River Cruising On the Mekong River

In recent years there has been a meteoric rise in the popularity of river cruising as holiday makers search for a more intimate and personal experience than larger sea cruises. River cruises are also an extremely relaxing and time efficient way of experiencing a range of cities, landmarks and countryside. One of most popular river cruises is along the Mekong River, the world’s twelfth largest river, which flows through China, Burma, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam and is dotted with historic landmarks and stunning scenery. Below, I have listed some of my top tips for river cruising along the Mekong from Cambodia to Vietnam.

When to Go

The best time to experience a river cruise along the Mekong is from June to September when the land is lush, the water is calm and there is a great variety of tropical fruit available. Between October and November, flooding can be expected, particularly in remote areas.

What To Do

The Mekong River is lined with unique and spectacular historical landmarks and no Mekong River cruise would be complete without a visit to the ancient city of Angkor. Begin the day by watching the sunrise over the majestic temple of Angkor Watt, and then spend the rest of the day exploring the numerous temples of this truly astonishing place.

As you continue your cruise towards Vietnam, ensure that you take some time to explore Phnom Penh, the capital city of Cambodia. One of the best ways to experience Phnom Penh is by rickshaw and must see sites include the Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda. Furthermore, I recommend visiting the Tuol Slong Genocide museum and the Killing Fields. Although immensely harrowing, they give an excellent insight into the horrors that the Cambodian people endured during the Khmer Rouge regime.  

As you enter arrive in Vietnam make sure you take some time to visit the famous Cu Chi tunnels. This vast, underground network of tunnels stretches for 200 miles and provided a base for the Vietcong army to attack the US army. The tour includes a trip down the tunnels, examples of the deadly mantraps and pits used to protect the tunnels and even the opportunity to fire some of the weapons used in the Vietnam War.

Finally, I recommend spending half a day at the famous Ben Thanh market in Saigon which gives a unique insight into every day Vietnamese life and will give you the opportunity to pick up some souvenirs at great prices.