Sailing from Vietnam
Setting sail from Ho Chi Minh City
Still often referred to by its old name, Saigon, Vietnam's busiest city is much more westernised than Hanoi, though it still retains plenty of charm. Saigon was the capital of the South during the Vietnam War, and American-style capitalism has been embraced more enthusiastically here than in the North, with a clutch of shining skyscrapers standing as testament to Vietnam's surging economic growth. You can learn more about the city's turbulent recent history at the Reunification Palace and the War Remnants Museum, shop for souvenirs at the colourful markets, or take a trip out of the city to the fascinating (and claustrophobic) Cu Chi Tunnels, a vast network of underground passages excavated by the Viet Cong during the war.
With an enormous number of motorbikes on the busy streets even crossing the road is an adventure here. Our advice is to be bold and have faith that the traffic will avoid you!
Vietnam: Cai Be
Vietnam: Sa Dec
The riverfront town of Sa Dec is one of the most appealing destinations in the Mekong Delta, a laid back and peaceful place where boats laden with flowers from the nearby markets ply the waterways, overlooked by beautiful old French colonial villas.
Vietnam: Tan Chau
Cambodia: Phnom Penh
Cambodia’s lively, youthful capital has shown a remarkable resilience in bouncing back from the horrors of the Khmer Rouge regime. The beautiful Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda shouldn’t be missed, while the former Tuol Sleng prison is a harrowing reminder of Phnom Penh’s recent past.
Cambodia: Kampong Tralach
Oudong was once the capital of Cambodia, and served as the royal residence for over 250 years until it was abandoned by King Norodom in 1866. The twin peaks of Phnom Oudong mountain are scattered with Buddhist stupas, and offer great views of the surrounding countryside.
Cambodia: Kampong Cham
Arriving in Siem Reap
The town of Siem Reap is a pleasant enough place in its own right, but that's not why so many people flock here; this is the gateway to the sprawling ruins of Angkor, the spectacular seat of the ancient Khmer empire. The temple of Angkor Wat is the most famous, and some might say the most beautiful, of the structures that stand amongst the jungle around Siem Reap. We recommend getting here early in the morning if you can, to avoid the crowds. Other notable sights include the ruined city of Angkor Thom and the eerie temple of Ta Prohm, which has been left more or less as it was found, overgrown with vegetation, the stones gripped by huge tree roots.
Sunrise and sunset at the temples. An early morning will be well rewarded when you see the magical atmosphere the light creates at this time.
Your home from home
Scenic Aura accommodates just 68 guests in 34 sumptuous balcony suites, a supremely luxurious way to explore the Mekong River.
What we love
Boasting a crew-to-guest ratio of almost 1:1, along with facilities including a swimming pool, steam sauna and open-air cinema, Scenic's first foray on to the Mekong is a beautiful vessel with the feel of a small boutique hotel.
|Crew||50 International Staff|
|Style||Relaxed and informal during the day, giving way to an elegant evening atmosphere.|
Tailor-make your trip
Where to stay in Saigon
We think the Park Hyatt is a good choice.
Sightseeing in Saigon
The country’s turbulent past is captured superbly at the Reunification Palace and the War Remnants Museum. A fascinating visit.
Where to stay in Siem Reap
La Residence d’Angkor edges in front as our favourite.
Touring the temples
A tour of the main sites at Angkor can be squeezed into a day, but take three days to explorer the outer temples and learn more about the medieval world's greatest metropolis.