A Mekong Experience
13 Nights / 14 Days
Classic Tour ¦14 Days¦Physical Level 1
Saigon – 4N Victoria Mekong Cruise – Phnom Penh – Siem Reap
With four nights to soak up the sights and sounds of the mighty Mekong on a relaxed cruise, on this tour you’ll also discover the history of Saigon and Siem Reap. Packed with memorable moments and cultural experiences, discover vibrant Saigon, explore the lush waterways of the Mekong Delta and stand awestruck before the magnificent temples of Angkor in Cambodia.
• Test your senses at NOIR in Saigon • Cruise for 4 nights on the 4* Victoria Mekong • Explore Phnom Penh by cyclo • Drift along Angkor’s moat at sunset • Cook traditional Cambodian dishes • Enjoy Cambodia’s famous Phare Circus
A Mekong Experience tour inclusions:
All sightseeing and entrance fees
All transportation and transfers
English speaking National Escorts (if your group is 10 or more passengers) or Local Guides
Cambodia visa fees for UK and EU passport holders (please see visa section below for further information on Vietnam visas)
Specialist advice from our experienced travel consultants
Comprehensive travel guides
Safe and secure with ABTA, ATOL and IATA
Please ask our sales agent to price the International Flights
The only thing you may have to pay for are personal expenditure e.g. drinks, optional excursions or shows, insurance of any kind, early check in or late checkout and other items not specified on the itinerary.
Itinerary – A Mekong Experience
Day 1-2: Saigon
You will be met in Saigon in the arrivals hall by your Local Guide or National Escort from Wendy Wu Tours. Together with all other group members who may be arriving at a similar time, travel to your hotel for check in.
Saigon – Formally renamed Ho Chi Minh City, but still locally known by its older name of Saigon, this exuberant city is driving Vietnam forward into the modern world, but is also a treasure trove of fascinating heritage. It was a major base of the American military during the Vietnam War, and was the seat of the South Vietnam government until the events that led to the country's reunification. Today, the old mixes seamlessly with the new and you can wander through timeless alleys to incense-infused temples before catching up with the present in designer malls beneath sleek skyscrapers.
Day 3: Saigon
Confront the reality of guerrilla warfare at the Cu Chi Tunnels. The cramped tunnels were central to a few of the war’s strategic operations, including the famous 1968 Tet Offensive, and they did not escape damage. American B52 bombers dropped hundreds of missiles leaving huge tell-tale craters behind. The Cu Chi experience can be emotional for some visitors, but it offers a fascinating window into the hardship and traumas of war. Sightseeing here involves two hours on foot on uneven paths through the woods and, if you choose, crawling through some of the tunnels. This afternoon, explore modern day Saigon with its heady mix of local culture and colonial influences. See the Notre Dame Cathedral’s facade, the Central Post Office, and the War Remnants Museum, stopping for a coffee break en route. Later on, enjoy a ‘dining in the dark’ experience at NOIR.
● the tunnels of Cu Chi are an immense network of connecting underground tunnels located in the Cu Chi district of Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam, and are part of a much larger network of tunnels that underlie much of the country. The Cu Chi tunnels were the location of several military campaigns during the Vietnam War, and were the Viet Cong's base of operations for the Tet Offensive in 1968. The tunnels were used by Viet Cong soldiers as hiding spots during combat, as well as serving as communication and supply routes, hospitals, food and weapon caches and living quarters for numerous North Vietnamese fighters. The tunnel systems were of great importance to the Viet Cong in their resistance to American forces, and helped to counter the growing American military effort.
NOIR Restaurant – A unique culinary experience, Noir is a restaurant where you dine in the dark and experience your food in new ways. Waiters with visual impairments become your eyes and guide you through a delicious meal to challenge your other four senses.
Central Post Office
● Located next to the Notre-Dame Cathedral. The Central Post Office building was constructed in the late 19th century. It counts Gothic, Renaissance and French influences and was designed by Auguste Henri Vildieu and Alfred Foulhoux, but is often erroneously credited as being the work of Gustave Eiffel.
War Remnants Museum
● Comprised of numerous buildings displaying military equipment, photographs and artefacts relating to the Vietnam War from 1961-1975. This museum illustrates a harrowing period in this nation’s history.
Day 4: Saigon – Victoria Mekong Cruise
After breakfast, transfer to the meeting hotel in Saigon where you will say goodbye to your National Escort and be picked up for your cruise by your local guide from Victoria Mekong. Drive to Can Tho, stopping en route for a delicious local lunch. Board the Victoria Mekong which, after a welcome briefing, will cast off into the waters of the Mekong Delta. Relax with a sundowner on deck and sit down to a welcome gala dinner whilst enjoying a performance of Ð?n ca tài t?
● traditional folk music of the Mekong. Drop anchor at Tiger Island.
Mekong River – The 7th longest river in Asia and the heart of Southeast Asia civilisation, there is no tapestry of river life as fascinating and varied as the Mekong.
Day 5: Victoria Mekong Cruise
Tender ashore to visit Long Xuyen floating market and explore local cultures at the An Giang Traditions Museum in the morning. After lunch on board, tender ashore to Tiger Island, where you will enjoy an exploration of local industries such as net weaving, incense making and banh in (rice cakes) making. Sit down to dinner and evening entertainment before retiring to your cabin. Tonight, the ship will drop anchor at Vam Nao.
