Cruising Saigon to Siem Reap by RV Toum Tiou 10 Days

Tour Highlights

Saigon - My Tho - Cai Be - Vinh Long - Sa Dec - Chau Doc - Koh Dek Chau - Phnom Penh - Kompong Tralach - Kampong Chnang - Kampong Luong - Siem Reap

Tour code: VBT-MCT88-D
Fully-paneled in wood, with charm and comfort in mind, we designed it in keeping with the local style. Modestly sized and with the safety of a steel hull...
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Itinerary

Day 1: Saigon - My Tho (L, D)

07:45 Toum Tiou is open for embarking.
08:00 Clearance of departure formalities. Security briefing.
08:30 Departure for My Tho. Lunch and leisure on board during navigation.
17:30 Arrival at My Tho - Toum Tiou drops anchor on river in the proximity of Thoi Son Island. Local musician band embarks to play traditional music for 45 minutes.
19:00 Welcome drink and info meeting about cruise, crew introduction. Welcome dinner. Overnight onboard.

Day 2: My Tho - Cai Be (B, L, D)

07:00 Breakfast
08:00 Local boats come alongside Toum Tiou to pick up passengers and transfer to the mainland. Departure for Vinh Trang Pagoda by car - Short panoramic tour of My Tho town on the way.
Continuing for Dong Tam Snake Farm and My Tho Market
On the banks of a northern arm of the Mekong, My Tho, which translates as "fragrant herb", where tourists come to discover the beauty of the delta. It's a quiet, prosperous city of about 100,000 inhabitants, famous for its many fruit orchards, gardens and the huge rice fields that surround it. The climate is warm and pleasant year round.
The surrounding countryside is home to one of the most luxuriant gardens of Vietnam, with its coconut palms, banana and mango trees.
10:45 Return at the pier- Passengers cruise on the river to Thoi Son Island by local boat to visit the island, explore local people’s daily life and enjoy locally seasonal fruits.
12:30 Return to the Toum Tiou by local boat.
13:00 Re-embarking, the Toum Tiou leaves My Tho for Cai Be. Lunch and leisure on board.
18:00 Toum Tiou at anchor on river on the proximity near Cai Be.
19:30 Dinner and overnight on board.

Day 3: Vinh Long - Cai Be - Sa Dec (B, L, D)

07:00 Breakfast
08:00 Local boats are coming alongside Toum Tiou, picks up passengers and cruises around Cai Be Floating Market.
Continuing for Vinh Long - a brick and pottery factory, the Binh Hoa Phuoc Islet Nursery of Fruit Trees as well a typical house and a show room of traditional farming tools.
Vinh Long, which translates as "Majestic Dragon", is right in the middle of the delta, between two arms of the Mekong. The soil of Vinh Long is enriched by silt deposits, making it ideal for growing mandarins and other citrus fruits. Life is organized around the water. Houses on stilts, hawkers in boats, hundreds of small craft crisscross in all directions. The hospitality of the locals makes it a tourist destination par excellence.
12:30 Return on the Toum Tiou, departure for Sa Dec. Lunch on board during the navigation.
15:00 Arrival at Sa Dec - Short panoramic tour of Sa Dec and transfer to Trung Vuong primary school. Continuing to Kien An Cung Pagoda.
Stroll around Sa Dec Market along Sa Dec River bank. This small city of 30,000 inhabitants is fascinating in its unspoiled authenticity and undisturbed by tourists. It provides a glimpse of the delta where a few colonial houses still remain, including the "Chinaman's house" (from Duras' novel "The Lover", also made into a movie).
17:00 Return to the boat with stopover at a nursery of flower and bonsai trees. Famous for its horticulture (it has many varieties of fabulously exotic flowers) Sa Dec was known as the "Garden of Cochin Chine" during colonial times.
18:30 Passengers re-embark, Toum Tiou leaves Sa Dec port and drop anchor few miles away. Dinner and overnight on the river.

