Ho Chi Minh to Bangkok River Cruise - Avalon Cruises

Fascinating Vietnam, Cambodia & the Mekong River with Luang Prabang – Northbound 2016

17 Day River Cruise from Ho Chi Minh City to Bangkok

2016 Information. Switch to 2017 »

Immerse yourself in fascinating cultures and ancient traditions as you embark on an inspiring journey through Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. Along the way, learn more about the history of each country, marvel at spectacular scenery, and interact with the friendly locals. This is a journey that will create memories you won’t soon forget!

Begin in bustling Ho Chi Minh City, with sightseeing including the Cu Chi Tunnels—a vast network of tunnels used by the Viet Cong. You will also partake in a hands-on Vietnamese cooking class. Then, start your cruise on the Mekong River, the thread that connects the people of Southeast Asia. Visit a colorful local market, a fish farm, and a local establishment to see how rice paper and traditional candy are made. In Phnom Penh, take a tour of the city by private cyclo, with visits to the National Museum and the Royal Palace with the stunning Silver Pagoda. Walking tours through the rural villages of Prek Bang Kong and Angkor Ban and an ox cart ride through the countryside at Kampong Tralach will grant you a memorable inside look at life along the river and interactions with the local people. In Siem Reap, visit the spectacular Angkor temple complex, whose architectural grandeur is arguably unmatched among the world’s ancient ruins. See several of the temples, including spectacular Angkor Wat and the mesmerizing faces of Bayon. Here you will also enjoy a private Apsara dance performance and will visit a development project teaching young adults traditional handicraft techniques. Finally, in Luang Prabang, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, participate in the almsgiving ceremony, visit several prominent temples and a local village to see a weaving demonstration and learn how sa paper is made from the pulp of mulberry trees.

All of this and more await you on this fabulous journey!


Dates & Prices Get A Quote Book Online

Highlights & Sightseeing

Cruise: deluxe 7-night cruise from Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap in an outside stateroom with hotel-style beds. Enjoy an intimate river cruise experience with a maximum of 36 guests on board

Day 1 Arrive Ho Chi Minh City: welcome to Vietnam

Days 2-3 Ho Chi Minh City: walking tour of the city’s landmarks; visit the famous Rex Hotel for a drink, War Remnants Museum, and Ben Thanh Market; cooking class; welcome dinner; Cu Chi Tunnels excursion

Day 4 Ho Chi Minh City (Embarkation): begin your cruise

Day 5 Cai Be–Sa Dec: visit a cathedral and see how rice paper, rice wine, and traditional candy are made in Cai Be; visit a brick factory, local market, and the ancient house of Mr. Hyynh Thuy Le in Sa Dec

Day 6 Chau Doc–Cambodian Border Crossing: visit a local fish farm and the religious sites at Sam Mountain; see a local market

Day 7 Phnom Penh: sightseeing by private cyclo including the Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda, and the National Museum; afternoon at leisure; show by children from a local orphanage

Day 8 Phnom Penh–Prek Bang Kong: visit the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and one of the Killing Fields in Phnom Penh; walking tour through Prek Bang Kong village with silk-weaving demonstration

Day 9 Wat Hanchey–Angkor Ban: visit Wat Hanchey and partake in a traditional water blessing by local monks; walking tour through Angkor Ban village with school visit

Day 10 Konpong Louang–Kampong Tralach: visit the silversmith village of Konpong Louang; ox cart ride through the countryside and visit a local farmer’s home in Kampong Tralach

Day 11 Siem Reap (Disembarkation): visit Angkor Wat & Banteay Srei

Day 12 Siem Reap: visit Angkor Thom, Bayon Temple, Ta Prohm, and Les Artisans d’Angkor; Apsara dance performance

Day 13 Siem Reap–Luang Prabang: fly to Luang Prabang; time at leisure

Day 14 Luang Prabang: participate in morning almsgiving ceremony; visit the morning market, National Museum, Wat Mai, Wat Visoun, Wat Xieng Thong, and Ban Xang Khong; weaving and sa paper-making demonstrations

Day 15 Luang Prabang: full day at leisure

Day 16 Luang Prabang–Bangkok: fly to Bangkok; time at leisure

Day 17 Bangkok: end of vacation

Special experiences by local entertainers, artisans, and experts, designed to enrich your cruise.

Enjoy a show with local song and dance performed by children from an orphanage near Phnom Penh.

