MEKONG RIVER CRUISE 2020

The Journey Land Tours Included In Your All-Inclusive River Cruise Holiday!

 

 

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Featuring Special Guest Historian Dr. Jean-Michel Filippi, PhD:

Dr. Jean-Michel Filippi is a professor of Khmer linguistics in the royal university of Phnom Penh. He is the author of numerous books about Kammerer language and Cambodian ethnic minorities and is recognized as an authority on the flow of languages, history and cultural traditions of Indochina. He is also written several book about Cambodia, Vietnam and the surrounding regions.

The Journey

Day 1 (Monday): Arrive Saigon / Ho Chi Min City (HCM) – check in to hotel

Airport meet & transfer to 5* hotel Saigon / Ho Chi Min City. Check-in starting from 1400. Dinner 20:00 (box dinner will be available for those arriving later in the evening).

Overnight in Saigon / Ho Chi Min City

 

Day 2 (Tuesday) – Saigon / Ho Chi Min City – My Tho

​Breakfast, morning check-out and morning sight-seeing tour of Ho Chi Min City. Formerly known as Saigon when it was the capital of French Cochinchine, Ho Chi Minh City today is a pulsating megacity of close to 13 million people. Though it has rapidly developed into a cosmopolitan city with skyscrapers and international shopping centres, there are remnants of its past visible in its historic landmarks and beautiful French colonial buildings. The city exudes a constant buzz with millions of scooters and people on the go.

​After lunch we bid farewell to the hustle and bustle of Saigon and travel 70 kilometers southwards by land to My Tho where we embark our luxury floating home for the upcoming journey along the Might Mekong. Check-in, orientation & dinner.

 

Day 3 (Wednesday): Binh Thanh – My An Hung

After breakfast, we embark on a local boat to reach shore and our tour Binh Thanh Island. Here, every villager is involved in the process of making rattan mats. We will finish the village tour with a Q&A session with the village elders – be ready with any questions you may have about Vietnamese history and culture. Excursion from 0900-1130.

After lunch, at 1500 we will go on shore at My An Hung for a walking tour of the village and then meet a local couple who will welcome us to their home and perform Mekong traditional music. An exciting dragon dance show will follow and exotic fruits tasting.

Returning to the boat, we will have a riverbank party (or onboard) with drinks and snacks and end the afternoon’s activities at about 1800

Lecture and Q&A by Dr. Jean Michel Fillipe – “Vietnam and Cambodia. From the origins to modern history” from 18:30-1930.

Evening Program 21:15

Tea/coffee served at the bar from 0600, Tai chi 0630 Breakfast 0730, lunch 1230, Afternoon Tea 1600, and dinner 1930.

​The ship will sail overnight to Vietnam to reach Tan Chau at 0800.

 

​Day 4 (Thursday) Tan Chau – Border crossing – Phnom Penh

Welcome to the fish sanctuary of Vietnam. Begin your day with a hearty breakfast at the dining room. When reaching the shore, via local boat, for our first excursion of the day brace yourself for a ride on local vehicles called “xeloi” to explore Tan Chau, a pleasant town near the Cambodian border. We will also visit the colorful local market near an ancient temple. We will also discover a temple of a unique Vietnamese religion – Cao Dai – the third largest religion in Vietnam. Cao Dai uses ethical precepts from Confucianism, occult practices from Taoism, theories of Karma and Rebirth from Buddhism, and a hierarchical organization (including a Pope) from Christianity. Officially established in the city of Tây Ninh in southern Vietnam in 1926 it is a very new religion. Back to the pier and before returning to the boat for lunch we will explore floating villages and rustic catfish farms. Excursion from 0830-1130.

Back to the Jayavarman for lunch.

​Afternoon border crossing and arrive Phnom Penh in the evening.

​Lecture and Q&A by Jean Michel Fillipe – “Modern Cambodian History (1953-1993)” from 1500-1630.

At 1630 Chef Andy will conduct an interactive cooking class featuring Vietnamese and Khmer dishes.

Evening Program 21:15

Tea/coffee served at the bar from 0600, Tai chi 0630 Breakfast 0730, lunch 1230, Afternoon Tea 1600, and dinner 1930.

 

​Day 5 (Friday): Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh was once known as the Paris of the East. Despite its rapid development, it has retained a lot of its rustic charm and elegance. Sightseeing in the morning will include the Killing Fields and the S21 Prison. Be prepared to be heart wrenched by this stark reminder of the genocide that transpired during Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge regime. Excursion from 0800-1200.

Back to the Jayavarman for lunch.

