Cruise on the Mekong River
Mekong River, Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Siem Reap
The Mekong River is one the longest and most biodiverse rivers in Asia. Translating to “Mother of Water,” the Mekong River is the route from which you'll experience the rich food, people, culture, and history of both Vietnam and Cambodia located in the Indochina Peninsula of Southeast Asia. The people of Vietnam and Cambodia are passionate and happy people with a very close social and economic tie to their nearby rivers and sea. Fishing and farming rice paddy fields are their main industries that make up the main ingredients of their cuisine. They also have a profound history influenced by Chinese rule, French colonialism, and devastating war that you will learn about on your excursions.
During the start of your trip, you'll be based in Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon, staying at a beautiful and centrally located hotel. Enjoy a tour of the city’s famous landmarks, museums, and market followed by a special trip to the Cu Chi Tunnels, the famous war tactic used by the North Vietnamese to win the Vietnam War. You will also try your hand in the kitchen, learning traditional Vietnamese recipes from a local chef.
Your river cruise begins on the fourth day, when you board the gorgeous and intimate cruise ship for a 9 day journey north up the Mekong River. The ship provides a unique, once in a lifetime perspective as few tour boats are allowed on the river due to its narrowness and active trading route among all six countries connected to it: China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia. Each day aboard the ship, you will be given the opportunity to disembark to visit local markets, artisans, farmers, stunning palaces, and ancient temples. When not on land learning about the passionate people, food, and history of Vietnam and Cambodia, the cruise ship is the perfect oasis to sit back and relax and watch the beautiful landscape pass by, especially with the panoramic lounge. Each cabin opens to the outside and the ship includes a fitness center, spa treatment room, library, free Wi-Fi access (when signal is available), and complimentary coffee, tea, soft drinks, local beer and spirits when on board the ship. All meals will also be provided aboard the ship.
The river cruise ends in Siem Reap, where you'll see the famous temples from the great Khmer Empire. The Khmer Empire was one of the largest ruling empires in Southeast Asia from 800 AD to 1400 AD. They developed Hinduism and then Buddhism, which are represented in the beautiful temples. Your accommodations in Siem Reap for the last two days of your program offer a sense of tranquility and elegance with the colonial French inspired architecture of the early 20th century.