The Mekong Connection: Vietnam to Cambodia - 12 Days

Tour Code: MD-12D11N-1

Make the Mekong Connection and join this legendary river on its monumental journey, travelling from Ho Chi Minh City of Vietnam, where the delta fans out and feeds thousands with its fish and fertile farming, to Phnom Penh, Kampong Thom and Angkor Wat.

Start ~ Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Finish ~ Siem Reap, Cambodia
Physical rating: 2 out of 5

The Itinerary

On arrival in Vietnam, you’ll be met by your airport transfer team, who will accompany you to your hotel. The remainder of the day is at leisure.

Accommodation: Hotel / Meals: Meal is not included on this day.

After breakfast at the hotel, we’ll set off to Mekong Delta. Firstly, we’ll stop at Ving Trang Pagoda in My Tho. This is famous as a beautiful pagoda with the ancient blended architectures which are in harmony between the west and east. Afterward, we’ll take a boat for a ride along the river. The daily life of Mekong will appear before your eyes with houses on stilts, riverside fruit gardens, and fishing boats. 

For lunch, the boat will stop at Tortoise Islet, one of four supernatural islets of Mekong. We’ll enjoy our meal among the lush orchard of the restaurant. Following the itinerary, we’ll visit An Khanh village, which is non-touristy of Ben Tre. Continuing the trip on a rowing boat, passengers will experience the creek of water coconut trees. Let release our soul into the natural wind and shade of coconut leaves. We’ll then enjoy seasonal fruit & honey tea to the sound of “Southern Vietnamese folk music” performed by locals on our next stop.

After that, our tour guide will lead us to some family business to study the traditional products of Ben Tre such as coconut candy, fruit plantations. There, we can see and experience authentic life on the Mekong Delta.

When we finish exploring the region, we will get on a bus to head to Can Tho city where we will check in the hotel for an overnight stay.

Accommodation: Hotel / Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

In the early morning (5:30am usually recommended), we will drive to Ninh Kieu pier where we will hop in a motor-boat to explore Cai Rang floating market. This visit is really worth it as it is the most lively and colorful floating market of Mekong in Vietnam with over 500 trading boats. Later, we’ll go onshore to visit a vermicelli workshop to learn the process of making. Don’t forget to try crossover “Monkey Bridge” that will thrill you with only one stem of bamboo. We’ll then continue to Phong Dien, a smaller and quieter floating market.

For lunch, we’ll visit a local restaurant and taste the fresh & typical dishes of Mekong.

Afterward, we will head to Chau Doc with a stop en-route to discover Tra Su bird sanctuary, also known as Tra Su forest. This forest covers an area of 850 hectares and is an important natural habitat for many colorful birds and other rare animals. Indulge yourself into the boat excursions among the green spaces of cajuput and water-ferns.

If time permits, we’ll make another stop to visit a cave pagoda located on the Sam Mountain en-route to Chau Doc.

Once we arrive in Chau Doc town, we’ll check in the hotel for an overnight stay.

Accommodation: Hotel / Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

In the morning, we’ll drive to the jetty to take a speed boat leaving for Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The speed boat will leave around 7:00am and the sailing time is approximately 5½ hours. Along the way you’ll pass fascinating Mekong Delta landscapes with an abundance of rice paddies and fruit orchards, life along the shores, playing children, Buddhist pagodas, temples and more.

On arrival in Phnom Penh, you’ll be met by your transfer team, who will accompany you to your hotel. The remainder of the day is at leisure.

Accommodation: Hotel / Meals: Breakfast

This morning we take in everything Phnom Penh has the offer. After breakfast at the hotel, we will be heading to The Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda and the Central Market where you will enjoy seeking unique souvenirs. 

Afternoon, we will explore the Choeung Ek Killing Field and learn about the atrocities that took place here.  We will continue to visit The Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, a former school served as Khmer Rouge prison.

The tour will end with a drop off back to the hotel.

Accommodation: Hotel / Meals: Breakfast

After breakfast at the hotel, your tour will start your day exploring Phnom Udong Mountain about 40 kilometers from Phnom Penh city. It was the old capital city of Cambodia in the 16 century before the king moved the city to Phnom Penh. Over there you will see the green rice field, local livings, and on the top of the hill will see old pagoda, shrine of Phreh Kor, Phreh Keo, many stupas of the king.

We’ll then come back into the city with a stop at a village called Pol Toch village. The people living in this village make souvenirs from silver that you can buy with a good price better than in the market. You will especially see how to make souvenirs from silver.

Next stop is at Ounalom Pagoda. This pagoda has a large complex that housed quarters for monks, nuns, classrooms, meditation centers, as well as halls, shrines and stupas. This pagoda is considered the most important pagoda in Phnom Penh city and the center of Cambodian Buddhism. 

We will experience Cyclo Ride around fascinating Phnom Penh city centre on a traditional cycle rickshaw, removing the stress of negotiating traffic and discovering hidden sights of the city before we return to the hotel.

