(Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City)
(Lower Mekong River Cruise)
Explore Vietnam’s bustling capital, Hanoi with your private guide and driver. The next day, a short flight to Siem Reap, Cambodia, brings you to the gateway of the largest ancient city in the world. Explore Angkor Archeological Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site laden with magnificent temples that once heralded the grandeur of the Khmer empire. Nearby, Tonle Sap Lake provides the launching point for your graceful Mekong River adventure. Cruise from Siem Reap to Ho Chi Minh City (My Tho Port), with calls at Kampong Chhnang, Kampong Tralach, Oudong, Chong Koh, Phnom Penh, Tan Chau, Sa Dec, Xeo Quyt and Cai Be. Experience life on the river from small rural villages to booming capitals, visiting temples floating markets and much more along the way during your unforgettable Mekong River odyssey. Explore Ho Chi Minh City with your private expert guide.
Cruise Departure Dates:
2013: Jan 7,14,21,28, Feb 4,11,18,25, Mar 4,11,18,25, Apr 1,8,15,22 , Jul 1,15,29, Aug 12,26, Sep 9,23, Oct 7,14,21,28, Nov 4,11,18,25, Dec 2,16,30
2014: Jan 13,27, Feb 3,10,24, Mar 3,10,17,24, Apr 7,21, Jun 30, Jul 14,28, Aug 11,25, Sep 8,22, Oct 6,20, Nov 3,17, Dec 1,15,29
*Reverse itinerary offered Dec 9 (2013), Jan 20 & Feb 17 (2014).
Transfer between downtown Hanoi and the International Airport.
The Silk Path is located in the heart of the charming old quarter of Hanoi, which has countless tourist attractions, government and diplomatic institutions, as well as proximity to the business district of the city. With the hotel's 106 well-appointed exclusively designed rooms and suites, it is no surprise that Silk Hotel is a preference choice of a traveler. The hotel has a 2 level restaurant with private dining rooms, a unique bar, and a fitness center and sauna. Silk Path Hotel guarantees a comfortable stay with all luxury amenities within reach.
You will be picked up at your hotel by private car with an English speaking guide and taken to visit the Mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh and his former residence, One pillar Pagoda, and the Temple of Literature. After lunch, continue your city tour to one of Hanoi's many museums featuring Fine Art, History, Revolutionary, War, Ethnology of your choice, then head to Hoan Kiem Lake and Ngoc Son Temple and experience a 1 hour cyclo tour. Finish your day off at the Thang Long Opera Theatre for a traditional Vietnamese water puppet show. For lunch, enjoy a lovely meal at a local restaurant.
Fly one way from Hanoi, Vietnam to Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Transfer between the airport and your hotel by private vehicle with an English-speaking guide.
Meet at the hotel or airport and transfer for sightseeing. Visit the South Gate of Angkor Thom, the Bayon temple complex, as well as Takeo and Ta Prohm temples. Lunch at a local restaurant. Continue with a visit to the Angkor Wat temple complex and enjoy watching the sunset on Phnom Bakheng before returning to your hotel.
Popular among celebrities and industry professionals, the Victoria Angkor Resort & Spa offers comfort, elegance and superb refinement in the heart of Siem Reap. The building's graceful colonial architecture of the 1930's provides a sense of peaceful tranquility while its enchanting design creates a feeling of harmony with its natural surroundings. Gaze at the magnificent swimming pool, framed by lavish tropical gardens, from the seclusion of your private balcony. Indulge in the multitude of first-class dining options, from French gastronomy to traditional Khmer dishes or experience one of the resort’s renowned themed gala dinners. Rejuvenate your mind and body at Le Lotus Blanc Spa and experience why people the world over continue to flock to this mesmerizing resort.
Private transport with English speaking guide between the pier and your hotel.
Welcome aboard your luxurious vessel, moored at Tonle Sap Lake. The great lake dominates Cambodia and is known for its profuse bird life and tranquil fishing villages. Meet your fellow travelers at the Welcome Dinner as you cruise to Kampong Chhnang. The ship moors overnight.
