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Cruising the Mekong: Siam, Saigon & Angkor Wat (2016)

Luxury Small Group Journeys: The finest small-group travel experience

Limited to 24 guests
Days: 12  |  From: $7,995


Itinerary

Cruising the Mekong: Siam, Saigon & Angkor Wat

Day 1: Arrive Bangkok, Thailand

Arrive in Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, and transfer to your luxurious hotel.

The Peninsula Bangkok

Day 2: Bangkok | Sailing the Serene Chao Phraya River

Discover Wat Pho temple, with its massive reclining Buddha statue, and listen to the musical sound of coins dropping into brass offering bowls, following your welcome briefing. Then, Ride Like a Local on a tuk-tuk around the sprawling Grand Palace. Explore the ancient Siamese court, home to Thailand’s most important shrine, the green-jade Emerald Buddha. Next, gather for a specially prepared welcome lunch aboard a traditional wooden rice barge, sailing the quiet Chao Phraya River in a relaxed atmosphere, taking in the wonderful views. Later, fly to Siem Reap, Cambodia, and transfer to your elegant boutique hotel.

Belmond La Résidence d'Angkor   |   Meals: B L D

Day 3: Angkor Wat | Temples and Terraces of Kings

Set off to explore the extraordinary temples of Angkor, a breathtaking city lost in the jungle and Cambodia’s most prized national treasure. Enter the monumental gates of Angkor Thom, where 54 gods and 54 demons are represented in an epic tug of war. Visit the Bayon Temple, with its 172 large-scale faces wearing enchanting smiles, as well as the terraces of the Elephant and Leper Kings. Later, walk ancient Ta Prohm Temple, an Indiana Jones-worthy fantasy with its crumbling towers and massive tree roots. After lunch, discover the Angkor National Museum, which houses golden-era Khmer Kingdom artifacts. Stay at Angkor Wat until sunset, marveling as the diminishing, moody light washes over this unforgettable, faraway world.

Belmond La Résidence d'Angkor   |   Meals: B L

Day 4: Kampong Cham | Board All-Suite ‘Mekong Princess’

Drive through the lush and scenic Cambodian countryside to beautiful Kampong Cham, where you board A&K’s private charter of all-suite ‘Mekong Princess,’ your luxurious river cruiser for the next seven nights. Tonight, enjoy a Khmer-inspired dinner.

'Mekong Princess'   |   Meals: B L D

Day 5: Cruising the Mekong | Life in a Local Village

Visit the charming town of Angkor Ban, where you have the chance to glimpse into the lives of the local people, starting with a visit to a local family home. Continue to the village school to observe the classroom experience. Stop briefly at the local monastery complex on your walk back to the ship.

'Mekong Princess'   |   Meals: B L D

Day 6: Cruising the Mekong | Phnom Penh, Pearl of Asia

Today, Ride Like a Local through Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s lush and alluring capital city, on an engaging cyclo tour. Discover the ornate Royal Palace and wander past huge stupas, spirit houses and potted flowers en route to the famous Silver Pagoda, home of Cambodia’s Emerald Buddha and the diamond-encrusted Maitreya Buddha. Visit the National Museum before enjoying an afternoon at leisure, perhaps exploring Phnom Penh’s famous markets. Later, learn about Cambodia’s darker days as you walk the notorious killing fields of Choeung Ek. Sense the somber atmosphere of this, one of history’s most infamous places. Then, leave behind that bleak period in Cambodian history to attend an uplifting performance by children from a local orphanage of Apsara, the country’s national dance, which you enjoy on the sun deck of your ship.

'Mekong Princess'   |   Meals: B L D

Day 7: Cruising the Mekong | Splendors of a Hidden Port

Sail into Vietnam and cruise downstream to little-known Hong Ngu, which nimble ‘Mekong Princess’ can enter with ease. In this place few Westerners have ever visited, experience an especially friendly welcome, followed by an Artisan Visit to local family homes, where you watch the weaving of kromas (traditional Khmer scarves), which are exported to Cambodia. Later, explore a local temple dedicated to Hòa Hóa, a unique Vietnamese religion.

