Two Asian nations – and a favourite drag queen – await on Out Adventure's 2020 Mekong River gay cruise. After four days at our favourite five-star hotel in Siem Reap, the Cambodian town that’s home to the legendary Angkor Wat, we’ll board a luxurious, seven-night, all-gay cruise along the Mekong River. Between marvelling at ancient cities and getting lost in time in local villages, Toronto-based diva Miss Conception will stun you with two shows, a trivia night, and private Champagne lap dances in her suite. Alright, perhaps not a lap dance – we can’t let her upstage the stilted villages, Phnom Penh, and gorgeous countryside. To round off the journey, we’ll disembark in Ho Chi Minh City, where ancient collides with modern.
Wrap up your holiday in Ho Chi Minh City or join us for another five days on our Hanoi & Ha Long Bay Gay Tour & Cruise Extension, January 13 - 17, 2020.
• One of our most all-inclusive adventures! Every meal, drinks at restaurant dinners, and beer/spirits on the ship are covered in the price
• Be savagely entertained by Female Delusionist Extraordinaire, Miss Conception
• See local tales told through performing arts at the Phare Circus
• Watch the sun rise over Angkor Wat
• Take part in a Khmer Cooking Class
• Marvel at the smiling stone faces and bas reliefs of Bayon Temple
• Visit with some rare Irrawaddy River Dolphins
• Get a look at life before the Khmer Rouge Regime in Angkor Ban
• Embark on a seven-night luxury river cruise
• Visit a tribal village and cat fish farm in Chau Doc
• Dine at sensational restaurants that beautifully showcase local cuisine
• Explore Phnom Penh by cyclo (tricycle taxi)
• Scurry through the infamous Cu Chi Tunnels
• Spend a full day exploring Ho Chi Minh City, including a stop at Reunification Palace
• All Gratuities
• All meals, including wine/beer with restaurant dinners
• Arrival/departure transfers to/from accommodation booked through OUT Adventures
• Group leader from beginning to end of tour
• Angkor Wat & Temple Tours
• Siem Reap Cooking Class
• Siem Reap Phare Circus
• Siem Reap & Ho Chi Minh city tours
• Accommodations - 4-Star Hotel (2 nights), 5-Star Hotel (3 nights)
• 7-night Luxury River Cruise including all excursions, local beer, spirits, soft drinks and regular coffee/tea
• International Airfare
• Meals & Activities not mentioned in itinerary
• Incidental gratuities (more info will come in trip documents)
• Wine/laundry/spa services during Gay River Cruise
• Items of a personal nature
• Visa fees
• Travel insurance package covering medical, trip interruption & baggage loss
Joom reab sour! Welcome to Cambodia!
Our trip kicks off at 6PM with a group meeting, followed by an included dinner and drinks. Tonight’s restaurant is noteworthy as it’s restored the glory of Cambodian cuisine following the downfall of the Khmer Rouge regime and civil war.
After that, we’ll savour some optional cocktails at a local gay bar.
We have a massive day ahead of us, beginning with a trip to the world-famous City of Angkor, where bas-relief carvings and architecture offer fab fodder for photographers. We’ll explore the temples with our guides, and enjoy an included lunch.
Tonight’s dinner is also included, at a restaurant that trains underprivileged young adults, and it happens to be a favourite spot of ours.
The night wraps with a circus (literally) where young Cambodian artists tell their tales through music and more performing arts.
Photography enthusiasts are in for a treat! We’ll rise before dawn and head to Angkor Wat for sunrise, followed by breakfast at the hotel.
Then we’ll explore favourite ruins like Banteay Srei, a sandstone temple devoted to the Hindu god Shiva.
This afternoon we’ll visit the countryside, venture through a village, and end the day by splitting into smaller groups for a cooking class with local chefs. Our unforgettable creations will then be savoured over views of the sun setting beyond the paddy fields.
After breakfast we’ll transfer to Kampong Cham, a provincial capital defined by the hustle of its markets and French colonial architecture.
We’ll stop at Kampong Thom en route, with a simple boxed lunch served on the bus en route to the beautiful RV Mekong Pandaw – our home for the next seven nights.
We’ll enjoy cocktail hour on the Sunset Deck, followed by a briefing and our first dinner aboard while we cruise towards Chhlong.
Today we sail for Kratie, a low-key French colonial town famous for its rare Irrawaddy River Dolphins (the other two places they can be found are on India's Ganges River, and Myanmar's Irrawaddy River itself).
As this is a protected area, we’ll board smaller vessels to venture out in search of these glorious cetaceans.
Continuing our journey down the river, today we visit three great destinations.
First up is the very curious Monkey Temple.
