We will collect you at the Ho Chi Minh meeting point and transfer you by air-conditioned coach to My Tho dock where we will welcome you aboard the Aqua Mekong. 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.
Begin the day at Binh Thanh mat weaving village or opt to visit Sa Dec where we will peruse the vibrant market and see the famous house of Marguerite Duras’ legendary lover, Mr. Huynh Thuy Le. In the afternoon, visit a typical Mekong Delta village called My An Hung where we will walk through verdant plantations. We will be invited to a local’s home to taste local fruits while hearing traditional folk songs performed by villagers followed by a unique unicorn dance. A 17-kilometer biking option is also available.
Travel by skiff along Bassac Canal to Chau Doc floating market then head off by van to Long Son Pagoda atop Sam Mountain. Ask the monks about their age-old Buddhist practices. Return via the bustling morning market. Optional 18 kilometers bike ride on Long Khanh Island or take a rickshaw ride to visit Tan Chau Market with chef. After lunch, relax by the pool, try traditional Khmer massage or learn to cook Mekong inspired dishes while we cross the border.
On this river of time we 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, we board our marine-grade aluminum skiffs and head towards the tamarind trees of Preah Prosop, a remote village little changed over several lifetimes.
We show off the Cambodian capital to our passengers by motorized tuk-tuk, the Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda and the National Museum of Cambodia, home to the world’s largest collection of Khmer art. For those who wish, we visit the Tuol Sleng Museum of Genocide and the Killing Field or shopping at Russian Market. We bid farewell to 4-night guests who are disembarking in Phnom Penh.
Return to welcome our 3-night passengers over custom sundowners like the Salted Watermelon Crush with Thai basil. Together we celebrate the onward journey towards the heart of this mighty river with a Khmer Apsara performance, an indigenous tradition memorialized on the temple walls at Angkor Wat.
In the silversmith village of Koh Chen, we watch artisans producing the magnificent silverware favored by Khmer royalty. We continue to Udong, the royal capital from the 17-19th centuries, where we learn about a uniquely challenging Buddhist practice at the Vipassana Dhura Mandala, a meditation center. In the afternoon, a walking tour of Kampong Prasat offers a close up perspective on local lives and their riverside environment.
In the cooler hours, we head into the lush countryside to visit traditional potters and palm-sugar producers, astride mountain bikes or chauffeured by shaded tuk-tuk. Into the rice paddies we pedal to watch wizened masters scale sky-piercing palms towering over us. Cruise across the glassy water and disembark among the lotuses for an ox-cart ride along the Tonle Sap riverbanks, past lacquered wooden houses where during these dry months residents take refuge in the relative cool of these outdoor impromptu living rooms.
Customized exploration of Phnom Penh and disembarkation. Airplane transfers are provided if you would like to continue your Cambodian adventure to Siem Reap and its ancient lost city of Angkor Wat. Guests will be fully escorted by our guides in a luxury car transfer to Phnom Penh Airport.
SIEM REAP FLIGHT EXTENSION
During low water season, cruise vessels are not able to travel up to the Tonle Sap Lake due to the water level. Airplane transfers via Cambodian Angkor Air are included in your cruise fare in order to continue your Cambodian adventure with us to Siem Reap and its ancient lost city of Angkor Wat. Requests for flight changes and/or upgrades are not available. Please kindly inform our Reservations team should you choose to remain in Phnom Penh after disembarkation.
Note: All itineraries are subject to change, due to weather and other conditions.
- All meals while on board
- Selected premium wines and beer, non-alcoholic drinks
- Excursions with knowledgeable local guides
- Group transfers between vessel and meeting point
- Internet connection (intermittent depends on locations)
- Luxurious 322 square feet design suite or 644 square feet interconnecting suite
- Comfortable California King-size bed or twin beds
- Suites without balconies have panoramic windows that open and an interior sofa that converts to a single bed
- Suites with balconies have panoramic windows, sliding glass door and an exterior daybed
- All suites are air conditioned
- Large double closets, chest of drawers with safe
- Pampering organic natural hair and bath amenities
- En suite bathroom with walk-in shower and rainforest showerhead
- Professional hairdryer
Images courtesy of Aqua Expeditions