21776
Vietnam/Cambodia
On Foot and On River: A Walk-and-Barge Adventure in Vietnam and Cambodia
Dive deep into the history of the Mekong as you learn traditional art forms, explore emerald rice paddies, examine rare artifacts and enjoy expert-led walks through this ancient region.
Rating (5)
Program No. 21776RJ
Length
15 days
Starts at
2,995
Flights start at
1,000
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15 days
14 nights
33 meals
12 B 10 L 11 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
Program Begins
In Flight
DAY
2
En Route
In Flight
DAY
3
Arrival Siem Reap / Orientation
Siem Reap
D
Tara Angkor Hotel

Activity note: Hotel check-in available at 2:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Convene at the hotel with other participants for the Program Orientation.

Dinner: Welcome Dinner.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
4
Angkor Thom / Bayon Temple / National Museum / Free time
Siem Reap
B,L
Tara Angkor Hotel

Activity note: Walk on this day is 7km including the temple visit. The walk starts in the south gate of Angkor thom with a visit there. Then it is flat walking in a forest to Ta Phrom.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Coach to Angkor Thom and explore this temple, the last and most enduring capital city of the Khmer empire. Established in the late twelfth century by king Jayavarman VII, at the center of the city is the mesmerizing temple of Bayon. From here walk approximately 3 miles to Ta Prohm through the Angkor Trails. Then explore Ta Prohm the Jungle Temple. Unlike most of the temples of Angkor, Ta Prohm has been largely left to ruins. With its dynamic interaction between nature and man-made art, this atmospheric temple is a favorite for many - who can't help but feel a little like Indiana Jones or Lara Croft (which was filmed here) as they pick through the rubble.

Lunch: Lunch in town.

Afternoon: After lunch, take a field trip to the Angkor National Museum. This new national museum will provide you with an informative introduction to the temples and their art. Then the remainder of the afternoon is free for you to explore the town or just relax.

Dinner: On your own to enjoy the local fare.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
5
Kbal Spean / Land Mine Museum / Banteay Srei
Siem Reap
B,L,D
Tara Angkor Hotel

Activity note: Walking this day is proximately 3 miles total (1.5 miles one way) with uphill walking to Kbal Spean. Trails will require stepping on big boulders and walking over roots and some lose gravels. There are also two sets of wooden stairs of about 50 steps. The trail is shaded through the forests.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: This morning, coach to the start of your hike to Kbal Spean, also known as the river of 1000 lingas. This is also the beginning of the Siem Reap River. Hike up hill for about 1.5 miles through rich forests before reaching River of 1000 lingas. Learn about the mythology behind this river bed. Then hike back to the bottom of the hill and board the bus and transfer to lunch.

Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Explore the Landmine Museum and learn about what is being done to help land mine victims. Then continue to visit the temple Banteay Srei, the Citadel of Women. The Citadel of Women, a pink sandstone temple, was built in the latter half of the 10th century by Rajendravarman II and Jayavaraman V. The carvings of Banteay Srei are among the oldest and most intricate that you will see.

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
6
Sunrise at Angkor Wat, Transfer to Siem Reap, Embark Ship
Angkor Wat
B,D
CF Mekong Toum Teav

Breakfast: Before breakfast, Immerse in the breathtaking beauty of Angkor Wat as it silhouettes in the sky during sunrise. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Angkor Archaeological Park contains the magnificent remains of the different capitals of the Khmer Empire, from the 9th to the 15th century. As the best-preserved temple at the site, Angkor Wat, is the only temple to have remained a significant religious center since its foundation is Hindu - dedicated to the god Vishnu - then Buddhist. The temple is at the top of the high classical style of Khmer architecture. Return to the hotel for breakfast.

Morning: Free morning to explore on your own.

Lunch: Lunch on own.

Afternoon: Transfer to Siem Reap Pier to board your riverboat, the Toum Teave in the late afternoon. The Captain and crew will give you a safety briefing shortly after boarding.

Dinner: Welcome dinner on board the boat.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
7
Floating Village / Kampong Chhnang
Kampong Chhnang
B,L,D
CF Mekong Toum Teav

Activity note: Walking today is approximately 4 miles in the afternoon though a small village and along the market in Kampong Chhnang.

Breakfast: Breakfast on board the boat.

Morning: This morning, stop at a floating village to learn about this unique community on the Tonle Sap.

Lunch: Lunch on board the boat.

Afternoon: A great afternoon awaits you in Kampong Chhnang village, or Pottery Village, where villagers still produce pottery using traditional methods. Located some 56 miles from Phnom Penh, the town of Kampong Chhnang is one of the largest fishing ports on the Tonlé Sap. Fish farming is also widely practiced in the area. The area is famous for its pottery ware, unchanged in style for centuries, which is produced in sufficient quantities to supply the entire country. Other village products are not to be overlooked, such as the Thnot tree (sugar palm – a real national symbol) that abounds in the area, a mellow tasting, caramel-colored sugar sold in large cakes, and palm wine.

Dinner: Dinner on board the boat.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
8
Kampong Tralach / Phnom Penh / Apsara Dance performance
Phnom Penh
B,L,D
CF Mekong Toum Teav

Activity note: You will be walking to Kampong Tralach which is approximately 3.5 miles. You will walk from the ship to the temple and then take an ox cart ride back to the boat.

Breakfast: Breakfast on board the boat.

Morning: Arrive at Kampong Tralach to visit its wonderful Vihara belonging to Wat Kampong Tralach Leu pagoda. To get to it, walk along a small road perpendicular to the river, crossing some stretches of emerald rice paddy. The Vihara dates back to early last century. It was probably built on an older site, as indicated by the latérite foundations. The Vihara is home to some outstanding mural paintings; however they are starting to suffer from weathering. They remain some of the last survivors of cultural destruction that continues unabated due to widespread indifference. Standing by itself in the middle of rice fields, it is a modest pagoda that receives very few visitors. Its isolation may well be its undoing, as was the case for Wat Tani Pagoda in the province of Kampot.

