Mekong River Experience – Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap
Think Southeast Asia is just beautiful, beautiful landscapes? There’s a lot more to it. (Though, the landscapes are indeed crazy-beautiful.) On this eight-day river cruise, you’ll hop aboard bikes, tuk tuks, or local boats to get around and see rice paddies, monasteries, and local businesses. The magic of the Mekong aside, river cruising gives you a view unlike any other, with visits to the Cai Be floating market, the fishing port of Kampong Chhnang, and stilt villages like Chnok Tru, where you’ll learn about fish farming, pottery, and sugar palm production before wandering through the local markets.
7 nights aboard the Toum Tiou II Riverboat. Vinh Trang Pagoda visit. Thoi Son Island cottage industries tour. Kien An Cung Pagoda visit (Sa Dec). Sam Mountain sunset visit. Cyclo tour (Phnom Penh). Choeung Ek (Killing Fields) guided tour. Tuol Sleng Museum (S-21 Prison) guided tour. Koh Chen island visit include cottage industries. Vihara and pagoda visit (Kampong Tralach). Kampong Chhnang visit. Chhnok Tru floating village visit. Farewell cocktail and Captain’s Dinner. All transport to/from included activities and between destinations.
Sail the mighty Mekong, explore the floating markets and villages, discover Phnom Penh and get to know the locals of Kampong Chhnang, visit ancient temples and small villages, enjoy the atmosphere of a floating market.
The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.
VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.
While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.
Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
Low Water: While it is our intention to follow the itinerary as advertised, some modifications to the itinerary are occasionally needed to reach Siem Reap while water levels are very low (March – August). The Toum Tiou II was built with a steel hull and sleek low draft, so occasions like this are rare.
If changes need to be made, they may involve docking the boat just before Siem Reap and using overland transportation to reach the final destination.
Riverboat Payment Method: Only cash is accepted for payment aboard the riverboat. There are several locations along the riverboat route with ATMs that dispense USD or VND.
Group Size Notes
7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 4 dinners
Toum Tiou II Riverboat, private vehicles, walking
We believe solo travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and solo travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.
Aboard the Toum Tiou II Riverboat (7 nts).
My Own Room
Please note that if you have booked the “My Own Room” option for this tour, you will receive your own single room for all night stops
Cabins on board the Toum Tiou II all have exterior view windows and private bathrooms.
125 ft. (38m) Riverboat.
Engine power: 450 HP
Speed: 11 Knots
Capacity: 28 Passengers
Cabins: 14 – 6 upper, 8 lower.
Boat Layout: Large screen television in lounge showing movies nightly. Library with classic literature, Wifi in public areas, outdoor
dining and lounge areas with comfortable seating.
Meeting at the Hotel Continental Saigon at 14:00. We will then transfer the passengers to Saigon Port.
Hotel Continental Saigon
Address: 132 – 134 Dong Khoi St., Dist 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
When arriving at Tan Son Nhat Intl Airport in Saigon you can get a metered taxi from just outside of the arrival hall. The taxis are lined up outside in an orderly queue and the fare is roughly 100,000 Dong (approx 7 USD) to get to your starting point hotel. DO NOT GO WITH TAXI TOUTS AS THEY WILL TRY TO RIP YOU OFF. The airport is only 7km from the downtown District 1 so taking taxis is easy and cheap if the meter is on.
If you have paid in advance for an arrival transfer, a G Adventures representative will be at the airport to meet you. If for any reason you are not met at the airport, please call our local support line. If you are unable to make contact for whatever reason, please make your way to the joining point hotel via taxi.
Unfortunately there have been cases in Vietnam of people misrepresenting themselves as G Adventures representatives at both Ha Noi and Ho Chi Minh airports. We recommend that you do not take advantage of any offers of “help” at the airport, and rather just organize a meter taxi for yourself to our starting point.
We don’t expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier and contact us as soon as possible. If you have a pre-booked transfer, and you have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.
Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Local Representative (if one is listed below) and then our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.
If you have purchased an arrival through G Adventures or if an arrival transfer is included in the cost of your tour, please note that:
Your arrival transfer has been arranged based on flight information provided to us. If you are advised of a flight schedule change within 48 hours of your scheduled arrival time, we will do our best to rearrange your arrival transfer however we cannot guarantee this. If your arrival transfer does not arrive within 30 minutes after you have exited the arrivals area please take a taxi to your start point hotel.
If you are experiencing complications with your Ho Chi Minh City AIRPORT TRANSFER that was booked through G Adventures please call: +84 91 204 0262
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Office Bangkok, Thailand
During Office hours (Weekdays, 9am-5pm Local Time)
From outside Thailand: +66 2 508 8630
From within Thailand: 02 508 8630
After hours emergency number
From outside Thailand: +66 87 049 6074
From within Thailand: 087 049 6074
G Adventures Local Representative (Vietnam)
Emergency number: +84 91 204 0262
If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.
Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999
What to Take
Most airlines allow up to two checked bags and one carry-on per person. To avoid any problems upon check-in and with possible excess baggage charges, please consult the airline for specific restrictions.
Dress on board the Toum Tiou II is informal. Plan to bring comfortable, casual clothing for all activities. When packing, we suggest that you do not weigh yourself down with too many clothes or too much gear. Select informal, practical attire that can be worn in layers.
• Modest clothing that covers knees and shoulders (Long pants, long skirts, shirts that cover shoulders)
• Shawl or scarf (for temple visits)
• Flight info (required) (Printouts of e-tickets may be required at the border)
• Insurance info (required) (With photocopies)
• Passport (required) (With photocopies)
• Required visas or vaccination certificates (required) (With photocopies)
• Vouchers and pre-departure information (required)
• Binoculars (optional)
• Camera (With extra memory cards and batteries)
• Cash, credit and debit cards
• Day pack (Used for daily excursions or short overnights)
• Ear plugs
• First-aid kit (should contain lip balm with sunscreen, sunscreen, whistle, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, bandaids/plasters, tape, anti-histamines, antibacterial gel/wipes, antiseptic cream, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, rehydration powder, water purification tablets or drops, insect repellent, sewing kit, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)
• Flashlight/torch (Headlamps are ideal)
• Fleece top/sweater
• Locks for bags
• Long pants/jeans
• Outlet adapter
• Personal entertainment (Reading and writing materials, cards, music player, etc.)
• Reusable water bottle
• Small travel towel
• Toiletries (Preferably biodegradable)
• Watch and alarm clock
• Waterproof backpack cover
• Windproof rain jacket
• Shorts/skirts (Longer shorts/skirts are recommended)
• Sun hat/bandana
Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.
Visas and Entry Requirements
Please note that visas for Vietnam and Cambodia are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. For the most up to date information please check your Governments Foreign Ministry website or with you travel agent as rules do change. It is important that you check for yourself. For most travellers there will probably be an Embassy or Consulate in the country that you live in.
CAMBODIA – Visas can be obtained in advance from your local Embassy. You can also obtain your visa at the Cambodian border or Siem Reap Airport for approx. $30 USD very easily. You will need two passport sized photos. Please note that an E-visa can not be processed if entering Cambodia at a land border.
*Please have extra USD on hand in case the customs officials charge more at the border crossing.
VIETNAM – If you require a visa for Vietnam, they need to be arranged ahead of time (BEFORE your trip) as the processing time varies and they are not available upon arrival.
As of March 2017, a select 40 nationalities are now eligible to enter Vietnam with an E-Visa. Please contact your Foreign Ministry or Vietnamese consulate to see if your nationality is eligible. Please note that you should ONLY apply for a Vietnam E-Visa if you are entering Vietnam by international airport – either Noi Bai International Airport (Hanoi) or Tan Son Nhat International Airport (Ho Chi Minh City).
If you are entering Vietnam by land border, please apply for a regular visa for Vietnam. Many of the land borders we travel through do not accept the Vietnam E-Visa.
Please note that while MOST countries require a Visa ahead of time for Vietnam, certain countries may be allowed entrance for 15 days with proof of exit. As of July 1st, 2015 this will include citizens of Scandinavian countries, Japan, Russia, the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy. However, we STRONGLY recommend checking with your Embassy on the requirements as these change often. Please contact your Foreign Ministry for up to date entry/exit requirements. Your sales agent can assist with departure documentation from Vietnam once we are within 30 days from departure.
Detailed Trip Notes
Border crossings during AVVSZW:
Chau Doc, Vietnam – Vietnam to Cambodia
Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an ‘emergency’ fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!
In Asia, it is customary to tip service providers, such as waiters, at approximately 10%, depending on the service. Tipping is expected – though not compulsory – and expresses satisfaction with the people who have assisted you on your tour. If you have a local guide or a driver on your tour, tipping $2-5 USD (in local currency) per person, per service is recommended. If someone helps you carry a bag, you can offer to tip a few USD (in local currency) if you feel it is deserved. Ask your CEO for specific advice if you are unsure.
If at the end of the riverboat sailing you find the staff on board were exceptional, a tip of $5-10 USD per day is recommended. You can leave this tip at the end of the riverboat portion of your tour.
At the end of each tour if you felt your G Adventures CEO did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however, as a guideline $20-30 USD per person, per week can be used.
- National Museum Visit (10USD per person)
- Silver Pagoda Visit (10USD per person)
- Royal Palace
- Russian Market
- Wat Phnom Visit
A Couple of Rules
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your leader, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy we require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency evacuation and repatriation. A minimum coverage of USD200,000 is required. G Adventures can provide you with the appropriate coverage. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. Some tours include adventure activities that require extra coverage (e.g. crampon use); please review your itinerary and make sure that you are covered for all included activities. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.
