6 days The Spirit of Mekong Delta & Cambodia

Ho Chi Minh, Mekong Delta, Chau Doc, Phnom Penh & Siem Reap

Day 1: Ho Chi Minh City / Mekond Delta


Formerly known as Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City is a bustling hub of markets, stalls, and Vietnamese history, with much of the city's life happening on the streets. After breakfast, we will visit the Independence Palace. Following this, we will drive to Ben Tre. Upon arrival, we will board a boat to explore the intricate waterways.

Often referred to as the "rice bowl" of Vietnam, this fertile delta is where rice, tropical fruit, and flowers are grown for the entire country. During our exploration, we will have the opportunity to sample tropical fruit, visit a honey farm, and learn more about rural life.


Tonight's homestay, located close to the delta and hosted by a Vietnamese family, will be one of the highlights of our trip. It will give us a taste of community life and the chance to enjoy a traditional home-cooked meal. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included)

Day 2: Mekong Delta / Chau Doc

Early this morning, we board a boat to see the Cai Rang floating market. Afterward, we embark on a scenic drive through the lush provinces of the Mekong Delta, eventually arriving at the Tra Su Cajuput Forest, nestled in the heart of the delta. Tra Su Cajuput Forest is a magnificent example of Vietnam's diverse forests and stunning natural beauty. Situated amidst the verdant countryside, the forest features a blend of dense cajuput trees, lush vegetation, and tranquil waterways. Upon arrival, we board a boat to weave the peaceful waterways.

Following the boat ride, we enjoy a leisurely hike amidst the lush greenery, observing the varied flora and fauna up close. As the day draws to a close, we journey to Chau Doc, a city located in the An Giang Province of the Mekong Delta region, near the border with Cambodia. Known for its cultural diversity, particularly the Cham and Khmer communities. Chau Doc is famous for its picturesque rivers, and notable religious sites such as the Ba Chua Xu Temple. We have free time to explore Ba Chua Xu Temple or stroll around the local market before spending the night in a hotel. (Breakfast and lunch are included)

Day 3: Chau Doc / Phnom Penh

After breakfast, we board an express boat departing from Chau Doc to Phnom Penh. Upon arrival at the boat station in Phnom Penh, we are welcomed by our friendly tour guide and then transferred to our hotel. Following lunch, we begin our exploration by visiting the private quarters of the Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda, the most sacred shrine in the country.

Next, we visit the National Museum, dedicated exclusively to Khmer art and sculpture. The majority of the exhibits are from the Angkor period (9th to 15th century), with some dating back as early as the 4th century. We also make a stop at the legendary temple of Wat Phnom, which recounts the history of Phnom Penh’s name. Tonight, we stay overnight in a hotel. Breakfast and lunch are included.


Day 4: Phnom Penh / Siem Reap

This morning, we depart Phnom Penh for Siem Reap. On the way, we stop at the Spider Market in Skun, known for its unusual local delicacies. Following that, we visit Kampong Kleang, located on the northern edge of the lake about 55 km east of Siem Reap town. Kampong Kleang is more remote and less conventional than Kampong Pluk, offering a unique glimpse into local life. Upon arriving in Siem Reap, we check into our hotel and spend the night. (Breakfast and lunch are included)


Day 5: Siem Reap / Angkor Thom / Angkor Wat

We rise at dawn to embark on our journey to the majestic Angkor Wat, the largest religious building in the world. This 12th-century temple, a symbol of Khmer pride and strength, captivates with its perfect blend of symbolism and symmetry. As we explore the intricate bas-reliefs that stretch for nearly a kilometer, we unravel tales of Hindu mythology and the glories of the Khmer empire.

Ascending to the upper levels of the sanctuary, we experience the steep final steps leading to the sacred heart of Angkor Wat, where spirituality and symmetry converge in an awe-inspiring manner. In the afternoon, we venture into the immense walled city of Angkor Thom, an architectural masterpiece by King Jayavarman VII.

The staggering scale of the city leaves us in awe as we approach its gates. The causeway adorned with a captivating bridge depicting the Churning of the Ocean of Milk sets the stage for our exploration. We begin at the Terrace of the Leper King, originally thought to represent a leprous ruler but now believed to depict Yama, the god of death.

Continuing along the Terrace of Elephants, once a grand viewing gallery, we reach the resplendent Baphuon Temple, meticulously restored and open to visitors. Our ultimate highlight is the enchanting Bayon Temple, located at the center of Angkor Thom. Its iconic 54 towers, crowned with the serene faces of Avalokiteshvara, exude both power and compassion. We unravel the mysteries of the bas-reliefs, portraying ancient battles and snapshots of everyday life during the Angkor period, before embarking on a climb upward. The night is spent in the same hotel. (Breakfast is included)


Day 6: Siem Reap / Kbal Spean / Banteay Srei


In the morning, we will visit the enchanting Banteay Srei. The temple leaves no space undecorated, with fine carvings in pink sandstone that are truly unique. We will then continue by car to a small chain of hills. After about an hour, we will arrive near Kbal Spean and continue our journey on foot. After approximately a 40-minute walk, we will hear the sound of a waterfall.

We will discover that the riverbed and surrounding rocks are covered with carvings representing the gods of the Brahma religion, dating back as far as the 11th century. This site is known as the "Thousand Lingas River." The water flows over sculptures of Vishnu, Lakshmi, Hanuman, Rama, and many Lingas, which were carved in stone to sanctify the water and thank the gods for their gift.

The sound of a small waterfall invites us to follow the river further through the small gorge. In the evening, we will enjoy a performance at Phare, the Cambodian Circus. The performers use theater, music, dance, and modern circus arts to tell uniquely Cambodian stories—historical, folk, and modern. We will spend the night in the same hotel. (Breakfast and lunch are included)


The facts:

The trip cost:

 

  • $750USD per person for a group of 2 to 6 people
  • $685USD per person for a group of 7 to 10 people
     

The cost of the trip includes:
 

  • Accommodation
  • Transportation
  • Meals listed on the itinerary
  • Purified drinking water
  • Tour guide(s)
  • Entrance fees
     

The cost of the trip does not include: 
 

  • Travel insurance
  • Drinks (soft drinks, alcohol)
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Visas
  • Other personal expenses such as shopping, telephone, laundry and bar bills etc...


What to Bring: Pack essentials, including light comfortable clothes suitable for outdoor activities, small day pack for cycling, walking and hiking. We also recommend packing: insect repellent, sun cream, raincoat and sun hat

Have a great journey!!!