Mekong tours originating in Cambodia

Old Dec 9th, 2006, 10:07 AM
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Mekong tours originating in Cambodia

Hi there,

I am planning a trip to Cambodia and Vietnam for the spring and one thing I'd like to do is travel by land/water across the border from Cambodia (either Phnom Penh or Siem Reap)to Vietnam (Saigon). I see a lot of info on doing this in the other direction (Saigon to PP or SR) but haven't found any tours that run FROM Cambodia.

Can anyone recommend a tour operator to do this? We'd like to spend a few days making this trek.

Look forward to your ideas!
Thanks,
Amy
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Old Dec 9th, 2006, 03:07 PM
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Amy, this one's easy: check out www.pandaw.com and their Mekong cruises. They start from either Siem Reap OR Saigon - and, I'm sure if the trip isn't heavily booked, you could pick it up in Phnom Penh for half price.
Highly recommended - do a search on Pandaw in here - or look for Mitch's previous trip review - he's also a big fan.
This is the best - just do it. Problem solved.
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Old Dec 10th, 2006, 08:38 AM
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Thanks Dogster,
I'll look into this option, but actually I am thinking of something a bit more scaled down. We are in Cambodia/Vietnam for three weeks and have about 1500-2000 per person to spend on accomodations, food and tours over that time. So a cruise like this would eat that right up.

From Saigon there seem to be a lot of low cost boat options into PP, but I wasn't having luck finding similar options in the other direction. Now I think I've figured out that there are regular boats departing from PP to Chau Doc. And then from there I am hoping to be able to pick up a relatively low cost 1-2 day Mekong tour back toward Saigon.

So far I haven't found that, but I have to assume that if there are tours originating in Saigon that drop people at Chau Doc, they must go back in the other direction. If you have an info on this, I would really appreciate it!
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Old Dec 10th, 2006, 01:23 PM
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As dogster says the Tonie Pandaw is a great luxury cruise but it is not affordable to a lot of people. Therefore the problem may not be solved as he says.

There are other ways to get from Phnom Penh to Sagon at a much lower cost. If you want to get there without doing any river travel or touring along the way then there is the Mekong Express Bus that takes around 6hrs and costs roughly $12. The bus is large, comfortable and air conditioned and the trip safe.

If you want to spend 3 days or so to get there then it is quite easy to do it on your own by river/land. There are probably several tour agents in Phnom Pent who can arrange this but I have heard only of the Victoria Hotel Group which while reliable is a little expensive. http://www.victoriahotels-asia.com/e...ria-speedboats

By boat for the first leg of the trip - Phnom Penh to Chau Doc - you have a choice between the expensive Victoria Hotel Group boat (around $75) or the more modest one at $35. This is a fairly new service and the boats are quite comfortable and are equipped with a toilet. They are much better than the regular fast ferries (not recommended) and just about as good as the Victory Hotel ferry. Email: [email protected]. The Phnom Penh travel agent for booking is Sun Rise Booking No 249 St. Preah Sisowath. Phone 0855.23.223.579.
The Victoria also offers a land trip to Chau Doc which includes a night at the hotel for around $90 see http://www.victoriahotels-asia.com/e...au-doc-by-road
Once in Chau Doc the Victoria Hotel, while somewhat overpriced is the only decent hotel here. You can look up other hotels but you will not find many. The next leg is usually to Can Tho and then on to Sagon. Again Victoria has a boat to Can Tho for about $45. However once in Chau Doc it should be easy to arrange a tour to Sagon. Check this site for an example but I have no information on how good it is http://www.mekongvietnam.com/MekongT...=1&PageIndex=1
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Old Dec 10th, 2006, 02:09 PM
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Thanks - very helpful!
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Old Dec 10th, 2006, 02:38 PM
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Just to add if you are looking for a real inexpensive tour from Phnom Penh to Saigon then check with the Capitol Guesthouse in Phnom Penh. They and associate Sinh Cafe in Vietnam offer a cheap boat to Chau Doc and then using Sinh Cafe a 2/3 boat/land tour to Saigon. Total cost is under $50. It is geared for the backpacker crowd and you stay overnight in guesthouses. Nothing wrong with that. Here is an 2003 short report. http://www.andrewsupdates.com/tips/archives/000043.html
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Old Dec 12th, 2006, 04:07 PM
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Thanks Scotters...
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Old Mar 20th, 2007, 06:20 PM
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The Pandaw cruises are actually pretty cheap when you look at what you get: all meals, all local drinks (soft drink and beer), more bottled water than you can drink, tea and coffee, and all on-shore guided tours. If you don't drink wine, and don't use the laundry service, there is really not much else to pay for apart from the non obligatory crew gratuity and personal expenses....plus any visas you may need.
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Old Mar 20th, 2007, 08:35 PM
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The Cruise may be great but I still say that it is not for everyone at over $1000 per person for a 8 days. Or can you get a better rate.
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Old Mar 21st, 2007, 03:11 AM
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Ah, Scotters..after visiting some 40 countries, mainly as a lowly backpacker, there comes a time in one's life when a little touch of luxury doesn't go astray.... And the Pandaw offers soft adventure, luxury, service and a total experience in a way that is utterly superb.
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