Day 6: Victoria Mekong Cruise
Enjoy breakfast as the ship continues towards Tan Chau. On arrival, head to shore to visit a colourful Cao Dai temple before continuing by local rickshaw to a silk village, where you’ll learn all about the traditional art of making and dyeing silk. Return to the ship for lunch before more shore excursions around Tan Chau, such as floating fish farms and a Taoist temple. Alternatively, there is an option to take an exhilarating speedboat ride to Chau Doc to see the wildlife and mangroves of the submerged Tra Su Forest. This evening’s onboard entertainment features a thrilling lion dance performance!
Day 7: Victoria Mekong Cruise
Today, the Victoria Mekong will pass over the border into Cambodia and sail towards Phnom Penh. Spend a relaxed day enjoying the passing scenery and a wealth of onboard activities, such as lectures and cocktail making. In the late afternoon, dock in downtown Phnom Penh, where you will be entertained with a traditional Cambodian apsara performance by local children. Afterwards, enjoy a final gala dinner.
Day 8: Victoria Mekong Cruise – Phnom Penh
Enjoy breakfast on board before bidding farewell to the Victoria Mekong and meeting your new Cambodian National Escort. Board a cyclo and head from the pier into the heart of the city to visit the magnificent Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda before perusing the treasures of the National Museum. After a final stop at Wat Phnom, enjoy a cold glass of local beer with beautiful views over the riverfront.
Phnom Penh – The capital of the Kingdom of Cambodia is built around four river arms formed by a sharp curve in the Mekong River, near the junctions of the Bassac and the Tonle Sap tributaries. This charming city has a pleasant blend of oriental and colonial architecture, but reminders of a troubled past are also evident.
The Royal Palace – Built in 1866 by the French, these ornate buildings are the official residence of the reigning Cambodian royal family and King Sihamoni.
Silver Pagoda – This concrete and marble structure includes a floor with over 5,000 silver tiles, each a kilo in weight. Famous artefacts include a 90kg solid gold Buddha, made in 1907, and the Emerald Buddha; opinions differ as to whether the latter is made of emerald, jade, or French Baccarat Crystal.
Day 9: Phnom Penh – Siem Reap
Reflect on the history of the city with a visit to the Tuol Sleng Museum and Killing Fields. The visit to the Tuol Sleng Museum involves 1 hour on foot. This museum commemorates the atrocities that occurred during the regime of Pol Pot. The transfer south-west to the Killing Fields will take 30 minutes, where you will spend an hour on foot for a harrowing insight into Cambodia’s tumultuous past. Many people find it quite confronting and emotional, so you will be given time to explore on your own. Later on, transfer to the airport for your 45- minute flight to Siem Reap.
Tuol Sleng Museum
● This former school was used by the Khmer Rouge as a detention and torture centre in the late 1970s. Today this building houses paintings and photographs of the victims. You can see the crude cells built in the classrooms and the torture devices used to extract confessions by the regime.
● The emotional Killing Fields of Cheung Ek, made famous by the film of the same name. More than 17,000 civilians were killed and buried in mass graves here making this place a chilling reminder of the brutalities of the genocidal Khmer Rouge regime.
Day 10: Siem Reap
Spanning from the 9th to 15th century, the Angkor complex with over a thousand temples was the seat of the thriving Khmer Empire. The complex is now managed by UNESCO; to enter, your group will drive approximately 6km out of town to the main gate to get your entrance passes, which you must carry with you. If you choose to climb at any site, you must be able to climb and descend without assistance. Begin at the city of Angkor Thom and the enigmatic Bayon, the Elephant Terrace and the Terrace of the Leper King before continuing to the temple of Ta Prohm, enveloped in a labyrinth of jungle. This afternoon is devoted to the fascinating and awe-inspiring Angkor Wat. Later, relax onboard a boat and admire the sunset on Angkor Thom’s moat.
Please note: The Central Tower of the Angkor Wat complex is closed on Buddhist holidays, and on all other days has a limited number of visitors allowed at any given time, under regulations from UNESCO. If you wish to visit this tower, you will be required to wait in the queue alongside all other visitors. The ability to do this will be determined upon the group’s’ schedule.
● Surrounded by a 190-metre moat and taking 30 years to build, Angkor Wat represents the Khmer civilisation at its grandest. With its fascinating decorative flourishes, extensive bas-relief and multiple tiers, it is the best-preserved temple within the complex.
● Beautifully crafted central towers, decorated with four opposing faces representing King Jayavarman VII. Bayon’s stone galleries display extraordinary bas-reliefs with over 11,000 figures.
Elephant Terrace and Terrace of the Leper King
● Giant viewing platforms used for public ceremonies, which served as a base for the King's grand audience hall.
● Swallowed by the jungle, Strangler figs and Kapok trees have entwined themselves around the ruins. Undoubtedly the most atmospheric ruin at Angkor, with several towers, closed courtyards and narrow corridors to explore.
Day 11: Siem Reap
In the high-water season, drive to Kampong Phluk, a cluster of three villages of stilt houses built within the floodplain of the Tonle Sap lake. In the lower water season, you will visit Chong Kneas floating village. Get a glimpse into local life at the home of a Khmer family. Return to Siem Reap to enjoy a performance by the PHARE Cambodian Circus, an NGO which teaches street children to become internationally renowned circus artists.
Day 12: Siem Reap
Today, travel by tuk-tuk to a shared cooking lesson, where you will learn to prepare traditional Khmer dishes. The chef will teach you all about what goes into the local cuisine, as you create a delicious meal! Spend your afternoon at leisure before a farewell dinner.
Day 13-14: Depart Siem Reap
Fly home, arriving the following day.
Please note: Only breakfast is provided on the group’s day of departure; no refund will be given for meals missed.
20/03/23 & 18/09/23 & 13/11/23 & 02/04/24 & 23/09/24 & 18/11/24