Port charges are included in your multi-day cruise itinerary.
Joining the AMA fleet in 2011, the 124-passenger AmaLotus joins the 92-passenger La Marguerite in offering the most luxurious river cruise vacations available on the exotic Mekong River through Cambodia and Vietnam. With décor that combines Colonial elegance with regional Khmer accents, staterooms include comfortable sitting areas, individually controlled air-conditioning, a mini-bar, safety deposit box, robes and slippers, and some even include a luxurious bathtub. Public areas include a main restaurant serving Asian and Western specialties; Saigon Lounge; Gift Shop; Fitness Center, Spa, plus a swimming pool and bar on the Sun Deck. The ships also feature a fully English-speaking staff.
After breakfast, a motor boat excursion takes you into the lakeside wetlands that form the mouth of the Tonle Sap river. Enjoy a stunning variety of birdlife, and see numerous great fish traps, some over a half-mile long. After your excursion, return to your vessel and cast off towards Kampong Tralach. An afternoon tour includes an oxcart ride from the river bank through the countryside to the beautiful Wat Kapong Tralach Pleu. Tour the pagodas, and then board a motor coach to Oudong, the former capital of Cambodia, where you will tour the Buddhist monastery. After the visit, you motor coach will take you to your vessel, which will cruise towards the village of Chong Koh.
This morning, visit the Chong Koh silk weaving village for a leisurely walk. Your vessel then departs for Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia. An afternoon walking tour provides an orientation to this spectacular city. Return to the vessel for dinner, followed by a special Khmer folk performance on board. The vessel moors overnight in Phnom Penh.
A morning tour explores the highlights of Cambodia’s capital city, famous for its French colonial architecture, busy cafes, vibrant nightlife and renovated river “corniche.” Visit the Royal Palace and the spectacular Silver Pagoda. The National Museum is another highlight, with outstanding displays of Khmer crafts. After lunch onboard, another excursion leads to the infamous Killing Fields and the Khmer Rouge’s grim Tuol Sleng or S21 detention centre (Genocide Museum) situated in the suburbs of the city. An overnight on the waterfront provides an opportunity to dine in one of many nearby restaurants and experience Phnom Penh’s vibrant nightlife, should passengers so choose.
Spend a day cruising the Mekong River and crossing the border into Vietnam. Your vessel moors at the small town of Tan Chau, Vietnam.
After breakfast, transfer to small boats, which will navigate through narrow channels to visit an evergreen island. You will also visit a catfish farm and a rattan mat and slipper-making workshop . Back ashore, a traditional “xe-loi” (trishaw) awaits to transport you around Tan Chau. In the afternoon, your vessel cruises downstream to Sa Dec, where it will moor overnight.
In the morning, board a local boat for Sa Dec passing floating markets as you boat maneuvers through the river’s channels. Once ashore, you will tour Sa Dec, noteworthy as the town where the French writer Marguerite Dumas spent many years in her youth. Visit a local market, Fujian Temple and the house of Mr. Huynh Thuy Le, Dura’s Chinese paramour, which is now a small museum. Afterwards board a motor coach for the 1-hour ride to Xeo Quyt, used as a base during the French and U.S. wars and now an important ecological site, with its jungle overgrowth. After lunch on board, a local boat will take you to Cai Be’s spectacular floating market; then you will go ashore to see candy and rice paper workshops. This evening, enjoy a gourmet Farewell Dinner on board.
Afterwards board a motor coach for the 1-hour ride to Xeo Quyt, used as a base during the French and U.S. wars and now an important ecological site, with its jungle overgrowth. After lunch on board, a local boat will take you to Cai Be’s spectacular floating market; then you will go ashore to see candy and rice paper workshops. This evening, enjoy a gourmet Farewell Dinner on board.
Your cruise comes to an end as the ship docks at My Tho Port.
Transfer by private car and English speaking guide between Ho Chi Minh City pier and your hotel.
