Style : River cruise
Fascinating Vietnam, Cambodia & the Mekong River with Luang Prabang & Bangkok - Northbound tour
Bangkok Cai Be Fascinating Vietnam, Cambodia & the Mekong River with Luang Prabang & Bangkok - Northbound Trip

Fascinating Vietnam, Cambodia & the Mekong River with Luang Prabang & Bangkok - Northbound

Avalon Waterways
4.8 . Excellent
98%
Travel Style: Array Relaxed
Physical Level: Normal generally flat walking in urban or suburban environments. 1- Very easy
Lodging Level: Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value (3*)
19 days
From: $ 6,799 $ 358 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights (Bullets)

  • Deluxe 7-night cruise from Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap in a Panorama SuiteSMwith Avalon’s exclusive Comfort Collection BedsSM. Enjoy an intimate river cruise experience with a maximum of 36 guests on board
  • Welcome to Vietnam
  • Walking tour of the city’s landmarks; visit the famous Rex Hotel for a drink, War Remnants Museum, and Ben Thanh Market; cooking class
  • Cu Chi Tunnels excursion
  • Onboard welcome reception
  • Visit a local workshop and see how rice paper, rice wine, and traditional candy are made in Vinh Long; visit a sampan-making family and interact with a Catholic priest in Cu Lao Gieng
  • Visit a local market and the religious sites at Sam Mountain
  • Sightseeing by private cyclo including the Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda, and the National Museum; afternoon at leisure; show by children from a local orphanage
  • Visit the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and one of the Killing Fields in Phnom Penh; walking tour through Prek Bang Kong village with silk-weaving demonstration
  • Visit Wat Hanchey and partake in a traditional water blessing by local monks; walking tour through Angkor Ban village with school visit
  • Visit the silversmith village of Konpong Louang; ox cart ride through the countryside and visit a local farmer’s home in Kampong Tralach
  • Visit Angkor Wat & Banteay Srei
  • Visit Angkor Thom, Bayon Temple, Ta Prohm, and Les Artisans d’Angkor; Apsara dance performance
  • Fly to Luang Prabang; time at leisure
  • Participate in morning almsgiving ceremony; visit the morning market, National Museum, Wat Mai, Wat Visoun, Wat Xieng Thong, and Ban Xang Khong; weaving and sa paper-making demonstrations
  • Full day at leisure
  • Fly to Bangkok; time at leisure
  • Boat ride on klongs; visit the Grand Palace, Temple of the Emerald Buddha, and the Temple of the Reclining Buddha
  • Day at leisure

Short Description

Immerse yourself in fascinating cultures and ancient traditions as you embark on an inspiring journey through Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. Along the way, learn more about the history of each country, marvel at spectacular scenery, and interact with the friendly locals. This is a journey that will create memories you won’t soon forget!

Begin in bustling Ho Chi Minh City, with sightseeing including the Cu Chi Tunnels—a vast network of tunnels used by the Viet Cong. You will also partake in a walking tour of the city’s landmarks and a hands-on Vietnamese cooking class. Then, start your cruise on the Mekong River, the thread that connects the people of Southeast Asia. Visit a colorful local market, a sampan builder, and a local establishment to see how rice wine and traditional candy are made. In Phnom Penh, take a tour of the city by private cyclo, with visits to the National Museum and the Royal Palace with the stunning Silver Pagoda. Walking tours through the rural villages of Prek Bang Kong and Angkor Ban and an ox cart ride through the countryside at Kampong Tralach will grant you a memorable inside look at life along the river and interactions with the local people. In Siem Reap, visit the spectacular Angkor temple complex, whose architectural grandeur is arguably unmatched among the world’s ancient ruins. See several of the temples, including spectacular Angkor Wat and the mesmerizing faces of Bayon. Here you will also enjoy a private Apsara dance performance and will visit a development project teaching young adults traditional handicraft techniques. Finally, in Luang Prabang, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, participate in the almsgiving ceremony, visit several prominent temples and stop at a local village to see a weaving demonstration and learn how sa paper is made from the pulp of mulberry trees.

