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Journey along one of the world's greatest rivers, the mighty Mekong - discovering a land of forgotten temples, enigmatic cities and emerald green landscapes.
Depart London on your scheduled, overnight flight to Siem Reap international airport.
On arrival you will be met by your guide and transferred to your hotel. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure to relax by the pool before enjoying a welcome dinner.
A full day tour of the ancient ruins in the Angkor area starts at the South Gate of Angkor Thom, famous for its series of colossal human faces carved in stone. Explore the impressive Bayon temple with its countless sculptural decorations before continuing to the famous Angkor Wat. Constructed in the 12th century and covering an area of around 210 hectares, this architectural masterpiece contains pavilions, courtyards and large ponds reflecting the towering temple. The nearby jungle covered temple of Ta Prohm is an incredible sight with enormous fig trees and gigantic creepers growing through the structure's stone foundations. Return to your hotel for dinner.
This morning you will transfer to Tonle Sap, a designated UNESCO Biosphere. Containing more fish than any other lake in the world, it is also home to an incredible variety of birds including many rare and endangered species of storks, ibises and cranes. Here you will board your cruise ship, which will be your home for the next seven nights. The French colonial style vessel oozes the elegance of the Art Nouveau period in Paris and offers unrivalled comfort and luxury on board. As the cruise begins, take the afternoon to relax as you meander through the waters. The ship will moor overnight on the lake where you will experience the stillness of the surroundings, lit by the moon and the radiance of the stars.
The cruise will set sail before dawn as the sun begins slowly rising above the lake. Cruising along the Mekong to Kampong Tralach, you will disembark to enjoy an ox-cart ride. Then travel by coach to Oudong, the royal capital of Cambodia from 1618 until 1866, to visit the monastery for a unique Buddhist blessing experience before returning to the ship.
Wake to embark on a trip to the little-known copper manufacturing village of Koh Chen where residents have been perfecting a craft handed down to them over generations. Cruising on you will enjoy dinner and moor overnight on the ship midstream near Phnom Penh.
Setting sail this morning, the ship will soon reach Phnom Penh, once described as 'The Paris of the East'. Despite the city's rapid development, it has retained much of its rustic charm and French colonial allure. Following breakfast, transfer for a tour of the dynamic and historical capital city. Begin at the dazzling white and gold edifice of the Royal Palace as well as the Silver Pagoda, whose floor is made from over 5,000 silver tiles and houses an emerald encrusted Buddha. After lunch, visit the infamous Killing Fields for a history on the genocide that transpired during Cambodia's Khmer Rouge regime under Pol Pot. After dinner back on board the ship you will have some free time where you may like to step out for an evening walk around this fascinating capital.
Cruising along the main Mekong Channel's international shipping route you can choose to take in a fruit-carving demonstration by one of the chefs on board whilst the crew complete the necessary paperwork for the border crossing. Entering Vietnam, the ship will moor for dinner and overnight.
Today you will transfer to a small boat to travel along the tiny tributaries that snake around Tan Chau, visiting remote islands to witness authentic rural Mekong life where local inhabitants live on houses poised on high stilts. Later, venture ashore for a wonderful rickshaw tour of Tan Chau town passing local artisan workshops and markets. Back on board your ship this afternoon, you might choose to attend a lecture on Vietnam in your ship's lounge or relax and socialise.
This morning's excursion is to the charming colonial town of Sa Dec for a guided sightseeing tour. Famous for its beautiful flower gardens, the small, sleepy town is truly a hidden gem in the Mekong Delta. Passing authentic markets and examples of colonial architecture you will return to your ship in time for lunch. This afternoon, the cruise will arrive in the atmospheric town of Cai Be where you will start your tour at the busy, vivid, floating market where around 500 boats filled with fruits and vegetables are brought by locals to trade along the network of rivers. After discovering the nearby canals, lush landscapes and rustic life along the river, you will go ashore to see the French Gothic Cathedral and visit a local rice paper manufacturer. This evening, head back to the ship for a tranquil night cruise towards My Tho. Celebrate the end of the Mekong cruise with a farewell dinner on board before spending your last evening on the waters.
Arriving into My Tho this morning on the upper Mekong River, the crew will bid you farewell as your Mekong cruise comes to a close. Here your land transport will transfer you to your hotel in Saigon.
This morning travel to the underground village of Cu Chi and discover the incredible and complex underground network of tunnels, stretching for 200 kilometres, where the Viet Cong lived and fought during the war. On the return journey you will pass through rural farming communities before arriving back into Saigon where a half day tour of the city will commence, visiting all the major sights including the Cathedral, Reunification Palace and the lively Ben Thanh market. Dinner will be served in a local restaurant where you can enjoy your last evening with the group.
