This week our Travel Guides are embarking on a luxury river cruise down the Mekong River from Cambodia to Southern Vietnam.
Along the way they discover the history, culture and food of these dynamic and emerging holiday destinations. But is a floating haven the best way to experience the Mighty Mekong?
Beginning in the small tourist town of Siem Reap in Cambodia, our Travel Guides are greeted with a tuk tuk ride taking them to an authentic Buddhist water blessing. This is no ordinary water blessing and some of the Guides regret wearing white.
Drying off, our travellers are introduced to the ancient Khmer warrior martial arts, including scarf-wielding fighters and crossbow experts.
It’s hard to walk around tropical Cambodia without running into a few bugs – literally. After getting a little too close and personal with a scorpion, our Guides hit the tourist strip for an afternoon snack … of glazed scorpions and deep-fried tarantulas.
The highlight of their trip to Cambodia is the world-famous Angkor Wat temple complex. Deep in the jungle lies the very site where the Hollywood blockbuster Tomb Raider was filmed, and our Guides attempt to stride in Lara Croft’s footsteps. At a nearby temple some of them have another run-in with the local wildlife.
Finally, it’s time for the luxury cruise down the Mekong River. With huge suites to relax in, fine dining and onboard bars, there’s very little reason to disembark. But our Guides are lured back to shore by an entire village dedicated to the craft of making silk.
Downstream, in the capital of Phnom Penh, our intrepid travellers pay their respects at the Killing Fields and the Genocide Museum, learning the terrible truth about Cambodia’s awful history under Pol Pot.
Next our Guides sail into Vietnam, where in the riverside village of Cai Be they swap the ship for a small, wooden Vietnamese boat, a sampan. Will they become like locals, or are they a little too close to the waterline?
Leaving the Mekong River behind for the hectic streets of Ho Chi Minh City, the Travel Guides catch a cyclo for a frontline tour through the infamous traffic. They arrive at the sprawling Ben Thanh markets and pick up a familiar-looking celebrity guide. Who knew Luke Nguyen was taking food tours in his family’s hometown? For the true fans amongst our Guides, the day is finished off with a lesson at Luke’s cooking school.
See what they rate their Mighty Mekong holiday out of five stars.