Arrival Siem Reap
Sous Sdei and Welcome to Cambodia. You will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel in Siem Reap. In the evening, meet your Tour Director to learn more about the days ahead. Included is a three-night stay in Siem Reap.
Today, start with a visit to the Angkor Thom, the last capital of the Khmer Empire. It was a fortified city, home to priests, officials of the palace and military, as well as buildings for administering the kingdom. The city was established in the late twelfth century by King Jayavarman VII and covers an area of 9 square kilometres. After the tour, visit the sacred Temple of Ta Prohm, overgrown by jungle trees. This evening, witness the incredible Phare Cambodian Circus, a spectacle of acrobatics, theatre and music. Phare is an NGO founded by Cambodian refugees to assist disadvantaged young people by teaching them performing arts.
EmeraldPLUS: Phare Cambodian Circus performance
DiscoverMORE: Vespa tour of Siem Reap (extra expense)
Rise early and embark on a fascinating journey to Angkor Wat. This UNESCO World-Heritage Site is known for its elaborate decorations and intricate carvings throughout. Enjoy sun rise views and take the opportunity to capture quintessential pictures of Angkor Wat. Return to the hotel and enjoy the day at leisure. This evening, enjoy a gala evening dinner together with a performance.
DiscoverMORE: Visit to Banteay Srei or Visit to Tonle Sap or Culinary Cambodia tour (all extra expense)
Siem Reap - Prek’kdam Embarkation
Today, leave Siem Reap and venture to the town of Prek’kdam to embark on your Emerald Waterways award-winning river cruise Star-Ship. On route to the ship, stop in Kampong Kdei and see the impressive Angkor Bridge, continue and have lunch at a local restaurant. Arrive in Prek’kdam and be welcomed by your Captain and crew. Later, set sail to Kampong Tralach and enjoy your first dinner on-board with your fellow travellers.
Kampong Tralach - Phnom Penh
Start your day with an ox cart ride before visiting Wat Kampong Tralach and the Oudong Temples. Located North of Phnom Penh, Oudong is the former royal capital of Cambodia up until it moved to Phnom Penh in the 1800s. Important remnants on the temple sight include the burial sites of Khmer kings as well as religious artefacts dating back more than a hundred years. Receive a traditional Buddhist Blessing from the temple resident monks as part of EmeraldPLUS. The afternoon is yours to continue exploring or simply relax on board of your Star-Ship. Dinner this evening will be Cambodian Family Style in Reflections Restaurant. After dinner this evening, enjoy a traditional shadow puppet show.
EmeraldPLUS: Traditional Buddhist Monk blessing
DiscoverMORE: Silk farm tour at Koh Oknha Tei (extra expense) OR Visit to Koh Chen Silversmith village (extra expense)
Wake up in Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh. The city was once known as the “Pearl of Asia”, but it was almost entirely evacuated by the Khmer Rouge in 1975. This morning, we learn more about the Khmer Rouge and the darkest days of Cambodian history. A short drive will take you to the Killing Fields at Choeung Ek. Where you will have the opportunity to walk through the fields and learn about this sad chapter in history. Then, you will visit the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (also known as S-21). This is a former school that was converted to the main prison and torture headquarters of the Khmer Rouge. Back onboard Emerald Harmony; enjoy a Cambodian Street Fair lunch. This afternoon, you will have the opportunity to visit the majestic Royal Palace with its French inspired gardens, followed by the central market located in the heart of the city. In the evening, experience a tuk-tuk ride through the buzzing streets of Phnom Penh.
EmeraldPLUS: Phnom Penh tuk-tuk drive by Night
DiscoverMORE: Champey Academy of Arts Visit (extra expense)
Phnom Penh - Cambodia / Vietnam Border Crossing - Hong Ngu
As part of your EmeraldPLUS, visit a unique family-owned Lanh My A silk producing factory. Learn more about the long-complicated silk making process and have a chance to touch the real Lanh My A silk, created with dyes made from the mac nua fruit, originating from Tan Chau silk village around 100 years ago. Board a sampan to Evergreen island for a walk through a local village to get a glimpse into the lives of the local farming community. This afternoon visit Long Khanh Island, known for its scarf weaving, grapefruit gardens and Hoa Hao Buddhist pagoda.
EmeraldPLUS: Visit to family-owned Lanh My A silk producing factory and a Lion Dance Performance on board.
Hong Ngu – An Long – My An Hung
Relax on board this morning, or join our DiscoverMORE tour of the Ramsar Bird Sanctuary. This afternoon, enjoy a visit to My An Hung village, as part of our EmeraldPLUS program. Wander through coconut farms, meet the locals and learn about life in the village.
EmeraldPLUS: a visit to My An Hung Village
DiscoverMORE: Visit to Ramsar Bird Sanctuary (extra expense
Sa Dec – Cai Be
This morning, we arrive in Sa Dec, for a visit to the Chinese congregational house in Kien An Cung. Afterwards, visit the home of Mr. Huynh Thuy Le, who inspired Marguerite Duras’ novel, L’Amant, and take a walk through the central market in town. After lunch on board, arrive in Cai Be via sampan and visit a coconut candy workshop followed by performances of traditional music and fruit tasting.
My Tho – Ho Chi Minh City
Sit back, relax and take in a full day of sailing the magnificent Mekong River. Watch as life on the Mekong awakens for another day as the ship departs early this morning to begin crossing the Cho Gao canal before meeting the Mekong Delta, known as the “rice bowl” of Vietnam. This is the perfect opportunity to enjoy the ever changing vista’s from the pool, enjoy a treatment in the Wellness Area (additional expense), read a book or converse with new friends as you cruise past mangroves, narrow canals, floating markets, fish farms and pass by busy barges and local fishing boats alike. Tonight, dock in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City with views of the city lights.
Ho Chi Minh City Disembarkation – City Stay
Bid farewell to your luxury Star-Ship in the morning and transfer to your hotel in Ho Chi Minh City. You will have a guided tour of Ho Chi Minh City, starting with a visit to the city’s most iconic building: Reunification Hall. Formerly called the Presidential Palace, images of the building were seen around the world on 30 April 1975 when tanks stormed the gates as Saigon fell to the North Vietnamese. Then, stroll through the Ho Chi Minh City’s colonial quarter, walking past scenes of everyday life on the way. Admire the beautiful architecture of the Opera House, City Hall, the old Saigon Post Office, listen to the stories about the glory days of French Indochina and how that era continues to influence aspects of modern Vietnamese culture. Included is a two-night stay in Ho Chi Minh City.
EmeraldPLUS: Evening Saigon Street Food Tour (extra expense)
Ho Chi Minh City
Drive away from Ho Chi Minh City, watching the city skyline fade into the distance as the road winds through rice paddies, villages and other scenes typical to southern Vietnam. Spend a couple of hours walking around Cu Chi’s rugged grounds with a local guide. Hear how the residents constructed an intricate, underground network of tunnels during the French and American Wars. Hear incredible tales about the unusual foods the residents ate to survive and much more. Once above ground, see other ingenious items used by the residents to defend themselves such as bamboo traps and camouflaged pits. Upon your return in Ho Chi Minh City, your afternoon today is free at leisure to relax.
Ho Chi Minh City Farewell
Today transfer from your hotel to the airport to catch your onward or homebound flight.