The Mekong River rises from the Tibetan Plateau and passes through China, Burma, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. Over 60 million people depend on it for food, water and transport and intriguingly, only the Amazon basin boasts a higher biodiversity. The glistening rice paddies, tangled fruit orchards and floating fish farms of the delta all depend on this river’s bounty.
Our journey explores the waterborne worlds along its banks: the floating villages, stilt houses and the thousands of local boats all plying its mud-coloured waters.
Our tour starts in Cambodia with a stay in Siem Reap, gateway to the complex of temples within the ancient city of Angkor, the largest complex of religious buildings ever created, an astonishing fusion of Hinduism and Buddhism. We also visit Phnom Penh located at the confluence of the Mekong and Tonle Sap rivers and considered the most beautiful of the ‘French’ cities of Indochina.
In the Mekong Delta, you can explore the age-old ways of life supported by this majestic river. Guests can ride bicycles through the rice fields; sip homemade fruit liqueur in a pomello orchard; and quiet riverside temples. With so much to see and learn, and so many ways to relax, guests will feel both pampered and invigorated.
Vietnam is perhaps the only country to use the words “land” and “water” to mean “nation”. Crisscrossed by myriad waterways, the only way to experience the Mekong Delta is by boat. Our tour will take you through Vietnam’s rural heartland to Cambodia’s temple-strewn capital. Options include the seven-night Lost Civilization cruise; the three- or four-night Serenity cruise; the three-night Pearl of the Orient cruise; and the two-night Deep in the Delta cruise. Guests seeking privacy can opt for special tailor-made excursions.
Vietnam and Cambodia are countries that are modern in outlook, but they are a unique traditional Far Eastern character.
While the natural beauty, rich history and spiritual wonders in Laos, Thailand and Myanmar (Burma) are waiting for you to explore. Begin your journey in bustling Bangkok, where you encounter some of the Thai capital’s highlights, including the unforgettable Grand Palace temple complex set on the Chao Phraya River. Then fly to Myanmar for a two-day stay in Yangon (Rangoon) and a breathtaking cruise along the verdant Irrawaddy River, known as “the Road to Mandalay” after Rudyard Kipling’s famous poem. And in legendary Mandalay, experience the sweep of the region’s history from palaces and pagodas through colonial times to a contemporary melting pot of Asian cultures
An Important Note on Mekong River Cruising
The itinerary, timings and the places visited en-route may vary depending on whether you travel upstream or downstream and on the water levels in the upper reaches of the Mekong and the Tonle Sap Lake. At the peak of high water, normally at some point between end of August to mid-December, the level of the lake may rise by up to 10 metres, so ships will be able to sail all the way across the Tonle Sap Lake to or from Siem Reap. During the low water period, generally between late December to mid-August, sections of the river within Cambodia and the Tonle Sap Lake may be un-navigable and the ships will moor on the Mekong itself and travel to or from Siem Reap will be by coach. We may not always be able to advise you in advance of any itinerary changes as decisions to amend any part of the cruise could be made by the ship’s captain during the cruise itself. However, we will always endeavor to ensure that equally interesting visits and stops are substituted – it’s all part of the adventure of river cruising in South East Asia!
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