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Cambodia Cruise. Wednesday Departure

 

Brief Itinerary
2 Nights Siem Reap - 3 Nights Cruise - 2 Nights Phnom Penh

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Day 1 : Depart London Heathrow to Siem Reap,Cambodia.

Day 2 Siem Reap: Met on arrival in Siem Reap and transferred to Hotel. Overnight in Hotel.

Day 3 : After breakfast, start exploring the royal city of Angkor Thom. At first glance, it seems a shapeless mass of stone, but further scrutiny reveals enigmatic faces looking at every direction, with half-closed eyes, all looking content and serene. Continue your exploration by visiting Elephant Terrace served as a platform from which to view his victorious returning army and the Leper King Terrace with perfect carvings winding along a narrow passage way.

In the afternoon, visit the intricately carved Khmer ruins at Angkor Wat, one of the world's most impressive temple ruins constructed between 9th and 13th centuries. The temple still owns hundreds of fine carvings of Apsara and Hindu mythology. Stroll around the massive hallways to discover small shrines still in use today by the local people.

Day 4 Siem Reap - Tonle Sap: Tonle Sap Lake is the heart of Cambodia. It is filled with more fish than any other lake, and surrounded by vast numbers of rare birds. The water level varies a great deal according to the time of the year and the amount of rainfall recorded. Thus, changes may occur for the different seasons. We will start our journey in either high water or low water.

High water program (approx. between July and middle of December) : At 11:00 AM gather at the meeting point and transfer to The Jayavarman. Welcome cocktail and lunch on the cruise liner. TheJayavarman sets sail towards the little known stilt village of Kampong Phluk. Climb aboard small rowing boats and let the local children take you on a tour of this flooded forest. Welcome dinner on the Sun Deck. Mooring and overnight on the lake.

Low water program (approx. between middle of December and June) :At 8 AM, gather at the meeting point and transfer by coach to Prek K'Dam on the Tonle Sap River. Enjoy snacks and cold drinks on the way with a brief stop at Kampong Thom, one of the first settlements in the pre-Angkorian period. Embarkation in Prek K'Dam and welcome cocktail early afternoon. The Jayavarman sets sail upstream towards Kampong Chhnang and the great Tonle Sap Lake. We wind our way through the jungle and as the river narrows, it makes you feel at peace with yourself and the community. Later that evening meet your fellow passengers on board for Welcome Dinner on the Sun Deck.

Day 5 Tonle Sap - Kampong Chhnang - Kampong Cham:
High water program
, Before the sun rises, The Jayavarman sets sail to cross the Tonle Sap Lake. As the ship is about to exit the lake, the marshlands exhibit spectacular scenery along the river banks of Kampong Chhnang province. We take a truly wonderful motorboat excursion from Kampong Chhnang to see the wetlands, floating houses and fish farms in the region. Join in on a humanitarian project lead by World Bank Illiteracy projects when we make a stop at a Heritage Line sponsored floating school to interact with the children and teach them some English!

The afternoon cruise will follow the meandering Tonle Sap River, which narrows through leafy swaths of the South East Asian Jungle touching Phnom Penh. In the late afternoon we enter the upper Mekong River bound to Kampong Cham to stop for a walk through a rural village.

Low water program: Kampong Chhnang is a busy rural port town with bustling markets and lots of children to greet us on our way around. We will take a wonderful motor boat excursion into the 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 net a huge tonnage of fish after each monsoon as the fish migrate from the falling lake into the Tonle Sap River. Make a stop at a Heritage Line sponsored floating school to interact with the children and teach them some English!
The afternoon cruise will follow the meandering Tonle Sap River, which narrows through leafy swaths of the South East Asian Jungle.

Day 6 Kampong Cham - Wat Hanchey: Wake up in the wee hours of the morning, truly energized to embark on a journey upriver to the pre-Angkorian temple of Wat Hanchey. Located at the top of a hill overlooking the river, it offers some of the best views in Cambodia. Dating from the 8th century, these ancient structures do justice to the architecture of the Chenla Empire which predated the glories of the mighty Angkor. Enjoy spectacular views of the surrounding well organized rice paddy plains, as well as a travelers blessing performed by the local monks.

