Waterways of Indochina

20 Days - From US$8,479 per person


Experience the best of Vietnam and Cambodia over 18 days, journeying between the two countries on a luxurious cruise up the storied Mekong river. Begin in Hanoi, the heart of north Vietnam, with its quiet tree-lined boulevards and explore the crooked streets and Chinese shop-houses of old-town Hoi An. Uncover the secrets of the forbidden city in Hue, before discovering the magic of the Mekong river from aboard your boutique cruise ship as you sail to Cambodia. Tour the shimmering spires of the Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda in Phnom Penh, and roam the narrow lanes on a cyclo as we show you the rarely visited hidden gems of old Phnom Penh. Your exploration will culminate at the Angkor Archeological Park, the site of one of the greatest civilizations in history, which you will experience with our renowned crowd-avoidance routes. Feast on sumptuous Cambodian cuisine at Villa Chandara, our private countryside villa, a fitting end to a magical journey.


day 1Arrive in Hanoi, where you will be met by your expert guide and taken to your hotel. In the afternoon, stroll around Hoan Kiem Lake, considered the physical and symbolic heart of the city.

day 2Take in the highlights of the city, including the atmospheric streets of the Old Quarter, Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum and the Temple of Literature. In the evening take your seat for the Water Puppet Show at Thang Long Theatre and enjoy the unique folk art that has been practiced and perfected for over 1000 years. (B)

day 3Transfer by air to UNESCO World Heritage listed Hoi An. Explore the narrow lanes of the well-preserved former trading port and learn more about its most famous buildings including the Japanese Covered Bridge, Assembly Hall of the Chinese and Tan Ky's House. (B)

day 4Cycle to the village of Tra Que to learn about the food and herbs that are so important to the Vietnamese. Reward your morning endeavors with a relaxing herbal foot massage before taking a cooking class with a local family, producing delicious delicacies from the local produce. Enjoy an afternoon of leisure, with the opportunity to explore old-town Hoi An on foot.(B, L)

day 5After a leisurely breakfast, drive to Hue, over the spectacular Hai Van Mountain Pass and by the famous azure waters of Lan Co Bay. After a midday at leisure, end the day with a truly special dinner at Tha Om. At the home of Pham Ba Vinh, of royal heritage, be regaled with stories of the former Vietnamese royal family in the atmospheric replica of a 19th century Hue residence. Enjoy a sumptuous dinner in the beautiful gardens as the sun sets over the lotus ponds. (B, D)

day 6This morning, enter the ancient Forbidden City, the former capital of the Tay Son Dynasty. Located on the north bank of the Huong (Perfume) River, the huge complex offers a spectacular view into the lives of Vietnam's emperors. This focus is continued with a visit to the tomb of Minh Mang. In the afternoon, try your hand at enamel painting with a visit to local artist Do Huu Triet.

day 7Transfer to Hue airport for your flight to the bustling and energetic Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), where a short drive will bring you to the Cu Chi Tunnels. Get a sense of life during the Vietnam War by exploring the 250 km of hand-built tunnels that provided refuge for villagers and Viet Cong. (B)

day 8Start the day with a tour of Old Saigon's streets and its iconic buildings, including the Opera House, Central Post Office and Thien Hau Pagoda. Visit sites from wartime Saigon, starting at the Reunification Palace, site of the symbolic ending of the war in 1975, before visiting the emotive War Remnant's Museum which offers a perspective on the war through Vietnamese eyes. (B)

day 9Start the day with a morning at leisure and a chance to explore local shops and markets before you embark on your cruise ship for the journey to Phnom Penh. Set sail along the storied Mekong river for four nights of adventure. (B, D)

day 10Awake on the river and enjoy breakfast in the communal dining room overlooking the Southern Mekong. Split your time between the ship and a multitude of off-boat activities. Specific itineraries differ, depending on your choice of cruise. (B, L, D)

day 11Stop at rural villages along the Mekong and learn about the unique subsistence lifestyles of the floating villagers, who spend their entire lives on the water. Cross the border into Cambodia and continue towards the capital city of Phnom Penh, which was once known as the ‘Pearl of Asia’. (B, L, D)

day 12As we cruise further South, we head by skiff towards the shore for a visit to the intricately carved Prek Bongkong Pagoda with its upturned naga wingtips and angels appearing to hold up the pitched Khmer roof. Visit a Silk Island village to watch local weavers as they produce shimmering Khmer silk accessories.

