Vietnam and Cambodia cruises offer voyages to destinations which capture and captivate the imagination. With a troubled recent history, they have emerged from these darker days and now the beauty of their landscapes and the warmth of the people is rightly centre stage.
Any Vietnam holidays highlights will include: the patchwork of rice paddies; colourful bustling markets buzzing with entrepreneurial energy; stunning bays with their unique cast scenery; and the colonial architecture still seen in several cities. In order to see the most of the country these voyages will often overnight in places of particular interest, enabling longer shore excursions.
Hanoi, the capital of French Indochina from 1902, is one of the main cultural centres of Vietnam, where most Vietnamese dynasties have left their imprint.
French colonial architecture still remains today, with the tree-lined boulevards and its many villas and mansions. Hanoi also serves as the gateway to Northern Vietnam.
Another key port of call is Halong Bay, which is a UNESCO World Heritage.
It is rightly world famous for its limestone pinnacles which rise miraculously out of the sea.
The imperial city of Hue, home to the tombs of several emperors is yet another UNESCO world heritage site.
Formerly known as Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City 'the pearl of the orient' is a bustling city. Its China Town boasts numerous beautiful pagodas and some fantastic markets and the Thien Hau Temple is well worth a visit.
Cambodia is less developed than its neighbour, but no less stunning. The site which should be top of the list on all Cambodia holidays is Angkor Wat, accessed from the nearby town of Siem Reap. This remarkable temple complex was built for King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century as his state temple and capital city and its significance to the country is illustrated by its appearance on the Cambodian national flag.
Both Cambodia and Vietnam can be explored on a Mekong River cruise.
Day 1 - Fly London to Hanoi
Day 2 - Arrive Hanoi. Transfer to the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi for a two night stay. Relax at the hotel, visit Le Mat a traditional Vietnamese village or tour the 500 year-old village of Bat Trang
Day 3 - Hanoi. Tour Hanoi including Ba Dinh Square, The Temple of Literature and One Pillar Pagoda. Take a rickshaw ride through the Old Quarter
Day 4 - Hanoi to Ha Long Bay. Take a junk boat cruise around Ha Long Bay's spectacular scenary. Visits Titop Island and the largest floating village in the bay
Day 5 - Ha Long Bay
Day 6 - Ha Long Bay, Hanoi, Saigon
Day 7 - Saigon, Long Tan OR Cu Chi Tunnels. Visit the Cu Chi Tunnels which were constructed during the Vietnam War by resistance fighters.
Day 8 - Saigon, Embark AmaLotus. A morning at leisure before embarking AmaLotus for your Mekong River cruise
Day 9 - Cai Be & Sa Dec. Visit the floating market at Cai Be, see the colonial buildings and French Gothic Cathedral. The afternoon is spent in Sa Dec to enjoy a boat ride and visit a colourful and ornate Cao Dai Temple.
Day 10 - Tan Chau, Evergreen Island, Border Crossing. Take a small-boat journey along the tiny tributaries that snake around Tan Chau today, then tour the town of Tan Chau by rickshaw before crossing into Cambodia
Day 11 - Phnom Penh. See the Silver Pagoda and Royal Palace on a city tour. Visit the humbling Killing Fields and Genocide Museum on the site of Security Prison 21
Day 12 - Phnom Penh, Koh Chen. In the afternoon cruise to Koh Chen, a remote village specialising in copperware
Day 13 - Oudong, Kampong Tralach. Visit the monastery for a Buddhist blessing experience, then continue to Kampong Tralach and visit Wat Kampong Tralach Pleu.
Day 14 - Kampong Chhnang & Tonle Sap. See the wetlands near Kampong Chhnang and cruise towards the 150 kilometre-long lake, Tonle Sap
Day 15 - Siem Reap. Disembark AmaLotus. Travel to Angkor and visit Angkor Thom. Enjoy a two night stay at Le Meridien Angkor
Day 16 - Siem Reap & Angkor. Explore the stunning Angkor Wat
Day 17 - Siem Reap to London. A choice of several trips including a balloon ride, elephant trek or visit to Wat Preah Phrom Rath Temple. Transfer to the airport for your flight to the UK
Day 18 - Arrive UK
It is best to visit in the winter months. The weather is still hot, but there is significantly less humidity. It is also out of the monsoon which comes between late April and October and means most days are subject to short sharp downpours.
The weather is hot and humid during these months so light cotton clothing, sun cream and a sun hat are essential. A visa is required for entry into both Vietnam and Cambodia.