11-Nights Cruising the Mekong: Siam, Saigon & Angkor Wat - Luxury Small Group Journeys
Cruising the Mekong: Siam, Saigon & Angkor Wat
Discover Angkor Wat with an expert local guide, cruise for seven nights on an exclusive charter along the Mekong River to experience its varied cultures, and explore the colonial legacy of old S
11 nights from $8295 per person
Supplier: Abercrombie & Kent
Bangkok is chief port capital of Thailand and one of the most important cities in Southeast Asia. It is the epitome of the country's kaleidoscopic blend of old and new. It is an expression of Thai respect for tradition coupled with their vibrant involvement with modern progress. Rama I built the walled Grand Palace, which contains Temple of the Emerald Buddha. During the 19th century, Bangkok was known as the Venice of the East because of its many canals, which served as streets and commercial thoroughfares. Houses perched along the banks of the remaining canals are still common sight. Some of Bangkok’s most distinctive features are the approximately 400 Buddhist temples, known as wats. Bangkok is Thailand's economic center. Other sights to see include Temples, monuments, museums, Vimarnmekh Mansion, and Jim Thompson’s House.
Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)
Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) is often referred to as Vietnam’s jewel and the Pearl of the Orient. Located in south Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City is the country’s largest city, with more than six million people and over one million motorbikes. Under the current regime the city is once more being rebuilt. Whole blocks are disappearing, being replaced by concrete, steel and glass structures. Central Saigon, which is still the official name for the city center, shows evidence of the French colonial city, with wide, tree-lined boulevards, sidewalk cafés and elegant French architecture. The city is divided into two sections: Saigon, the municipal and historical district, and Cholon (Chinatown), where the entrepreneurial talent and private funds are concentrated. Cholon appears to be the most populated and in general the most vigorous part of Ho Chi Minh City. It is well worth a visit for its bustle and activity and its pagodas, which are reputed to be the finest in the whole city.
Phnom Penh is the capital of Cambodia and situated at the confluence of three rivers, the Mekong, Tonle Sap and Bassac. Considered the gateway to this exotic country, everything of interest can be found within its reach – the temples of Angkor, the beaches to the south and the ethnic minorities and jungles of the north. Being the hub of the country, the city is filled cultural and historic attractions, such as national museums, monuments and the Silver Pagoda. The Silver Pagoda is probably the city’s most visited pagoda because of its vast display of historical objects. There are also over 5000 silver tiles which cover the floor. Over the past few years, the city has experienced an influx of tourists.
The small provincial capital of Siem Reap stretches along the Siem Reap river – surrounded by rice paddies and serving as the gateway to centuries-old temple ruins of the Khmer Empire. Designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, Angkor Archaeological Park contains numerous temple ruins including Bayon, Banteay Srey and legendary Angkor Wat. Those visiting the site stay in Siem Reap. Experience some local flavor, attend a dance performance, or shop in some local craft shops. Angkor Wat’s artistic and archaeological significance rivals the Pyramids in Egypt, Machu Picchu in Peru and the Taj Mahal in India. Unspoiled by over-development, many areas of the area are possible to explore away from crowds. Its three-tiered massive pyramid is crowned by five beehive-like towers on the ground. It is the centerpiece of any visit to temples in Angkor. This amazing structure is thought to be dedicated to the Hindu god, Vishnu.
Kampong Cham is a port city on the banks of the Mekong River north of Phnom Penh. The city is most known for Phnom Proh and Phnom Srei, which are temples situated on two hills just outside of town. The views from both temples are lovely, and Phnom Proh is home to a band of very cheeky monkeys who entertain visitors for food. Wat Nokor is an 11th century temple that stands within the city limits. It is truly a beautiful place and many people take the time to wander around the peaceful and tranquil atmosphere.
The Mekong River in southeastern Asia is the longest river in the region, running from its source in China, near the Tibetan border to the South China Sea, nearly 2,610 miles. It acts as a border between Myanmar and Laos and between Laos and Thailand. It also flows across Cambodia and southern Vietnam before empting into the sea. The river is generally navigable in Laos on. The basin of the river serves as an important agricultural area and irrigates the many rice paddies throughout its course. Over 60 million people depend on the river and its tributaries for food, water and transportation. Known as the Mother of Waters, it supports one of the world’s most diverse fisheries, second only to the Amazon River.
Relax and enjoy your day as you cruise along the river and take in the magnificent scenery.
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Kathleen Stahl Travel Services
529 36th Street
Des Moines, IA 50312
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