South East Asia; Rivers & Coastal Communities | Yampu Tours

Custom Travel Experiences Since 1998

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South East Asia; Rivers & Coastal Communities


FROM £$ 7425

Private Tour Highlights

  • Begin the tour in the beautiful, controlled chaos of Saigon
  • Explore the rivers, deltas and coastal communities of Vietnam
  • See how French colonialism and native cultures have shaped Saigon
  • Get immersed in the culture of Cambodia and visit Phnom Penh
  • Taste the famous seafood of Kep
  • Interact with people throughout living along the waterways
  • Check out many beautiful colonial mansions
  • Tour the Silver Pagoda and National Museum
  • Finish the tour in the provincial capital of Luang Prabang
Interested in this tour?   Let us build you a customized quote based on your budget.

Tour Overview

South East Asia Tour of Rivers and Coastal Communities

The focal point of this journey through the eastern half of South-East Asia is the water. The tour starts in hectic Saigon and finishes in tranquil Luang Prabang. In between, you’ll explore the rivers, deltas and coastal communities, and interact with the people and cultures that sprang up around these vital waterways.

The most Western in atmosphere of Vietnam’s cities, Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) has a population of 5 million, and a booming free-market economy. It is a city of amazing contrasts: elegant new international hotels, exclusive restaurants and trendy bars side-by-side with roadside noodle stalls, street children and vociferous cyclo drivers. Then it’s a short ride to the Mekong Delta. The river provides a lifelong flurry of activity and commerce among its waters and is interspersed with seemingly endless rice fields, colourful floating markets, isolated villages accessed only by boat, and a populace of constantly smiling people.

Then transfer by boat to the capital of Cambodia, Phnom Penh. There are plenty attractions to visit, beginning with a tour of the Silver Pagoda, the National Museum, the Aspara Arts Association and the local market, where one can find hand woven silks, silver, gems and antiques. A short drive from the city brings you to Kep, or Kep-sur-mer as the French called it. Kep used to be a thriving sea side resort town at the turn of the mid century through the 1960s. Beautiful colonial mansions and villas of Cambodia’s privileged class built in the art-deco style shaped the cityscape.

Finish your tour in the former Laotian capital of Luang Prabang. In colonial times it served as a provincial headquarters of the north. The legacy of the European presence here – well preserved French architecture and careful street planning – has blended delightfully with more than 30 gilded Buddhist temples to create a town rich in atmosphere and history.

Price Includes:
Regional airfare from Phnom Penh to Luang Prabang and Luang Prabang to Bangkok, Hotel accommodation including continental or buffet breakfast, Private transfers between airports and hotels with assistance and baggage handling, Private guided tours in English including all entrance fees, Meals where specified (food only), Bottled water and cool towels provided for transfers and sightseeing, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos government tax and service charge, Local airport taxes that are payable in the country of destination are not included. Taxes and security fees that can be paid at time of ticketing are already included in the quote

* Additional supplements may apply between 19 December – 8 January.

* Additional supplements may apply during the weeks immediately preceding and following the Lunar (Chinese) New Year. The dates vary each year, but fall sometime between January 21st and February 20th:
2016 – Monday, February 8th
2017 – Saturday, January 28th
2018 – Friday, February 16th

* Additional supplements may apply for mandatory Christmas and New Year’s Eve dinners.
Best Time to Travel

Best Good Consult

Package Price: From £$7425

Prices shown above are per person. Hotel categories do not adhere strictly to international ratings; Yampu has evaluated the hotels according to destination and availability. Prices include local airfare (where applicable), hotel accommodation including daily breakfast; all transfers with baggage handling, all guided tours in English and all entrance fees.

Please note that prices are subject to change based on availability and seasonality, especially during the holiday season from December 20th through January 5th each year. Please contact a Yampu Travel Specialist for more information on best times to travel.

Trip Type:

All our trips are operated on a private basis unless specified otherwise. This is only a sample itinerary; your Yampu Tour Consultant will personalize this trip for you according to your available dates, interests and type of hotels. This is your trip and we will work on making it perfect!

Tour Itinerary


International Flight to Saigon

Overnight international flight to Saigon.

Overnight international flight to Saigon.


