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This extraordinary 7-night journey from Saigon to Siem Reap is an ideal way to explore the riches of the region, and it is topped and tailed by 2-night stays in excellent hotels in Saigon and Siem Reap with a full programme of sightseeing to make your holiday even more restful and complete.
* Economy class flights
* Twin-shared accommodation with breakfast, meals, transfers, transportation and sightseeing as listed (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
* Services of local English-speaking cruise manager
* Most air taxes
* Gratuities to ship's crew
* Locally-made soft drinks and alcohol, tea, coffee and mineral water
* Travel insurance
* Vietnamese visa
* Cambodian visa
* Any government taxes or compulsory charges introduced after brochure production
* Imported beverages such as wines, premium spirits, liqueurs, Perrier, expressos, cappucinos and the like
From £2095 return
Sightseeing in Saigon, Siem Reap and aboard the cruise is on shared basis with other passengers
14 days visiting Saigon, Mekong River and Siem Reap
Fly from London Heathrow to Saigon with Vietnam Airways at around 1100.
Arrive Saigon and transfer to the city centre to the InterContinental Asiana Saigon Hotel for a 2-night stay. The rest of the day is free to explore Saigon.
Full-day sightseeing tour of Saigon, with visits to the Reunification Hall, Notre Dame Cathedral, General Post Office, former US Embassy, City Hall, War Museum of Remnants, followed by some time for shopping at Ben Thanh market. In the afternoon, drive to the extraordinary Cu Chi tunnels. This complicated underground network of tunnels was built by Viet Cong guerrillas, and en route, you have the chance to see rural people live and work. View occupations such as cashew nut farming, duck breeding, rice farming and the production of rice paper, a key ingredient in Vietnamese cuisine. Return to Saigon. (BL)
Transfer to My Tho to embark on your 7-night Mekong River journey aboard RV Mekong Pandaw. Settle into your cabin and admire the views as you cruise the Mekong River, and later tonight, enjoy a welcome dinner. (BLD)
In the morning visit Cai Be and its colourful floating market. Take an exciting Sampan boat excursion to Sa Dec via Vinh Long, along canals and backwaters and visit Sa Dec to see the local market and the ancient house of Mr Huynh Thuy Le, the lover of Marguerite Duras, the famous French novelist. (BLD)
Visit a Cham tribal village, a cat fish farm, and enjoy a trishaw ride round Chau Doc. Return to the ship by boat for lunch and cast off for the Cambodian border for the usual formalities. (BLD)
Visit Phnom Penh with your own private cyclo which is provided by a local charity, Cyclo Centre Phnom Penh. In the afternoon there is an optional excursion by coach to the Killing Fields and the Khmer Rouge’s grim Tuol Sleng or S21 detention centre. (This tour is included in the cost of your cruise but must be requested at the time of booking in the comments box). (BLD)
Excursion up the Tonle River to Kampong Chhnang either by ship or by coach depending on water levels. In Kampong Chhnang take a motor boat excursion into the lakeside wetlands that form the mouth of the river. (BLD)
Stop at the little known Chong Koh silk-weaving village for a morning walk, then later call at Peam Chi Kang village to visit the wat or monastery and school. In the wat the splendid village racing boats are stored. (BLD)
Cruise to the pre-Angkorian temple of Wat Hanchey, and later drive to the Twin Holy Mountains of Phnom Pros and Phnom Srey. (BLD)
Disembark this morning and transfer to the Victoria Angkor Resort and Spa in Siem Reap for a 2-night stay. After lunch at the hotel, visit Angkor Wat. It is visually, architecturally and artistically breath-taking, with its massive three-tiered pyramid crowned by five beehive-like towers rising 65 meters from ground level. Take in the romantic view at sunset from Bakheng Hill. (BL)
Visit the South Gate of Angkor Thom, Bayon, Baphoun, Terrace of Elephants, Terrace of Leper King and Pimean Akas. After lunch visit Thommanon, Chau Say Teveda, Ta Keo, Ta Promh, Banteay Kdei and Sras Srang. (BL)
Visit Preah Khan, Neak Pean, Ta Som, East Meborn, then transfer to the airport for our homeward flight to London Heathrow via Hanoi. (B)
Arrive London Heathrow.
The hotel is located in a colonial-style building, in the heart of Siem Reap, a perfect base from which to explore the temples of Angkor. There are 129 rooms and suites all with balconies overlooking the tropical gardens, with stylish furniture and original decorative artefacts. There is a swimming pool and a spa offering a range of treatments. Two restaurants offer a selection of local and international dishes, while the bar provides a relaxed atmosphere in which to enjoy a cocktail.
The InterContinental Asiana Saigon Hotel boasts 305 elegantly appointed rooms with modern amenities, bespoke treatments at Spa InterContinental, three international restaurants and spectacular views of Saigon from the Club InterContinental Lounge. This 5-star luxury Ho Chi Minh City hotel is located in the city centre, just a short stroll to famous landmarks such as Notre Dame Cathedral and Saigon Opera House.
The RV Mekong Pandaw is one of the renowned Pandaw fleet of replica colonial steamers developed in Scotland by the Irrawaddy Flotilla Company in the early 20th century, but was actually built in 2003 in Saigon. She is 200ft long and 36ft wide with an ultra-shallow draft of 4ft, and 24 crew ensure the well-being and safety of her 48 passengers. Cabins measure 170sq ft and are all en-suite with twin beds and open onto a promenade deck. Cabins are on the Main or Upper Decks (the latter at a supplement). In keeping with the style of the ship, there is no minibar, satellite TV, internet or telephone in the cabin, but there is air-conditioning throughout. There is an incredibly high level of personal service and care aboard the Mekong Pandaw and the atmosphere is very friendly and informal. Nearly everything is included in the price and there are no hidden extras for excursions, even your drinks and the crew tips are included.