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Mekong Princess is a newly built luxury river vessel running the route from Vietnam to Cambodia. The ship is elegantly designed and exquisitely decorated recalling the French colonial-era. Everything from the food to decor is prepared with consideration for every detail. The ship is large but the are just 12 spacious suite cabins, each has a floor-to-ceiling window and equipped with modern amenities, that promises an ultra comfortale experience. On board, guests can also enjoy Ramvong Lounge, Princess Spa, library, fitness centre and boutique shop.
The RV Mekong Princess awaits you in Saigon Port. Once aboard, you will be welcomed by your Vietnamese and Cambodian ship’s crew, before embarking on the most extraordinary journey of discovery. We sail at midday through the famed Mekong Delta on our way to the ‘Mighty Mekong River’.
Lunch, with highly attentive oriental hospitality, will be served soon after departure, as we cruise along the Saigon River. Having settled into your luxurious suites, you can relax and enjoy the new scenes and watch the world pass by.
Late in the day we anchor in the heart of the Mekong Delta, where cocktails are served as sun sets, and sampans pass by. A traditional Vietnamese dinner is soon ready, embracing a subtle fusion of dishes for the most eclectic tastes.
For the early risers, sunrise tea or coffee provides the perfect start to the morning.
Today, you witness the hustle and bustle of delta river life as the local traders take their produce to market. After breakfast, we board the classically built sampans to explore the narrow canals and backwaters of this famed region.
Cruising amidst the mangroves and Nipah Palm plantations, we disembark to visit the handcrafted coconut candy-makers. This is a famous cottage industry and a local delicacy, enjoyed throughout Vietnam and Southeast Asia.
As we stroll through the narrow paths of local villages, we make close, personal contact with the residents. A small fleet of a locally designed motorized ‘Tuk Tuk’ takes us on a ride through the plantations, en route to the exotic tropical fruit farms.
Savor the freshest most colorful Dragon-fruit, succulent Watermelons, delicious Lychees and the notorious Durian.!
A local riverboat returns us to the Mekong Princess, as we continue on our way to an even more remote destination in the Mekong Delta.
Luncheon is served as we cruise along a narrow canal, regarded as one of the busiest trading routes in Southeast Asia.
This afternoon, the ship sails through an area of the Mekong Delta, barely touched by tourism, to see Phuoc Hau historic pagoda. Explore the neighborhood where the locals make products from water hyacinth, a fast growing free-floating plant in the Mekong Delta.
Tea and coffee served at sunrise.
A local riverboat takes us to the fascinating Cai Rang floating market at Can Tho, where the Captain skillfully navigates through the flotilla of boats that come to market each day. This location is a photographer’s delight. Be ready.!
A brief shore excursion follows a short cruise past the Cai Rang markets to nearby rice noodle factory, where we see the process of noodle making. It’s hot, steamy, ‘smelly’ and totally authentic.
The river boat returns us to the Mekong Princess for luncheon.
In the afternoon, arrive at the village of Thot Not and climb aboard a “Lambro 555” taking us through the village to hear the cacophony of sound at a tropical bird sanctuary. After a short walk into the sanctuary, we climb the steps to a viewing platform and enjoy an incredible view over the treetops and down on the nesting area of a variety of protected birds.
The boat will then return us to the RV Mekong Princess for sunset cocktails and dinner.
Tonight guests enjoy local village entertainment on board.
The early risers can enjoy tea or coffee at sunrise.
This morning local riverboats return to ferry us to Gieng Island. We stroll through the nearby village to witness how the classic and traditional oriental sampan boats are made. A short distance along the canal and time to explore duck farms, monkey bridges and tropical orchards. Next is another mode of transport named a “xe loi” (motorized trishaw). Crossing the island aboard your Xe Loi we arrive at the local Catholic Church, built in the 1870’s.
Later this afternoon, your sampans take you to the village of Thot Not, where you transfer to a “Lambro 555” that takes you through the village, where you begin to hear the cacophony of a bird sanctuary. After a short walk into the sanctuary, you climb the steps to the viewing platform, and enjoy an incredible view over the treetops and down on the nesting area of a variety of protected birds. Tonight you will enjoy a local entertainment show onboard after dinner
The final excursion in Vietnamese waters takes us to the remote island village of Hong Ngu, located only fifteen kilometers from the Vietnam-Cambodia border. Hong Ngu produces an abundance of traditional Khmer scarves, which are exported to Cambodia. Hand-woven in many homes throughout the village, we see the intricate weaving process from start to finish. Many of the villagers are embroidery artists who display their art on the balconies of their timber homes, which are built on stilts to avoid flooding in the wet season.
The residents of Hong Ngu had rarely encountered western visitors prior to the arrival of the RV Mekong Princess. Their welcome is warm and naturally friendly. During our time here, we enter a local temple dedicated to a unique religion, founded in this area, named Hoa Hao.
We return by riverboat to the RV Mekong Princess, weigh anchor and cross the border into Cambodia, cruising onwards towards our overnight anchorage.
At sunset, cocktails will be served before a dinner menu of Western-Oriental cuisine is provided for your pleasure.’
After breakfast, local cyclo drivers meet you for an exciting city tour of Phnom Penh. You begin your ride along the riverfront to the Royal Palace, where a leisurely walk takes you through the grounds, with opportunities to visit the Throne Hall and Moonlight Pavilion. Upon crossing into the second section of the complex, stroll amongst enormous stupas and spirit houses, on the way to the famous Silver Pagoda, home of Cambodia’s Emerald Buddha and Maitreya Buddha, encrusted with more than 9,000 diamonds.
Following a short break, your cyclos take you to the National Museum. Housing the largest Angkorian artifacts in Cambodia, the National Museum ends the morning tour with a comprehensive look at many of the artifacts excavated around the Angkor Archeological Area in Siem Reap. After a return cyclo ride to the ship, you may wish to take some time to have lunch at a local restaurant, walk along the quay, or visit some of Phnom Penh’s famous markets and fascinating boutiques.
This afternoon, a private air-conditioned coach takes us to the outskirts of Phnom Penh to visit Choeung Ek (‘The Killing Fields’). This is the monument commemorating the nations notorious past. On the return drive to Phnom Penh, a stop is made at Tuol Sleng (infamously known as S-21), which was converted by the Khmer Rouge from a large school to a prison.
Before dinner, children from a local orphanage entertain guests with a cultural performance including Apsara, Cambodia’s national dance, as well as several traditional folk dances.
Today we visit the charming town of Angkor Ban. Here we experience an insight into the lives of the local people, starting with a visit to a family’s home to witness their lifestyle.
We meander through the village to the local school and time to interact with the students and experience a typical day of study in rural Cambodia.
Following breakfast, it’s time to say farewell to your ships crew and transfer by road from Kampong Cham river port to Siem Reap and the famed Angkor Wat.
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