An Intimate Mekong Cruise
Cruise along the mighty Mekong on a small yet luxurious vessel that will transport you to the heart of Cambodia into Vietnam in an intimate river fantasy.
"Andrea did a wonderful job designing an itinerary to suit three generations of diverse interests, and was flexible and responsive to last minute changes and requests. He showed us many hidden treasures of this beautiful region that would have missed we're it not for him."
- Heather on her journey in Italy
A possible, beautiful itinerary for you
The Mekong by Phnom Penh
Arrival at Phnom Penh. Head to the port for check-in to your 3-story, five star Mekong abode. Welcome aboard! Settle into your floating retreat, with its window wall conferring an endlessly captivating panorama. Enjoy these private Mekong moments on your California king bed, terrace or daybed. Celebrate the onward journey towards the heart of this mighty river with a Khmer apsara performance, an indigenous tradition memorialised on the temple walls at Angkor Wat.
Remote Villages and Tamarind Riverbanks
On this timeless river, admire dexterous Khmer artisans dyeing and weaving kroma, the ubiquitous item no Khmer lives without. Explore the riverbank on two wheels if you wish, past Buddhist temples and thatch houses perched on spindly wooden stilts while white oxen wade just offshore. After lunch, board the Aqua’s marine-grade aluminium skiffs and head towards the tamarind trees of Preah Prasop, a remote village that has changed little over the span of several lifetimes. Read more
Fit for Royalty
In the silversmithing village of Koh Chen, watch artisans producing the magnificent silverware favoured by Khmer royalty. Continue to Udong, the royal capital from the 17-19th centuries, where you learn about a uniquely challenging Buddhist practice at the Vipassana Dhura Mandala, a meditation centre. In the afternoon, a walking tour of Kampong Prasat offers a close-up perspective on local lives and their riverside environment.
A Countryside Adventure
In the cooler hours, head into the lush countryside to visit traditional potters and palm-sugar producers, astride mountain bikes or by shaded tuk-tuk. Into the rice paddies, pedal on to watch wizened masters climb sky-piercing palm trees. Cruise across the glassy water and disembark among the lotuses for an ox-cart ride along the Tonle Sap riverbanks, past lacquered wooden houses. During the dry months, residents take refuge in the relative cool of these outdoor impromptu living rooms.
Back to the Capital...
Explore the Cambodian capital by motorized tuk-tuk. Visit the Royal Palace, the Silver Pagoda and the National Museum of Cambodia, home to the world’s largest collection of Khmer art. For those who wish, visit the Tuol Sleng Museum of Genocide and the Killing Fields. Alternatively, go shopping at Russian Market. Bid farewell to 4-night guests who are disembarking in Phnom Penh. Welcome 3-night passengers over signature sundowners, like the salted watermelon crush with Thai basil.
... And into Vietnam
Say ‘Good Morning, Vietnam’ as you cross the border and sail towards Tan Chau, a vibrant border town where the local rickshaw ― called xe loi ― will take you for a trip around town. If you are feeling adventurous, pedal 18 kilometres on the peaceful island of Long Khanh. In the afternoon, visit a typical Mekong Delta village called My An Hung where you will walk through verdant plantations. You have been invited to a local home to taste local fruits while hearing traditional folk songs performed by villagers, followed by a unique Unicorn dance. There is also the option to explore on two wheels!
Charm on the Riverside
Begin the day at Binh Thanh, a mat-weaving village or opt to visit Sa Dec where you will promenade in the vibrant market and see the famous house of Marguerite Duras' legendary lover, Mr Huynh Thuy Le. Continue downstream for Cai Be, zigzagging past lone fishermen on their long tail boats. Later, the skiffs moor at a wooden pier. Here in Cai Be, walk or cycle among high-roofed open courtyard houses, some dating back more than 100 years, and currently inhabited by gracious locals who will invite you to glimpse their property.
Disembark and continue onwards to HCM City. En route to Ho Chi Minh, stop at Vinh Trang Pagoda, one of the largest Mahayana Buddhist temple in the region. You will notice the mixed architectural style and see three large Buddha statues, plus an impressive collection of bonsai trees. Upon arrival in the city, continue your Vietnam Travels or catch your flight back home.