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VIETNAM / CAMBODIA

Riverways and Backroads: Experiencing Life Along the Mekong by Bike and Barge

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Road Scholar
Program #16502RJ
16 Days | 15 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Moderately Challenging
Love to learn in a small-group setting? This collection of programs has at most 10-24 participants.
See our Small Group programs.
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. There’s minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding — and rewarding — programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.

Itinerary for Jan 16 — Jan 31, 2014

Expand all
Day One: Thursday, January 16 - Departure for Cambodia
Depart From: Overnight Flight.

Day Two: Friday, January 17 - En Route to Cambodia
In Transit: Overnight Flight.

Type: Four-Star Hotel

Description: The Tara Angkor is equipped with modern amenities and elegantly furnished to make your stay luxurious and enjoyable. With exceptionally warm hospitality and traditional Cambodian sincerity and kindness your stay will be something not to be forgotten.

Contact info:
Vithei Charles de Gaulle
Siem Reap, Cambodia
phone: (+855) 63 966 661
web: www.taraangkorhotel.com/facility.php

Facility amenities: The Tara Angkor Hotel's stylish 4 star property has cemented its status as one of the jewels in Siem Reap’s accommodation sector. Our facilities include 213 magnificent rooms and suites, two restaurants, a lobby bar, and a swimming pool with jacuzzi, fitness center and sauna.

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: TBD
Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services for more details.


Day Three: Saturday, January 18 - Siem Reap / Orientation
Arrive To: Arrive at Siem Reap International Airport and transfer to program hotel.

Afternoon: Convene at the hotel with other Participants for Orientation.

Dinner: Welcome Dinner featuring local food.

Lodging: Tara Angkor Hotel

Meals Included: Dinner
Type: Four-Star Hotel

Description: The Tara Angkor is equipped with modern amenities and elegantly furnished to make your stay luxurious and enjoyable. With exceptionally warm hospitality and traditional Cambodian sincerity and kindness your stay will be something not to be forgotten.

Contact info:
Vithei Charles de Gaulle
Siem Reap, Cambodia
phone: (+855) 63 966 661
web: www.taraangkorhotel.com/facility.php

Facility amenities: The Tara Angkor Hotel's stylish 4 star property has cemented its status as one of the jewels in Siem Reap’s accommodation sector. Our facilities include 213 magnificent rooms and suites, two restaurants, a lobby bar, and a swimming pool with jacuzzi, fitness center and sauna.

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: TBD
Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services for more details.


Day Four: Sunday, January 19 - Ta Prohm / Angkor Wat / Angkor Thom
Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at hotel.

Morning: After breakfast test and fit your bicycles in preparation for your cycling days. Today is spent discovering the Temples of the Angkor region. Begin the day at Ta Prohm, the temple that gives a feel of a jungle as its massive trees intertwine with ancient carved walls. Lead by a local expert learn about the rediscovery of these magnificent temples. Then cycle to Angkor Wat, passing by ancient structures through the forested area. Explore the temple of Angkor Wat, and learn about the Khmer architectural style as you discover this marvelous place. TOTAL BIKING THIS MORNING IS 3 MILES

Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.

Afternoon: After lunch, continue your cycling around the Angkor Temples to the Angkor Thom complex. Begin exploring the Bayon, one of the most beautiful structures in the area, situated in the heart of Angkor Thom, once the capital of the Khmer Empire. Explore the Terrace of the Leper King and Terrace of the Elephants before continuing your ride out of the North Gate of Angkor Thom. Then cycle to the last temple of the day, Preah Khan and explore this temple. TOTAL BIKING THIS AFTERNOON IS ABOUT 3 MILES

Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.

Lodging: Tara Angkor Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Four-Star Hotel

Description: The Tara Angkor is equipped with modern amenities and elegantly furnished to make your stay luxurious and enjoyable. With exceptionally warm hospitality and traditional Cambodian sincerity and kindness your stay will be something not to be forgotten.

Contact info:
Vithei Charles de Gaulle
Siem Reap, Cambodia
phone: (+855) 63 966 661
web: www.taraangkorhotel.com/facility.php

Facility amenities: The Tara Angkor Hotel's stylish 4 star property has cemented its status as one of the jewels in Siem Reap’s accommodation sector. Our facilities include 213 magnificent rooms and suites, two restaurants, a lobby bar, and a swimming pool with jacuzzi, fitness center and sauna.

