Giving to
Bryn Mawr

Katharine Houghton Hepburn Center

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MYSTERIES OF THE MEKONG:
ANGKOR WAT TO SAIGON


ABOARD THE DELUXE M.S. LA MARGUERITE
Cambodia/Vietnam

March 16 – 29, 2011

Join us on this unique 11-night journey of a lifetime to ancient and mysterious Cambodia and Vietnam featuring an exclusively chartered seven-night cruise down the legendary Mekong River. Spend two nights in Siem Reap to explore the Angkor complex, a UNESCO World Heritage site, highlighted by a visit to Angkor Wat and the magnificent 12th-century Khmer temples.

Then cruise in comfort aboard the deluxe, colonial-style M.S. LA MARGUERITE stopping in Phnom Penh and passing tranquil villages and colorful floating markets, rice paddies and grand pagodas, as traditional ways of life give way to the modern world in the French colonial districts of cosmopolitan Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City).

Enjoy two nights in Saigon and attend a lecture by a member of American Chamber of Commerce in the historic residence of former U.S. Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge. Meet with local Vietnamese, learn about the French influence on the country’s popular cuisine and experience the living heritage of ancient cultural riches with hand-picked English-speaking guides

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Preliminary Itinerary
(please click on location to reveal details)

FULL ITINERARY

Day 1 and Day 2 - March 16 & 17, 2011 - U.S./ Depart for Siem Reap, Cambodia

Cross the International Date Line.

Day 3 – March 18, 2011 - SIEM REAP, CAMBODIA

Arrive in Siem Reap and check into the deluxe HOTEL SOFITEL ANGKOR PHOKEETHRA. Join fellow participants this evening for the welcome reception.

Day 4 – March 19, 2011 - SIEM REAP/ANGKOR

After breakfast, visit the National Museumfor an in-depth look at the glories of the Angkor civilization and its temples, kings and religions. Then spend the remainder of the day exploring the stunning temples of Angkor, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Visit the ruins of the 11th-century temple mountain, Baphuon; the Elephant Terraces, where King Jayavarman VII viewed the return of his victorious armies; the Terrace of the Leper King, named for the moss-covered statue found at the site; and the ancient Royal Palace, home of King Suryavarman I. Following lunch, tour mystical Angkor Wat the largest and most breathtaking of the temples constructed by the Khmer civilization between the ninth and fourteenth centuries.

Day 5 – March 20, 2011 - SIEM REAP/PREK K’DAM/ KAMPONG CHHNANG

Join the early morning excursion to Ta Prohm, the impressive 12th-century Buddhist temple nearly overrun by foliage; European explorers actually stumbled upon it. Still partially obscured, it stands as a mysterious, silent witness to the encroaching power of the jungle. Transfer to Prek K’dam and embark the M.S. LA MARGUERITE. This evening, enjoy the Captain’s welcome cocktail reception and dinner. The ship overnights in Kampong Chhnang. Cruise itinerary is subject to weather and water level.

Day 6 – March 21, 2011 - TONLE SAP RIVER/CHONG KHO/ KAMPONG CHAM

Travel aboard an excursion boat to the mouth of the great Tonle Sap River to explore the vast wetlands and watch for a variety of stunning birdlife. Reboard the ship and cruise through the jungle to the village of Chong Kho, known for its skilled silk-weavers and its quiet, riverside atmosphere. After a walk through the village, cruise to Kampong Cham, where the ship overnights.

Day 7- March 22, 2011 - WAT HANCHEY/WAT NOKOR/ CHEUNG KOK

Take in the spectacular morning view of the Mekong River and surrounding rice paddies from the pre-Angkorian temple of Wat Hanchey. This afternoon, visit Wat Nokor, an active Hinayana temple, and the Cheung Kok Ecotourism Village, where you will gain insight into everydaylife from local villagers.

Day 8 – March 23, 2011 - PHNOM PENH

Arrive in Phnom Penh and visit the magnificent Royal Palace, built in 1866. Continue to the Silver Pagoda, named for the more than 5,000 pure silver tiles that cover the floor; its solid-gold Buddha is encrusted with over 2,000 diamonds. Tour the National Museum, which houses some of the fi nest Khmer art in the world. Following lunch on board ship, tour the Tuol Sleng Museum, housed in the former Khmer Rouge Security Prison 21, where thousands were held during Pol Pot’s dictatorship.

Day 9 – March 24, 2011 - CRUISING THE MEKONG RIVER

Spend a relaxing day cruising along the Mekong River aboard the M.S. LA MARGUERITE. Cross the border into Vietnam this evening.

