Vietnam and Cambodia tour, along the mighty Mekong

“Travel alongside the Mekong River as you discover the temples, national parks, villages and cities of Vietnam and Cambodia, all in the company of expert local guides.”

Highlights

Ho Chi Minh City | Nam Cat Tien National Park | Da Lat | train to the village of Trai Mat | Pan Thiet | Cai Be | Cao Dai | Chau Doc | Phnom Penh | Siem Riep | Angkor Wat | Tonle Sap Lake

Description of Vietnam and Cambodia tour, along the mighty Mekong

Follow the path of the mighty Mekong River as you journey from Vietnam into Cambodia. Stay in boutique hotels and a home stay along the way and uncover the mysteries of the two countries with our local, English speaking guides.

Day-by-day experiences

Day 1:Arrive Vietnam: On arrival in Ho Chi Minh you will be met and transferred to your hotel. In the afternoon enjoy a walking tour including the old colonial district, Reunification Palace, the central Post Office and Chinatown. Visit the great Binh Tay Market to see traditional herbalists at work followed by Thien Hau Temple famous for it its glazed ceramic statues.
Day 2:Ho Chi Minh – Cat Tien: Travel to Nam Cat Tien National Park. Take a canoe trip into the park and in the afternoon enjoy a bike ride to discover the plants and animals in the park forest. After dinner enjoy a forest jeep safari to find nocturnal animals. Stay overnight in a tropical tent in the park. (B, L)
Day 3:Cat Tien – Da Lat: See the gibbons roaming the park on an early morning boat trip across the park’s lake. The rest of the morning is at your leisure. After lunch drive to the hillside town of Da Lat to see its beautiful waterfall, a tea plantation and enjoy its refreshing mountain air. (B, L)
Day 4:Da Lat: Spend the day exploring Da Lat and visit the railway station which still has a working steam engine from colonial times. Take the train to the village of Trai Mat where you will have lunch and visit the former residence of King Bao Dai, the botanical garden of the city and an embroidery workshop. (B,L)
Day 5:Phan Thiet: Drive to Phan Thiet, famous for its white sand beaches and clear water. Check into your luxurious beach resort and the afternoon is at your leisure (B)
Day 6:Phan Thiet: Enjoy a day at leisure to explore your surroundings, relax on the beach and make use of the facilities at your hotel (B)
Day 7:Ho Chi Minh: Spend the morning on the beach before returning to Ho Chi Minh. Option to take a motorbike tour around the local neighborhoods of Saigon. Get into the shoes of a real Saigonease and enjoy street food far from the tourist area. (B)
Day 8:Cho Lach: Travel to Cai Be in the Mekong delta. Visit the Cao Dai before boarding your boat to begin a journey into the heart of the delta. Explore the beautiful canals of Tan Phong Island, navigate the floating market of Cai Be and taste local delicacies including rice wine, sweet coconut milk, rice cake etc. Enjoy a traditional sampan (3 sided boat) ride to a local family where you will have dinner and spend the night. (B, L, D)
Day 9:Chau Doc: Take a bike ride around the hamlet and visit the Tra Su Forest where you will see a variety of birdlife. In chau Doc you will visit an old restored colonial house before checking into your hotel. (B, L)
Day 10:Phnom Penh: Cross the border into Cambodia along the Mekong River by boat. Had to Phnom Penh and discover the capitals Silver pagoda in the Palais Royal and visit the national Musuem. (B, L)
Day 11:Siem Reap: Travel to Kampong Thom with a short stop in the village of Skun – famous for its culinary speciality…spiders! Continue with a stop at Wat Nokor Kuhear where you will visit a typical Cambodian home followed by lunch. Cross the longest bridge in the country which dates back to the 12th century before checking into your hotel in Siem Reap. Option: Visit the pagoda of Wat Phnom: nice shady site, on top of a small hill overlooking the city. (B, L)
Day 12:Siem Reap: Start your day on the back of a motorbike to visit Angkor Thom, the Terrace of the Elephants and the Terrace of the Leper King followed by Angkor Wat - perhaps the best known ruins in Cambodia. Enjoy lunch at the ruins before restarting your exploration with the extraordinary Bayon – the temple of many faces – and the Temple of Ta Pohm. Covered in vegetation you’ll feel like an early explorer discovering the ruins for the first time. In the afternoon you could enjoy the sunset over Angkor Wat on a gondola cruise, visit the local circus to see music, dance and acrobatics or enjoy a traditional Khmer dinner of modern Cambodian cuisine with a twist. (B, L)
Day 13:Siem Reap: Enjoy another day exploring the fascinating history of the area staring with the temple of Banteay Srea – the citadel of women. Stop at a traditional village to see the production of palm sugar and visit the isolated forest temple of Chao Srea Vibol. Visit the pre-angkorian temple of Rolous which dates back to the 9th century. Enjoy an optional blessing from the Buddhist monks to wish you good health and a good trip – a unique experience. Option: soar over Angkor in a tethered balloon to get a birds eye view of the area or take an oxcart rise to the Rolous Pagoda. (B, L)
Day 14:Departure: Visit the local market for any last minute souvenirs before heading to the great Tonle Sap Lake – one of the great wonders of Asia. Enjoy a boat trip to the floating villages before returning to Siem Reap. In the afternoon enjoy exploring the city one last time before your transfer to the airport. (B)

Travel Team

If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. The Travel Team.