All of this and more await you on this fabulous journey.

Style River cruise
See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Lodging Level Value (3*)
Flight & Transport Inclusions N/A
Start City Arrive in Ho Chi Minh City
End City Bangkok

Destinations

Thailand Vietnam Cambodia Laos

Attractions & Cities Visited

Bangkok Cai Be Luang Prabang Siem Reap

Activities & Interests

Culture River cruise

N/A
See more

Itinerary

Day 1

Arrive in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Welcome to Ho Chi Minh City, still known as Saigon to many. Hotel rooms are available for mid-afternoon check-in.

Day 2

Ho Chi Minh City. This morning, enjoy a WALKING TOUR of the city’s famous and historic landmarks as you stroll through the heart of the city along Dong Khoi Street (formerly Rue Catinat) past Ho Chi Minh Square, the Municipal Theatre, the Central Post Office, and Notre Dame Cathedral. Stop at the Rex Hotel for a refreshing DRINK at the popular ROOFTOP BAR where the U.S. Military held the infamous “Five O’Clock Follies” during the war. Next, visit the WAR REMNANTS MUSEUM followed by BEN THANH MARKET, the largest and oldest in the city. For lunch, participate in a hands-on VIETNAMESE COOKING CLASS. Head into the classroom and learn how to prepare different local dishes and the techniques necessary to recreate them once you return home. Last but not least, sample your delicious creations! The afternoon is at your leisure to explore this lively city. Tonight, enjoy a special welcome dinner. (B,L,D)

Day 3

Ho Chi Minh City. Excursion To Cu Chi Tunnels. This morning, leave the city and drive through vast expanses of rice paddies to visit the CU CHI TUNNELS, an extraordinary network of tunnels more than 120 miles in length that was used by the Viet Cong as a hideout and secret village during the war. Here you will learn about how the tunnels were constructed and have a chance to walk through a section to experience what life would have been like underground. Return to Ho Chi Minh City and enjoy the rest of the afternoon and evening at your leisure. Maybe stop at the famous Rex Hotel for a drink and sweeping views of the city. (B)

Day 4

Ho Chi Minh City (Embarkation). This morning, transfer to the port on the Saigon River and board your river cruise vessel to start your CRUISE up the Mekong River through Vietnam and Cambodia. Get acquainted with the ship and relax before your welcome reception this evening. (B,L,D)

Day 5

Cruising: Vinh Long–Cu Lao Gieng. This morning, board a sampan for a scenic cruise to Vinh Long. Upon arrival, visit a LOCAL WORKSHOP to see how rice paper, rice wine, and traditional candies are made. Other surprises await for those who are brave! After lunch on the ship, enjoy scenes of daily life along the river near Cu Lao Gieng via sampan. Stop at a LOCAL HOME, where a skilled family works together to hand-craft sampans for a living. Then, ride a specially designed MOTOR CART to one of Vietnam’s oldest churches for a special INTERACTION WITH A CATHOLIC PRIEST. (B,L,D)

Day 6

Cruising: Chau Doc–Cambodian Border Crossing. After breakfast, walk through the LOCAL MARKET and absorb the atmosphere as locals are busy buying and selling fish, meat, and produce. Then join a sampan excursion down the backwaters of the Mekong to the religious sites at the base of SAM MOUNTAIN. Along the way, see traditional floating homes, speedboat merchants, a market selling dried goods, and more. Return to the ship for lunch and head for the Cambodian border. (B,L,D)

Day 7

Cruising: Phnom Penh. The capital city of Phnom Penh retains its French charm to this day. This morning, your sightseeing tour by private cyclo includes visits to the ROYAL PALACE with the spectacular SILVER PAGODA and the NATIONAL MUSEUM, featuring an outstanding display of Khmer artifacts. The remainder of the day is at your leisure to enjoy the city. Just before dinner, children from a local orphanage will put on a SHOW featuring local song and dance. (B,L,D)

