Tailor-Made Holiday

On Board The Aqua Mekong - Mekong Delta

8 days

from £4,585pp (excluding flights)

This eight day multi country holiday incorporates an introduction to Vietnamese city life with an overnight stay in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Cruise on board the most stylish vessel operating on the Mekong Delta – the Aqua Mekong. Sailing upstream cross land borders between Vietnam and Cambodia at VinhXuong ,with a final night in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. 

  • Exhilarating street food tour of Ho Chi Minh City by motorbike
  • A private audience with the Mahyana Buddhist monks at Long Son Tu Temple
  • Stay at the iconic Raffles Hotel  in Phom Penh
  • Explore the vibrant Cambodian capital  by Tuk Tuk

Flying overnight with British Airways to Bangkok, and onward connection the following day to Ho Chi Minh City. A day to explore Ho Chi Minh City or relax at The Reverie - renowned for being the highest hotel, take in the sweeping views of the city below. In the evening when the city comes alive with street vendors, take a taste of the night motorbike street tour and sample foods whilst learning about the historical and cultural significance of the dishes. For the brave try a traditional tipple of snake wine, ginseng wine and goat wine.

On board the Aqua Mekong sailing upstream, take in My Tho, Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, according to season. Sailing dates for 2015 /16 departures are shown here. On shore excursions by skiff and local sampan ensure you catch a glimpse of Mekong Delta daily life. Paddle through Cai Be floating market and see dozens of pagods on Sam Mountain – the highest summit in the Mekong Delta.A highlight of this cruise is a private audience with the Mahyana Buddhist monks at Long Son Tu Temple situated at Sam Mountain. As this is border territory you will see soldiers, a reminder of the Kymer Rouge era, although a far more relaxed environment is now experienced.

Visit the “silk islands” along the river banks, villages where weavers allow visitors to wander among the looms. Witness the entire process here. Passing the border crossing, into Tonle Sap River, cruise towards Cambodia’s economic capital. Disembarking the Aqua Mekong, take an urban adventure by tuk tuk to the historic city’s most important sites before relaxing in the Raffles, a hotel fit for royalty for the final night.

Post Cruise Extension

Fly up to Siem Reap for at least three nights to spend time walking around the awe-inspiring temples of Angkor.

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Price Excluding Flights £Flight cost from 
£ 4585 £ 800

Itinerary at a glance

Collapse all
Day 1

Fly London to Bangkok overnight

Day 2

Fly Bangkok to Ho Chi Minh


Still known to locals and much of the rest of the world as Saigon, Ho Chi Minh is an exhilarating city of culture, commerce and bikes. Vietnam's largest city, it is a sprawling and chaotic metropolis that pulsates with innovation and energy.


Motorbike Street Food Tour of Saigon
Your guide for the evening will meet you at 1730. Guides are all licensed and trained. A safety debrief will be given on how to ride on the back of a bike properly in order to ensure the safest experience. The first part of the tour features three diverse street vendors where you will get to sample some of the many foods that they offer and learn about the history and cultural significance of each dish. Your guide will explain the many different sights that you will pass along the way as we travel to the different street vendors spread throughout Saigon. Then you will be taken to a night market where you will have a chance to sample more foods and snacks as well as the many exotic fruits found in Vietnam.

The tour ends with one the most popular Vietnamese food traditions; "The Street Barbeque." You will have chance to gorge yourself on as many different kinds of foods as you can eat. As long as you keep eating, they keep ordering. In addition, you will have the option of sampling some of Vietnam's famous rice wine including snake wine, ginseng wine and goat wine. At the end of the evening, when you have eaten your fill we will drop you back at your hotel. The evening tour is designed to give you a taste of as many different kinds of food as possible and is suitable for all travelers to Vietnam. Tried and tested it is good fun.


You will be staying at The Reverie Saigon, Bed & Breakfast

Day 3

The meeting point this morning is at the Caravelle Saigon Hotel. A transfer wil be provided.


Saigon/Mekong River/ Vietnam
Your guides greet you and our porters collect your luggage for delivery to your suite. Board our air-conditioned bus for the scenic 90 minute countryside ride to My Tho where we meet the Aqua Mekong.

