Kick off the new year with us in Siem Reap, the perfect basecamp from which we’ll spend a few days exploring the temples of Angkor. Then we’ll board a 7-night gay cruise where we’ll be lavished with Cambodian hospitality and cuisine, and outlandish entertainment with Miss Conception. As we make our way down the Mekong River in an authentic Cambodian riverboat we’ll visit small and remote villages renowned for their crafts, along with the capital city of Phnom Penh. Once we cross into Vietnam the adventure wraps up with two nights in Saigon, which teems with ten million residents and eight million bikes. This is the most all-inclusive adventure we offer, with all meals, drinks with dinner, and onboard beer/spirits covered in the trip price.
Joom reab sour – welcome to Cambodia! Siem Reap is a fast-growing resort town and the gateway to the Angkor temple complex. Our trip kicks off at 6PM with a group meeting, dinner and drinks. Tonight’s restaurant celebrates traditional Khmer fare in a lavish venue. If you’re surviving the jet lag why not join us after dinner for drinks at a local gay bar?
Today is devoted to temple-hopping. We begin with iconic Angkor Wat, where bas-relief carvings and ancient architecture offer excellent photography fodder. After lunch we’ll ride a remork (motorized rickshaw) to Angkor Thom, famous for 50 gothic towers and 200 faces carved into the stone. Our day ends with a relaxing evening back at our luxurious accommodations. We’ll enjoy an exquisite dinner at the hotel restaurant highlighting authentic Khmer cuisine.
The sun rising over Angkor Wat is one of the most amazing sights in the world (the brutally early wake-up call will be worth it). After we return to the hotel for breakfast we’ll carry on to Banteay Srei, a sandstone temple devoted to Hindu god Shiva. We’ll also visit Ta Prohm, crumbling and consumed by the jungle, and best known as the location where Tomb Raider was filmed. Lunch will be served at the hotel, then we’ll have the afternoon to kick back by the pool. Our day ends with dinner in a rustic wooden house and a trip to the circus Organized by the not-for-profit Phare Ponleu Selpak School, the show features young performing artists from disadvantaged backgrounds who bring modern art to life.
After breakfast we’ll transfer to Kampong Cham to board the beautiful RV Mekong Pandaw, with a simple boxed lunch served en route. Enjoy cocktails on the Sunset Deck, followed by a safety briefing and our first dinner aboard.
This morning we’ll visit Wat Hanchey, an important centre of worship during the Chenla period. The site is located on a hill above the Mekong River and features some of the region’s best views. Afterwards, we’ll enjoy lunch aboard our cruise ship as we sail to Kampong Cham. From here we’ll travel by bus to the OBT Chiro Village to spend some time in the local school, meeting the children and teachers. To wrap up our busy day, we’ll bus to Wat Nokor Bachey, a notable temple made completely from Black Sandstone. Our guide will indulge us in the many tales surrounding this temple before we head back to the ship for dinner.
Continuing downstream we’ll visit Koh Oknha Tey, or ‘Silk Island’. With a long history of silk-weaving in the area, we’ll study the entire production process right back to the silkworms themselves. At the end of the tour you’ll have a chance to shop (the scarves are popular souvenirs), and you’ll also see a demo of the ancient martial art known as Bokator.
Explore Cambodia’s capital by tricycle taxis known as cyclos. We’ll visit the Silver Pagoda, the National Museum, and the Royal Palace. Our drivers come from The Cyclo Centre Phnom Penh, a charity that provides basic welfare and medical services to the drivers of these unique cabs. In the afternoon we’ll pay a humbling visit the Killing Fields along with the Khmer Rouge’s grim Tuol Sleng – or S21 detention centre. Our cruise will overnight in the city, giving us a chance to experience the colourful gay nightlife.
As we make our way to (and through) the Vietnam border, you can enjoy an optional tour of the working ship or take a fruit-carving class. This afternoon, explore the bucolic canal system of Tan Chau, then visit a Taoist temple where the monks will read our fortunes. You’ll also help farmers tend their fields in Xi Lois, then visit a fish farm where you can help release their stock into the Mekong River.
