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Mekong River Cruise and Land Tours

Take a trip along the exotic Mekong river through the tropical greenery of Vietnam and Cambodia, and discover the ancient cities, temples and fascinating natural wonders that make South East Asia an intriguing holiday destination

The Mekong River rises in the mountains of Tibet, flows through south-west China and Burma, marks the border between Thailand and Laos, and meanders through Cambodia and Vietnam where its fertile delta forms the region’s agricultural heartland.

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  • Angkor Wat, Cambodia
  • Sampan on the Mekong River
  • Hanoi traffic
  • Halong Bay, Vietnam

About Vietnam and Cambodia Cruises

Thousands of boats ply the waters of the Mekong through Vietnam and Cambodia, from tiny rowing boats to sampans carrying rice, fruit and sugarcane. All life is there: colourful floating markets, river villages on stilts and beautiful Khmer pagodas. Birds nest in huge colonies and five species of dolphin swim the Mekong.

The Mekong river links some of the great cities of south east Asia. Saigon is a startling culture clash - the heart of Vietnamese trade, modern-day Ho Chi Minh City maintains its charm in the Chinese markets and bustling streets amidst grand French colonial buildings.

Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh, is a pleasant riverside city graced with leafy boulevards and dotted with cafés and bars. Visitors are treated to the glorious Royal Palace, the Silver Pagoda, and an unrivalled collection of ancient Khmer art at the National Museum.

Upriver, the Mekong flows from the Tonle Sap, Cambodia’s great lake. Here, locals live in floating villages and make use of the plentiful fishing or tend the miles of rice paddies, flooded by river water in the summer.

At Siem Reap stands the unforgettable temple of Angkor Wat. This pinnacle of ancient Khmer architecture, crowned with soaring towers and decorated with intricate carvings, is one of Asia’s unmissable gems.

Vietnam’s elegant capital in the north, Hanoi, is a laid-back city with tranquil tree-lined lakes at its heart. The country’s turbulent history is now remembered with the Military History Museum and Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum, in the peaceful setting of Ba Dinh Square.

Out on the nearby coast is another of Vietnam’s natural wonders. Sailing amongst the mysterious sandstone peaks that rise out of Halong Bay on Vietnam’s east coast is an amazing experience.

A river cruise on the Mekong will usually include time in Ho Chi Minh City and Siem Reap for Angkor Wat. Several variants are available - perhaps adding Hanoi and an overnight cruise in Halong Bay on a modern junk, and perhaps the towns of Hoi An, an ancient market and trading town on the Thu Bon river, and Hue, the former Imperial capital.

Ho Chi Minh statue, SaigonHo Chi Minh statue, Saigon Phnom Penh, CambodiaPhnom Penh, Cambodia Family Transport, VietnamFamily Transport, Vietnam

Cruise Collection

All of our Vietnam and Cambodia river cruises are shown below. Tick the boxes to filter by date, company and main places visited.

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  • Essential Vietnam and Cambodia

    13 Nights - Siem Reap to Ho Chi Minh City

    Travelmarvel by APT Ship - La Marguerite La Marguerite

    Excellent value premium river cruise holiday including 7-nights on the Mekong and hotel stays in Ho Chi Minh City and Siem Reap for Angkor Wat. Includes excursions and flights from the UK 2017 - Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov
    2018 - Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr
    FREE flights - save up to £2000 per couple!

    Essential Vietnam and Cambodia Cruise and Tour Fly Cruise Package
    From £2245pp
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  • Discover Vietnam and Cambodia

    17 Nights - Hanoi to Siem Reap

    Travelmarvel by APT Ship - La Marguerite La Marguerite

    Superb value APT Travelmarvel holiday combining an overnight stay on a junk in Ha Long Bay, 7-nights on the magnificent Mekong and hotel stays in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh city and Siem Reap. Includes excursions and flights from the UK 2017 - Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov
    2018 - Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr
    FREE flights - save up to £2000 per couple!

