It's a place of intriguing contrasts: exotic silks and down-to-earth rice farmers. Raw jungles and floating markets. Bustling cities and ancient temples. You might see a monk texting on a smartphone one moment and a family of six on a moped the next. Let the river be your guide to this mysterious part of Southeast Asia.
1-2 Behold the charms of Luang Prabang, ancient capital of the historic Kingdom of Laos, set on the upper Mekong Thanks to its robust concentration of Buddhist temples and quaint avenues, Luang Prabang is now a World Heritage site Monks invite you to sit with them Ride to quiet neighboring villages Give alms as monks walk through the street in morning procession.
3-4 Discover Angkor as you pedal among iconic stone monuments, learning about the Khmer civilizations Receive a water blessing from a monk Visit a market and an artisan's workshop Greet the sunrise over Angkor Wat Explore the Roluos Group, temples dating back to the 9th century and hailed as Angkor's oldest A local family invites us into their home for lunch.
5-6 Travel from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh Experience French colonial architecture, lively cafés and colorful markets Board our luxury river ship to start our Mekong River cruise Float across the Cambodian border into vibrant Vietnam.
7-9 Cruise and pedal through Vietnam on a route lined with rice fields, gardens and old wooden bridges Cycle and sail narrow waterways to an ecological reserve Admire fine handicrafts in silk- and rattan-making workshops Enjoy the views from the Sun Deck as you cruise along the Mekong On foot, witness the buzz of activity on the busy docks of Sa Dec, former home of the French writer Marguerite Duras Savor a final ride along the Mekong as it widens into a vast delta, arriving by bike and boat at Cai Be, known for its floating market Journey to Ho Chi Minh City.