- The Mekong river
Cruise the southern section of the mighty Mekong as it flows from Cambodia into the Mekong Delta in Vietnam
- The Silver Pagoda
See Phnom Penh by cyclo, and visit this silver-floored pagoda which is packed with bejewelled Buddhas
- Angkor Thom
Walk among the astonishing architecture of the mighty Khmer Empire that includes Angkor temples
- RV Mekong Pandaw
Resembling an old-fashioned paddle steamer, the RV Mekong Pandaw is the height of luxury on the Mekong
- Small Group 18 or less
- VIP door to door
- Save £
Sail a section of the Mekong, the world's twelfth longest river
Experience the beauty and grandeur of the Mekong on a leisurely cruise through Vietnam into Cambodia. Sail sampans into floating markets and villages, and top and tail your tour with hotel stays in Ho Chi Minh and near the ancient city of Angkor Thom.
5 nights in hotels, 7 on board ship and 2 in flight
27 meals: 12 breakfasts, 7 lunches and 8 dinners
- Optional travel insurance underwritten by Great Lakes Insurance SE, UK
- Return flights and transfers
- Saga tour manager
- Welcome drink reception
- Porterage at all hotels
- Local beer, wine or spirits with dinner on board ship
- Tourist visa for full British Citizens resident in the UK
Excursions and visits
- Tour Ho Chi Minh city
- Visit to Ben Tre and Cho Lach Island
- Visit to Gao Giong bird sanctuary
- Visit Con Phuoc Island
- Sailing the canals of Tan Chau
- Phnom Penh city tour by 'cyclo'
- Sail on the Tobnle Sap River and visit Koh Okhna Tey island
- Visit Koh Trong Island
- Watch for dolphins in Kratie
- Angkor Wat, the world's largest religious monument
Day 1 UK-Ho Chi Minh City
After taking Saga’s included UK door-to-door travel service to the airport, depart on your overnight flight to Ho Chi Minh City.
Day 2 Ho Chi Minh City
On arrival transfer to the locally rated 5-star Pullman Saigon for a two-night stay.
The hotel is ideally located for exploring the city and you have the rest of the afternoon to do so. Close by is the historic Ban Thanh Market, one of the earliest surviving buildings in Saigon, as well as many bars, restaurants and nightspots within walking distance. Good public transport services make it easy for visitors to get around. Amenities offered at the hotel include two restaurants and two bars, an outdoor pool, fitness centre, and spa (charges apply). Each of the 306 air-conditioned rooms has a television, tea and coffee-making facilities, minibar, safe, and hairdryer. Dinner is at your hotel. D
Day 3 Ho Chi Minh City
Start your holiday with a tour of Vietnam's largest city – formerly known as Saigon and often referred to as Vietnam’s Los Angeles.
It was part of Cambodia until the 17th century, when it was acquired by Vietnam, and later colonised by the French whose influence can still be seen. Look out for key sights such as the elegant French-colonial buildings, traditional temples and pagodas and the fallen 1960s Reunification Palace. You’ll also visit the History Museum. Lunch and dine wherever you please. B
Day 4 Ho Chi Minh City
Set off on a scenic drive to the port of My Tho to embark the RV Mekong Pandaw (4⚓) for your seven-night cruise. Lunch will be served on board. B, L, D
Day 5 Ben Tre-Banh Xeo
Embark on a ride by Sampan, travelling through mangroves and bamboo groves to the province of Ben Tre, known for its fruit orchards. Look forward to meeting local artisans and honey producers from the area before continuing to Cho Lach Island, concluding your day with a cookery lesson, making ‘Banh Xeo’ – a popular local pancake-style dish. B, L, D
Day 6 Gao Giong and Con Phuoc Island
Travel by coach to Gao Giong bird sanctuary, known for its water birds. Afterwards, you’ll cruise upstream to Con Phuoc Island and tour the island by Xi Loi - a form of ricksahw. B, L, D
Day 7 Tan Chau
Discover the canal system of Tan Chau together with local villages as you explore further by Xi Loi. Later you may like to join an optional tour of the ship and a fruit carving class. B, L, D
Day 8 Phnom Penh, Cambodia
This morning enjoy a city tour by bicycle carriage, or 'cyclo', visiting the Royal Palace complex, the Silver Pagoda, and the National Museum.
