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Asia Cruising

From Vietnam to Cambodia, Cruising Down the Mekong River

From Vietnam to Cambodia, Cruising Down the Mekong River

The Mekong River – the world twelfth largest river, the lifeblood and the boundary line of much of Southeast Asia. Cutting through valleys, ancient silk towns, major metropolises, monasteries and hundreds of miles of farm lands and fishing towns… exploring the Mekong River is a cultural traveler’s delight. Today, I’m sharing the highlights of my fifteen-day long exploration of Cambodia and Vietnam while cruising down the Mekong River.

Vietnam

In between visiting Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh city, cruising down the Mekong River gave me the opportunity to see a quainter, more rural and authentic side to its people and its culture… for which I’m forever grateful. I truly believe getting off of the well-worn path of must-see cities and metropolises gives travelers a more well-rounded, fuller perspective of a place.

Cái Bè

Perhaps there’s nothing more classic on a Mekong River cruise than experiencing a floating market. Cái Bè’s market was buzzing with excitement, from the sellers and farmers bargaining amongst themselves, to the overflowing amounts of fresh vegetables, candies and more. However, just off the busy market streets you’ll find the calmer waterways lead to the heart of the village, where locals showed us their honey tea making customs and let us sample their delicacies. So special!

Sa Déc

After boarding a small boat set to explore the backwaters of the Mekong Delta, after passing many factories and floating markets, we landed on Sa Déc’s shores. Sa Déc is home to famous authors and brick factories, but what I loved most about exploring this small city was the interactions I had with the locals who were selling their handmade goods and homegrown fruits and vegetables. Having the time to speak with locals and support the local economy was so incredible.

Tan Chau

Our time in Vietnam’s silk weaving factory town, Tan Chau, will forever stay with me. In between exploring the silk-weaving looms, wooden beams and swelteringly hot conditions, we were able to again connect with the locals yet again. Their smiling faces and warm reception to us meant the world to me. It’s the small yet meaningful interactions with locals that always resounds the most with my heart.

Cambodia

Although Cambodia’s famous Angkor Wat draws many, many tourists every day… I could not suggest seeing the country’s quieter side more. Every morning our excursions through Cambodia’s villages revealed a new, intimate experience I just know more travelers would love to witness on their own. For anyone looking to experience their own Indochina Tour, there are so many options and packages out there for every type of traveler.

Chong Kho

Upon crossing into Cambodia’s borders, we were welcomed into the small village of Chong Kho – best known for its silk-weaving and rich fabrics. I found myself exploring the small streets alleys filled with local children, joyfully playing in their swing sets and climbing trees.

French NGO

I truly love photographing people. Their expressions, their joy, the spark in their eyes when I make them giggle or attempt to say something in their language. I spent so much time with the children you see below, these snapshots are just glimpses into the memories I have of them laughing, jumping and walking side by side with me.

From Vietnam to Cambodia, Cruising Down the Mekong River
From Vietnam to Cambodia, Cruising Down the Mekong River
From Vietnam to Cambodia, Cruising Down the Mekong River
From Vietnam to Cambodia, Cruising Down the Mekong River

Kampong Cham

Kampong Cham is a centrally located hub of fishing and agriculture in Cambodia, filled with dense archaeological sights and over 200 ancient temples. You read that right! 200 ancient temples… some of which go back further than the Khmer Empire.

From Vietnam to Cambodia, Cruising Down the Mekong River
From Vietnam to Cambodia, Cruising Down the Mekong River

Magnificent Mekong with Viking Cruises

The grand Mekong River was a sight to behold. And having it as my morning view? Priceless. Viking’s itinerary through the Vietnamese and Cambodian river valley boasts some of the most gorgeous panoramas. But what really made me fall in love was their commitment to showcasing the authentic silk towns, fishing villages and aged beauty of the Vietnamese and Cambodia culture. Each morning I knew that my day would be filled with discovery unlike I’d ever imagine.

Viking’s lodgings and menu always leave me rested and well fed – exactly what I need before taking part on daily excursions! Traditional Vietnamese and Cambodian meals were offered daily… and as an adventurous eater, I loved the experience of tasting the indigenous flavors and authentic dishes as much as I possibly good. 