Welcome to the laid back luxury of 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. Ascend to the Observation Deck if you wish, to take in the view of the swaying palms and bustling waterways of My Tho.

Over the next four nights, the Aqua Mekong sails from here along the one of the world’s great rivers, the Mekong, towards remote natural and cultural destinations visited by only a few. First however, we will begin with a Safety Drill followed by a briefing on the Observation Deck in the air-conditioned Indoor Lounge with the cruise director and hear from our expert guides about your Mekong adventures ahead.

Life in this part of Southeast Asia revolves around the mighty Mekong River. Snaking through several countries including China, Thailand, Cambodia, it finally empties into the sea at its extreme southern end in southwestern Vietnam - otherwise known as the Mekong Delta. Here you can experience whole towns floating on rafts, explore remote villages completely untouched by the modern world and keep your eyes peeled for river dolphin.


You will be staying at Aqua Mekong, All inclusive

Day 4

Aqua Mekong Upstream Caibe/Binh Thank Island/ Mekong River
We start by going native, so to speak. People of the Mekong Delta rely on flat-bottom wooden boats called sampan to get around and transport goods to market. We climb aboard to paddle through the Cai Be floating market, where more than 400 sampans gather every day, starting in earnest from 5 a.m. Each boat has one bamboo stick on the front to display that vendor’s product, be it Vietnamese fish sauce, rice paper for wrapping dumplings, or colorful sweet confectionery. We continue our exploration of this area on foot or by bicycle for more up close glimpses of Mekong Delta dwellers.

Begin the afternoon excursion by skiffs to Binh Thanh Island, where the villagers weave mats and baskets from Mekong river reeds and water hyacinths. At the village’s simple temple where worshippers adhere to the indigenous practice founded in 1939 known as Hòa H?o Buddhism, in which emphasis is placed on modesty over ornate offerings, we will have an interaction with village elders to learn about their life before, during and after the war. On our return skiff journey, we stop by one of the local fish farms to learn how these farmer fish directly underneath their floating home.


You will be staying at Aqua Mekong, All inclusive

Day 5

Aqua Mekong Upstream Tam Nong Bird Sanctuary/ Vinh Xuong - Border
We leave the Aqua Mekong this morning to head by skiff for Tam Nong – the largest bird sanctuary of South Vietnam at 7,300 hectares. This protected national park is home to 233 waterfowl species and accounts for one fourth of the countries bird populations.

By skiff we will cruise through lush cajuput forest, looking out for rare white-winged wild ducks, painted storks, lesser adjutants, spot-billed pelicans and sarus cranes – the largest among the crane species.

Time to relax by the pool with a Mekong Colada or Aqua Pisco Sour, try a Traditional Khmer Massage in our floating spa or learn more about Vietnam from our expert guide’s lecture in the air conditioned lounge while border crossing formalities are completed.


You will be staying at Aqua Mekong, All inclusive

Day 6

Day 4/5 Aqua Mekong Upstream Koh Oknha Tey Preah Prosop Mekong River
We begin our Cambodia adventures with a visit to Koh Oknha Tey – a beautiful island on the Mekong. Here we will explore by tuk-tuks, heading to one of the villages where renowned weavers have invited us to wander freely among their looms, admiring their skills as they work at this knotty art form. Witness the entire process, learning how silk starts with the worms, see silk thread being looped and dyed, then admire and purchase, if you wish, the final shimmering Khmer silk accessories. A biking option is also available for those who wish to explore deeper into the island.

This afternoon, we cruise further north along the Mekong towards the remote village of Preah Prosop. Here, as we walk through this typical Khmer village of stilt houses, we will see and experience authentic Cambodian village life untouched by the outside world. We have the opportunity to stop along the way as we wish and to interact with local families and to speak with students on their way home from school. We will also pass a local brick factory, which will be more interesting than you might think, before reaching one of the oldest Buddhist temples of this area. More sportive explorers among us may opt to venture around Preah Prosop by bike.


