Cruise
Jayavarman
Heritage Line
Jayavarman, Pearl of the Orient Downstream ex Phnom Penh to Saigon (My Tho)
Cruise Line: Heritage Line
Selected Sailing Date: 27 Oct 2021

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Prices displayed are retail per person, twin share, to the Australian Travel Trade. Consumers please contact your local cruise agent to request this Cruise Abroad package. At time of booking please check current cruise fare and any inclusions. Prices are indicative only, subject to currency fluctuations and may change at any time without notice.

Itinerary
Cruise Itinerary
Itinerary may vary by sailing date and itineraries may be changed at the cruise lines discretion. Please check itinerary details at time of booking and before booking other travel services such as airline tickets.
Cruise Description

3 Night cruise departing from Phnom Penh to Saigon (My Tho) onboard The Jayavarman.

(NOTE: Itinerary below is for the High Water programme. For details of Low Water programme please check at time of enquiry/booking)

Day 1 Phnom Penh - Border Crossing - Tan Chau
Welcome on board with Heritage Line for your Mekong River adventure. After you have checked in, we invite you to a highlight of this cruise before we lift the anchor. The lounge is set up for an eye- and ear-catching lecture about modern Cambodian history, held by our friend and local expert, Mr. Jean-Michel, professor from the Royal University of Phnom Penh. He has studied the subject extensively and is more than happy to share his first-hand knowledge and surprising insights. The lecture takes about one hour before we set sail southbound towards the Vietnamese border.

The rest of the morning and the whole afternoon is at your own disposal. From now on here, you can turn into cruise mode and hopefully experiences the relaxing influence of the cadence this mighty river emanates. The afternoon is perfect for massages, relaxation on a terrace deck sunbed or private balcony kick-backs. Conjure up a spell to merge with the river and float into a state of mild bliss.

You also may like to visit the bridge, as the captain always has a little story to share about “his” river. Or, if you are curious to learn more about Khmer gastronomy, join a culinary workshop to sharpen your knowledge about local cuisine.

As you sip drinks and nibble on treats during afternoon tea, we approach the border and finally arrive in Vietnam. From here it is just a short distance to Tan Chau, a pleasant, slow-paced border town with a sizeable Chinese, Kinh and Khmer community. We moor near the city with views on the riverbanks.

Day 2 Tan Chau - My An Hung - Sa Dec
Welcome to the fish sanctuary of Vietnam.

Once arrived on-shore, we hop on “xelois” to see Tan Chau’s vibrant town-life. A “xeloi” is a local vehicle which is still used as a taxi in this area. Your personal xeloi driver slowly navigates through the streets to observe all the workshops, houses and shops while feeling the laid-back vibe of this place. We stop at the colourful, local market near one of the town’s temples. This is a great opportunity to interact with the vendors of this friendly town and try your hand at bargaining with them.

To see what Tan Chau is famous for, we board local boats and head to a floating fish farm. You are about to get an exclusive look into the world’s largest inland aquaculture industry. Each of the floating structures has netting hanging down into the water to enclose the fish, which are raised and fed on a daily basis. The region’s specialties are tilapia and the Basa catfish, or Pangasius, which is unique to the Mekong River basin and rapidly gaining popularity on the international seafood market.

Back on board and before lunch is served, you may take a dip in the pool. After the meal, our expert guides offer a presentation about life in the Mekong Delta as the ship continues to My An Hung near Sa Dec province.

My An Hung Village is a wonderful example of a real local village in the Mekong Delta. Time stands still here and we receive wonderful insights into the private household of a local family and visit the seasonal vegetable fields to see what they are currently cultivating. We are invited to their house for a Vietnamese tea tasting. Vietnamese tea is often bitter, so locals sweeten it with honey, a regional delicacy also produced by our hosts. The family then presents a huge variety of fruits growing in the delta, freshly cut from the tree. And as an artist group performs a traditional, artistic dragon dance, we snack on these “vitamins bombs”.

The sun sets and the light now bathes everything in a golden hue. The surrounding natural beauty is a perfect backdrop for a riverbank gathering with cocktails and dancing with the crew in this remote, secluded location.

Day 3 Binh Thanh Island - Cai Be - My Tho
This morning the vessel arrives at one of the larger islands in the vast stream of the Mekong, Binh Thanh Island. Several communities have settled here and make their living by growing water hyacinths.

We exclusively visit one of these untouched areas. By wandering through the village, we get a deep understanding of native life. One of the local artisans, for example, demonstrates the entire process of traditional mat making. You can try weaving yourself. We also meet a local elderly couple who share their story of living on this island. They are always happy to chit-chat with our guests.

Back on the ship lunch is served and we sail towards Cai Be. Cai Be is a charming town which is famous for its Catholic French church and the manufacturing of traditional crafts and food products. The once enormous floating market of Cai Be gets smaller year by year since trading on the water is continually shifting towards modern markets. However, you can still see boat-to-boat trading of local goods, such as fruits and agricultural products and imagine what this must have looked like on a larger scale. We learn from our guide about the long-lasting trading culture and how each boat has a special marker to let buyers know what goods they are selling.

By local boat, we sail along the green canal network and watch the farmers working in the fields. A visit ashore of a workshop shows us the manufacturing of rice paste, rice paper, rice cookies and rice wine. Cai Be’s surrounding areas are covered by palm trees, which is why the region is also famous for the production of coconut candy.

Back on board our crew invites you to a farewell event and to enjoy some cheerful moments before dinner, including music and Cambodian dancing together with the team. Savour your final dinner aboard and relive the week’s adventures in your mind’s eye with a glass of wine at the open bar.

Day 4 My Tho - Saigon
Enjoy your last breakfast aboard your floating home. We disembark the ship after breakfast and take a bus transfer from My Tho to Saigon. It is only around 70 kilometres on the highway, and you arrive in Saigon by mid-morning.

We hope you enjoyed this fascinating river cruise, just as our crew does every single time. Moreover, take the enchanting memories and friendships along with you and share the stories of this amazing river - the Mighty Mekong.

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