In the afternoon, enjoy a scenic drive from Ho Chi Minh City to My Tho port, South Vietnam. From there, you will begin your journey aboard the luxurious Mekong Navigator cruise ship. After settling into your well-appointed suite/cabin, that evening, following a welcome reception, safety briefing, and introduction to key members of our crew, a delicious Vietnamese ‘Mekong Delta’ Welcome Dinner is served in Le Marche Dining Room.
In Cai Be, board the rowing boat with rower in conical hats for an enjoyable excursion along the lovely canals of the Mekong Delta with beautiful scenes. After finishing the rowing, the sampan will cruise on a tapestry of waterways bringing us to a cottage factory where industrious artisans produce rice paper, rice wine and popped rice. There’s a selection of postcards, souvenirs, and beautiful oil paintings on sale. Continue into the long and narrow canals of Cai Be towards Cau Xeo with many photo opportunities of rice barges, rice husking mills, water palm thatching cottages, temples, etc. along the cruise. On return to the ship, an elegant buffet lunch is served while sailing upstream through tranquil riverine scenery towards Sa Dec.
This afternoon, your sampans return for a leisurely, scenic navigation of the narrow canals of the Mekong, where you will observe daily routines of the villagers en route to the historic town of Sa Dec. In the town of Sa Dec you visit the home of Mr. Huynh Thuy Le, the inspiration of Marguerite Duras’ novel, L’Amant (The Lover), as well as the Chinese Temple – Kien An Cung which was built in honor of the Huynh Thuy Le Family. From there, you will begin a walk through the town’s market, where you experience the sights, sounds, smells and provides you wonderful photo opportunities of the colorful fresh produce, meat, live fish and seafood for sale.
This morning, we make a short journey from ship to shore by traditional sampan, visiting a typical evergreen farming village on the Mekong Delta, the My An Hung village. We walk through the verdant village, interact with villagers, enjoy fresh coconut in the garden… A local family would invite us for some honey tea and fruit while we enjoy the “don ca tai tu” folk music, followed by an impressive VOVINAM Vietnam Martial Arts performed by the teenagers of the village.
In the afternoon, your sampans will bring you to the local island village of Long Khanh A (Hong Ngu district), not far from the Vietnam – Cambodia border. Hong Ngu produces a large number of the traditional, Khmer scarves exported to Cambodia. Woven in many homes around the village, you will have the opportunity to see the weaving process at several homes. Some villagers are also embroidery artists, displaying their art in and around the homes. The inhabitants of this area had only encountered one western visitor prior to the arrival of the Mekong Navigator, and are especially friendly and welcoming. Before returning to the sampans, we will walk around this evergreen island and visit the home of a local War Veteran.
This morning we sail upstream to enjoy a leisurely cruise and taking in the sights along the Mekong River reaching Phnom Penh in late afternoon. Some cultural activities are planned on board (introduction of tropical fruitS and fruit tasting, demonstration of Vietnamese spring roll making, introduction of traditional Cambodian costumes).
In the evening, before dinner, there is a cocktail and sabering time hosted by our Captain.
Following breakfast, the crew bid farewell as guests are invited to disembark in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.