Built in the traditional style, the Toum Tiou was christened in 2002 on the river at Phnom Penh, the first Cambodian cruise boat with international standard accommodation.
Fully-paneled in wood, with charm and comfort in mind, we designed it in keeping with the local style. Modestly sized and with the safety of a steel hull, its low draught makes it possible for the boat to access the smallest of villages. With the tasteful decoration of a bygone era, it has 10 cozy double cabins with private shower, a large lounge area, a panoramic viewing space to the front, a half-covered bar-restaurant to the rear and a roof patio. Air conditioning, hi-fi system and library are provided. The captain, boat hands, hostesses, cooks and boat master are quiet and insonspicuous in the performance of their duties.
The legend of Toum and Tiou
The Toum Tiou derives its name from a traditional Khmer tale of star-crossed lovers, the Cambodian equivalent of Romeo and Juliet, Toum being the boy and Tiou, the girl. This beautiful love story turned tragedy features Tiou's mother, an ambitious woman who wants to marry her daughter off to the king and Toum as the awkward lover. The king, good-hearted and understanding, eventually gives up on the marriage to make Tiou happy. It ends tragically when a frame-up involving the mother and the governor leads to the death of one of the two lovers, the other committing suicide to follow suit. This story is taught from primary to high school. Many songs and pieces of traditional music allude to the pair of ill-fated lovers.
This traditional locally built boat started out as a freighter with a metal hull and a capacity of 150 tons, with two large but low-ceiling decks in order to maximize storage space. Like all boats of this type, it went up and down the Tonle Sap and Mekong, stopping at Siem Reap, Kompong Cham, Kratie and Stung Treng. We stayed as close as we could to the original line of the boat, because we wanted to retain its slightly curved and elegant lines.
The Toum Tiou is 38 meters long and 6.5 meters wide in the middle. It has 10 rooms in all (3.3 m x 2.5 m), 4 on the first deck and 6 on the second, each air-conditioned and with a bathroom (2.5 m x 1.4 m) including toilet, shower and sink. The water on board is taken from the river, passed through a powerful filtration system and chlorinated in the final step of the treatment.
In order to make the best possible use of the common areas from the standpoint of both size and variety we have installed a library-reading room on the lower deck. There is also a covered space at the front of the middle deck, a restaurant to the rear anda half-covered sundeck on top
ITINERARY IN DETAILS:
Day 1: Ho chi minh arrival (D)
Arrival at Tan Son Nhat Airport, welcome and transfer to hotel by Asia View Travel guides with signboard, check in, relax. Dinner at local restaurant. Overnight at hotel in Ho chi minh. (The first day’s programme can be re-arranged according to your arrival time in Ho chi minh).
Day 2: Ho chi minh city – Cuchi tunnel (B, L)
Morning we continue to the famous Cu Chi Tunnels, which were an incredible underground network constructed by Vietnamese fighters during the long struggle for independence. The tunnels contained hospitals, plus accommodation and schools, and were used as a military base for the Vietcong in the American war. Afternoon we spend a half day seeing some major sights of the city. We pass the now-demolished wartime American Embassy before we visit the Reunification Palace which was the former residence of the President of South Vietnam until end of April 1975, and some French colonial structures including the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Old Sai Gon Post Office. After seeing the Jade Emperor Pagoda and the War Remnant Museum, we continue our trip on to the bustling Ben Thanh Market where anything and everything is for sale!. Overnight at hotel in Ho chi minh.
Day 3: Check in Toum Tiou boat, Ho chi minh – My Tho (B, L, D)
07:45 Toum Tiou is open for embarking.
08:00 Clearance of departure formalities. Security briefing.
08:30 Departure for My Tho
Lunch and leisure on board during navigation.
17:30 Arrival at My Tho – Toum Tiou drops anchor on river in the proximity of Thoi Son Island. Local musician band embarks to play traditional music for 45 minutes.
19:00 Welcome drink and info meeting about cruise, crew introduction. Welcome dinner. Overnight on board.
Day 4: My tho – Vinh Long – Caibe (B, L, D)
08:00 Local boats come alongside Toum Tiou to pick up passengers and transfer to the mainland.
Departure for Vinh Trang Pagoda by car - Short panoramic tour of My Tho town on the way. Contin for Dong Tam Snake Farm and My Tho Market. On the banks of a northern arm of the Mekong, My Tho, which translates as "fragrant herb", where tourists come to discover the beauty of the delta. It's a quiet, prosperous city of about 100,000 inhabitants, famous for its many fruit orchards, gardens and the huge rice fields that surround it. The climate is warm and pleasant year round. The surrounding countryside is home to one of the most luxuriant gardens of Vietnam, with its coconut palms, banana and mango trees.
10:45 Return at the pier - you cruise on the river to Thoi Son Island by local boat to visit the island, explore
local people’s daily life and enjoy locally seasonal fruits.
13:00 You re-embark Toum Tiou that leaves My Tho for Cai Be Lunch and leisure on board.
18:00 Toum Tiou at anchor on river on the proximity of Cai Be.
