Vietnam and the Mekong River March 28 - April 12, 2017

To the seasoned traveler, any recollection of Vietnam and Cambodia evokes images of ancient imperial dynasties, magnificent Buddhist and Hindu temples, and lush landscapes checkered with a patchwork of rice fields. Indeed, Southeast Asia is a region of great natural beauty, extraordinary culture, and a deep history of which most Americans are unaware. In this deluxe 16-day exploration of Vietnam and Cambodia, we'll have ample opportunity to savor the many fascinations of the region and to understand those places and traditions that recent history has often obscured.

One of the highlights of our journey will be an eight-day voyage on the elegant 68-passenger Mekong Navigator along the Mekong River, one of Asia's greatest waterways. The Mekong Navigator affords her passengers exquisite comfort as well as the endless fascination of cruising through the beautiful riverine landscapes of Vietnam and Cambodia.

We'll begin our tour with a visit to Siem Reap, Cambodia, for our three-day exploration of the magnificent temples of Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom. Once aboard the Mekong Navigator in Kampong Cham, we'll set forth upon the Tonle Sap River to Phnom Penh and the Mekong River. Along the way, we'll explore several of the temples, tombs, and pagodas that illustrate the region's imperial history as well as the pervasive cultural influences of Buddhism and Hinduism. Here also we'll meet local people whose daily lives depend on what the river provides. Unlike most Vietnam and Cambodia programs, our itinerary allows time and the means for excursions into the far reaches of the Mekong, where villages and their inhabitants have changed little in hundreds of years. At the end of our river voyage in My Tho, we'll transfer to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), with its classical French architecture and bustling markets. Among our tours here will be a visit to the Cu Chi Tunnels. Our residence for this portion of the tour will be the deluxe Caravelle Hotel. Our visit includes an option visit to the capital of Vietnam, Hanoi, with its wide boulevards and historic Old Quarter. This post-tour excursion includes a visit to the geological wonder of Ha Long Bay. This is both an opulent and deeply informative tour. In 16 splendid days, we'll traverse a thousand years and gather a lifetime of memories.