Inspired by the golden age cruise liner Normandie, "The Jayavarman" is a 20th century boutique style marvel marries avant-garde French colonial design with enchanting Indochine architecture to perfection.
"The Jayavarman" is Indochina's first of its kind boutique style river cruise liner and offers uncompromising luxury on 800 m² public space including 4 decks. The guest accommodation consists of 27 expansive and carefully designed staterooms with floor to ceiling panoramic sliding glass doors onto a private French balcony offer privacy and matchless luxury.
Admire the amazing canal network of Mekong Delta
Enjoy the senses of the bustling floating markets
Explore the waterway Saigon – Siem Reap with its people vivid daily life
Experience the culture and taste the typical foods with special cuisines
Good for :
This tour is great for any individuals, couples as well as small groups who want to explore Mekong Delta, the waterway Saigon – Siem Reap and Angkor Temples while enjoying a truly luxurious cruise.
The Tonle Sap (The Great Lake) is the flowing heart of Cambodia, giving love and life to this nation. The Tonle Sap has more fish than any other lake in the world and is home to an incredible variety of birds, including rare - and endangered - feathered life. The water level rises and drops considerably throughout the year. Thus, our journey begins in high or low water.
High water program (approx. between August and December) (B/L/D)
At 12:30 pm, we gather at the meeting point followed by a quick transfer to the boutique ship. The ever-smiling crew welcomes us with unbridled warmth. A refreshing welcome drink awaits us followed by a sumptuous lunch on the ship.
Then, it is a lazy afternoon as the ship glides along the water. Dinner is at Indochine Dining Hall. Enjoy a spectacular experience on the sun-deck as we bathe in the glow of the moon and the radiance of the stars.
The ship then moors overnight on The Great Lake.
Low water program (approx. between December and August) (B/L/D)
At 8:00 am, we gather at the meeting point and join a transfer to Prek K'Dam on the Tonle Sap River. We get to munch on snacks and enjoy cold drinks along the journey. We stop briefly at Skon, known as Spiderville for its fried spiders, a delicacy in this country.
We will embark the Ship in Prek K'Dam followed by a welcome drink. The Ship then sets sail upstream towards Kampong Chhnang.
We wind our way through the river, you feel at one with nature, a measured peace with the environment and the community.
Later that evening, we meet and greet our fellow passengers, our brothers-in-arms in our soon-to-be matchless experience at a briefing at the Henry Mouhot Lounge. This is followed by a welcome dinner at the Indochine Dining Hall.
High water program (B/L/D)
The day - in fact everyday - starts with an invigorating Tai Chi lesson on the sundeck, just as the sun begins its slow rise. Coffee and tea awaits the early bird. Before dawn, the Ship sets sail across the Tonle Sap Lake. As the ship is about to exit the lake, we see spectacular marshlands floating along the river banks of Kampong Chhnang province.
The afternoon cruise continues with a languid meander along the Tonle Sap, which narrows through leafy swaths of the Southeast Asian jungle. Here, the river is very narrow and we are greeted by kids waving enthusiastically at us from the banks.
Follow a short bus trip to the see the Khmer-styled pottery at the Aundaung Russey village. We then embark on a truly marvelous motorboat excursion from Kampong Chhnang to see the wetlands, floating houses and fish farms in the region before reaching Kampong Cham in the evening.
Further down the river we take part in an ox cart rally before being introduced to the Heritage Line pro bono 'literacy project'.
Low water program
Kampong Chhnang is a busy rural port town with bustling markets and boisterous children who wave and greet us as we arrive on ship. We will take a short bus trip to see the Khmer-styled pottery at the Aundaung Russey village. Followed by a rugged motor boat excursion into the wetlands that form the mouth of the river. Of considerable interest are the great fish traps, some half a kilometer long, which net a gargantuan amount of fish after each monsoon rain as the trawl migrate from the falling lake to the Tonle Sap.
