Romance of the Mekong River

Float through unique cultural heritages

Once known as French Indochina, Vietnam and Cambodia showcase centuries of history and a fusion of French and Asian cultures. Explore Saigon, formally known as Ho Chi Minh City, with visits to the Reunification Palace, Notre Dame Cathedral, the War Remnants Museum, and the Cu Chi Tunnels. In Siem Reap, discover the wonders of ancient Angkor.

Aboard the Mekong Navigator, visit riverside towns as well as Cambodia’s capital of Phnom Penh. Visit the city’s Royal Palace and learn about Cambodia’s troubled past at the killing fields of Choeung Ek Memorial. Offering fascinating talks during the journey, speakers will bring these archaeological sites to life. 

Take the next step with us—check out this trip’s official brochure. It includes the complete itinerary and booking information. See a slideshow of photos from the area below. Note that these images were taken on Professor Emeritus Steve Raymer's personal travels and might not be part of this tour.

Trip Name: Romance of the Mekong River
Date: Oct. 16–31, 2018
Tour Operator: AHI
Price: from $5,690 per person, double occupancy, airfare not included.

On the emerald waters of Vietnam’s Gulf of Tonkin, sampans glide through Ha Long Bay, where limestone cliffs and rocky outcroppings of tropical hardwoods rise from the sea. A UNESCO World Heritage site with some 1,900-plus islets, Ha Long Bay today is overwhelmed with tourists arriving in buses, sail boats, cruise ships, and hundreds of the country’s famous longboats. © Steve Raymer / National Geographic Creative
Transplanting rice seedling is backbreaking work for Thai farmers, who in 2016 produced nine million tons of long-grain jasmine rice worth $4.3 billion. Rice occupies some fifty-five percent of the country’s arable land and has long been its main export crop, though in recent years Thailand has dropped to number two behind India as the world’s largest rice exporter. © Steve Raymer / National Geographic Creative
Near Can Tho, Vietnamese traders in dugout boats ply one of the Mekong Delta's endless waterways. But the fabled Mekong is both shrinking and sinking because of multiple dams under construction further upstream.  © Steve Raymer / National Geographic Creative
A vendor in a market in the coastal city of Hôi An has a ready smile for customers. She wears the nón lá—a conical hat made of palm leaf and worn by Vietnamese of all ages and both genders. © Steve Raymer / National Geographic Creative
Vietnamese farmers harvest rice in the Mekong Delta—one of Earth’s most agriculturally productive regions. Vietnam is the third largest exporter of rice, and sends tens of millions of tons of shrimp and fruit abroad from the Delta. © Steve Raymer / National Geographic Creative
A Vietnamese fisherman mends a giant net that will then be lowered into the placid waters of the South China Sea near Qui Nhon, Vietnam. © Steve Raymer / National Geographic Creative
The mountains of Vietnam’s Central Highlands loom over a Vietnamese farmer tending his rice paddies near Qui Nhon, a coastal city in Bình Định Province. © Steve Raymer / National Geographic Creative
Young women of the Black Tai ethnic group hike a trail in northern Vietnam near the border with China. © Steve Raymer / National Geographic Creative
Tamarind blossoms frame the bridge to the Tortoise Tower at the Lake of the Restored Sword in Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. The tower dates to the late nineteenth century, when a Vietnamese bureaucrat working for the French colonial government built a shrine to Emperor Lê Loi, who led the Vietnamese to victory against China’s Ming dynasty in the fifteenth century. © Steve Raymer / National Geographic Creative
Viewed from a French colonial-era hotel, the Vietnamese Central Highlands city of Da Lat is peaceful, like the country itself. Da Lat is often called the “City of Eternal Spring” or “Le Petit Paris” thanks to its year-round mild temperatures and unblemished colonial architecture. © Steve Raymer / National Geographic Creative
Traffic whirls along Le Loi Boulevard in front of the Rex Hotel, a French colonial-era landmark in downtown Saigon, now officially named Ho Chi Minh City.  During the Vietnam War, the hotel was an American officers’ barracks and scene of the daily—and contentious—military press briefings called the “Five O’clock Follies” by war correspondents. © Steve Raymer / National Geographic Creative
Epicenter of Buddhist upheaval in the 1960s, the Xá Loi Pagoda in Ho Chi Minh City is a place of interest for its past. In June 1963, a Buddhist monk travelled from the Pagoda to a nearby intersection, was doused with gasoline, and burned himself to death in front of AP journalist Malcolm Browne, whose iconic image of the self-immolating monk encapsulated the dilemma the United States faced with a despotic South Vietnamese government. © Steve Raymer / National Geographic Creative
A sweeper goes about her work in the early morning at the Imperial City, or Citadel, a walled fortress and palace in the former capital of Vietnam in Huế. In 1968 it was the scene of intense fighting between the North Vietnamese Army and the Vietcong and United States Marines. © Steve Raymer / National Geographic Creative
Worshippers of the Cao Dai faith pray at the Cathedral or Great Temple of the Holy See at Tây Ninh about 60 miles northwest of Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) near the Cambodian border. With five million adherents, the Cao Dai have the distinction of being Vietnam’s largest homegrown religion, blending elements of the Roman Catholic Church, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism. © Steve Raymer / National Geographic Creative
Dawn breaks over the twelfth-century temples of Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, Cambodia.  Dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu, the Angkor Archaeological Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, contains the remains of several capitals of the Khmer Empire that flourished from the ninth to the fifteenth centuries. © Steve Raymer / National Geographic Creative
Buddhist monks climb among the ruins of the ancient Ta Prohm temple, now strangled by the jungle, near Siem Reap in Cambodia. Built in 1186 during the golden age of the Khmer Empire and forgotten for centuries, Ta Prohm has been left as it was rediscovered, swathed by giant strangler fig and silk-cotton trees that extract water from the porous sandstone.   © Steve Raymer / National Geographic Creative
With its classic golden Khmer gables framed by forested grounds at sunrise, Cambodia’s Royal Palace in the capital Phnom Penh is situated at the confluence of three great rivers—the Mekong, Tonlé Sap, and Bassac. The palace, built in 1866, is the royal residence of King Norodom Sihamoni, who succeeded his father, King Norodom Sihanouk, in 2004. © Steve Raymer / National Geographic


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