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Jayavarman

The Lost Civilization Upstream Cruise - Saigon to Siem Reap (8 Days)

The Jayavarman is a boutique hotel-style river cruise ship - the first of its kind in Indochina. Designed with both French colonial and Indochina influences, she has 27 spacious staterooms and suites furnished to a high standard of luxury, as well as a generous 800 square metres of public space, making her one of the most comfortable boats for cruising along the waterways of the Mekong Delta.

 

Info

 

Embark

Meet at designated meeting place in Ho Chi Minh City, for a transfer to the ship which will be docked at My Tho. Please note timings will vary between High and Low water seasons and will therefore be advised two weeks before departure.

Day 1: Saigon – Cai Be

From Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), take a transfer 70km south to My Tho where you will oard the Jayavarman and enjoy a welcome cocktail reception. The cruise takes you along the waterways of the Can Gio Mangrove Biosphere Reserve, a UNESCO listed site. Dinner is served on the Sun Deck. The ship drops anchor near Cai Be for the night.

Day 2: Cai Be to Chau Doc

The day’s tour begins with a visit to the bustling and colourful floating market at Cai Be on a local sampan. During the ride you will witness breathtaking landscapes and rustic life on the river. The cruise will stop so that you can observe how coconut cookies, rice pasta and rice cookies are made. On the way back to the Jayavarman you will stop at an ancient house, surrounded by fruit orchards. In the afternoon, cruise to Sa Dec and take a sampan tour to Binh Thanh Island and its man-made canals. Here you can observe the villagers at work, growing and processing water hyacinths into natural fibre mats and baskets. In the evening, the Jayavarman sets off for Chau Doc and will moor mid-stream overnight.

Day 3: Chau Doc to the Border

If you are an early riser then you might like to try Thai Chi exercises on the Sun Deck. After breakfast there's a boat excursion to floating villages and catfish farms and a shore excursion to the village of the local Muslim Cham community. Take time to explore Chau Doc, a fascinating town with French colonial buildings and a market full of tropical fruits where you can also see colourful textiles being woven on traditional wooden looms. In the afternoon, the ship makes its ways to the border with Cambodia on the way to Phnom Penh. **Please note that due to high water in the Mekong Delta between July and December your itinerary may vary.

Day 4: Phnom Penh

You reach Phnom Penh in the early morning. It is worth being up early to see the approach to the river promenade. After breakfast, there is a city tour of the historical capital of Cambodia. Don't miss the dazzling white and gold architecture of the Royal Palace, the displays of Khmer crafts at the National Museum and Wat Phnom, a hill-top temple. Lunch is served in a local restaurant and then there is an excursion to the Genocide Museum and to the infamous 'Killing Fields', the site of the Khmer Rouge detention centre in Cambodia's dark days of violent civil war. The scene is described by a local history lecturer. Afterwards you can relax with a cocktail and watch a dance show with soothing traditional music and a delicious Khmer food buffet.

Day 5: Phnom Penh to Kampong Cham

The ship leaves Phnom Penh before dawn and takes you to Chong Koh, a charming silk weaving village where you may have a leisurely walk after breakfast. You then cruise through more of the Mekong's river villages where the local fishermen are busy at work. The next stop is the rural village of Angkor Ban where you will feel transported back 100 years in history. Here the housess are all hand-made without any concrete, and the local villagers welcome visitors. Later, the cruise continues to Kampong Cham.

Day 6: Kampong Cham to Wat Hanchey

The next stage of the voyage upriver is to Wat Hanchey, an ancient hill-top temple that pre-dates Angkor Wat. The location, overlooking the river, offers one of the best views of Cambodia. A special travellers' blessing is performed by the local monks. Later, stop for a visit of Wat Nokor, built within the ruins of an ancient temple, and on the way back to the ship, visit an orphanage.

Day 7: Kampong Cham to Kampong Chhnang and Tonle Sap

Another early morning departure. The Jayavarman cruises along the Tonle Sap River, which meanders through leafy jungle to Kampong Chhnang, a busy river port and fishing town. Disembark for a motorboat ride to the landing followed by a short drive to see the Khmer-styled pottery at the Aundaung Russey village. Then, it is back to the river for an adventurous motorboat excursion to the wetlands, floating houses and fish farms in the region. In the evening, a Farewell Dinner is served on the Sun Deck.

Day 8: Tonle Sap to Siem Reap

The ship sets out in the early morning and during the high water season (usually August - December) you cruise across the tranquil Tonle Sap Lake, arriving into Siem Reap at around 9am. In the low water season (usually December - August), the ship will dock at Kampong Cham on Day 7 and on your last day, you will disembark for a transfer back to Siem Reap, arriving in the early afternoon. Please note that the sequence of visits in Cambodia may also vary during the lower water season. Full details are available on request.

Disembark

Drop off point is the Victoria Angkor Resort and Spa, Central Park, Siem Reap. Time and point of disembarkation from the ship depend on the water levels and will therefore be advised two weeks before departure.

Includes

  • 7 Nights' accommodation on the Jayavarman
  • Transfers between the ship and the city centre in Saigon and Siem Reap
  • Full board
  • Free flow of beverages - mineral water, soft drinks, juices, tea, coffee - at all times, free flow of local beer and house wine by glass during lunch and dinner, drinking water in cabin and during excursions
  • Sightseeing as detailed in the itinerary
  • Welcome and Farewell Dinners
  • Phnom Penh port taxes (these are shown separately on the website and charged when you make your booking)

Excludes

  • Beverages, other than those mentioned
  • Gratuities
  • Visas (where required)
  • Personal expenses
  • Personal insurance
  • Fuel surcharges (if applicable)
 

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