Lunch: Lunch on board the boat.

Afternoon: Step back into time, as you arrive to Phnom Penh - renowned for its French influenced architecture. Begin the afternoon with a presentation on Modern Khmer history. Remainder of the afternoon on your own.

Dinner: Dinner on board the boat.

Evening: Enjoy an 'Apsara Dance' preformance danced by a group of local artist that are working to preserve the traditional Cambodian classical arts. As evidenced in part by the innumerable apsaras (celestial dancers) that adorn the walls of Angkorian and pre-Angkorian temples, this dance has been a part of Khmer culture for more than a millennium.

DAY
9
Phnom Penh / National Museum / Royal Palace / S-21
Phnom Penh
B,L,D
CF Mekong Toum Teav

Activity note: Walking today is approximately 5 miles along sidewalks in Phnom Penh from one site to another.

Breakfast: Breakfast on board the boat.

Morning: Begin your walk around Wat Phnom, the center point of Phnom Penh. Continue your walk to the Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda and explore the royal home of former kings of Cambodia. Continue your walk to the National Museum, Phnom Penh most significant public repository of Khmer artifacts in the country, displaying many important Angkorian artifacts and rare pieces from later periods.

Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Coach to the S-21 (Tuol Sleng) Interrogation Center, where Cambodians were tortured and forced to confess to crimes they did not commit. Through these visits, you will hopefully gain a better understanding of the recent tragic period in Cambodian history, the scars it left, and how it affects both social and economic development in the country today.

Dinner: Dinner on board the boat.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
10
Kaam Samnaar / Border Crossing into Vietnam / Chau Doc
Kaam Samnaar
B,L,D
CF Mekong Toum Teav

Activity note: Walking is approximately 3 miles.

Breakfast: Breakfast on board the boat.

Morning: Navigation towards Kaam Samnaar - the Cambodian Border.

Lunch: Lunch on board the boat.

Afternoon: Depart for the Vietnamese Cambodian border. Arrival at Kaam Samnaar check-point in Cambodia. Star walking near the Cambodia Vietnam border along along 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.

Evening: Overnight near Chau Doc. At leisure.

DAY
11
Chau Doc / Sa Dec
Chau Doc
B,L,D
CF Mekong Toum Teav

Activity note: Walking today is approximately 3 miles along flat roads and sidewalks which would be broken in some areas. The market is a busy place along the river with much to see and explore.

Breakfast: Breakfast on board the boat.

Morning: In the morning, cruise to Sa Dec.

Lunch: Lunch on board the boat.

Afternoon: This afternoon, arrive in Sa Dec. Transfer to Sa Dec town and begin your walk to Kien An Cung Pagoda. then continue your walk to Stroll around Sa Dec Market along the Sa Dec River bank. Sa Dec is a small city of 30,000 inhabitants is fascinating in its unspoiled authenticity and undisturbed by visitors. It provides a glimpse of the delta where a few colonial houses still remain, including the "Chinaman's house" (from Duras' novel "The Lover", also made into a movie). Return to the boat with stopover at a nursery of flower and bonsai trees. Famous for its horticulture (it has many varieties of fabulously exotic flowers) Sa Dec was known as the "Garden of Cochin Chine" during colonial times.

Dinner: Dinner on board the boat.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
12
Cai Be / My Tho
Cai Be
B,L,D
CF Mekong Toum Teav

Activity note: The walk is approximately 4 miles along the canals in Cai Be and Ben Tre, two of the many islands on the Mekong Delta.

Breakfast: Breakfast on board the boat.

Morning: This morning, take local boats to the floating to Cai Be floating market and learn about this whole sale market there. Continue to Cai Be on land for a snack at an local home. Take a short walk, approximately .5 miles to the house and back to board the local boat. The house is a traditional Ancient House that is well preserved in a traditional style. Explore the house and meet with the owner. Walk around her fruit garden and learn about the different fruits grown in the delta. Then re-board the ship.

Lunch: Lunch on board the boat.

Afternoon: This afternoon arrive in My Tho and depart Ben Tre. Ben Tre is know for their coconut trees and coconut productions. This afternoon walk is along small paths along the canals of the Mekong passing by local homes and coconut plantations. Meet with the local people there.

Dinner: Captain's farewell dinner on board the boat.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
13
Cruise to Ho Chi Minh City, City Orientation, Family Dinner
Ho Chi Minh City
B,L,D
Grand Hotel Saigon

Activity note: Walking is approximately 2-3 miles in the city.

Breakfast: Breakfast on board the boat.

Morning: Arrive at Ho Chi Minh City (or Saigon) in the morning. The vibrant city of Saigon is a thriving metropolis reflecting Vietnam's contentious past as well as its fast-forwarding future. Clear port authorities and transfer to hotel.

Lunch: Lunch at the hotel.

Afternoon: After lunch go on a walking discovery of Saigon and learn about Saigon history.

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
14
University Student, History Museum, Free Afternoon
Ho Chi Minh City
B,L,D
Grand Hotel Saigon

Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at hotel.

Morning: Join a presentation on economic development in Vietnam. Then Enjoy a conversation with University students to learn about their perspective on education and Vietnam.

Lunch: For lunch enjoy the taste of Vietnam as you sample Pho - a local favorite!

Afternoon: Free afternoon to explore Saigon on your own.

Dinner: Convene for a Farewell Dinner and program wrap-up.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
15
Program Concludes
In Flight
B

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: Transfer to the airport for return flight home.






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