PACKAGE #239

ASIAMekong Magic + Angkor Wat

FROM

$5,995pp

Discover the magic of the Mekong! Stretching an incredible 4,350 km and passing through six countries, the Mekong river serves as the life blood to approximately 60 million people! This is your opportunity to explore this fascinating part of the world on a 10 night fully inclusive package.

The cruise aboard the gorgeous MS Jahan begins in Siem Reap and finishes in My Tho, South Vietnam. Along the way you’ll glide through jungle-like landscapes, visit local villages where the children love to wave, call out and chatter, learn about local crafts, silk processing and sugar, shop at the markets, visit museums and temples, learn about the incredible, heart-wrenching history, take tea with a local family and more.

But perhaps the best part of the voyage is simply observing the river side life. You’ll see children bringing livestock to the river to bathe, locals travelling by ox-cart, houses perched on stilts lining the river and of course, the floating markets. With boats carrying everything from watermelons to tonnes of sand, the floating market is a sight to behold. A mass of boats and bartering as locals sell their wares, it is a floating marketplace where you can buy a bowl of soup, a coffee or sacks of vegetables. Unfortunately with new roads, supermarkets and industry, the market gets smaller each year.

This is a truly incredible voyage and you’ll see a lifestyle so removed from our own. It’s a fantastic experience that everyone should see at least once in their lifetime!

See below for full itinerary details.


Your 10 night package includes:

• Return economy class airfare from Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide or Perth to Siem Reap and ex Ho Chi Minh on return with a full service carrier including luggage and meals/taxes

• Transfer from Siem Reap airport to hotel

• 3 nights accommodation at the Victoria Angkor Resort & Spa with daily breakfast

• Dinner at the famous Madame Butterfly Restaurant, Siem Reap with transfers

• FREE Transport and tickets to the Phare Cambodian Circus show

• Private guided sightseeing tour to Angkor Thom, Ta Prohm and Angkor Wat

• Transfer from Siem Reap hotel to boarding of ms Jahan

• 7 night Mekong River Cruise aboard MS Jahan from Siem Reap to Ho Chi Minh (Saigon)

• A comprehensive range of group shore-excursions including entrance fees, transportation & tour guide services (English speaking)

• Port/govt taxes of USD $69 per person

• All onboard main meals

• Selected beverages: Mineral water, coffee/tea (from jug) are included all day and Fresh fruit juices are included in addition during breakfast and afternoon tea onboard ship

• Transfer from Ho Chi Minh port to airport

Plus also receive:

• FREE! Chauffeur driven luxury car transfers from your home to/from your nearest international airport (within 35 km)

Package prices start from A$5,995 per person share twin in a Twin Superior Balcony.

Package is subject to availability. Please ask for full terms and conditions.


MS Jahan

The Jahan is Heritage Line’s most romantic cruise liner. Considered the brother of The Jayavarman in Heritage Line’s “family” of cruise ships, this magnificent vessel was named after the Indian emperor Shah Jahan, who ruled the Mughal Empire from 1628 to 1658. A great patron of architecture and the arts, Shah Jahan oversaw the construction of many legendary sites, including India’s dazzling Red Fort, and the famed 777 gardens of Kashmir. This cultured monarch is a fitting namesake for The Jahan, which evokes the opulent vessels of British India. No expense has been spared in the interior or exterior decorations, which showcase the talents of local woodworkers, weavers and artists.

When guests aren’t relaxing in their luxurious cabins they can meet friends in the atmospheric East India Club; soak in the Jacuzzi on the Pool Deck; challenge a new friend to a game of chess in the Observatory Lounge; or enjoy a pampering massage in the Apsara Spa. With three decks, this vessel offers all the amenities of a fine resort, including a fitness center, steam rooms, a range of dining venues and an excellent spa. Stretching 70 meters from bow to stern, The Jahan features 26 beautifully-designed cabins on two decks, each with its own private balcony.


Cruise Highlights

(NOTE: Itinerary below is for the High Water programme. For details of Low Water programme please check at time of enquiry/booking)

Day 1: Siem Reap

We gather in the morning at our welcome lounge in Siem Reap. Relax with a drink before bidding farewell to the iconic sight of Angkor and travel a short distance to the pier at Tonle Lake. By local boat we transfer to MS Jahan. While you check in to your prepared staterooms the ship sets sail and your fascinating journey on the Mighty Mekong can begin.

Enjoy lunch on board while the vessel gently glides over Tonle Lake.

In the afternoon we serve a high tea at the bar. Enjoy your cruising day on board, relax on your balcony or relish a spa treatment before dinner.

Before dinner our expert guide offers a presentation about the “Geography of the Mekong and Tonle Sap”.

The boat moors in the Tonle River. You can join our evening cinema session (offered every night) featuring selected classic movies.

Day 2: Kampong Chhnang – Kamp. Tralach – Kampong Cham

Wake up early to witness the spectacular scenery at the break of dawn. Today, we are at Kampong Chhnang, Cambodia’s “water world”, where everything is on sticks balanced on water rich soil. Perhaps this is the most fascinating cruise locale in Cambodia.