While cruising through these ancient villages and learning from the locals, I was extremely thankful for Insure Yonder’s travel insurance coverage. I’ve learned the hard way in years past that airline and cruise insurance can be super expensive and lack coverage… but their insightful and thorough coverage gave me such a sense of ease while on this grand adventure. Very thankful for the peace of mind it brought to me while enjoying these serene sights!


A big thank you to Viking Cruises for the opportunity to travel to Vietnam and Cambodia. And also a big, resounding thank you to Insure Yonder for providing us with travel insurance, in case of an emergency! 

Trip sponsored by Viking Cruises. As always, all opinions are my own. All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site.

Caribbean Cruising

How Choosing The Right Cruise Line Brings Better Adventures While Vacationing

In the midst of bleak mid-winter weather, cruising to the Caribbean islands sounds like a perpetual dream stuck in all our minds, isn’t it? Escaping the bitter cold in favor of some crisp  rosé on the deck during a warm, golden sunset, feeling the salty ocean air make our hair knotty and windswept, exploring the coasts of tropical islands far, far away from the troubles of day to day life… don’t make me go on!

The truth is, these daydreams we found ourselves lost in are luxurious, sure, but they are absolutely attainable with the amount of cruise lines available for every type of traveler. No longer are cruise ships following the one-size-fits-all mentality. From value ships to excursion focused adventures, foodie cruises, family focused lines and everything in between, there seems to be a type of cruise for each and every type of traveler. And that, my friends, is a glorious, glorious (yet kind of overwhelming) thing!

It’s funny, when it comes to selecting what cruise line to go with, the best comparison that comes to mind is that choosing the right cruise ship is like picking out a new pair of shoes. The selection process is filled with a dizzying amount to research to sift through: details must be vetted, comfort is key, but you also want to be dazzled nonetheless. But on the flip side, making the wrong decision could mean one hell of a time (and I mean not in a good way). Imagine walking around Manhattan sized city blocks in eight inch heels for a full week to ten days – no no no! The same goes for hunting for the right type of vacation cruise. Finding the best fit requires research and a sensible dose of practicality.

Before you start your research, check in with yourself. What do you travel for? Are you an adventure-seeking explorer who wants to see it all, do it all and spend less time onboard? Are you a luxury seeking type of gal who wants to spend some much needed time relaxing and indulging in some delicious bites? What are your schedule and budget limitations? Is there a specific location or region you’re longing to see? These are questions I asked myself before delving into my own inquiry about what cruise was best for me. Take the time to tune-in to the realities of how I travel allowed me to find the best option.

With the incredible amount of information out there on the internet, I was happy to have an organized, focused resource like Cruise Critic’s website to help me with my planning. Cruise Critic organizes everything in such user-friendly way, I had a blast sifting through each category of reviewed cruise lines. Knowing that I was dreaming of escaping to the warm tropicals seas, I loved reading their insight on finding the right Caribbean cruise for me. Seeing their pros and cons lists, as well as their handy “bottom line” feature that condenses everything down to a T while also knowing that millions of people leave honest reviews on their experiences on board ships gave me the peace of mind I was looking for. By the way, for any of you gals who are hesitant about cruise lines or haven’t cruised before, I loved reading their roundup of best cruises for first-timers!

After doing my own research on Cruise Critic, I booked a three night Carnival Victory trip to the beautiful Bahamas. Being able to explore the stunning islands with my very tight schedule was a dream come true! Our itinerary allowed us to experience vibrant Miami’s nightlife, nostalgic cars lining the streets and delicious foods as well as Nassau’s soft sand beaches and dynamic tropical energy. And not only was I able to drink in all the tropical magic of the Caribbean waters, but our time on the ship was filled with sundrenched drinks on the deck, tasty treats and lots of quality time spent with my dear mother. Quality time with momma while delighting in palm trees and open, crystal clear waters? Dream mother-daughter bonding time! Cruising together to the gorgeous Bahama islands is something I’m sure we will never forget.

If you could cruise anywhere in the world, where would you go? Are you more of a luxury cruiser, a party-loving vacationer or something else entirely? Comment below… I’d love to know!

All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site.

I was invited as guest by Cruise Critic and Carnival. As always, all opinions are my own.

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