One of Asia’s great rivers, the Mekong is home to millions of people in the busy towns and markets set on its banks. See green fields and sleepy villages intertwined by canals and rivulets, and self-sustaining river life. Watch longtail boats darting up and down the river, as well as dodgy smaller wooden ones used by floating market vendors. Siem Reap, meaning ‘Defeat of Siam’, is the capital city of the Siem Reap Province in NW Cambodia. It is a resort town, a gateway and the life-support system for the temple complex of Angkor – Cambodia’s 8th wonder of the world. View shady tree-lined boulevards with colonial old French shop-houses and a slow flowing river; see Chinese-style architecture in the Old French Quarter and around the Old Market. Not far away is Tonle Sap (the Great Lake) – one of the largest lakes in Southeast Asia, and home to numerous floating villages. Together, the lake and the river form a unique ecosystem and waterway, leading all the way to Vietnam and Laos.
Take a 7N ‘Downstream’ cruise on the RV Jayavarman from Cambodia’s Siem Reap-Vietnam’s Saigon via Tonle Sap-Kampong Chhnang-Wat Hanchey-Kampong Cham-Phnom Penh-Chau Doc-Cai be-My Tho on the Mekong River Delta. Visit Tonle Sap Lake; Kampong Chhnang; see Kampong Phluk stilt village; board small rowing boats with local children to tour this flooded forest; enjoy biking; see Clay Pot Port; explore Angkor’s ruins at Kampong Thom; visit Kampong Cham; Wat Nokor; Cheung Kok Ecotourism Village; Wat Phnom; the Genocide museum; tour Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital with French colonial charm; see the Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda; enjoy traditional Apsara temple dances; visit floating villages, catfish farms; see Bassa fish fed; see Chau Doc with French colonial architecture; Sam Mountain, engulfed by Tay An Pagoda, Thoai Ngoc Hau Temple, Lady Chua Xu Pagoda; visit Cai Be