day 13Dock at the Phnom Penh Pier before disembarking mid-morning and transferring to your hotel. In the afternoon, take in the shimmering spires of the Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda along the waterfront, perhaps ending the afternoon with a cocktail–we recommend the lychee martini–at the Foreign Correspondent's Club.

day 14This morning you will weave through Phnom Penh´s colorful streets exploring some of our favorite hidden gems by traditional transportation method: the cyclo. In the afternoon, gain some insights into Cambodia┤s recent tragic history under the Khmer Rouge with visits to the Killing Fields and Tuol Sleng (S-21) Prison. (B)

day 15A morning flight will bring you 45 minutes North to Siem Reap, heart of the ancient Cambodian capital city of Angkor. This afternoon, enjoy your first taste of Angkor with a visit to Banteay Kdei temple, followed by sunset drinks on the moat of Angkor Thom, a world away from the tourist crowds. (B)

day 16Rise early to spend a magical day at the temples, following our well researched crowd avoidance itinerary, including Ta Prohm of ‘Tomb Raider’ fame. Have breakfast at the secluded forest temple of Ta Nei or overlooking the royal baths of Srah Srang. After a midday break, experience Angkor Thom, the largest city in the pre–industrial world. End the day at the mysterious Bayon with its captivating stone faces. (B)

day 17Aboard our private, custom wooden boat, Ella , visit the Tonle Sap lake, the richest freshwater fishing grounds in the world, to experience one of the authentic floating villages. Enjoy breakfast on the lake while absorbing the atmosphere, rich culture, and bird life of the Tonle Sap. (B)

day 18 Motor through the pre-dawn darkness to see the sunrise over Angkor Wat as we guide you to the best photo vantage points. Explore the temple in the hours immediately after sunrise when the temple is at its quietest. This afternoon take a journey of discovery by boat, ox-cart and on foot to visit villages little changed since the days of Jayavarman VII. End the day with a cocktail at ABOUTAsia´s country villa Chandara. Dine on sumptuous Cambodian cuisine on the terrace overlooking the emerald rice fields. (B, D)

day 19A private transfer will take you to the airport for your departure flight.


  • Hanoi’s Old Quarter
  • Old Town Hoi An
  • Hue’s Forbidden City and Imperial Tombs
  • Tour wartime Saigon including the War Remnants Museum
  • Luxury Cruise Along the Mekong—Saigon to Phnom Penh
  • Gem of Phnom Penh by cyclo
  • The ancient city and temples of Angkor
  • Experiential dining at ABOUTAsia's private villa Chandara



Hanoi: La Siesta Hotel

Hoi An: Victoria Beach Resort

Hue: Saigon Morin

Saigon: Liberty Central

Mekong River Cruise: Aqua Mekong

Phnom Penh: Arunreas

Siem Reap: Shinta Mani Resort

Low Season: $8,479 per person
02 May - 30 July

Shoulder Season: $10,419 per person
01 Aug - 30 Sep

High Season: $10,535 per person
01 Oct - 31 Mar

Peak Season surcharges may apply

Prices are in US dollars and are based on 2 people sharing a room


Hanoi: Metropole

Hoi An: Nam Hai

Hue: La Residence

Saigon: Park Hyatt

Mekong River Cruise: Aqua Mekong

Phnom Penh: Raffles Le Royal

Siem Reap: Raffles Grand Hotel d'Angkor

Low Season: $10,144 per person
02 May - 30 July

Shoulder Season: $12,085 per person
01 Aug - 30 Sep

High Season: $12,505 per person
01 Oct - 31 Mar

Peak Season surcharges may apply

Prices are in US dollars and are based on 2 people sharing a room

Hotel message