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Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
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Responsible tourism

Vietnam and Cambodia tour, along the mighty Mekong

Carbon reduction

Your holiday will help support local people and conservation. We must also reduce CO2. Learn about the CO2 emissions of this holiday and how to reduce them.

Environment

Our ground agents take caring for the environment around the Mekong Delta, and throughout Cambodia and Vietnam very seriously. The staff organise regular clean-ups of the areas they visit to ensure that no wildlife is hurt by left litter and that the area remains pristine and unspoiled.

During your trip you will visit Nam Cat Tien National Park. The park helps to protect the forest and animals within it, especially the Asian primates which are risk of extinction. Rangers in the park work to keep the waterways clean and protect the parks resident animals from poachers and illegal loggers. Surveys are carried out regularly on the small population of Javan Rhinoceros, and the park provides the opportunity for these endangered species to breed. Rangers also carry out a range of forestry activities: regular tree plantings, preventing illegal logging and protecting the area from the demand to clear the way for crops to be planted rather than trees. Their ‘sponsor a tree’ initiative is supported by the WWF.

Eco-tourism plays a vital role in the parks upkeep. By paying to enter the park as part of your itinerary you are contributing towards its upkeep and the employment of local guides and rangers. Visitors to the park can also pay to take a day trip to visit one of the several ethnic communities who call the park their home. Visits take place by bike or river boat – helping to limit vehicles within the park– and visitors have the chance to witness daily life and purchase a range of handicrafts.

Throughout your trip you will employ several modes of transport for accessing sites – many of which are eco-friendly and kind on the environment. For example, you will enter Nam Cat Thien National Park by canoe and explore it by bicycle., soar over Angkor in a tethered balloon and spend plenty of time exploring on foot – the best way to really get to the heart of the country.

Throughout your journey along the Mekong, you will be escorted by local guides who will show you how to travel through the Delta responsibly, to ensure that you take nothing more with you than incredible memories and photographs. Your trip includes visits to historical sites and ancient temples – it is vital that these places are maintained and left as undisturbed as possible for future generations so we ask that you take care when exploring these sites and leave any loose rocks or artefacts there. By booking a tour through Odyssey World and our local ground agents,

Community

During your trip you will stay with a local family in their home. This gives you an unforgettable opportunity to see how they live day to day, while helping to support them. You will have the chance to learn the trades of the family, help prepare dinner, discover more about their daily life and share their food and hospitality.

Our ground agents are all natives of Vietnam and Cambodia and come from the areas around the Mekong Delta. They are always looking for new ideas for sustainable tourism to help protect the area they work in, while still encouraging visitors to their countries.

They also work closely with local charities to help support their community. Their first project is with a Secondary School in Binh in the Mekong Delta – they have provided the equipment and resources needed to supply two classrooms in the school. Their second project is to help provide sanitary equipment in a primary school in Cai Be.

Local guides are employed throughout your trip who will show you how to travel through the Delta responsibly. The employment of local guides gives you the best insight into this fascinating country and helps to support their families and communities and bring wealth into the area.

1 Reviews of Vietnam and Cambodia tour, along the mighty Mekong

5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 11 May 2018 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


There were too many wonderful experiences to mention them all. However, in no particular order; sailing on Halong Bay - just beautiful and so relaxing; our ecotour day with Jack Tran Tours - cycling past paddy fields and learning to fish and paddle a coracle; Hoi An - the old part of the city is beautiful; Travelling along the Mekong Delta - watching daily life on the river, the river markets, etc; Phnom Penn - eating at the Foreign Correspondence Club was like going back in time; The Killing Field at Cheung Ek - so harrowing but so important we remember what these people have gone through in our lifetime; the temples around Siem Reap - Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom (tomb raider!) are stunning but busy, but we found others too, where we were virtually alone in the forest. Absolutely amazing. I must say that the people of Vietnam and Cambodia were some of the friendliest I have met anywhere in the world. Our guides were all first class and the food was incredible.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Have 2 nights on Halong Bay. The boat we had, the Aphrodite was gorgeous and we didn't want to get off. 2 nights should take you out further in the bay to more remote areas. You must see the water puppets - not really my sort of thing I thought but wow! So impressive and clever.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


I am sure that the holiday benefited local people. We bought souvenirs, ate in local restaurants and tipped appropriately as many staff as we could. I'm not sure about our environmental impact. We did get through a lot of bottled water. I'm not sure how much is recycled.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Absolutely fantastic! I can't think of anything Ican criticise even a little.

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