Summary : Experience a journey of discovery along the Mekong River, on this four-night Mekong River Explorer cruise that brings you in style from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Travel to the ecological marvel that is the great Tonle Sap Lake in Cambodia to the timeless floating villages along the Mekong River, receive blessings from Buddhist monks in their remote sanctuaries, then sail onward into the modern marvels and colonial charms of Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital. Begin your four night adventure in Cambodia's Siem Reap, then leave modernity behind for vestiges of Indochine and remote Buddhist monasteries, explore deep into an ancient flooded forest among rare birds and turtles, before emerging into the history rich city of Phnom Penh, home to one of the world’s finest collections of Angkorian art.
Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Culture, Hiking, Triple/Quad Cabins
$5,400 to $5,600
Gather at the Siem Reap meeting point then board an air-conditioned bus for the scenic 45-minute countryside ride to the dock on the Tonle Sap Lake. Check-in to your 3-story, five star Mekong abode. 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.
Set off by skiff into the 22,000-hectare Prek Toal Core Bird Reserve, one of the largest freshwater bodies in Asia and the last refuge in Southeast Asia for large waterbirds like the spot-billed pelicans, milky stork, black-headed ibis and the elusive masked finfoot. After lunch, visit the floating village of Moat Khla, accessible only by water, and attend a Buddhist blessing ceremony in this isolated community.
Explore remote villages around the Tonle Sap Lake, designated as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1997. In Chhnok Tru, “slide” into an ice factory and learn from locals what it’s like to live in a town where schools, churches, pagodas, and even the karaoke bar and police station all float. ontinue learning about Khmer riverside life in Kampong Chhnang, the 'Port of Pottery' so called because archaeological findings here date to the 6th century.
This morning, visit Koh Chen, a silversmith village known for its fine craftsmanship. Keep an eye out for their famous silver bowls, regularly chosen by Cambodia's king as gifts for visiting dignitaries. In the afternoon, set off for the Mekong's 'silk islands' where renowned weavers allow you to wander freely, admiring their intricate craftsmanship. Biking is optional for those who wish to explore deeper into the island.
Discover the Cambodian capital by motorized tuk-tuk. See 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, visit the Tuol Sleng Museum of Genocide and the Killing Field or shopping at Russian Market. Disembark in Phnom Penh.
Read this itinerary as a guide only; the exact route and program varies according to weather conditions—and the wildlife you encounter. Flexibility is the key to the success of this expedition. ExpeditionTrips is not responsible for itinerary changes.
What to Expect in High or Low Water Season:
Whether you choose the high water or the low water season on the Mekong for your cruise, traveling aboard the Aqua Mekong extends your options from the very limited dry season in Cambodia and Vietnam (November to February) to almost anytime of the year. Tropical temperatures across Southeast Asia generally fluctuate between 78°F and 86°F. In the warmest months of March and April, this figure may climb as high as 100°F but Mekong River waters flow from the icy Tibetan Plateau, taking the edge off this equatorial swelter and making river travel the ideal way to experience this captivating region. Even when it rains, as it does throughout the year, off-ship and water-based excursions remain extremely comfortable during these usually short cloudbursts. Rainy season arrives with the southwest monsoon in May and lasts through October. This actually creates the high water conditions that allow the Aqua Mekong to cruise deeper into Vietnam’s emerald flooded forest, to Cambodia’s Tonle Sap Lake, and along otherwise inaccessible yet fascinating tributaries. Despite the name, rain only falls around an hour each day and usually in the afternoon. Excursions are timed so that guests may soak up the timeless romance of rain on the river while comfortably under cover.
Group transfers between the vessel and the meeting points; cabin accommodations and meals onboard the ship; beverages (non-alcoholic, premium wine, and beer); shore excursions; laundry service; bike use; entrance fees en route; wireless internet. Subject to change without notice.
Air transportation; passport / visa fees; private transfers; travel insurance; items of a personal nature; boutique purchases; spa treatments; guide and crew gratuities; fuel surcharge may apply.