Meals

American breakfast daily, 10 lunches, 9 dinners, including a welcome dinner in Ho Chi Minh City. While on board the ship, enjoy complimentary wine with dinner and complimentary coffee, tea, soft drinks, local beer, and spirits throughout the day.

NOTE:

  • During low water conditions, generally late December to June, we will not be able to sail across Tonle Sap and will fly from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap. No sightseeing will be missed.

Day-By-Day Itinerary

Day 1Arrive in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Welcome to Ho Chi Minh City, still known as Saigon to many. Hotel rooms are available for mid-afternoon check-in.

Day 2Ho Chi Minh City

This morning, enjoy a WALKING TOUR of the city’s famous and historic landmarks as you stroll through the heart of the city along Dong Khoi Street (formerly Rue Catinat) past Ho Chi Minh Square, the Municipal Theatre, the Central Post Office, and Notre Dame Cathedral. Stop at the Rex Hotel for a refreshing DRINK at the popular ROOFTOP BAR where the U.S. Military held the infamous “Five O’Clock Follies” during the war. Next, visit the WAR REMNANTS MUSEUM followed by BEN THANH MARKET, the largest and oldest in the city. For lunch, participate in a hands-on VIETNAMESE COOKING CLASS. Head into the classroom and learn how to prepare different local dishes and the techniques necessary to recreate them once you return home. Last but not least, sample your delicious creations! The afternoon is at your leisure to explore this lively city. Tonight, enjoy a special welcome dinner. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 3Ho Chi Minh City. Excursion To Cu Chi Tunnels

This morning, leave the city and drive through vast expanses of rice paddies to visit the CU CHI TUNNELS, an extraordinary network of tunnels more than 120 miles in length that was used by the Viet Cong as a hideout and secret village during the war. Here you will learn about how the tunnels were constructed and have a chance to walk through a section to experience what life would have been like underground. Return to Ho Chi Minh City and enjoy the rest of the afternoon and evening at your leisure. Maybe stop at the famous Rex Hotel for a drink and sweeping views of the city. (Breakfast)

Day 4Ho Chi Minh City (Embarkation)

This morning, transfer to the port on the Saigon River and board your river cruise vessel to start your CRUISE up the Mekong River through Vietnam and Cambodia. Get acquainted with the ship and relax before your welcome reception this evening. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 5Cruising: Cai Be–Sa Dec

This morning, board a sampan for a scenic cruise though Cai Be Harbor, passing the city’s beautiful French Gothic cathedral. First stop is a local establishment to see how rice paper, rice wine, and traditional candies are made. Then, take a walk through town to visit the beautiful CATHEDRAL. After lunch on the ship, reboard sampans and enjoy scenes of daily life along the river near Sa Dec. Stop at a BRICK FACTORY to see workers forming the clay bricks that fill the local landscape. Here, you will also learn about the importance of the rice husk in fueling the brick kilns. Next, visit the ancient HOUSE OF MR. HUYNH THUY LE, the lover of French novelist Marguerite Duras and inspiration for the film L’Amant (The Lover), directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud. Afterward, walk through the LOCAL MARKET and absorb the atmosphere as locals are busy buying and selling fish, meat, and produce. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 6Cruising: Chau Doc–Cambodian Border Crossing

Board a sampan for sightseeing around Chau Doc. Along the way you will see scenes of local life, including traditional Vietnamese floating markets and villages. Learn about some of the different species of fish living in the Mekong and see how traditional fishing nets are thrown at a LOCAL FISH FARM. Then, continue down the backwaters of the Mekong to the religious sites at the base of SAM MOUNTAIN. You will also stop to see a LOCAL MARKET where shop owners sell a variety of dried goods. Return to the ship for lunch and head for the Cambodian border. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 7Cruising: Phnom Penh

The capital city of Phnom Penh retains its French charm to this day. This morning, your sightseeing tour by private cyclo includes visits to the ROYAL PALACE with the spectacular SILVER PAGODA and the NATIONAL MUSEUM, featuring an outstanding display of Khmer artifacts. The remainder of the day is at your leisure to enjoy the city. Just before dinner, children from a local orphanage will put on a SHOW featuring local song and dance. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 8Cruising: Phnom Penh–Prek Bang Kong

