Mekong Cruise Specialists
800-510-4002

The Heart of Cambodia & Vietnam 2019 (Southbound)

18-days with Avalon Waterways

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  • Avalon Journeys Club members save 5% off the cruise/land price. Click here for eligible departures.

Offers are subject to change or withdrawal at any time, and availability is limited. Some discounts are not combinable with other promotions.

Itinerary
Day 1 Arrive in Siem Reap, Cambodia
Welcome 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.
 
Day 2 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 3 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 4 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)
 
NOTE: 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.
 
Day 5 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 6 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 7 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)
 
NOTE: The climb to Wat Hanchey features a steep incline. If you feel you are unable to make the climb, you will be driven to the top by car.
 
Day 8 Border Crossing–Chau Doc, Vietnam
Cross the border this morning into Vietnam and sail to Chau Doc. Upon arrival, walk through the LOCAL MARKET and absorb the atmosphere as locals are busy buying and selling fish, meat, and produce. After lunch, join a sampan excursion 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. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
 
Day 9 Long Khong A–Cu Lao Gieng
After breakfast, 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. 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 10 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 are 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 11 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 12 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 13 Ho Chi Minh City–Hanoi
Today, transfer to the airport and fly to Hanoi. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel for the night. (Breakfast)
 
Day 14 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 ELECTRIC CART 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 15 Hanoi–Ha Long Bay
Travel from Hanoi through the fertile countryside to Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Located in the Gulf of Tonkin, the bay is dotted with more than 3,000 limestone islands carved into fanciful shapes by the action of the water. Board the luxurious Paradise Elegance for a TWO-NIGHT CRUISE on the bay. After lunch, visit the CUA VAN FLOATING VILLAGE, home to more than 700 people. You can visit by bamboo raft with the locals or in a kayak under your own power. Enjoy scenic sailing for the remainder of the day before anchoring for the night. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
 
Day 16 Ha Long Bay
Continue exploring the bay. Visit TITOP ISLAND, where you have the chance to swim or climb 400 steps to the top for stunning views. You will also visit LUON CAVE by your choice of boat or kayak. At DARK AND BRIGHT CAVE, you can explore by bamboo raft with the locals or by kayak. After a day of exploring, consider a spa treatment or simply relax for happy hour prior to dinner! (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
 
Day 17 Ha Long Bay–Hanoi
This morning, relax onboard or visit SUNG SOT CAVE, considered one of the most beautiful in the area with its magnificent formations. Afterwards, return to Hanoi and check in to your hotel. The remainder of the day is at your leisure. (Breakfast)
 
Day 18 Hanoi
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (Breakfast)
Tour Map
River Cruise Highlights
  • Cruise: 7-night cruise in a Panorama Suite with Avalon’s exclusive Comfort Collection Beds. Enjoy an intimate river cruise experience with a maximum of 36 guests on board.
  • Arrive Siem Reap: welcome to Cambodia
  • Siem Reap: visit Angkor Wat and Banteay Srei; Apsara dance performance
  • Siem Reap: visit Angkor Thom, Bayon Temple, and Ta Prohm by tuk-tuk; Les Artisans d’Angkor
  • Siem Reap (Embarkation): onboard welcome reception
  • Kampong Tralach–Konpong Louang–Phnom Penh: ox cart ride through the countryside and visit a local farmer’s home in Kampong Tralach; visit the silversmith village of Konpong Louang; sightseeing by private cyclo, including the Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda, and the National Museum
  • Phnom Penh: visit the Tuol Sleng 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 in Angkor Ban with school visit
  • Vietnam Border Crossing–Chau Doc: visit a local market and the religious sites at Sam Mountain in Chau Doc
  • Long Khong A–Cu Lao Gieng: walking tour of Lhong Khong A with cotton-weaving demonstration; visit a sampan-making family and interact with a Catholic priest in Cu Lao Gieng 
  • Ben Tre: visit a local garden and a local workshop to see how rice wine and traditional candy are made
  • Ho Chi Minh City (Disembarkation): walking tour; 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
  • Ho Chi Minh City–Hanoi: fly to Hanoi
  • Hanoi: visit Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum, One Pillar Pagoda, Ho Chi Minh Museum, and Temple of Literature; lunch at Koto; electric cart ride through the Old Quarter; water puppets performance
  • Hanoi–Ha Long Bay (Embarkation): drive to Ha Long Bay; visit Cua Van floating village
  • Ha Long Bay: cruise the bay; visit Titop Island, Luon Cave, and Dark and Bright Cave; opportunity to explore by kayak
  • Ha Long Bay (Disembarkation)–Hanoi: visit Sung Sot Cave; drive to Hanoi 
  • Hanoi: end of vacation

All This Included
This magical river cruise along the Mekong River will take you through Cambodia and Vietnam, showing you the culture and local traditions of each country and the must-see sites along the way.
 
