The Mekong River is around 2,700 miles long and is the world’s 12th longest river. It has many nicknames including “Turbulent River,” “Nine Dragons,” and “Mother Water.” It flows through Myanmar, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, China and Thailand. One of the best ways to see the Mekong River and all the great countries surrounding it, is to go on a cruise.
What You’ll See Cruising Along the Mekong River
Mekong river cruises are becoming increasingly popular with travelers as itineraries grow and the amount of ships offering these types of cruises increases. Many of these cruise destinations include cities that are full of life as well as more laid-back communities. There are also exciting floating villages and markets. Travelers will also get to see historic sites and interact with a wide variety of cultures. Some of these sites include the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Luang Prabang. It is the former capital of Laos and very popular among tourists because of the former royal palace, which is now a national museum. The Golden Triangle is also an unforgettable destination. It’s where the countries of Laos, Thailand and Myanmar. The scenery, which includes the valleys and mountains, is a big draw for travelers. One of the most popular excursions for cruisers is a tea plantation tour where visitors can sample and purchase some of the area’s tea. A stop in Cambodia while on a Mekong River Cruise might mean being able to visit the Angkor National Museum or going on a tour at a silk farm. Most cruises will take travelers through Vietnam. This area has an array of things to do including, visiting a fish farm or browsing around some of the local shops.
There are quite a few different Mekong River Cruises to choose from. Three day cruises will just give travelers a glimpse of the Mekong River and may include stops in cities like, Koh Chen, Siem Reap and Kampong Chnang. Seven night cruises offer a more in depth look at many cities including places like Ho Chi Minh City, Phnom Penh, Chnok Tru and Kompong Tralach. Cruises that are 14-21 days offer the most in depth experience for travelers. These cruises typically combine both a cruise and land vacation and travelers will be able to thoroughly explore several countries like Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand.
Why You Should See The Mekong River
The Mekong River has such a huge impact for many cultures. The Cambodians rely on it the fish in it as one of their main sources of food. Laos is designing a hydroelectric dam on the Mekong River. Vietnam uses the water from the Mekong River to water their crops. The river itself is one of the most bio diverse places on the planet. Many endangered species, like the Irrawaddy Dolphin, live in it. The Mekong River basin is also home to around 60 million people.
When is the Best Time to cruise the Mekong River?
Mid-September through the end of March are the best times to visit this region.
Mekong River Cruises 2015 – Who Takes you There
AmaWaterways Mekong River cruises offer both a 7 and 15 night option of Vietnam, Cambodia and the Riches of the Mekong with 2 ships in the area – the AmaLotus and the AmaDara.
Avalon Waterways Mekong River cruises have a 13, 14, 16 and 23 day option. The longer trips spend more time on land in addition to the cruise.
Uniworld Mekong River cruises for 2015 offers 1 14 night itinerary called Timeless Wonders of Vietnam, Cambodia & the Mekong. The precruise section of the trip begins with an exploration of Vietnam’s capital, then a flight to Siem Reap, Cambodia for a visit to the Unesco World Heritage Site of Angkor Wat. After a half-day drive along the Tonle Sap, Southeast Asia’s largest fresh-water lake, you board the 168 foot” River Orchid”, with 27 cabins and just two suites at Kampong Cham. Kampong Cham offers the twin holy mountains of Phnom Pros and Phnom Srey (Man Hill and Woman Hill). Here you will find massive gilded Buddha statues and an endless parade of monkeys. You then cruise upriver to Wat Hanchey, a temple complex with a spectacular overview of the Mekong River. On to Phnom Penh to visit the vibrant night market. You can explore the city by cyclo, a three-wheeled cycle rickshaw.After two days of exploring Phnom Penh, the River orchid sets sail for the Cambodian/Vietnam border. Vietnam’s Mekong is lined with one bustling town after another, including Chau Doc, Cai Be and Sa Dec, where you’ll explore floating markets and homes on a sampan excursion. You will disembark at My Tho for the hour and one-half transfer to Ho Chi Minh City.
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