With four nights to soak up the sights and sounds of the mighty Mekong on a relaxed cruise, on this tour you’ll also discover the beauty of southern Vietnam. Packed with memorable moments and cultural experiences, discover vibrant Saigon, explore the lush waterways of the Mekong Delta and stand awestruck before the magnificent temples of Angkor in charming Cambodia.
You will be met in Saigon in the arrivals hall by your Local Guide or National Escort from Wendy Wu Tours. Together with all other group members who may be arriving at a similar time travel to your hotel for check in.
Destination Information Saigon – The exuberant city of Saigon is driving Vietnam forward into the modern world, but is also a treasure trove of fascinating heritage. During the 1960s and early 1970s, Saigon was the Pearl of the Orient, which flourished under the American occupation. In more recent times, it was the seat of the South Vietnam government until the events that led to the country’s reunification. Today, the old mixes seamlessly with the new and you can wander through timeless alleys to incense-infused temples before catching up with the present in designer malls beneath sleek skyscrapers.
Day 3 - Saignon
Confront the reality of guerrilla warfare at the Cu Chi Tunnels. The cramped tunnels were central to a few of the war’s strategic operations, including the famous 1968 Tet Offensive, and they did not escape damage. American B52 bombers dropped hundreds of missiles leaving huge tell-tale craters behind. The Cu Chi experience can be emotional for some visitors, but it offers a fascinating window into the hardship and traumas of war. Sightseeing here involves two hours on foot on uneven mud paths through the bush and, if you choose, crawling through some of the tunnels. This afternoon, explore modern day Saigon with its heady mix of local culture and colonial influences. See the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Central Post Office, and the chilling War Remnants Museum, stopping for a coffee break at one of the best coffee workshops on the way. Later on, enjoy a dinner in the dark at NOIR. Please note: The Notre Dame Cathedral will be under renovation for 2 years, starting in July 2017. During this time we are unable to enter the Cathedral; however we can view it from the outside.
Destination Information Cu Chi – the tunnels of Cu Chi are an immense network of connecting underground tunnels located in the Cu Chi district of Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam, and are part of a much larger network of tunnels that underlie much of the country. The Cu Chi tunnels were the location of several military campaigns during the Vietnam War, and were the Viet Cong’s base of operations for the Tet Offensive in 1968. The tunnels were used by Viet Cong soldiers as hiding spots during combat, as well as serving as communication and supply routes, hospitals, food and weapon caches and living quarters for numerous North Vietnamese fighters. The tunnel systems were of great importance to the Viet Cong in their resistance to American forces, and helped to counter the growing American military effort. Notre Dame Cathedral – Influenced by French design and built between 1863 and 1880, the red brick exterior and 60-meter bell towers overlook downtown Saigon. Central Post Office – Located next to the Notre-Dame Cathedral. The Central Post Office building was constructed in the late 19th century. It counts Gothic, Renaissance and French influences and was designed by Auguste Henri Vildieu and Alfred Foulhoux, but is often erroneously credited as being the work of Gustave Eiffel. War Remnants Museum – Comprised of numerous buildings displaying military equipment, photographs and artefacts relating to the Vietnam War from 1961-1975. This museum illustrates a harrowing period in this nation’s history. NOIR Restaurant – A unique culinary experience, Noir is a restaurant where you dine in the dark and experience your food in new ways. Waiters with visual impairments become your eyes and guide you through a delicious meal to challenge your other four senses.
Day 4 - Saignon - Victoria Mekong Cruise
After breakfast, transfer to the meeting hotel in Saigon where you will say goodbye to your National Escort and be picked up for your cruise by your local guide from Victoria Mekong. Drive to Can Tho, stopping en route for a delicious local lunch. Board the Victoria Mekong which, after a welcome briefing, will cast off into the waters of the Mekong Delta. Relax with a sundowner on deck and sit down to a sumptuous gala dinner whilst enjoying a performance of Đờn ca tài tử – traditional music of the Mekong. Drop anchor at Tiger Island
Destination Information Mekong River – The 7th longest river in Asia and the heart of Southeast Asia civilisation, there is no tapestry of river life as fascinating and varied as the Mekong.
Day 5 - Victoria Mekong Cruise
Enjoy an excursion on Tiger Island. Choose to explore by sampan or electric bike, visiting local industries such as net weaving, incense making and banh in (rice cakes) making. Continue upstream to Long Xuyen and disembark once more to visit the bustling floating market and a local museum. Sit down to dinner and evening entertainment before retiring to your cabin. Drop anchor at Vam Nao.
