Day-By-Day

Our itinerary is crafted to offer a balanced & in-depth experience


The Vietnam and Cambodia itinerary offers an in-depth exploration of historic sites and a look into the cultures and traditions of people living along the Mekong River. Flexibility is a hallmark of Lindblad-National Geographic expeditions, so our day-to-day itinerary may change as we choose to take advantage of a unique opportunity or photographers decide to linger in a village through the golden hour of light.

Current

Embark: Siem Reap

Disembark: Saigon


The ship travels from Siem Reap to Saigon on the itinerary below.

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  • DAY 1: Depart U.S.

    Take connecting flights to Siem Reap, Cambodia.

  • DAY 2: En route

    This day is en route, partly "lost" to the International Date Line.

  • DAY 3: Siem Reap, Cambodia

    Arrive in Siem Reap, the gateway to Angkor. We spend the next three nights at outstanding La Résidence d’Angkor, built along the Siem Reap River in traditional Khmer style, with spacious rooms with teak furniture and bamboo screens. For guests arriving in time, we'll have an afternoon visit to the Angkor National Museum, which gives a fine orientation to the region's history.

  • DAY 4: Angkor / Siem Reap

    In the morning we venture out for an introduction to the area at the fine small temple of Banteay Srei, known for its exceptional carvings. After lunch, we stop at Les Artisans d’Angkor, where we see how local artisans preserve age-old Khmer arts. Then we visit the evocative temple Ta Prohm. The jungle has been allowed to continue growing here, framing the structures with the twisted roots and branches of ceiba and fig trees, giving you an idea of what archaeologists encountered when they began their work in the area. This evening we gather for welcome drinks and dinner at our hotel. (B,L,D)

  • DAY 5: Angkor / Siem Reap

    We begin early in order to get to Angkor Wat in time for sunrise. This visionary 12th-century temple, the world’s largest religious monument, represents the apogee of Khmer art and architecture. Crowned by five towers, with elaborate bas-reliefs and a profusion of statues that dramatically depict complex religious tales, along with some 2,000 carved apsaras (beautiful female spirits), Angkor Wat is enthralling. We return to our hotel for a late breakfast. In the afternoon we take tuk-tuks (motorized taxis) to the great remains of Angkor Thom, seeing the Bayon Temple, known for its dozens of serene stone faces of King Jayavarman VII, and the Terrace of the Elephants. Tonight we have a very special treat: a private dinner, just for us, by candlelight at one of Angkor's temples, complete with Cambodian music and dance. The effect of seeing the temple gently illuminated and taking in the age-old performing arts is magical, and is bound to stand out as a highlight of your travels. (B,D)

  • DAY 6: Kampong Cham / Embark Jahan

    This morning we drive eastward, with a box lunch, to the Mekong River. We embark Jahan, our home for the next seven nights, at the town of Kampong Cham. In the late afternoon we begin sailing along the Mekong, with welcome drinks and dinner aboard our ship. (B,L,D)

  • DAY 7: Wat Hanchey or Koh Dach / Angkor Ban

    Wat Hanchey, which we visit in the morning, is a large temple complex atop a hill overlooking an exceptionally pretty stretch of the Mekong, offering outstanding views. There is a lot to see here: an 8th-century temple from the pre-Angkor Chenla period, an Angkor-era temple, some fine contemporary temples, and a school. Or we may visit the Mekong island of Koh Dach, which has a lively and active monastery and also an extensive community of silk weavers, where we may watch artisans at work. In the afternoon we visit the community of Angkor Ban, with many old-style houses that are built on stilts—some of them very tall. There’s a chance to walk through town and meet the friendly local residents. There is a fine pagoda along the riverside, and views of the fields across the river that runs into the Mekong. (B,L,D)

  • DAY 8: Kampong Tralach / Kampong Chhnang

    This morning, we visit Kampong Tralach, on the banks of the Tonle Sap River. Kampong Tralach is a small village that relies on subsistence fishing and working the rice paddies. We’ll take local oxcarts through the rice paddies, seeing the age-old rhythms of life in the Cambodian countryside. Later we cruise up the fascinating Tonle Sap River. In the afternoon we visit the town of Kampong Chhnang. We drive a short way to a village where pottery is still made for sale to local residents by traditional methods. We’ll see how the pots are made and learn about the uses of the palm tree, complete with a taste of palm sugar if you’re so inclined. Then local boats will take us along the Tonle Sap for a glimpse into a unique way of life: seeing the floating houses and shops that line the riverbanks here. (B,L,D)

  • DAY 9: Phnom Penh

    Today will be a full, rewarding day exploring the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh, situated at the confluence of the Mekong, Bassac and Tonle Sap Rivers. We begin with a cyclo (bicycle taxi) ride to the magnificent Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda, home and place of worship to Cambodia’s kings. The architecture, displays and furnishings are remarkable. We continue to the excellent National Museum, which has sculpture and many other artifacts from Khmer temples and other aspects of Cambodia’s history. After lunch at a local restaurant, visit the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, a former prison where exhibits show the determination of Cambodians that this should never happen again. If you’re so inclined, venture to the countryside to the Choeung Ek “killing fields,” where thousands of Cambodians were murdered and buried in mass graves. Back aboard ship, an evening “Apsara” dance performance shows how well the arts have been able to reestablish themselves. (B,L,D)

  • DAY 10: Sailing the Mekong

    As we sail along the Mekong, there’s a chance to see life along the river, with traditional ships, barges and freighters plying the waterway. There will be a chance to enjoy Jahan’s many amenities, to hear talks by our staff and for our chefs to show you how to prepare some of Cambodia and Vietnam’s signature dishes. We cross the border into Vietnam, where we will spend the rest of our journey. (B,L,D)

Please note: All day-by-day breakdowns are a sampling of the places we intend to visit, conditions permitting.

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