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Wellness Cruise

Route: Siem Reap - Saigon
Date of cruise: 27 Oct - 03 Nov 2018
A mysterious body of water. Flowing through six countries in Asia. Giving love and life to millions. The Mekong River is the perfect backdrop for our thoughtfully crafted wellness voyage from Siem Reap - Saigon combining all the facettes of this mighty river with wonderful wellness activities.

Support number: + 84912217448
Agency person in charge: Mr. Tran Quoc Long
Add: 18/32 Chua Ha Street, Hanoi
Name of company: First Choice

(8 days, 7 Nights)

DAY ONE:  Siem Reap - Tonle River
We gather in the morning at our welcome lounge in Siem Reap. Relax with a refreshing health drink as our staff collects your details for the boarding. We bid farewell to the iconic sights of Angkor and travel a short distance to the pier at the Tonle Sap Lake. By local boat we transfer to our luxurious, floating “home” for the next days. While you check in to your staterooms, the ship sets sail and the special journey on the Mekong River can begin. Gather at the open-air bar East-India Club for a first meet and greet with our wellness expert and a welcome cocktail. We continue with lunch while the vessel gently glides over the Tonle Sap Lake. The lake can only be crossed during high water season (approx. from August to mid-November). Let your soul float and your eyes wander while the boat makes its way across. In the afternoon our wellness expert invites you to a special gathering at the bar to demonstrate her healthy recipes of easy-to-make shakes and drinks. Afterwards you can enjoy a cruising day on board and fully relax either on your private balcony or with some of our personal wellness treatments like private yoga or special massages (reservation required, at extra charge). Before dinner kindly join a presentation on the “Geography of the Mekong and Tonle Sap Lake”. Tonight the boat moors on the Tonle River. Feel free to join our evening cinema session (offered every night) featuring selected topical movie choices. 

DAY TWO: Kampong Chhnang - Kampong Tralach - Kampong Cham
Wake up early with our daily healthy “eye-opener”drink (served to the cabin) and witness the spectacular scenery at the break of dawn. Feel free to join our sunrise meditation offered by our wellness expert. After a little break, you may like to continue with a special yoga session instructed by our expert on every morning of your cruise. A nutritious healthy breakfast is served in the dining hall including several healthy options. We arrive in Kampong Chhnang, Cambodia’s “water world”, where everything is on stilts balanced on water rich soil. It’s perhaps the most fascinating cruising spot in Cambodia. We take a local boat to the shore. By mini buses, we head to a rural village nearby for a walking tour. Our guides introduce us to the village specialities – Khmer style pottery and the making of palm sugar. You should definitely bring some home. Before returning to the boat, we explore the floating villages and wetlands of the region. Back on board, lunch is served while we continue cruising with a languid meander along the Tonle River towards Kampong Tralach. You may like to attend our Monks’ blessing ceremony on board that invokes wishes for health and prosperity or reserve that time for some private yoga or spa treatment. Gliding through leafy swaths of this jungle-like landscape we reach Kampong Tralach. Cacophonous children wave enthusiastically while bringing their livestock for a bath in the meandering river. We start our afternoon excursion with an extended walking tour with close encounters of the friendly villagers. We stop at the “Green School” which is also supported by Heritage Line. Eventually experience the local river life - which is so different than ours - by a local ox cart ride. Back on board, we sail downstream passing the confluence of the Tonle and Mekong Rivers. The boat cruises overnight while you enjoy your dinner with various healthy options in the dining hall. 

DAY THREE: Kampong Cham - Okhna Tey - Phnom Penh
After waking up with our daily “eye-opener” drink, you can enjoy our sunrise meditation. Continue with our expert yoga class if you like or take some kick-back time on the sun beds in front of the Observatory Lounge. Breakfast is served in the Viceroy Dining Hall. We leave the boat for an active excursion to the pre-Angkorian temple Wat Hanchey. On an optional 10km-bicycle ride we will discover the unspoiled rural landscape on the way to the temple. The historic Wat Hanchey temple dates back to the 7th century and sits on a hill top right on the shore for breath-taking views over the Mekong. You can now choose to take the challenge and walk the 330 steps to reach the hill top with breathtaking views on the Mekong. Back on the ship take your time to relax before lunch will be served. Our staff is keen on showing you the variety of traditional Khmer fashion in the afternoon. Watch the riverbanks’ life along the Mekong during our fresh and healthy High Tea as the ship proceeds to its next stop. We arrive at the Island of Koh Oknha Tey. This spot in the middle of the Mekong owes its fame for manufacturing high class silk products. By tuk tuk we explore the island with its workshops and learn how silk is processed from its source, provided by little silkworms, to a final top quality product made of original Cambodian silk. After some additional cruising time the boat arrives and docks at the pier of Phnom Penh. Feel free to have your first exploration by yourself after dinner. Stroll along the river promenade and watch the locals chit-chatting, selling odds and ends or have a drink in one of the numerous bars.

