The Heart of Cambodia & Vietnam - Southbound
This magical river cruise along the Mekong River will take you through Cambodia and Vietnam, showing you the culture and local traditions of each country and the must-see sites along the way.</BR></BR>Your adventure begins in Siem Reap, Cambodia, with the magnificent Temples of Angkor. Constructed between the 9th and 13th centuries, these ancient ruins are a display of architectural complexity and grandeur unlike anything else in the world. Stand in awe at the most famous of these temples, Angkor Wat, which honors the Hindu god, Vishnu; and the Bayon temple, which features some 200 mysterious faces carved in its many towers. Enjoy an inspiring Aspara dance performance and other treasures of the city before embarking on your river cruise. In Kampong Tralach, an ox cart ride will show you the Cambodian countryside and you’ll meet a local farmer and learn about his daily life. The temple of Wat Hanchey, perched on a hilltop, will provide the most stunning views, and then take part in a traditional water blessing with local monks. Continue your journey into Vietnam and stroll through a local market—a unique opportunity to see locals buying and selling fresh produce. Via sampan, visit the home of a local family for a cotton-weaving demonstration and a local workshop which makes rice wine and traditional candies. In bustling Ho Chi Minh City, try your hand in the kitchen with a Vietnamese cooking class and go on an excursion to the Cu Chi Tunnels—the extraordinary network of tunnels used by the Viet Cong during the war.</BR></BR>Fly to Hanoi and explore the famous sites, such as the Old Quarter, where peddlers have traded goods for centuries on its 36 ancient streets. Next, a remarkable 2-night cruise along Ha Long Bay will show you its beautiful Limestone Islands. You’ll visit the Cua Van Floating Village, spectacular caves, and even go for a swim at Titop Island. The perfect ending to an unforgettable river cruise vacation!
Cruise: 7-night cruise in a Panorama SuiteSM with Avalon’s exclusive Comfort Collection BedsSM. Enjoy an intimate river cruise experience with a maximum of 36 guests on board.Day 1 Arrive Siem Reap: welcome to CambodiaDay 2 Siem Reap: visit Angkor Wat and Banteay Srei; Apsara dance performanceDay 3 Siem Reap: visit Angkor Thom, Bayon Temple, and Ta Prohm by tuk-tuk; Les Artisans d’AngkorDay 4 Siem Reap (Embarkation): onboard welcome receptionDay 5 Kampong Tralach–Konpong Louang–Phnom Penh: ox cart ride through the countryside and visit a local farmer’s home in Kampong Tralach; visit the silversmith village of Konpong Louang; sightseeing by private cyclo, including the Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda, and the National MuseumDay 6 Phnom Penh: visit the Tuol Sleng Museum and one of the Killing Fields; afternoon at leisure; show by children from local orphanageDay 7 Wat Hanchey–Angkor Ban: visit Wat Hanchey and partake in a traditional water blessing by local monks; walking tour in Angkor Ban with school visitDay 8 Vietnam Border Crossing–Chau Doc: visit a local market and the religious sites at Sam Mountain in Chau DocDay 9 Long Khong A–Cu Lao Gieng: walking tour of Lhong Khong A with cotton-weaving demonstration; visit a sampan-making family and interact with a Catholic priest in Cu Lao Gieng Day 10 Ben Tre: visit a local garden and a local workshop to see how rice wine and traditional candy are madeDay 11 Ho Chi Minh City (Disembarkation): walking tour; visit the famous Rex Hotel for a drink, War Remnants Museum, and Ben Thanh Market; cooking classDay 12 Ho Chi Minh City: Cu Chi Tunnels excursionDay 13 Ho Chi Minh City–Hanoi: fly to HanoiDay 14 Hanoi: visit Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum, One Pillar Pagoda, Ho Chi Minh Museum, and Temple of Literature; lunch at Koto; electric cart ride through the Old Quarter; water puppets performanceDay 15 Hanoi–Ha Long Bay (Embarkation): drive to Ha Long Bay; visit Cua Van floating villageDay 16 Ha Long Bay: cruise the bay; visit Titop Island, Luon Cave, and Dark and Bright Cave; opportunity to explore by kayakDay 17 Ha Long Bay (Disembarkation)–Hanoi: visit Sung Sot Cave; drive to Hanoi Day 18 Hanoi: end of vacation
American breakfast daily12 lunches 12 dinners