Tailor-Made Holiday

Luxury Indochina with Aqua Mekong Cruise

Journey from Saigon to Siem Reap and the temples of Angkor

11 days

from £6,995pp (excluding flights)

This eleven-day multi-country holiday to Indochina includes five peaceful days exploring the hidden secrets of the majestic Mekong River. Join expert guides offering a unique insight into river life. Complete your journey by spending a few days exploring Siem Reap – the gateway to Angkor.

  • Travel aboard the luxury small ship, the Aqua Mekong
  • Feast on food designed by a Michelin starred executive chef
  • Explore the iconic temples of Angkor pre or post cruise

Ho Chi Minh city

Begin this holiday to Indochina with a day to explore Ho Chi Minh, the capital city of Vietnam. Commonly known as Saigon the city is famed for its mix of classical colonial architecture mixed with Russian and Chinese style buildings; charming tree-lined streets, spectacular lakes and a vibrant old quarter.  

Aqua Mekong Cruise

Cruise between Saigon in Vietnam and Angkor in Cambodia over four nights soaking up the pastoral landscapes of Cambodia through to the art deco sites of Phnom Penh.

Guides and unique experiences onboard Aqua Mekong

The handpicked Aqua Expeditions team include local guides who knew every historic and cultural tradition on the Mekong.

Onshore excursions include travel by skiff, bicycle, rickshaw and tuk-tuk taking in colourful floating markets, gilded pagodas and rural life among the padi fields. An insight into the local culture and Khmer history is also ensured with time spent among local village people and Buddhist monks.

Aqua Mekong - giving back

Aqua Mekong work with a US organisation called Room to Read, helping to ensure primary school children in Cambodia and Vietnam can become independent readers and local girls can complete secondary school with necessary life skills.

Siem Reap and Angkor Wat

Disembark the cruise and fly to Siem Reap for three days to explore the magnificent temple complex of Angkor. Take sunset drinks and a light breakfast amidst some of the less known ruins and journey outside of the city to explore local villages and dine on traditional delicacies. 

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 
£ 6995 £ 800
  Click here to see what is included/excluded

what is included

  • 4-night Aqua Mekong cruise including all meals, non alcoholic drinks, selected beers and wines and all excursions
  • Accommodation in Saigon, Phnom Penh and Siem Reap on a bed and breakfast basis
  • Angkor Archaeological Park entry pass
  • Dinner on day 10
  • Domestic flights
  • Private English speaking guide for all non-cruise sightseeing
  • Transfers and transportation as detailed

what is excluded

  • Gratuities
  • International flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Visas

PLEASE NOTE THE COST SHOWN INCLUDES INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS DEPARTING FROM THE UK, BASED ON AN APPROXIMATE AIR FARE. PLEASE ASK YOUR TRAVEL EXPERT FOR AN ACCURATE INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT QUOTE. INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS DEPARTING FROM THE UK ARE ATOL PROTECTED.

Itinerary at a glance

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Day 1

Day at leisure in 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.


You will be staying at Hotel des Arts Saigon, bed and breakfast

Day 2

Full Day City Tour
A full day city tour with a private guide includes a visit to the extraordinary Cu Chi tunnels just outside of Saigon. During the war the Viet Cong guerrillas built the labyrinth of narrow tunnels underneath US bases. Continue to visit the Presidential Palace, Notre Dame Cathedral and the War Remnant Museum.


You will be staying at Hotel des Arts Saigon, bed and breakfast

Day 3

Ho Chi Minh - My Tho Dock
Transfer to the Aqua Mekong meeting point and transfer by air-conditioned coach to My Tho dock to board the Aqua Mekong and settle in.

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, full board and house beverages

Day 4

Mekong River Binh Thanh - My An Hung
Begin the day at Binh Thanh mat weaving village or opt to visit Sa Dec to peruse the vibrant market and see the famous house of Marguerite Duras' legendary lover, Mr. Huynh Thuy Le. In the afternoon, visit a typical Mekong Delta village called My An Hung and walk through verdant plantations. Enter a local's home to taste home grown fruits while hearing traditional folk songs and dancing performed by villagers. A 17-kilometre cycling tour is also an option.


You will be staying at Aqua Mekong, full board and house beverages

Day 5

Chau Doc - Cambodian Border
Travel by skiff along Bassac Canal to Chau Doc floating market then onwards to Long Son Pagoda atop Sam Mountain. Ask the monks about their age-old Buddhist practices. Return via the bustling morning market.

Take an optional 18-kilometre bike ride on Long Khanh Island or take a rickshaw ride to visit Tan Chau Market with the ships chef. After lunch, relax by the pool, try traditional Khmer massage or learn to cook Mekong inspired dishes while the ship crosses the border into Cambodia.


You will be staying at Aqua Mekong, full board and house beverages

Day 6

Koh Oknha Tey - Preah Prosop
Witness the dexterous Khmer artisans dyeing and weaving kroma, the ubiquitous item no Khmer lives without. Explore the riverbank on two wheels, cycling past Buddhist temples and thatch houses perched on spindly wooden stilts, while white oxen wade just offshore. After lunch board the marine-grade aluminium skiffs and head towards the tamarind trees of Preah Prosop, a remote village little changed over several lifetimes.