DAY FOUR: Phnom Penh
Welcome to Phnom Penh - the once called Paris of the East. Despite its rapid development, it has retained a lot of its rustic charm and elegance. It is an amazing town with centuries of incredible history and culture which can still be felt at many street corners. You wake up with our daily “eye-opener” drink and if you like proceed to join the sunrise meditation. Continue with our expert yoga class if you would like or simply sit at the bar a while before breakfast is served. After breakfast, we begin our sight-seeing tour to Phnom Penh. By bus we visit the Killing Fields just outside of the city and afterwards the centrally located prison “S21”. Both historic sites display the sad and cruel chapter of Khmer history when the Khmer Rouge ruled the country with terror and supression. Those places have not changed much since this cruel time back in the early seventies and it can be quite heartbreaking. Alternatively, you can explore the city in the morning by your own before re-joining the group. We take lunch at a popular restaurant in town. Our discovery of Phnom Penh continues as we explore its fascinating cultural heritage. The golden edifice of the Royal Palace with its Silver Pagoda and the exceptional Khmer crafts at the National Museum are our afternoon highlights. As a alternative option for the afternoon, a special guided longer walking tour (approx. 4hrs) will be available to discover the hidden gems of the city, narrated by our historian and long-time resident expert Jean-Michel (limited availability, pre-booking required). The day trip ends with a “cyclo” ride back to the ship through the bustling streets of downtown Phnom Penh. Take some rest in your room back on board or join other fellow passengers at the bar for refreshing drinks and healthy bar snacks (available at all time) before our captivating evening activities start. In the early evening a barbecue dinner with many healthy food options commences on the sun deck. The dinner is accompanied with an Apsara dance performance. Witness the brilliance and richness of this dance along with the soothing sounds of the traditional music. As the evening unwinds, enjoy a good glass of wine and marvel at the skyline of Phnom Penh, and the calming flow of the Tonle River.

DAY FIVE: Phnom Penh- Border Crossing- Tan Chau
You wake up with our daily “eye-opener” drink and can proceed to join our sunrise meditation. If you like to, you can continue with our expert yoga class or simply relax at the bar for a while before breakfast will be served. After breakfast the lounge is set up for a captivating lecture about Cambodian modern history, held by a professor of the Royal University of Phnom Penh. Definitely a highlights of this cruise is to receive first hand knowledge as our lecturer has studied the subject extensively. The whole afternoon is at your own arrangements. From now on, even the last passenger will turn on cruise mode and hopefully experience the therapeutic influence that this mighty river radiates. It’s the perfect time to try out a special personal Thai Yoga massage from our wellness expert. Some may like to visit the bridge and chit-chat with the captain watching him to maneuver the vessel along the Mekong. Float into a state of mild bliss. Before totally drifting away, do not forget lunchtime around noon. A culinary demonstration is offered in the afternoon to sharpen your knowledge and skills of the local fresh and light cuisine which you can easy re-produce at home. Then our wellness expert will give a lecture about special nutrition and ingredients during our fresh and healthy afternoon tea time in the lounge. We reach the border and finally arrive in Vietnam. From here it is just a short distance to Tan Chau, a pleasant, slow-paced border town with a sizeable Chinese, Kinh and Khmer community. We moor near the city with views of the riverbanks. Dinner will be served soon and you can join our evening cinema with another selected movie afterwards. 

