Summary : Embark on a journey through captivating landscapes, traveling back in time as you sail upriver from Ho Chi Minh City along the thriving Mekong Delta past floating villages, colonial vestiges and gilded pagodas to the Art Deco landmarks of Phnom Penh.
Activities : Birding, Culture, Hiking, Triple/Quad Cabins
NEW – Summer Season Rates (30% Off Standard Rates)
$3,780 to $5,600
Meet in Ho Chi Minh City and transfer by air-conditioned coach to My Tho dock where you will be welcomed 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 you 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 you will walk through verdant plantations. you 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. An 11 mile 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 you cross the border.
On this river of time 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, board marine-grade aluminum skiffs and head towards the tamarind trees of Preah Prosop, a remote village little changed over several lifetimes.
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. Your journey comes to an end 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.
2019 Summer Season: 5/3/2019–8/13/2019
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.
Chef Hosted Departure: 8/16/2019, 9/13/2019
A 2016 Diners Club International Lifetime Achievement Award winner for Asia, chef David Thompson is a culinary artist who has established himself as a champion of authentic Thai cuisine and brought worldwide attention to Asian cooking. His restaurants perennially earn Michelin stars and rank on “The World’s 50 Best” list, yet David Thompson arrived at such accolades for his Southeast Asian cuisine by accident. An unexpected detour in his 1986 holiday plans left the Sydney native marooned in Bangkok where he discovered Thai food by “happy serendipity.” His restaurant, Long Chim, has expanded to Singapore, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, showcasing the spices and diversity of Thai street food. On this departure, you'll have unique opportunities to travel with the chef to local markets and learn about locally grown and harvested ingredients, attend a master cooking class, and participate in an interactive Q&A session where you'll find out how the dynamic international food scene is transforming the way Chef Thompson designs his latest visions of culinary creativity.
Group transfers to/from vessel and the meeting points; cabin accommodations and meals aboard the ship; beverages (non-alcoholic, premium wine, and beer); shore excursions; laundry service; entrance fees en route; wireless internet; gear on loan (complimentary bike use). 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.