Cruise through the heart of Vietnam and Cambodia
From China to Vietnam, the Mekong River is the lifeblood of Southeast Asia, offering a glimpse into the long history and diverse cultures of the region. The 12th longest river in the world and the 7th longest in Asia, it flows through six countries: China, Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.
The Mekong is one of the most biologically diverse areas in the world – second only to the Amazon River. Home to a myriad of fish, plant, bird, reptile and mammal species, this amazing river provides a truly unique travel experience.
Cruise down the Mekong and you’ll pass traditional villages, bustling cities and colourful, chaotic markets. You’ll experience glorious sunsets, dazzlingly lush landscapes and centuries-old temples steeped in history and culture.
Here are the places you won’t want to miss:
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Get caught up in a whirl of life and energy: from high-end hotels and world-class restaurants, to cheap and cheerful guesthouses and delicious street food, Ho Chi Minh is a city of endless discovery.
Guided walking tours are a great way to see the city, stop for a drink at the famous 5-star Rex Hotel, and brave the city’s largest, most authentic market, Ben Thanh.
Finish your day by cooking up a Vietnamese storm with an interactive cooking class. Don’t forget to put aside time for the Cu Chi Tunnels – the unbelievable underground network used extensively during the war.
Cu Lao Gieng Island, Vietnam
To learn all there is to know about Vietnamese culture, head to Cu Lao Gieng Island. A must-see destination when travelling to the Mekong Delta, this small island with striking French-influenced architecture and a charming natural landscape will blow you away.
Travel to the 12km-long island via sampan boat, visit Vietnam’s oldest Catholic church, and learn how to craft Vietnamese conical hats and sampans at a local craft workshop.
Chau Doc, Vietnam
It may be a little city, but what Chau Doc lacks in size, it makes up in colour. This Easter-egg-coloured city, close to the river border, is overlooked by its main attraction Sam Mountain. It’s home to shrines and temples and offers a magnificent view of the Mekong plains.
Experience a slice of Chau Doc life with a guided walk through the local market. Known across Vietnam as the ‘Kingdom of Pickled Fish’, the market offers many varieties of preserved fish, as well as pickled vegetables and unique regional products like the pretty yellow dien dien flower.
Hanoi and Ha Long Bay, Vietnam
Explore the famous Old Quarter of Hanoi with peddlers trading goods among its 36 ancient streets. From here, travel to Ha Long Bay in the Gulf of Tonkin, where you’ll be amazed at the more than 3,000 limestone islands. Enjoy a cruise along the bay with visits to the Cua Van Floating Village, fascinating caves, and a chance to swim at Titop Island.
Wat Hanchey, Cambodia
A deeply religious destination, Wat Hanchey is a small Cambodian village with impressively intricate and bright architecture, and breath-taking panoramic views.
A short but steep climb is rewarded with stunning views and a traditional water blessing by local monks at an 8th-century temple. Afterwards, walk through the village to learn about the simple life led by the many young monks who live there, and enjoy an ox cart ride around the countryside with a local farmer.
Angkor Ban, Cambodia
Angkor Ban is not your usual tourist destination – and that’s exactly why it’s so worth the visit.
A rustic treasure hidden away in a remote corner of Cambodia; Angkor Ban has stood the test of time with its century-old wooden houses. There is no other place in Cambodia like it. Walk through the rural village, visit the local school to introduce yourselves – and help local children practice their English.
Siem Reap, Cambodia
As the gateway to the iconic Angkor region, Siem Reap attracts travellers of every kind. The ancient ruins, like Angkor Wat, Bayon and Banteay Srei, are a display of architectural complexity and grandeur you have to see to believe.
Siem Reap is a city of startling contrast between rich and poor, tradition and modernity. With a tumultuous history, the city is now a happy combination of old and new, with colonial and French architecture, juxtaposed with South East Asian culture.
Go with the Avalon Waterways flow
Whether hearing historic tales in the Viet Cong’s Cu Chi Tunnels, taking an ox cart ride through rice paddies or being surrounded by eager faces at the local school of rural Angkor-Ban, heart-warming moments await at every turn when you cruise the Mekong Delta.
These are just some of the incredible destinations you’ll visit and experience on an Avalon Waterways Mekong River cruise. Glide through centuries of stories and panoramic views combined with relaxed river cruising. Enjoy luxurious suites, great food, daily sightseeing choices, a professional cruise director, local guides and onboard entertainment. It doesn’t get much better than that.
To book your spot on an Avalon Waterways cruise, call 0800 267 672.