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: TBD
Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services for more details.


Day Five: Monday, January 20 - Cambodian Land Mine Center / Banteay Srei
Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at hotel. TOTAL BIKING TODAY IS ABOUT 18 MILES

Morning: Begin the day visiting the Cambodian Mine Action Centre, a center containing information about Cambodia’s current landmine situation. A representative of CMAC gives a briefing and presentation of about this place. Then continue to Banteay Samre temple, a small temple and a miniature of Angkor Wat. Begin your cycling from here through a mixture of paved and smooth unpaved roads, passimg small villages and endless paddy fields.

Lunch: Picnic lunch at a local temple.

Afternoon: Continue cycling through the countryside of Siem Reap towards Banteay Srei where your cycling ends for the day. Discover this temple, the citadel of women, one of the best preserved temples in this area with well defined carvings, bas-reliefs and pink sandstone.

Dinner: Dinner on own to choose your cuisine.

Lodging: Tara Angkor Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Type: Four-Star Hotel

Description: The Tara Angkor is equipped with modern amenities and elegantly furnished to make your stay luxurious and enjoyable. With exceptionally warm hospitality and traditional Cambodian sincerity and kindness your stay will be something not to be forgotten.

Contact info:
Vithei Charles de Gaulle
Siem Reap, Cambodia
phone: (+855) 63 966 661
web: www.taraangkorhotel.com/facility.php

Facility amenities: The Tara Angkor Hotel's stylish 4 star property has cemented its status as one of the jewels in Siem Reap’s accommodation sector. Our facilities include 213 magnificent rooms and suites, two restaurants, a lobby bar, and a swimming pool with jacuzzi, fitness center and sauna.

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: TBD
Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services for more details.


Day Six: Tuesday, January 21 - Roulous Group / Orphanage / Free time
Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at hotel. TOTAL BIKING THIS MORNING IS ABOUT 14 MILES

Morning: This morning, depart for your cycling adventure to Kampong Phluck. Cycle 15km on rural roads out of Siem Reap to the 8th and 9th century pre-Angkorian temples, the Roulous Group. Explore by foot the temples there. Then continue riding over a good dirt road towards Kampong Phluck. Stop by a small orphanage where children from Phnom Penh learn to read and write. Enjoy a show performed by the children. The director of the orphanage explains the stories behind some of the children. Continue cycling through small rural villages and enjoy the scenery before arriving at the port where 2 local boats will transfer you for a trip around Kampong Phluck, a Cambodian village on the water.

Lunch: In Kampong Phluck join a local family for lunch.

Afternoon: After this exploration of living on the water transfer back to Siem Reap in the late afternoon. Then free time for you to explore Siem Reap on your own.

Dinner: Dinner at local restaurant.

Lodging: Tara Angkor Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Barge

Ship Information: Built in 2001, the Toum Teav is 124.67 ft long and 21.33 ft wide in the middle. Accommodates 20 passengers.

Contact info:
N/A
N/A, Cambodia
phone: +855 12 24 08 59
web: www.cfmekong.com/intro.html

Room amenities: It has 10 comfortable cabins (10.83 ft x 8.20 ft), 4 on the first deck and 6 on the second, each air-conditioned and with a private bathroom (8.20 ft x 4.59 ft) including toilet, shower and sink featuring a fan, one 220V plugs, one 115V (razor outlet).

Facility amenities: Public services include outdoor restaurant and Lounge deck, inside library, sun deck, and forward deck.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Bathroom: Bathroom with showers only.


Day Seven: Wednesday, January 22 - National Museum / Board the Barge
Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: Transfer by bike to the National Museum and get an introduction to the temples. TOTAL BIKING THIS AFTERNOON IS ABOUT 3 MILES.

Lunch: Lunch on own.

Afternoon: Transfer to board the Toum Teave. Then begin your journey down the Tonle Sap lake to the Mekong River.

Dinner: Dinner on board the barge.

Lodging: Toum Teave

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Type: Barge

Ship Information: Built in 2001, the Toum Teav is 124.67 ft long and 21.33 ft wide in the middle. Accommodates 20 passengers.