Today is left at leisure before your evening flight back to London.
The Vietnamese Government have instated a visa exemption period for citizens of the UK who travel before 30/06/18. The visa exemption is valid for stays of up to 15 days in Vietnam. To be valid for the exception your passport must be valid for at least 6 months at the time of entry. Stays of longer than 15 days, stays beyond 30/06/18 or travellers undertaking multiple entries to Vietnam will still require a visa. We work closely with The Travel Visa Company who will be able to arrange this visa for you on your behalf. Please call them on 01270 250 590 and quote 'Mercury Holidays'. The cost of the visa is approximately £98.50. The visas take around 10 working days to issue and are only valid for three months from the date of entry. Therefore we recommend that you apply for your visa 8 weeks before travel, however, please be aware that your passport will be required for the application so make sure you will not need it during this time. Alternatively, you can visit the Embassy of Vietnam in London: 12-14 Victoria Road, London, W8 5RD. Travellers from countries other than the UK should contact the Embassy of Vietnam to check their status. If you choose to book the Temples of Cambodia extension before the Hoi An Beach Stay extension then you will require a multi entry visa for Vietnam.
You must obtain suitable travel insurance prior to departure. Mercury Holidays is partnered with Holiday Extras which offer insurance at the following prices:
|Age in Years||Up to 64||65 - 74||75 - 85|
|Up to 17 days cover||£42||£79||£135|
If booking more than 10 weeks before departure a deposit of €300pp will need to be paid at the time of booking with the full amount payable at 10 weeks prior to departure. The deposit applies to adults and children. If you are within 10 weeks of travel then the full balance of the holiday will be payable.
All flights are operated by Vietnam Airlines. Each passenger is entitled to 20kg of hold luggage & hand luggage of 5kg not exceeding 56cm x 36cm x 23cm in size. Flight times are for guidance only & subject to change.
It is your responsibility to check any health and vaccination requirements applicable to your booked arrangements. We can only provide general information about this. Health and hygiene facilities and disease risks vary from country to country. You should take health advice about your own needs as early as possible and in good time before your departure. Sources of information include; www.fco.gov.uk, http://travelhealthpro.org.uk/, www.hpa.org.uk, your General Practitioner or a specialist clinic.
This tour is accessible to most people with an average level of fitness and normal mobility. It involves full days of sightseeing, often on foot, and includes some climbing of stairs and getting on and off coaches and boats. This tour is not suitable for anyone with walking difficulties.
The minimum number of travellers in your group will be 10, and the maximum will be 92. If in the unlikely event the tour does not go ahead then you may be asked to change to a different date. A full refund will be made available to you should this alternative not be suitable.
This is a fully escorted tour with local guides throughout ensuring that you have first-hand knowledge throughout.
The currency in Vietnam is the Vietnamese Dong, known as VND. You can exchange your currency in Vietnam, however US Dollars are widely accepted in Vietnam should you wish to keep an alternative currency on you. The currency in Cambodia is the Cambodian Riel, known as AHR. You can exchange your currency in Cambodia, however US Dollars are widely accepted in Cambodia should you wish to keep an alternative currency on you.
You will need to take some extra money with you to cover any personal purchases, such as souvenirs, laundry and extra drinks and snacks. Approximately £200 - £400 will be sufficient for the duration of the tour, depending on how much of a bargain-hunter you are!
|Depart UK||Arrive UK||Price|
|13 Jan 2018||25 Jan 2018||€3409pp|
|10 Feb 2018||22 Feb 2018||€3409pp|
|24 Feb 2018||08 Mar 2018||€3409pp|
|10 Mar 2018||22 Mar 2018||€3266pp|
|24 Mar 2018||05 Apr 2018||€3299pp|
|07 Apr 2018||19 Apr 2018||€2914pp|
Unfortunately we do not have any places with no single supplements on this tour, however if you are happy to share with another passenger of the same gender then let us know at the time of booking and we will endeavour to find you a travelling partner. Alternatively please ask about our single supplement prices in order to book your own twin room.
Weather can vary quite considerably throughout the year, so please familiarise yourself with the climate charts below.
Extend your trip in Vietnam with a 4 night stay on the stunning beach just outside Hoi An, a beautifully authentic town where hundreds of tailors line the narrow low-rise streets and riverside cafes overlook the waterside edge.
This add-on must be taken at the end of the main tour.
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