Explore this island, known for beautiful landscapes and handicrafts, by tuk-tuk. Experience basket production, a 100-year old Catholic Church, and woodworking artisans. Then we’ll take a coach trip to visit Gao Giong, a bird sanctuary where egrets and others gather by the thousands across the Duong Tharp Muoi, or ‘Plain of Reeds’.
After breakfast our ship will moor off Cho Lach island. Here you can discover pot making and enjoy other glimpses of delta lifey. Then we’ll cruise downstream to the provincial capital of Ben Tre. From here we’ll board sampans, flat-bottomed wooden boats, to ride through mangroves and bamboo groves to the fruit orchards. Here the artisans will share tea, fruit and honey products with us. On our return journey we’ll travel by horse-cart through the lush countryside.
The cruise is over, but our trip is not! This morning we transfer to Ho Chi Minh City (aka Saigon), with a stop at the Cu Chi Tunnels en route. This extensive underground network, dug by the Viet Minh and Viet Cong, contained hospitals, accommodations and schools during the war. We’ll then check-in to our lavish riverside hotel and freshen up for dinner at KOTO (a fantastic restaurant that trains underprivileged youth). The rest of the evening is free to relax.
“Saigon” is full of chaotic thrills where ancient and modern worlds mingle. We’ll visit Thien Hau Temple, dedicated to the goddess of seafarers. We’ll delve into Chinatown and the dazzling markets. Lunch will be a classic Vietnamese ‘pho’ noodle soup, before we head for the Reunification Palace, War museum, Notre Dame Cathedral, General Post office and Opera House. After that one last ambitious afternoon, we’ll celebrate with a Farewell Dinner at one of the city’s finest restaurants.
There are no activities planned today until your complimentary departure transfer. Safe travels home, or why not keep the adventure alive with our Hanoi Tour Extension.
Loved every minute of it. Friendly people in each country, great food, relaxing, and endless fun. Made some lasting friendships with fellow travelers.
A beautiful way to see the local culture and give back while vacationing.
Ahoy! And welcome to our Big Gay Cruise episode. Peter and Rob call in Ed Salvato to discuss all-things naughty and nautical.Read More
Built in Rangoon in 2002, the RV Mekong Pandaw was created just for the river it calls home, and is certainly the most stunning vessel to grace those waters. Experience this luxurious ship on a gay cruise of Vietnam and Cambodia with Out Adventures.Read More
While these trips typically attract gay men, all genders are welcome, and we encourage friends and family to join the fun as well.Learn More
All accommodations on Out Adventures tours include breakfast and are located in areas central to our activities. All amenities are examples only, and may differ from hotel to hotel.
4- & 5-Star Hotels: Luxurious, very comfortable and well-decorated rooms along with quality amenities such as a stylish restaurant and/or bar, a fitness centre, and/or a pool/sauna. Customer service is very good, and there is usually a concierge.
Luxury River Cruise: Built in Rangoon in 2002, the RV Mekong Pandaw was designed specifically for the Mekong. The MP as she is affectionately known is a spacious ship with wide promenades, a large dining hall and more public space per passenger than any known ship on the Mekong. In 2012 she was refitted to include a small spa, gym, library lounge and office. She is quite justifiably the most splendid ship on the Mekong and the envy of anything that floats by.
Scroll down to ‘Examples Of Accommodations’ for specific information and photos about the accommodations used on this tour.Learn More
2-2.5 – Light/Average
This trip is fully booked but cancellations occur. If you’d like to be contacted if space opens up, please click “Book Now”, select the appropriate departure and you will be prompted to provide limited information.
If you are a solo traveller willing to share a room with another solo traveller, please select Shared/Twin Room when booking this tour.
If you are a solo traveller interested in booking a private room, please select single supplement when booking this tour (based on availability). If you are willing to share a room with another solo traveller, please select Solo Shared.
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