In Asia the dress standard is more conservative than it is back home. When packing try to pick loose, lightweight, long clothing that will keep you cool in the usually hot and humid climate of Asian summers. In predominately Buddhist, Hindu and Muslim countries we ask that you dress respectfully and avoid very short shorts/skirts and singlets/tanktops when visiting temples or mosques or other holy sites.
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You must be 18 to travel unaccompanied on a G Adventures tour. For minors travelling with a guardian over 21 years old, the minimum age is 12.
Check-in times and baggage allowances/restrictions vary by airline and can change at any time. For the most up-to-date information for your flight, please contact your airline. We recommend checking in online in advance to avoid potential delays at the airport.
Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides.
PRODUCT_LINE: AVVSZW, ID: 24232
Day 1 Ho Chi Minh City/Mỹ Tho (1D)
Arrive at the meeting point by 2:00pm for an included transfer to the pier. Embark, settle in, and get to know the crew as the journey begins. Sail towards My Tho.
Riverboat Welcome Meeting
Toum Tiou II Riverboat
Day 2 Mỹ Tho/Sadek (1B, 1L, 1D)
Visit Vinh Trang Pagoda with a short tour of My Tho town en route. Take local boats to Thoi Son Island to see a coconut product manufacturer, taste some local fruit and honey and meet traditional musicians. Continue on to Cai Be and enjoy a visit to the floating market. Opt to wander the small paths through local communities on the island and visit a rice popping cottage industry. Continue by local boat to Vinh Long to meet the vessel. Embark on the evening sail to Sa Dec.
Vĩnh Trang Pagoda Visit
Coconut Manufacturing Visit
Cai Be Floating Market Visit
Toum Tiou II Riverboat
Toum Tiou II Riverboat
Day 3 Sadek/Xã Vĩnh Xương (1B, 1L)
Visit the Kien An Cung Pagoda in Sa Dec and stroll through the market along the river. View the old colonial houses by the delta. Enjoy breakfast and lunch on board as you cruise the Mekong. Arrive at Chau Doc and visit Sam Mountain. Gaze out over the rice paddies or relax in a hammock. Visit some temples and pagodas along the way. Opt for dinner in town.
Sa Dec Visit
Sam Mountain Visit
Toum Tiou II Riverboat
Toum Tiou II Riverboat
Day 4 Xã Vĩnh Xương/Phnom Penh (1B, 1L)
Cross the border into Cambodia and continue on to Phnom Penh. Enjoy an evening in the capital city starting with a cyclo tour to see the city from a new perspective. Opt to finish up at the Foreign Correspondents Club for Happy Hour overlooking the river or dinner in town.
During the border crossing all passengers must stay on board and the formalities are done on the riverboat. The ship will usually stay at the border for a 2-3 hours whilst all the formalities are completed. Depending on the time spent at the border, the itinerary for the afternoon may vary, although this process is usually quite simple delays can happen.
Border Crossing (Vietnam – Cambodia)
Phnom Penh Cyclo Tour
Toum Tiou II Riverboat
Day 5 Phnom Penh (1B, 1L)
Visit the sobering S21 Museum and the Killing Fields with a local guide. Enjoy an included lunch at Friends, a social enterprise. Opt to visit sights like the Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda, the National Museum, or the Russian Market with free time.
Tuol Sleng Museum (S-21 Prison) Guided Tour
Choeung Ek (Killing Fields) Guided Tour
Day 6 Phnom Penh/Kâmpóng Trâlach (1B, 1L, 1D)
Continue to Kampong Tralach and visit the local vihara (Buddhist monastery) and Wat Kampong Tralach Leu pagoda. Opt to cycle, or ride in a tuk tuk or buffalo cart, through the village and past rice paddies to reach the monastery.
Kampong Tralach Visit
Toum Tiou II Riverboat
Day 7 Kâmpóng Trâlach/Koh Chen (1B, 1L, 1D)
Sail on to Kampong Chhnang, one of the largest fishing ports on the Tonle Sap RIver. Learn more about the fish farming, pottery and sugar palm production in the area. Wander through the local market then opt to cycle to visit the local industries.
Enjoy lunch back on the ship en route to Koh Chen, an island in the river. Visit silver and copper workshops and meet a Khmer Rouge survivor eager to tell his story.
Enjoy an evening cocktail and the Captain’s farewell dinner.
Kampong Chhnang Visit
Koh Chen Visit
Toum Tiou II Riverboat
Toum Tiou II Riverboat
Day 8 Koh Chen/Siem Reap (1B)
This morning, say goodbye to the crew of the Toum Tiou II Riverboat. Hop into a private vehicle for an included transfer to Siem Reap. Tour ends upon arrival. Please book onward travel after 4pm.
Departure Day (Activities)
Private Vehicle (5.00 hour(s), 285km)