The Mighty Mekong is the transboundary river between Southeast and East Asia. It’s the 12th longest river in the world and the third longest in Asia. It flows through six countries and provides a fascinating insight into the local lifestyles, the abundance of wildlife, cultures, and landscapes along its banks.
Fun fact about the Mekong – the river welcomes the waters of the melting snow from the Tibetan Himalayas and flows through the steep mountain gorges in Yunnan province, China. The water volume increases drastically when the river passes through the Golden Triangle, creating an impressive view before continuing to the Mekong Delta.
A Mekong river cruise it’s a great way to explore the best-known sites in the region and discover hidden gems. If you’re planning to visit the Mekong and its mighty surroundings, we recommend checking out this article highlighting the places to visit and the activities to participate in.
The Mekong River Cruise
With Mekong river cruises, you can enjoy an adventure you’ll remember for the rest of your life. Many different names are used to describe the Mekong, like “ the turbulent river” in China, the “mother water” in Thailand, or the Mekong in Vietnam; it’s also referred to as the “nine dragons”.
Its branches emerge into the delta, passing through Cambodia and Vietnam. Around 60 million people depend on Mekong’s water, and it’s considered the primary source of sustenance and income. Its water is used for agriculture, fishing, sanitation, irrigation, cooking, and transportation.
The Mekong is also considered the second river in the world with the most biologically diverse flora and fauna, hosting thousands of fish, plants, mammals, and amphibians. However, some portions of the river are unnavigable due to its wild nature, and many industrial zones and cities can’t be reached with a regular boat or vessel.
There are many places to see on a Mekong river cruise, so let’s start with the highlights of each country, Cambodia and Vietnam.
Places to Visit in Cambodia
Cambodia is known as being home to thousands of temples of Angkor Wat and the most artistic accomplishments throughout history. You can plan your sightseeing in this marvelous country by checking some of the top places on our list.
Angkor Wat is the most visited tourist place in Cambodia and can be reached from the town of Siem Reap. The majesty of the construction of the temple is out-of-this-world since these temples were built between 802 and 1432. The wooden dwellings in the city are still visible today as the remains of what were once mighty temples.
Angkor Wat is the largest religious building in Cambodia, and if you want to understand the importance and scope of the Angkorian period, you’ll need a couple of days to explore it.
Siem Reap is the second most visited place in Cambodia, where most tourists go there to see the temples and enjoy the Angkor architecture. It’s the capital of the Siem Reap Province in the northwest part of Cambodia, and it’s the perfect destination for a relaxing getaway.
The top attractions to visit are the Angkor National Museum, the Artisans Angkor, Preah Ang Check Preah Ang Chorm, Angkor Silk Farm, Cambolac, and Wat Bo.
Phnom Penh is the heartbeat of Cambodia, a city that will dazzle you at first sight. It’s a city of chaotic streets filled with cafes and restaurants that show off the local cuisine and culture. If you want to immerse yourself in this cosmopolitan destination, you must visit Wat Phnom Daun Penh, the Independence Monument, the Silver Pagoda, and the Choeung Ek Genocidal Center.
Places to Visit in Vietnam
Vietnam is a country of cultural diversity, with paddy fields filled with lush greenery, a multicultural population, and mountain views. While the big cities are the home of culinary highlights and metropolitan lifestyles, the rural areas boast incredible panoramic views.
Here are the best places to visit in Vietnam while cruising the Mekong.
Ho Chi Minh City
If you travel to Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City is a must. It’s a buzzing commercial place where you’ll see a lot of cars, motorbikes, cafes, restaurants, shopping stores, and all sorts of cosmopolitan sights. The Dong Khoi is the central district where many of the city’s sights can be found, so make sure you head there.
Hanoi is a charming, frenetic city that wi koll introduce you to Vietnamese city life. The old town has a lot of historical places to visit, museums to wander to, and art to admire.
What better way to explore the Mekong river than via a cruise? Enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime experience that you’ll remember forever, and make sure you see as many places as possible!