Exclusive 4-Day Cruise from Phnom Penh to Saigon with the luxurious Dragon Eyes or the private Gecko Eyes
Details of the routes and tour activities are for reference only. Final confirmation will be sent upon booking. If you book through an agent, please contact your agent for the final confirmation of tour routes and activities.
This exclusive Mekong river tour on board the Dragon Eyes or the Gecko Eyes goes from Phnom Penh via Chau Doc to Cai Be or Can Tho and further to Saigon. The Dragon Eyes boat only departures on even days (e.g. Sept. 2, 4, 6, 8 etc.) The Gecko Eyes house boat departures on any given day.
Day 1: Crossing the boarder to Vietnam
In Phnom Penh you embark the speed boat for an exciting ride to Chau Doc, your starting point for discovering Vietnam and the exiting life on the Mekong Delta. After crossing the boarder to Vietnam you will arrive in Chau Doc around 17.00 o’clock. You will be escorted to your Hotel in Chau Doc.
Day 2: Panorama cruise through the Mekong Delta
After breakfast, board a sampan and visit a floating villages as well as Cham village near Chau Doc.
Later that morning, board the boat, where you can make yourself comfortable in your cabin. Enjoy lunch while the boat starts cruising through the branches and canals of the Mekong. Sit back on the sundeck or in our salon and enjoy the amazing sights — the lush vegetation, small canals and the daily life of people in the Mekong Delta.
Back on bord, we curise towards the Island of Cu Lao Gieng. Located between Chau Doc and Sa Dec on the small island of Cu Lao Gieng, the monastery here was once an important convent. It could accommodate more than 1,000 people and included an orphanage, a school, a hospice and a leprosy centre. Today, Cu Lao Gieng is mainly a retreat for retired nuns. The large building is completely cut off from villages and located in the middle of fields and green jungle. You will be very surprised to see such an architectural impressive monastery in the middle of nowhere. If you have time you should take the opportunity to visit the Catholic monastery which was built on the island in 1875 by French nuns of Saint Paul de Chartres.
Meals: B, L, D
Day 3: Charming City Sa Dec
This morning we arrive in charming Sa Dec for a city tour. There you can see the busy and colorful local market, enjoy a coffee on the nice riverside promenade and visit a nearby flower village with orchards. The charming town still has a lot of colonial architecture, in particular the old market, the church and many old villas and trader’s houses. We visit one of them, a beautifully renovated traditional house of a Chinese trader’s family. This sumptuous building belonged to the main character of the novel „The Lover” and indeed to the lover of Marguerite Duras (see below).
Meals: B, L, D
Day 4: Cruising on the Mekong, transfer back to Saigon
At sunrise the ship takes off and continues towards Cai Be. Enjoy the peaceful countryside at an early snack on the sun deck. In the morning you have the opportunity to explore the village of Cai Be.
On even dates, you will have lunch at the Mekong Rest Stop. On odd dates, lunch is served in Vinh Long City.
Price per person in a double or twin cabin incl. Victoria Hotel in Chau Doc:
|Boat||Tour Code||Low season
(April — September)
(October — March)
|Dragon Eyes||CD-4-DE-Vic PP-SGN||
|Gecko Eyes||CD-4-GE-Vic PP-SGN||
Our tours include
- Transfer from the jetty for the public speed boat to the hotel in Chau Doc
- Public speed boat from Phnom Penh to Chau Doc
- Hotel in Chau Doc
- Accommodation in cosy double or twin bedded cabins
- Guided walk and side trip on sampan as mentioned in the itinerary
- English speaking guide on the cruise boat and side trips
- Shuttle service from Can Tho / Cai Be to Chau Doc
- Road transfer to Saigon (private transfer with Gecko Eyes)
- Meals as mentioned in the itinerary
- Free flow of coffee and tea
- Mineral water placed in your cabin on your cruise boat and in hotel room
- Transfer to Vietnam, Immigration (Attention: Visa on Arrival is NOT possible at this border, even if a Visa Approval Letter exists. Please make sure that you have a valid visa for Vietnam in your passport.)
- Drinks (except for breakfast and the mineral water in your cabin/hotel room)
- Dinner in Chau Doc
- Private transfers are included for Gecko Eyes passengers; for passengers on Dragon Eyes private transfers are adised upon booking.
Route and excursions may be subjects to changes without prior notice.
(1) The floating markets in the Mekong Delta are no tourist markets but wholesale markets where produce of the Mekong Delta like fruits and vegetables are traded. For this reason the number of boats on the market fluctuates depending on harvesting seasons and market demand. Furthermore, modern wholesale markets are becoming more popular in Vietnam. This can result in decreasing numbers of boats being present on the markets.
Marguerite Duras’ “The Lover” — novel and movie
Writer Marguerite Duras grew up in the colonial town of Sa Dec where her mother worked as a teacher. In 1984 she published the apparently autobiographical novel L’Amant, translated into English as The Lover, which describes her adolescent affair with a Chinese man. The text won the Goncourt prize in 1984. In 1991 Jean-Jaques Annaut directed the successful movie The Lover. The film was one of the first Western films shot in Vietnam after the Vietnam war. Many of the scenes were actually filmed in Sa Dec where a number of the original locations of Marguerite Duras’ life still exist: in particular the family house of her Chinese lover, Huynh Thuy Le (until some years ago a police station, today a museum), his grave and a pagoda with pictures of him, the school where her mother was a teacher as well as the house which was represented in the movie to be the family house of Marguerite Duras.