The afternoon cruise continue with a languid meander along the Tonle Sap, which narrows through leafy swaths of the Southeast Asian jungle. Here, the river is very narrow and we are greeted by kids waving enthusiastically at us from the banks.
Further down the river we take part in an ox cart rally before being introduced to the Heritage Line pro bono 'literacy project'.
Dinner awaits at Indochine Dining Hall while the Ship cruises through Phnom Penh to reach Kampong Cham late in the evening.
We will wake up in the small hours of the morning, truly energized to embark on a land journey to the pre-Angkorian temple of Wat Hanchey. Travelers either take a motor-taxi or climb the 291 steps to the top. Located at the top of a hill overlooking the river, it offers one of the most breath-taking views in Cambodia. Built in the 8th century, this ancient structure, together with a bigger and newer addition underscores the superb architecture of the Chenla Empire which predates the mighty Angkor temple complex. We even get to engage in light banter with some of the monks in the area. We will return to the ship to witness a blessing ceremony performed by orange-clad local monks.
When the tide allows, we will enjoy a surprise sojourn in our zodiacs (inflatable boats) to the nearby bank to swim in the tea-coloured Mekong river, an experience that will, no doubt, dominate dinner conversations in the weeks to come.
We will then cruise towards Kampong Cham to visit Wat Nokor, a wat built within the ruins of an ancient temple which holds a timeless story. On the way back to the ship, we will visit an orphanage. Along the way, we will have to maneuver a 2-kilometer rickety bamboo bridge. Our sense of balance lies in the balance!
Phnom Penh was once the Paris of the East. Despite its rapid development, it has retained a lot of its rustic charm and elegance. After breakfast, we will be captivated by a comprehensive lecture on Cambodia's modern history. This will be followed by a city tour of this dynamic, historical capital city of Cambodia which has managed to preserve huge slices of its French colonial allure. Sightseeing in the morning will include visiting the dazzling white and gold edifice of the Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda, and witnessing exceptionally beautiful Khmer craft at the National Museum.
After lunch at a local restaurant, we will visit the Genocide museum and the Killing Field in town. Be prepared to be heart wrenched by this stark reminder of the genocide that transpired during Cambodia's Khmer Rouge regime.
We go back to the ship after our museum visit. A variety of cocktails will be served followed by a traditional Apsara dance performance onboard. Experience the brilliance and richness of this culture, the soothing sounds of traditional music, the calming scent of incense sticks and a barbeque on the sundeck. It is indeed a truly marvelous experience, dining in the open with the stars and the moon as our companions.
The cruise liner then sets sail for a lazy day of cruising along the main Mekong Channel. As this is an international shipping route, you will witness large commercial ships plying this route. Later, in the afternoon, we set off to the Vietnamese border for the requisite cross border paperwork. As the process tends to take some time, we bask in the glow of the afternoon sun on the Sun Deck, pamper ourselves silly at the Spa, or sharpen our culinary skills with the Heritage Line's Cambodian and Vietnamese cuisine cooking class.
The ship moors midstream overnight.
Welcome to the fish sanctuary of Vietnam. We begin our day with a hearty breakfast at the Indochine Dining Hall or in the quiet sanctuary of your balcony. We will brace ourselves for a short excursion in Chau Doc, a pleasant town near the Cambodian border with sizeable Chinese, Kinh and Khmer communities. We will also visit the colorful local market near an ancient temple. This is followed by a trip to the quay, where we will be feted to a boat excursion to the floating villages and rustic catfish farms.
We will certainly enjoy watching schools of basa fish being fed by hand followed by a shore excursion to the local Cham Muslim community village.
Then, it is back to the ship for a lunch. In the late afternoon, we will set off for Sa Dec.
In the morning we embark a traditional sampan* to tour Binh Thanh Island and its man-made canals. Here, every villager is involved in the process of growing and processing water hyacinths into natural fibre floor mats and rattan baskets.
After lunch onboard, the ship arrives in Cai Be. The tour starts with a visit to Cai Be's boisterous and colorful floating market where traders gather in a cacophonous congregation. During the languid ride, we discover breathtaking landscapes along the river and quaff the rustic life on the Mekong Delta.
