Ultimate Southeast Asia & The Majestic Mekong with Sapa – Northbound
This inspiring Southeast Asia river cruise vacation begins in vibrant Bangkok, Thailand. A boat ride on the klongs, Bangkok’s famous canals, is the perfect way to start your sightseeing. Continue at the Grand Palace featuring the Temple of the Emerald Buddha followed by the Temple of the Reclining Buddha—the oldest and largest Buddhist temple in the city. Fly to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and enjoy a walking tour of the famous landmarks of the city and try your hand in the kitchen with a Vietnamese cooking class. Go on an excursion to the Cu Chi Tunnels, the unbelievable network of tunnels used extensively during the war. Next, board your ship and begin your cruise along the mighty Mekong River. As you cruise through Vietnam, you’ll stop in the villages for interactions with locals, such as a visit to the home of a skilled family who make handcrafted sampans for a living. In Cambodia, visit the capital city of Phnom Penh, with the magnificent Royal Palace featuring its striking Silver Pagoda and the National Museum. Take in the stunning views at the 8th-century temple of Wat Hanchey before walking through the rural village of Angkor Ban to visit with welcoming schoolchildren. Continue your river cruise adventure to Siem Reap, where you’ll see the magnificent Temples of Angkor. The famous temples here, such as Angkor Wat and the Bayon temple, featuring some 200 mysterious faces carved in its many towers, are a display of intricacy and architectural grandeur unmatched in the world.Disembark your cruise ship and fly to Hanoi, where you’ll explore the famous Old Quarter with peddlers trading goods among its 36 ancient streets. From here, travel to Ha Long Bay in the Gulf of Tonkin, where you’ll be amazed at the more than 3,000 limestone islands of varying shapes. Enjoy a 2-night cruise along the bay with visits to the Cua Van Floating Village, fascinating caves, and a chance to swim at Titop Island. In Sapa, Vietnam, known for its beautiful mountain scenery and rice fields, enjoy the unique cultural experience of visiting the villages of the Zay and Black Hmong ethnic groups. Also, visit the stunning Silver Waterfall and enjoy the epic views from atop the highest road in Vietnam at a point called Heaven Gate. The beautiful scenery, ornate temples, and interactions with locals make this Southeast Asia river cruise vacation one you won’t soon forget!
Day 1 Bangkok: Welcome to ThailandDay 2 Bangkok: Boat ride on klongs; visit the Grand Palace, Temple of the Emerald Buddha, and the Temple of the Reclining BuddhaDay 3 Bangkok: Day at leisureDay 4 Bangkok–Ho Chi Minh City: fly to Ho Chi Minh CityDay 5 Ho Chi Minh City: Walking tour; visit the famous Rex Hotel for a drink, War Remnants Museum, and Ben Thanh Market; cooking classDay 6 Ho Chi Minh City: Cu Chi Tunnels excursionDay 7 Ho Chi Minh City (Embarkation): Onboard welcome receptionDay 8 Vinh Long–Cu Lao Gieng: Visit a local workshop to see how rice paper, rice wine, and traditional candy are made in Vinh Long; visit a sampan-making family and interact with a Catholic priest in Cu Lao GiengDay 9 Chau Doc–Long Khanh A–Cambodian Border Crossing: Visit a local market and the religious sites at Sam Mountain in Chau Doc; walking tour of Long Khanh A with cotton-weaving demonstrationDay 10 Phnom Penh: Sightseeing by private cyclo, including the Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda, and the National Museum; afternoon at leisure; show by children from a local orphanage Day 11 Phnom Penh: Visit the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and visit one of the Cambodian Killing FieldsDay 12 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 13 Konpong Louang–Kampong Tralach: Visit the silversmith village of Konpong Louang; ox cart ride through the countryside, and visit a local farmer’s home in Kampong TralachDay 14 Phnom Penh (Disembarkation)–Siem Reap: Fly to Siem Reap; visit Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, and Bayon TempleDay 15 Siem Reap: Visit Ta Prohm, Banteay Srei, and a noodle-making village; Apsara dance performanceDay 16 Siem Reap–Hanoi: Fly to HanoiDay 17 Hanoi: Visit Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum, One Pillar Pagoda, and Temple of Literature; lunch at Koto; electric cart ride through the Old Quarter; water puppets performanceDay 18 Hanoi–Ha Long Bay (Embarkation): Drive to Ha Long Bay; visit Cua Van floating villageDay 19 Ha Long Bay: Cruise the bay; visit Ti Top Island, Luon Cave, and Dark and Bright Cave; opportunity to explore by kayakDay 20 Ha Long Bay (Disembarkation)–Hanoi: Visit Sung Sot Cave; drive to HanoiDay 21 Hanoi–Sapa: Drive to Sapa; visit a local marketDay 22 Sapa: Visit Ta Van village, Lao Chai village, Silver Waterfall, and Heaven GateDay 23 Sapa: Visit a weekly market and a Red Dao villageDay 24 Sapa–Hanoi: Drive to Hanoi Day 25 Hanoi: End of vacation