Cruise Operator in Mekong River

RIVERSAIGON

 

MEKONG CRUISE

 

       

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Saigon- Siem Reap Cruise

Siem Reap- Saigon Cruise

 

Mekong River Stops


Cai Be

Cai Be has a splendid church built in the French Gothic manner. There is a busy floating market here most mornings. The city itself, like all Vietnamese cities is clean and well organized and easy to walk around.

Boats cruising to Cai Be (Upper Mekong)
river saigon cruise
la marguerite cruise
jayavarman cruise
jahan cruise
amalotus cruise
pandaw cruise
le cochichine cruise
mien tay boat
mystic sampan
song xanh sampan
cai be princess sampan

Chau Doc

The main jetty is in the town center next to the Victoria Hotel. A sampan trip to visit the Cham villages is a must to view the cat fish farms contained in great bamboo vats suspended beneath the floors of the Cham houseboats.

The town itself retains a 'French' style charm with many old colonial buildings now housing offices of the Vietnam Communist Party and its many branches.

The market at Chau Doc is excellent and well worth a wander through. The town is easy to walk around or you can choose to enjoy a cyclo ride. There is a rather groovy Catholic church with Jesus, the Virgin Mary and various saints happily transmogrified with Vietnamese physiognomies. The Victoria Hotel is a pleasant place for a drink in its river view bar which not only has a good billiard table but also wifi!
 

Cu Lao Gien

Cu Lao Gien became an important Catholic centre and had a mission, an orphanage, a school, a hospice and a leprosy centre that could treat 1,000 people. During the Japanese invasion in 1940's the monastery was abandoned and operations were not resumed again until 1977. Nowadays Cu Lao Gian serves as a retreat for retired nuns taken care of by novices.

 

Kampong Cham

Kampong Cham is an important provincial capital with French colonial buildings, busting markets and an attractive setting overlooking the Mekong.

It is only a short minivan trip to the 12th century Angkor period temple of Wat Nokor is well worth the discomforts of the journey. It is rare to find a classic Khmer temple so far to the East and it is remarkably well conserved.

In the countryside the eco village of Cheungkok supported by the French-Cambodian NGO AMICA is worth a visit as is the Kampong Cham orphanage, supported by the Pandaw Charity.

There is an old French rubber factory across the river from Kampong Cham that some of our more nostalgic French passengers are keen to see. For wifi pop into Joe's Riverside Café - Joe is a friendly American who somehow never went home.

 

Kampong Channang

Situated close to the mouth of the Tonle River, Kampong Channang is the main center for fishing and trading in the vast wetlands that surround the great Tonle Sap lake.

The town was an important French provincial capital and the main administrative center with fine French villas and public buildings a couple of kilometers inland. Crocodile farming is a local business activity along with the by now ubiquitous fish farms, mainly in the hands of Vietnamese settlers. The river port is one of the busiest on the Mekong with several thousand vessels rafted up to make a complex river city. Enjoy a stroll up the river bank and see the amazing stilted houses - some 10 meters off the ground.

Also of great interest is a boat trip into the wetlands where depending on the season awesome fish traps can be visited - some of these over 100 meters long. These traps catch the escaping fish as the lake waters recede each year after the monsoon.

Kratie
Kratie is a thriving travel hub and the natural place to break the journey when travelling overland between Phnom Penh and Champasak in southern Laos.Kratie is a thriving travel hub and the natural place to break the journey when travelling overland between Phnom Penh and Champasak in southern Laos. It is the place in the country to see the rare Irrawaddy dolphins, which live in the Mekong River in ever-diminishing numbers. A lively riverside town, Kratie (pronounced kra-cheh) has an expansive riverfront and some of the best Mekong sunsets in Cambodia. There is a rich legacy of French-era architecture, as it was spared the war-time bombing that destroyed so many other provincial centres. It was one of the first towns to be ‘liberated’ by the Khmer Rouge (actually it was the North Vietnamese, but the Khmer Rouge later took the credit) in the summer of 1970.

My Tho

My Tho is the hub of the Delta. This is a busy commercial port and currently our ships are wedged between the Foster's Brewery and a timber yard - certainly giving an industrial flavour to this economically active area. In central My Tho there is a fine temple and bustling market area adjacent to the tourist port.