Your adventure begins in Siem Reap, Cambodia, with the magnificent Temples of Angkor. Constructed between the 9th and 13th centuries, these ancient ruins are a display of architectural complexity and grandeur unlike anything else in the world. Stand in awe at the most famous of these temples, Angkor Wat, which honors the Hindu god, Vishnu; and the Bayon temple, which features some 200 mysterious faces carved in its many towers. Enjoy an inspiring Aspara dance performance and other treasures of the city before embarking on your river cruise. In Kampong Tralach, an ox cart ride will show you the Cambodian countryside and you’ll meet a local farmer and learn about his daily life. The temple of Wat Hanchey, perched on a hilltop, will provide the most stunning views, and then take part in a traditional water blessing with local monks. Continue your journey into Vietnam and stroll through a local market—a unique opportunity to see locals buying and selling fresh produce. Via sampan, visit the home of a local family for a cotton-weaving demonstration and a local workshop which makes rice wine and traditional candies. In bustling Ho Chi Minh City, try your hand in the kitchen with a Vietnamese cooking class and go on an excursion to the Cu Chi Tunnels—the extraordinary network of tunnels used by the Viet Cong during the war.
 
Fly to Hanoi and explore the famous sites, such as the Old Quarter, where peddlers have traded goods for centuries on its 36 ancient streets. Next, a remarkable 2-night cruise along Ha Long Bay will show you its beautiful Limestone Islands. You’ll visit the Cua Van Floating Village, spectacular caves, and even go for a swim at Titop Island. The perfect ending to an unforgettable river cruise vacation!
  • American breakfast daily, 12 lunches, 12 dinners
  • Intimate cruise experience with maximum capacity of 36 people
  • Selection of Local FavoritesSM offering unique cultural activities & interactions with locals
  • More cruising! Avalon has eliminated hours of motorcoach travel time*
  • Superior hotels selected by our regional experts
  • Certified Local Guide with all excursions
  • Headsets for all guided shore excursions
  • Bottled water on all excursions
  • Fresh fruit & tea after all ship excursions
  • Panorama Suite with 245 sq. ft of living space and huge wall-to-wall window measuring 14 feet
  • Comfort Collection BedsSM, featuring premium mattress covers
  • Large private bathrooms featuring full shower with glass door, hairdryer, and premium bath amenities
  • Spacious closets with shelves for ample storage
  • Easy under-bed luggage storage
  • Bathrobes & slippers
  • Complimentary coffee, tea, soft drinks, and local beer/spirits throughout the day at the bar
  • Bar serving premium spirits
  • Daily early riser coffee & tea
  • Delectable regional & Western cuisine with all meals
  • Full buffet breakfast & lunch with live cooking station
  • Four course a la carte dinner with choice of salads, soups, entrees, and dessert Complimentary local beer/spirits, soft drinks and coffee & tea with all onboard meals
  • Complimentary wine with all onboard lunches & dinners
  • Friendly, English-speaking crew
  • Non-smoking interior

Accommodations on this Tour
Siem Reap: Park Hyatt Siem Reap
Cruising: Cabin onboard Avalon Siem Reap or Avalon Saigon
Ho Chi Minh City: InterContinental Asiana Saigon
Hanoi: InterContinental Westlake
Ha Long Bay: Paradise Elegance
Pre and Post Add-ons
Extra Nights per person in Siem Reap:
January-April & September-December: in single room $265; in twin room $138
July-August: in single room $232; in twin room $121

Extra Nights per person in Hanoi:
in single room $215; in twin room $113 
Notes
  • Participation in this vacation requires 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 $212. Required intra-vacation air segments: Ho Chi Minh City/Hanoi. Air prices were effective on April 5, 2017, and their availability is limited. At the time you purchase your tour, air prices may be higher.
  • Gratuities to Local Guides & drivers are included.
  • Please call for single accommodation price. Triples not available.
  • Prices shown include cruise in Category B in an Avalon Suite on Mekong Deck. To upgrade to a Category A on the Tonle Deck, add $400 per person in double occupancy or $800 in single occupancy.
  • 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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