The evergreen islands along the Mekong River remains unknown to many people. The cruise will halt intermittenly to allow us to observe how rice paste, rice cookies and coconut candies are made, along with the Longan fruit drying process. After touring the canals, we head to an ancient house surrounded by fruit orchards before heading to the ship for lunch.
We then board the Ship for a tranquil evening cruise towards My Tho. A wonderful farewell party awaits us on the cruise.
*sampan - a flat bottomed traditional Vietnamese wooden boat
Our cruise on the magnificent cruiser comes to an end as the ship winds its way to My Tho, approximately 70km south of Saigon on the upper Mekong river in Vietnam. We bid farewell to the cruise as our journey comes to a close. But the memories - and the friendships made on board - linger on for a lot longer.
We disembark at around 9:00 am and we join the transfer to madding crowd of Saigon.
Although it is our intention to operate the itinerary as detailed proposal, we will do our utmost to stick to the set itinerary, however we cannot be held responsible for any last minute changes that might occur. It may be necessary to make some changes as a result of climatic conditions, alterations to cruise schedules or other operational factors.
- Free of charge for children below 5 years old, in parents' room and using existing bedding. Children below 12 years - 80% off the cruise price. Children above 5 years must solely occupy a berth (extra bed supplement)
Group Concession policy
- GIT rates available upon request and subject to availability
- First Choice refers as a group a booking of 5 cabins and more per cruise
- Free non English speaking guides are available FOC for groups occupying 10 cabins and more (subject to availability)
Tour Guide Rates
- All guide services are in the English language. Guides in other languages my be supplied by special arrangement at addtional cost which may include using guest accommodation or tour guide cabin if available. Guides can also be arranged by Travel Agents and can also use guest accommodation or tour guide cabin if available
- Tour guide fee (non English speaking), US$ 75 per day
- Accommodation in tour guide cabin, US$ 50 per night, (subject to availability) to cover food, accommodation and transportation.
- Accommodation in guest rooms, US$ 100 per night (subject to availability) to cover food, accommodation and transportation.
- Free non English speaking guides provided by First choice are subject to 10 cabins per booking per cruise
- Phnom Penh port taxes of US$ 65 levied by the Cambodian Port Authority apply for all guides
- FOC's for tour leader, leading a group occupying 10 cabins or more cabins are available
- Accommodatin in officer or tour guide cabins and subject to availability
- Phnom Penh port taxes of US$ 65 levied by the Cambodian Port Authority apply for all tour leaders
Tour guides who work with us are well-paid, experienced with a university background, eager to exchange our cultures and lifestyles ... with travelers, and have a great passion for their country and understand the personal touch. In some parts such as Sapa, we may use local tour guides who come from the ethnic hilltribes like H'Mong or Red Dao as they know about their land much better than anyone else and this is also the way that Indochinavalue helps the local people a better life.
Tour guide is one of the most important factors to a successful holiday. Indochinavalue understands that a good tour guide needs not only good knowledge on history, culture, good English, French... but also needs to have general requirements and follow our guidelines as below:
1 - Licensed at least for 4 years with work experience.
2 - Guiding does require more than just hanging out in the sun. Guides must be friendly and good with people, organized enough to keep groups or people on schedule, quick on their feet and ready for the inevitable snafus that arises.
3 - Must be an honest broker of their services and able to take criticism.
4 - Should be qualified at some level in health, health care or first aid.
5 - Able to relate to people from a wide range of cultures and backgrounds.
6 - Clear speech and good hearing.
7 - Must not be a alcoholic or No-alcohol during working time or anytime when on tour.
8 - Tour guide is a nurse to take care of visitors, a boss to keep the right itinerary, a teacher to give information, an ambassador to introduce our country, an entertainer because Indochinavalue's clients want to be entertained in extend, a friend...
9 - Must be on time every time. Being late or delay is unacceptable.