Peam Chi Kang

This village boasts a large wat or temple-monastery. In its grounds you will find a long shed containing the village racing boats. Over 20 meters long these come out at times of festivity and provide quite a spectacle.

Peam Chi Kang offers passengers the opportunity to see Khmer village life at first hand. Again you can wander in any direction and there is much of interest including some fine old wood carved houses and a busy High School just off the main road.
 

Phnom Penh

Sailing into Phnom Penh past the Royal Palace and bustling corniche is highlight to any Mekong voyage. We moor right in the city centre and you can walk virtually anywhere.

For our individual tourists we have teamed up with a charity 'The Cyclo Centre' who give training, language instruction and welfare assistance to often homeless cyclo drivers. These guys are all great fun and very enthusiastic. You will have your own cyclo, a map (with ship contact numbers) and you go off and do your own thing! There is much to choose from in this attractive former French city: the Royal Palace, the National Museum with its excellent Khmer collections, the Russian and Central markets, various temples and monasteries, a drink at the Foreign Correspondents club, or if feeling or better still the Raffles Le Royale Elephant Bar.

Sa Dec

Sa Dec is said to be yet another 'little Venice of Asia' and it does live up to this name with countless canals bustling with water borne craft of every size and description. The market is great - a typical hive of Vietnamese bustle and enterprise. Near the market you will find the house of Mr Huynh Thuy Le, remembered as the lover of the French author Marguerite Duras in her classic book L'Amant


Saigon

Saigon or Ho Chi Minh is the capital of southern Vietnam and after Hanoi the country's second city. Remarkably despite the boom of the past ten years much of old Saigon has survived and there is still a real L'Indochine feel to the place.

It is easy to walk around the central district exploring the broad leafy boulevards and splendid French colonial architecture - the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Post Office and Opera. The Town Hall, scene of the 'fall of Saigon' on April 30th 1975 is worth a peek as is the war museum (interestingly the French seem to come off far worse than the Americans!).

A half day excursion to the Chu Chi tunnel complex is also well worth it - here the Viet Cong held out against successive carpet bombing in an underground city. Saigon is a great place to eat with some excellent French or Vietnamese restaurants.

 

Siem Reap

Siem Reap is the town around which the Angkor monuments are situated. Modern Siem Reap is about 45minutes from the Tonle Sap and the port facilities there are very poor - dusty and disorganized - so be prepared!

The modern town is not very attractive and with the increased popularity of Angkor as a destination over the past few years literally hundreds of new hotels have opened. It is a big mess with congested traffic and even pollution. Such are the benefits of mass tourism.

However, the temple complexes are so vast and varied that it is quite easy to lose the package tour groups and do your own thing. Explored with discernment, and good planning, many a magical moment is still to be had. (e.g. Avoid the sunrise from Angkor Wat as this is what most tourists will be doing). Look to exploring some of the complexes like Rolous that are further away and less busy. Although very busy, Angkor remains one of the most important architectural sites on the planet and is an absolute must!

Tonle River

The Tonle River connects the Mekong main channel at Phnom Penh with the great Tonle Sap or lake. This section is the prettiest part of your river journey as the river narrows between Phnom Penh and Kampong Channang and one passes through villages, woodland and hills.

The Tonle River is of interest as it changes direction twice a year: with the coming of the monsoon in July the main Mekong channel backs up and floods the central Cambodian plain. After the monsoon when the water level drops on the main Mekong channel the river reverses and empties the lake waters.

Wat Hanchey

As far upstream as we can navigate due to constraints of time and water levels, Wat Hancheay is a fascinating complex of temples from all periods of Khmer art history.

A short climb up the hill from the river bank leads us to a large working monastic complex with a number of contemporary Buddhist structures. To the south are Cham period brick stupas of some note.

Also of interest here is an Angkor period temple situated at the foot of the hill 500 meters from our mooring position up the main highway. This temple has been well restored. The monks have started a museum of old Khmer agricultural and domestic implements that can be viewed in a caged hut close to where the main flight of steps opens onto the hill top.



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Saigon- Siem Reap Itinerary

Siem Reap- Saigon Itinerary

 

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