Day 1: SIEM REAP – TONLE LAKE
The great lake dominates Cambodia and is over 150 Km in length. Here bird life is profuse, and from the middle of the lake one cannot even see the shores. There is a great stillness and tranquility as we pass floating fishing villages. Because the water levels of the lake and river vary a great deal according to the time of year and rainfall. During High water level, approximately July to November, we register at 11:00 at Angkor Palace Hotel to transfer to the ship at Siem Reap Port. Embark the ship at 13:00 and lunch onboard. Cross the Tonle Lake in the afternoon and drop anchor after sunset at the edge of the Great Lake. During low water level, approximately November to July, register at 11:00 at Angkor palace Hotel to transfer via coach to Preak Kdam on the Tonle River. Enjoy a light lunch and cold drinks on the way with a stop in Kampong Thom. Arrive by 16:00 and cruise to kampong Chhanang for overnight mooring.
Day 2: KAMPONG CHHNANG – KAMPONG CHAM
Kampong Chhanang is a bustling rural port town with busy markets. Mooring mid-stream, we make a truly wonderful motor excursion into the lakeside wetlands that form the mouth of the river. Here a stunning variety of birdlife may be seen and of considerable interest are the great fish traps, some half a kilometer long, which nets a huge tonnage of fish after each monsoon as the fish migrate from the falling lake into the Tonle River. We wind our way through jungle, and as the river narrows we feel we can almost reach out and touch the houses and people who come out to cheer our ship on. Temples abound along the riverbanks, and we see the rich tapestry of Cambodian rural life. We touch the capital of Phnom Penh in the afternoon, change pilots and enter the Upper Mekong bound for Kampong Cham and stop for an afternoon walk at a rural village. Moor overnight bid-stream in Kampong Cham.
Day 3: WAT HANCHEY – PHNOM PENH
Morning journey upriver to the hilltop pre-Angkorian temple of Wat Hanchey. Dating from the 8th century, these ancient brick structures characterize the architecture of the Chenla Empire, which predated the glories of Angkor. Sail back downstream over lunch for an exploration of the Kampong Cham Area. We travel by bus to the 12th century Angkorian temple of Wat Nokor. This colorful temple is unique in Cambodia, as a modern Wat it is set within the ruins of an ancient temple. We continue to the eco village of Cheungkok. We depart late in the afternoon from Kampong Cham and head for Phnom Penh. Overnight mid-stream in Phnom Penh.
Day 4: PHNOM PENH
Early morning cruise into Phnom Penh and dock at the passenger port terminal. The capital of Cambodia retains its French charm. The old colonial architecture makes an attractive backdrop to busy cafes, and the renovated river “corniche” is full of life. The city has several impressive Wat’s, including Wat Ounalom, Wat Phnom and the newly painted Wat Lang Ka. Visit the Royal Palace, the spectacular Silver Pagoda, one of the few places in Cambodia where the Khmer Rouge preserved artifacts embodying the brilliance and richness of Khmer culture. The National Museum is another highlight, with outstanding displays of Khmer crafts. An afternoon excursion is arranged to the Killing Fields and the Khmer Rouge?s grim Tuol Sleng or S21 detention centre situated in the suburbs of the city. On a happier note, Phnom Penh has a vibrant Nightlife and same customers chose to dine in one of the many top restaurants or try one of the capitals many watering holes, which are conveniently located along the riverfront.
Day 5: BORDER CROSSING
We cast off for a day cruising the Mekong River, an international shipping route. Today we stop at Preak Dach, a jungle village, to visit fruit orchards and then set off for the Cambodian / Vietnamese border for the border crossing formalities. Moor mid-stream in Tan Chau.
Day 6: TAN CHAU – SADEC
Tan Chau is a remote small town on the main Mekong River. After breakfast we transfer to small boats, visit a cat fish farm and rice-polishing factory. We go ashore to visit a mat-making workshop, and take a short walk in the village to visit a silk coloring workshop. A trishaw ride round this fascinating town takes us back to the pier and after a short channel cruise on a local boat we return to the ship for lunch and cast off for Sadec.
Day 7: SADEC – CAI BE
After Breakfast, small local boats will take us into the village of Sadec for a refreshing morning stroll. French writer Marguerite Duras spent some of her childhood in Sa Dec, a sprawling busy town in the Mekong Delta. Aside from the fact that the French have long departed, not a lot has changed in Sa Dec since Duras’ day. Warehouses, mostly old Chinese shop-houses, bulge with merchandise. Ancient riverboats load and unload at the wharves built almost to the shop doors. We spent time in the house of Mr. Huynh Thuy Le – the Chinese Lover of Marguerite. The house now is a little museum of “The Lover” in Sadec. We also visit the Pagoda on our way to the School where Duras? mother taught. On the way back for lunch, we cruise past the house where the movie ? THE LOVER ? was shot in 1992 and the ancient Church. Continue cruising to Cai Be where after lunch we take a local Junk trip around Cai Be to see the floating market, go ashore to visit delightful flower gardens, the ancient Kiet House and local rice paper manufacturers. Evening cruise to Saigon.
- English / French speaking guide
- All transfer and transport by coach
- 7 nights in double / twin cabin of La Marguerite Cruise
- Meal fullboard
- Admission fees and permits where applicable
- Government taxes & service charge
- Airfares & airport taxes
- Pre/post trip arrangement
- Visa and visa arrangement
- Travel insurance
- Other personal expenses