Sightseeing this morning provides a glimpse of the atrocities inflicted on the Cambodian people by the Khmer Rouge regime. Visit the TUOL SLENG GENOCIDE MUSEUM, a former high school that housed over 17,000 prisoners. Of this number, it is believed that fewer than 15 survived the torture and avoided being sent to the Killing Fields. You will also visit one of the KILLING FIELDS, where over 200,000 people were killed by the Khmer Rouge. After lunch, visit the village of PREK BANG KONG, where silk weaving is a well-preserved tradition. Spend time at one house for a SILK WEAVING DEMONSTRATION and to learn more about how silk is produced. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 9Cruising: Wat Hanchey–Angkor Ban

This morning, visit WAT HANCHEY, a temple dating back to the 8th century and the Chenla Empire. Located on a hilltop, enjoy stunning views of the surrounding area and partake in a TRADITIONAL WATER BLESSING given by local monks. After lunch, enjoy a WALKING TOUR through the rural village of Angkor Ban. Here you will see traditional Khmer houses and visit a LOCAL SCHOOL. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

NOTE:
The climb to Wat Hanchey features a steep incline. If you feel you are unable to make the climb, you will be driven to the top by car.

Day 10Cruising: Konpong Louang–Kampong Tralach

Today, start your sightseeing at the SILVERMITH VILLAGE of Konpong Louang. Here you will see talented craftsmen use age-old techniques to turn pure silver into works of art. Continue on to Kampong Tralach for an OX CART RIDE past rice paddy fields and the beautiful Cambodian countryside. Along the way, stop to MEET A LOCAL FARMER and learn about his daily life. Return to the ship for lunch. This afternoon, cruise up the Tonle River to Tonle Sap (Great Lake). After the rainy season, this massive body of water can cover around 10,000 square miles and is the perfect breeding ground for fish, which play a vital role in providing food for people living on the lake. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

NOTE:
During low water conditions, generally mid-December to August, we will not be able to cruise up the Tonle River to Tonle Sap. Low water conditions vary from year to year, depending on rainfall so this will be evaluated on a cruise-by-cruise basis.

Day 11Cruising: Siem Reap (Disembarkation)

This morning, arrive in Siem Reap and start your sightseeing of the TEMPLES OF ANGKOR, considered by many to be the most spectacular architectural ruins on Earth! Constructed between the 9th and 13th centuries, the temples were built around the Khmer interpretations of Indian religious and political beliefs that ultimately evolved from Hinduism to Buddhism. The complex architectural grandeur of the Angkor temples is arguably unmatched among ancient ruins anywhere in the world. First, visit the best preserved and most famous of all the temples: ANGKOR WAT, honoring the Hindu god Vishnu. Featuring five trademark towers and stunning bas reliefs, it has become a symbol of Cambodia. Then, visit BANTEAY SREI, a unique temple dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. Unlike other temples, it is built on a small scale from red sandstone, which can be carved like wood. This evening is at leisure to explore charming Siem Reap—or stay to witness sunset at Angkor Wat! (Breakfast, Lunch)

NOTE:
During low water conditions, generally mid-December to August, we will not be able to cruise across Tonle Sap to Siem Reap. In these cases, we will fly from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap and sightseeing will begin in the afternoon. No included sightseeing will be missed. Low water conditions vary from year to year so this will be evaluated on a cruise-by-cruise basis.

Day 12Siem Reap

Today, continue your sightseeing of the Angkor temples by tuk-tuk. Start at ANGKOR THOM where you will explore BAYON TEMPLE. One of the few Buddhist temples in Angkor, it features some 200 striking faces carved in 54 towers and impressive bas reliefs. Next stop is TA PROHM, which, unlike the other temples, has been left relatively untouched. Tree roots grow over and through the ruin walls, allowing you to experience the temple with the same wonder as the early explorers who discovered it. Lastly, stop at LES ARTISANS D’ANGKOR, a development project teaching young adults traditional handicraft techniques. The rest of the afternoon is at your leisure. This evening, enjoy a PRIVATE APSARA DANCE PERFORMANCE, where the ancient Khmer culture is brought to life by talented dancers, singers, and musicians. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Day 13Siem Reap–Luang Prabang, Laos

Today, fly to Luang Prabang. (Breakfast)

