Vietnam & Cambodia
November 2021 • 13 Days • Price TBA**
Long mired in regional and international conflicts, Vietnam and Cambodia have entered into a period of relative stability that allow their economies to grow and flourish. Foreign travelers have since discovered the beauty and charm of a region that suffered greatly during the second half of the 20th century. The bustling Mekong Delta is the geographic phenomenon that unites these two nations, and a comfortable little ship is our platform to launch this exciting voyage of discovery up the Mekong River into Southeast Asia!
**Traveler Rewards Program: Returning travelers receive our Alumni Traveler Discount of 5-10% off the main tour price. Terms, exclusions and conditions apply. Check out our Traveler Rewards page for more details.
North Vietnam Pre-tour
November 2021 • 3-4 Days • Price TBA
A complete on-site scouting trip is planned for 2020 after which we intend to announce a new pre-tour in north Vietnam with likely visits to Hanoi, Ha Long Bay, Sa Pa, and Ha Gieng.
Now accepting Early Bird deposits on this 2021 tour! An Early Bird is a $50 deposit that holds your spot during the planning stages of a trip, when we don’t have a set itinerary or dates. Early Birds are always refundable!
Join us for our new and improved Vietnam & Cambodia tour! Imagine yourself relaxing on deck as we cruise past picturesque Vietnamese villages; walking through markets saturated with exotic sights, sound, and smells; learning firsthand the dramatic story of Cambodia; or standing amidst the awesome spectacle of the Angkor Temples. Call today to join WAI on this unforgettable, one-of-a-kind river cruise up the Mekong Delta through Cambodia & Vietnam!
- Ho Chi Minh City – bustling capital of South Vietnam
- Phnom Penh – capital of Cambodia with its Royal Palace, National Museum, and infamous “Killing Fields” of Khmer Rouge’s bloody tyranny
- Angkor Wat – medieval, otherworldly complex of temples from the mysterious Khmer Empire—today a UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Stops at fascinating riverside villages producing a plethora of memorable cultural connections, and so much more!
This is a draft itinerary. Revisions will be made, and an updated itinerary with dates and pricing will be made available!
Pricing is based on double occupancy.
- All land travel as outlined
- Airport to hotel group transfers on first and last day
- Accommodations aboard our small river cruise ship
- All breakfasts, and a selection of lunches and dinners
- Walks as listed
- Fees for walking credit
- WAI guide service throughout
- Cultural and historical expertise of our cruise manager and local guides throughout
- All tipping for local guides and coach drivers
- A limited number of single cabins are available for a supplement. We also provide a roommate matching service.
Entrance fees/admission to:
- All shore excursions and sightseeing including transportation by boat or bus
- War Remnants Museum – Ho Chi Minh City
- Cu Chi Tunnels – Ho Chi Minh City
- Reunification Palace – Ho Chi Minh City
- Visit to Thoi Son Island in local boats – My Tho
- Local boat ride from Cai Be to Vinh Long
- Visit to Cham community – Chau Doc
- National Museum – Phnom Penh
- Toul Sleng Genocide Museum – Phnom Penh
- Children’s Apsara Folklore Dance – Phnom Penh
- Royal Palace – Phnom Penh
- Pagoda Wat Kampong – Kampong Tralach
- Siem Reap city tour & silk farm
- Sunset visit to Angkor Wat – Siem Reap
- Two morning walks through the Angkor Temples – Siem Reap
- More fun stops than we can list!
This is a draft itinerary. Revisions will be made, and an updated itinerary with dates and pricing will be made available!
Click on each day to reveal more details. BLD refers to meals included – Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner.
Day 1: Arrive Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam
Welcome to Vietnam! A WAI representative will meet you at the Ho Chi Minh City Tan Son Nhat International Airport as you exit customs and arrange transportation to our hotel in downtown Ho Chi Minh City. Since travelers are arriving from across the Pacific throughout the day and into the evening, no formal activities are planned for today.
Day 2: Activities from Ho Chi Minh City (BLD)
Walk #1: Old Saigon Walk – 8 km (5 miles), rated 2A
Walking Saigon offers an intriguing kaleidoscope of traditional Vietnamese markets; the Notre Dame Cathedral – holdover from the French occupation; the War Remnants Museum, uncomfortable reminder of the painful period we know as the Vietnam War; and a blend of the hustle and bustle of 4 million motorbikes amidst a fast-paced, hard-working culture.