    Discover Vietnam and Cambodia Cruise and Land Tour Fly Cruise Package
    From £3245pp
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  • Vietnam and Cambodia Highlights

    14 Nights - Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap

    APT Ship - AmaLotus AmaLotus

    See the highlights of Vietnam and Cambodia on this 14-night cruise and land tour with hotel stays in Ho Chi Minh City and Siem Reap. Includes travel package from the UK, Freedom of Choice Touring and signature experiences 2017 - Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec
    2018 - Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr
    Free flights - save up to £2000 per couple!

    Vietnam and Cambodia Highlights Cruise and Tour Fly Cruise Package
    From £3295pp
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  • Halong Bay and the Red River

    12 Nights - Hanoi and back

    Pandaw River Adventures Ship - Angkor Pandaw Angkor Pandaw

    This 12-night adventure travels well off the beaten track into the highlands and mountain villages of northern Vietnam. In contrast visit bustling Hanoi, the Vietnamese capital, plus an overnight cruise in the amazing limestone island scenery of Halong Bay. Includes flights from the UK, transfers, and excursions. 2017 - May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec
    2018 - Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec
    2019 - Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr
    No single supplement on selected departures!

    Halong Bay and the Red River Fly Cruise Package
    From £3345pp
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  • Wonders of Vietnam and Cambodia

    21 Nights - Hanoi to Siem Reap

    Travelmarvel by APT Ship - La Marguerite La Marguerite

    Explore iconic sights and discover hidden gems on this superb value APT Travelmarvel holiday with hotel stays in Hanoi, Hoi An and Ho Chi Minh City and a 7-night cruise along the Mekong. Includes return flights from the UK, internal flights and excursions 2017 - Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec
    2018 - Jan, Feb, Mar
    Free flights - save up to £2000 per couple!

    Wonders of Vietnam and Cambodia Fly Cruise Package
    From £3745pp
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  • Treasures of the Mekong

    14 Nights - Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap

    Scenic Ship - Scenic Spirit Scenic Spirit

    Discover ornate temples, floating villages and bustling cities on this superb holiday combining a 7-night all-inclusive Mekong river cruise with hotel stays in Ho Chi Minh City and Siem Reap. Includes exclusive Scenic Enrich experiences and return flights from the UK 2017 - Aug, Sep, Oct, Dec
    2018 - Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr
    Save up to £1000pp on 2017 departures!

    Treasures of the Mekong Fly Cruise Package
    From £3965pp
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  • Timeless Vietnam and Cambodia

    16 Nights - Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi

    Uniworld Ship - River Orchid Choice of Ships

    Explore Vietnam and Cambodia, with luxury hotel stays in Ho Chi Minh City and Siem Reap, linked by a 7-night Mekong river voyage, with additional nights in Hanoi. Includes flights from the UK, guided excursions and complimentary house wine, beer and soft drinks onboard and with special restaurant meals. 2017 - Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec
    2018 - Jan, Feb, Mar, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec
    FREE cabin upgrade PLUS save up to £1000pp on 2017 departures!

    Timeless Wonders of Vietnam and Cambodia Fly Cruise Package
    From £4139pp
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  • Laos and Mekong Adventure

    12 Nights - Vientiane to Chiang Mai

    Pandaw River Adventures Ship - Laos Pandaw and Champa Pandaw Laos Pandaw and Champa Pandaw

    Cruise the upper Mekong river through the mountains and forests of Laos on this 12-night fly-cruise holiday. Includes visits to the Laos capital Vientiane, two nights in historic Luang Prabang and the 'Golden Triangle' of Laos, Burma and Thailand. Flights from the UK, transfers, excursions and crew gratuities included 2017 - Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec
    2018 - Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec
    2019 - Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr
    Exclusive Blue Water Package with no single supplement on selected departures!

