The Mekong River Cruise Guide
If you had to sum up Southeast Asia in two words, adventure and exploration is usually the first to come to mind. From engaging jungles to ominous rainforests, mighty rivers to the bustling cities of Cambodia, Southeast Asia has been known to include every aspect of culture beneath it’s walls.
Fitting it all in a short amount of time can be overwhelming. Let us make your life easier and ensure that your trip includes a mixture of sightseeing, culture and adventure; here’s our guide to an epic and exciting Mekong river cruise.
A cruise on the Mekong river takes you sightseeing through several countries in Southeast Asia showcasing interesting cultures, breathtaking landscapes, gourmet foods and sobering experiences.The traditional starting point is in Siem Reap in Cambodia, home to the fascinating Angkor Wat temples.
From there, wind your way south to the river’s delta in Vietnam and for those who have the time, extend your journey east along the coast to Ho Chi Minh City before ending your Vietnamese adventure and flying home. As you can see, this cruise ensures you get the most of your trip to Southeast Asia.
The Mighty Mekong
If you choose to start your journey in Siem Reap, a visit to Angkor, one of the most important archaeological sites in South East Asia, is a must. Angkor Archaeological Park contains the magnificent remains of the different capitals of the Khmer Empire including the famous Temple of Angkor Wat. Due to its greatness, it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1992.
From there, the relaxing journey continues along the river and the scenery is one you can’t make up. The river, traditional landscapes and villages offer a sense of life largely untouched by the modern world.
Oknha Tey is an island marooned in the middle of the Mekong. Known as the silk island, it offers excursions to travellers looking to experience traditional silk weaving and a slow-paced way of life on the island. Starting with the very worms which produce all of the raw materials from scratch, here you can see how the products are made from the very beginning.
Your river journey continues with vistas of floating villages in the wetlands where people travel from home to home by boat before continuing to Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh.
Here, elegant royal palaces sit side by side with the gravitas of the city’s sombre history. The Killing Fields and Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum are monuments to those who lost their lives at the hands of the Khmer Rouge. A sight that will make you feel like you are going back in time and one that is well worth a visit.
Phnom Penh is just a few hours from the Vietnamese border and as you leave the bustling city, life slows down once again to give you more breathtaking views from the Mekong. More floating villages give a glimpse of what life is like away from the urban centres and wetlands.
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Not Yet the End
Be sure to make a stop to visit the local markets in the towns along the route. Filled with fresh, local produce that won’t taste like anything you’ve ever experienced, this fruit is about as fresh as it gets. Be sure to stop off in the island towns and sample the delights. At the same time, you can get to know the locals and buy goods from their stalls.
As you arrive at the Mekong Delta, it’ll hint at the end of your cruise, however, your trip doesn’t have to end here. Explore the town of My Tho with it’s unique floating markets and make a quick stop in Ho Chi Minh City, another tourist hotspot with stunning architecture, museums and cultural spots that offer great nightlife.
The Mekong River Cruise ensures that you make the most of your trip in Southeast Asia. From stunning scenery, traditional culture, charming people and outstanding dining experiences, you are guaranteed a trip that you and your family will cherish for a lifetime.