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Magnificent Mekong – Viking River Cruise review

Both are stunningly beautiful, both are home to the Mekong River, yet Vietnam and Cambodia are culturally two distinctive countries. In Cambodia, discover ancient Khmer architecture, lush riverside landscapes and the elegant French colonial capital of Phnom Penh. In Vietnam, the colourful floating markets of the Mekong Delta, gracious Hanoi and dynamic Ho Chi Minh await you. Let Viking show you these and many more treasures on this epic journey.

Ha Long bay view

DAY 1 HANOI

From Hanoi airport, Viking takes you to your hotel where you can settle in for a two night stay and enjoy time to explore Vietnam’s thousand-year-old capital, with its Belle-Epoque villas, tree-lined avenues and grand public buildings set around beautiful parks and lakes. Or visit the city’s old quarter with its narrow streets and traditional pagodas.

DAY 2 HANOI

After breakfast, set off on a tour of Vietnam’s thousand year old city. Explore One Pillar Pagoda, widely regarded as one of Vietnam’s most iconic temples. See the vast Ho Chi Minh memorial, dedicated to Vietnam’s 20thcentury Communist leader, and tour the notorious ‘Hanoi Hilton’, where POWs were imprisoned in the Vietnam War. Discover the country’s multicultural heritage at Vietnam’s Museum of Ethnology. In the evening, enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.

Included excursion: city tour.
Included meals: breakfast, dinner.

DAY 3 HANOI AND SIEM REAP

On a tour of this lovely city, visit the Temple of Literature – with its serene courtyards and graceful gateways, it’s an excellent example of traditional Vietnamese architecture. Enjoy some free time before taking a short flight to Siem Reap in Cambodia. Check in to your hotel for a three night stay, and enjoy dinner accompanied by a traditional Apsara dance show.

Included meals: breakfast, dinner.

DAY 4 ANGKOR WAT AND SIEM REAP

Visit the great temple complex of Angkor Wat, one of the largest and most important archaeological sites in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Angkor Wat was built for King Suryavarman II in the 12th century and boasts intricate bas-relief stone carvings, with wonderful views of the countryside. Explore Angkor Thom, with its popular Terrace of the Elephants and Terrace of the Leper Kings, as well as the mysterious Bayon Temple, with its giant, smiling stone carved faces.

Included excursion: Angkor Wat excursion.
Included meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner.

DAY 5 SIEM REAP

Among the ruins of the mighty Khmer Empire, Phnom Kulen National Park is considered a sacred place of pilgrimage. Your visit takes you to the 10th-century Hindu temple of Banteay Srei, dedicated to the deity Shiva and adorned with magnificent carvings. Then journey to Ta Prohm, a popular temple that is largely intact, with jungle overgrowing much of its ruins. An afternoon visit to a vocational centre that trains apprentices in the traditional crafts of stone sculpture, woodcarving and painting is followed by a guided tour through the workshops of the Artisans of Angkor, and a visit to the open air markets of Siem Reap. Enjoy dinner
at a local restaurant.

Included excursions: Banteay Srei and Ta Prohm Temple excursion.
Included meals: breakfast, dinner.

DAY 6 KAMPONG THOM & KAMPONG CHAM

After checking out of your hotel, a drive through the Cambodian countryside takes you to your ship, in Kampong Cham, via the provincial capital of Kampong Thom, a city with a rich archaeological heritage and more than 200 temples. Settle in to your stateroom and meet the ship’s crew over a welcome cocktail.

Included meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner.

DAY 7 KAMPONG CHAM

Visit the hilltop temple of Wat Hanchey that dates back to the 8th century, with stunning views of the Mekong River. After lunch, visit the Twin Holy Mountains of Phnom Pros and Phnom Srey with their many temples and pagodas. Continue to the ecotourism village of Choeungkok, supported by the French-Cambodian Amica organisation.

Included excursion: excursion to Wat Hanchey and Twin Holy Mountains.
Included meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner.

DAY 8 PHNOM PENH

After breakfast, walk straight off your ship and onto a cycle for a tour of Phnom Penh. Visit the magnificent Royal Palace built in the 19th century by the French, but inspired by ancient Khmer architecture. Explore the city’s mazes of small alleys and bustling markets. After lunch, enjoy the rest of the afternoon to further explore Phnom Penh. Or join an optional excursion to the sobering memorial of the Cambodian genocide, take time to reflect at the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek. The evening brings a folkloric dance performed by Cambodian children, a testament to the spirit of the Cambodian people.

Included excursion: cycle tour featuring Royal Palace.
Included meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner.

DAY 9 PHNOM PENH

This morning, enjoy a city tour of Phnom Penh with a visit to the National Museum of Cambodia, which houses treasures of Khmer art and craftsmanship and other artefacts that predate the mighty empire. Continue to visit Wat Phom, which is the tallest religious structure in this old city. Then, take time to explore the ‘Russian Market’ in this busy riverside port town. Return to Phnom Penh and your ship for lunch. This afternoon is yours to spend at leisure to discover Phom Penh city, go shopping or relax on board your ship.

Included excursion: Phnom Penh City Tour.
Included meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner.

DAY 10 MEKONG RIVER

Sail the Mekong towards the Vietnamese border, and glide alongside picturesque rice fields. Arrive in the busy riverside port of Chau Ðoc in the evening.

Included meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner.

DAY 11 CHAU DOC AND CU LAO GIEN

Your morning begins with a tour of Chau Doc, the biggest trading town along the Vietnam/Cambodia border. Explore the various markets and afterwards, take a small boat ride to a nearby Cham tribal village where you can observe village life and visit a catfish farm. In the afternoon, visit Cu Lao Gien Island to see the monastery of St. Paul of Chartres. The evening brings an on board screening of the film, L’Amant in preparation for tomorrow’s visit.

Included excursions: Chau Doc and Lao Island excursions.
Included meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner.

DAY 12 SA DEC AND CAI BE

In Sa Dec, see the house of Mr. Huynh Thuy Le, the protagonist in Maguerite Duras’s autobiographical novel, L’Amant. Enjoy a sampan boat ride along the canals and backwaters of the Mekong Delta. Visit the colourful floating markets of Cai Be, where you can see local workers producing a variety of goods in the small riverside factories. In the evening you can watch an on board screening of the film, The Quiet American, based on Graham Greene’s novel set in 1952 Saigon.

Included excursions: sampan boat excursion and floating market visit.
Included meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner.

DAY 13 MY THO AND HO CHI MINH CITY

After breakfast we take you from your ship in My Tho to Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon. Enjoy a tour of the Reunifi cation Palace. See the Gothic Central Post Office and Notre Dame Cathedral. Check in to your hotel for a two night stay, and spend the rest of the day exploring the city. Enjoy dinner in a local restaurant.

Included meals: breakfast, dinner.

DAY 14 HO CHI MINH CITY

A city tour takes you to the historic centre, and a stroll along the Dong Khoi Street, the main shopping boulevard and heart of old colonial Saigon. See the grand City Hall, old Opera House, the markets of Chinatown and visit a Lacquer Factory. In the afternoon a visit to the War Remnants Museum provides a stark picture of the Vietnam War. The rest of your afternoon is free to further explore the city, or enjoy some
last-minute shopping before the evening’s final dinner at a local restaurant.

Included excursion: city tour.
Included meals: breakfast, dinner.

DAY 15 HO CHI MINH CITY

After breakfast, Viking takes you to Ho Chi Minh City airport.

Included meal: breakfast.

Magnificent Mekong River Cruise on Google Maps

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