Daily Expedition Reports

Daily reports from our days in the field

  • Binh Thanh

    It was a quiet start to the day on the Mekong River, Vietnam with another superb sunrise on the funnel bar. The mood of the river was a little different today as it was cloudy with quite a strong breeze gusting ever now again. It did, however, keep the temperature down a few degrees. Just after breakfast we left on local Sampans, navigating through some narrow channel until we docked at a little village called Sadec on Binh Thanh Island. Read More

  • Chau Doc & Cruising Bassac

    Today is our first full day in Vietnam, and what an amazing contrast it is from what we’ve seen so far in Cambodia. Vietnam is incredibly industrious, which is made very obvious after spending a week in laidback Cambodia. The day starts very early, and we board local longboats at 6:30 a. Read More

  • Cruising from Cambodia to Vietnam

    In the morning at 6:15 before the heat appears, some have an early morning photo walk with Max Seigal and at 7:00 a.m. some go with Martin Cohen to view a very interesting colony of fruit bats (flying foxes) in a tall tree near Wat Phnom. It was truly an amazing scene. Today we spend the whole day leisurely cruising the Mekong River to the border with Vietnam, while at the same time listening to an informative lecture on the history of Cambodia. Read More

  • Phnom Penh

    Today was a real mixture of emotions and sights starting with an early morning cruise to Cambodia’s largest city, Phnom Penh. As we slowly glided past an assortment of houses, temples, and industry, we were again greeted by the glowing red sunrise that has been so typical of our adventure so far. Following our usual delicious breakfast, we began our full day in Phnom Penh. Read More

  • Kampong Tralach & Kampong Chhnang

    It’s been an absolutely fabulous day on the Mekong River. This morning, we woke up particularly early for an unusual and memorable experience along the Tonle Sap River—a ride on the back of an oxcart through the rural countryside. We passed through rice fields and endless lotus flowers, an excellent opportunity for photographers to take stunning photos during the best light of day. We arrived at the small village of Kampong Tralach, where we took a quick stroll past local shops and made our way to the local school. Once at the school, we had the opportunity to talk with the teachers and students about rural education in Cambodia. After the excitement of riding oxcarts and meeting the locals, we returned to the Jahan where we enjoyed a delicious breakfast and began cruising downstream towards our afternoon destination of Kampong Chhnang, also known as the “Pottery Embankment. Read More

  • Wat Hanchey & Angkor Ban

    Today, we spent our first full day on the Jahan. At 6:30 some of us joined in a Tai Chi class with Mr. Voant on the terrace deck. At 8:30 we ventured out to Wat Hanchey, also known as Hanchey Kiri, a contemporary Buddhist temple and monastery complex, built on a prominent hill. Our group members were excited about the option to walk the hill or ride on a “hog” or moto with the locals. It was only $1 for the ride. Arriving at the top at the temple, one gets a commanding view of the Mekong River. The site still has an interesting seventh century brick structure of a Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva built by the pre-Angkorian kings known as Chenla. The brightly colored modern temple structures are filled with paintings of Buddha’s life and one building has a host of statues depicting past abbots of the monastery. The courtyard has giant fruit sculptures everywhere. Back on the Jahan, we awaited two monks to arrive to do a blessing ceremony for guests and Jahan staff on the terrace deck. Read More

  • Binh Thanh Island & Cai Be

    As the sun rises over the Mekong Delta, we are anchored near Binh Thanh, a seven-mile long island with a population of 23,000. Boarding small local embarkations called sampan, we travel on small channels past floating houses, water hyacinths gardens, and fish farms. Irrigation channels are bringing the sediment-laden waters of the Mekong to countless vegetable and fruit gardens across the island. After letting a local ferry leave the dock with dozens of passengers and motorbikes, we land and explore the local village. A few days into the Vietnamese New Year, dedicated to the Monkey, signs of celebration are everywhere, with golden flowers in front of every house and the loud sound of drums and cymbals. Read More

  • Chau Doc

    "Good morning!" came the bright and breezy announcement over the PA system at precisely 6:00 a.m. We all shot eagerly out of bed, for today we were to visit Chau Doc. It also meant experiencing another sunrise, and after witnessing one of the most spectacular sunsets any of us can remember the evening before, we were keen to see what the morning would bring. It certainly did not disappoint. There's a photographic term for light that defies description: magic light. Today, the entire morning was aglow with magic light. Everywhere we looked, we couldn't help but take photographs. We chugged our way down the river from the Jahan and headed towards a floating market, boats buzzing around each other like eager honeybees, the important business of trading for fruit and vegetables already well underway. Everything was a riot of color or reflected glows, depending on whether we looked away from the sunrise or towards it. Before long, we had docked at Chau Doc itself, a modest town containing one of the highlights of the trip: a bustling market packed with stalls selling a kaleidoscope of fruits, vegetables, and meats. Read More

  • Phnom Penh & Chau Doc

    We were pulling out of Phnom Penh early, some took the opportunity to take one last quick walk in the city, some took the chance to sleep in (relatively speaking), some chose Tai Chi, and some chose to watch the day unfold from the top deck. After pulling away from Phnom Penh and having a delicious breakfast, it was time for the much anticipated talk from Dr. Read More

  • Phnom Penh

    We started our day off as we have all become very quickly accustomed, whichever way felt best—doing Tai Chi on the top deck or relaxing with a coffee in hand watching the new day begin! Today was even more visually stimulating than others as we watched the sun light up the city of Phnom Penh, watching it slowly come alive! Not long after breakfast it seemed we were already off the ship and sitting in cyclos! The cyclos are pushbikes converted to have a seat on the front that allows one to sit surprisingly comfortably while being peddled through the city. Read More

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