The mighty Mekong River winds its way across Southeast Asia, passing through an array of beautiful Far Eastern nations including Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia. As one of Southeast Asia’s most important waterways, a plethora of enchanting towns and cities are situated on its banks and a river cruise is one of the best ways to travel right into the heart of many of them.
Outstanding natural beauty, stunning ancient landmarks and a wealth of cultural experiences await along the beautiful Mekong river . Those lucky enough to journey along this majestic waterway will be greeted by intriguing sights and welcoming locals in each destination on their itinerary, and as they travel deeper into Southeast Asia across an array of famous nations, they will come to truly understand why this striking corner of the world has inspired and delighted travellers for generations.
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Siem Reap in Cambodia is the gateway to one of the most important and historically significant archaeological sites in Asia – the incredible Angkor Wat temple complex. The entire Angkor Archaeological Park covers an area of around 400 square kilometres and was recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992. Angkor Wat itself was constructed during the 12th century and is still in remarkable condition considering its ancient lifespan. This marvellous temple complex is yours to explore and offers an unforgettable chance to delve into Cambodia’s rich cultural heritage and observe some of the nation’s ancient architecture first-hand.
Vietnam’s capital Hanoi is amongst one of the most popular destinations on Mekong river cruises, where a wonderful collection of historic temp les, fascinating museums and peaceful parks and gardens combine with modern city features, including fantastic shopping districts and dining venues. A plethora of illustrious landmarks can also be discovered across Hanoi, such as the infamous Hanoi Hilton where many American POWs were held during the Second World War, and the stunning One Pillar Pagoda, originally constructed in the 11th century.
Phnom Penh is the capital of Cambodia and as such, offers the ideal location at which to learn more about the city’s historic and contemporary culture. Amongst the city’s most important landmarks is the Royal Palace, a beautiful 19th-century structure and home to two superb pagodas - the Silver Pagoda and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha.
A trip to the National Museum of Cambodia in Phnom Penh is also recommended for anyone interesting in learning more about Cambodian history and craftsmanship, while the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek offers a poignant insight into the region’s tumultuous past.
Ho Chi Minh City – formerly known as Saigon – is just a short distance from the port of My Tho on the Mekong. Here, travellers can enjoy plenty of authentic and contemporary Vietnamese cultural experiences, from shopping for local souvenirs on a bustling market to sampling delicious cuisine at one of the many restaurants across the city.
Excursions to Ho Chi Minh City’s many historical sites are also available, including trips to the magnificent Reunification Palace, the famous Cu Chi tunnels and the modern Saigon Skydeck, from where panoramic views across the city can be observed.
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