The Mekong River flows through six countries and feeds people along the way. A trip to this river provides a sense of the resilience of people who are rebuilding cities, remaking their lives and extending a friendly welcome to visitors. Mekong river cruises are a perfect opportunity to see the extent of the river and the beauty of its surrounding nature. Major cruise lines provide a series of luxury river cruises on the Mekong in Vietnam and Cambodia.
When to Take Part in a Mekong River Cruise
Although visitors can embark on a cruise at the Mekong River for most of the year, the best time to go is during the winter (November to February). This means that the rainy season has passed and cruisers will enjoy a cooler weather.
The majority of Mekong river cruises come as a part of at least two weeks of land tours which include many nights in hotels and overnight aboard ship. The trips usually begin and end in Vietnam, starting in Hanoi and ending in Ho Chi Minh City or vice versa.
Cruisers will get to visit cities such as Phnom Penh and Ho Chi Minh City as well as rural river towns like Tan Chau. The itineraries include visiting temples such as Hanoi’s Museum of Ethnology and the Killing Fields, rural villages and big markets. Stops could slightly vary by cruise lines but all lines provide a chance to stop for local handicrafts. As itineraries seem to be similar among the cruise lines, it is best to check at how much travelers wish to spend and the desired inclusions in the cruise fare.
Westerners who visit Mekong are prone to intestinal upset. Therefore, it is best to bring remedies like loperamide to reduce discomfort and continue with the trip. Also, they should bring insect repellant since fire ants and gnats can be bothersome during the day. Mekong can be quite hot even in the cool season so it’s best to wear loose layers. They should always plan to get sweaty and pack more tops or shirts. Moreover, cruisers may have to take care of their lunch but they can easily find a local noodle soup store anywhere. Their program director can give them some suggestions if they are not sure where to go. They can find interesting and affordable fusion cuisines such as Khmer-Mexican and Khmer-Pizza. It is not advisable to try dairy products or put ice on drinks and salads.