Day 8

Cruising: Phnom Penh–Prek Bang Kong. Sightseeing this morning provides a glimpse of the atrocities inflicted on the Cambodian people by the Khmer Rouge regime. Visit the TUOL SLENG GENOCIDE MUSEUM, a former high school that housed over 17,000 prisoners. Of this number, it is believed that fewer than 15 survived the torture and avoided being sent to the Killing Fields. You will also visit one of the KILLING FIELDS, where over 200,000 people were killed by the Khmer Rouge. After lunch, visit the village of PREK BANG KONG, where silk weaving is a well-preserved tradition. Spend time at one house for a SILK WEAVING DEMONSTRATION and to learn more about how silk is produced. (B,L,D)

Day 9

Cruising: Wat Hanchey–Angkor Ban. This morning, visit WAT HANCHEY, a temple dating back to the 8th century and the Chenla Empire. Located on a hilltop, enjoy stunning views of the surrounding area and partake in a TRADITIONAL WATER BLESSING given by local monks. After lunch, enjoy a WALKING TOUR through the rural village of Angkor Ban. Here you will see traditional Khmer houses and visit a LOCAL SCHOOL. (B,L,D)

NOTE:
The climb to Wat Hanchey features a steep incline. If you feel you are unable to make the climb, you will be driven to the top by car.

Day 10

Cruising: Konpong Louang–Kampong Tralach. Today, start your sightseeing at the SILVERMITH VILLAGE of Konpong Louang. Here you will see talented craftsmen use age-old techniques to turn pure silver into works of art. Continue on to Kampong Tralach for an OX CART RIDE past rice paddy fields and the beautiful Cambodian countryside. Along the way, stop to MEET A LOCAL FARMER and learn about his daily life. Return to the ship for lunch. This afternoon, cruise up the Tonle River to Tonle Sap (Great Lake). After the rainy season, this massive body of water can cover around 10,000 square miles and is the perfect breeding ground for fish, which play a vital role in providing food for people living on the lake. (B,L,D)

NOTE:
During low water conditions, generally mid-December to August, we will not be able to cruise up the Tonle River to Tonle Sap. Low water conditions vary from year to year so this will be evaluated on a cruise-by-cruise basis.

Day 11

Cruising: Siem Reap (Disembarkation). This morning, arrive in Siem Reap and start your sightseeing of the TEMPLES OF ANGKOR, considered by many to be the most spectacular architectural ruins on Earth! Constructed between the 9th and 13th centuries, the temples were built around the Khmer interpretations of Indian religious and political beliefs that ultimately evolved from Hinduism to Buddhism. The complex architectural grandeur of the Angkor temples is arguably unmatched among ancient ruins anywhere in the world. First, visit the best preserved and most famous of all the temples: ANGKOR WAT, honoring the Hindu god Vishnu. Featuring five trademark towers and stunning bas reliefs, it has become a symbol of Cambodia. Then, visit BANTEAY SREI, a unique temple dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. Unlike other temples, it is built on a small scale from red sandstone, which can be carved like wood. This evening is at leisure to explore charming Siem Reap—or stay to witness sunset at Angkor Wat! (B,L)

NOTE:
During low water conditions, generally mid-December to August, we will not be able to cruise across Tonle Sap to Siem Reap. In these cases, we will fly from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap and sightseeing will begin in the afternoon. No included sightseeing will be missed. Low water conditions vary from year to year so this will be evaluated on a cruise-by-cruise basis.

Day 12

Siem Reap. Today, continue your sightseeing of the Angkor temples by tuk-tuk. Start at ANGKOR THOM where you will explore BAYON TEMPLE. One of the few Buddhist temples in Angkor, it features some 200 striking faces carved in 54 towers and impressive bas reliefs. Next stop is TA PROHM, which, unlike the other temples, has been left relatively untouched. Tree roots grow over and through the ruin walls, allowing you to experience the temple with the same wonder as the early explorers who discovered it. Lastly, stop at LES ARTISANS D’ANGKOR, a development project teaching young adults traditional handicraft techniques. The rest of the afternoon is at your leisure. This evening, enjoy a PRIVATE APSARA DANCE PERFORMANCE, where the ancient Khmer culture is brought to life by talented dancers, singers, and musicians. (B,D)