Day 10 – March 25, 2011 - TAN CHAU, VIETNAM

Arrive in Tan Chau, one of Vietnam’s bustling river cities. Enjoy an authentic cyclo ride through the city, stopping to observe traditional mat-making and the art of silk-dying. Return to the pier and embark a small boat for a short cruise to a local fi sh farm built on stilts.

Day 11- March 26, 2011 - SA DEC/CAI BE

Stroll through the village of Sa Dec’s lively morning bustle. Visit the house of Huynh Thuy Le, the paramour of the French writer Marguerite Duras who once lived beside the Mekong River. Following lunch, cruise to Cai Be and board a traditional junk (boat) to experience the river town’s extraordinary floating market. The imposing Catholic cathedral overlooks this colorful waterfront atmosphere. Observe workers in family-run businesses making rice paste, drying fruit and fashioning coconut shell handicrafts. Enjoy the Captain’s farewell reception this evening.

Day 12 –March 27, 2011 - MY THO/HO CHI MINH CITY

Disembark in My Tho and transfer to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). Check into the deluxe CARAVELLE HOTEL, centrally located with incredible views of the Saigon River. This afternoon’s walking tour features Notre Dame Cathedral, a distinct reminder that the French once -ruled this country; the Reunifi cation Hall, which once served as the South Vietnamese Presidential Palace; and the War Remnant Museum, which offers a unique perspective on the American war through the eyes of the Vietnamese. Continue to the former residence of U.S. Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge for a specially arranged, engaging lecture on the current relationship between the United States and Vietnam.

Day 13 – March 28, 2011 - HO CHI MINH CITY (SAIGON)

By exclusive arrangement, meet with a Vietnamese War veteran. Then tour the Cu Chi Tunnels, an extraordinary underground complex used by the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War for communication routes, hospitals, food and weapon caches and living quarters. The afternoon is free for individual pursuits in Saigon. Attend the farewell reception in the hotel this evening.

Day 14 – March 29, 2011 - HO CHI MINH CITY/U.S.

Transfer to the airport for your return flight to the United States.


HANOI POST-PROGRAM OPTION

Complement your journey with three nights in Hanoi, Vietnam’s enthralling capital in the north that offers an exotic blend of Southeast Asian and French Colonial influence. Enjoy deluxe accommodations in the centrally located Hilton Hotel. Discover Vietnam’s rich Confucian heritage at the 11th-centruy Temple of Literature, and visit Ho Chi Minh’s modest bamboo house. Ride through Hanoi’s fascinating Old Quarter by cylo, tradition pedal-driven vehicles ideal for exploring narrow lanes

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Cost and Program Inclusions

From $3,735 plus International air

Program Cost -- (Per person based on double occupancy)

Stateroom Category Early Booking Price (Through August 1, 2010)
4 Two twin beds, convertible to One queen bed and two portholes 226 sq ft Mekong Deck $3,735
3 Two twin beds convertible to one queen Bed, large window and balcony 226 sq ft Tonle Deck $4,635
2 Two twin beds convertible to one queen Bed, large window and balcony 226 sq ft Saigon Deck $5,435
1 One king bed, separate bathtub, large Window and balcony; 290 sq ft Sadec Deck $5,835
Suite One king bed, separate whirlpool bathtub, large window and balcony; 290 sq ft Sadec Deck $6,035
Singles are available in Category for $7,635 and Category 2 for $8,435 before August 1, 2010

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Return to the “Golden Age of Travel” aboard the newly launched M.S. LA MARGUERITE, a sanctuary of luxury and style that recalls old-world charm and elegance while providing 21st-century amenities and comforts.
  • Unlock the mysteries of the intricate 12th-century sculptures of Angkor Wat, the magnificent complex of Khmer temples where saffron-robed monks still pray by candlelight and the waning light of the Asian sunset creates a mystical beauty like no other.
  • Discover the sublime beauty of Indochina during a scenic cruise along the Tonle Sap River to view a stunning variety of birdlife amid the jungles of Cambodia, traditional floating houses lining the river and picturesque landscapes dotted with tranquil rice paddies and small villages.
  • Cruise along the Mekong River and explore the traditional floating villages, catfish farms, ancient pagodas, fruit orchards and colorful markets that create the living heritage of this legendary corner of the world.

INCLUDED FEATURES

IN SIEM REAP

  • Two nights in the deluxe Hotel Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra, including breakfast daily and one lunch.
  • Welcome reception.
  • Excursion featuring visits to the National Museum and Angkor Thom.
  • Tour of Angkor Wat, a UNESCO World Heritage site, with lunch in a local restaurant.
  • Visit to the temples of Ta Prohm.