    Laos and Mekong River Cruise Adventure Fly Cruise Package
    From £4195pp
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  • Magnificent Mekong

    16 Nights - Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City

    Viking River Cruises Ship - Viking Mekong Viking Mekong

    Discover bustling cities, riverside villages and magnificent temples on this 16-night holiday, including 7-nights on the Mekong and hotel stays in Hanoi, Siem Reap and Ho Chi Minh City. Includes excursions and travel package from the UK 2017 - Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec

    Magnificent Mekong River Cruise and Land Tour Fly Cruise Package
    From £4299pp
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  • Vietnam and Cambodia Discovery

    18 Nights - Hanoi to Siem Reap

    APT Ship - AmaLotus AmaLotus

    This fascinating holiday includes stays in Hanoi, Ha Long Bay, Ho Chi Minh City, the temple of Angkor Wat, and 7-nights on the Mekong river on board the luxurious AMALotus. Includes flights from the UK and excursions 2017 - Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec
    2018 - Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr
    Free flights - save up to £2000 per couple!

    Vietnam and Cambodia Discovery Cruise and Tour Fly Cruise Package
    From £4545pp
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  • Best of Vietnam and Cambodia

    22 Nights - Ho Chi Minh City and back

    APT Ship - AmaLotus AmaLotus

    This superb holiday includes a 7-night cruise along the Mekong, hotel stays in Ho Chi Minh City, the ancient cities of Hoi An and Hue, Hanoi and Siem Reap, gateway to Angkor Wat, plus a three-day cruise on World Heritage-listed Ha Long Bay. Includes flights from the UK and excursions 2017 - Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov
    2018 - Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr
    Free flights - save up to £2000 per couple!

    Best of Vietnam and Cambodia Cruise and Tour Fly Cruise Package
    From £5595pp
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  • Mekong with Eastern and Oriental Express

    15 Nights - Siem Reap to Bangkok

    Scenic Ship - Scenic Spirit Scenic Spirit

    Enjoy a luxurious cruise along the Mekong on brand new ship Scenic Spirit, before boarding the world-renowned Eastern and Oriental Express for a spectacular journey through Malaysia and Thailand. Includes hotel stays in Ho Chi Minh City, Siem Reap, Singapore and Bangkok as well as exclusive Scenic Enrich experiences and return flights from the UK 2017 - Sep, Dec

    Mekong with Eastern and Oriental Express Fly Cruise Package
    From £6645pp
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  • Vietnam and Cambodia Highlights

    Angkor Wat (Cambodia)

    The Angkor Archaeological Park is has one of the most important archaeological sites of Southeast Asia and is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. Angkor Wat is the best-preserved and most iconic of the Angkor temple complex, built in the early 12th century to honour the Hindu god Vishnu. The temple took over 30 years to be completed by King Suryavarman II

    Angkor Wat

    Halong Bay

    The thousands of vertical limestone karsts and islands of Ha Long Bay are a memorable sight. Topped off with jungle vegetation, some of the islands are hollow and contain large cave chambers, whilst others like Cat Ba are inhabited and offer facilities for tourists. Floating villages with a population of fishermen can be seen during cruises through the bay.

    Halong Bay (Vietnam)

    Hanoi

    Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam and renowned for its spectacular colonial architecture and ancient temples. Highlights include the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in the centre of Ba Dinh Square, the One-pillar Pagoda, a historic Buddhist temple and the Temple of Literature founded by Emperor Ly Thanh Tong. Hanoi serves as the gateway to the dramatic limestone cliffs of Halong Bay.

    Hanoi (Vietnam)

    Ho Chi Minh City

    Large cruise ships reach Ho Chi Minh City via the Saigon River and berth in the port of Phu My, whilst smaller vessels can approach along the Mekong Delta. Formerly Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City has many places of interest, including the Cu Chi Tunnels which hid the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War; Reunification Hall, once the Presidential Palace, and the temples and Pagodas of the Cholon Chinatown district.

    Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam)

    Nha Trang

    Nha Trang is an international tourist resort set in a beautiful bay. More lively and urban in character than other Vietnam beach destinations, it is the scuba diving centre of Vietnam. Local artwork can be found on Doc Lop Street and to visit the beaches of Hon Tre Island, take the hi-level Vinpearl Cable Car. Po Nagar Cham Towers are an elaborate series of 8th-century towers and temples on Cu Lao Mountain.

    Nha Trang (Vietnam)

    Phnom Penh

    Phnom Penh is a busy, noisy city, still recovering from the horrors of the Khmer Rouge in the 1970s. Itineraries often include trips to the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek and the grim Tuol Sleng or S21 Detention Centre. Less harrowing is the Royal Palace, and its two magnificent pagodas - the Silver Pagoda and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, and the historic hill-top temple complex of Wat Phnom.

    Phnom Penh (Cambodia)

    Siem Reap

    Siem Reap is the stepping-off point for visits to the magnificent temples of Angkor Wat. In Siem Reap itself, there are French shop-houses, and tree-lined avenues beside the river. The Angkor National Museum has displays tracing the history of the complex, and a short distance away by tuk-tuk is Kampong Phluk Floating Village, built on stilts in a mangrove forest. Siem Reap has good restaurants and several luxurious spas.

    Siem Reap (Cambodia)

    Tonle Sap

    Tonle Sap Lake in Cambodia is a UNESCO Biosphere known for its tranquil fishing villages. It is one of the largest freshwater lakes in Asia during the wet season and home to an abundance of wildlife including crocodiles, macaques and otter. Fishing is the main source of income however the flood plains are used to grow vegetables. Angkor, the capital which is located on the northeastern edge of the lake is a designated World Heritage site.

    Tonle Sap (Cambodia)

    Customer Reviews

    "Vietnam and Cambodia" by J.Longworth5 star
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    I was very impressed by the organisation of Avalon and in particular the Cruise Director Mark Nicholls. I was also impressed by the care and attention of the ship's crew and the comfort of the ship itself. I would recommend this trip to anyone interested in seeing and hearing about local life in two very interesting counties whose people seem resilient to all the terrible traumas they have suffered recently.

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    I have always wanted to visit both Cambodia and Vietnam so a Mekong river cruise seemed the perfect way of doing this.

    Flying with Vietnam Airlines from London to Siem Reap, the holiday began with an overnight stay at the luxurious Angkor Wat Sofitel, lending opportunity to visit the magnificent Angkor Wat temple, a UNESCO World Heritage site and a place on my list of ‘must visits' - it didn't disappoint!

    Due to the low water levels it was necessary to take a coach journey to join the ship at Prek Kdam. Not being the best of travellers I hadn't been looking forward to this journey, but it actually turned out to be a great way of seeing Cambodia as we travelled inland through the countryside.

    The La Marguerite was fabulous and just the right size (only 90 passengers in total), small and relatively luxurious with all the necessary amenities. Cabins onboard are spacious, decorated in a Vietnamese style and the public areas are light, airy and cool - excellent for relaxing. The plunge pool was magnificent for cooling down after an excursion and the all-inclusive drinks onboard were a real bonus!

    The food on the cruise was delicious and fresh (I saw it being delivered to the ship each morning!) and with an excellent variety. The mixture of passengers on board (Australians, Americans and British) and open seating dining meant there was always someone new to chat too - although there were some smaller tables and plenty of quiet areas on the ship too, for times were I was feeling a little less sociable.

    The places seen on this itinerary were beyond all my expectations. Visiting a number of small Vietnamese and Cambodian towns and villages and getting a real feel for the countries cultures and way off life, with many places still barely touched my tourism.