Day 13

Siem Reap–Luang Prabang, Laos. Today, fly to Luang Prabang. (B)

Day 14

Luang Prabang. Today, enjoy a full day of sightseeing in this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Begin your morning by witnessing the Tak Bat (almsgiving ceremony), with a visit to a local market. Each morning before dawn, Buddhist monks don their distinctive saffron-colored robes and walk through the streets to collect alms (offerings of food). This is a truly memorable sight you will not soon forget as you personally present alms to the monks and receive their blessings. Afterward, walk through the colorful morning market on the banks of the Mekong River in the center of town and watch as locals buy and sell their produce and meats. Then visit the NATIONAL MUSEUM, formerly the Royal Palace. Nearby is WAT MAI, famous for its 5-tiered roof built in the traditional style of Luang Prabang. You will also visit WAT VISOUN and WAT XIENG THONG, often thought to be the most beautiful wat, or monastery, in the city. This afternoon, visit the village of BAN XANG KHONG. Here you will witness a WEAVING DEMONSTRATION and learn about how sa paper is made by hand from the pulp of mulberry trees. (B,L)

Day 15

Luang Prabang. Enjoy a full-day at your leisure. (B)

Day 16

Luang Prabang–Bangkok, Thailand. Today, transfer to the airport and fly to Bangkok. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel for the night. (B)

Day 17

Bangkok. This morning, your sightseeing begins with a BOAT RIDE through the klongs, Bangkok’s canals, to see the family homes, temples, and the way of life that give this city the nickname “Venice of the East.” Stop at the stunning GRAND PALACE, featuring the TEMPLE OF THE EMERALD BUDDHA. Also visit the TEMPLE OF THE RECLINING BUDDHA, the oldest and largest Buddhist temple in Bangkok. It houses more than 1,000 Buddha images, including the 49-foot-high and 151-foot-long massive Reclining Buddha. The remainder of the day is at your leisure.(B,L)

Day 18

Bangkok. Enjoy a full-day at your leisure. (B)

Day 19

Bangkok. Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)

Availability

Checking price
Price From $ 6,799
Price Per Day: $ 358 per day
Checking price

1,474 Avalon Waterways Travel Reviews & Ratings

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Disappointing 12
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Fascinating Vietnam, Cambodia & the Mekong River with Luang Prabang & Bangkok - Northbound

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Company Reviews

Amsterdam Active Discovery was Amazing

5.0
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We just returned (5/8/22) from the Avalon Tranquility II cruise from Amsterdam, to Rotterdam, to Antwerp and back to Amsterdam. This is our second Avalon tour and we were thrilled with all aspects of the cruise. The ship is beautiful and wonderfully maintained. The cruise director, Simone T. was charming, smart, organized and in control of all aspects of a perfect trip. The sailors, servers, housekeeping were all professional, personable and as helpful as could be. The excursions, food, and logistics were outstanding. This trip was about the cities and not so much about the countryside, so there was much more exposure to the industrial ports than on other European river excursions.
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I like thi site

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A Grand Disappointment

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Globus, of which Avalon is a subsidiary, recently sent me an email advertising your tours. In it was a tab "We stand by our guests.
If things don’t go as planned on-trip, our guests are never left to face a cloud of uncertainty alone. Instead, they’re always in the care of our operations team while in destination."
In our case, this was not the case.
We purchased the Avalon Galapagos tour and arrived in Quito, Ecuador March 29. My wife contracted the Rota Virus at the hotel at the beginning of the tour. She was bedridden for four days, with four doctors' visits plus a lab tech. She even had to receive an IV right in the room. We were completely abandoned by Avalon. When the tour left town to fly to the Galapagos Islands, the only telephone call we received was from a local rep informing us that the tour's rooming responsibility towards us had expired. He told us we had to make our arrangements for a room until the tour returned the following week. Even after my travel agent contacted Avalon Home Office, no one provided any assistance. The worst tour ever. Then, in submitting a claim to Avalon's recommended insurance company, AON, I was told that in order to process the claim for trip interruption, we need to provide Attending Physicians’ Statements---in English, from Ecuador. I paid a small fortune for what turned out to be a plane flight and a ride to and from the hotel. Some people have asked what did I expect from Avalon. How about a telephone call asking how my wife was doing. How about assistance with arranging housing while waiting for the tour to return. Or, asking if I needed a translator for the doctor's visits or my many trips to the pharmacy. Or, a recommendation for a specialist. Joseph Cerroni
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Grand France River Cruise Truly Grand

