Day 1: Siem Reap - Tonle Sap Lake
On arrival at Siem Reap airport, you are already expected by our driver who will bring you to the hotel. The first day is free for leisure. Gather your first impressions of Siem Reap and find a charming restaurant to have lunch. After 16:30 you can already use your temple pass and enjoy the magic atmosphere of these ancient places when the sun sets down. In the evening, choose one of our recommended restaurants to have dinner or stroll through the city and find one along your way.
High water program (approx. between July and middle of December): At 11:00 gather at the meeting point and transfer to The Jayavarman, where the crew is looking forward to embracing the guests. Welcome cocktail and lunch on the cruise liner. The Jayavarman sets sail towards the little known stilt village of Kampong Phluk. We will climb aboard small rowing boats and let the local children take us on a tour of this flooded forest. Welcome Dinner on the Sun Deck. Mooring and overnight on the lake.
Low water program (approx. between middle of December and June): At 08:00, we gather at the meeting point for the transfer by coach to Prek K’Dam on the Tonle Sap River. We will stop at Kampong Thom, one of the first settlements in the pre-Angkorian period.
Embarkation in Prek K’Dam and welcome cocktail early afternoon. The Jayavarman sets sail upstream towards Kampong Chhnang and the great Tonle Sap Lake. We wind our way through the jungle and as the river narrows, it makes you feel at peace with yourself and the community. In the afternoon our Cambodian guide will meet you for a briefing and the bike fitting to ensure we can start biking the following morning well prepared and all tranquil. Later that evening meet your fellow passengers on board for Welcome Dinner on the Sun Deck.
Day 2: Tonle Sap - Kampong Chhnang - Kampong Cham
"Cambodia's province and the wetlands"
High water program: Before the sun rises, The Jayavarman sets sail to cross the Tonle Sap Lake. As the ship is about to exit the lake, the marshlands exhibit spectacular scenery along the river banks of Kampong Chhnang province.
Low water program: Kampong Chhnang is a busy rural port town with bustling markets and lots of children to greet us on our way around.
Our first trip on the bike will take us through beautiful rural areas of Kampong Chhnang including Clay Pot Port. This charming town is settled on the bank of the Tonle Sap River. Nearby sights include two floating villages and a hamlet famous for its distinctive pottery where we visit a well known artist. We continue biking through the picturesque scenery of the Cambodian countryside dotted with villages and green rice paddies. Before returning to The Jayavarman for lunch, we make a stop at a school where the kids expect us to teach them some English!
The afternoon cruise will follow the meandering Tonle Sap River, which narrows through leafy swaths of the South East Asian Jungle touching Phnom Penh. In the late afternoon we enter the upper Mekong River bound to Kampong Cham to stop for a walk through a rural village.
Cycling: Around 30km
Day 3: Kampong Cham - Wat Hanchey
"Monks and hilltops"
Early in the morning we embark on a journey upriver to the pre-Angkorian temple of Wat Hanchey. Located at the top of a hill overlooking the river, it offers some of the best views in Cambodia. When leaving the ship, we take the bikes with us and visit Wat Hanchey. After getting blessed by monks, we set off for a stunning day to explore the rural Kampong Cham on two wheels. Our tour leads us on raised lanes with charming stilt villages left and right, surrounded by water in the monsoon season. Under the shade of a tree we will have a pause for packed lunch before arriving in Kampong Cham, Cambodia’s third largest city. From this busy place we continue our ride towards Wat Nokor, a colorful temple built within the ruins of an ancient sanctuary that holds a timeless story.
Then we travel to the Cheung Kok Ecotourism Village, a small village developed with support from Assistance Médiation Internationale (AMICA). Travelers can visit the village and take part in activities to experience village life. Profits from tourism go towards re-investment into long-term projects. Back on board The Jayavarman sets sail towards the capital Phnom Penh.
Cycling: Around 30km
Day 4: Phnom Penh
"Pearl of the East"
Early in the morning we pass a truly indescribable scene while approaching Phnom Penh’s river promenade. After breakfast, we get on the bikes for a city tour in this dynamic, historical capital of Cambodia which has retained its French colonial charm. Sightseeing in the morning will include the dazzling white and gold architecture of the Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda, and outstanding displays of Khmer crafts at the National Museum. We also visit the temple Wat Phnom and do an excursion to the Genocide museum to learn more about the Cambodian civil war under the Khmer Rouge regime. Lunch in a local restaurant.
