This inspiring Southeast Asia river cruise holiday begins in vibrant Bangkok, Thailand. A boat ride on the klongs, Bangkok’s famous canals, is the perfect way to start your sightseeing. Continue at the Grand Palace featuring the Temple of the Emerald Buddha followed by the Temple of the Reclining Buddha—the oldest and largest Buddhist temple in the city. Fly to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and enjoy a walking tour of the famous landmarks of the city and try your hand in the kitchen with a Vietnamese cooking class. Go on an excursion to the Cu Chi Tunnels, the unbelievable network of tunnels used extensively during the war.
Next, board your ship and begin your cruise along the mighty Mekong River. As you cruise through Vietnam, you’ll stop in the villages for interactions with locals, such as a visit to the home of a skilled family who make handcrafted sampans for a living. In Cambodia, visit the capital city of Phnom Penh, with the magnificent Royal Palace featuring its striking Silver Pagoda and the National Museum. Take in the stunning views at the 8th-century temple of Wat Hanchey before walking through the rural village of Angkor Ban to visit with welcoming schoolchildren. Continue your river cruise adventure to Siem Reap, where you’ll see the magnificent Temples of Angkor, the most famous being Angkor Wat and the Bayon temple. Disembark your cruise ship and fly to Hanoi, where you’ll explore the famous Old Quarter with peddlers trading goods among its 36 ancient streets. From here, travel to Ha Long Bay, where you’ll be amazed at the more than 3,000 limestone islands of varying shapes.
Enjoy a 2-night cruise along the bay, and then head to Sapa, which provides the most beautiful scenery. Here, you’ll visit one of the famous Weekly Markets where homemade goods are sold and the ethnic minority groups of the area wear their colorful costumes. Hue, a former capital of Vietnam, remains an important cultural mecca. Sightseeing will show you the imposing Imperial Citadel; Thien Mu Pagoda, the unofficial symbol of the city; and the Royal tombs of past emperors. Arrive in Danang, where you’ll visit the Cham Museum and explore Hoi An Ancient Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where architecture influenced by traders from around the world has been largely preserved. The beautiful scenery, ornate temples, and interactions with locals make this Southeast Asia river cruise vacation one you won’t soon forget!