You will be staying at Aqua Mekong, All inclusive

Day 7

Day 5/5 Aqua Mekong Upstream Phnom Pench/ Cambodia
Shifting gears from the sleepy countryside to this country’s political and economic capital, we sail into Phnom Penh where Art Deco buildings still stand in the shadows of ever-rising skyscrapers and vintage cyclos cruise alongside imported European sports cars. Buddhist temples, French colonial villas and the Royal Palace provide photogenic backdrop to international business and a new generation of boutique hotels, chic shopping and cosmopolitan nightlife.

Today’s urban adventure by two wheel motorized tuk-tuks takes in this historic city’s most important sites including the 1866 Royal Palace that is still home to the reigning monarch and its Silver Pagoda, the royal compound’s most famous attraction, so called because in 1962 then Prince Sihanouk ordered the floor inlaid with 5,329 genuine silver tiles. Today the pavilion houses many jeweled statues and images, including the 17th century Emerald Buddha, made of Baccarat crystal, and a life size gold Maitreya Buddha adorned 9,584 diamonds, the largest of which weighs 25 carats.

Just next door, the National Museum of Cambodia houses the world’s largest collection of Khmer art, much of it removed from Angkor Wat to prevent looting. Here we can linger among the linga, representations of the Hindu deity Shiva, and thousands of other artifacts including an imposing 11th century bronze sculpture of a reclining Vishnu that is considered a monumental example of Khmer statuary.

We return to the Aqua Mekong to pack up and disembark at approximately midday. Raffles Hotel will collect you from here and transfer you to the hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure.


You will be staying at Raffles Hotel Le Royal, Bed & Breakfast

Day 8

Fly Phnom Penh to Bangkok

Fly Bangkok to London

Accommodation

Below you can see some of the wonderful places we recommend you stay on your journey.

Raffles Hotel Le Royal

Raffles Hotel Le Royal

Raffles Hotel is a hotel with rare attributes of history and style....

View Accommodation

The Reverie Saigon

The Reverie Saigon

The first member of the Leading Hotels of the World in Ho Chi Minh City, The Reverie Saigon can be found in the historic heart of the central business district....

View Accommodation

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Destination Experts

Our experts have unrivalled firsthand knowledge of Cambodia

Clare Higginson, Travel Expert

Read More

Deborah Brock-Doyle, Travel Expert

Read More

Paul Craven, Travel Expert

" I spoke to five different companies, but Paul was by far the most knowledgeable and empathetic."

"The service which I received from your Travel Expert Paul Craven was excellent, he was able to answer any queries I put to him."

"Paul must be congratulated on his expertise and great patience in dealing with all my programme changes. He must dread my phone calls!! A big thank-you from both of us to Paul and Carol."

Read More

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Enquire about this holiday:
Speak to a Vietnam holiday expert:

Tailor-Made Holiday Ideas

Booking a Tailor-made holiday gives you the flexibility to customise your journey, travelling when and where suits you.

Holiday Ideas in Cambodia

You are unique, so we believe your holiday should be too.

We listen to what you want and create a personalised itinerary tailored around you.

Your holiday. Your experience. Your way.

Can’t find what you’re looking for?

Call our Travel Experts on +01285 880 980
Start Your Journey
 

Expertise

  • Established for over 25 years creating journeys across 100 destinations worldwide
  • Exclusive access to the best private guides

PRICING

  • We negotiate the best rates with hotels and expert guides
  • Be protected from fluctuations in exchange rates

RESPONSIBLE STEPPES

  • Each time you travel with us we donate £5 to a local charity in the UK and £10 to an international charity

Fully Protected

  • Your monies are financially protected
  • 24/7 Emergency UK contact whilst abroad
 

Featured in the Press

Financial Times
The Telegraph
Sunday Times logo
CNT
Wanderlust

Our Partners

African Parks
Galapagos Conservation Trsut
OF_Primary_Logo_Tan
Restless Development
Save The Rhino
Tusk Trust
World Land Trsut
Gorilla Doctors
 

© Steppes Travel, 51 Castle St, Cirencester, GL7 1QD, United Kingdom