A cruise along the Mekong is the perfect way to see all the sites. Travelling from Siem Reap in Cambodia, to Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City, this well-known waterway reveals a part of south-east Asia that is both rich in history, and in culture.
Whether it’s sampling the cuisine in a tiny fishing village, praying in a pagoda, or exploring temples from the ancient times, the Mekong is full of surprises.
Here’s just some of what you’ll see on a Scenic all-inclusive cruise down the Mekong.
No journey to this part of the world would be complete without a visit to the ancient temple of Angkor Wat. Cambodia’s most famous attraction, this 12th century temple is compared to the Egyptian pyramids in historical importance.
Considered one of the seven wonders of the world, Angkor Wat’s orientation within the perfectly squared landmass is believed to have important spiritual significance. The temple’s ornate spires, decorative wall carvings and columned galleries convey the cultural significance placed on this historic landmark.
The mountain setting of this Cambodian city makes a visit here all the more idyllic. Situated at the base of Phnom Udong Mountain, it’s easy to see why the ancient royals chose Oudong for their home.
Cambodia’s capital city as late as the mid-nineteenth century, many of the local attractions are found up the mountain, just a short distance from the town. Several UNESCO World Heritage sites can be found here, including ornate pagodas and royal tombs. At the mountain’s base, the immense monastery provides an interesting look at the daily life of the Buddhist monks.
Phnom Penh Raffles
Phnom Penh’s historic 1920s Hotel Le Royal (now the Raffles Hotel Le Royal) is one of the most famous landmarks in the capital city. Visited by world celebrities like Jackie Kennedy and Charlie Chaplin, the hotel would close in 1975 due to the country’s violent civil war.
Meticulously restored in the late 1990s, the iconic hotel quickly reclaimed its status as a world-class property. The stately architecture, lush gardens, and elegant interiors reflect the country’s colonial past. Sip on a signature cocktail in the famous Elephant Bar, or enjoy a sumptuous high-tea in the stylish dining spaces.
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Royal Palace – Cambodia
Built by King Preah Bat Norodom in the mid-eighteen hundreds, the Royal Palace is a popular tourist attraction. While much of the official royal residence is closed to the public, visitors can still get a glimpse of important sites, like the glittering Silver Pagoda, otherwise known as the Temple of the Emerald-Crystal Buddha.
It is said over 5,000 silver tiles were used for the facade. Throne Hall is the centrepiece of the public space. Unmistakable for its 59- meter high golden spire, the classic Khmer styled structure is used for state ceremonies.
Cu Chi Tunnels
A legacy of the Vietnam War, the labyrinth of Cu Chi Tunnels was used by the Viet Cong to evade and overpower American soldiers. An important feature of the Vietnam War memorial park, the tunnels located outside Saigon total more than 100-kilometres in length.
Parts of the network are open to the public, providing an eye-opening look at how the war was fought and waged. Tunnel displays include common “booby-traps” which the Viet Cong would place throughout the network for defence, as well as recreations of what life was like underground.
Scenic – Treasures of the Mekong River Cruise
- 5-star ship with luxurious one-bedroom balcony suites
- 5 exclusive Scenic Enrich experiences
- 20 Scenic Freechoice activities
- 2 memorable Scenic Special Stays
- 33 meals – 12 breakfasts, 10 lunches and 11 dinners
About Scenic Spirit
Purpose-built in 2016 for the Mekong River, this 5-star floating hotel is designed to impress with its unrivalled amenities and cutting-edge features including a sleek pool, steam sauna, bar and open-air cinema.
Introducing a new world to river cruising in Asia, the elegantly-appointed Scenic Spirit combines tradition with innovation.
As with all Scenic river cruises, Scenic Spirit pricing is all-inclusive. Wi-Fi, gratuities, all meals, beverages including top-shelf spirits and cocktails and bottled water on shore excursions are all included.
Treasures of the Mekong itinerary
Day 1 – Siem Reap
Highlights: Welcome dinner
Day 2 – Siem Reap
Highlights: Angkor Temple Discovery, Enrich – Phare Circus
Day 3 – Siem Reap
Enrich – Marvel at sunrise over the magnificent Angkor Wat before moving to a special location for a champagne breakfast with food prepared by an NGO supported local bakery school.
Freechoice – Discover the temple of Banteay Srei and visit the Landmine Museum or explore Beng Mealea temples and the Artisans D’Angkor Handicraft Centre. Alternatively, cruise on Tonle Sap (seasonal) to view the floating villages or take a tethered balloon ride (weather dependent) to experience the spectacular aerial view above Angkor Wat.
Enrich – Be wowed by a magical themed gala dinner at an Angkor temple, with included free flow drinks and a show featuring Apsara dancers in front of candlelit temple ruins.
Day 4 – Siem Reap > Mekong Cruise
Day 5 – Wat Hanchey > Kampong Cham
Freechoice – Learn about the history of the area with a visit to Phnom Pros (Man Hill) and then Wat Nokor. Alternatively, explore the ecotourism village of Cheung Kok or spend your time visiting a rubber plantation factory and beetle nut village.
Day 6 – Kampong Tralach > Oudong > Kho Chen
Enrich – Receive a blessing from a monk and learn how to pray in a Buddhist pagoda before partaking in a ceremony, which contributes to the daily meal of the resident nuns and monks.
Day 7 – Phnom Penh
Freechoice – Journey to the Killing Fields and tour Tuol Sleng, or join a hands-on Khmer cooking demonstration. Alternatively, by Tuk Tuk explore Phnom Penh’s colonial buildings and Central Market.
Enrich – Immerse yourself in the historically celebrated luxury of Raffles, Hotel Le Royal. Enjoy a guided history tour followed by an indulgent high tea prepared in front of you by the hotel’s chefs, all whilst sipping on your signature cocktail named in honour of Jacqueline Kennedy. Choose to retire to the Elephant Bar for happy hour before returning to the ship viewing the floodlit Independence Monument en-route.
Day 8 – Phnom Penh > Tan Chau
Royal Palace, Border crossing
Day 9 – Tan Chau
Freechoice – Visit the farmers on Evergreen Island and enjoy a ride in a Xe Loi. Alternatively, visit the Tay An temple located at the foot of Sam mountain and visit a family-operated fish farm or visit Tra Su Bird Sanctuary.
Day 10 – Sa Dec > Cai Be
Freechoice – Visit Cai Be before stopping at local cottage industries and a traditional house in the area. Alternatively, savour afternoon tea at a French colonial house or choose to stay on board for your special Freechoice activity.
Day 11 – Mekong Cruise > Ho Chi Minh City
Freechoice Dining – Enjoy a Vespa foodie tour of Saigon by night or enjoy a meal in the surroundings of an old French colonial house. Alternatively dine at Restaurant Nineteen, Square One or Di Mai Restaurant.
Day 12 – Ho Chi Minh City
Cu Chi Tunnels, War Museum
Day 13 – Ho Chi Minh City
ARE YOU READY TO SAIL THE MEKONG?