Then we'll visit the remote Wat Hanchey, which offers fantastic views.
After we sail downstream we’ll visit Koh Okhna Tey, or ‘Silk Island’, to study the entire silk making process from worms to weavers. You’ll also see a demo of the ancient martial art of Bokator.
Today we’ll explore Cambodia's capital by iconic tricycle taxis known as cyclos.
We’ll visit the Silver Pagoda, the National Museum, and the Royal Palace. Even better, our rides come care of The Cyclo Centre Phnom Penh, a charity providing basic welfare and medical services to the drivers of these unique cabs.
In the afternoon, we’ll take a sobering break to visit the Killing Fields and Khmer Rouge's grim Tuol Sleng (or S21 detention centre).
The Tonle River awaits today, with visits to a silver-making village, Kampong Trolach, and the craft town of Chong Koh known for its silk weavers.
Depending on water levels we'll either travel by ship or by coach, soaking up the vibrant local life along the river banks.
It’s an easy day of cruising as we make our way up the main Mekong channel.
This international shipping route is also Vietnam’s border, so we’ll stop to sort out immigration formalities – this could take a while, so why not arm yourself with a cocktail or book?
You can also go behind the scenes of our cruise with onboard tours, or take part in a cooking and fruit carving demonstration.
Today we’ll visit a Chau Doc town, known for its stilted homes, a Cham tribal village and a cat fish farm.
If you want some time to yourself, you may also break off from the group, grab a mountain bike, and explore on your own.
The village exudes a charming French style, the local market is excellent, and if you have a chance, don’t miss the colourful Catholic church after a brief Vietnam history lesson in a local “saloon”.
Our night will be spent in Cai Bei, the Mekong River Delta.
While the river cruise is over, our trip is most certainly not!
This morning we’ll disembark and transfer to Ho Chi Minh City (aka Saigon), with a stop at the Cu Chi Tunnels for a tour. This extensive underground network, dug by the Viet Minh and Viet Cong, actually contained hospitals, accommodations and schools (beware the tunnels can be hot, sweaty, and claustrophobic for some).
We’ll then check-in to our lavish riverside hotel, then freshen up for an included dinner at KOTO – another fantastic restaurant that trains underprivileged youth. The rest of the evening is free to relax.
“Saigon” is full of chaotic thrills. Ancient and modern worlds mingle. Temples stand defiantly among zooming scooters and new architecture.
We’ll visit Thien Hau Temple (built in the early 19th century, and dedicated to the goddess of seafarers). We delve deeper into Chinatown, and visit the dazzling Cholon and Binh Tay 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 this final, ambitious afternoon, we’ll celebrate a Farewell Dinner at one of the city’s best restaurants that features local cuisine with modern flare!
There are no activities planned today until your complimentary departure transfer. That said, you could keep the adventure alive with our Hanoi & Ha Long Bay Gay Tour & Cruise Extension, January 13 - 17, 2020.
Built in Rangoon in 2002, the RV Mekong Pandaw was designed specifically for the Mekong. The MP as she is affectionately known is Pandaw's most spacious ship with wider promenades, a larger dining hall and more public space per passenger than any known ship on the Mekong.
In 2012 she was refitted and lower deck cabins removed in favour of a professional 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.
The ship has quality mountain bikes for your independent exploration.
Wining & Dining
• Local master chef heading an experienced international culinary team
• Semi-buffet breakfast, Semi-buffet lunch, and seated theme dinners
• Daily lean & light menu options
• Complimentary coffee, water, tea, soft drinks, local beer, local spirits, juices
• Extensive wine list with premium wines
• Series of cultural performances, educational talks, cooking classes, and ship tour
• Welcome drink on arrival
• Welcome cocktail
• Farewell reception
• Theme- and gala dinners
• Spacious, air-conditioned saloon bar with nightly entertainment
• Sundeck bar with complimentary ice cream from sunrise to sunset
• Pool table on sundeck
• 24hrs hospitality bar
• Onboard bakery with daily freshly baked breads and rolls
• 18 upper deck, 6 main deck staterooms
• 170 square feet, finished in teak and brass
• Panoramic French window, leading to personal deck space
• New bathrooms with natural stone shower and branded quality fittings
• Kimonos and slippers
• Spa-branded amenities
• Unlimited mineral water
• Electric mini safe
• Central AC with individual control
• Imported quality linens with duvet and two kind of pillows
• Premium mattresses
• Convertible bed configuration
• Welcome flower arrangement and welcome gift
• Multi-configuration plugs
• Generous closet space and under-bed storage
• Hair dryer
• Daily nightly turndown service
• 24h laundry service
• Complimentary evening canapés