We take a local boat to the shore. With mini buses we head to a rural village nearby and go on a walking tour. Our guides introduce the village specialities – Khmer style pottery and the making of palm sugar. Definitely you should bring some home. Before returning to the boat we explore the local floating villages and wetlands of the region.

Back on board lunch is served while the cruise continues with a languid meander along the Tonle River towards Kampong Tralach. A Monks’ blessing ceremony on board delivers spirits and wishes for health and prosperity for all.

Gliding through leafy swaths of this jungle-like landscape we reach Kampong Tralach. Cacophonous children wave enthusiastically while bringing their livestock for a bath in the meandering river. We will stop at the “Green School” which is supported in part by Heritage Line. Travel to see all this life – which is so much different than ours – by a local ox cart ride.

Back on board we sail downstream, passing the confluence of Tonle and Mekong Rivers. The boat cruises overnight and you can enjoy dinner in the dining hall.

Day 3 Kampong Cham – Okhna Tey – Phnom Penh

After a sumptuos breakfast we stay on board to understand more about the education of the young Cambodian generation (NGO project). The children join us on board, always excited to show their skills in music and art. Be sure to be bathed in smiles upon your applause.

We leave the boat around 09:30am to arrive at the enchanting pre-Angkorian temple of Wat Hanchey (7th century). This small complex sits on a hill top right on the shore with breath-taking views on the Mekong. After some refreshment back on the ship we serve lunch.

During the afternoon our staff is keen to show you the variety of traditional Khmer fashion. Watch the riverbank life along the Mekong during our high tea as the ship proceeds to its next stop.

We arrive at the Island of Koh Oknha Tey. This spot in the middle of the Mekong owns its fame for the manufacturing of high class silk products. By tuk tuk we explore the island with its workshops and learn how silk is processed from its source, provided by little silkworms, to a final top quality product made of original Cambodian silk.

After some additional cruising time the boat arrives and docks at the pier of Phnom Penh. Feel free to have your first exploration by yourself after dinner. Stroll along the river promenade and watch the locals chit-chatting, selling odds and ends or have a drink in one of the numerous bars (kindly inform our crew once you are leaving the ship on your own).

Day 4 Phnom Penh

Welcome to Phnom Penh – the once called Paris of the East. Despite its rapid development, it has retained a lot of its rustic charm and elegance. It is an amazing town to bespeak centuries of incredible history and culture which can still be felt at many street corners.

We start with a full sight-seeing tour right after breakfast. By bus we visit the Killing Fields at the outskirts of the city and after the centrally located prison “S21”. Both historic sites display the sad and cruel chapter of Khmer history when once the Khmer Rouge ruled the country with terror and supression. Those places have not changed much since the horrific time back in the early seventies and so it can be heart wrenching. There is the alternative to explore the city during the morning by your own pace individually before re-joining the group.

Lunch we take in a nice restaurant in town. Our exploration of Phnom Penh focuses afterwards on the fascinating cultural heritage of Phnom Penh. The golden edifice of the Royal Palace with its Silver Pagoda and the exceptional Khmer crafts at the National Museum are the afternoon highlights. The day trip ends with a “cyclo” ride back to the ship through the bustling streets of downtown Phnom Penh.

Take some rest in your spacious cabin or join other fellow passengers at the bar for some refreshing drinks before our captivating evening activities start.

Early evening a barbecue dinner on the sun deck commences. The dinner is accompanied by an Apsara dance performance. You have to witness the brilliance and richness of this dance along with the soothing sounds of traditional music.

As the evening unwinds enjoy your supper with a good glass of wine and marvel at the skyline of Phnom Penh and the calming flow of the Tonle River.

Day 5 Phnom Penh – Border Crossing – Tan Chau

After you have enjoyed your breakfast we gather at the lounge for a great lecture.

The lounge is set up for a captivating lecture about Cambodian mordern history, held by a professor of the Royal University of Phnom Penh. Definitely among the highlights of this cruise is to receive knowledge first hand as our lecturer has studied the subject extensively and personally.

The whole afternoon is at your own arrangements. This is the cruise part when even the last passenger will turn into cruise mode and hopefully experience the therapeutic influence this mighty river radiates. It is time for massages, time for sun bed relaxations, time for private balcony kick-backs – it’s time to merge with the river.

Some may like to visit the bridge – the captain always has a story to share about “his” river. Float into a state of mild bliss, but be-fore totally drifting away do not forget lunchtime around noon.

A culinary class is offered in the afternoon to sharpen your knowledge and skills of the local cuisine. There may be an afternoon snooze kicking in. Our high tea with coffee and snacks might work against it if you like to.

We reach the border and arrive finally in Vietnam. From here it is just a short way to Tan Chau, a pleasant, slow-paced border town close-by with a sizeable Chinese, Kinh and Khmer community. We moor near the city with views of the riverside.

Dinner is served and afterwards you can join our evening cinema with another selected classic movie.

