International Lifestyle Magazine Issue 49 - Page 42

Day 4 Day 7 Tonle Sap / Embark Jahan Phnom Penh Leave early for the drive to the Tonle Sap River, with a stop at the market town of Skon and, just before embarkation, visit a village where silverwork is crafted. Embark Jahan, your home for the next seven nights for a unique Asian luxury cruise, at the town of Prek K’dam. Sail along the Tonle Sap through an exceptionally interesting landscape of forest and floating homes, with local residents fishing in small boats. Watch for the sunset in this vast, watery realm. Day 5 Kompong Chnang From the town of Kompong Chnang, drive a short way to a village where pottery is still made for sale to local residents by traditional methods. You’ll see how the pots are made and learn about the uses of the palm tree, complete with a taste of palm sugar if you’re so inclined. Then local boats will take you along the Tonle Sap for a glimpse into a unique way of life: seeing the floating houses and shops that line the riverbanks here. This afternoon, Jahan sails along the Tonle Sap River. Today will be a full, rewarding day exploring the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh, situated at the confluence of the Mekong, Bassac and Tonle Sap Rivers. Begin with a “cyclo” (bicycle taxi) ride to the magnificent Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda, home and place of worship to Cambodia’s kings. The architecture, displays and furnishings are remarkable. Continue to the excellent National Museum, which has sculpture and many other artifacts from Khmer temples and other aspects of Cambodia’s history. After lunch at a local restaurant, visit an interesting local market, then venture out of town to the Choeung Ek “killing fields,” where many thousands of Cambodians were murdered by the Khmer Rouge and buried in mass graves. A moving memorial and museum are on the site. Late in the afternoon, visit the Toul Sleng Genocide Museum, where innocent people were imprisoned, tortured, and many sent to their death. Exhibits show the determination of Cambodians that this should never happen again. Day 8 Sailing the Mekong Day 6 Wat Hanchey / Kompong Cham Wat Hanchey, which you will visit in the morning, is a large temple complex atop a hill overlooking an exceptionally pretty stretch of the Mekong, offering outstanding views. There is a lot to see here: an 8th-century temple from the pre-Angkor Chenla period, an Angkor-era temple, some fine contemporary temples, and a school. In the afternoon stop at the bustling town of Kompong Cham and visit remarkable Wat Nokor, where a well preserved 11thcentury temple forms the heart of a contemporary pagoda that remains in active use. The reliefs on the old temple are exceptional, as are the decorations of the more modern one. As you sail along the Mekong, there’s a chance to see life along the river, with traditional ships, barges and freighters plying the waterway. There will be a chance to enjoy Jahan’s many amenities, to hear talks by your staff and for your chefs to show you how to prepare some of Cambodia and Vietnam’s signature dishes. Cross the border into Vietnam, where you will spend the rest of your journey. Day 9 Chau Doc, Vietnam Friendly Chau Doc has one of Vietnam’s most interesting markets, with an astonishing variety of tropical fruits, vegetables and other goods. Continue to an island village with fish farms, and see fish being fed through trap doors in the floating platforms. Then see a village inhabited by people of the Cham ethnic minority, with a chance to visit the attractive mosque and to learn about a unique way of life. www.internationallifestylemagazine.com