Classic Mekong with RV Mekong Pandaw (8 Days)

Upstream (Ho Chi Minh City to Angkor)

There can be no tapestry of river life as fascinating and varied as the River Mekong. Indeed there can be no more striking a cultural contrast as between the bustling Vietnam delta and the tranquillity of Cambodia. We pass from the vibrant French colonial port of Ho Chi Minh City, through the vast delta so rich in human life, to travel along the main channel into the rich countryside of Cambodia. With a full day in charming Phnom Penh we then explore remote waterways as we progress to the great monuments of Angkor.

RV Mekong Pandaw were the first to offer river expeditions on the Mekong back in 2003 and have since been honoured by many imitators. Pandaw, though, has always stayed a step ahead of these shadow ships and this season introduces another first for this expedition through Vietnam and Cambodia. On the sumptuous Mekong Pandaw we will go one step further up the Mekong than any other vessel, as far as Kratie. Only Pandaw ships with their ultra shallow draft can go this far, adding another 100km to the river route and penetrating deep into rural Cambodia.

Day 01: Ho Chi Minh City to My Tho (-/L/D)

This morning transfer from the meeting point to the Delta Port of My Tho by coach for check in followed by port and immigration formalities. Sail upstream during lunch. My Tho is the hub of the Delta. This is a busy commercial port and currently our ships are wedged between the Foster’s Brewery and a timber yard – certainly giving an industrial aspect to this economically active area. In central My Tho there is a fine temple and bustling market area adjacent to the tourist port.

Day 02: Sa Dec via Vinh Long (B/L/D)

Sampan boat excursion to Sa Dec via Vinh Long, along canals and backwaters and see the local market and the ancient house of Mr, Huyn Thuy Le, the ‘lover’ of Marguerite Duras, a famous French novelist whose book was immortalised in the film L’Indochine.

Day 03: Chau Doc / Border Crossing (B/L/D)

Visit a Moslem Cham tribal village and a cat fish farm in Chau Doc with our guide or do your own thing and take off on one of our mountain bikes. The local market is great and the Catholic Church well worth a visit. Return to the ship by boat for lunch and cast off for the Cambodian border for the usual formalities.

Day 04: Phnom Penh (B/L/D)

Whilst in Phnom Penh you will be provided with your own private cyclo. The Cyclo Centre Phnom Penh which provides the cyclos is a charity that provides basic welfare and medical services to cyclo drivers. You will visit the Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda and National Museum. In the afternoon, optional excursion (by coach) to the Killing Fields and the Khmer Rouge’s grim Tuol Sleng or S21 detention centre. This tour is included in the cost of your cruise but must be requested at the time of booking.

Day 05: Tonle River (B/L/D)

Explorations up Tonle River to a silver making village, Kampong Trolach, and Chong Koh either by ship or by coach depending on water levels. This river is very pretty and there is a vibrant local life to be viewed along the river banks and in lesser craft.

Day 06: Kratie (B/L/D)

Morning walk at Angkor Ban and after an all-day sail through delightful Cambodian countryside we reach charming French colonial town of Kratie in the evening. No other river ships get this far but thanks to the Mekong Pandaw’s shallow draft we glide right through.

Day 07: The Dolphin Grounds (B/L/D)

From Kratie we go further upstream using a local bus to view the dolphin grounds in a national park protected area. In the afternoon on our return downstream we stop at a curious shrine known as the Monkey Temple on the way to moor overnight near Kampong Cham.

Day 08: Siem Reap (B/-/-)

Early morning coach transfer to Siem Reap. Refreshments will be provided and we will stop at Kampong Thom along the way. Arrive in Siem Reap mid afternoon. Disembark your cruise ship and transfer to Siem Reap drop off point where your arrangement ends.

Number of Days 8

Price From $

Departure Dates


7 nights accommodation in Twin cabin
Full board meals with drinks as listed
Shore excursions
Arrival and Departure transfers from and to city hotels
Local English speaking guide
Travel in low season Jul, Aug and Sep only


Tipping for crew members at own discretion
Surcharges for shoulder and peak seasons may apply
Travel Insurance
Personal expenditures
Port taxes
Pre and post stay in Ho Chi Minh City and Siem Reap

*Available on limited departures throughout the year from Jan to Apr and Jul to Dec. Price subject to change due to currency fluctuation. The itinerary is indicative only and subject to change without notice. Daily activities are posted on the shop noticeboard each day!

Price Details

Minimum 5 travellers.

Please contact our Reservations Team for further information.

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