10 - Check flight tickets, train tickets, meals, weather... to make sure things are in order and inform local office if any changes that might effect the tour.
11 - Solve problems with care when there is dissatisfy. Argument should be averted by courtesy.
Kind of vehicle (offered on tour) depends on the size of your group size or your requirements. To ensure your comfort, all cars feature air conditioning and enough room inside. Drivers are local, with years of experience, taking you to your destination quickly and safely.
1 - Our drivers are professional and reliable with at least 5 years of experience, driving safely.
2 - Our drivers are not allowed to hear cell-phone or smoke, chat, drink when driving.
3 - Our drivers must be friendly, helpful with good behavior and attitude.
4 - Our drivers are not allowed to take you to shops unless you ask for.
2 Stars from: US$35 -> US$40
The 2 star hotels are good for budget travelers and sometimes, we have no choice but stay in a guesthouse, mini hotel, 2 star hotel in the remote and mountainous areas. Basically, 2 star hotels will offer good size and clean guest rooms with AC, TV, hot water, shower and private bathrooms
3 Stars from: US$40 -> US$80
The 3 star hotels are good for many travelers because they offer basic needs for a comfortable stay, good size and clean guest rooms with Free access high speed Internet, Welcome baskets and drinking water, Telephone with international dialing, Electronic safe box in room, Hairdryer, Coffee and Tea, Wake-up service, AC, TV, hot water, shower and private bathrooms. On-site restaurants with breakfast included and lunch or dinner at your own pick up. A small fitness center, spa and swimming pool can be expected.
4 Stars from: US$80 -> US$130
Offering a wide range of comfortable boutique hotels are available with shopping, dining and entertainment facilities nearby. Featuring quality service, fully furnished rooms, restaurants, fitness center with spa (and swimming pool in most cases), the hotels are expected to offer an above-average accommodation experience.
5 Stars from: US$130 -> US$200 –> US$ 300
Offering an extensive range of facilities for an excellent experience. Multiple restaurants on site and a wide range of choice for buffet breakfast, good size of swimming pool, fitness center and concierge service round out the experience.
The restaurants we will take you for lunch or dinner are all designated tourist restaurants approved by local tourist administration bureau. They have very good sanitary conditions and the food is prepared fresh and clean.
Note: If you have any special dietary needs, just let your travel consultant know when booking.
Breakfast is included at all hotels and is buffet breakfast with Asian and Western food.
Lunches (if included) are usually set menu at handpicked local restaurant with comfortable dining environment where you can rest assure to taste the local flavor. All restaurants are carefully selected and highly recommended.
Dinners are only included if you stay overnight in a homestay with a local family, on cruise in Halong Bay, Mekong Delta or at some special occasions such as welcome dinner, farewell dinner or on requested. So dinners are at your own choice and arrangement, but our tour guides will always give you good suggestions based on your preferences.
If allergic to some food
We suggest you to list any food or ingredients that you are allergic to and let our travel consultant know. Then your travel consultant will mark them in the guide’s itinerary, so that our guides in different cities can make some preparations and arrangements in advance.
Do our guide and driver join the meal with us?
The tour guides and driver will be at the same restaurants with you, but they will only join the meal when you invite. Sometimes the drivers are shy to join as they usually eat fast and could not understand English talk around the table, so the guide will be with you more often.
Street food tour:
Street foods in Vietnam are very delicious and should you want to taste the specialities of each Vietnam holiday destination, we can arrange a street food tour for you. Please contact us at email@example.com for a detailed tour itinerary and quotation.
How to request a tour package?
To request for a free tour itinerary and quotation, you can just fill out the tour inquiry form at www.indochinavalue.com or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org then give us as much information as possible. One of our experienced travel consultants will get back to you shortly. All changes will be made (free of charge) until the your tour package meets your needs and personal interests.
How to book a tour package?
As soon as you agree on our proposal, please send us your full name, international flight information (if you have) and your special requirements. We will make reservations and arrange everything then confirm back to you when all done.