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I took the Grand France River Cruise and loved every minute of it. Lots of choices for excursions and the flexibility to make changes when needed. Both Cruise Directors on each ship (Jean-Loup on Poetry II and Gayle on Tapestry II) were very helpful, friendly and informative. In fact, all of the staff on each ship seemed to go out of their way to make sure I was enjoying myself.
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We traveled before the Omicron…

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We traveled before the Omicron outbreak. We were only the third cruise at that point after the initial outbreak of Covid. We felt very safe. Everyone was vaccinated, wore masks and our temperature was randomly taken on a regular basis. The crew was amazing ! Accommodations and food were excellent and I would highly recommend Avalon to anyone considering a river cruise.
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Bucket List Trip A Success! Almost two years in the making because…

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Almost two years in the making because of Covid delays, my wife and I were blessed to be able to take our Romantic Rhine River cruise in October. It was amazing; everything that we had hoped for, and more. We loved our ship and crew, our cabin was airy and spacious, the food was great and the excursions were first class. We are already saving up for next trip, which we will arrange with Kat, our Avalon planner!
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Deck & Cabin Plans

Optional Activities

WHSP|Add Hanoi, Ha Long Bay
WHS|Fascinating Vietnam, Cambodia & the Mekong River – Northbound

Local Flights

Participation in this tour requires a purchase of additional local flights.

Accommodations



InterContinental Asiana Saigon

InterContinental Asiana Saigon is located in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City. The hotel features spacious rooms with separate bath and shower, a full service spa, outdoor pool, and a fitness center. Other amenties include three restaurants, a lounge, and a bar.


Ho Chi Minh City
Vietnam
Corner Ha Ba Trung St and Le Duan Blvd

Park Hyatt Siem Reap

The Park Hyatt, Siem Reap is the city¿s most prestigious address and perfect base to explore the Temples of Angkor. Located in the heart of the city, this award winning hotel blends an elegant and contemporary design to create an enlivening resort and residential feel. From the second you arrive you will be welcomed by true Cambodian hospitality and superb service. The stylish guestrooms offer a refined home away from home with all the amenities one would expect from a deluxe hotel. The luxurious collection of accommodation is matched by stylish dining venues that offer fresh, flavorful, well-presented dishes of French and Indochine inspirations. Lighter fare is also offered at The Glass House, the onsite deli-patisserie. Discerning travelers will appreciate the other amenities on offer. Relax by one of the two pools or in the inviting Living Room lounge and bar, get in a work out in the fitness center, or visit The Spa for holistic therapies and treatments using only locally harvested floral and aromatic ingredients.


Siem Reap
Cambodia
Sivutha Blvd

Angsana Maison Souvannaphoum

Maison Souvannaphoum was the residence of Prince Souvannaphouma in the 1960s and 1970s, making it one of the few "historical" modernist buildings in town. The hotel exudes a distinct colonial style of solid brick structures with shuttered windows, reminiscent of French provincial buildings, added with a local touch.


Luang Prabang
Laos
Rue Chao Fa Ngum, Banthatluang

InterContinental Bangkok

The InterContinental Bangkok located within the core of the city's business and commercial districts. Within walking distance there is a wide range of shopping and other facilities are within easy walking distance. Access to the rest of the city is easy with the adjacent BTS skytrain station. Throughout, you will appreciate impeccable service and the warm, attentive hospitality that is authentically Thai.


Bangkok
Thailand
973 Ploenchit Road

Trip ID#:

AVALON-WHSU

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