From £1,877 pp incl. UK flights
A new overnight cruise through the Mekong Delta will be one of the holiday highlights as you combine modern and ancient Cambodia with a few days in vibrant Saigon. Can be reversed.
You'll follow the Mekong River throughout the holiday, starting with the Tonle Sap Lake and Angkor Temples, then riverside living in the Captial, Phnom Penh, onto a speedboat that crosses the Vietnam border where you explore a less visited part of the Mekong Delta, before finally boarding the luxury overnight cruise through the delta to Saigon where you spend a couple of days exploring the sights of this vibrant city.
Day 1: Depart on your overnight flight to Siem Reap
Day 2: On arrival met and private transfer to your hotel for 3 nights in Siem Reap (Angkor)
Day 3: Private guided Angkor Temples Highlights day tour, incl. Angkor Wat
Day 4: Morning private guided tour to stilted villages on Tonle Sap Lake
Day 5: Fly to Phnom Penh for 2 nights
Day 6: Full day private guided Phnom Penh City Tour with Genocide Museum and Killing Fields
Day 7: Boat transfer along Mekong River across border to Chau Doc, Vietnam. 2 nights Nui Sam Lodge
Day 8: Private guided Mekong River Life Tour
Day 9: Overnight luxury Mekong Delta Cruise. Explore French colonial town of Sa Dec
Days 10: Morning cruise over breakfast. Transfer to Saigon for 2 nights
Day 11: Private guided Cu Chi Tunnels & Saigon City Tour with lunch
Day 12: Morning free. Overnight flight home
Day 13: Arrive home
Day 1: UK Airport / Siem Reap
Depart on a choice of overnight flights to Siem Reap
Day 2: Arrive Siem Reap
On arrival you’ll be met by your private guide and transferred to the city centre where you check in to your choice of hotel for 3 nights. This evening you might like to visit the cultural circus (no animals) that performs nightly in the centre of town. We can
Day 3: Siem Reap - Private Guided Angkor Temples Highlights Tour (B / L)
This morning your private guide will pick you up for a private guided tour of the iconic Angkor Archaeological Park. Start off at Angkor Thom, the last great capital of the Khmer Empire. Highlights include the magnificent Bayon, one of the most recognisable sites because of the 54 towers adorned with 216 enigmatically smiling stone faces, the Terrace of Elephants, a giant viewing stand for public ceremonies and the Terrace of Leper Kings, whose walls boast beautifully carved nagas, demons and other mythological beings. In the low morning sun the carvings really stand out and as you stand on the Terrace of Elephants you get a great view across a parkland scene interspersed with giant trees protected in the National Park.
Then move onto the temple of Ta Phrom, jungle covered and pretty much left as originally found by European explorers to create a mystical atmosphere.
Back to Siem Reap (15 minutes away) for lunch and a rest in the hot midday. This afternoon return to explore Angkor Wat, the most famous and best preserved of all the Angkor temples. You’ll have time for a thorough exploration before climbing to the top of Pre Rup temple to watch the sunsetover the jungle. Back to the hotel by early evening.
Extra…The great thing about having your own specialist guide is that the itinerary can be tailored to you and be adapted on the ground to take advantage of local knowledge and keep ahead of the crowds. Angkor represents the universe in miniature and you could spend weeks touring round the thousand or so temples, so on this tour we focus on the highlights, but we can easily extend your stay.
Day 4: Siem Reap (B) - Tonle Sap Lake Stilted Villages Tour
This morning you’ll be collected by your guide and transferred 45 minutes through the Cambodia countryside to Tonle Sap Lake where you board a longtail boat to explore the lake and visit Kompong Phluk, an isolated community of three villages built on stilts. These scenic villages are flooded for around half the year and you will board a local boat, rowed by a villager, to explore the local community. You will also be taken through the flooded mangrove forests that are the main building block of this valuable ecosystem that supports a variety of wildlife. Back in Siem Reap in time for a late lunch.
Day 5: Fly Siem Reap (B) / Phnom Penh
Private transfer to the airport in time for your flight to Phnom Penh. On arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel.
Phnom Penh is a traditional Far East city, full of energy and still tatty around the edges. A great place to start in the early evening is to take a tuk tuk to the riverside promenade. As you walk along the Mekong look across to the French colonial buildings that are interspersed with the Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda and National Museum. Evening is the time everyone congregates along the wide promenade with impromptu aerobics, football matches and time to catch up with friends. There are plenty of restaurants and bars along the way
Day 6: Phnom Penh - Private City Tour with Killing Field (B / L)
After breakfast your guide will pick you up for a half day city tour of the fascinating Khmer Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda. After lunch in a local restaurant you visit the sobering and poignant Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, a testament to Cambodia’s bloody past. Then you can explore the colourful stalls of the vast Central Market. The tour ends at the Choeung Ek Killing Fields just outside the city. This is now a Buddhist memorial park that has been constructed around the mass graves of the thousands of victims. Dozens of mass graves are visible above ground, several which have not yet been excavated. The field is marked by a Buddhist stupa that has glass walls and is filled with over 5,000 skulls. You’ll be back at the hotel by the late afternoon.
