Aqua Mekong - Vietnam and Cambodia
Sail along one of the world's greatest rivers, the mighty Mekong, aboad the regions most luxurious cruiser: the new Aqua Mekong. This small floating luxury hotel begins sailing from September 2014; operating 3, 4 and 7 night itineraries.
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Ho Chi Minh City - My Tho - Mekong River, VietnamHo Chi Minh City
Early this morning arrive at the Saigon Meeting Point, board our bus for the 1.5-hour countryside ride to My Tho where we meet the Aqua Mekong. Settle into your elegantly appointed, river facing suite as the vessel begins to cruise and thus begins one of life’s most memorable and photogenic adventures. People of the Mekong Delta rely on flat-bottom wooden boats called sampan to get around. We climb aboard to paddle through Cai Be floating market.
Mekong River - Sa Dec - Gieng IsletVietnam
Today as we walk back in time with a tour on foot around Sa Dec town. Our travel continues after lunch on board the Aqua Mekong. We cruise by skiff to a 40 square kilometre riverine island called Gieng Islet, to walk or cycle around this peaceful religious enclave on the Mekong Delta. Together we visit Cu Lao Gieng Church. At the Convent of the Providence Order and Catholic Church, interact with Sisters or Father to learn of the religious influences on the surrounding communities.
Bassac River - Gieng Islet - Chau DocVietnam
Journey by sampan into the Tra Su Cajuput Forest, floating deep into the acacia flooded forest under dense tree canopy. Back on board the Aqua Mekong, we sail onward to the village of Chau Doc. We head to the shore then by road to the 230 metre high Sam Mountain. We head back down at the foot of the mountain, stopping to visit the Temple of Lady Xu. The chef heads into the local market here with any gourmet minded guests interested to explore an authentic Vietnamese wet market.
Bassac River - Chau Doc - Vinh Xuong BorderVietnam
In the morning we cruise further south towards the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh. We pause to head by skiff towards the shore for a visit to the intricately carved Prek Bongkong Pagoda. We visit one of the villages where the weavers allow us to wander among their looms. Return by skiff to the Aqua Mekong, ready to continue to the Vinh Xuong –Kaam Samnor border. Guests who have opted for a visa on arrival should contact the Cruise Director for assistance with this process.
Tonle Sap River - Phnom Penh, CambodiaCambodia
W sail into Phnom Penh. Today’s urban adventure by two wheel motorized tuk-tuks take in this historic city’s most important sites. Just next door, the National Museum of Cambodia houses the world’s largest collection of Khmer art. Sip sundowners on the Observation Deck before an entertainment evening - a performance by renowned Cambodian apsara dancers who continue an ancient tradition venerated on the intricately carved walls at Angkor Wat.
Tonle Sap River - Koh Chen - Kampong Chnang
This morning, we embark by skiff to visit Koh Chen in Khmer. The inhabitants of this riverside village are renowned throughout the region as silver and coppersmiths. If the monks are in residence, we will experience an authentic Buddhist blessing ceremony. Later in the day, we continue exploring Khmer riverside life in the floating village of Kampong Chhnang. Colourful shrines with gilded Buddhas and simple houses on bamboo stilts are among today’s striking sights along the waterfront.
Kampong Chnang - Chnok Tru - Tonle Sap LakeCambodia
We continue exploring remote communities around the Tonle Sap River. Here we “slide” into an ice factory, the importance of which will be obvious after a few days in Southeast Asia. Back onboard the Aqua Mekong, we cruise onward to the remote fishing village of Moat Kla. We climb back into the skiffs and head for the shore. Aqua Expeditions has made special arrangements for our guests to attend the blessing ceremony conducted at Moat Kla’s Buddhist temple, home to only four monks.
Tonle Sap Lake - Siem Reap, CambodiaSiem Reap
This may be our last day but the adventure is far from over as we head off by skiff after breakfast into the 22,000-hectare Prek Toal Core Bird Reserve on Tonle Sap Lake.Along the way, we visit floating houses and fish farms, and learn about sustainable development initiatives like Saray, Visitors like us are invited to test our knotting skills, usually to the amusement of the resident experts. We return to the Aqua Mekong to pack up then disembark for the road journey to Siem Reap.