Practical information on a Mekong river cruise
A rive cruise in Asia is something really special for those with a spirit of advance to admire stunning natural landscapes and unique local cultures. The big three for Asia’s river cruise regions are the Irrawaddy in Myanmar, the Yangtze in China and the Mekong in Myanmar, Vietnam, and Cambodia. In the scope of this article, we provide you with the useful information about a Mekong river cruise so that you will be able to have a successful trip.
The Mekong River is the longest in South Asia, at 4,350 km (2,700 miles). The Upper Mekong rises in the Tsinghai province of China and flows through Yunnan province and the eastern part of the Tibet Autonomous Region. The Lower Mekong forms part of the border between Myanmar and Laos, and between Laos and Thailand.
Vientiane and Phnom Penh, the capitals of Laos and Cambodia respectively, are both directly located on the banks of the river, which flows into the South China Sea to the South of Ho Chi Minh city (formerly Saigon), Vietnam.
Mekong river cruise has increasingly chosen by long-haul travelers, and with it, the choice of type and style of ship and itineraries. The typical itinerary of a Mekong river cruise is to travel between Siem Reap in northwest Cambodia, gateway to the Angkor region, and Phnom Penh, or between Siem Reap and Ho Chi Minh City. The route is full of prosperous cities, peaceful rural communities, floating villages such as Kompong Luong, floating markets, pagodas, and temples and endless rice paddies.
A highlight is a visit to Cambodia’s Angkor Wat, a magnificent 12th-century stone structure and beehive-like towers which built in the jungle near Siem Reap. You could visit the temple complex twice or three times but sunrise or sunset visit is best to avoid both crowds and hot weather.
Two typical itineraries
From Siem Reap, cruise to Chnok Trou (floating village), Kampong Chnang, Kompong Tralech, Koh Chen and end at Phnom Penh. The itinerary may be altered by low water in Tonle Sap Lake.
From Siem Reap, cruise to Chnok Tru, Kompong Chnang, Kompong Tralach, Phnom Penh, Koh Dek Chau, Chau Doc, Vinh Long, Cai Be, My Theo and end at Ho Chi Minh City.
Mekong river cruise tips
Beware of an intestinal upset: Facing stomach issues is an unfortunate fact for a lot of Westerners who visit this region. Even if you’re careful to brush your teeth with bottled water only and avoid street food, it can occur. It’s better for you to remedies such as loperamide (Imodium) so that you can minimize discomfort and have a pleasant trip.
Don’t forget insect repellent: Fire ants and tiny gnats and can be bothersome (especially around temples) even during the day, so preparing the bug spray is popular indeed.
Don’t pet the monkeys and the dogs: These animals very cute, but they may make you infected with rabies, and the dogs can bite.
Learn how to cross the street in Vietnam. In the major cities such as Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh, crossing the street is an adventurous challenge. Crosswalks (zebras, as they’re called here) are useless. You should wait until there are no cars or trucks coming, and then step firmly and calmly into the street and cross it. Another solution for you is to wait until a local family crosses, and then merge into their group.
Plan for heat: Even in the “cool” season, the temperature in the Mekong Delta is very high. Wear loose clothes and avoid jeans and leggings. Pack extra tops or shirts as you won’t have multiple other choices out of them.
Be an adventurous — but smart – eater: A Mekong river cruise may be certainly a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the appetizing local food, especially Pho (noodle soup). Prices are very, even in big cities. However, watch out when purchasing food from street vendors, particularly ice in drinks dairy products, salads and fruit.
Unlike road trips, a river cruise may be a little adventurous. As a result, finding information thoroughly and preparing carefully before your travelling will ensure you a success when you cruise Mekong.