Mekong Cruise Specialists
800-510-4002

Fascinating Vietnam, Cambodia & Mekong River with Bangkok, Luang Prabang & More (South)

22-days with Avalon Waterways

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Itinerary
Day 1 Arrive Bangkok, Thailand
Welcome to Bangkok! Hotel rooms are available for mid-afternoon check-in.
 
Day 2 Bangkok
This morning, your sightseeing begins with a BOAT RIDE through the klongs, Bangkok’s canals, to see the family homes, temples, and the way of life that give this city the nickname “Venice of the East.” Stop at the stunning GRAND PALACE, featuring the TEMPLE OF THE EMERALD BUDDHA. Also visit the TEMPLE OF THE RECLINING BUDDHA, the oldest and largest Buddhist temple in Bangkok. It houses more than 1,000 Buddha images, including the 49-foot-high and 151-foot-long massive Reclining Buddha. The remainder of the day is at your leisure. (Breakfast, Lunch)
 
Day 3 Bangkok
Enjoy a full day at your leisure. (Breakfast)
 
Day 4 Bangkok–Luang Prabang, Laos
Today, fly to Luang Prabang. (Breakfast)
 
Day 5 Luang Prabang
Today, enjoy a full day of sightseeing in this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Begin your morning by witnessing the Tak Bat (almsgiving ceremony), with a visit to a local market. Each morning before dawn, Buddhist monks don their distinctive saffron-colored robes and walk through the streets to collect alms (offerings of food). This is a truly memorable sight you will not soon forget as you personally present alms to the monks and receive their blessings. Afterward, walk through the colorful morning market on the banks of the Mekong River in the center of town. Here you will see locals buy and sell their produce and meats. Then visit the NATIONAL MUSEUM, formerly the Royal Palace. Nearby is WAT MAI, famous for its 5-tiered roof built in the traditional style of Luang Prabang. You will also visit WAT VISOUN and WAT XIENG THONG, often thought to be the most beautiful wat or monastery in the city. This afternoon, visit the village of BAN XANG KHONG. Here you will witness a WEAVING DEMONSTRATION and learn about how sa paper is made by hand from the pulp of mulberry trees. (Breakfast, Lunch)
 
Day 6 Luang Prabang
Enjoy a full-day at your leisure. (Breakfast)
 
Day 7 Luang Prabang–Siem Reap, Cambodia
Today, fly to Siem Reap, your base during your visit to Angkor, considered by many to be the most spectacular architectural ruins on Earth! Hotel rooms are available for mid-afternoon check-in. (Breakfast)
 
Day 8 Siem Reap
This morning, start your sightseeing of the TEMPLES OF ANGKOR. Constructed between the 9th and 13th centuries, the temples were built around the Khmer interpretations of Indian religious and political beliefs that ultimately evolved from Hinduism to Buddhism. The complex architectural grandeur of the Angkor temples is arguably unmatched among ancient ruins anywhere in the world. First, visit the best preserved and most famous of all the temples: ANGKOR WAT, honoring the Hindu god Vishnu. Featuring five trademark towers and stunning bas reliefs, it has become a symbol of Cambodia. Then, visit BANTEAY SREI, a unique temple dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. Unlike other temples, it is built on a small scale from red sandstone, which can be carved like wood. This evening, enjoy a PRIVATE APSARA DANCE PERFORMANCE, where the ancient Khmer culture is brought to life by talented dancers, singers, and musicians. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
 
Day 9 Siem Reap
Today, continue your sightseeing of the Angkor temples by tuk-tuk. Start at ANGKOR THOM where you will explore BAYON TEMPLE. One of the few Buddhist temples in Angkor, it features some 200 striking faces carved in 54 towers and impressive bas reliefs. Next stop is TA PROHM, which, unlike the other temples, has been left relatively untouched. Tree roots grow over and through the ruin walls, allowing you to experience the temple with the same wonder as the early explorers who discovered it. Lastly, stop at LES ARTISANS D’ANGKOR, a development project teaching young adults traditional handicraft techniques. The rest of the afternoon is at your leisure to explore this charming town. (Breakfast)
 
Day 10 Siem Reap (Embarkation)
This morning, transfer to the port and board your river cruise vessel for your CRUISE down the Mekong through Cambodia and Vietnam. This afternoon, enjoy time on board the ship as you cruise through Tonle Sap (Great Lake). After the rainy season, this massive body of water can cover around 10,000 square miles and provides the perfect breeding ground for fish, which provide food for people living on the lake. This evening, enjoy a welcome reception. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
 
