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Mekong Expedition Cruise

Ho Chi Minh City, Jungle, and Villages
Aboard the Aqua Mekong


Experience the enchantment of southern Vietnam and Cambodia while cruising the waters of the Mekong. The elegant 20-cabin Aqua Mekong is the ideal way to travel to remote floating markets and lush plantations. Traditional cultures and artisanship come to life in mat-weaving villages and pottery ports. You’ll experience folk songs and even a unicorn dance, a blessing at a Buddhist temple, and a tuk-tuk ride to the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh. For a more physical excursion, join optional kayak and bicycle tours with an experienced naturalist guide. As the sun sets in the evening, savor a salted watermelon crush at the outdoor bar and relax in the shaded plunge pool as the ship glides by slow-paced fishing villages.

Note: This cruise is not exclusive to, nor operated by, Wilderness Travel, who acts solely as agent in booking your reservation with the ship operator. The itinerary, lecturers, and all other arrangements are subject to change at the discretion of the cruise line.


Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap Itinerary

Day 1
My Tho / Ho Chi Minh / Vetnam

From the Saigon meeting point, you will be transfered by air-conditioned coach to My Tho dock where you will be welcome board 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.

Day 2
Binh Thanh / Sa Dec / My An Hung / Vietnam

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. A 10.5-mile biking option is also available.

Day 3
Chau Doc / Vinh Xuong / Ka'om Samnor Border

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 11-mile 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.

Day 4
Koh Oknha Tey / Preah Prosop / Cambodia

On this river of time, you can 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 the marine-grade aluminum skiffs and head towards the tamarind trees of Preah Prosop, a remote village little changed over several lifetimes.

Day 5
Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Explore the Cambodian capital by motorized tuk-tuk, 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, you can visit the Tuol Sleng Museum of Genocide and the Killing Field or shopping at Russian Market. Bid farewell to 4-night guests who are disembarking in Phnom Penh.

Return to welcome your 3-night passengers over custom sundowners like the Salted Watermelon Crush with Thai basil. 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.

Day 6
Tonle Sap River / Koh Chen / Kampong Chhnang / Cambodia

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.

Day 7
Mouth of the Tonle Sap Lake / Chhnok Tru / Moat Khla

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.

Day 8
Tonle Sap Lake / Prek Toal / Siem Reap

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. Disembarkation.

Itinerary-in-Brief (Siem Reap to Ho Chi Minh City)

Day 1: Tonle Sap Lake / Siem Reap / Cambodia
Day 2: Tonle Sap Lake / Prek Toal / Moat Khla
Day 3: Tonle Sap Lake /Chhnok Tru / Kampong Chhnang
Day 4: Tonle Sap and Mekong River / Koh Chen / Koh Oknha Tey
Day 5: Mekong River / PHNOM PENH
Day 6: Mekong River / Ka'om Samnor-Vinh Xuong Border Crossing / Chau Doc / My An Hung / Vietnam
Day 7: Binh Thanh / Sa Dec / Cai Be / Mekong River
Day 8: Mekong River / My Tho / Ho Chi Minh



Cruise the Mekong River aboard a luxury river vessel
Visit traditional villages in Cambodia
Explore the World Heritage Site of Tonle Sap Lake


Length: 8 days
Cost From: $9450  
Arrive: Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam (or reverse)
Depart: Siem Reap, Cambodia (or reverse)
Lodging: 7 nights aboard a luxury river vessel
Meals: All meals included on board (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Activity: Cultural Adventures, Sea Kayaking, Walking, Wildlife & Natural History, Photography, River Cruising, Culinary, Bicycle Tours
Trip Level:

8-day cruise, cultural exploration and walking tours

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