ON BOARD THE DELUXE M.S. LA MARGUERITE

  • Seven-night Mekong River cruise from Tonle Sap Lake, Cambodia, to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam, with port calls in Kampong Chhnang, Kampong Cham and Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and Tan Chau, Sa Dec and Cai Be, Vietnam.
  • Spacious and comfortable outside cabin with private bathroom and air conditioning.
  • Captain’s welcome and farewell receptions.
  • All meals—buffet breakfast, buffet lunch and dinner—featuring a choice of Western and Asian foods with an emphasis on local produce, served at single, unassigned seatings.
  • Local beer and house brand spirits with meals.
  • Scenic cruise along the Tonle Sap River.
  • Walk through the silk-weaving village of Chong Kho.
  • Excursion to Wat Hanchey and Wat Nokor.
  • Visit to the Cheung Kok Ecotourism Village.
  • Phnom Penh city tour, including the Royal Palace, the Silver Pagoda, the National Museum and the Khmer Rouge “Killing Fields.”
  • Special performance by local Cambodian children.
  • Walk through mat-making and silk-dying workshops.
  • Trishaw ride and an excursion to a fish farm near the famous river town of Tan Chau.
  • Visit to the home of Marguerite Duras’ paramour and an excursion aboard a traditional sampan (boat) from Cai Be to explore the island’s pagodas, colorful markets and fruit orchards.

IN HO CHI MINH CITY

  • Two nights in the deluxe Caravelle Hotel, with breakfast daily.
  • Private farewell reception.
  • Tour of Ho Chi Minh City featuring the Central Post Office, the War Remnants Museum, the former President Palace and the Notre Dame Cathedral.
  • Lecture by a member of the American Chamber of Commerce at the former U.S. Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge’s residence.
  • Meeting with a Vietnamese War veteran.
  • Visit to the Cu Chi tunnels, an underground network built by the Viet Cong.

ENHANCED TRAVEL SERVICES

  • All transfers and luggage handling abroad for all participants who have purchased their air tickets through Gohagan & Company and whose arrival(s)/departure(s) coincide with the scheduled group transfer(s).
  • All excursions and visits, as outlined in the Included Features, led by experienced, English-speaking local guides.
  • Gratuities for local guides and drivers on included excursions and transfers.
  • Experienced Travel Director to accompany you throughout the travel program.
  • Hospitality desk aboard the ship.
  • Travel document wallet, name badge and pre-departure information for each participant.
  • Automatic $250,000 flight insurance for each participant ticketed on flights by Gohagan & Company.
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Bryn Mawr Enrichment Leader

Kristin Kelly
Kristin Kelly

Kristin Kelly will be the Bryn Mawr study leader on our trip on the Mekong River. Kris left the J. Paul Getty Trust in 2008 after eighteen years—nine at the J. Paul Getty Museum as the Manager of Administration, and nine at the Getty Conservation Institute (GCI) in various positions responsible for public education about the conservation of cultural heritage. She graduated from Bryn Mawr College in 1974, and earned a Ph.D. in art history and archaeology from Columbia University. Since 2009, she has been the chief consultant to a heritage center devoted to the history and culture of the Sikhs scheduled to open in late 2010 in Punjab State, India. She is the author of The Extraordinary Museums of Southeast Asia (Harry N. Abrams, 2001) and travels to Southeast Asia to research its art, archaeology, and culture as often as she can.

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M.S. LA MARGUERITE

Return to the “Golden Age of Travel” aboard the newly inaugurated M.S. LA MARGUERITE, the stylish river ship that recalls the old-world elegance and class of a bygone era, while providing 21st-century amenities and comforts. Designed with meticulous attention to detail, the deluxe M.S. LA MARGUERITE is uniquely equipped to navigate the fabled waterways of Indochina.

All 46 outside, spacious Staterooms and Suites combine colonial elegance with local artifacts and regional Mekong accents. Staterooms feature two twin beds, and Suites feature one king bed. All accommodations include private bathroom facilities with shower (Suites also have a separate tub), air conditioning, sitting area, minibar, safe, desk, telephone, television, bathrobe, slippers and hair dryer, and more than 82% feature sliding doors that open onto a private balcony.

Buffet breakfast, buffet lunch and multi-course dinner are served daily in the inviting Mekong Restaurant in single, unassigned seatings and feature Cambodian, Vietnamese and Continental cuisines prepared with fresh local ingredients. The dining room provides ever-changing panoramic views of the timeless landscapes of the Mekong Valley.

Public areas include the inviting Saigon Lounge featuring nightly entertainment, Sun Deck and Bar, Panoramic Lounge, Library, business center, fitness room, outdoor whirlpool and spa offering massage and a beauty salon.

The ship also complies with the highest safety and environmental standards. With a ratio of nearly two crew members to every five passengers, the M.S. LA MARGUERITE provides impeccable service and an intimate cruising experience.

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