Contact info:
N/A
N/A, Cambodia
phone: +855 12 24 08 59
web: www.cfmekong.com/intro.html

Room amenities: It has 10 comfortable cabins (10.83 ft x 8.20 ft), 4 on the first deck and 6 on the second, each air-conditioned and with a private bathroom (8.20 ft x 4.59 ft) including toilet, shower and sink featuring a fan, one 220V plugs, one 115V (razor outlet).

Facility amenities: Public services include outdoor restaurant and Lounge deck, inside library, sun deck, and forward deck.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Bathroom: Bathroom with showers only.


Day Eight: Thursday, January 23 - Tonle Sap / Kampong Chhnang
Breakfast: Breakfast on board the boat.

Morning: This morning cruise towards Kampong Chhnang.

Lunch: Lunch on board the boat.

Afternoon: A great day awaits you in Kampong Chhnang village, or Pottery Village, where villagers still produce pottery using traditional methods. Upon arrival cycle towards the pottery villages that lie between the paddy fields and mountains. Stop at a pottery house and learn the Cambodian traditional pottery method. See the making of traditional rice wine and if you are strong enough you could have a taste! TOTAL BIKING THIS AFTERNOON IS ABOUT 10 MILES

Dinner: Dinner on board the boat.

Lodging: Toum Teave

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Barge

Ship Information: Built in 2001, the Toum Teav is 124.67 ft long and 21.33 ft wide in the middle. Accommodates 20 passengers.

Contact info:
N/A
N/A, Cambodia
phone: +855 12 24 08 59
web: www.cfmekong.com/intro.html

Room amenities: It has 10 comfortable cabins (10.83 ft x 8.20 ft), 4 on the first deck and 6 on the second, each air-conditioned and with a private bathroom (8.20 ft x 4.59 ft) including toilet, shower and sink featuring a fan, one 220V plugs, one 115V (razor outlet).

Facility amenities: Public services include outdoor restaurant and Lounge deck, inside library, sun deck, and forward deck.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Bathroom: Bathroom with showers only.


Day Nine: Friday, January 24 - Kampong Tralach / Oudong
Breakfast: Breakfast on board the boat.

Morning: Boat cruises towards Kampong Tralach. At this small village, bike on well maintained dirt roads that lead to a small temple with traditional paintings. Return to boat and continue cruising upstream. TOTAL BIKING THIS AFTERNOON IS ABOUT 5 MILES

Lunch: Lunch on board the boat.

Afternoon: Being the afternoon with a visit to Oudong temple, climb the stairs to the stupa on top of Phnom Oudong and get a view of the town and countryside. Then start your biking journey to Phnom Penh along flat dirt roads passing many rural villages and Pagodas. Friendly people greet you with broad smiles while you bike past magnificent rice paddy fields. TOTAL BIKING THIS MORNING IS ABOUT 12 MILES

Dinner: Dinner on board the boat.

Lodging: Toum Teave

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Barge

Ship Information: Built in 2001, the Toum Teav is 124.67 ft long and 21.33 ft wide in the middle. Accommodates 20 passengers.

Contact info:
N/A
N/A, Cambodia
phone: +855 12 24 08 59
web: www.cfmekong.com/intro.html

Room amenities: It has 10 comfortable cabins (10.83 ft x 8.20 ft), 4 on the first deck and 6 on the second, each air-conditioned and with a private bathroom (8.20 ft x 4.59 ft) including toilet, shower and sink featuring a fan, one 220V plugs, one 115V (razor outlet).

Facility amenities: Public services include outdoor restaurant and Lounge deck, inside library, sun deck, and forward deck.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Bathroom: Bathroom with showers only.


Day Ten: Saturday, January 25 - Phnom Penh / Killing Fields / S-21 / Free Time
Breakfast: Breakfast buffet on the boat. NO BIKING TODAY

Morning: This morning will be an intense examination of the recent struggles of Cambodia. A presentation helps to set the context of the depredations of the Khmer Rouge, under whose control thousands of Cambodians were executed for unwarrented crimes. You will visit the the S-21 (Tuol Sleng) Interrogation Center, where Cambodians were tortured and forced to confess to crimes they did not commit. Through the visits, you will hopefully gain a better understanding of the recent tragedy, the scars it left, and how it affects both social and economic development in Cambodia today.

Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Visit the Royal Palace and the National Museum.

Dinner: Dinner on board the boat.

