X), including coconut refreshments. We also have a short break as you can walk around, relax and enjoy the local atmosphere.

We also get to visit the JB Foundation in Cheasmorn Village. Here we’ll see how the profits from the tours used to improve the local life. There is also the JB Foundation Charity School where we can visit and join in the class if you want. The guide and local teacher will help you with language differences.

Afterwards, we continue our journey with a pleasant bicycle ride through the Meanchey Commune. We’ll get to see the genuine life of Cambodian countryside. We can stop anytime to take pictures as we’ll be on our way to different villages.

Our bicycle ride ends at Cheasmorn Village, here you’ll be transferred to Siem Reap via tuk-tuk and return to your hotel around 4:30 PM. 

Dinner at your pleasure, stay the night at the hotel.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
  • Accommodation: Hotel in Siem Reap
Day 10 SIEM REAP DEPARTURE (B)

Spend the time at your pleasure until the transference to Siem Reap Airport for your flight. You’re freely to use the room at your liking. Meals at your pleasure.

End of our excursion.

  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Accommodation: N/A

What's Included

  • All transfers & transportation in private air-conditioned vehicles
  • Transfers to/from ship as described
  • Accommodation based on twin shared with daily breakfasts
  • Meals as listed in the itinerary: B - Breakfast, L - Lunch, D – Dinner
  • English speaking guide
  • Sightseeing and entrance fees as specified
  • Angkor Pass for 1 day
  • Government taxes and service charge
  • Mineral water and cold towel on coach
  • Vietnam Visa letter
  • Port tax at 35USD/ person

What's Not Included

  • International and domestic flights or transfers other than those mentioned
  • Vietnam Visa fee (25USD/ person – single entry)
  • Cambodia Visa fee (30USD/ person – single entry)
  • Other meals which do not mention in the itinerary
  • Early check-in and late check-out at hotels
  • Personal expenses (such as laundry, telephone, drinks, etc.)
  • Tipping for guides, drivers & crew onboard
  • Compulsory Christmas Eve and New Year Eve Dinner
  • Compulsory personal travel insurance
  • Extra optional excursions other than those mentioned
  • Wine (outside of meals) and spirits
  • Medical services, travel insurance or visas

1. Alteration of schedule and cruise itinerary

Though every effort will be made to ensure that the published itinerary is followed as closely as possible, given uncertain river and other local conditions, all schedules and itineraries maybe subject to alterations and delays at short notice.

2. Change point of embarkation and disembarkation

Should it prove difficult to embark or disembark passengers at the scheduled points, Top Mekong Cruises is not liable to bear any extra cost of transporting passengers to and from the revised point of joining the cruise or disembarking unless passengers or their agents have purchased a complete package tour which includes land services from us. Any reason for changing the points of embarkation or disembarkation cannot count as a reason for cancelling this contract.

3. Insurance

We strongly advise travelers to purchase trip cancellation insurance. In this case, guests will be reimbursed the cost of air tickets and other non-refundable trip payments. We also highly recommend guests to get international medical, baggage loss and delay insurance in the case of bad situations. Top Mekong Cruises will take no responsibility for lost or stolen personal belongings.

4. Dietary needs

For travelers with special dietary needs, they should contact with us at least 30 days prior to embarkation. The cruise liner will make the outmost effort to provide special dietary needs and requests basing on product’s availability.

5. Visa to Vietnam and Cambodia information:

5.1. Cruising from Cambodia to Vietnam.

Cambodia Visa:

Option 1 (recommended): Apply for E-visa at https://www.evisa.gov.kh/

A Printed copy of your e-visa must be presented at the airport upon arrival.

Option 2: Apply for Visa on Arrival at Phnom Penh or Siem Reap airport. Please bring along a passport size photograph.

Option 3: Obtain visa at the Cambodia embassy in your home country.

Vietnam Visa:

You must obtain your visa at the Vietnam embassy of your home country. Physical visa must be in your passport prior to boarding the cruise.

Important: E-visa and visa on arrival is NOT valid for crossing border via waterways.

5.2. Cruising from Vietnam to Cambodia.

Vietnam Visa:

Option 1 (recommended): Top Mekong Cruises will arrange FREE Vietnam Visa Approval Letter which will be sent to your email after 2 working days. When you arrive at your first airport of entry into Vietnam, proceed to the visa counter to obtain your visa. Printed pre-approval letter must be presented, together with 2 passport photo(4x6) and US$25 cash for single entry visa.

Option 2:

Obtain visa at a Vietnam embassy in your home country.

Cambodia Visa:

Option 1: Obtain visa at a Cambodia embassy of your home country. Physical visa must be placed inside your passport.

Option 2: Top Mekong Cruises will process the Cambodia single entry tourist visa for you on-board. Please bring along 2 passport size photograph (4x6). A US$40 fee will apply, paid in cash or charged to your account on the cruises.

Important: E-visa is not valid for crossing border via waterways.

IMPORTANT NOTE: 

- A Single Entry Tourist Visa will only allow ONE entry. If you plan to enter to either country twice during your holiday, you must apply for a Multiple Entry Visa. This is particularly important for Vietnam where you do not have the visa on arrival option of Cambodia.

- Top Mekong Cruises is not responsible for any additional costs or fines that may result from guests holding the wrong visa.

6. Cruise information: 

This tour includes a 3 night cruise with RV Pandaw Cruises. If you would like to cruise with another cruise please let us know as we can arrange this and will need to change the itinerary and departure dates accordingly. 

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