Published on :   09/20/2019

Top 5 things to see along the Mekong, between Cambodia and Vietnam

A trendy destination on an ancestral river

Taking its source in the heights of the Himalayas, the Mekong River cruise takes you on a journey along an ancient life path that winds its way from China to Vietnam, passing through Burma, Laos, Thailand and Cambodia.

1. The Mekong River, an ageless witness 

The shores of the river have seen civilizations, empires and religions pass through since 2100 BC. Thus, on board the boats of yesteryear, the first explorers, would discover a timeless spectacle, resolutely identical to what is still visible today. Human activities, such as fishing, fish farming, copper work, which you will discover in the cities of Kampong Chhnang, Koh Chen or Chau Doc, have remained unchanged over the centuries and millennia in the Mekong River basin, where shrimp farming and breeding still take place on the shores. 

2. Lake Tonlé, for its ecosystem

Lake Tonlé alone is home to one of the most fascinating ecosystems in the world and a vibrant tradition of authenticity in the heart of the famous lake villages. Pagodas, schools, dwellings on stilts, floating vegetable gardens,... it is a whole world that adapts and lives on the water, where fishermen and merchants sail in their boats.

3. Phnom Penh, the "Pearl of Asia" 

A true jewel of culture and tradition, Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, reveals its past and history through opulence and immemorial monuments. Built on the banks of the river, the city experienced its golden age under the Khmer empire and, much later, its French colonial influence and, more recently, its darkest hours under Pol Pot. All these events shaped a whole and vibrant capital, where the indelible traces of the past have become the tenants of a unique identity. The Khmers survived an art and architectural tradition that inspired the French to build the Royal Palace and its Silver Pagoda in 1947, as did the Palace of Fine Arts and the National Museum, which housed authentic objects from the Angkor temples. 

4. The Khmer Treasury

In 1958, Henri Mouhot, a French explorer and naturalist, discovered what could be considered one of the most beautiful treasures of this region, referred to as the eighth wonder of the world, and also included in UNESCO's World Heritage List: the Angkor temples. Gigantic size and human genius combined to bring out the fantastic emblem of the Khmer empire from the jungle. The archaeological site, the largest in the world, contains a series of temples, each more majestic than the last, dating back to the 9th century. The most prestigious and largest will remain Angkor Wat, now the symbol of Cambodia.

5. To the heart of Ho Chi Minh City on a bewitching cruise

The Mekong is one of the largest rivers in the world, and it is, beyond its sheer size, because it has shaped entire countries. With an incomparable richness, escape enthusiasts will experience this stay intensely! Let us recall that the cruise itinerary leads to the heart of Ho Chi Minh City, former Saigon, or to northern Vietnam, during an extension to Hanoi and Along Bay. It is a meditation trip that takes place all year round on board our two boats, RV Indochine and RV Indochine II.

A cabin of the RV Indochine II