Culture Shock on the Mekong River

Published Date Author: , March 22nd, 2017

Angkor Wat - pixabay

Are you ready to cruise the Mekong River?

Southeast Asia is a place of incredible contradictions. Urban megalopolises like Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, with their stunning French architecture and millions of motorcycles exist in a sort of awkward harmony with the ancient traditions of the villages along the lush Mekong Delta.

And then there’s Angkor Wat – a 400 acre temple site that might have had Liberace going, “Do you think it’s too much?” Built in the 12th century, Angkor Wat is a selfie heaven, with its pine-cone turrets and scores of red-robed Buddhist monks.

But traveling to third world nations where English is only sparsely spoken and whose infrastructure isn’t always on point can be daunting. The ideal way to see Southeast Asia is via a combination of land tour and a river cruise on the Mekong.

Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) and Hanoi have excellent five-star hotels which provide a fabulous respite from the cacophony below; but villages along the Mekong like Angkor Ban, Tan Chau, Sa Dec, Cai Be and even Phnom Penh don’t exactly have a Four Seasons. Having a five-star river cruise ship to return to each day provides the best of both worlds: the ability to effortlessly tour these charming towns and learn about cultures that have barely changed in hundreds of years, and the ability to LEAVE that culture behind at night and come back to a gorgeous floating resort.

I mean, come on!

By Eric Poole – Full Story at Passport

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