Arrival in Saigon

Upon arrival in Saigon, airport reception and transfer to the hotel in a private vehicle. Enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure.

Upon arrival in Saigon, airport reception and transfer to the hotel in a private vehicle. Enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure.


Saigon City Highlights

Morning

Morning city tour with a private guide. In this essential highlight tour, visit the former Presidential Palace, which is now preserved as a museum, including the underground communications bunkers, headquarters for the Saigon Government during the American War. Continue to the History Museum, which houses an excellent display tracing the origins of the indigenous Vietnamese. Take the opportunity to see a delightful performance of water puppetry in the grounds. Then visit the Saigon Notre-Dame Basilica, an impressive neo-Romanesque cathedral in the center of city, the "wedding cake" styled Hotel De Ville, and Dong Khoi street, formerly the center of haute couture in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) when it was known as Rue Catinat.

Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant followed by a privately guided half day tour to the Cu Chi Tunnels. This vast underground network of tunnels was first built as a defense against the French, and later expanded during the American War. It was from here that the North Vietnamese waged their guerrilla warfare. Marvel at the ingenuity and resilience of the secret trapdoors, underground kitchens, living areas and meeting rooms.

The more adventurous travelers may explore the deeper second, and even third level tunnels. For those preferring to remain above ground, there is ample opportunity to view excavated areas from above. The guide will advise guests of the length and level of difficulty of each tunnel before entering. Some are easily accessed by stairs. Good walking shoes and sun protection are recommended for this tour. Return to Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) in the late afternoon and enjoy the evening at leisure. less


Saigon – Can Tho

Transfer

Transfer approximately 3 hours, in a private vehicle, to the Mekong River town of Cai Be. Board a motorized sampan for an introduction to life on the river with a private guide. Cai Be is known for its large floating market, where displays of food produce are hung from the bamboo poles over the host boat in order to attract customers.

From here, the journey continues across the upper reach of the river to a maze of tributaries and fruit plantations. Barges ply the route, overloaded with rice husks used as fuel for the region's numerous brick kilns. Depending on the season, a sample of local tropical fruit will be served with lunch in a local farmer's home before returning to the craft for the leisurely cruise to Vinh Long. From here, drive and ferry to the Delta's economic hub city of Can Tho. Check into the hotel and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure. less


Tour of Cai Rang & Can Tho City

Early morning cruise with a private guide to Cai Rang, which is a bustling market town. Enjoy a sampan ride through the colorful congestion of women and children jostling for space and vying to sell their goods. Return to Can Tho town to visit their museum and a Khmer pagoda in Can Tho City. After lunch at a local restaurant, depart the town for a visit to the Bang Lang Stork Garden and the Binh Thuy Ancient House. Return to the hotel and enjoy the evening at leisure.

Early morning cruise with a private guide to Cai Rang, which is a bustling market town. Enjoy a sampan ride through the colorful congestion of women and children jostling for space and vying to sell their goods. Return to Can Tho town to visit their museum and a Khmer pagoda in Can Tho City. After lunch at a local restaurant, depart the town for a visit to the Bang Lang Stork Garden and the Binh Thuy Ancient House. Return to the hotel and enjoy the evening at leisure.


Can Tho – Chau Doc

Private

Private morning transfer to Chau Doc near the Cambodian border. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant en route and in the afternoon visit Sam Mountain, a popular pilgrimage center for many Vietnamese and home to a collection of ornate and colorful temples and pagodas. Climb or drive to the top of the hill for an unparalleled 360-degree vista of nearby Cambodia.

The Mekong River at this point is decorated with hundreds of floating homes, each a self-contained farm where local families raise and sell fish to passing boats. With a private guide, there will be an opportunity to visit some of them before returning to the hotel in Chau Doc for the evening. less


Chau Doc – Phnom Penh

Private transfer back to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) for a flight to Phnom Penh. Reception at airport and transfer to the hotel. Enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure.

Private transfer back to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) for a flight to Phnom Penh. Reception at airport and transfer to the hotel. Enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure.


