Join Mekong Jewel for 7 incredible nights of Mekong river cruising from Kampong Cham (Siem Reap) to My Tho (Saigon)!
Depart from SYD MEL BNE ADL
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Anantara Angkor Resort is an all-suite boutique nestled in verdant gardens on the outskirts of Siem Reap. Only 15 minutes from the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Angkor, this luxury hotel in Siem Reap is the closest hotel to Angkor Wat temple – the perfect base for days spent exploring the site by tuk-tuk, Vespa or helicopter. Find remote ruins with your Temple Guru. Explore the best street foods and boutiques with the Streetwise Guru. Relax in comfort after the day's adventures with a blissful in-suite spa treatment or signature pampering at the award-winning Anantara Spa.
This morning (08:00-12:30), you will visit the monumental magnificence of Angkor Thom - last capital of the Khmers; we begin our visit at the Terrace of the Leper King and Phimeanakas, whose name means “Heavenly Palace”. This intricately carved platform was the royal crematorium and the statue that was originally thought to be the leper king is now believed to be Yama, the god of death. We continue along the Terrace of Elephants, originally used as a viewing gallery for the king to preside over parades, performances and traditional sports. At the southern end lies the Baphuon, once of the most beautiful temples at Angkor, dating from the reign of Uditayavarman 1 in the 11th century. It has undergone a massive renovation by the French and is now once again open for viewing. Our climax is the enigmatic and enchanting temple of the Bayon. This 12th century masterpiece lies at the very centre of Angkor Thom and is an archaeological wonder of symmetry and grandeur. The exterior gallery walls have extensive bas-reliefs but the highlight is the “faces”, more than 200 of them, silent but with the famous half-smile playing on their lips. PJ de Beerski wrote of them; “godliness in the majesty and the size, mystery in the expression.” Continue to visit Ta Prohm, the temple that has been left largely in its natural state since its “re-discovery” by French explorers. Surrounded by jungle, its labyrinth of stone hallways is overgrown with the roots and limbs of massive banyan trees, which envelop the stone like tentacles. It is one of the largest temples at Angkor, dedicated in 1186. Historians have noted its mystical charm.
Discover an urban oasis filled with carefully curated amenities at Renaissance Riverside Hotel Saigon. Luxurious and cosmopolitan, our 5-star hotel invites you to experience the best of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Our enviable location in District 1's financial and commercial hub places guests near attractions like Ben Thanh Market, the National History Museum and Saigon Opera House. After a busy day in Ho Chi Minh City, retreat to spacious hotel rooms and suites, which feature indulgent bedding, floor-to-ceiling windows and high-speed Wi-Fi; many boast views of Saigon River.
At 08:30am you are met at the lobby of your hotel for the exploration of city.
Beginning in the centre of the city, the first stop on today’s itinerary is Reunification Palace. Formerly named the Presidential Palace, this important city landmark was assured its place in history on 30th April 1975, when the first North Vietnamese tanks rumbled past, signalling the Fall of Saigon and ultimately the end of the Vietnam War. Now a museum complete with period meeting areas, war rooms and a basement communication centre, after your visit, walk the short distance to Notre Dame Cathedral. At the centre of HCMC’s government district, this romantic church dates back to the late 19th century and is a popular backdrop for wedding photographs. Across the street from the cathedral is the city’s striking French colonial-era post office, whilst Hotel de Ville de Saigon, officially Ho Chi Minh City Hall, is another of the city’s more prominent buildings. The Museum of Vietnamese History is housed in yet another fine example of Sino-French architecture. Dating back to the 1920s, it contains an excellent series of exhibits dating from the Bronze Age to the Nguyen dynasty, the last ruling family of Vietnam.
As an alternative to the Museum of Vietnamese History, visit the elegant Fine Arts Museum with its impressive collection of ancient and modern art and sculptures, or the War Remnants Museum, which is primarily dedicated to the Vietnam War but also includes exhibits dating back to the French colonialist period and the first Indochina War.
The final stop today is the unforgettable Jade Emperor Pagoda. With the pungent smell of incense hanging heavy in the air and an interior packed full of ornate carvings and fierce-looking statues, this Taoist temple is one of the most atmospheric places of worship in the city.
After lunch at a local restaurant, transfer back to your hotel or alternatively be dropped off at Ben Thanh market for personal exploration and a spot of souvenir hunting.