ENQUIRE

SIEM REAP TO PHNOM PENH ON THE AQUA MEKONG

October 2014 saw the launch of the most luxurious expedition ship in Southeast Asia, the Aqua Mekong. The 20 suites are divided over two decks, each with air conditioning, dual sink bathroom with walk-in shower and rainforest showerhead. Eight of the suites have a private balcony with exterior day bed for enjoying the views whilst those without a balcony have floor-to-ceiling windows with interior daybed. Families can be accommodated in two inter-connecting suites. For additional space, book two adjoining suites and use one as a living area and the other for sleeping. Public areas include an indoor bar, a deck bar, dining rooms, river-view gym, plunge pool, two spa treatment rooms and on-deck private cabanas.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Meeting with people from rural fishing communities on Tonle Sap Lake.
  • Exploring the silk islands.
  • Visiting the silver and copper workshops of Koh Chen.
£2,927
per person

Price from

Destination Expert Mel Matthews

MELISSA MATTHEWS

Tailor-Made Travel Specialist

VIEW PROFILE

  1. Arrive
  2. Day 1 Aqua Mekong, Cambodia

    This morning, transfer from Siem Reap to the banks of Tonle Sap Lake where you board the Aqua Mekong and check in to your air-conditioned Design Suite. Your sailing begins on the Tonle Sap Lake, Southeast Asia's largest expanse of freshwater. Millions of Cambodians rely on these waters for their livelihood and, indeed, many live in boat dwellings on the lake. Birdlife also makes the Tonle Sap its home and you may spot blue-tailed bee-eaters or pied kingfishers as you sail along. After a gourmet lunch on board, take to a skiff to visit the lakeside village of Kampong Khleang, inaccessible by road for a significant part of the year. The village houses sit on wooden stilts high above the lake in dry months but just skirting its surface in th wet season. Whilst you will see the occasional TV aerial and local people using mobile telephones, the way of life here has actually changed very little for centuries, working paddy fields for rice and the waters of the lake for fish.

    Overnight: Aqua Mekong

  3. Day 2 Tonle Sap Lake - Moat Kla

    After breakfast, continue from Kampong Khleang to Moat Kla, a secluded fishing village in Tonle Sap's south-eastern reaches, where you will be able to meet and converse with the local residents via a translator. The people who inhabit this area arrived long before the formalities of international boundaries and are mainly Vietnamese of descent. Whilst such communities are very isolated and a world away from where you may call home, you will spot floating 'convenience stores' selling everything from fishing equipment to beer and vegetables. This afternoon you will visit the village's Buddhist temple for a special blessing ceremony. The temple is home to just four Buddhist monks.

    Overnight: Aqua Mekong

  4. Day 3 Tonle Sap Lake - Chnok Tru - Tonle Sap River - Koh Chen

    This morning, head by skiff to Chnok Tru, a self-sufficient lake village. Your route will take you winding past floating schools and police stations, pagodas, shops and riverside churches. Your visit to Chnok Tru will include an ice factory, where you will learn how ice is produced and kept for fish preservation, a monumental challenge in this humid, hot climate and in villages where electricity supply is virtually non-existent. Re-joining Aqua Mekong, sail on past Kampong Tralach, the site of ancient Lovek, Cambodia's capital before the Siamese ravaged Angkor in 1431. The site was often visited by travelling missionaries and early traders from Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries. Continue on to Koh Chen, 'Chinese Island' in the Khmer language. Here skilled artisans craft silver and copper objects used in Buddhist ceremonies. Should the monks be residing during your visit, there will be the opportunity to witness a traditional Buddhist blessing at Koh Chen's pagoda.

    Overnight: MV Aqua Mekong

  5. Day 4 Tonle Sap River - Phnom Penh

    During the cool hours of the morning, sail south-eastwards towards Phnom Penh, stopping en route at Koh Oknha Tey. This region is known for its silk producing islands and you’re welcome to wander freely around the village to watch the artisans at work. Take a bike ride further inland to explore the beautiful island. This afternoon, sail on south towards Phnom Penh, Cambodia's capital.

    Overnight: Aqua Mekong

  6. Day 5 Phnom Penh

    Phnom Penh is a capital in transition. Art Deco buildings, Buddhist temples, French colonial villas and vintage cyclos recall an older world, whilst the 21st century introduces modern cars, boutique hotels, chic stores and high rise skyscrapers. After disembarking MV Aqua Mekong, join a motorized tuk tuk to explore some of the city's most important sites including the Royal Palace and the National Museum of Cambodia. Your sailing ends at Phnom Penh.

  7. Depart

GUIDELINE PRICES - Per Person

Currency
Low £ 2,927 $ 4,061
High £ 4,182 $ 5,802

BOOKING NOTES

  • This cruise operates in high water only from August to November.
  • Other cruises available from 3, 4 and 7 nights between My Tho in Vietnam and Siem Reap in Cambodia.

INCLUSIONS

  • All accommodation as detailed in the itinerary.
  • Daily breakfast.
  • Private transfers throughout.
  • All sightseeing, entrance fees and guide services as detailed in the itinerary.
  • Internal flights where detailed in the itinerary.

EXTRAS

  • International flights.
  • Meals not indicated in the itinerary.
  • Items of a personal nature such as laundry, drinks, gratuities (discretionary).
  • Entrance fees and excursions not specifically mentioned as included.
  • Travel insurance or visa fees.
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