In 2012, we shared with you one of our greatest prides: a cruise at the world’s end on the shores of the Mekong River. You greeted the news with great passion and enthusiasm.
Five years later, our ships are still taking you from Vietnam to Cambodia and you are more and more to join us on this incredible journey. On this occasion, we would like to reopen our travel journals and recall our first trip in Asia.
Ho Chi Minh City is the very first stop-off of our cruise on the Mekong River. Dynamic and lively are words that come to mind when trying to describe the economic capital city of Vietnam. Everything is moving so fast in this ‘‘organized chaos’’ and only a few take the time to enjoy its outstanding cultural heritage.
Thus, a cathedral comparable in size to Notre-Dame de Paris can be found here, just as an Opera whose architecture was originally based on the French Palais Garnier. Let’s not forget, above it all, the Post Office, conceived by Mr. Gustave Eiffel himself. All these prestigious structures and countless others make the ancient glory of the city shine for everyone.
The anchor is then dropped in Mytho, first river port of the delta and true paradise on Earth. Life here is a hymn to peace and contemplation, only disturbed by the traditional crafts passing nearby. Generous plantations are also being grown there for the greater benefit of both local people and visitors.
Whilst navigating, the local life slowly reveals itself before us: houses on stilts, coconut trees, rice paddies and fields of sugar canes all along the shores of the river as we serenely cross these preserved countries.
We finally hit the ground of the Vinh Long Island where a small traditional village awaits us. There is so much to see; the smile of a child, a fisherman and his traps, tens of canoes.
Shortly after this gentle halt, our ship heads towards Sa Dec and Cai Be for a touching visit. Indeed, it is between those walls that the passion of Marguerite Duras for her beautiful lover Thuy Lê was born. A fragrance of consuming desires still sways in the air...
On the way; a singular market selling curious goods offers a unique chance to observe the local communities without disturbing them.
>> Part 2: On the way to Angkor-Wat in Cambodia…