through mekong delta to the heart of khmer empire



8 days

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“Through Mekong Delta to the heart of Khmer Empire” can make you fall in love. Comprised of dense green rice paddies and lazy, winding rivers, the Mekong Delta is like no other region in Vietnam. Whether firmly on land or floating with the river current, this region is flush with wildlife, historical sights, and incredible landscapes. From the majestic Vinh Trang pagoda to the lively Cai Rang floating market, the beautiful Tra Su cajuput forest to the sacred Ba Chua Xu Temple, there is plenty to keep you occupied in the Delta. In addition, it would be a shame to come all the way to South East Asia and not visit Siem Reap. Home to Angkor Wat, the awe-inspiring and mind-blowing collection of ancient temple ruins, a visit to Siem Reap might just be the highlight of your trip.

  • Contemplate Tra Su cajuput forest which is just about 30 kilometers southwest of Chau Doc, covering a vast area of 850 hectares. Tra Su is an ecosystem of cajuput trees and a flooded mangrove forest which are the home of many species of flora and fauna.
  • Admire Cambodia’s Royal Palace and adjacent Silver Pagoda that offer intriguing insight into Cambodia’s past and present. Sprinkled with history, the beautifully manicured grounds and ornate buildings also offer a reprieve from the hustle and bustle of surrounding capital life.
  • Visit Angkor Wat, the ultimate expression of Khmer genius – an awe-inspiring temple that is stunning for both its grand scale and its incredible detail.
  • See Banteay Srei temple, “the lady temple”, “the tiny temple”, “the pink temple”. It goes by many nicknames, an indication of the distinctiveness of this little gem of a temple, which feels so different to the imposing grandeur of the main Angkorian complex.
  • Explore the lake Tonle Sap, also called Boeung Tonle Sap, it has one of the world’s most vibrant ecosystems. There are different species of wildlife in and around the lake, which helped to sustain and grow the ancient Khmer civilisation.


Arrival at Tan Son Nhat international airport, welcome by your tour guide and transfer to hotel for refreshing. 

In the afternoon, start the journey to visit the dynamic, bustling and industrious Hochiminh City, which is still called Saigon by many locals. It is not only the largest city but also the economic capital and trendsetter of Vietnam. Yet within the teeming metropolis are the timeless traditions and beauty of an ancient culture.

You will be visiting the Former Presidential Palace also known as Reunification Palace, the Notre Dame Cathedral, old Sai Gon Post Office and War Remnants Museum.

Transfer back to hotel and free time at leisure. 

After breakfast, pick up from hotel to transfer to Cai Be. 

On the way, stop for a visit at Vinh Trang pagoda and Cao Dai temple in My Tho.  

Arrive to Cai Be around noon time, disembark and cruise towards Cho Lach on the Tien Giang river. 

Your lunch will be served while cruising. 

The Bassac slips into the Chợ Lách canal, in the middle of the hustle and bustle of the river traffic, between markets and churches, a unique opportunity for a glimpse of the very varied life on the banks as well as on the water.

Visit of a village on the banks of river Mang Thit, an opportunity to appreciate the way of life and hospitality of the local inhabitants. Visit of the orchard or rice fields nearby.

Boarding back to your boat. Rest on the deck enjoying the sunset. 

The Bassac sets anchor just downstream from the little Tra On floating market for the night.

You may get up for breakfast as early as 06:30, as the ship is resuming its cruise the Tra On floating market. The ship then departs towards Can Tho.

Arrival in Cai Rang floating market where hundreds of boat all size gather to exchange their agriculture products. This is the most crowded and bustle floating market in Mekong Delta.

Check out and transfer to the Ninh Kieu pier.

Depart for Chau Doc - capital of An Giang province near the border with Cambodia.

Transfer to Tra Su cajuput forest which is renowned for not only its almost-untouched natural beauty but also its sanctuary of flora and fauna. 

As rolling deeper into the forest, you will immediately feel like you are harmonising with nature because of all of the impressive pictures of cajuputs, the fragrance of the flowers and the music-like noise of birds, insects and animals making people relaxed comfortable.

From the observation post, you can overlook the forest with an area of nearly 900 ha, home of many birds and animals, including some rare ones.

On the way back to Chau Doc, stop by to visit Ba Chua Xu temple at the foot of Sam mountain (if time permit)

Return back to town center and check-in hotel.  Dinner and overnight at Chau Doc. 

Breakfast at hotel, transfer to pier for the speed boat to Phom Penh.

Arrive Phnom Penh around 13.00. Welcome by guide at transfer for lunch.

Visit Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda and Wat Phnom. 

Overnight at hotel in Phnom Penh.

After breakfast, continue to visit Tuol Sleng Museum of Genocidal Crimes or S21.  The museum is housed in a former school which was taken over by the Khmer Rouge and used as a detention and torture center. You will also visit Cheung Ek, better known as the Killing Fields, located 15 kilometres outside of the city.

Lunch at local restaurant. Transfer back to hotel. Free time at your leisure. 

Overnight in Phnom Penh.

After breakfast, transfer to airport for flight to Siem Reap.  

Visit to Angkor Thom (Big Angkor) on late 12th - early 13th century C.E., starting from the South Gate, then Bayon – the Angkor's greatest temple. The giant stone faces of Bayon have become one of the most recognizable images connected to classic Khmer art and architecture.  Proceeding to visit Baphuon , Phimean Akas, a double terrace wall are the Terrace of the Leper King and the Terrace of the Elephants, the walls display some particularly fine sculpture including the five headed horse and scenes of warriors and dancers, with deeply carved nagas, demons and other mythological beings. 

Afternoon, visit Angkor Wat, one of the seven greatest architectural wonders of the world, as a temple and mausoleum for King Suryavarman II at the peak of the Khmer empire in the first half of 12th.  Angkor Wat is probably the best-preserved of the Angkorean temples, with a central tower surrounded by four smaller towers.

Enjoy your dinner with traditional Khmer dance at the city restaurant.

After breakfast at hotel, transfer to Banteay Srey temple built under Jayavarman V, as the jewel in the crown of classical Khmer arts. Its rose-colored sandstone walls are decorated with carvings and bas-reliefs, which are among the most accomplished temple that  Angkor has to offer. On the way back visit  Banteay Samre, visit Sras Srang and the famous Ta Phrom Temple – a monastery built by Jayavarman VII as a residence for his mother. Ta Prohm has been controversially left to the destructive power of the jungle by French archeologists to show how nature can destroy man's work. It has been largely overgrown by the jungle and as you climb through the dilapidated stone structures you see many giant trees growing out of the top of the temple itself.  

Finally, in the late afternoon, coming to the Phnom Bakheng temple, the first temple in Angkor region build by the Yacovarman I King in the first of 9th century, located on a slope gently hill where thousands tourist are grouping on the hill top to catch a memorable time of life when viewing the marvelous sunset. 

Return to hotel. Overnight.

After breakfast, transfer to fishing village of Chong Khneas and boarding a private boat to explore the lake Tonle Sap also known as the "Great Lake" of Cambodia and the largest in Asia, its extraordinary bio-diversity and hydrology make it an ecological wonder of the world, offer visitors an insight into the old tradition of riparian life and natural splendour of Cambodia. 

Lunch at local restaurant in town. Shopping and visit at Chantier Artisan d’ Angkor.

Transfer for your departure flight to next destination. 

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