Day 11 Cruising: Kampong Tralach–Konpong Louang–Phnom Penh
Today, visit Kampong Tralach for an OX CART RIDE past rice paddy fields and the beautiful Cambodian countryside. Along the way, stop to MEET WITH A LOCAL FARMER and learn more about his daily life. Lastly, visit the SILVERSMITH VILLAGE of Konpong Louang. Here you will see talented craftsmen use age-old techniques to turn pure silver into works of art. Then sail to the capital city of Phnom Penh. After lunch, your sightseeing tour by private cyclo includes visits to the ROYAL PALACE with the spectacular SILVER PAGODA and the NATIONAL MUSEUM, featuring an outstanding display of Khmer artifacts. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
 
Day 12 Cruising: Phnom Penh
Sightseeing this morning provides a glimpse of the atrocities inflicted on the Cambodian people by the Khmer Rouge regime. Visit the TUOL SLENG GENOCIDE MUSEUM, a former high school that housed over 17,000 prisoners. Of this number, it is believed that less than 15 survived the torture and avoided being sent to the Killing Fields. You will also visit one of the KILLING FIELDS, where over 200,000 people were killed by the Khmer Rouge. The remainder of the day is at your leisure to explore the city. Just before dinner, children from a local orphanage will put on a SHOW featuring local song and dance. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
 
Day 13 Cruising: Wat Hanchey–Angkor Ban
This morning, visit WAT HANCHEY, a temple dating back to the 8th century and the Chenla Empire. Located on a hilltop, enjoy stunning views of the surrounding area and partake in a TRADITIONAL WATER BLESSING given by local monks. After lunch, enjoy a WALKING TOUR through the rural village of Angkor Ban. Here you will see traditional Khmer houses and visit a LOCAL SCHOOL. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
 
Day 14 Cruising: Border Crossing–Long Khong A, Vietnam–Chau Doc
Cross the border this morning into Vietnam. A sampan brings you to the village of LONG KHONG A, where cotton weaving is a well-preserved tradition. Spend time at one house for a COTTON-WEAVING DEMONSTRATION and a chance to talk with the family. After lunch, join a sampan excursion around down the backwaters of the river to the religious sites at the base of SAM MOUNTAIN. Along the way, see traditional floating homes, speedboat merchants, a market selling dried goods, and more. Before returning to the ship, walk through the LOCAL MARKET and absorb the atmosphere as locals are busy buying and selling fish, meat, and produce. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
 
Day 15 Cruising: Cu Lao Gieng
This morning, enjoy time at leisure on board the ship as we sail to Cu Lao Gieng. In the afternoon, board a sampan and enjoy scenes of daily life along the river. Stop at a LOCAL HOME, where a skilled family works together to hand-craft sampans for a living. Then, ride a specially designed MOTOR CART to one of Vietnam’s oldest churches for a special INTERACTION WITH A CATHOLIC PRIEST. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
 
Day 16 Cruising: Ben Tre
This morning, board a sampan for a scenic cruise to Ben Tre. Visit a LOCAL WORKSHOP to see how rice wine and traditional coconut candy is made. Then, continue on to a LOCAL GARDEN where several types of fruit indigenous to the area are grown. This afternoon, enjoy time on board the ship as we sail to exciting Ho Chi Minh City. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
 
Day 17 Ho Chi Minh City (Disembarkation)
Welcome to Ho Chi Minh City, still known as Saigon to many. This morning, enjoy a WALKING TOUR of the city’s famous and historic landmarks as you stroll through the heart of the city along Dong Khoi Street (formerly Rue Catinat) past Ho Chi Minh Square, the Municipal Theatre, the Central Post Office, and Notre Dame Cathedral. Stop at the Rex Hotel for a refreshing DRINK at the popular ROOFTOP BAR where the U.S. Military held the infamous “Five O’Clock Follies” during the war. Next, visit the WAR REMNANTS MUSEUM followed by BEN THANH MARKET, the largest and oldest in the city. For lunch, participate in a hands-on VIETNAMESE COOKING CLASS. Head into the classroom and learn how to prepare different local dishes and the techniques necessary to recreate them once you return home. Last but not least, sample your delicious creations! The afternoon is at your leisure to explore this lively city. (Breakfast, Lunch)
 
Day 18 Ho Chi Minh City. Excursion To Cu Chi Tunnels
This morning, leave the city and drive through vast expanses of rice paddies to visit the CU CHI TUNNELS, an extraordinary network of tunnels more than 120 miles in length that was used by the Viet Cong as a hideout and secret village during the war. Here you will learn about how the tunnels were constructed and have a chance to walk through a section to experience what life would have been like underground. Return to Ho Chi Minh City and enjoy the remainder of the afternoon at your leisure. This evening, join your traveling companions for a special farewell dinner hosted by your Cruise Director. (Breakfast, Dinner)
 