After lunch, we will first visit with the local Jewish community of Phnom Penh, synagogue and Mikveh (Mincha at the synagogue), then we visit the Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda. Excursion from 1330-1645.

We return to the ship through the busy street of Phnom Penh by “cyclo”– a traditional vehicle – after our palace visit onboard by 16:45.

Prepare for Shabbat: Candle lighting: 18:09

Tea/coffee served at the bar from 0600, Tai chi 0630 Breakfast 0730, lunch 1230, afternoon tea 17:00, and dinner 1930.

The Ship will dock overnight in Phnom Penh.

 

Day 6 (Saturday – Shabbat): Shabbat Phnom Penh

Shabbat on board – Morning Davening

*Guest are free to disembark at leisure to explore the city at leisure throughout the day, local markets are in close walking proximity to our dock.

After lunch, Lecture and Q&A by Dr. Jean Michel Fillipe – “Modern Vietnamese History: an introduction (1945 – 1988)” from 1400-1530.

The staff will demonstrate and model various traditional Khmer costumes, from 1600-1700.

Motze Shabbos: Enjoy a special dance performance from 1945-20:30 – Apsara. Experience the brilliance and richness of this culture, the soothing sounds of traditional music, the calming scent of incense sticks followed by BBQ dinner on the sundeck is served at 20:45. It is indeed a truly marvelous experience, dining in the open with the stars and the moon as our companions.

During dinner 21:00 the chief Rabbi of Phnom Penh will come on board for a talk on the local Jewish community and modern Jewry of Southeast Asia.

​Evening entertainment Apsara show

Tea/coffee served at the bar from 0600, Light Breakfast 0730, Kiddush / lunch 1200, reception 1800 and dinner 2030.

The Ship will dock overnight in Phnom Penh.

 

Day 7 (Sunday): Phnom Penh – Kampong Tralach – Kampong Chhnang

Before the sun peeks over the horizon, we set sail at 0500 towards Kampong Tralach and the Tonle River – an amazingly narrow river – which glides through leafy swaths of the Southeast Asian jungle. We are greeted by cacophonous sounds of children who wave enthusiastically early in the morning when they bring their livestock for a bath in the meandering Tonle River. Our morning excursion begins with a visit to the local schoolhouse and talk with the kids, they are very eager to practice their English. To return to the boat experience something we are quite sure you have never done – riding ox carts. Excursion from 0830-1100.

Back on board for lunch whilst cruising the narrow and meandering Tonle River. We approach Kampong Chhnang, Cambodia’s “water world” where everything is on stilts balanced on water rich soil. Here we take a van along the paddy fields to discover Khmer-styled pottery making and sugar palm processing at the Aundaung Russey village. Then, it is back to the river bank for an adventurous excursion to the wetlands, floating houses and fish farms in the region. Excursion from 1500-1730.

Before dinner our Cambodian tour guide will conduct a presentation – “Geography of the mighty Mekong and Tonle Sap” from 1830-1915.

Evening Program 21:15

Tea/coffee served at the bar from 0600, Tai chi 0630 Breakfast 0730, lunch 1230, afternoon tea 17:00, and dinner 1930.

 

​Day 8 (Monday): Angkok Ban – Kampong Cham

In the morning we will tour the rural Angkor Ban village where time stands still. We are transported back a hundred years into an era unsullied by modernity. The houses here are truly rustic, made by hand and without any concrete. But most of all, we feel overwhelmed by the unbridled warmth of the villagers. Excursion from 0900-1130.

​During lunch we cruise towards Kampong Cham. At Kampong Cham children from the local OBT Project will perform for us in Chiro village which we will reach by bus. Organization for Basic Training (OBT) is a Cambodian NGO, which provides free-of-charge English, mathematics, traditional music and dance classes to the children from Chiro village to improve their chances of going on to higher education, increase their employment prospects and provide them with a safe environment to play and grow.

Later that afternoon time permitting we travel by road to the enchanting pre-Angkorian temple of Wat Hanchey (7th century). This small complex sits on a hill top right on the shore with breath-taking views on the Mekong. Another temple on the way is the tiny, colorful monastery of Wat Nokor. Here we might get the chance to engage in a light banter with some of the monks living in the area. Excursion from 1430-1630.

At 1800 will be a farewell party with staff

After dinner we will present a slideshow of photos taken throughout the cruise.

Tea/coffee served at the bar from 0600, Tai chi 0630 Breakfast 0730, lunch 1230, Afternoon Tea 1600, and dinner 1930.

The ship will dock overnight in Kampong Cham.

