2018 : Fascinating Vietnam, Cambodia & the Mekong River with Hanoi, Ha Long Bay & Bangkok - Northbound (WHSN) - Saigon
19 Day River Cruise from Hanoi to Bangkok
On this inspiring river cruise through Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand, you'll be immersed in the cultures and ancient traditions in the most fascinating places along the mighty Mekong River.
Experience Vietnamese culture with a tour of the captivating capital of Hanoi. Go on a cyclo ride through the ancient streets of the Old Quarter and enjoy a water puppet performance. In Ha Long Bay, you'll cruise through its breathtaking limestone islands. See the famous landmarks in Ho Chi Minh City and try your hand in the kitchen-Vietnamese-style, with a cooking class. On an excursion to the Cu Chi Tunnels, walk through a section of the immense underground tunnel system used during the Vietnam War. Embark on your river cruise along the Mekong River and visit a colorful market, the home of a local family making handcrafted sampans, and a workshop to learn how rice wine and traditional candies are made. In the capital of Cambodia, Phnom Penh, tour the National Museum and Royal Palace with its striking Silver Pagoda. On a hilltop at the site of the 8th-century temple of Wat Hanchey, take in the stunning views before walking through the rural village of Angkor Ban to visit with welcoming schoolchildren. In Siem Reap, you'll see the phenomenal Temples of Angkor with an intricacy and architectural grandeur unmatched in the world.
Your adventure concludes in enchanting Bangkok, Thailand, where you'll visit its most renowned temples, including the Temple of the Reclining Buddha-the oldest and largest of its kind. You'll also have plenty of leisure time to explore the "Venice of the East"-a perfect ending to this remarkable journey!
It's about you. You are the reason we've used our 85-plus years of travel expertise to design the very best river cruise experience. Inspired by you, we've taken everything special about river cruising and made it even better. Here are some of the features and amenities you'll experience on board our Avalon ships.
*Depending on water levels
Highlights & Sightseeing
Day 1 Arrive Hanoi: welcome to Vietnam
Day 2 Hanoi: visit Ho Chi Minh's mausoleum, One Pillar Pagoda, Ho Chi Minh Museum, and Temple of Literature; lunch at Koto; take a cyclo ride through the Old Quarter; water puppets performance
Day 3 Hanoi-Ha Long Bay: cruise on Ha Long Bay
Day 4 Ha Long Bay-Ho Chi Minh City: fly to Ho Chi Minh City
Day 5 Ho Chi Minh City: walking tour of the city's landmarks; visit the famous Rex Hotel for a drink, War Remnants Museum, and Ben Thanh Market; cooking class
Day 6 Ho Chi Minh City: Cu Chi Tunnels excursion
Day 7 Ho Chi Minh City (Embarkation): onboard welcome reception
Day 8 Vinh Long-Cu Lao Gieng: 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
Day 9 Chau Doc-Long Khong A, Vietnam-Cambodian Border Crossing: visit a local fish farm and the religious sites at Sam Mountain in Chau Doc; walking tour of Long Khong A with cotton weaving demonstration
Day 10 Phnom Penh: sightseeing by private cyclo including the Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda, and the National Museum; afternoon at leisure; show by children from a local orphanage
Day 11 Phnom Penh: visit the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and one of the Killing Fields
Day 12 Wat Hanchey-Angkor Ban: visit Wat Hanchey and partake in a traditional water blessing by local monks; walking tour through Angkor Ban village with school visit
Day 13 Konpong Louang-Kampong Tralach: visit the silversmith village of Konpong Louang; ox cart ride through the countryside and visit a local farmer's home in Kampong Tralach
Day 14 Siem Reap (Disembarkation): visit Angkor Wat & Banteay Srei
Day 15 Siem Reap: visit Angkor Thom, Bayon Temple, Ta Prohm, and Les Artisans d'Angkor; Apsara dance performance
Day 16 Siem Reap-Bangkok: fly to Bangkok; time at leisure
Day 17 Bangkok: boat ride on klongs; visit the Grand Palace, Temple of the Emerald Buddha, and the Temple of the Reclining Buddha
Day 18 Bangkok: day at leisure
Day 19 Bangkok: end of vacation
American breakfast daily, 12 lunches, 11 dinners, including a welcome dinner in Ho Chi Minh City. While on board the ship, enjoy complimentary wine with lunch & dinner and complimentary coffee, tea, soft drinks, local beer, and local spirits throughout the day.
Arrive Hanoi, Vietnam
Welcome to Vietnam! Hotel rooms are available for mid-afternoon check-in.
This morning, take time to look at the life of Ho Chi Minh, the father of modern Vietnam. First, visit the MAUSOLEUM and the humble cottage from which "Uncle Ho" ruled Vietnam until his death in 1969. Next on the agenda: ONE PILLAR PAGODA, the HO CHI MINH MUSEUM, and the Presidential Palace. Stop at the infamous "Hanoi Hilton" before continuing to mystical Hoan Kiem Lake, where you will enjoy a brief guided walk. Also visit the ancient TEMPLE OF LITERATURE, over 900 years old and Hanoi's first university. Lunch is at KOTO, a non-profit restaurant and hospitality program that trains local street children in restaurant skills they can use to find a job and build a stable life. After lunch, enjoy a CYCLO ride through the fascinating Old Quarter, 36 ancient streets where peddlers trade as they have for centuries. An early dinner this evening is followed by a fascinating performance of Hanoi's renowned WATER PUPPETS, a traditional art form dating back to the 11th century. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Hanoi-Ha Long Bay
Travel from Hanoi through the fertile countryside to Hon Gai, gateway to Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Located in the Gulf of Tonkin, the Bay is dotted with over 3,000 limestone islands carved into fanciful shapes by the action of the water. Tunnels, caves, and weirdly shaped outcroppings with imaginative names can be found on many of the small islets sprinkled across the bay. Board a CRUISE that explores the caves, and admire the beauty and scale before stopping at one of the many secluded bays. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Ha Long Bay-Hanoi-Ho Chi Minh City
This morning, drive to Hanoi and board your flight for Ho Chi Minh City. (Breakfast)
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. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
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. (Breakfast)
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. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
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. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Cruising: Chau Doc-Long Khong A-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. After lunch, a sampan brings you to the village of LONG KHONG A, where cotton weaving is a well-preserved tradition. Spend time at one house for a COTTON-WEAVING DEMONSTRATION and a chance to talk with the family. Return to the ship and head for the Cambodian border. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
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. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
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 more than 200,000 people were killed by the Khmer Rouge. After lunch, depart Phnom Penh and enjoy some time at leisure on the ship. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
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. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
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.
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. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
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.
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! (Breakfast, Lunch)
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.
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. (Breakfast, Dinner)
Siem Reap-Bangkok, Thailand
Enjoy the morning at leisure in Siem Reap before flying to Bangkok. The remainder of the day is at your leisure. (Breakfast)
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. (Breakfast, Lunch)
Enjoy a full-day at your leisure. (Breakfast)
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (Breakfast)
|Cruise Line||Avalon Waterways|
|Offer||Offer valid through 9/30/2017|