DAY SIX: Tan Chau- My An Hung- Sa Dec
Wake up with our daily “eye-opener” drink and feel free to join our sunrise meditation. Continue with our expert yoga class if you like or simply relax at the bar for a while before breakfast is served.
Ready yourself for a tour around Tan Chau. Once arrived on-shore we hop on several “xeloi” to explore Tan Chau. A “xeloi” is a local vehicle which is still used as a taxi in this region. We slowly move around the streets to see all the workshops, houses and domiciles. Get to feel the laid-back vibes of this place. We stop at the colorful, local market near one of the ancient temples. This is the best time to interact with the vendors of this friendly town and make your own bargaining experience. Afterwards we board our local boats and cruise along floating houses until we finally reach a floating fish farm. This region is the source of fish production that is sold all over the world. We get an exclusive insight in how fish farming works. Back on board before lunch is served, you may like to pamper yourself with some spa treatments or take a dip into the pool on the sun deck. Our expert guides offer a presentation on the “Life on the Mekong Delta” as the ship continues to My An Hung near Sa Dec province. Before we arrive mingle with fellow passengers and share some stories.
We set off for the My An Hung Village. Join our optional 3km-walking tour through the village exploring its rustic charm including close encounters with the local people. Later we will receive wonderful insights into the private household of a local family. We are allowed to visit their vegetable garden and access the seasonal vegetable fields via crossing a monkey bridge. We are also invited to their house for a Vietnamese tea tasting. Vietnamese tea is often bitter and locals sweeten it with honey. The honey is produced by the family, a true delicacy in this region. We are offered fruits - juicy, fresh, and right from the tree. A local artist group performs a typical traditional dragon dance while we munch on those natural “vitamins bombs”.
As the sun sets and the light bathes everything golden, we settle on a riverbank gathering with cocktails to recap the day. Back on the ship we cruise downstream the Mekong. Refresh yourself and get ready for dinner. The ship moors mid-river near Sa Dec.

DAY SEVEN: Binh Thanh Island- Cai Be- My Tho
Get your early “eye-opener “infusion, then join our early morning meditation with our wellness expert. After a short break, a yoga session with our wellness guru will be provided to fully balance body and mind. We arrive at the island of Binh Thanh. We embark on a local boat and head towards Binh Thanh Island, which is one of the larger islands in the vast stream of the Mekong. Some communities have settled here and make their living by growing water hyazinths. We exclusively visit one of those untouched areas. By wandering through the village we get a deep understanding of the native life. But moreover, we can follow the whole process of their traditional mat making. You can try weaving yourself which is still done manually. We will also meet an old local couple who share their story on this island. They are happy for any chit-chat with you. Back on board lunch is served and you have some time to leasurely spend onboard while we cruise along the Mekong.
In the early afternoon we arrive in Cai Be, a charming town which is famous for its Catholic French church and their manufacturing of traditional crafts and food products. We may see some boat to boat trading of local goods, such as fruits and agricultural products.

Afterwards we go on-shore to visit a workshop where we learn how rice paste, rice paper, rice cookies and rice wine is manufactured. Cai Be and its surrounding areas are covered by palm trees and hence the region is also famous for the production of coconut candies. The city is criss-crossed by many water canals. By local boat we will explore the lush and green canal network and observe the farmers working in the fields. Optionally you can end your Cai Be excursion with a 10km-bike tour through the surrounding lands of this peaceful region and afterwards return to the ship by local boat. As the sun sets, our crew invites you to a farewell event where you can enjoy dancing and music together with the crew. The ship moors at My Tho. Dinner will be served afterwards.

DAY EIGHT: My Tho- Saigon
Enjoy your last breakfast aboard your floating home. We will disembark the ship after breakfast and take a bus transfer from My Tho to the drop off point in Saigon. It is only around 70 kilometers on the highway. You will arrive in Saigon by mid-morning. We hope you enjoyed this fascinating river cruise, just as our crew does every single time. Moreover, take the enchanting memories and friendships along with you that will linger on with the stories of this amazing river - the Mighty Mekong.

Mentioned times are approximate. Although it is our intention to operate the proposed itinerary as outlined above, we cannot be held responsible for any last minute changes of the program that might be necessary as a result of weather conditions, alterations to cruise schedules or other operational factors. Detailed embarkation and disembarkation information is available on the website. 5-Star Rated Mekong River Delta Cruises and Activities! Book Top Tours