You will be staying at Aqua Mekong, full board and house beverages

Day 7

Phnom Penh
Explore the Cambodian capital by motorized tuk-tuk; the Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda and the National Museum of Cambodia, home to the world's largest collection of Khmer art. For those who wish, visit the Tuol Sleng Museum of Genocide or choose to shop at the Russian Market.

Later today disembark the Aqua Mekong.


You will be staying at Raffles Hotel Le Royal, bed and breakfast

Day 8

Fly Phnom Penh to Siem Reap


Back in the 1960s, Siem Reap was the place to be in Southeast Asia and saw a steady stream of the rich and famous. Today it remains well and truly on the tourist map. Siem Reap is home to the wondrous Temples of Angkor and the city itself exudes charm with old French shop-houses.

Visit the Old Market (known locally as Psar Chaa) - an Aladdin's cave for silverware, silk, wood carvings and bargains galore. Explore the stylish and contemporary dining scene, Khmer style with celeb chefs now an integral part of Siem Reaps' international scene.


Banteay Kdei Temple and Sunset Drinks
This afternoon, a first taste of the Angkorian temples. Explore the sprawling labyrinth of Banteay Kdei with its Hall of Dancing Girls before sunset drinks with a leisurely boat ride on the moat of Angkor Thom. Take in the hidden elements of the ancient Khmer water systems, relaxing with a gin and tonic in hand and accompanied by the sound of bird song.


You will be staying at Shinta Mani Angkor - Bensley Collection, bed and breakfast

Day 9

Temples of the Forest
Journey by road to Srah Srang and on to Ta Prohm. Take time to walk through the temple from the West to East entrance, around one to two kilometres. From the Northwest of Ta Prohm walk 15 minutes through the forest to the little visited temple of Ta Nei. There is a reasonable chance of having this beautiful Angkor temple to yourself to explore. Pause for a light breakfast around this peaceful area before exploring further.

End the morning at Ta Keo temple, known as the "mountain with bronze peaks", with its five-tiered pyramid structure.

Return by road to Siem Reap for lunch at leisure.


Angkor Thom
Travel by road to the Victory Gate of Angkor Thom. Walk the short distance along the path adjacent to the eight-metre-high laterite city wall to the Death Gate or continue around by road.

En route to the Terrace of the Leper King, stop briefly to see an imposing statue found in Bayon which is now displayed at Vihear Prampeilveng.

Starting at the atmospheric Preah Palilay, walk one kilometre through the shaded parkland behind the terraces, passing Phimeanakas with its beautiful lakes, and the imposing Baphuon to finally reach Jayavarman's state temple of Bayon at the centre of the city. Explore this important temple with its many captivating giant stone faces.


You will be staying at Shinta Mani Angkor - Bensley Collection, bed and breakfast

Day 10

Angkor Wat Sunrise and Exploration
A sunrise tour starts at pre-dawn to witness the breath-taking view of the sun emerging from behind the iconic lotus towers of Angkor Wat, the best place for photography. Constructed over a period of 30 years during the reign of King Suryavarman II [AD1113], it is the largest religious complex in the world. Originally a Hindu mountain temple aligned to the spring equinox, around the C16th it was converted to a Theravada Buddhist monument, a capacity in which it continues today.

Explore the well preserved central complex and detailed bas-reliefs depicting scenes from Hindu mythologies and battles of the ancient empire. The beauty in balance and composition, combined with its sheer scale ensure Angkor Wat's place as the crowning achievement in Khmer art and architecture.

Return to your hotel for a late breakfast.


Countryside Senses
Beyond the temples of Siem Reap lies a rural landscape which is little changed since the days of Jayavarman VII. Travel between rice paddies, through woodland and back gardens on foot, by ox-cart and boat to experience the very best of the countryside.

After a short drive from Siem Reap visit a colourful contemporary pagoda to learn more about the importance of Buddhism in rural communities and seek a blessing from the monks. Sample seasonal fruits straight from the tree and speak to families who have specialised in baking sticky rice in bamboo for over 30 years.

Take an ox-cart ride through typical villages followed by a 20-minute easy walk to the vast Western Baray. An impressive engineering feat, this man-made reservoir was once integral to the complex Angkorian rice irrigation system. Travel by boat (depending on water level) to Villa Chandara, surrounded by rice paddies; a wonderful spot to relax in the quiet of the countryside and enjoy sunset drinks.

While the chef prepares dinner, take a wander across the levees of the rice paddies, look for fish traps, or walk a short distance to a viewpoint over the ancient reservoir.


Dinner included


You will be staying at Shinta Mani Angkor - Bensley Collection, bed and breakfast

Day 11

Transfer to the airport for onward travel.

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 the rare attributes of history and style....

View Accommodation

Aqua Mekong

Aqua Mekong

With only 20 suites (40 guests), the Aqua Mekong have thought of every detail to ensure this really is a journey bathed in comfort....

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

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

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