You will be picked up from your hotel by private car with an English speaking guide and taken around for half day city tour. Visit the Notre Dame Cathedral, a neo-Romanesque cathedral constructed between 1877 and 1883 using bricks from Marseilles and stained-glass windows from Chartres. Also visit the Old Saigon Post Office and Cholon, the Chinatown of Ho Chi Minh City. During your tour we will also visit the Emperor Jade Pagoda (Phuoc Hai), one of the most interesting pagodas in Vietnam. It is filled with smoky incense and fantastic carved figurines. It was built by the Cantonese community around the turn of the 20th century and is still buzzing with worshippers, many lounging in the front gardens.
The Renaissance Riverside is located in the heart of Saigon's business district, the Renaissance Riverside Hotel Saigon offers first-class hospitality, comfortable rooms and modern amenities. After a long day, relax at the poolside terrace or enjoy a leisurely dinner at Kabin, known as one of the finest Chinese restaurants in the city. Take a dip in the rooftop pool and visit the Health Club for an invigorating workout with the latest gym equipment. Otherwise, simply enjoy the incredible views of the Saigon River and stroll to museums, galleries and other area attractions. You’ll find that the hotel’s central location, panoramic views and impeccable service makes this the ideal place to stay while visiting Ho Chi Minh City.
In the morning, you will be picked up by private car with an English speaking guide and taken to Tay Ninh. Just, 60 miles northwest of Ho Chi Minh City is the Great Temple or Holy See, the center of the intriguing Cao Dai sect. Cao Dai is a syncretist Vietnamese religious movement that incorporates aspect of Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism and even Catholicism. The Cao Dai Temple (as it is more commonly known) was begun in 1933 in a unique architectural style that reflects its blended traditions. In the afternoon, you will travel just north of the city to visit the Cu Chi Tunnels. The Vietnamese are proud of their resolve in their prolonged history of struggle against invading armies, and the story of the people of Cu Chi is indicative of that spirit. The residents of Cu Chi then took their war underground, literally, developing a network of tunnels that, at its height, stretched as far as Cambodia and included meeting rooms, kitchens, and triage areas. Enjoy a nice lunch at a local Vietnamese restaurant.
You will be picked up by a private car with an English-speaking guide and transferred between Ho Chi Minh City airport and your hotel.
Please note obtaining a visa is your responsibility. These requirements change often and therefore it is best that you check with the Embassy of Cambodia for the most up to date visa information.
VISA/PASSPORTA valid passport and Vietnamese visa are required prior to arrival for both US and Canadian citizens. A visa must be obtained from a Vietnamese Embassy or Consulate prior to traveling to Vietnam; entry visas are NOT available upon arrival. Processing generelly takes 5 working days along with a visa processing fee of approximately $93. Vietnamese visas are usually valid for only one entry. Persons planning to leave Vietnam and re-enter from another country should be sure to obtain a visa allowing multiple entries prior to arrival.
Please note obtaining a visa is your responsibility. These requirements change often and therefore it is best that you check with the Embassy of Vietnam for the most up to date visa information.
HEALTHHealth insurance is required. Medical facilities are not widespread and poor quality. We recommend that you see a health-care provider who specializes in Travel Medicine. The doctor or health-care provider will determine what vaccinations and medication you will need, depending on factors such as your health and immunization history, areas of the country you will be visiting, and planned activities. For more information on travel requirements, visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website: http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/vietnam.aspx COUNTRY INFOCapital: Hanoi. Government: Socialist republic since 1980. Gained independence from France in 1954. Language: Vietnamese is the official language. English, French, Chinese and occasionally Russian and German are spoken. Religion: Buddhist majority. There are also Taoist, Confucian, Hoa Hao, Caodaist and Christian (predominantly Roman Catholic) minorities. Time: GMT + 7. Electricity: 220/110 volts AC, 50Hz; two-pin flat plugs are in use. Telephone: Country code +84. Mobile Telephone: Roaming agreements exist with some international mobile phone companies. Coverage is available throughout large parts of the country. Internet: Internet cafes are widely available throughout the country.
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