Cycling Tour of Phnom Penh

This morning is at leisure. In the afternoon, embark on a cycle tour to visit the Royal Palace, which was built in 1866 and is comprised of numerous structures, one of which is the popular Silver Pagoda. Constructed with over 5,000 silver tiles, this building also houses a life-sized gold Maitreya Buddha that is decorated with 9,584 diamonds and is one of Cambodia's national treasures.

After lunch at a local restaurant (included) continue on a boat along the Mekong River, which offers magnificent views of the Phnom Penh Riverfront, the Royal Palace, Wat Ounalom and the ever-changing skyline. Cruise to the point where the Tonle Sap meets the Mekong and be sure to have a camera on hand for the spectacular sunset. At the end of the day, enjoy an hour long Kher massage. less


Museums of Phnom Penh

Morning

Morning visit to the Apsara Arts Association, a local non-governmental organization whose aim is to see Cambodian arts and culture become more valued and popular in Cambodia after having been destroyed by the ravages of war. Continue to visit the National Museum, a Khmer temple inspired building that houses the world's largest collection of Khmer art sculptures, ceramics and bronzes. Although the emphasis is on Angkorian artifacts, there is also a great collection of pieces from later periods, including a special exhibition on post-Angkorian Buddha figures.

Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before continuing to the Toul Sleng Genocide Museum, which is essential for first time visitors to Cambodia. During the Pol Pot regime, Toul Sleng, formerly a high school, was converted to a detention center known for interrogation and torture of prisoners before being transferred to the "Killing Fields." Enjoy a bit of local shopping at the Toul Tom Pong Market, before visiting the fields at Cheung Ek. Today, the site is a memorial for Cambodians and visitors to pay their respect for those lost. A memorial stupa has been erected and displays over 5,000 human skulls, bones and clothes of the victims. This visit is a profoundly harrowing experience of Cambodia's recent past. less


Phnom Penh – Kep

This morning, drive along National Highway 3 to Takeo Province. On the way, stop at Tonle Bati, Ta Prohm and Yeay Peou Temple before visiting Prasat Neang Khmau. Continue to Chiso Mountain to visit the 11th century Khmer Brahmanic mountaintop temple. Boxed lunches will be provided on site before proceeding to Kampong Trach to visit limestone caves and passages that shelter Wat Kirisan. Admire the various stalactites and stalagmites in the shapes of dragon heads, monkeys, whales and mushrooms.

Continue the trip to Kep Province, a coastal city with mountains, evergreen tropical forests, unspoiled islands, coral reefs, sandy beaches and fresh seafood. Founded during the French colonial period, the city was afterwards renovated into a beautiful seaside resort in the 1960s during Prince Norodom Sihanouk's Sangkum Reastr Niyum Regime. The name Kep is derived from the French words "le cap," or "cape" in English. Overnight in Kep. less


Visit to Kampot

Take an excursion to visit Kampot, a small provincial town with colonial houses that is widely considered to be the durian plantation of Cambodia. This region is known not only for producing the best durian in all of Southeast Asia, but also for its abundance of other tropical fruits including mangosteen, rambutan, mak prang, pineapple, grapefruit, custard apple and coconut. Additionally, Kampot's Chamkar Mrich ("pepper plantations") are renowned for producing one of the world's finest peppers. Visit a farm and Tek Chhou Waterfall and discover the surrounding countryside during stops at different villages to chat with villagers. Enjoy free time to relax on the beautiful beach of Kep until sunset. Lunch at a local restaurant is included. Overnight in Kep. less


Exploring Koh Tonsai

Transfer

Transfer to the pier for a short boat ride (20-30 minutes) across the bay to the small, beautiful, and undeveloped island of Koh Tonsai or Rabbit Island. There is a walking track that circumnavigates the island, passing small fishing villages and farm land. There are also some crude trenches and bunkers left from past conflicts. This beautiful walk takes about 2.5 – 3 hours along beaches and flat jungle trails and offers some great photo opportunities.

Alternatively, take this time to ramble and explore the island and its lovely beaches at leisure. Snorkeling equipment will available for exploring the waters. Lunch will be provided at a local restaurant, and there will be time to relax in a hammock, swim or explore before heading back to Kep. In the late afternoon, return to the hotel. less


Complete Luang Prabang

Before departing town this morning, make a stop at the famous Kep Crab market to experience the bustling activity and local interactions. Continue the drive to Phnom Penh, to take the connecting flight to Luang Prabang.