Day 4: Sa Dec - Chau Doc (B, L, D)

06:30 Early departure for Chau Doc.
07:00 Breakfast during navigation. Leisure and relax onboard.
13:30 Arrival after lunch at Victoria Hotel Chau Doc jetty.
Located to the north at the beginning of Mekong's famous delta, Chau Doc straddles both banks of the Mekong which fans out to the dimensions of a river mouth here. Floating fish farms have sprung up everywhere. Bamboo fish drying racks are set up a meter above the water's surface. The bourgeoning downtown area features some charmingly rustic colonial buildings, squeezed in by the marketplace - the colorful, vibrant heart of the city. As always, these busy parts of town, despite their sometimes strong odors, offer wonderful photo opportunities...
14:30 Departure for fish raising rafts and Cham minority village by local boat.
Return to the Victoria hotel for a walk to Chau Doc market. Visit of Sam Mountain which peaks at 237 meters. Its well-known Buddhist sanctuaries offer an unobstructed view over the mosaic of glistening rice paddies below. To the left is Cambodia, and the flow of the Mekong on the horizon breaks into an infinity of silver ribbons. Visit on the way of the Lady Chua Xu temple and Tay An Pagoda.
18:30 Return to the boat after sunset.
19:00 Dinner at the Victoria Hotel’s restaurant.
Overnight onboard at the jetty of the hotel; you are free to enjoy the hotel facilities (swimming pool, billiards, bar, Internet) or stroll in Chau Doc.

Day 5: Chau Doc - Koh Dek Chau (B, L, D)

07:00 Toum Tiou leaves for Vinh Xuong (Vietnamese border). Breakfast.
09:30 One hour lecture on Vietnam Today.
11:00 Arrival at Vinh Xuong check-point - Formalities clearance for RV Toum Tiou to cross the border.
13:30 Toum Tiou leaves Vinh Xuong check point for Cambodia. Lunch during the navigation.
14:00 Arrival at Kaam Samnaar check-point - Formalities clearance for crossing the border.
15:30 RV Toum Tiou leaves Kaam Samnaar check point for Kôh Dek Chau Island.
16:30 Arrival at Kôh Dek Chau island. A short break along the way, it allows to get a fascinating, close-up look at daily life in Cambodia.
On the fringes of civilization, the 600 people who live on Kôh Dek Chau will receive your visit with some surprise. School children will escort you along your way. You will go through the village that occupies the full length of the island, walking along a trail shaded by date palms.
17:30 Toum Tiou leaves for Phnom Penh and drops anchor few miles away.
19:00 Dinner and overnight on board.

Day 6: Koh Dek Chau - Phnom Penh (B, L, D)

07:00 Breakfast.
08:00 Departure of Toum Tiou for Phnom Penh.
13:00 Lunch during the navigation. Arrival at Phnom Penh, formalities clearance.
14:30 Departure for the “Killing Fields” - return to the boat around 18:30.
19:00 Dinner on board.
21:00 Local group performs on board “Apsara” show. Overnight onboard.

Day 7: Phnom Penh (B, L, D)

07:00 Breakfast.
08:30 Half day city sightseeing tour including the Royal Palace and the National Museum.
12:30 Return to the ship.
13:00 Lunch on board..
14:00 Balance of the day free exploration on own. Suggestions can be made up on the interest of passengers. FCC, Russian market, other boutiques (antiques), etc.
19:30 Diner and overnight on board.

Day 8: Phnom Penh - Kampong Tralach (B, L, D)

08:00 Departure of the Toum Tiou for Kôh Chen (Chinese Island). Breakfast during navigation.
08:45 Arrival to Kôh Chen, small village of whose inhabitants specialize in silver and copper smiting. They make ornamental items, including delicately engraved tropical fruits, used in traditional ceremonies at the pagoda or for marriages.
The distant hills of Cambodia's old capital, Oudong, and its royal stupas can be seen a few kilometers away from the ferry. At the top of the hill, the ruins of Anthareu temple.
11:45 Passengers re-embark the Toum Tiou. Lunch on board on the way to Kampong Tralach
15:30 Arrival at Kampong Tralach to visit its wonderful Vihara belonging to Wat Kampong Tralach Leu pagoda. To get to it, we cross Kampong Tralach Krom village along a small road perpendicular to the river, crossing some gorgeous stretches of emerald rice paddy as we leave the river behind.
The Vihara dates back to early last century. It was probably built on an older site, as indicated by the latérite foundations, and is home to some outstanding mural paintings. These, however, are starting to suffer from weathering. They remain one of the last survivors of cultural destruction that continues unabated due to widespread indifference.
Standing by itself in the middle of rice fields, it is a modest pagoda that receives very few visitors. Its isolation may well be its undoing, as was the case for Wat Tani Pagoda in the province of Kampot.
17:30 Passengers re-embark. The Toum Tiou drops anchor few miles away.
19:00 Dinner and overnight on board.