Accommodation: Hotel / Meals: Breakfast

After breakfast at the hotel, we will be heading to Wat Phnom on the only ‘hill’ in town. According to legend, the first pagoda on this site was erected in 1372 to house four statues of Buddha deposited here by the waters of the Mekong River and discovered by Lady Penh. Hence the city name Phnom Penh or ‘hill of Penh’.

The tour will then take you to explore ‘Street Art Phnom Penh’. It is the most known place for urban art. It is interesting to see local artists begin to create new forms of urban art and murals in Phnom Penh.

Afternoon, we will check out from the hotel and leave for Kampong Thom Province. The drive is approximately 3 ½ hours. You can witness the true local life of Cambodia along the way. When we arrive in Kampong Thom, we will check in the hotel. The remainder of the evening is at leisure.

Accommodation: Hotel / Meals: Breakfast

After breakfast at the hotel, we’ll check out to leave for Sambor Prei Kuk to delve into Cambodia’s storied past and rich present on this tour. This pre-Angkorian complex dates back to the late sixth century, and offers sights of many ancient temples and impressive brick buildings. Survey the ruins of the royal sanctuary, once known as Isanapura, and discover a wealth of examples of early Khmer art. 

When finished, we will set off to Siem Reap. This drive is approximately 3 hours. On the way, stop to admire the Kampong Kdei Bridge, one of the longest corbeled stone arch bridges in the world and an example of the glory of Cambodia’s past.

Once we get Siem Reap, we’ll check in the hotel. The remainder of the evening is at leisure.

Accommodation: Hotel / Meals: Breakfast

After breakfast at the hotel, we will set off to visit Angkor National Museum, which is an archaeological museum dedicated to the collection, preservation, and presentation of Angkorian artifacts, also to provide information and education about art and culture of Khmer civilization, with collections mainly dated from Khmer Empire’s Angkor period circa 9th to 14th-century. Most of the artifacts were discovered in and around the Angkor archaeological sites nearby. The museum exhibits are arranged flowing single direction through themed galleries.

With fascinating exhibitions on the history of Angkor and the Khmer Empire, a visit to the Angkor National Museum in Siem Reap is the perfect complement to a tour of the UNESCO-listed Angkor Temples.  

Finally, we will enjoy seeking unique souvenirs at a Market before we get dropped off back at the hotel.

Accommodation: Hotel / Meals: Breakfast

This tour is hands down the best way to explore Cambodia’s incredible feats of religious architecture. 

Begin with an early morning pick up at your hotel, right before you head off to Angkor Wat to watch the captivating sun rise behind the temple complex. Walk through one of the largest religious structures in the world and admire the intricate carvings of heavenly nymphs on the walls. You’ll also learn some interesting history facts as well as fun trivia from your local tour guide as you stroll through the complex. Once the sun has fully risen, you’ll have some free time for breakfast! Breakfast is followed by a stop at the Bayon Temple, in the heart of Angkor Thom, where you can marvel at the numerous massive faces of Avalokiteshvara engraved on the towers. 

Next, we’ll visit Ta Prohm Temple, filled with crumbling towers and overgrown trees that are centuries-old! Inspect the curious root formations on the walls and live out your Tomb Raider fantasy. 

The tour will end with a sunset at the Pre-Rub Temple before you will be dropped off at the hotel. The glow of the evening light produces reddish hues that contrast beautifully with the surrounding green jungle. The temple also offers stunning views over the rice fields of the Eastern Baray.

Accommodation: Hotel / Meals: Breakfast

Experience the rural side of Cambodia with this half-day tour of Kompong Phluk Floating Village from Siem Reap! The tour begins with a pick up at your hotel, followed by a scenic drive through small yet beautiful villages as well as some rice paddies. Once we arrive, we’ll jump in a boat to enjoy a serene boat ride through the calm waters of Tonle Sap Lake, where you will see big mangrove trees and herds of cattle feeding on grass. Go into the main area of Kompong Phluk, home to approximately 3000 fishing people, and explore this one-of-a-kind floating village. Learn how rural fishing villages work and what the people’s daily routines are like, as well as discover how they’ve built the village to adapt to the changing seasons. Once you’re done walking around, you’ll make your way back to your hotel. (Please note: During the dry season, boats cannot get all the way to the main villages because the water level may be too low; however, the village can be visited by car.) 

In the evening, we’ll head off to enjoy Phare, The Cambodian Circus. This traditional Cambodian performance is a phenomenon not to miss! You’ll be left in absolute awe at the talents of these brilliant young performers. An amazing blend of traditional and modern theater, music, dance, acrobatics, juggling and contortion all beautifully choreographed in a story about Cambodian lives and society. Though performed in Khmer with English subtitles on a screen, the story is easy to follow without words and you’ll probably be too enthralled by the performers to keep up with the narrative anyway!

You will head back to the hotel at the end of the show.

Accommodation: Hotel / Meals: Breakfast

Transfer to Siem Reap airport for your onward flight.

Meals: Breakfast

Don’t forget you can modify this tour. Whether you enjoy travelling as a part of a small group with other like-minded travellers, or perhaps you are looking for your very own private journey, we have the right option for you. Click on talk to us button to send us your enquiry.