    Highlights of the trip for me included a visit to the Royal Palace in Phnom Penn, home to the Silver Pagoda and a tour to S21 and the  Killing Fields made all the more meaningful with the information provided from the expert local guides. I also thoroughly enjoyed the time spent cruising onboard La Marguerite, where I could sit and admire the scenery as we cruised the Mekong passed magnificent stilt house and floating villages.

    I would highly recommend this cruise and will hopefully do it again someday - perhaps including Ha Long Bay next time.

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    this cruise was one of the greatest experiences of my life, and we were taken care of from my first general query email to blue water holidays, they answered every email and question I had, the attention to detail was superb.

    on arrival we were met by others joining the tour, they were mainly Austrailians, what a great bunch of people, since arriving home they have been in touch by email and sent photos. we felt at home from day one

    the cruise itself- the food was delicious plentiful and beautifully presented, the menu was varied and the drinks  readily availible. I even copied some of the menus to show friends when we got home, the waiters were attentive and most spoke excellent English, the excursions were well planned interestiing and allowed ample time to see all the sites, I never felt rushed as I have with other cruises. The guest speakers were interesting and explained about every visit we made , he discussed the history of each site and made us all aware of what to look out for and what the significance was of different architecture. I now feel I have a better understanding of the country.

    The Hotels we stayed at both before the cruise and after were excellent, and a special thanks must go to the staff who were so attentive I felt more like a visiting dignatary than a tourist. the hotels are very central to all of the sites and attractions, including the local markets which were certainly colourfull with plenty of bargains to be had. the food in the hotels was lovely and the gala dinner with the dancing was enjoyed by everyone in the group.

     

    "Essential Vietnam and Cambodia" by P.Hinchcliffe5 star

    This was a superb cruise: booked through Blue Water and managed by Travelmarvel. From the moment we booked until our return to UK we felt that we were being looked after. The planning and logistics were impeccable. The local guides were very knowledgeable and ensured that we found our way to the most interesting locations on each excursion. I must mention the food in particular: I had asked Blue Water about the availability of western food for my wife: this was passed to all restaurants along the journey and she received special attention everywhere we ate, whereas I thoroughly enjoyed the local cuisine.


    We flew to Siam Reap where we stayed for a few days at the excellent Shinta Mani Resort hotel. We met fellow travellers and our Tarvelmarvel cruise director, Yee: very friendly, very efficient. We had the opportunity to look around Siem Reap and get a feel for Cambodia and her history. We had a couple of trips out to the Angkor archaeological park and saw some wonderful sights, ending up of course at the breath-taking Angkor Wat.


    We were transferred by coach to join the ship La Marguerite, which is luxurious. It was easy to get to know the other passengers and make new friends. The shore excursions as we headed down the Tonle and Mekong rivers allowed us to mingle with Cambodian and Vietnamese people and really get a feel for their cultures and ways of living, and even just travelling on small boats through the waterways, the villages, the floating markets and so on was fun. We spent an exciting and enjoyable week on board and then headed to Saigon.


    There was more to do and see in Saigon: we visited the Cu Chi tunnels and the presidential palace, both of which have been turned into fascinating and quite individual museums. The Grand Hotel, where we stayed for a few days, really is grand!

    And at the end Travelmarvel staff took us right to our various check-in desks for the return flights, and we returned home very satisfied.

    Blue Water Reviews

    Vietnam and Cambodia Cruise and Tour - A Personal Perspective

    Mon 26 Sep 2016

    Cruise Specialist Sam recently enjoyed a Travelmarvel by APT tour through Vietnam and Cambodia. Read her exclusive review:

    Our trip took us from Siem Reap in Cambodia through to Vietnam, ending in Ho Chi Minh City and the whole trip was organised to perfection. This is a trip I have been looking forward to experiencing for a long time now and it certainly didn't disappoint.

