River Cruises on the Mekong

If you are a western Baby Boomer, the Vietnam War is one of the defining experiences for our generation. No lilting melodies from “The King and I” can erase the Tet offensive, bombing Haiphong Harbor, My Lai, or the fall of Saigon. Add to that the Khmer Rouge, the Pathet Lao, Cold War politics, and military coups, and the impressions are still fairly dark. Mention “Mekong” and we think of futility.

River Cruises on the Mekong to Angkor Wat

The ultimate bucket list destination, Angkor Wat. By Bjørn Christian Tørrissen, via Wikimedia Commons

Are these places you really want to visit? In fact, yes. As the dynamics of world politics have moved on from the Cold War, and as marketplace economics have seeped into these countries, these travel destinations are more welcoming than ever. A river cruise on the Mekong is a great way to brighten your sense of this part of the World.

Most river cruise itineraries will have you flying in and out of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon). You’ll fly to Siem Reap, spend a couple of unforgettable days in the vast archeological sites of ancient Angkor and then cruise down to Phnom Penh and Vietnam. This is the very definition of an exotic cruise. Very little you will see and experience will resemble your life at home. That’s why you are here. It’s why you love international travel.