Daily Expedition Reports

Daily reports from our days in the field

  • Angkor Ban & Kompong Cham – The Mekong River

    As we cruised up the Mekong River right on sunrise towards the riverside village of Angkor Ban, many guests enjoyed the morning light in the lounge and some joined in our final Tai Chi session on the terrace deck. Soon after breakfast, we disembarked for our first adventure on our final full day on the Mekong River. We were docked at a remote village called Angkor Ban that features many very old stilted houses. Read More

  • Kampong Tralach & Koh Oaknha Tey, Cambodia

    Having tied ashore overnight we were greeted by a gorgeous pink sky as the sun rose over Kampong Tralach village. Located about 60km north of Phnom Penh, Kampong Tralach might as well be a world away, as it is untouched by tourism and life moves along at a more leisurely pace. Testament to this is our mode of transportation today, the ox cart, which is largely unchanged for over one thousand years. Bas-relief carvings at Angkor dating to the reign of Jayavarman VII show the design is virtually the same today as it was in the late 12th century AD. Whilst not the smoothest of rides, the ox carts meandering through the rice fields allow us to take in our surroundings as they drift by. At the end of our ride we arrive at the Green School, a Lindblad-supported social enterprise which provides free English language classes to the local children. Back on the ship the morning program includes a class in traditional Khmer dress as we learn how to wrap a sampot and the versatility of the kroma. Read More

  • Phnom Penh - Kampong Chhnang

    They say the best way to experience sunrise is to be there, and thus our early morning expedition into Phnom Penh began bright and early! It is difficult to imagine this city being quiet, but 6 a.m. is perhaps the closest that we got. As the golden disc of the sun began to appear above the horizon, our more intrepid guests trained their cameras on it. Read More

  • Phnom Penh, Cambodia

    We commenced our day cruising into the Cambodia’s capital city, Phnom Penh. Nearly three million people live in and around this bustling city. After our usual hearty breakfast we started the day by joining in the seemingly chaotic traffic as a passenger on a modified bicycle called a cyclo. Being immersed in the morning traffic chaos of this bustling tropical city was an experience to remember. After an exhilarating 20-minute ride, we arrived outside the Royal Palace. Read More

  • Chau Doc, Tan Chau & Mekong River

    A beautiful sunrise welcomed us once again this morning, and our regular Tai Chi class proved a very popular way to limber up for the day’s events. Our excursion for the day took us into Chau Doc, a small city near the Cambodian border where fish farming is the primary industry. On board one of the many floating houses along the river banks, we learn about the logistics of the industry – how fish food is made, how long the fish are raised and when they are harvested. Afterwards we head into the town itself and make our way through the local market which is an assault on the senses. Fresh fruit and vegetables, a wide range of fresh cuts of meat, and a smorgasbord of fish, whether they be gutted, dried or still alive. Finally, we end our visit to Chau Doc with a brisk city tour on cycle rickshaws, which offer a relatively smooth ride as our column winds its way through the bustling traffic. After returning to Jahan, the ship weighs anchor and we head upstream, making our way to the Tan Chau canal. Read More

  • Cai Be – Binh Thanh Island

    This is our first morning on the Mekong River on the beautiful Jahan in Vietnam. The day has started off sedately, the ship surrounded by mist and the muted sounds of the river slowly coming to life. Our cameras lie on tables and chairs, slowly adjusting to the local humidity, while we tackle our first breakfast. Before long we are boarding sampans, and quickly realize that life has been going on quite happily without us. By now there are boats chugging about left, right and center as we’re thrust into the action. Morning floating markets at Cai Be are abuzz with action, fresh vegetables crowding the decks amidst local chatter as we putter through the floating mats of water hyacinth. Boats glide past us, their engines spitting and thudding against the current, ceremonial eyes on the boat’s bow starting resolutely forwards.Before too long we’re docking, our guests being helped up stairs into a darkened shed. Read More

  • Sadec/Cai Be, Vietnam

    Another beautiful day welcomed us as we continued our exploration of the Mekong Delta. After an invigorating Tai Chi practice on the terrace deck, we boarded our covered longboats, which transported us from Jahan to Binh Thanh Island at Sadec to explore a local community. In the central pagoda, we sat with a respected elderly woman to learn about her life on the island and the experience living there during the Vietnam War. Following our in-depth discussion, we walked through the village’s quaint streets and alleyways, interacted with the locals and visited homes where people weave rattan mats. Read More

  • Chau Doc & Bassac River

    As the sun crested the horizon and illuminated the Bassac River, we prepared for an amazing day within the Mekong Delta. We boarded local covered longboats that took us to a nearby floating market. Dozens of merchants converged in the middle of the river to sell fruits, vegetables and flowers. Our longboat drivers navigated the environment so we could get a close view of the produce and process. After exploring the floating market, it was time to dock the longboats for another memorable experience, this time on land. Read More

  • Mekong & Border Crossing

    As morning light crept into the sky Phnom Penh slowly wakes up. Our landing party of exercisers and photo enthusiasts assembles in the lounge for a morning walk, eager to see another side to the Cambodian capital. Working our way through the city streets we encounter locals and visitors alike, some out for morning exercise, some still out from last night before. Street vendors and market stalls are setting up for another day’s business. Once we get back to the ship, we head downstream passing Phnom Penh one last time on our way to Vietnam. With a full day aboard the ship we can sit back and watch the world go by.The morning’s program begins with an entertaining presentation on a very complicated subject. Read More

  • Paris of the East - Phnom Penh

    Not all days are created equal and this day was going to be different from all others thus far. Our expedition leader Larry Prussin had filled every minute of the day with activities. We awoke to find the Jahan still tied up to the wharf at Phnom Penh. Read More

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Robert MacNeil,
Journalist

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