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Experience of the Month: Vietnam, Cambodia and the Mekong - River Cruise

A fascinating, rewarding and multi-layered adventure. Two of the most beautiful, historic and friendly places in all of Asia - dynamic Vietnam and pastoral Cambodia - are studies in contrast. Each possesses its own charm and social traditions, its own history and complex past. We work with the world’s only authentic boutique river cruise line, Uniworld. Their high standards ('No request too large, no detail too small') appeal to us, and the Uniworld experience embodies style, comfort and sophistication. As a result, guests receive an extraordinary holiday experience of fine dining, elegant suites, staterooms and much more. Try it for yourself on this 15-day timeless wonders tour for those who seek a more adventurous travel treat in exotic Asia.

Timeless Wonders of Vietnam, Cambodia and the Mekong (15 Days)

Your tour begins in Ho Chi Minh City, a heady mixture of old and new, while Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, surprises visitors with its charm. The lifeblood of Southeast Asia, the Mekong, teems with colourful floating villages and mementos of its French Colonial past. Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s thriving capital, is fast-forwarding to the future, yet it retains a provincial intimacy. Majestic Siem Reap provides the gateway to the vast jungle temple complex Angkor Wat.

Day 1: Ho Chi Minh City A Uniworld representative will greet you at the airport and transfer you to the tranquil Park Hyatt Saigon hotel. Day 2: Ho Chi Minh City Featured Excursion: Dynamic Ho Chi Minh City Known as Saigon for centuries, the city boasts incredible French Colonial architecture. See many highlights and enjoy a Welcome Dinner with complimentary wine. Day 3: Ho Chi Minh City, transfer to My Tho Featured Excursion: Vestiges of war— Cu Chi Tunnels Entering the Cu Chi tunnels, which stretch to the Cambodian border, is an adventure. Join your ship in My Tho and kick off your Mekong River voyage with a reception and dinner. Day 4: Cai Be, Vinh Long Featured Excursion: Village life on the Mekong In the Mekong Delta, residents live, work and shop on the water, and villages like Cai Be and Vinh Long are home to busy little family-run factories and historic colonial houses. Catch a trishaw for a ride through town; listen to the stories of village elders who have seen so many changes. Day 5: Sa Dec, Gieng Island, cruising the Mekong River Featured Excursions: Sampans and colonial romance Oar-powered sampans, the traditional flat-bottomed boats of Vietnam, fill the narrow canals and inlets of the delta, carrying passengers—including you—to bustling waterfront markets. See how they’re built and observe the daily lives of the locals. Also visit the island of Gieng, with its architecturally impressive Catholic cathedral. Day 6: Tan Chau, Evergreen Island, cruising the Mekong River Featured Excursions: Daily life on the great delta Did you know that Vietnam has its own religion? Learn the meaning of every colour used in the Cao Dai temple in Tan Chau, feed the fish at a fish farm, meet the farmers of Evergreen Island, enjoy a rickshaw ride, then relax onboard the ship as it sets sail for the Cambodian border. Day 7: Phnom Penh Featured Excursion: Cambodia’s capital—Phnom Penh Wide boulevards, saffron-robed monks, French Colonial architecture and traditional Khmer pagodas—Phnom Penh is a feast for the eyes. Take a cyclo tour before visiting the Royal Palace’s Throne Hall and Silver Pagoda, which contains jewel-encrusted Buddhas and a floor completely tiled with pure silver.

Day 8: Phnom Penh, cruising the Mekong River Featured Excursion: The Killing Fields—tragedy and reconciliation in Cambodia. Six thousand photographs of the dead line the walls of the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, a moving and revealing tribute to the nation’s grievous experience under the Khmer Rouge. Cambodians don’t live in the past, however, as a visit to the silk weavers on a Mekong island demonstrates. Day 9: Angkor Ban, Wat Hanchey Featured Excursions: Cambodia’s vibrant cultural life Visit a local school and villagers in their homes before strolling through an eighth-century temple where monks bestow a water blessing on you. Day 10: Kampong Cham, transfer to Siem Reap Featured Excursion: Gateway to Angkor Wat Disembark and transfer to Siem Reap, gateway to Angkor Wat. Have lunch before checking into the elegant Victoria Angkor Resort & Spa, then take a tour of the city. French Colonial and Chinese-style buildings line shady streets, and visitors from all over the world throng charming open-air markets. Day 11: Siem Reap Featured Excursions: Amazing Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom Angkor Wat is the most recognisable landmark in Cambodia and the largest religious monument in the world. The vast complex was the heart of the ancient Khmer Empire, which ruled this region between the ninth and 12th centuries. Your expedition encompasses the south gate of Angkor Thom (the royal city, which has vanished); Bayon, with its enormous carved heads; Baphuon Temple; the Terrace of the Elephants; and the Terrace of the Leper King. Day 12: Siem Reap Featured Excursions: Jungle temples Banteay Srei and Ta Prohm, Apsara show and dinner Explore Banteay Srei—whose exquisite red sandstone carvings are considered the pinnacle of artistic achievement at Angkor—partially restored Banteay Samré and the temple of Ta Prohm, which has been overtaken by the jungle; tentacle-like tree roots spill over millennia-old roofs, enveloping the entire structure. Cap off your day with dinner and a traditional Apsara dance performance. Day 13: Siem Reap, fly to Hanoi Enjoy free time in Siem Reap before your flight to Hanoi, staying at the serene InterContinental Hanoi Westlake Hotel. Day 14: Hanoi Featured Excursions: Atmospheric Hanoi Parisian elegance infuses Hanoi’s boulevards, which are lined with handsome colonial buildings. Take in a traditional water puppet show and a complex honouring Ho Chi Minh. See another aspect of Vietnam’s history in the dank cells at the notorious “Hanoi Hilton”. Your Southeast Asian adventure ends with a Farewell Dinner with complimentary wine and live entertainment. Day 15: Depart Hanoi Transfer to the airport for your flight home, or continue your tour with an optional extension programme.

Prices Prices are from £3,919 per person. However an early booking discount offer of £700 per couple is valid until 31 October 2016. Port tax of £120 per person is included in the cost. This is based on September 2017 departures in a Cat 3 Superior Stateroom, double occupancy. Subject to availability. Single supplements apply. Please note: International flights are not included. For further details or to make a booking, contact, book an appointment online, call 0208 989 9445 or visit the agency at 134 George Lane, South Woodford, E18 1BA.

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