This evening, perhaps head out to sample some local specialties as a final farewell with your fellow travellers and leader. We begin the day early for a full day-tour of Angkor. When it is well-lit and relatively quiet is the best time to visit Angkor Wat, the largest and most famous of the Angkor temples.
The War Remnants Museum offers insight into the war through the eyes and experiences of locals. After that, you can continue to Ben Thanh Market. Next, take a walking tour down Dong Khoi Street to see the iconic sights of Ho Chi Minh. You can see the Opera House and the former Hotel de Ville. Then, wander up to Notre Dame Cathedral and the Central Post Office, designed by the renowned Gustave Eiffel. Continue on to the War Remnants museum, where you can get a vivid view of the war through local eyes.
This morning, we transfer to Kampong Cham on the Mekong River. We board our boutique river cruise ship “The Jahan” in Kampong Cham this afternoon. The crew will greet us with a welcome drink, and a buffet lunch. We will learn more about education in the young Cambodian generation. The children join us on board, always excited to show their skills in music and art.
The tunnels are a sobering insight into the dedication of the Viet Cong who virtually lived in the narrow and claustrophobic tunnels whilst the war raged. Nearby, a chilling demonstration of the traps and weapons that were used against the Americans is given and we then enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. Today we will see Saigon’s historical landmarks, including the 1880’s General Post Office (which was built in 1880) and the former Presidential Palace, which was once the headquarters of the Saigon Government during “American War”. We visit the late 19th century Notre Dame cathedral, located in a peaceful part of the city, and the War Remnants Museum. The landmarks of Vietnam’s cheerfully chaotic capital are the key to understanding modern-day Vietnam.
Afterwards, you will visit a number of historical sites within Angkor Thom including the Elephant Terrace and Royal Palace, Baphuon, and the Bayon temple, which is an architectural wonder. You have plenty of time to enjoy the countryside and look at the houses and the architecture along the way. After a good night’s sleep, we wake up in Kampong Chhnang. This is Cambodia’s “waterworld”, where everything is on sticks and soil that is water rich. We take a local boat to the shore and head to a rural village nearby for a walking tour. Our guides introduce you to the village specialities – Khmer style pottery and the making of palm sugar.
- This afternoon, we take a fun tuk tuk ride to visit Angkor Thom, a walled and moated royal city and the last capital of the Angkorian Empire.
- the top, you discover a small temple but also a splendid panoramic view.
- As you wander around the market, take in the sights, sounds, and smells of the locals as they go about their daily business.
- Cruise the major waterways to Ben Tre boat pier, then return by bus to Ho Chi Minh City.
If you choose to go with the latter, Dong Ba Market is a great place for sampling some of the Nguyen emperors’ specialties like banh khoai. Reunite with your group to visit the war-damaged Imperial Citadel, a sprawling city within a city that contains the remains temples, state homes, and the Emperor’s palace. There are restrictions on the number of boats that are permitted to stay in the bay overnight, sometimes resulting in a shortage. To ensure all Intrepid travellers can enjoy the experience of a night on the water, occasionally you will stay on a larger boat and share your boat with another group. Your group might be split up into different vessels. In this case, an Intrepid leader will be present at each boat. The route and the inclusions on board will not change.
After that, paddle in sampans along the Mekong Delta past coconut trees. tour of the villages to learn about rural life. Enjoy lunch at a Delta restaurant and sample regional specialties like the elephant ear fish. Cruise the major waterways to Ben Tre boat pier, then return by bus to Ho Chi Minh City.
You can watch the spectacular sunrise from the sundeck or join the crew for Tai Chi. This morning, take a break to connect flights before you depart for Singapore in the early afternoon. Arrival time is in the early evening. Overnight hotel accommodations have been reserved at airport. This tour is the same as our previous tours, which were a huge success with the groups who travelled. Add to this, a magnificent 7-night luxury cruise down the Mekong River and you have a very special tour.
After breakfast, we are treated to a detailed lecture about Cambodia’s modern history. This is followed by a city tour of this dynamic, historical capital city of Cambodia which has managed to preserve huge slices of its French colonial allure. Sightseeing in the morning includes the dazzling white and gold Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda, as well as a visit to the National Museum. After lunch at a local eatery, we visit the Genocide Museum, which is a stark reminder about the horrors that occurred during Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge regime. We then return to the ship with time to relax on our cabin balcony or the lounge before the evening programme commences with a variety of cocktails served on the sun deck. Enjoy the Apsara dance performance. It combines traditional music and incense sticks to create a relaxing atmosphere.
Houses become rare and you pedal between the fields before arriving to the little forgotten Angkor temple of Wat Athvea. This place will likely be your only visit. You will see beautiful lotus and rice fields on each side. You discover the beauty of the Cambodian countryside, its farm life and elegant sugar palms that characterize it. You can either climb by foot, using direct stairs to the top, or by bicycle for those who are more sporty.