- Deposit is a "must". We request 30% of the tour cost. You can pay by wire transfer, credit cards, western union, onepay (online)
- Balance can be made before your arrival or on arrival in cash or by credit cards.
Changes are possible at the last minutes. However, if changes caused extra costs, you will have to pay for. (For examples, hotels, flights, cruises...)
In case of cancellation, we will not apply any charge if we are not charged by the third parties such as hotels, cruises, flights, trains...We will recalculate the costs and resend you the money as soon as possible.
Thanks you Tipping is not mandatory but it is expected in many circumstances for service. You can tip your driver/tour guide more or less or nothing. All depends on the services you receive.
- US$10 – US$ 15 per day for tour guide
- US$7 – US$ 10 per day for driver
- US$1 – US$ 3 per meal for waiter or waitress
- US$2 – US$ 5 for short boat trips/ cyclo/ tuktuk (1 – 2) hours
Note: Please check with your travel consultant before coming and your tour guide if you are to tip someone on tour.
What you get when booking a private tour with Indochinavalue?
1. Private guide, driver and vehicle are for your exclusive use; no matter you are individually, or in a family or friends group. The tour is run exclusively for you without strangers.
2. Every itinerary can be customized to meet your specific interests/ wishes, that is, you can choose your favored hotels, sightseeing spots, the tour length, means of transportation, budget, etc. All are free of charge.
3. Start the tour on any date you want.
4. Escort you from start to finish. All private transfers during the tour are offered, including airport/ train station transfer, hotel-attractions round trip transfer.
5. The sightseeing during the tour could be based on your own timetable and pace. Flexible to change at your short notice.
6. Considerate care and assistance, such as the old, the disabled or families with small kids and children.
7. You can save time and money when traveling with us or your wants meet you budget.
How do I get a visa?
Vietnam Visa On Arrival is available for help. It is legitimated and supported by the Vietnamese Immigration Department. We recommend that you choose visa upon arrival, as picking up visa at the Vietnam int'l airport/ border is quite simple, easy, no additional charges and no fail.
Please provide the following information for us to apply for your visa:
2) Passport number
3) Date of birth
5) Date of arrival
6) Date of issue
7) Date of expire
8) Please make sure that your passport is still valid for 6 months.
Can I use credit cards in Vietnam?
Major credit cards such as Master Card, Visa, Diner's Card, American Express and JCB can be used to purchase goods in large shopping malls and stores in the big and medium cities, to pay for hotel rooms and for meals in some of the fancier restaurants, and to buy plane tickets with them.
- You can use US dollar, Euro in all big cities or at major tourist sites, airports.
- If you are to travel to those small cities or even remote rural areas, only cash in Dong can be used.
Do I need to bring my medical record with me?
Yes, we suggest you take your medical record with you in case that you need it in the event ofan emergency, and please also take with you your doctor's name, address and phone number, emergency contact name and phone number, and your insurance company's name, address and phone number.
Note: You can buy medicines everywhere in Vietnam so do not need to bring medicines from home.
When I finish my tour in Vietnam, if I still have some local money, what can I do?
Upon leaving Vietnam, if you still have some local money, you can change them back to foreign currency with your passport and the exchange memos given by the banks or money exchange counters. So please keep those exchange memos well whenever you change money.
What should we bring along on our trip to Vietnam?
It is best to travel light in Vietnam. One medium sized bag and a day pack will provide more than enough room to carry everything you'll need, and enough space for the things you'll buy in Vietnam.
There are lots of consumer goods in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, so do not worry about running out of something. If you do forget something you can easily find it here. Before you leave home complete the following checklist:
- Lightweight and quick dry clothing is most appropriate for the summer months, and warmer clothing for the winter months. As well, sun hat, swim suit, ultra lightweight rain jacket.
- Travel Documents: Passport, Visa, Travel Insurance, Air Tickets (you should scan them and email them to yourself in case you loose them).
- Health requirements, medications, and travel insurance arranged.