After lunch and a short cruise downstream we drop anchor at the shores of Kampong Cham. Visit Wat Nokor, a wat built within the ruins of an ancient temple that holds a timeless story. Then, travel to the Cheung Kok Ecotourism Village, a small village developed with support from Assistance Mediation Internationale (AMICA). Travelers can visit the village and take part in activities to experience village life. Profits from tourism go towards re-investment into long-term projects. Back on board The Jayavarman sets sail towards the capital Phnom Penh.

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Day 7 Phnom Penh: Get up early in the morning to witness a truly indescribable scene while approaching Phnom Penh's river promenade. After breakfast, your journey with The Jayavarman has come to an end, but will not be forgotten. Disembark after breakfast, meet with your guide and transferred to Hotel. Afternoon at leisure.

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Day 8 Phnom Penh: After breakfast, set out on a city tour to visit the National Museum which houses Khmer art and sculptures from different periods of Cambodian history and the Royal Palace, built in 1866 by King Norodom and home to the Silver Pagoda, so-named because its floor is made up of 5,000 silver tiles.

In 1975, the radical Khmer Rouge party, under its leader Pol Pot, seized power and declared `year zero'. In the next 3 years, an estimated two million Cambodians died, many from starvation and exhaustion, while others were tortured and executed for being `enemies of the state'. Learn more about these terrible years through a visit to the infamous Tuol Sleng Museum.

Day 9 : After breakfast, transfer to Airport to fly to London.

Extension Option :

Day 7 : Get up early in the morning to witness a truly indescribable scene while approaching Phnom Penh's river promenade. After breakfast, embark on a city tour in this dynamic, historical capital of Cambodia which has retained its French colonial charm. Sightseeing in the morning will include the dazzling white and gold architecture of the Royal Palace, outstanding displays of Khmer crafts at the National Museum and the temple on a hill - Wat Phnom.

After lunch in a local restaurant, examine the painful, heart wrenching reminders of Cambodia's ugly past under the Khmer Rouge regime with an excursion to the Genocide museum to learn more about the Cambodian civil war. Introduction and onsite lecture by a local history professor.

Thereafter, to ease the nerves a variety of cocktails will be at your disposal, followed by Cambodia’s traditional Apsara dance performance. Experience the brilliance and richness of the culture, the soothing sounds of traditional music, the calming scent of incense sticks and a delicious Khmer food buffet.

Day 8 Phnom Penh - Border Crossing: Wake up to the sun rising over the Mekong for Thai Chi on the Sun Deck. The Jayavarman then casts off for a day of cruising the main Mekong Channel. This is pretty much an international shipping route. Psyche yourself up for Pre-K Touch, a lively jungle village.

After that, visit well laid out fruit orchards. Late afternoon we set off to the Vietnamese border for the usual formalities, which in this part of the world takes a bit of time. During the afternoon cruise, take the time to relax on the Sun Deck, get a massage in the Spa, or take part in Heritage Line's Vietnamese cooking class.
The ship moors midstream overnight.

Day 9 Chau Doc - Cai Be: Welcome to the circus of fish. Brace yourself for a boat excursion to the exciting floating villages and catfish farms witnessing masses of Bassa fish being fed, hand in hand with a shore excursion to the village of the local Muslim Cham community. Stroll through a silk waving village and observe beautiful textiles being woven on old wooden looms; a tradition that has been passed from generation to generation.

Take a ride through this fascinating town of rich French colonial architecture and see its bustling market flooded with tropical fruits in full display by women in cone shaped palm leaf hats.
By late-afternoon, The Jayavarman casts off, heading towards Cai Be.