Day 3: Sailing: Ho Chi Minh City (BLD)
This morning, we depart for the strange and fascinating Cu Chi Tunnels. Built during the Vietnam War to protect from bombing raids, the tunnels extend underground for over 212 km and range in depth from 3 to 12 meters! They feature the remnants of a living city: schools, community kitchens, sleeping quarters, and hospitals, as well as military production facilities. In the afternoon, we visit the Presidential Palace (Reunification Palace), then board our floating hotel, a small river cruise ship. After embarkation and welcome by the crew, we enjoy our first dinner aboard as our ship sets sail from Saigon for the mighty Mekong River.
Day 4: Sailing: My Tho–Thoi Son Island, Vietnam (BLD)
Walk #2a: My Tho/Thoi Son Island Walk – 7 km (4.5 miles), rated 1B
We cross the Cho Gao canal this morning, a buzzing body of water alive with all manner of shipping on all types of watercraft! A walk in My Tho (“Fragrant Herb”) explores a busy waterfront and takes us past markets selling all manner of goods. At Thoi Son Island, small boats transfer us to the island; here, our local guide leads us through the island, where we enjoy rural life, tropical foliage, and the ever-present smiles of the people.
Day 5: Sailing: Cai Be – Sa Dec, Vietnam (BLD)
Walk #2b: Sa Dec Canal Walk – 3 km (2 miles), rated 1A
This morning we board local sampans for a ride through the fascinating Cai Be floating markets where local farmers sell and trade their wares. Our small boats continue through narrow fingers of the Mekong waterway to Vinh Long, while life unfolds all around us on the river. After lunch aboard ship, the Mekong town of Sa Dec provides another chance to explore areas foreigners never see. Our walk venue is a small canal lined by homes, tiny bonsai farms, schools, and markets. Scenes of life in small town Vietnam are timeless and delightful.
Day 6: Sailing: Chau Doc – Phnom Penh, Cambodia (BLD)
Our morning visit to Chau Doc begins with a visit to a floating village and a community of the local Cham, a Muslim minority group. Then, relax aboard ship while our vessel goes through the (sometimes lengthy) border procedures allowing us into Cambodian waters. Embarking once more, we’ll enjoy magnificent views as we continue sailing to bustling Phnom Penh, capital of Cambodia.
Day 7: Activities in Phnom Penh (BLD)
Walk #3: Phnom Penh Capital Walk – 8 km (5 miles), rated 1B
After breakfast, our walk through Phnom Penh introduces us to a city of Buddhist temples, remnants of French colonial architecture, and intriguing street activity indicative of Cambodia’s struggle to establish a new post-Khmer Rouge identity. Our walk finishes with a tour of the National Museum, repository of Cambodia’s past glories. Following lunch aboard ship, a sobering visit to Toul Sleng Genocide Museum (S21) detention, torture and execution center reminds us of the brutal Khmer Rouge years, and the seemingly endless Cambodian civil war that followed. A fun visit to the local markets precedes a tuktuk (motorcycle taxi) ride through the bustling streets of Phnom Penh. This evening, an enchanting Apsara Folklore Dance is performed for you by equally enchanting children from a local orphanage.
Day 8: Sailing: Phnom Penh – Kampong Tralach, Cambodia (BLD)
Walk #4: Kampong Tralach Walk – 6 km (3.5 miles), rated 1A
Our second morning in Phnom Penh begins with a tour of the impressive Royal Palace, with its richly ornamented Silver Pagoda. We return to the ship in time for lunch while we set sail up the Tonle Sap River for Kampong Tralach, enjoying more timeless scenes of life along the river, which seems the source of life both here and in Vietnam. The highlight here is a walk from the tiny riverside community through the countryside to a local Buddhist temple, Pagoda Wat Kampong. One stark contrast between Vietnam and Cambodia is the increase in the presence of religion in Cambodia, specifically Buddhism.
Day 9: Sailing: Kampong Chhnang – Tonle Sap Lake, Cambodia (BLD)
At Kampong Chhnang, the river narrows and we can better view the rich tapestry of rural life. Following an excursion to a neighborhood that specializes in harvesting palm sugar and producing local pottery, we return to the ship for lunch. This afternoon, we experience the floating village of Chnok Tru, a unique town completely situated on water, including the local floating school and church. This evening we enjoy our final night aboard our ship at the Captain’s Farewell Dinner.
Day 10: Tonle Sap Lake – Disembarkation – Siem Reap Cambodia (BLD)
Early this morning, we set sail across Tonle Sap Lake, the largest lake in Southwest Asia and traditionally one of the richest fishing grounds in Asia. After a 4 to 5-hour crossing, we bid our crew goodbye today as we disembark and transfer to our hotel in Siem Reap, gateway to the Angkor Temples. Afternoon activities include a stop at the National Silk Center to observe the making of silk from start to finish, and a sunset stop at Angkor Wat, crown jewel of the amazing collection of Angkor temples we’ll see more of tomorrow.