- Flashlight, alarm clock, sunglasses, sunscreen, insect repellent, small personal first aid kit, personal toiletries.
- Money: US dollars or travelers cheques and/ or credit card(s).
- Raincoat or umbrella, good hiking shoes are needed for all Footprint trekking trips.
- Camera with charger, extra batteries, and memory cards.
Are there any restrictions on the type of luggage that we bring? Domestic airlines have their weight restrictions. On most domestic and low-cost airlines You may only have one suitcase or backpack, with a maximum weight of 20kg, and one piece of hand luggage, with a maximum weight of (5 – 7)kg. An extra charge for overweight is applied.
There is no actual limit on our trips, but we would suggest you travel light with one suitcase or backpack and one small daypack or small bag which you can access during the day and carry items like your camera, drinking water, toilet paper, hat, sunscreen, etc.
It is essential that you have a lock for each piece of luggage. Without one, railway and airline staff and some hotels may refuse to handle it.
What is the best type of clothing we should bring?
Here is a short checklist of best type of clothing you should bring:
- Shorts and comfortable pants;
- Shirts, t-shirts and maybe some long sleeves shirts (for regions with mosquitos like the Mekong delta);
- Swim suits (for the beaches and Halong Bay);
- Good sandles as well as good shoes if trekking.
Nevertheless, it will really depend on where you travel to, when you plan on travelling, and what you plan on doing. Please note that the weather can be very cold during the winter in the Northern Vietnam (Nov to Mar) and quite cool in the central highlands (Dalat). You will need to bring a good jacket along for this time of the year, the avarage temperature is about 15 oC, but can get as cold as 3 oC.
Tip: Do not worry if you do not pack enough clothes or forget something because you can buy in Vietnam.
Shopping in Vietnam
Shopping in Vietnam: Many tourists can’t help but throw themselves head-first into shopping while in Vietnam. Why? Probably the variety of quality goods and the tempting prices have a lot to do with it. Many low-budget travelers considered Vietnam a heavenly place because in many shopping situations they can bargain the prices down to as much as a third of the original cost.
The list of Vietnamese bargains is seemingly endless and features bespoke tailoring and the national dress, the 'ao dai' from high-quality silk and many other types of material and textiles while many shoppers cannot get enough of the local handicraft, art and jewelry.
How to bargain?
Bargain is not common in some countries, but in Vietnam it really is. In Vietnam, bargaining is always worthwhile. Yet, it is not always due to the fact that the local have a great deal of time and very little money. Bargaining is part of Vietnamese culture as through bargaining people communicate with others, create and build up their relationship, not to mention a form of entertainment.
Rule - 1: It's like the monster ride at the amusement park. If you're not having fun, get off.
Rule - 2: Don't bargain with the first person who approaches you (i.e., when looking for a taxi at the airport.) In general the further you go from the center of action, the cheaper the price.
Rule - 3: Don't be afraid to use walking away as a bargaining tool. You can always come back.
Rule - 4: Don't let pride get in the way of coming back (or Rule #3 is useless).
Rule - 5: If you really want something and the price isn't coming down, give in gracefully. (It's that pride thing again.)
Rule - 6: Don't always assume you're getting ripped off just because you're in a third-world country. Sometimes the price they're asking is the real one.
Rule - 7: Bargaining is a time/ money tradeoff. If you're in a hurry, be prepared to pay for it.
Rule - 8: Ask (Vietnamese) fellow shoppers the price of an item before you begin bargaining.
Rule - 9: Always carry small bills. Otherwise all that work is likely to be for nothing.
Rule - 10: Always bargain in native currency. Conventional wisdom says anyone who has dollars can afford to spend them.
Rule - 11: If possible, keep going back to the same person until you've gotten to know him/ her. Most third world countries have a name for this kind of relationship. The deal is that you offer your business on a regular basis and the seller responds by saving you their best tomatoes
Rule - 12: No matter what your parents told you, when you're bargaining it's perfectly okay to lie