Day 19 Ho Chi Minh City–Hanoi–Ha Long Bay
This morning, fly to Hanoi. Upon arrival, depart the city and travel through the fertile countryside to Hon Gai, gateway to Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. (Breakfast, Dinner)
 
Day 20 Ha Long Bay–Hanoi
Located in the Gulf of Tonkin, Ha Long Bay is dotted with over 3,000 limestone islands carved into fanciful shapes by the action of the water. Tunnels, caves, and weirdly shaped outcroppings with imaginative names can be found on many of the small islets sprinkled across the bay. Board a CRUISE that explores the caves, and admire the beauty and scale before stopping at one of the many secluded bays. Later, return to Hanoi. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
 
Day 21 Hanoi
This morning, take time to look at the life of Ho Chi Minh, the father of modern Vietnam. First, visit the MAUSOLEUM and the humble cottage from which “Uncle Ho” ruled Vietnam until his death in 1969. Next on the agenda: ONE PILLAR PAGODA, the HO CHI MINH MUSEUM, and the Presidential Palace. Stop at the infamous “Hanoi Hilton” before continuing to mystical Hoan Kiem Lake, where you will enjoy a brief guided walk. Also visit the ancient TEMPLE OF LITERATURE, over 900 years old and Hanoi’s first university. Lunch is at KOTO, a non-profit restaurant and hospitality program that trains local street children in restaurant skills they can use to find a job and build a stable life. After lunch, enjoy a CYCLO ride through the fascinating Old Quarter, 36 ancient streets where peddlers trade as they have for centuries. An early dinner this evening is followed by a fascinating performance of Hanoi’s renowned WATER PUPPETS, a traditional art form dating back to the 11th century. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
 
Day 22 Hanoi
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (Breakfast)
Tour Map
River Cruise Highlights
  • Cruise: deluxe 7-night cruise from Siem Reap to Ho Chi Minh City in an outside suite with Avalon’s exclusive Comfort Collection BedsSM. Enjoy an intimate river cruise experience with a maximum of 36 guests on board.
  • Arrive In Bangkok: welcome to Thailand
  • Bangkok: boat ride on klongs; visit the Grand Palace, Temple of the Emerald Buddha, and the Temple of the Reclining Buddha
  • Bangkok: day at leisure
  • Bangkok–Luang Prabang: fly to Luang Prabang
  • Luang Prabang: participate in morning almsgiving ceremony; visit the morning market, National Museum, Wat Mai, Wat Visoun, Wat Xieng Thong, and Ban Xang Khong; weaving and sa paper-making demonstrations
  • Luang Prabang: day at leisure to explore on your own
  • Luang Prabank–Siem Reap: fly to Siem Reap
  • Siem Reap: visit Angkor Wat, Banteay Srei, Angkor Thom, Bayon Temple, Ta Prohm, and Les Artisans d’Angkor; Apsara Dance Performance
  • Siem Reap (Embarkation): begin your cruise
  • Kampong Tralach–Konpong Louang–Phnom Penh: oxcart through the countryside and visit a local farmer’s home in Kampong Tralach; visit the silversmith village of Konpong Louang; sightseeing by private cyclo in Phnom Penh including the Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda, and the National Museum
  • Phnom Penh: visit the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and one of the Killing Fields; afternoon at leisure; show by children from local orphanage
  • Wat Hanchey–Angkor Ban: visit Wat Hanchey and partake in a traditional water blessing by local monks; walking tour through Angkor Ban village with school visit
  • Vietnam Border Crossing–Long Khong A–Chau Doc: walking tour through Long Khong A village with silk-weaving demonstration; visit a local fish farm, the religious sites at Sam Mountain, and a local market in Chau Doc
  • Sa Dec: visit a brick factory, local market, and the ancient house of Mr. Huynh Thuy Le
  • Cai Be: visit a cathedral and see how rice paper, rice wine, and traditional candy are made
  • Ho Chi Minh City (Disembarkation): walking tour of the city’s landmarks; visit the famous Rex Hotel for a drink, War Remnants Museum, and Ben Thanh Market; cooking class
  • Ho Chi Minh City: Cu Chi Tunnels excursion; farewell dinner
  • Ho Chi Minh City–Hanoi–Halong: fly to Hanoi, continue to Ha Long Bay
  • Halong to Hanoi: cruise on Ha Long Bay
  • Hanoi: visit Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum, One Pillar Pagoda, Ho Chi Minh Museum, and Temple of Literature; lunch at Koto; take a cyclo ride through the Old Quarter; water puppets performance
  • Special experiences by local entertainers, artisans, and experts, designed to enrich your cruise.
  • Vietnamese cooking class
  • Dance show by children from a local orphanage
  • Traditional water blessing by monk
  • Visit a local farmer’s home and learn about his daily life
  • Private Apsara dance performance

All This Included
Immerse yourself in fascinating cultures and ancient traditions as you embark on an inspiring journey through Bangkok, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam. Along the way, learn more about the history of each country, marvel at spectacular scenery, and interact with the friendly locals. This is a journey that will create memories you won’t soon forget!

