Siem Reap – Phnom Penh (or vice versa)
5 Days/4 Nights
The best of rural Cambodia offers green landscapes, ancient temples and smiling faces all off the beaten track.
- Day 1: Siem Reap – Kampong Cham – Kampong Chhnang
- Day 2: Kampong Chhnang – Kampong Tralach –Kampong Cham
- Day 3: Kampong Cham – Wat Hanchey
- Day 4: Phnom Penh
- Day 5: Phnom Penh
Day 1: Siem Reap – Kampong Cham – Kampong Chhnang
The Tonle Sap (The Great Lake) is the flowing heart of Cambodia, giving love and life to this nation. The Tonle Sap has more fish than any other lakes in the world and is a home to an incredible variety of birds, including rare – and endangered – feathered life.
At noon, we gather at the meeting point followed by a transfer to the boutique Ship. The ever-smiling crew welcomes us with unbridled warmth. A refreshing welcome drink awaits us followed by a buffet lunch on the Ship.
Then, it is a relaxing afternoon as the Ship glides along the water. Dinner is served at Dining Hall. Enjoy a spectacular experience on the Sundeck as we bathe in the glow of the moon and the radiance of the stars.
Lunch and dinner are included. The Ship will anchor midstream on the Tonle Sap river.
Day 2: Kampong Chhnang – Kampong Tralach –Kampong Cham
Everyday, our journey will start with an invigorating Tai Chi lesson at the Sundeck just as the sun begins its slow rise. Coffee and tea awaits the early bird. Before dawn, the Ship sets sail across the Tonle River, we see spectacular marshlands floating along the river banks of the Kampong Chhnang province.
The afternoon cruise continues with a languid meander along the Tonle Sap River. Here, the river is so narrow that we can be greeted by kids waving enthusiastically at us from the banks.
Follow a short bus trip to the see the Khmer-styled pottery. We then embark to see the wetlands, floating houses and fish farms in the region before reaching Kampong Cham in the evening. Further down the river we take part in an ox cart rally in the afternoon before being introduced to the Heritage Line pro bono “literacy project”.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included. Overnight in Kampong Cham.
Day 3: Kampong Cham – Wat Hanchey
We will wake up in the early morning after an overnight cruising, truly energized to embark on a land journey to the pre-Angkorian temple of Wat Hanchey. Travelers can either take a motor-taxi or climb 303 steps to the top. Located at the top of a hill overlooking the river, the temple offers one of the most breath-taking views in Cambodia. Built in the 8th century, this ancient structure, together with a bigger and newer addition underscores the superb architecture of the Chenla Empire which predates the mighty Angkor temple complex. We even get to engage in light banter with some of the monks in the area. We will return to the Ship to witness a blessing ceremony performed by orange-clad local monks.
We will then cruise towards Kampong Cham to visit Wat Nokor, a Wat built within the ruins of an ancient temple which holds a timeless story.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included. Overnight midstream near Phnom Penh.
Day 4: Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh was once the Paris of the East. Despite its rapid development, it has retained a lot of its rustic charm and elegance. Sightseeing in the morning will include the Killing Field. Be prepared to be heart wrenched by this stark reminder of the genocide that transpired during Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge regime, then visit S21 Genocide Museum.
After lunch at a local restaurant, we will visit the dazzling white and gold edifice of the Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda, and witnessing exceptionally beautiful Khmer craft at the National Museum.
We go back to the Ship by “cyclo” – traditional vehicles after our museum visit. Take a rest on your cabin balcony or the lounge and get prepared for an exciting evening event. The evening starts with a variety of cocktails served on the sun deck, BBQ dinner is serving right after that. Take a seat and enjoy the following Apsara dance performance. Experience the brilliance and richness of this culture, the soothing sounds of traditional music, the calming scent of incense sticks and a barbeque on the sun deck. It is indeed a truly marvelous experience, dining in the open air.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included. Overnight in Phnom Penh.
What is the difference between Upstream and Downstream?
Upstream and Downstream indicate the direction, the Ships will travel. Downstream means from Siem Reap to Saigon. Upstream is the opposite direction from Saigon to Siem Reap.
What is the difference between Low Water and High Water season?
Low water season: The water level goes down and very low in Tonle Sap, so the Ships have to dock in Kampong Cham, where the embarkation and disembarkation will take place. It takes 4.5 hours for our coaches to transfer to the meeting point in Siem Reap (Victoria Angkor Resort & Spa).
For downstream (REP-SGN) we will meet at 08:00am for the check-in formality.
For upstream (SGN-REP) the coaches will drop you off around 13:30pm at Victoria Angkor Resort & Spa.
Low water season is approximate from January to middle of September.
High water season: The Ship could cruise along in Tonle Sap and dock near Siem Reap pier. It just takes 45 minutes for our coaches to transfer to the meeting point (Victoria Angkor Resort & Spa). The embarkation and disembarkation of the Ship will take place near Siem Reap pier.
For downstream (REP-SGN) we will meet at noon (12:00pm) at the meeting point for check in formality.
For upstream (SGN-REP) the coaches will drop you off around 10:00am at Victoria Angkor Resort & Spa.
High water season is approximate from middle of September to the end of December.
High water and low water season just make itinerary timing schedule changeable in Siem Reap, there will be no changes at other destinations.
Do I need to arrange visa before arriving in Saigon or Siem Reap?
For most foreigners visa are needed for both countries. Please check with the Vietnamese and Cambodian embassies in your country.
During the upstream cruises (SGN-REP), Heritage Line could support to arrange Cambodia visa at the border. The visa fee of USD 37 per person (subject to change during public holidays and others terms) will be added to their onboard account.
For downstream cruises (REP-SGN), Heritage Line could support to arrange Vietnam visa as well. But as the visa has to be issued in Phnom Penh, the processes is difficult and expensive (visa fee will be advised at the time you request for). We strongly recommend arranging Vietnam visa before arrival in Vietnam or Cambodia.
Is an E-Visa accepted in Vietnam and Cambodia?
Please note that both Vietnamese and Cambodian E-Visas are not accepted for waterway entry to either country.
Passengers who wish to obtain their own Visas before the trip must apply directly at a Cambodian or Vietnamese Consulate or Embassy, or by other methods, that will allow them to receive a normal Tourist Visa-for the country they will enter into on the water.
- For upstream journeys (Vietnam to Cambodia) a Vietnamese E-Visa is acceptable for entry by air to Vietnam-but for the water way entry to Cambodia, a Cambodian E-Visa is not acceptable.
- For downstream journeys (Cambodia to Vietnam) a Cambodian E-Visa is acceptable for entry by air to Cambodia-but for the water way entry to Vietnam, a Vietnamese E-Visa is not acceptable.
Passengers who have obtained E-Visas-for the country that will be entered by water-will be required to apply for new onboard and pay all visa fees.
What does the tour include?
a. General Inclusions
All cruises include group shore-excursions, entrance fees, transportation, tour guide services (English speaking), taxes, fuel, river pilots, port dues, transfers in Saigon and Siem Reap from/to the meeting point to/from embarkation/disembarkation point or vice versa. Meals are included full board. Drinking water, coffee/tea (from jug) is included all day. Fruit juices are included in addition during breakfast.
Port tax per passenger of 65 USD (levied by Port authorities and port taxes appear on our invoice). Crew gratuities (8 USD – 10 USD per passenger per day are recommended). Cambodian Visa (available on Upstream cruise only/37 USD)