    La Marguerite Angkor Wat Floating Houses Along the Mekong Buddhist Monks A Tip: Take Colouring Pencils for the School Children Floating Houses Along the Mekong Panoramic views from La Marguerite Phnom Penh

    On arrival at Siem Reap, a private transfer took us to the Shinta Mani Resort for our 3-night stay. The Shinta Mani is a newly renovated boutique hotel centrally located in the French Quarter and only a 15 minute drive from the Angkor Wat. The hotel was really close to the day and night markets, bars and cafes and a traditional tuk tuk can be hailed to whizz you there for the ridiculously small fare of 2 USD. In Cambodia you MUST barter and haggle for everything including setting the price for the tuktuk before clambering in!

    We had a wonderful first few days exploring Siem Reap on our own and also participating in the organised excursions to the magnificent Bayon and Angkor Wat temples which are all included in the cost of the holiday. We said goodbye to the Shinta Mani and heading off to start our adventure on the Tonle Sap and fascinating Mekong Rivers, breaking the journey for a chance to sample the local delicacies including tarantula and cockroach!

    When we arrived at Prek K'Dam, the lovely La Marguerite was waiting for us and after a welcome chilled drink we were shown to our cabins. La Marguerite is a small vessel with only 46 cabins so I was expecting to find quite a small room but it was bigger than I imagined, with a small outside balcony. It is very traditionally decorated so lots of teak and tiles and artwork in shades of orange and green giving a very oriental feel. The sundeck is a generous space with lots of shaded sun loungers and the pool is a great size - a welcome retreat from the sun and humidity and the perfect place to chill with a complimentary cold beer or G&T on the rocks!

    The dining room on La Marguerite is appropriately named the Mekong Restaurant and is a spacious, welcoming room. Lunch was buffet style including freshly prepared spicy noodles, or stir fries. Evening meals are waiter served with a choice of options but the evening menu is available to view earlier in the day and the chefs are happy to offer an alternative. Wine is also served with lunch and dinner and the attentive waiters are always behind you ready to top up your glass! The evening entertainment onboard is relatively low key. The staff did present a short X Factor style show one night which was hilarious and the audience participation was welcomed by all.

    However, the main reason Vietnam and Cambodia are such popular destinations is because of the culture and history, which you really get to see in the included shore excursions. The Bayon and Angkor Wat temples are magnificent and I loved capturing shots of the tree roots covering the archways at Ta Prohm where the film Tomb Raider was shot. My favourite excursion was at Phnom Udong where we visited the Vipassana Dhura Buddhist Meditation Centre, the largest Buddhist Centre in Cambodia. We had the opportunity to participate in a special Buddha blessing and afterwards I requested a personal blessing which moved me to tears and was something I shall never forget. On our small tender boat we cruised quietly past the many floating houses on stilts and waved at the children who are always ready to give you a thumbs up!

    I can't write about the excursions without mentioning the devastation that occurred at the Killing Fields and S21 Detention Centre (Toul Sleng Genocide Museum). Visiting these places was a very sombre and moving experience, emphasised by the fact that our wonderful tour guide Ry had actually lived through these dark days as a young boy.

    When our cruise came to an end we transferred to our hotel in Ho Chi Minh City for a 2-night stay before heading home. The Grand Saigon Hotel is very centrally located and within walking distance of the hustle and bustle of this buzzing city. From the sky lounge we could see clearly the Mekong River and if you looked up you could see to the top of the highest building in HCMC, the Bitexco Financial Tower standing at 262 meters.

    My advice us for this trip is to take USD in small denominations as you can use them in both Vietnam and Cambodia. Take a hat or umbrella to shade you from the intense sun, a fan to cool you down and plenty of lightweight cotton clothes. Barter and haggle for EVERYTHING - if they ask for $10, offer them $2 and you will end up paying $4! Buy some pens and pencils or notebooks or small toys from the local markets - you will be helping the sellers' familes and the little children in the remote villages will be your friend forever.

    Overall I really enjoyed my time in Asia and it created some lasting memories - I hope I will get the chance to return again one day.

    Blue Water Blog

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