Day 11: Activities from Siem Reap (BL)
Walk #5a: Angkor Temples Walk – 5 km (3 miles), rated 1B
The temples of Angkor number over 1000, and served what archeologists now consider to be the world’s largest preindustrial city, a metropolis possibly 1000 square kilometers in area with a population up to one million people. We spend the next two mornings exploring a number of these temples on a WAI walk of epic proportions. Today’s walk starts with spectacular Angkor Wat. We walk through the ruins striving to understand, with the help of our local guide, intricate bas-relief carvings that seem to cover almost every stone surface. Next, we drive to Preah Kahn and Ta Prohm Temples, an unforgettably evocative blend of the architectural prowess of humanity and the smothering jungle that wraps its roots in all directions! Following lunch back in Siem Reap, the afternoon and evening are free to explore the town and rest.
Day 12: Activities from Siem Reap (BD)
Walk #5b: Angkor Temples Walk – 5 km (3 miles), rated 1B
We return this morning to Angkor Thom, fortified city of the Angkor Empire. Our walk takes us through the Terrace of the Leper King, Elephant Terrace, the Temple of Baphoun, and the amazing Bayan Temple with its astounding collection of basrelief carvings. We finish the walk on a delightful trail along the jungle-covered city walls, looking down onto the glasslike surface of the moat. Back in Siem Reap, lunch at the Foreign Correspondents Club is followed by a free afternoon. Join us again this evening to reminisce about the unforgettable experiences we’ve shared during our Farewell Dinner.
Day 13: Return home from Siem Reap (B)
Our explorations of this fascinating part of Southeast Asia come to an end today! After a final breakfast, and farewells to new walking friends, we will check out of our hotel and transfer to the airport for our homebound flights.
Click on each heading for more details.
How do I lock in my place on this Adventure?
Call or mail in your Early Bird ($50) to save your spot! We’ll take 24-28 travelers on this tour, with 2 guides accompanying, assisted by a local guide, offering a guide to traveler ratio of 1:9.
What’s an Early Bird? Early Bird deposits are refundable $50 deposits which serve to hold your spot on this tour until dates and pricing have been confirmed. Once all details on this tour have been finalized, travelers can then register with an additional $450 deposit to bring their total on this tour up to $500.
Traveler Rewards Program
Our ship is a small river cruise ship built specifically for sailing the shallow waters of the Mekong Delta. More details will be available on accommodations as we finalize the Vietnam & Cambodia tour.
How is airfare arranged?
The official starting point for pre-tour is Hanoi. Travelers on the main tour only will start in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and finish in Siem Reap, Cambodia. More details about flight arrangements and travel agent contact information will be made available after this tour has been finalized.
What about the walks?
We generally walk at a pace of 2 to 3 miles per hour. In most cases, we are not “strolling.” We are walking at a relaxed but steady pace. Your experience will be significantly affected by your level of physical fitness. Because these are group walks, the success of the walks is predicated upon walkers having this minimum level of fitness in order to ensure we are walking at a somewhat similar pace. If not walking regularly at home, we strongly recommend that you make a priority of “training” beforehand in order to both enjoy the trip and avoid medical issues due to overexertion. If you have questions about your ability to participate, please talk with our office at 1.800.779.0353.
We have adopted a walk difficulty rating system which contains a numeric indicator for trail incline and an alpha indicator for trail terrain. The explanation for this system is presented below:
1. Very small hills or very little stair climbing. Cumulative elevation gain from Starting Point: up to 200 feet.
2. Some moderate hills and stair climbing. Cumulative elevation gain from Starting Point: 200-1000 feet.
3. Some significant hill or stair climbing. Cumulative elevation gain from Starting Point: 1000-2000 feet.
4. Lots of significant hills or stair climbing. Cumulative elevation gain from Starting Point: 2000-3500 feet.
5. Many steep hills. Cumulative elevation gain from Starting Point: more than 3500 feet.
A. Almost entirely on pavement.
B. A significant part of the route is on well-groomed trails with very few obstacles.
C. A significant part of the route is on somewhat difficult terrain (rocky / rooted paths or soft sand).
D. A significant part of the route is on very difficult terrain.
E. The majority of the route is on very difficult terrain.
What happens next?
We are currently developing the itinerary for this Adventure. Once the itinerary is released, we will accept registration deposits ($500) to save space.
If you have Early Birded with a refundable $50 deposit, your spot on the tour will be held for 2 weeks after the itinerary is published while you make a decision on whether or not you’d like to register with an additional $450 fee, bringing your deposit on tour up to $500. If you decide not to join us for this tour, your Early Bird can be refunded or transferred to another tour.