Evening: A local group will join you on board for a traditional "ASPARA" show

Lodging: Toum Teave

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Barge

Ship Information: Built in 2001, the Toum Teav is 124.67 ft long and 21.33 ft wide in the middle. Accommodates 20 passengers.

Contact info:
N/A
N/A, Cambodia
phone: +855 12 24 08 59
web: www.cfmekong.com/intro.html

Room amenities: It has 10 comfortable cabins (10.83 ft x 8.20 ft), 4 on the first deck and 6 on the second, each air-conditioned and with a private bathroom (8.20 ft x 4.59 ft) including toilet, shower and sink featuring a fan, one 220V plugs, one 115V (razor outlet).

Facility amenities: Public services include outdoor restaurant and Lounge deck, inside library, sun deck, and forward deck.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Bathroom: Bathroom with showers only.


Day Eleven: Sunday, January 26 - Cross into Vietnam / Chau Doc (Vietnam)
Breakfast: Breakfast on board the boat. TOTAL BIKING THIS MORNING IS ABOUT 18 MILES

Morning: Today cruise down the Mekong river.

Lunch: Lunch on board the boat.

Afternoon: After immigration continue bike from the Cambodia-Vietnam boarder to Chau The entire bike ride is 30km. The road is a quiet sealed country lane lined with houses of Khmer design. Along the way, pass by the locals as they continue on their daily activities of buying and selling produce, going to the market, or relaxing for the day.

Dinner: Dinner on board the boat.

Lodging: Toum Teave

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Barge

Ship Information: Built in 2001, the Toum Teav is 124.67 ft long and 21.33 ft wide in the middle. Accommodates 20 passengers.

Contact info:
N/A
N/A, Cambodia
phone: +855 12 24 08 59
web: www.cfmekong.com/intro.html

Room amenities: It has 10 comfortable cabins (10.83 ft x 8.20 ft), 4 on the first deck and 6 on the second, each air-conditioned and with a private bathroom (8.20 ft x 4.59 ft) including toilet, shower and sink featuring a fan, one 220V plugs, one 115V (razor outlet).

Facility amenities: Public services include outdoor restaurant and Lounge deck, inside library, sun deck, and forward deck.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Bathroom: Bathroom with showers only.


Day Twelve: Monday, January 27 - Chau Doc / Sa Dec
Breakfast: Breakfast buffet on the boat. TOTAL BIKING TODAY IS ABOUT 8 MILES

Morning: This morning in Chau Doc, cycle towards Sam Mountain on the edge of Chau Doc along quiet lanes passing rice paddies and locals as they return home from their day’s labor.

Lunch: Lunch on board the boat.

Afternoon: Enjoy the afrernoon observing the scenery and life along the river as you cruise towards Sac Dec. In Sa Dec, cycle towards town passing by numerous gardens with a wide array of plants and trees. Stop at one of the local schools and have a chance to chat with some of the children who are happy to practice their English or French. Continue on and visit Kien An Pagoda. Leave your bikes here and wander along the waterfront and see a wide array of local produce for sale – fish, fruit and vegetables, confectionery and cakes, rice and various cereals and more everyday life items.

Dinner: Dinner on board the boat.

Lodging: Toum Teave

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Barge

Ship Information: Built in 2001, the Toum Teav is 124.67 ft long and 21.33 ft wide in the middle. Accommodates 20 passengers.

Contact info:
N/A
N/A, Cambodia
phone: +855 12 24 08 59
web: www.cfmekong.com/intro.html

Room amenities: It has 10 comfortable cabins (10.83 ft x 8.20 ft), 4 on the first deck and 6 on the second, each air-conditioned and with a private bathroom (8.20 ft x 4.59 ft) including toilet, shower and sink featuring a fan, one 220V plugs, one 115V (razor outlet).

Facility amenities: Public services include outdoor restaurant and Lounge deck, inside library, sun deck, and forward deck.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Bathroom: Bathroom with showers only.


Day Thirteen: Tuesday, January 28 - Vinh Long / Cai Be / My Tho / Biking along the Ca...
Breakfast: Breakfast on board the boat. TOTAL BIKING TODAY IS ABOUT 18 MILES

Morning: In Vinh Long start cycling on small concrete paths that wind through the local villages, passing by fruit crops including longan and mangoes. Along the way cross a number of small bridges and try your skills at crossing what has been nicknamed a "monkey bridge" because you need to hold on with both feet as well as both hands.