Day 7: Phnom Penh (B) - Mekong River boat transfer to Chau Doc, Vietnam
This morning board the motor boat (with others) that will take you along the Mekong and across the border into Vietnam. On arrival met and transferred to the Victoria Nui Sam Lodge for 2 nights. The rest of the day is free to enjoy the stunning countryside setting.
Day 8: Chau Doc - Private guided River Life Tour (B / L)
The Mekong Delta is a land of winding waterways, lush paddy fields and floating markets where life is governed by the ebb and flow of Vietnam’s most iconic river. Today wake early and cruise aboard a small boat with your guide to Chau Doc’s famous floating market. Drawing traders and farmers from the surrounding countryside watch as fruits, vegetables and fish are bought and sold en masse. Continue past the floating fish farms on your way to a local Cham Village, where you’ll hear the story of delta life. Return to your boat and continue cruising towards the iconic Sam Mountain, passing through the fascinating Vinh Te Canal built between 1819 to 1823 by Emperors Gia Long and Minh Mang during the Nguyen Dynasty. Arrive at the banks of Sam Mountain and visit two iconic temples that draw pilgrims from miles around. Finish with lunch back at the beautiful Nui Sam Lodge, with spectacular panoramic views of the countryside below.
The afternoon is free to relax by the pool, enjoy the spa, revisit Chau Doc or explore the beautiful countryside on foot or by bike.
Day 9: Chau Doc - Overnight Mekong Delta Cruise (B / L / D)
This morning you'll be transferred to the quay where you board the first class Naga (Pandaw) cruise. Time to settle into your spacious cabin before joining fellow passengers for lunch as the boat casts off to explore the Mekong Delta's canals. This afternoon moor close to the charming French colonial town of Sa Dec to explore its ‘Flower Village’ and visit the ancient house of Mr Huyn Thuy Le, the 'lover' of novelist Marguerite Duras in her autobiographical book (The Lover) set against the backdrop of French colonial Vietnam. Back on board, the cruise continues into the evening with sunset cocktails on deck followed by a Vietnamese dinner.
Day 10: Mekong Cruise (B) - Transfer to Saigon
Early morning up anchor and continue the cruise aong the main Mekong channel over breakfast until reaching My Tho where you disembark and are transferred to Saigon for 2 nights. Evening free to get your first taste of this vibrant city.
Day 11: Saigon - Private guided Cu Chi Tunnels & Saigon City Tour (B / L)
Early departure to escape city traffic and get ahead of the crowds on a half day tour to the Cu Chi Tunnels, legendary remnants of the Vietnam War that offer an evocative insight into the horrors that were faced by those involved. During the guided tour it’s possible to descend into the layers of tunnels that although widened, still create a feeling of creeping claustrophobia. Few other places encapsulate the sheer will-power that the American military was up against - and the lengths that the Viet Cong were prepared to go to in order to evict them.
Back to the city for lunch in a local restaurant and then rejoin your private guide for an afternoon city tour. Highlights include the colonial Notre Dame Cathedral, Old Post Office & Opera House, Reunification Palace and War Remnants Museum. Back at the hotel late afternoon. Your guide would be happy to make dinner arrangements.
Day 12: Fly Saigon (B) / UK Airport
Morning free then airport transfer in time for overnight flight home. Arrive back in UK the following morning.
Each featured itinerary is really a starting point from which to create your ideal holiday.
We can include as much or as little as you like, mix and match hotels, excursions and experiences, add extra nights and change the destinations you'd like to visit.
The common thread is that each is a privately guided holiday, allowing you to travel where and when you want, with your own private transport and dedicated guide.
- Return scheduled international flights (optional if you would like to arrange your own)
- English speaking, local guide & driver
- Choice of hotel accommodation with brakfast
- Overnight First class cruise on full board
- Transport in private air-conditioned vehicles
- Domestic flights detailed in itinerary
- Admission fees to all attractions, temples and activities as mentioned in the itinerary
- All meals as detailed (B = breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner)
- Cambodia entry visa
- Optional Tours / Excursions
- Any meals not listed in the itinerary
- Personal expenses
- Tips for Guides / Drivers (discretionary)
- Travel insurance
- Any camera or video fees charged at sites
The hotels below are there as examples, designed to act as a starting point from which to create your holiday. There are plenty of alternatives to choose from and when we quote we will include other suggestions so we get to understand your likes and dislikes. Quite often clients mix and match hotel categories throughout their holiday.
Hotels in Siem Reap (Angkor Temples)
Gateway to the magnificent Angkor Temples, Siem Reap offers a great range of hotel options
Hotels in Phnom Penh
Authentic and cultured Phnom Penh is filled with cultural highlights
Hotels in Chau Doc
Slightly off the beaten track in Mekong Delta on Vietnam's border with Cambodia
Mekong River Cruise Boats
Relax as you cruise in luxury aboard the Pandaw boat down the Mekong River through Cambodia and Vietnam
Hotels in Saigon
A mix of grand colonial buildings and modern luxuries make Saigon a fantastic place to stay
Hotels in Mekong Delta
Luxury colonial style accomodation in the heart of the Mekong Delta