Day 6 Tan Chau – My An Hung – Sa Dec

Welcome to the fish sanctuary of Vietnam. Begin your day with a hearty breakfast at the dining hall or in the quiet sanctuary of your balcony.

Brace yourself for an excursion around Tan Chau, a pleasant, slow-paced town near the Cambodian border with a sizeable Chinese, Kinh and Khmer community. Once arrived on-shore we hop on “xelois” to explore Tan Chau. A xeloi is a local vehicle which is still used as a taxi in this region. We slowly move around the streets to see all the workshops, houses and domiciles. Get to feel the laid-back vibes of this place.

We stop at the colorful local market near one of the ancient temples. This is the best time to interact with the vendors of this friend-ly town to make your own bargain experience. We board our local boats and cruise along floating houses to finally reach a floating fish farm. This region is the source of fish production to be sold all over the world and we can see closely how fish farmings works.

Back on board you may like to pamper yourself with some spa treatments or take a dip in our pool on the sun deck before lunch time. Our expert guides offer a presentation on the “Life on the Mekong Delta” as the ship continues to My An Hung near Sa Dec province.

We will set off for the My An Hung Village. In the village we receive wonderful insights into the private household of a local family. We are allowed to visit their vegetable garden and accees the seasonal vegetable fields via crossing a monkey bridge. We are invited after to their house for a Vietnamese tea tasting. Vietnamese tea is often bitter and locals sweeten it with honey. The honey produced by the family is a delicacy in this region. We are the offered fruits, juicy, fresh, and right from the tree. A local artist group performs a typical traditional dragon dance while we munch on those natural “vitamins bombs”.

As the sun sets and the light bathes everything golden we settle on a riverbank with cocktails to recap the day.

Day 7 Binh Thanh Island – Cai Be – My Tho

During breakfast time we arrive at the island of Binh Thanh. We embark a local boat and head towards Binh Thanh Island. This island is one of the larger ones in the vast stream of the Mekong. Some communities have settled here and make their living by growing water hyazinths.

We visit exclusively one of those untouched areas. By wandering through the village we get a deep understanding of the native life. But moreover, we can follow the whole process of mat making. You can even try yourself the weaving which is still done manually. We will meet also an old local couple who share with us their story on this island and they are happy for any chit-chat with you.

Back on board lunch is served and you have some time afterwards for yourself in your preferred cruise mode.

In the early afternoon we arrive in Cai Be. Cai Be is a charming small town, famous for its Catholic French church and manufactur-ing of traditional crafts and food products. The floating market of Cai Be is getting smaller every year, since trading on the water is shifting more and more into modern central markets. We can still see some boat to boat trading of local goods, such as fruits and agricultural products.

Our guide explains the particulars of this long lasting dealing cutlture. Each boat has a special marker to let buyers know what goods they are selling. We go on-shore to visit a workshop where we learn about and observe how rice paste, rice paper, rice cookies and rice wine is manufactured. Cai Be and its surrounding areas are covered by palm trees and hence the region is also famous for the production of coconut candies. The city is criss-crossed by and many water canals. With our local boat we continue to cruise through the lush and green canal network and can observe farmers working in the fields.

As the sun sets, our crew invites you to a farewell event. Before your dinner enjoy some dance and music together with the crew. The ships moors at My Tho in the evening.

Day 8 My Tho – Saigon

Enjoy your last breakfast aboard our floating sanctuary.

We will disembark the ship after the breakfast and take a bus transfer from My Tho to the drop off point in Saigon. It is only around 70 kilometers on the highway. You arrive in Saigon by mid-morning.

Cruise Category
  • River Cruise
  • Soft Adventure
  • Solo Traveller
ONBOARD FEATURES
  • All meals
  • Boutique &/or Salon
  • Pool &/or Spa
  • Shore Excursions
  • Solo Traveller Friendly
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Itinerary Map Image

Trip itinerary

Day
Port
1
Fly Australia to Siem Reap
2
Arrive Siem Reap, Transfer to hotel

3
Private driver and guide to Angkor Thom, Ta Prohm & more
4
Private driver and guide to Angkor Wat (morning)
Dinner at Madame Butterfly Restaurant then FREE Phare Circus show
5
Transfer Siem Reap to boarding dock for ship, embark ms Jahan
Siem Reap, Cambodia
6
Kampong Chhnang, Cambodia
Kampong Tralach, Cambodia
Kampong Cham, Cambodia
7
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
8
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
9
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Tan Chau, Vietnam
10
Tan Chau, Vietnam
Sa Dec, Vietnam

Technical Details

  • Built Date 2011
  • Capacity 48
  • Length 70M

Cruise Category

  • Expedition Style
  • Purpose Built Vessel

Jahan

The riverboat Jahan is appointed in grand style, with large, gracious staterooms and luxurious touches. Built in 2011 from the ground up, every cabin has a private balcony and the ship’s public spaces offer a relaxed elegance for your Mekong tour. Images courtesy of Linblad.

VESSEL FEATURES

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