Mekong River cruise to Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Description of Mekong River cruise to Angkor Wat, Cambodia
What better way to experience the lush countryside, slow pace and friendly welcome of Cambodia and Vietnam than floating down the mighty Mekong River? We’ll take you on an 8 day cruise from Saigon to Siem Reap (or vice versa), home to the world-famous ruined temples of Angkor, recreating the great journeys of the past aboard a colonial style, 20-passenger river boat. Along the way you will visit riverside farming communities, a remote Buddhist pagoda and a floating village, immersing yourself in the watery way of life along this great river.
4 Reviews of Mekong River cruise to Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Reviewed on 11 Mar 2019 by Anna-Lisa AinsworthVery enjoyable. Great sites. Friendly people. Read full review
Reviewed on 08 Jan 2017 by Catherine SaltSnorkelling trip on Christmas Day - we were staying at Sanom Beach on Koh Lipe and they organised it for us. Read full review
Reviewed on 21 Aug 2016 by Simon ArmourA real experience, with such lovely people and places, we will never forget! Everything went very smoothly and to plan over three different locations, which is quite an achievement too! Read full review
Reviewed on 22 Nov 2015 by Janet SivyerOverall it was a great holiday....We completed the whole cruise from Siem Reap to Saigon and the whole trip was lovely with interesting excursions each day by boat or on land. The food on board the boat was delicious. Read full review
PlanetYou will cruise the Mekong river aboard a refurbished colonial-style 20 passenger ship which has been refitted by workers using material from Cambodia, helping to contribute to the local economy. The operator that we work with takes several steps to try to reduce the environmental impact of its operations. One of the largest sources of potential pollution and Co2 emissions is the fuel used to run the boat, so they aim to be as efficient as possible. This includes a full strip-down of the engine each season and buying the most up to date and fuel efficient motors available internationally. They take care to reuse plastic containers and recycle all onboard waste at each stop by selling it to scrap collectors. They ensure that all airconditioning, which is energy-intensive, is turned off when guests are not onboard (for example, during excursions). Food is sourced from stops along the route to be as fresh as possible and eliminate transport emissions. They have also looked into the viability of running the boat on solar energy but found that they would need to cover the entire boat with solar panels to make it work!
PeopleOur Mekong cruise incorporates stops at villages along the route, aiming to create economic benefits for the people that live in them. For example, you can buy food, souvenirs and activities like taking a ride in a traditional horse cart. It is important that these stops do not become tourist traps, so we have chosen villages that are not accessible by the larger cruise boats and work with them consistently to help small local businesses grow. Where possible, we have also chosen places like Cochen, where your purchases help support a once-thriving silver industry, rather than encouraging tourist trinkets.
Direct one-off donations are discouraged as it can foster dependency, so instead the boat operator buys equipment needed by the villagers collectively. However, many passengers choose to sponsor local children on a longer-term basis. Buying supplies along the way also helps local farmers with additional income.
The cruise company we work with employs a majority Cambodian crew during the voyage as well as Cambodian workers for annual refits, along with some Vietnamese pilots because most skilled Cambodians were killed or fled during the Khmer Rouge years. We both believe that it is generally better in the long term to create decent employment than to work exclusively through donations to charities and non-governmental organisations.