Day 6 - Victoria Mekong Cruise
Cast off early to arrive in Tan Chau. On arrival, head to shore to visit a colourful Cao Dai temple and a silk village, where you’ll learn all about the traditional silk making process, by xe loi (local rickshaw) or you can explore the town by electric bike. Eat lunch back on the ship before more shore excursions around Tan Chau, with the option to take an exhilarating speedboat ride to Tra Su Forest. This evening features a thrilling lion dance performance!
Day 7 - Victoria Mekong Cruise
Today, the Victoria Mekong will pass over the border into Cambodia and sail towards Phnom Penh. Spend a relaxed day enjoying the passing scenery and a wealth of onboard activities, such as lectures and cocktail making. In the late afternoon, dock at Phnom Penh’s Sisowath Quay where, this evening, you will be entertained with a traditional Cambodian apsara performance by local children. Sip a farewell cocktail before a final gala dinner.
Day 8 - Victoria Mekong Cruise - Phnom Penh
Enjoy breakfast in the restaurant before disembarking and bidding farewell to the Victoria Mekong. Board a cyclo and head from the pier into the heart of the city to visit the magnificent Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda before perusing the treasures of the National Museum. After a final stop at Wat Phnom, enjoy a cold glass of local beer with beautiful views over the riverfront.
Destination Information The Royal Palace – Built in 1866 by the French these ornate buildings are the official residence of the reigning Cambodian royal family and King Sihamoni. Silver Pagoda – This concrete and marble structure includes a floor with over 5,000 silver tiles each weighing 1kg. Famous artefacts include a 90kg solid gold Buddha made in 1907 and an Emerald Buddha said to be made of baccarat crystal. National Museum – Housing the world’s finest collection of Khmer pottery, bronzes and sculptures dating from the 4th century. Wat Phnom – Home to a hilltop temple that carries the cities namesake. Locals flock here to pray for good luck and success.
Day 9 - Phnom Penh -Siem Reap
Reflect on the history of the city with a visit to the Tuol Sleng Museum and Killing Fields. The visit to the Tuol Sleng Museum involves 1 hour on foot. This museum commemorates the atrocities that occurred during the regime of Pol Pot. The transfer south-west to the Killing Fields will take 30 minutes. You will spend about 1 hour here on foot for a harrowing insight into Cambodia’s tumultuous past. Most people find it quite confronting and emotional so you will be given time to explore on your own. Later on, transfer to the airport for your 45-minute flight to Siem Reap.
Destination Information Tuol Sleng Museum – This former school was used by the Khmer Rouge as a detention and torture centre in the late 1970s. Today this building houses paintings and photographs of the victims. You can see the crude cells built in the classrooms and the torture devices used to extract confessions by the regime. Killing Fields – The emotional Killing Fields of Cheung Ek, made famous by the film of the same name. More than 17,000 civilians were killed and buried in mass graves here making this place a chilling reminder of the brutalities of the genocidal Khmer Rouge regime.
Day 10 - Siem reap
Spanning from the 9th to 15th century, the Angkor complex with over 1,000 temples was the seat of the thriving Khmer Empire. UNESCO manages the complex and, to enter, your group will drive approximately 6km out of town to the main entrance gate to get your entrance passes, which you must carry with you. If you choose to climb at any site, you must be able to climb and descend without assistance. Begin at the city of Angkor Thom and the enigmatic Bayon, the Elephant Terrace and the Terrace of the Leper King before continuing to the temple of Ta Prohm, enveloped in a labyrinth of jungle. This afternoon is devoted to the fascinating and awe-inspiring Angkor Wat. In the evening, relax on-board a boat and view the sunset on Angkor’s moat.