'Mekong Princess'   |   Meals: B L D

Day 8: Cruising the Mekong | Cao Dai

Begin the day with a sampan (wooden boat) ride to the riverside market town of Long Xuyen. Walk the bustling market and then visit the Cao Dai temple, where a compelling Vietnamese religion was founded as an amalgam of different beliefs to harmonize relations between various followers. Later this afternoon, sail to the village of Thot Not. Here, ride a xe loi (motorized trishaw) through the village to a sanctuary filled with the cacophony of birdsong. Following a short walk into the sanctuary, climb the steps to the viewing platform, where an incredible view spans treetops and the nesting area of protected egrets.

'Mekong Princess'   |   Meals: B L D

Day 9: Cruising the Mekong | Remote Hindu Temple Visit

Rise early for a sampan cruise through the fascinating Cai Rang floating market near Can Tho. Weave between the many boats that sail into the market each morning to sell produce and goods. Grab your camera: this is the place to capture brilliant photographs of a dynamic market life. Fresh coconut water, the Vietnamese “anti-aging drink,” refreshes you before a stop at a local factory to see the making of instant noodles. Next, tour a large, family-owned fruit orchard, where you see native fruits on the vine and enjoy a fresh fruit tasting, experiencing the flavor, literally and figuratively, of life along this vital river. Back on board ‘Mekong Princess,’ sail deeper into regions of the Mekong Delta rarely touched by travellers to see Ky Son Pagoda. At this important Hindu temple that dates back to the fourth century, interact with Khmer monks who fled to Vietnam during the Cambodian Civil War.

'Mekong Princess'   |   Meals: B L D

Day 10: Cruising the Mekong | Life Among the Mangroves

Today, board a sampan to wend your way through a channel lined with mangroves, whose tangled roots provide a sheltered habitat for the smallest denizens of the river’s ecosystem, for a visit to a local coconut candy maker. After watching the candy-making process and exploring the family’s orchard, board an intimate, two-seater boat for a cruise through lush, narrow creeks lined with Nipah palm, a native species and the only one of its kind adapted to the mangrove habitat.

'Mekong Princess'   |   Meals: B L D

Day 11: Ho Chi Minh City | Immersed in Vibrant Saigon

Unlike other river ships that are forced to dock outside of Saigon, the swift ‘Mekong Princess’ takes you right into the heart of this lively, evocative metropolis, which today goes by the name of Ho Chi Minh City. Recently experiencing a resurgence of art and culture, the city is a hub of activity. Bid farewell to the crew of the ‘Mekong Princess’ and set out to discover the city’s colonial legacy, including the Central Post Office, the Cathedral of Notre Dame and the Opera House. Continue your exploration with a tour of the History Museum and a remarkable Market Visit to the colorful Ben Thanh market. Then, drive past the former U.S. embassy building, from which helicopters carried off the last American personnel remaining on site before the city fell to the Viet Cong in April of 1975. Observe as you go, the vibrant, bustling energy of a people on the move, wholeheartedly embracing the trappings of western culture, as giant images of “Father Ho” gaze out at streets streaming with the latest-model luxury automobiles. Tonight, gather with your fellow guests for a special farewell dinner hosted by Abercrombie & Kent.

InterContinental Asiana Saigon   |   Meals: B D

Day 12: Depart Ho Chi Minh City

After breakfast, begin a Hanoi post-tour extension or transfer to the airport to depart for home.

Meals: B





Learn More about the Mekong River | Experience the mystery and grandeur of the Greater Mekong on this itinerary. Read more on A&K's blog.

Suite Upgrade Package | Upgrade to suites at all hotels throughout your journey from $735.

Extend Your Journey | Enhance your journey with a pre-tour extension to Luang Prabang (4 days, from $1,495) and a post-tour extension to Hanoi (3 days, from $1,695)

Customize This Journey | If you would like to customize this itinerary and create a Tailor Made Journey just for you and your companions, click here to inquire, or speak to your travel professional.



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Luxury Small Group Journeys 2016 Brochure

Luxury Small Group Journeys 2016


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