Evening Program 21:15

 

​Day 9 (Tuesday): Kampong Cham – Disembarkation – Siem Reap

Breakfast on board a bit earlier than previous days at 0700, then everyone will check out and settle bills. Departure from the boat at 0830. – the bus transfer will take about 4 hours to the drop off point in Siem Reap (Raffles Hotel) – arrival time for check-in about 1345. A box lunch will be served along the journey which will include a short rest stop along the way.

Tea/coffee served at the bar from 0600, Breakfast 0700, box lunch on the bus.

Arrive for check-in Siem Reap at approximately 1345, check-in for those joining us for the tour extension and refreshments.

*Those guests who will not be joining us for our extension have the options of transfer to the international airport or drop off at Raffels Hotel upon arrival in Siem Reap. Guests departing June 30 will be supplied with a box dinner in Siem Reap for their journey home.

 
SIEM REAP POST – TOUR

Day 9 (Tuesday): Siem Reap

Arrive Siem Reap and the Raffels Hotel for check-in at approximately 1345, check-in and refreshments.Famous Angor Wat Sunset Tour depart 16:00, arrive 16:30 (sunset 18:30): Visit to Angkor Wat, one of the modern wonders of the world. Be amazed by the sheer size of the temple and learn how the Khmer Empire prospered between the 9th and 13th centuries, around the time when Angkor Wat was built. Stroll through the intricately carved hallways that show hundreds of fine carvings and discover small shrines still in use today by the local people. At sunset experience the “Famous Sunset Over Angor Wat”, face the temple complex with the sun behind you as light reflects off the lake for the perfect mirror image of Angor Wat. Continue your tour of the complex then return to the hotel for dinner. Dinner 19:30

Day 10 (Wednesday): Explore Ancient Angkor Thom & Ta Prohm

Today, explore the ancient walled city of Angkor Thom, the former great capital of the Khmer Empire from late 12th century until its ultimate decline in the 15th century. Inside the compound, you will be able to visit some of the most mysterious and fascinating structures of the Angkor complex. Start this morning entering the city by the impressive 23-meter-high South Gate and head to Bayon temple. With its 37 towers and enigmatic smiling faces, it is one of the most emblematic temples. Once your guide has shared with you its knowledge and secrets, continue to Baphuon and learn more about the gigantic project of conservation it has undergone to get back at its monumental appearance. Then join the Terrace of Elephants and the Terrace of the Leper King via Phimeanakas, a small yet wonderful temple hidden in a multi-century old forest behind the terraces. Depart hotel at 0845.

12:00 back in town for lunch and relax before going back at 13:30 to visit the world-famous masterpieces that are Ta Prohm. Enter Ta Prohm by the west gate and be amazed by its detailed and refined bas-reliefs along with the presence of giant trees and roots that are slowly taking over the stones. Return to hotel by 17:00

Evening we will depart for the famous Phare Circus 19:45. Phare Circus works mainly with disadvantaged young people. They learn circus skills, theatre performance, music and a range of visual arts. It combines local traditions with new creative and innovative genres. Daring athleticism is combined with stories that speak powerfully to Cambodia’s not-too-distant history; for example, escape from tyranny is depicted through tightrope walking. The dark subject of a young girl trying to deal with memories of atrocities, is depicted by breathtaking acrobatics in which seemingly impossible goals are achieved. More than simply a circus, Phare is an amazing blend of traditional and modern theatre, music, dance, acrobatics, juggling and contortion beautifully choreographed and performed in a story about Cambodian lives and society.

Return to our hotel 21:00 as we spend our last night together on the exceptional journey.

Tea/coffee served from 0600, Breakfast 0730, lunch 1230, dinner 1815

Day 11 (Thursday): Depart Siem Reap

Depart Siem Reap, hotel check-out by 12:00. You will be transferred by private transport to the airport for your departing flight approximately 3 hours prior to flight departure time. Late check-out or day room extension stays may be requested and paid directly to the hotel for those with later flights. Space based on availability and at the discretion of the hotel.

Tea/coffee served at the bar from 0600, Breakfast 0730, box lunches / dinners provided

*Although it is our intention to operate the itinerary as detailed proposal, we cannot be held responsible for any last-minute changes that might occur. It may be necessary to make some changes because of climatic conditions, alterations to cruise schedules or other operational factors.

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Call Us: USA +1 310-237-0122

Call Us Toll Free USA: 800-923-2645

Office hours are 9:00am to 5:00pm PST

Israel: 052 836 2661

United Kingdom: 020 3393 6823

 

Fax us: USA (888) 589-6498
E-mail: info@kosherrivercruise.com

Web: kosherrivercruise.com

 

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