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The Mekong, the longest river in South East Asia, and the 12th largest river in the world, is the heart and soul of South East Asia, flowing for over 3,000 miles through China, Burma, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. The Mekong River Basin is almost the size of France and Germany put together.
For thousands of years the Mekong River has been the lifeline of generations of people. The earliest settlements along the river date to 2100 BC with the first recorded civilization dating to the 1st century. During the Vietnam War, the west bank of the Mekong provided a base for raids against the communist armies in Laos. After the war, anti-communist forces fled west across the Mekong to refugee camps in northern Thailand. Today, peace has returned to the Mekong, and much of it remains undeveloped and even unexplored. Navigable through Cambodia and Vietnam, it offers a glimpse of the diverse cultures and history of these two very different countries.
In Vietnam, cruise the massive Mekong Delta, a picturesque area speckled with colourful floating markets, rice paddies, stilt houses, fish farms and fruit orchards. Enjoy the elegant former French colonial city of Saigon, (Ho Chi Min City), with its memories of the Vietnam War. In Cambodia, explore the incredible complex of temples within the ancient city of Angkor, one of the greatest Buddhist sites in South East Asia. Visit the spectacular Silver Pagoda, and learn about the Khmer Rouge regime. North of the city, cruise on the Tonle River, which connects the main Mekong with Tonle Sap or 'Great Lake'. This is one of the most picturesque parts of the journey as the river narrows and passes amongst villages and woodlands.
Cruising the stunning Mekong River is the best way to travel through these two fascinating countries and immerse yourself in unique traditional Far Eastern character. Enjoy a mix of new languages, cuisine, traditions, and lifestyles while admiring beautiful sunsets and scenery.
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