Thereafter, we return to The Jayavarman where a variety of cocktails will be at your disposal to ease the nerves, followed by Cambodia’s traditional and opulent Apsara dance performance. Experience the brilliance and richness of the culture, the soothing sounds of traditional music, the calming scent of incense sticks and a delicious Khmer food buffet.
Cycling: Around 20km
Day 5: Phnom Penh - border crossing
Wake up to the sun rising over the Mekong for Thai Chi on the Sun Deck. The Jayavarman then casts off for a day of cruising the main Mekong Channel. This is pretty much an international shipping route. Psyche yourself up for Pre-K Touch, a lively jungle village. After that, visit well laid out fruit orchards.
Late afternoon we set off to the Vietnamese border for the usual formalities, which in this part of the world takes a bit of time. During the afternoon cruise, take the time to relax on the Sun Deck, get a massage in the Spa, or take part in Heritage Line's Vietnamese cooking class. The ship moors midstream overnight.
Day 6: Chau Doc - Cai Be
"Taste of aqua cultural life"
Welcome to the circus of fish. After breakfast we meet our Vietnamese biking guide aboard The Jayavarman and embark with the bikes on a boat excursion to the exciting floating villages and catfish farms witnessing masses of Bassa fish being fed. We continue our tour on the bikes and discover Chau Doc, a fascinating town of rich French colonial architecture before heading towards Sam Mountain which is surrounded by dozens of pagodas and temples such as Tay An Pagoda, Thoai Ngoc Hau temple and Lady Chua Xu Pagoda, dating from the 1820s. This is an inviting spot to have a lunch break and wander around. Then we continue biking to Sam Mountain. Those of us who want to take it easy will leave the bikes at the foot of the mountain and enjoy an airy motorbike ride uphill to gain a spectacular panoramic view of the Cambodian border and beyond. The more adventourous bikers can take the half hour challenge and cycle to the top. Back down from the mountain, we continue biking to the border town Tinh Bien. A stroll along the bustling frontier market will give us great insights of the trade between the Vietnamese and Cambodian. Before we cycle back to Chau Doc along Vinh Te canal, we will enjoy lunch in a local restaurant. Back to the ship around 15:00, we head towards Cai Be.
Cycling: Around 30km
Day 7: Cai Be
Today’s tour starts with the visit of Cai Be’s colorful floating market on board a traditional sampan, the “Cai Be Princess”. Cruise among local sampans coming from all provinces of the delta full of fruits and vegetables. After the market tour, our bicycling adventure begins. In the morning we cycle through the lush, fertile country side, on a small rural road, enjoying the tranquil countryside. The ride will lead us to charming fruit orchards along the way where we will make a pause for some relaxation. Further on, we visit a small factory producing handicrafts made from coconut to end our morning tour.
Lunch will await us and the other cruise guests at Le Longanier, a superb Indochinese villa located in a lush tropical garden by the river, surrounded by fruit orchards. Our biking trip continues for another hour, heading towards the An Kiet ancient house to have tea with the descendants of the former imperial residents and listen to the family story. We will then board The Jayavarman for a relaxing evening cruise with a Farewell Dinner on the Sun Deck while heading towards Saigon.
Cycling: Around 12-15km
Day 8: Saigon
This great lake dominates Cambodia and is over 150 km in length. The birdlife is profuse and from the middle of the lake one cannot even see the shores. Witness stillness and tranquillity on the way to Siem Reap. The water level varies a great deal according to the time of the year and the amount of rainfall recorded. Thus, changes may occur for the different seasons.
High Water Program (approx. between July and December): Cross the Tonle Sap Lake at dawn and 11:00 disembark at Siem Reap Port for onward coach transfer to the hotel by 12:00.
Low Water Program (approx. between December and June): Cruise early morning to Prek K’dam where you will disembark Jayavarman after breakfast. Board a coach at 09:00 which will take you to see a pre-Angorian temple on your way to Siem Reap. A packed lunch and refreshments will be available along the way. Arrive in Siem Reap early afternoon.
***** Please note you will leave RV The Jayavarman for good at the time you embark for the last visit.