Start in Bangkok for a tour of the stunning Grand Palace and the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, home to the 49-foot-high and 151-foot-long massive Reclining Buddha. In Luang Prabang, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, participate in the almsgiving ceremony, visit several prominent temples and a local village to see a weaving demonstration and learn how sa paper is made from the pulp of mulberry trees. On to Siem Reap, where you will visit the spectacular Angkor temple complex, whose architectural grandeur is arguably unmatched among the world’s ancient ruins. See several of the temples, including spectacular Angkor Wat and the mesmerizing faces of Bayon. Here you will also enjoy a private Apsara dance performance and will visit a development project teaching young adults traditional handicraft techniques. Then, start your cruise on the Mekong River, the thread that connects the people of Southeast Asia. Visit a colorful local market, a sampan builder, and a local establishment to see how rice wine and traditional candy are made. In Phnom Penh, take a tour of the city by private cyclo, with visits to the National Museum and the Royal Palace with the stunning Silver Pagoda. Walking tours through the rural villages of Long Khong A and Angkor Ban and an ox cart ride through the countryside at Kampong Tralach will grant you a memorable inside look at life along the river and interactions with the local people. In bustling Ho Chi Minh City, your sightseeing includes the Cu Chi Tunnels—a vast network of tunnels used by the Viet Cong. You will also partake in a hands-on Vietnamese cooking class. End in Hanoi, capital of Vietnam. Ride a cyclo through the city, explore Hanoi’s fascinating Old Quarter on a walking tour, see a water puppet performance, and take a trip through the countryside to stunning Ha Long Bay for a cruise through the 3,000 limestone islands.

All of this and more await you on this fabulous journey!
  • American breakfast daily, 13 lunches, 11 dinners, including a farewell dinner in Ho Chi Minh. While on board the ship, enjoy complimentary wine with dinner and complimentary coffee, tea, soft drinks, local beer, and local spirits throughout the day.
  • Included excursions with Certified Local Guide; sightseeing as outlined in the day by-day itinerary; inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE.
  • Deluxe cruise in an outside stateroom with hotel-style beds
  • Headsets for shore excursions
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi access
  • Personalized room options & excursions
Accommodations on this Tour
Bangkok: InterContinental Bangkok
Luang Prabang: Maison Souvannaphoum
Siem Reap: Park Hyatt Siem Reap
Cruising: Cabin onboard Avalon Siem Reap
Ho Chi Minh City: InterContinental Asiana Saigon
Ha Long Bay: Novotel Ha Long Bay
Hanoi: InterContinental Westlake
Pre and Post Add-ons
Extra Nights per person in Bangkok: 
January-December 18, 2017-January 3, 2018: in single room $267; in twin room $139
December 19, 2017-January 3, 2018: in single room $317; in twin room $165

Extra Nights per person in Hanoi: 
in single room $242; in twin room $127
Notes
  • Port charges: $85.
  • Cabin upgrades are available.
  • Please call for single accommodation price. Triples not available.
  • During low water conditions, generally mid-December to August, we will not be able to cruise on Tonle Sap. In these cases, we will fly from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh for embarkation. No included sightseeing will be missed. Low water conditions vary from year to year, so this will be evaluated on a cruise-by-cruise basis.
  • Participation in this vacation requires purchase of the following flights from Avalon Waterways, not included in pricing: (1) roundtrip air from your U.S. gateway and intra-vacation air segments; or (2) intra-vacation air segments only, starting at $786. Required intra-vacation air segment: Bangkok/Luang Prabang; Luang Prabang/Siem Reap; Ho Chi Minh City/Hanoi. Air prices were effective on April 6, 2016 and their availability is limited. At the time you purchase your tour, air prices may be higher.
  • Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions

* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines. Sorry, we are unable to offer air from countries other than the U.S. However, for those international customers who are able to arrange their own transportation to the trip origination city, we are able to offer the land/cruise portion of the package at the price quoted.


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