Lunch: Lunch on board the boat.

Afternoon: This afternoon will be your last biking journey before reaching Saigon. While cycling along, listen to the locals greet you and observe them in their daily life tending small plots of land, fishing, traveling to or from the market. Pass by fields which contain dragon fruit plants, lemongrass and a wide variety of other plants and herbs. Stop at Cho Gao market and have a chance to wander around this local market. Visit Vinh Trang Pagoda which was built in 1849 and was renovated in 2002. It is an interesting pagoda and has Grecian style pillars with quite a lot more color than is seen in other pagodas.

Dinner: Dinner on board the boat.

Lodging: Toum Teave

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Full Service Hotel

Description: Surrounded by a downtown ambiance, handicraft shops, restaurants - Grand Hotel, a modern comfort in a very classical French atmosphere and architecture since 1930, is an ideal place for businessmen, travellers as well as the ones who seeking rest and entertainment.

Contact info:
08 Dong Khoi, District 1
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
phone: +84-8-823-0163
web: www.grandhotel.vn/

Room amenities: Satellite TV (65 channels...), Mini-bar, IDD telphone with bathroom extension In-room safe box, Electricity current: 220 volts Water purification, Air Conditioning, Hair dryer, Wireless Internet access.

Facility amenities: Souvenir Shop, Concierge, Currency Exchange, Laundry and dry cleaning service, shoe-shining service, internet access, roof-top restaurant, swimming pool.

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Additional nights after: TBD
Please contact RS Travel Services for additional nights.

Check out time: 12:00 PM

Day Fourteen: Wednesday, January 29 - City Orientation
Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at hotel.

Morning: Enjoy your last morning on the boat as it cruises towards Saigon.

Lunch: Enjoy Pho, a favorite local dish for lunch.

Afternoon: After lunch, take a guided walk to visit the main sites in Saigon including the Rex Hotel, the People’s Committee Building which was built as the Hotel D’Ville by the French in 1908, Notre Dame Cathedral and the General Post Office. Continue walking down Le Duan to the Reunification Palace complete with the 2 tanks which battered down the Palace gates on April 30th 1975 at the end of the Vietnam War.

Dinner: Dinner on your own to pick a cuisine of your choice.

Lodging: Grand Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Type: Full Service Hotel

Description: Surrounded by a downtown ambiance, handicraft shops, restaurants - Grand Hotel, a modern comfort in a very classical French atmosphere and architecture since 1930, is an ideal place for businessmen, travellers as well as the ones who seeking rest and entertainment.

Contact info:
08 Dong Khoi, District 1
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
phone: +84-8-823-0163
web: www.grandhotel.vn/

Room amenities: Satellite TV (65 channels...), Mini-bar, IDD telphone with bathroom extension In-room safe box, Electricity current: 220 volts Water purification, Air Conditioning, Hair dryer, Wireless Internet access.

Facility amenities: Souvenir Shop, Concierge, Currency Exchange, Laundry and dry cleaning service, shoe-shining service, internet access, roof-top restaurant, swimming pool.

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Additional nights after: TBD
Please contact RS Travel Services for additional nights.

Check out time: 12:00 PM

Day Fifteen: Thursday, January 30 - National University / Free time
Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel. NO BIKING TODAY

Morning: Being the day with a presentation at the National University on the History of Vietnam. Then enjoy tea with university students. This is a great opportunity to meet the students and hear what they have to say about their lives now and what they hope for Vietnam in the future.

Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Enjoy some free time. Wander the streets of Saigon and find a small café for coffee and sit and watch the locals as they go about their daily life. Or, excercise your photography skills as you try to capture Saigon on camera.

Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.

Lodging: Grand Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Sixteen: Friday, January 31 - Departure for return flight home
Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: Depart for Ho Chi Minh International airport.

Meals Included: Breakfast

Important information about your itinerary:
Please know that while we do everything we can to finalize all aspects of our programs well in advance, there are logistics that occasionally must be altered. Our website will reflect the most recent information, and we are committed to providing you with final program details no later than eight weeks prior to the start of programs outside the U.S. and three weeks prior to the start of programs within the U.S. If you ever have questions about your program, please don't hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to assist you.
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Included
at no additional cost on this date ...
13 nights of accommodations
35 meals: 13 breakfasts, 11 lunches, 11 dinners

Ratings

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