Upon arrival, airport reception and transfer to the hotel. After lunch take a tour around Luang Prabang with a private guide. First visit Vat Visoun, the site of an impressive stupa, That Makmo. The next stop is Luang Prabang's National Museum, formerly the Royal Palace (not open on Tuesdays). Displayed inside is an impressive collection of personal artifacts of the royal family.

Continue on to visit Wat Mai - built in 1796, the five-tiered roof of the wooden sim epitomizes the graceful Luang Prabang architectural style. Phou Sii Hill stands right in the center of this small city. Climb its 350 steps to enjoy panoramic views for many miles in each direction. The sunset can be enjoyed at Vat Siphouthabath or with a cold drink at one of the cafes located along the Mekong River. Enjoy the evening at leisure before returning to the hotel for the night. less


Memorable Sights of Luang Prabang & Wat Xieng Thong

Start the day early with one of the most memorable sights of Luang Prabang; Tak Bat. At dawn hundreds of saffron robed monks move silently through the streets to collect alms (offerings of food). The guide will explain the background behind this ritual which is still very much a part of everyday life in Laos and there will be a chance to make 'merit'. It's early but well worth the wake-up call!

After breakfast head off with a guide to visit Wat Xieng Thong - often said to be Luang Prabang's most beautiful temple. Then head to the river to begin a relaxing riverboat trip with the guide on the mighty Mekong to visit Pak Ou Buddha Caves. En route it is possible to stop at Ban Xanghai, where local people produce Lao rice wine. Pak Ou caves have been home to many thousands of Buddha images that have been placed here by local people since the 16th century, when King Setthathirat found the caves and declared them a holy spot. Today many people still pay respect to this tradition.

After exploring the caves and enjoying lunch at a local restaurant, return to the boat and journey back to Luang Prabang. Upon arrival, transfer to a private vehicle and drive to the nearby village of Ban Phanom, a weaving village populated by Lu minority people that originally came from Sipsongpanna in Southern China. This village was once famed for producing silks for the Royal Palace, and Lao textiles are still woven here in the traditional manner on ancient wooden looms. The remainder of the afternoon and evening is at leisure. less


International Flight Home

Transfer to the airport for a connecting flight home or continue with an optional Yampu Tours add-on.

Transfer to the airport for a connecting flight home or continue with an optional Yampu Tours add-on.

Ho Chi Minh City Hall, Lê Thánh Tôn, Saigon, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

Can Tho, Vietnam

tp. Châu Đốc, An Giang Province, Vietnam

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Kep, Cambodia

Luang Prabang, Laos

Places You'll See

  • ho-chi-minh-city-Saigon

    Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City)

    The metropolitan Ho Chi Minh City is always bustling with activity, and full of historical attractions. Visit the beautiful French-built Catholic Notre Dame Cathedral in the city center. For a look at the Vietnam War through the eyes of the Vietnamese, take a tour of the War Remnants Museum. And for unbelievable views of the city, visit the Saigon Skydeck in the Bitexco Financial Tower.

  • Can_Tho_Vietnam

    Can Tho

    When the sun goes down, the riverside city of Can Tho comes alive. Take a boat through the city canals to purchase locally made goods and souvenirs at the floating markets. Play a game of billiards with the locals, or relax at the riverside park on Hai Ba Trung Street. Visit the Quang Duc Pagoda, one of the most active Buddhist temples with monks living onsite.

  • An_Giang_Province_Chau_Doc_Vietnam

    Chau Doc

    Learn the art of haggling at the colorful markets of Chau Doc. Visit the Hang Pagoda, an official historic monument of Vietnam. Take a stroll along the charming riverside, and engage in conversation with some of the young locals. Relax with a traditional suction cup massage, or enjoy the quiet of a local coffee shop.

  • Royal_Palace_gardens_Cambodia

    Phnom Penh

    Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia as well as the country’s largest city, offers beautiful and historic architecture and cultural experiences galore. One can take a Tuk-tuk ride (a motorcycle with a cabin attached for passengers) to the national museum or even the Royal Throne hall to learn about the area and its history.

