Last updated: 04:00 AM ET, Wed March 30 2016

6 Amazing Things To See on AmaWaterways’ Mekong River Tour

Cruise Line & Cruise Ship | AmaWaterways | Lisa Iannucci | March 30, 2016

6 Amazing Things To See on AmaWaterways’ Mekong River Tour

PHOTO: Experience the majestic and mysterious Mekong River and all its sites with AmaWaterways (Courtesy AmaWaterways)

A river cruise is a relaxing, and increasingly popular, way to travel. But the best part of a river cruise are the sites you get to stop and see along the way.

On the AmaWaterways’ Mekong River Tour, cruisers make a variety of stops to enjoy the sights and sounds of Vietnam and Cambodia. Here are six highlights of the tour you won’t want to miss:

Mekong River: Just being on the historic Mekong River is an experience. The 2,700-mile waterway carries travelers into the heart of Vietnam and Cambodia and runs through six countries. It’s the longest river in Southeast Asia, the 7th longest in Asia, and the 12th longest in the world.

Tan Chau: With a population of only 10,000 people, this small Mekong River town is a step back in time to anyone who doesn’t live here. You will explore the community and visit village workshops that make silk and rattan mats.

SEE MORE: Mystical Ha Long Bay

Phnom Penh: A visit on the Mekong River isn’t complete without a stop at the capital and largest city of Cambodia. Here, travelers visit Cambodia’s infamous Killing Fields and the Khmer Rouge’s grim Tuol Sleng S21 detention center (also known as the Genocide Museum) just outside the city. Also in Phnom Penh, The Silver Pagoda is an absolute spectacle to see with its floor made of 5,000 blocks of silver weighing more than 6 tons, a Buddha made of Baccarat crystal, one of gold and one with thousands of diamonds.

Cai Be: This river-land mixed town in Vietnam is a floating market where there are docks that handle passengers and goods and wholesalers who hang samples of their goods from tall wooden poles. Travelers to Cai Be have the opportunity to visit candy and rice paper workshops. 

SEE MORE: AmaWaterways Guests Talk About Their Excursion Experiences

Trishaw: You will travel to these workshops by a ‘xe-loi’ or trishaw, which is an experience in itself. Driven by a guide, a trishaw is a hybrid of the tricycle and the rickshaw.

Sa Dec: Stepping off the river cruise and onto another local boat, travelers will explore Sa Dec, a town where French writer Marguerite Duras, best known for writing the Academy Award nominated 1959 film ‘Hiroshima mon amour,’ spent her childhood. Sa Dec is also known for the Huynh Thuy Lee House, a residence named after the 27-year-old son of a rich Chinese family who Duras had an affair with when she was only 15.

The cruise ends with a transfer to Ho Chi Minh City, still known as Saigon, where travelers explore the former Presidential Palace, the Notre Dame Cathedral, the War Remnants Museum, and a shopping visit to the Ben Thanh Market. 

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