Day 10 Cai Be : Today's tour starts with the visit of Cai Be's colorful floating market on board a traditional sampan, the "Cai Be Princess". Cruise among local sampans coming from all provinces of the delta full of fruits and vegetables. During a 40 minute cruise, discover beautiful landscapes along the river and observe the typical Mekong Delta rural life. Further stops will allow you to see traditional brick and tile factories and how locals use palm leaves for houses. Cruise 20 minutes further to Phu An hamlet passing by Cai Be's beautiful gothic cathedral.

Visit some interesting home factories to see how rice paste, rice cookies and coco candies, are made, along with the longan fruit drying process.

Lunch will await you at Le Longanier, a superb Indochinese villa located in a lush tropical garden by the river, surrounded by fruit orchards. After lunch, hop on a bike or take a stroll along the winding canals of this peaceful village to experience it first hand. After touring the canals, head to the An Kiet ancient house to have tea with the descendants of the former imperial residents and listen to the family story. Board The Jayavarman for a relaxing evening cruise with a Farewell Dinner on the Sun Deck while heading towards Saigon.

Day 11 Saigon: Your cruise with The Jayavarman comes to a close as the ship winds its way to Saigon through the UNESCO listed Mangrove Biosphere Reserve. During the Vietnam War, it had been destroyed, but amazingly the 75 hectares have come back to life through reforestation efforts. Disembark at 10:00am and continue your journey in the buzzing city of Saigon.

Meet with your guide and transfer to your hotel for dropping off the luggage. Afternoon, embark on a walking tour to admire Saigon's historic landmarks including a stroll down Rue Catinat of Graham Greene's @The Quiet American' will reveal more colonial classics; the Opera House, a three-story classical theatre built to entertain the French colonists (outside visit); the former Hotel de Ville constructed for the French bureaucrats of Indochina in 1901, now The People's Committee building with no public access;
the Notre Dame Cathedral, a stunningly massive red-brick edifice with twin spires, a clear reminder that French once ruled this city (open only 3-4pm everyday otherwise just outside visit); the Central Post Office influenced by Renaissance architecture; and the former Presidential Palace, headquarters of the Saigon Government during the American war. If desired, drive 6km to another district to visit Thien Hau temple built by the Cantonese congregation in the early 19th century. It is to honor the goddess of the sea and protector of fishermen. The temple's interior courtyard is worth seeing with beautiful ceramic figurines and antiques shrouded in incense-smoke. It is always bustling here with worshippers from the local Chinese community.

Day 12 Cu Chi Tunnels: After breakfast, enjoy a 2-hour-drive north west of Saigon to Cu Chi tunnels, through urbanized areas and a typically lush southern Vietnamese countryside. The tunnel complex was dug in 1948 for the guerrillas to hide from French air and ground sweeps.

It was also served as communication routes and food and weapon caches as well as hospitals and living quarters for guerrilla fighters throughout the American war. Visit the underground villages to better understand the tunnels' history, life in the tunnels and the Vietnamese's resilience during the combats.
Afterwards, depart for Phan Thiet. Upon arrival, check in to your hotel.

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Day 13 - Day 14 Phan Thiet: At Leisure.

Day 15 : Transfer to Airport to fly to London.

Hotels used

  Hotel Board
Siem Reap Tara Angkor Hotel BB
Jayavaraman Cruise Superior Cabin FB
Phnom Penh Almond Hotel BB
Saigon Duxton Hotel BB
Phan Thiet Sea Horse Resort BB
 

Prices

Season Price Extension Supplement
01 Oct 16 - 30th Apr 17 £POA £POA

Price Includes
International flights and airport taxes
Accommodation on twin sharing at the above mentioned hotels or similar on Bed and Breakfast
Superior Cabin on board the Jayavaraman on Twin Sharing on Full Board basis
Private Air Conditioned transfers
English Speaking Local guide
Entrance fees as per itinerary.
 

Price does not include
Any optional tour, Tips for tour guide, driver, Visa Fee, Personal expenses, Christmas and New Year Dinners.


All prices are subject to availability

Other Regional Departures, Hotel and Flight upgrades available at supplement.

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Call us on 0207 258 7800 or email to book or for further enquiries.

 


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