Day 14Luang Prabang

Today, enjoy a full day of sightseeing in this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Begin your morning by witnessing the Tak Bat (almsgiving ceremony), with a visit to a local market. Each morning before dawn, Buddhist monks don their distinctive saffron-colored robes and walk through the streets to collect alms (offerings of food). This is a truly memorable sight you will not soon forget as you personally present alms to the monks and receive their blessings. Afterward, walk through the colorful morning market on the banks of the Mekong River in the center of town and watch as locals buy and sell their produce and meats. Then visit the NATIONAL MUSEUM, formerly the Royal Palace. Nearby is WAT MAI, famous for its 5-tiered roof built in the traditional style of Luang Prabang. You will also visit WAT VISOUN and WAT XIENG THONG, often thought to be the most beautiful wat, or monastery, in the city. This afternoon, visit the village of BAN XANG KHONG. Here you will witness a WEAVING DEMONSTRATION and learn about how sa paper is made by hand from the pulp of mulberry trees. (Breakfast, Lunch)

Day 15Luang Prabang

Enjoy a full-day at your leisure. (Breakfast)

Day 16Luang Prabang–Bangkok, Thailand

Today, transfer to the airport and fly to Bangkok. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel for the night. (Breakfast)

Day 17Bangkok

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (Breakfast)

Ship Details

Siem Reap

Siem Reap

The all-suite Avalon Siem Reap, one of our incredible new Suite Ships®, was specifically designed to offer the best river cruise experience on the Mekong River. She is the only ship in the industry cruising from Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap* (or vice versa) eliminating hours of motorcoach travel time, which means you enjoy more cruising along the Mekong River!

The ship has been meticulously crafted to offer all the modern features you expect, yet it retains the colonial charm fitting to Vietnam and Cambodia. While the number of guests on the ship may be small, the ship isn't. Built as long and wide as other ships that carry twice as many guests, the public spaces never feel congested. From the air-conditioned Panorama Lounge to the open-air observation lounge, there is plenty of seating and spots to relax. Plus, our lounges are located at the front of the ship, not the back, so no matter where you sit you'll always have a great view.

Our crew embodies the spirit of you first, no matter what. From the reception staff and bartender to wait staff and room attendant, we always deliver exquisite service that's comfortable and friendly, never stuffy! With Avalon, our ship becomes your home away from home.

*Cruising to Siem Reap is dependent on water levels.

Included Amenities

  • Air-conditioned Panorama Lounge
  • Spacious, open-seating dining room
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi access in the lounges (where signal is available)
  • Fitness Room
  • Non-smoking interior
  • Open-air observation lounge with shade system & premium lounge chairs
  • Bar serving premium spirits, wine & complimentary coffee, tea, soft drinks, and local beer/spirits throughout the day
  • Spa treatment room
  • Library and games

Staterooms & Suites

Category A & B - 245 sq. ft.
Features
  • Comfort Collection BedsSM, featuring premium mattress covers
  • Soft & firm pillows
  • Nightly turn-down service
  • 14' Wall-to-Wall Panoramic window measuring that opens to create a large Open-Air Balcony®
  • Spacious closets with shelves for ample storage
  • Alarm clock
  • Bathrobes & slippers
  • In-room safe
  • In-house telephone
  • Egyptian super-combed cotton linens, blankets & European-style duvets
  • Choice of bed configuration (two twins or one king)
  • Bedside tables with reading lamps
  • Large private bathroom featuring full shower with glass door, hairdryer, and premium bath amenities
  • Easy under-bed luggage storage
  • Writing desk/vanity with mirror & comfortable chair
  • Complimentary bottled water
  • Individual climate control
DECK PLANS

Hotels

Ho Chi Minh City
Siem Reap
Luang Prabang
Bangkok

Ho Chi Minh City

InterContinental Asiana Saigon

InterContinental Asiana Saigon Corner Ha Ba Trung St and Le Duan Blvd, Ho Chi Minh City,  Vietnam Corner Ha Ba Trung St and Le Duan Blvd
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Hotel as shown or similar
Deluxe

InterContinental Asiana Saigon is located in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City. The hotel features spacious rooms with separate bath and shower, a full service spa, outdoor pool, and a fitness center. Other amenties include three restaurants, a lounge, and a bar.