Destination Information Angkor Thom – This fortified city is flanked by a row of 54 stone figures on each side, which leads you through a 23-metre imposing stone entrance gate to the various temples inside. Bayon – Beautifully crafted central towers, decorated with four opposing faces representing King Jayavarman VII. Bayon’s stone galleries display extraordinary bas-reliefs incorporating over 11,000 figures. Elephant Terrace and Terrace of the Leper King – Giant viewing platforms used for public ceremonies, which served as a base for the King’s grand audience hall. Ta Prohm – Swallowed by the jungle where Strangler Figs and Kapok Trees have entwined themselves around the ruins. Undoubtedly, the most atmospheric ruin at Angkor with several towers, closed courtyards and narrow corridors to explore. Angkor Wat – Surrounded by a 190-metre moat and taking 30 years to build, Angkor Wat represents the Khmer civilisation at its grandest. With its fascinating decorative flourishes, extensive bas-relief and multiple tiers, it is the best-preserved temple within the complex. Please note: The Central Tower of the Angkor Wat complex is closed on Buddhist holidays and on all other days has a limited number of visitors allowed at any given time, under regulations from UNESCO. If you wish to visit this tower, you will be required to wait in the queue alongside all other visitors. The ability to do this will be determined upon the groups’ schedule.
Day 11 - Siem Reap
In the high-water season, drive to Kampong Phluk is a cluster of three villages of stilts houses built within the floodplain of the Tonle Sap lake. In the lower water season, you will visit Chong Kneas floating village. Get a glimpse into local life at the home of a Khmer family. Return to Siem Reap to enjoy a performance by the PHARE Cambodian Circus, an NGO which teaches street children to become internationally renowned circus artists.
Day 12- Siem Reap
Today, travel by tuk tuk to a shared cooking lesson, where you will learn to prepare traditional Khmer dishes. The chef will teach you all about what goes into the local cuisine, as you create a delicious meal! Spend your afternoon at leisure before a farewell dinner.
Day 13 -14 Depart Siem Reap
Fly home to the UK, arriving the following day.
The Victoria Mekong, one of the very first larger ships sailing the Mekong Delta, whilst the vessel boasts a 4* rating and price, the ship provides 5* superior service and fantastic deluxe facilities and offers the utmost comfort for customers. It has all the facilities that a 5* standard ship has to offer, cocktail pool and pool bar, contemporary Asia-themed bar and lounge with luxurious soft furnishings plus a signature restaurant with a locally-inspired menu that showcases native cuisine from the region. It offers a different starting point in Can Tho to ensure customers avoid the crowds, have more opportunities to explore some of the off the beaten track areas and experience more unique offshore excursions along the Mekong River.
The 33 Deluxe staterooms, which have private balcony space, there is a Cocktail pool and bar, with a Games room, Lounge area and Spa.
Cambodia: A visa is required for entry into Cambodia. Standard visa processing service is included in your tour cost. We will require your passport, completed visa application forms, and 2 passport photos, taken within the last 6 months, to process your visas. We will require all this information 8 weeks prior to departure. As per our standard visa processing service, we will have your passport for at least 4 weeks. In rare cases you may be required to provide further information or documentation to the Cambodian Embassy. If this is the case we will notify you as soon as possible. Vietnam: For UK citizens entry visas for Vietnam are required for stays longer than 15 days or for multiple entries into Vietnam within a 30-day period; therefore UK citizens will not need a visa to enter Vietnam for a single entry stay of up to 15 days. Currently this visa exemption rule applies until 30th June 2020. Should the visa requirements for UK citizens travelling to Vietnam change after 30th June 2020 you will be contacted by Wendy Wu Tours regarding your visa requirements. To allow for unforeseen circumstances if your tour includes a stay of 15 days or more in Vietnam the standard visa processing service is included in your tour cost. If you do require a visa Wendy Wu Tours Visa Department can assist you with the process of obtaining one. We will supply you with all paperwork and submit the visa application on your behalf. Visas for Vietnam are issued with specific start and expiry dates which are based on the dates stated on the visa application form. Travel must be completed within those dates. Please be advised that your passport must have at least 6-months validity left on it when you arrive back into UK. Visa application forms and all relevant documentation are due in our office 60 days prior to departure; if received after this, urgent visa processing fees will apply.
Stay longer and see more that Vietnam & Cambodia has to offer. 3 nights in Ho Chi Minh City (Saignon), stay at the luxury 5* Intercontinental Asiana. Visit the Cu Chi Tunnels built by the Viet Cong, before spending the afternoon evening exploring the city. 5 Nights in Hue and Hoi An for a 2 night stay before you stay in Ho Chi Minh City for 3 nights 2 nights, to explore Angkor, visit the famous Angkor Wat temple, Angkor Thom whilst staying in luxury at Victoria Angkor Resort & Spa or Jaya House Riverpark. Please call us on 0800 471 4754 for further information, these pre and post stays are flexible and can be arranged to suit your requirements.