This afternoon there is a choice of optional excursions: perhaps join a visit to the Choeung Ek killing fields and learn about the consequences of the Khmer Rouge's brutal regime under Pol Pot, or take a tuk-tuk to explore the riverfront area and enjoy High Tea at the famous Raffles Hotel.
This evening there will be a puppet show on board the ship, as you moor overnight in Phnoom Penh. B, L, D
Day 9 Tonle Sap cruise
Cruise up the narrow, winding Tonle Sap river for glimpses of rural village life.
The UNESCO-listed Tonle Sap Biosphere Reserve supports up to one million people and a rich variety of wildlife including hundreds of varieties of water birds and fish, along with crocodiles, turtles and macaques. During the rainy season Tonle Sap Lake becomes South East Asia's largest freshwater lake. Visit Koh Okhna Tey, or ‘silk island’ to study the entire silk making process from worms to weavers.
There will also be a demonstration of the ancient Khmer martial art of Bokator before you cruise back along the river. B, L, D
Day 10 Koh Trong-Kratie
Explore the sandbar island of Koh Trong by bicycle or Ox Cart, with its charming scenery and temples.
Afterwards, continue to the French colonial town of Kratie. From here, you’ll head to a protected area of a national park to watch for the increasingly rare Irrawaddy Dolphins, now under threat with only around 92 individuals left in existence. Regarded as sacred by the Khmer and Lao peoples, this rare and enchanting dolphin is one of only three cetacean species that can live in both fresh and salt water. B, L, D
Day 11 Siem Reap
Sail downstream to Kampong, where you will disembark and transfer to Siem Reap to the locally rated 4-star Royal Angkor Resort for a three-night stay.
The hotel is near the ancient city of Angkor Thom, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are various restaurants and bars in the resort – the Garden Café offers international cuisine and the AZ Royal Restaurant offers Asian fusion and Western cuisine. Other facilities include two additional restaurants, three bars, a lounge, swimming pool with Jacuzzi, a sauna and steam bath, gym and fitness centre, and souvenir shop. The Chinese-inspired Royal Spa offers massage therapies for an extra charge. The 198 rooms are equipped with air conditioning, a television, telephone, tea and coffee-making facilities, a hairdryer and safe. B
Day 12 Siem Reap
Begin your day with a visit to Ankor Wat, the world’s largest religious monument.
Next visit the nearby Angkor Thom, the most enduring capital built by the Khmer kings, also part of the 400-square-kilometre Angkor Archaeological Park. Set within a ten-kilometre enclosure and surrounded by a huge moat, the ruins of this once great city are ringed by walls that contained the Khmer capital between the 12th and 15th centuries. At its heart is the state temple, Bayon, with its 54 towers. See the Bayon Temple and other-worldly Ta Prohm monastery, which has been left as it was found, partially engulfed by giant tree roots. B
Day 13 Siem Reap
Spend today at leisure or perhaps join an optional excursion to Angkor Silk Farm. B
Day 14 Siem Reap-UK
After a day at leisure depart Siem for your return overnight flight. B
Day 15 UK
Arrive back in the UK for your included UK door-to-door travel service.
Angkor Silk Farm
Discover the ins and outs of the silk-making process with a guided tour of Angkor Silk Farm. The farm itself consists of around 5 hectares of mulberry tree plantations – creating the perfect all-you-can-eat buffet for the silk worms. Learn how the silk is harvested from the cocoons of the worms, then reeled into thread, woven into fabric and dyed.
Optional on 14 nights itinerary
Choeung Ek killing fields
Travel to the Choeung Ek killing fields, where thousands of victims of the Cambodian Genocide were buried in mass graves. The site is now a memorial, with a commemorative stupa containing more than 5,000 human skulls. Many of the graves here have been exhumed, but many haven’t – please be aware that it’s not uncommon for human bones to be seen embedded in the ground or littering the area. Later on you visit the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, site of the infamous S-21 prison, where countless prisoners where incarcerated for perceived crimes against the regime, and were forced to confess under torture – they would then be marched to the Killing Fields and executed. It’s thought that of the 14,000-20,000 victims who passed through the prison walls, only around a dozen survived, and it’s estimated that more than two million people were killed in the Cambodian Genocide.
Optional on 14 nights itinerary
This tour is necessarily flexible because of changing water levels on the Mekong. A certain level of mobility is required as excursions from the ship are via sampan. Tourist visas for Cambodia will be organised on board ship, the cost is covered by Saga.