Published on :   03/22/2019

A magical cruise from the Temples of Angkor to Saigon

Magical is the best word to describe the cruise along the Mekong, which CroisiEurope has offered since 2012. From Angkor in Cambodia to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, this trip is guaranteed to impress.

After being the place of more than 20 years of civil war and subject to the rule of the Khmer Rouge until the 1990s, Cambodia has been opened to tourists and provides our passengers, travelling on the RV Indochine a complete change of scene. Vietnam has also become a truly cultural and friendly experience for clients of CroisiEurope. Our journey begins with a two-and-a-half-day land trip in Siem Reap, a stopover with time to discover the archaeological site of Angkor; a UNESCO World Heritage Site. On board a ship with the colonial charm of yesteryear, the cruise continues along the Tonle Sap, the largest freshwater lake in South-East Asia and a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. These tranquil scenes will be interrupted by a number of trips on small local boats to visit floating villages and by ox wagons to visit the stunning Vihara of the Wat Kampong Tralach Leu pagoda, which is home to magnificent wall paintings. Guests will explore Phnom Penh in tuk-tuks, traditional electric tricycles.

And now to Vietnam: The Mekong Delta, home to 15 million residents, bursts with activity. In Chau Doc, you'll be taken to a fish farm on local boats. From Vinh Long, you'll will cross arroyos—small dry rivers that fill up when it rains—and orchards weaving in and out to visit the brightly colored daily market in Cai Be.

Amidst the bustle of Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City, known as Saigon until 1975, was originally a simple Khmer fishing village. It now counts some nine million inhabitants and is the economic backbone of the country as well as our final port of call. As one of our guests puts it: "You are seized by the city's hectic lifestyle". The Chinese market in Cholon is a feast for all the senses. In this bustling place guests need to avoid the wooden carts carried by energetic couriers who are paid to move at speed, through this narrow labyrinth of goods, between fruit, vegetables and spices.

The Colourful Spectacle of the Cho Gao Canal

The truly picturesque Cho Gao Canal takes us to Ho Chi Minh City. Because of their size, the RV Indochine and RV Indochine II are two of the only ships capable of navigating this canal, much to the delight of our passengers. On the Cho Gao canal travellers may enjoy some of the following sights:

  • A plethora of smaller boats follow each other, overtaking, and zig-zagging in front of one another.
  • On the port side, a barge heaped with sand looks like it might sink under its weight.
  • On the starboard side, a large sampan with a decorated bow is illed with bunches of bananas, while behind our ship, a bulging traditional boat transports huge pyramids of rice.
  • At the foot of sandy banks, children frolic in the water, shouting happy "hellos" to cruise passengers as their parents cast nets by hand, hoping to catch dinner for the evening. Here, villages of small houses on stilts line the canal.

These are the sorts of lasting memories that will mark this wonderful trip, which can be extended with 4- to 7-day trips to explore Hanoi and its imposing Ho Chi Minh mausoleum, the mysterious Halong Bay with its strangely shaped rocks and caves, and, depending on the circumstances, the ancient imperial towns of Vietnam: Hue, Da Nang, Hoi An, and My Son.

Discover all our cruises on the Mekong and the various excursions on our website. Book your cruise in 2019 or in Early booking for 2020

Discover our Mekong Cruises