Summary : Enjoy an introduction to the Mekong River in true style on this three-night Mekong River Discovery cruise, from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap, Cambodia. Set off from the modern marvels and colonial charms of Phnom Penh, Cambodia's capital, travel among the timeless floating villages along the Mekong River, receiving blessings en route from Buddhist monks in their remote sanctuaries. Journey upriver within Cambodia to the great Tonle Sap Lake outside Siem Reap, a refuge for rare water birds.
Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Culture, Hiking, Triple/Quad Cabins
$4,050 to $4,200
Passengers are welcome over custom sundowners like the Salted Watermelon Crush with Thai basil. Together 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.
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, continue learning about Khmer riverside life in Kampong Chhnang, the 'Port of Pottery' so called because archaeological findings here date to the 6th century. Bike option is available.
Continue exploring the remote communities 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. After lunch, visit the floating village of Moat Khla, accessible only by water, and attend a Buddhist blessing ceremony in this isolated community.
Set off by skiff into the over 54,000-acre 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 fin foot. Disembarkation.
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 aboard 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.