19:30 Dinner and overnight on board
Day 5: Vinh Long – Caibe – Sadec (B, L, D)
08:00 Locals boat come alongside Toum Tiou, pick up pax and cruise around Cai Be Floating Market
Continuing for Vinh Long - a brick and pottery factory, the Binh Hoa Phuoc Islet Nursery of Fruit Trees as
well a typical house and a show room of traditional farming tools. Vinh Long, which translates as "Majestic Dragon", is right in the middle of the delta, between two arms of the Mekong. The soil of Vinh Long is enriched by silt deposits, making it ideal for growing mandarins and other citrus fruits. Life is organized around the water. Houses on stilts, hawkers in boats, hundreds of small craft crisscross in all directions. The hospitality of the locals makes it a tourist destination par excellence.
12:30 Return on the Toum Tiou, departure for Sa Dec.
Lunch on board during the navigation.
15:00 Arrival at Sa Dec - Short panoramic tour of Sa Dec and transfer to Trung Vuong primary school.
Continuing to Kien An Cung Pagoda. Stroll around Sa Dec Market along Sa Dec River bank. This small city of 30,000 inhabitants is fascinating in its unspoiled authenticity and undisturbed by tourists. It provides a glimpse of the delta where a few colonial houses still remain, including the "Chinaman's house" (from Duras' novel "The Lover", also made into a movie).
17:00 Return to the boat with stopover at a nursery of flower and bonsai trees. Famous for its horticulture (it
has many varieties of fabulously exotic flowers) Sa Dec was known as the "Garden of Cochin Chine"
during colonial times.
18:30 Re-embarking, Toum Tiou leaves Sa Dec port and drop anchor few miles away.
Dinner and overnight on the river.
Day 6: Sadec – Chau doc (B, L, D)
06:30 Early departure for Chau Doc.
07:00 Breakfast during navigation. Leisure and relax onboard.
13:30 Arrival after lunch at Victoria Hotel Chau Doc jetty.
Located to the north at the beginning of Mekong's famous delta, Chau Doc straddles both banks of the
Mekong which fans out to the dimensions of a river mouth here. Floating fish farms have sprung up
everywhere. Bamboo fish drying racks are set up a meter above the water's surface. The bourgeoning
downtown area features some charmingly rustic colonial buildings, squeezed in by the marketplace - the
colorful, vibrant heart of the city. As always, these busy parts of town, despite their sometimes strong
odors, offer wonderful photo opportunities...
14:30 Departure for fish raising rafts and Cham minority village by local boat.
Return to the Victoria hotel for a walk to Chau Doc market. Visit of Sam Mountain which peaks at 237
meters. Its well-known Buddhist sanctuaries offer an unobstructed view over the mosaic of glistening rice
paddies below. To the left is Cambodia, and the flow of the Mekong on the horizon breaks into an infinity
of silver ribbons. Visit on the way of the Lady Chua Xu temple and Tay An Pagoda.
18:30 Return to the boat after sunset.
19:00 Dinner at the Victoria Hotel’s restaurant.
Overnight onboard at the jetty of the hotel; you are free to enjoy the hotel facilities (swimming pool,
billiards, bar, Internet) or stroll in Chau Doc.
Day 7: Chau doc – Koh Deck Chau - Phnompenh (B, L, D)
07:00 Toum Tiou leaves for Vinh Xuong (Vietnamese border) Breakfast during navigation.
11.00 Arrival at Vinh Xuong check-point – Formalities clearance for Toum Tiou to cross the border.
13:00 Toum Tiou leaves Vinh Xuong check point for Cambodia.
Lunch during the navigation.
14:00 Arrival at Kaam Samnaar check-point – Formalities clearance for crossing the border.
15:30 Toum Tiou leaves Kaam Samnaar check point for Kôh Dek Chau Island.
16:30 Arrival at Kôh Dek Chau island.
A short break along the way, it allows to get a fascinating, close-up look at daily life in Cambodia.
On the fringes of civilization, the 600 people who live on Kôh Dek Chau will receive your visit with some
surprise. School children will escort you along your way. You will go through the village that occupies the
full length of the island, walking along a trail shaded by date palms.
17:30 Toum Tiou leaves for Phnom Penh and drops anchor few miles away.
19:00 Farewell cocktail (1 glass of local liquor or juice) with Master of Ship & Cruise Manager.
Captain’s farewell dinner (Enriched menu + 1 glass of wine). Overnight on board
Day 8: Koh Dek Chau – Phnompenh (B, L)
08:00 Departure of Toum Tiou for Phnom Penh. Time to pack, leisure onboard.
13:00 Arrival at Phnom Penh after a last lunch onboard. Our car and guide will pick up you, transfer to your hotel in Phnompenh. (Hotel not included). End of tour.
Thank you for travelling with Asia View Travel.
Cost in USD per cabin on Toum Tiou boat
From 1 Oct. 09 to 30 Sept.2010
• 6 days Toum Tiou cruise as stated above
• 5 nights on Toum Tiou boat sharing double/ twin private cabin
• 2 nights at 4* hotel in Ho chi minh city sharing double/twin room
• English speaking guide
• Transfers in private air-conditioned vehicles
• Meals as indicated in the itinerary with local foods (B = breakfast; L = Lunch; D = Dinner)
• Admission fees and permits where applicable
• Government taxes and Service Charge
• Airfares & airport taxes
• Visa in Vietnam Vietnam visa arrangement (upon request visa on arrival at 15 USD, not including stamping fee at 25 USD)
• Visa in Cambodia (available at the border at 20 USD/visa)
• Travel insurance
• Other personal expenses