Day 9: Kampong Tralach - Kampong Chhnang - Kampong Luong (B, L, D)

07:00 Departure of the Toum Tiou early in the morning. Sail to Kampong Chnang. Breakfast during navigation.
09:00 Arrival to Kampong Chnang.
Located some 56 miles from Phnom Penh, the town of Kampong Chnang is one of the largest fishing ports on the Tonlé Sap. Fish farming is also widely practiced in the area. The area is famous for its pottery ware, unchanged in style for centuries, which is produced in sufficient quantities to supply the entire country. And not to be overlooked are the products of the Thnot tree (sugar palm – a real national symbol) that abounds in the area: a mellow tasting, caramel-colored sugar sold in large cakes and palm wine.
11:30 Passengers re-embark the Toum Tiou. Lunch on board on the way to Kampong Luong.
16:00 Arrival at Kampong Luong. Local boats are coming along the Toum Tiou and picking passengers for the visit.
Almost totally overlooked by tourists because of its remoteness and difficult access, the village is completely self-sufficient. A floating school, factories to make ice for fish preservation, church, pagoda, service stations, pigsty, stores, boat or television repair shops, video club, karaoke bar, police station... everything is on the water. All trades are represented and everybody from children to grandparents goes by boat through the network of canals that cross this little town.
18:00 Passengers re-embark. The Toum Tiou stays overnight under the protection of the flooded forest.
19:30 Farewell cocktail (1 glass of local liquor or juice) with Master of Ship & Cruise Manager. Captain’s farewell dinner (Enriched menu + 1 glass of wine). Overnight on board.

Day 10: Kampong Luong - Siem Reap (B, L)

07:00 Departure of the Toum Tiou early in the morning. Time to pack and relax a half a day by crossing the Tonlé Sap Lake.
13:00 Passengers disembark, local tour agent pick up passengers and transfer to hotel after a last lunch onboard.
Prices
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Trip Included

  • Accommodation in double cabin, Full board (water, tea, coffee included)
  • Mentioned visits, French or English speaking guide on board
  • Transfer in Siem Reap from/to FCC Angkor Hotel ONLY.

Trip Excluded

  • Transfers at departure/arrival port
  • Bar fees, Visas, Personal expenses and personal insurance.
Cruise Information
Fully-paneled in wood, with charm and comfort in mind, we designed it in keeping with the local style. Modestly sized and with the safety of a steel hull, its low draft makes possible an access to the smallest and remotest of villages. With the tasteful decoration of a bygone era, the Toum Tiou has 10 cozy double cabins with private shower, a large lounge area, a panoramic viewing space to the front, a half-covered bar-restaurant to the rear and a roof patio. Air conditioning, hi-fi system and library are provided.

The captain, ship hands, hostesses, cooks and purser are discreet and inconspicuous in the performance of their duties.
 

This traditional locally built boat started out as a freighter with a metal hull and a capacity of 150 tons, with two large but low-ceiling decks in order to maximize storage space. Like all ships of this type, it went up and down the Tonle Sap and Mekong, stopping at Siem Reap, Kompong Cham, Kratie and Stung Treng.

We stayed as close as we could to the original line of the ship, because we wanted to retain its slightly curved and elegant lines.

The Toum Tiou measures 38 meters long and 7 meters wide in the middle. It has 10 rooms in all (3.3m x 2.5m), 4 on the main deck and 6 on the upper deck, each air-conditioned and with a bathroom (2.5m x 1.4m) including toilet, shower and sink. The water on board is taken from the river, passed through a powerful filtration system and chlorinated in the final step of the treatment.

In order to make the best possible use of the common areas from the standpoint of both size and variety we have installed a library-reading room on the lower deck. There is also a covered space at the front of the middle deck, a restaurant to the rear anda half-covered sundeck on top.
 

Accommodation

  • Number of cabins: 10
  • Length: 38m
  • Width: 7m
  • Draft: 1.7m
  • Flag: Cambodia
  • Engine Power: 315CV
  • Speed: 9 knots
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