Hotel Amenities

Luggage Storage
Bar/Lounge
Beauty Salon
Pool
Concierge desk
Dry Cleaning
Fitness Room
ATM
Currency Exchange
Gift Shop
Spa Services
Elevator
Restaurant On-Site
Business Center
Parking/Valet
Room Amenities

Air Conditioning
Iron/Ironing Board
Cable/Satellite
In-Room Safe
Wake-Up Calls
Desk
Voicemail
Room Service
Mini-bar
Coffee Maker
Internet Access
Complimentary Toiletries
Alarm Clock
Window Opens
Phone
Hair Dryer
Television
Climate Control
Pay Movies
Complimentary Newspaper

Siem Reap

Park Hyatt Siem Reap

Park Hyatt Siem Reap Sivutha Blvd, Siem Reap,  Cambodia Sivutha Blvd
Siem Reap, Cambodia

Free WifiFree Wifi

Hotel as shown or similar
Deluxe

The Park Hyatt, Siem Reap is the city¿s most prestigious address and perfect base to explore the Temples of Angkor. Located in the heart of the city, this award winning hotel blends an elegant and contemporary design to create an enlivening resort and residential feel. From the second you arrive you will be welcomed by true Cambodian hospitality and superb service. The stylish guestrooms offer a refined home away from home with all the amenities one would expect from a deluxe hotel. The luxurious collection of accommodation is matched by stylish dining venues that offer fresh, flavorful, well-presented dishes of French and Indochine inspirations. Lighter fare is also offered at The Glass House, the onsite deli-patisserie. Discerning travelers will appreciate the other amenities on offer. Relax by one of the two pools or in the inviting Living Room lounge and bar, get in a work out in the fitness center, or visit The Spa for holistic therapies and treatments using only locally harvested floral and aromatic ingredients.

Hotel Amenities

Fitness Room
Restaurant On-Site
Spa Services
Bar/Lounge
Dry Cleaning
Luggage Storage
Hot Tub
Business Center
Currency Exchange
Concierge desk
Pool
Elevator
Free WiFi
Room Amenities

Non-smoking Rooms
Cable/Satellite
Mini-bar
Iron/Ironing Board
Complimentary Newspaper
Disabled Access / Rooms
Room Service
Complimentary Toiletries
Air Conditioning
Pay Movies
Hair Dryer
Coffee Maker
Phone
In-Room Safe
Climate Control
Television
Internet Access

Luang Prabang

Maison Souvannaphoum

Maison Souvannaphoum Rue Chao Fa Ngum, Banthatluang, Luang Prabang,  Laos Rue Chao Fa Ngum, Banthatluang
Luang Prabang, Laos

Hotel as shown or similar

Maison Souvannaphoum was the residence of Prince Souvannaphouma in the 1960s and 1970s, making it one of the few "historical" modernist buildings in town. The hotel exudes a distinct colonial style of solid brick structures with shuttered windows, reminiscent of French provincial buildings, added with a local touch.

Hotel Amenities

Gift Shop
Luggage Storage
Spa Services
Restaurant On-Site
Pool
Currency Exchange
Concierge desk
Beauty Salon
Room Amenities

Alarm Clock
Desk
Complimentary Toiletries
In-Room Safe
Coffee Maker
Cable/Satellite
Hair Dryer
Air Conditioning
Iron/Ironing Board
Wake-Up Calls
Complimentary Newspaper
Television
Phone
Room Service
Mini-bar
Window Opens
Internet Access

Bangkok

InterContinental Bangkok

InterContinental Bangkok 973 Ploenchit Road, Bangkok,  Thailand 973 Ploenchit Road
Bangkok, Thailand

Hotel as shown or similar

The InterContinental Bangkok located within the core of the city's business and commercial districts. Within walking distance there is a wide range of shopping and other facilities are within easy walking distance. Access to the rest of the city is easy with the adjacent BTS skytrain station. Throughout, you will appreciate impeccable service and the warm, attentive hospitality that is authentically Thai.

Hotel Amenities

Fitness Room
Beauty Salon
Parking/Valet
Business Center
Gift Shop
Pool
ATM
Spa Services
Luggage Storage
Elevator
Dry Cleaning
Currency Exchange
Restaurant On-Site
Bar/Lounge
Concierge desk
Room Amenities

Phone
Coffee Maker
Air Conditioning
Television
Cable/Satellite
Complimentary Toiletries
Room Service
Iron/Ironing Board
Desk
Internet Access
In-Room Safe
Climate Control
Voicemail
Complimentary Newspaper
Mini-bar
Wake-Up Calls
Hair Dryer

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