  • kep-cambodia


    This beautiful seaside city of Kep is a prime destination for beach goers and nature lovers alike. One can take bask in the Sunlight during the day on these beautiful beaches, then witness the astonishing light in the evening glowing from the phosphorescent algae along the shore edges.

  • luang-prabang-Laos

    Luang Prabang

    Luang Prabang is a city filled with history and culture that will fit anyone’s interests. Rise early and witness the Alms Ceremony, where local Monks line the streets accepting alms, or respects and charities, from locals as well as sincere tourists. Visit the local elephant sanctuary, mountain bike through the area, and take in the history of the city through the many art and cultural centers nearby.

Hotel Options

3 Star Properties

Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) : Aquari Hotel

Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) : Asian Ruby Luxury Hotel

Can Tho : Nam Bo Boutique Hotel

Chau Doc : Victoria Nui Sam Lodge

Phnom Penh : Green Palace Hotel

Phnom Penh : Almond Hotel

Phnom Penh : Ohana Phnom Penh Palace Hotel

Kep : Mealea Resort

Luang Prabang : Le Bel Air Boutique Resort

Luang Prabang : Sala Prabang

Luang Prabang : Santi Resort & Spa

4 Star Properties

Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) : Liberty Central Riverside Hotel

Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) : Hotel Majestic Saigon

Can Tho : Victoria Can Tho Hotel

Chau Doc : Victoria Chau Doc Hotel (Superior)

Phnom Penh : Amanjaya Pancam

Phnom Penh : Sunway

Phnom Penh : La Rose Boutique Hotel & Spa

Phnom Penh : White Mansion Boutique Hotel

Kep : Veranda Natural Resort

Luang Prabang : 3 Nagas Boutique Hotel

Luang Prabang : Le Palais Juliana

Luang Prabang : Villa Santi Hotel

5 Star Properties

Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) : InterContinental Asiana Saigon

Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) : Caravelle Hotel

Can Tho : Victoria Can Tho Hotel (Suite)

Chau Doc : Victoria Chau Doc Hotel (Suite)

Phnom Penh : Intercontinental

Phnom Penh : Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra

Phnom Penh : La Rose Suites

Kep : Knai Bang Chatt (Garden View Room)

Luang Prabang : Kiridara

Luang Prabang : Maison Souvannaphoum Hotel

Luang Prabang : Victoria Xiengthong Palace

Luang Prabang : Villa Maly

Luxury Properties

Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) : Park Hyatt Hotel

Phnom Penh : Raffles Le Royal

Luang Prabang : Belmond La Residence Phou Vao

Luang Prabang : Hotel De La Paix



Traveled May, 2012

Our SE Asia trip was awesome.

Our SE Asia trip was awesome. It would take too long to go into even the highlights of the trip, because there were so many. Your people on the ground in Singapore, Bangkok and Hong Kong were terrific but the Kuala Lampur guy not so much. Best/highest kudos go to Sylvie in Bangkok who we feel went the extra mile to not only host us and show us around, but to take care of us like a mum on tours and events and even on our days of leisure. Our guy in Singapore and Christina in Hong Kong were merely excellent. The hotels were wonderful but we would stay at the Marina Bay Hotel in Singapore next time. What an awesome place that is. We have over 700 photos and a hundred stories about our experiences in these exotic lands.Thank you so much and your people and your colleagues for making this such a memorable trip for us.

Traveled To

Jonathan C.

Traveled November, 2014

Paula and I had a wonderful trip

Just landed back home. Everything on the trip went very well all had a good time, thanks. Could have spent one more day in Siem Reap everyone loved that. Paula and I had a wonderful trip, thank you for your efforts. Thanks,

Traveled To


Traveled April, 2016

Thank you for making our stay fun and memorable!

We had a wonderful trip! Yampu was wonderful in giving us different options to make our trip more customized to suit our needs. Our guide was also very knowledgeable and helped make our stay in Singapore fun and effortless. We all enjoyed the itinerary- not too packed with activities and everyone enjoyed the gardens, the animal safari, and city tour. The bus and vans we rode in were comfortable and the air conditioner was much welcomed in the tropic heat!

Traveled To

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