When most of us think of river cruising, no doubt the many rivers of Europe come to mind. But in September, join us as we take you on a virtual journey to Cambodia, Vietnam & the Mekong.
Beginning September 22, 2013, tune in as we travel to Siem Reap, Cambodia for an overnight stay before embarking AmaWaterways’ new AmaLotus for a weeklong voyage down the Mekong through the heart of Cambodia before finally arriving in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
For weeks now, I’ve been poring over maps and buying up guidebooks on both countries like they’re going out of style. I’m watching movies and doing web searches in an effort to give myself a crash-course education on these stunning places. I’m also trying to teach myself basic Cambodian and Vietnamese phrases, though that is going admittedly less well.
I did learn, however, that an enormous sign of respect in Cambodia is to bow, with your hands pressed together, fingers pointing up. The higher the hands and the lower the bow, the more respect is conveyed.
Cambodia is home to the stunning Angkor Wat Khmer temple. A UNESCO World Heritage site, it is the largest religious monument in the world and is situated approximately five kilometers north of Siem Reap. My flight doesn’t get in until well past 10 p.m., but I’m going to be rising early the next morning before my transfer to the AmaLotus to see this amazing site.
I’ve come too far not to.
One thing that really captured my attention about this itinerary, though, was just how much local history and culture AmaWaterways wants to impart to its guests. Although I haven’t even set foot in Cambodia yet, no doubt our afternoon excursion in Phnom Penh will be particularly moving, as we visit the region’s infamous Killing Fields. Here, between one and 4 million people were arrested and executed by the Khmer Rouge regime in the late 1970s. Estimates of the dead vary wildly, and rise dramatically once victims of disease and starvation are included.
But the enduring legacies of this “Kingdom of Wonder” are plentiful, as too are those in neighboring Vietnam. In Cai Be, we’ll travel to a traditional floating market, while time will also be made to explore the vibrant and modern metropolis that is Ho Chi Minh City.
Built in 2011, the AmaLotus looks to be the perfect homebase for seven days of Mekong cruising. Even the smallest stateroom measures 226 square feet, leaving plenty of space for the ship’s 124 guests to move around her four decks that stretch for 302 feet in length.
Like all AmaWaterways cruises, these Mekong voyages offer a host of inclusions, like complimentary bottled water in every stateroom; free-flowing wine with lunch and dinner onboard; complimentary local beer, house-brand spirit and soft drinks; and onboard folklore highlights and performances.
If you’ve always been curious about this fascinating region of the world, cruise along with me from September 22 to 30, 2013 – here, on River Cruise Advisor.
More information on AmaWaterways and the AmaLotus can be found by viewing our complete company profile here on River Cruise Advisor.