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Board the AmaDara at My Tho port. Meet your fellow travelers at a Welcome Dinner as the ship cruises to Cai Be.
Take a local boat to Cai Be. You will have an opportunity to learn about candy and rice paper making workshop and the historic Kiet Old house.
Later in the day, journey to Sa Dec, a sprawling town on the Mekong Delta, where French writer Marguerite Duras spent part of her youth. You will visit the local market, Cao Dai Temple and the house of Mr. Huynh and Thuy Le, Duras’ Chinese paramour, which her prize-winning novel, “The Lover” is said to be based on.
Enjoy a visit to Tan Chau, a small Mekong River town unspoiled by tourism. You will have the opportunity to take a traditional “xe-loi” (trishaw) ride around the town, with stops at silk-making and rattan mat workshops, followed by a boat ride through the narrow channels of the Mekong River to “Evergreen Island.” Alternatively, simply take the boat ride to Evergreen Island and return to Tan Chau, where you will visit a rattan mat workshop.
Later in the day, cruise from Vietnam to the Cambodian border en route to Phnom Penh.
PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA
This morning’s excursion takes you to Cambodia’s infamous Killing Fields and the Khmer Rouge’s grim Tuol Sleng S21 detention center (Genocide Museum) just outside the city.
After lunch on board, you’ll explore the highlights of the city, followed by a visit to the Royal Palace, the spectacular Silver Pagoda and the National Museum, which has an outstanding collection of Khmer crafts. After returning to the ship, enjoy Khmer folk dancing performed by local children in the Saigon Lounge.
Experience Phnom Penh via an authentic Tuk Tuk ride and be enchanted by the city’s French Colonial architecture and tree-lined boulevards set amidst monumental Angkorian architecture.
Alternatively, you may wish to shop for unique treasures at the bustling yellow-colored Central Market. Later in the morning, set sail for Oknhatey Village. Oknhatey is “Silk Island,” located on the lush banks of the Mekong River and known for its rich tradition of silk weaving.
While here, you’ll visit a local elementary school and observe the traditional silk weaving of handicrafts. Afterwards, the ship set sail to Kampong Chhnang.
A local motorboat takes you into the lakeside wetlands that form the mouth of Tonle Sap River. Enjoy the stunning variety of bird life here as well as tranquil floating villages and its busy market. Later in the day, the ship sails to Kampont Tralach.
In Kampong Tralach, you’ll have a truly authentic excursion – an oxcart ride through a local village.
Afterwards, you’ll go to Oudong, Cambodia’s former royal capital from the early 17th century until 1866. Today, Oudong is a place of pilgrimage for Cambodians.
While here, be treated to a memorable Buddhist Blessing Ceremony at a monastery. During the afternoon, take a leisurely walk through Koh Chen and visit home workshops specializing in silver- and copper-smithing.
You’ll get an up-close view of how local artisans make ornamental items often used in traditional ceremonies.
Your cruise comes to an end as you disembark at Prek Kdam, a small village on the Tonle River.
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