Top Unforgettable Things to do on a Vietnam Cambodia Cruise

Vietnam Cambodia cruise is a journey like no other. It’s an adventure where ancient history and vibrant cultures intertwine with breathtaking natural landscapes. Imagine sailing along the mighty Mekong River, exploring bustling cities, serene villages, and stunning temples. This unique adventure offers a perfect blend of relaxation and discovery, providing a window into the heart and soul of Southeast Asia.

Whether you’re navigating the intricate network of the Cu Chi Tunnels, marveling at the majestic Angkor Wat, or savoring the flavors of local cuisine at a floating market, each day brings new and unforgettable experiences. From the bustling streets of Ho Chi Minh City to the tranquil waters of the Mekong Delta, and from the historical richness of Phnom Penh to the awe-inspiring temples of Siem Reap, this cruise promises a tapestry of memories.

Join us as we unveil the top unforgettable things to do on a Vietnam Cambodia cruise. Discover the hidden gems, cultural treasures, and enchanting landscapes that make this journey truly extraordinary. Let this guide be your compass to an adventure that will leave you with stories to tell and memories to cherish for a lifetime.

What to do on a Vietnam Cambodia cruise for a fantastic expedition

A Vietnam Cambodia trip offers a unique blend of cultural immersion, historical exploration, and stunning natural beauty. The carefully curated list below ensures you experience the best of both countries, from bustling cities to serene landscapes. Here are unforgettable things to do on your Vietnam Cambodia cruise.

Explore the Cu Chi Tunnels in Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh city Cu Chi tunnel
Ho Chi Minh city Cu Chi tunnel

Begin your adventure in Ho Chi Minh City with a visit to the historic Cu Chi Tunnels, an intricate underground network that played a crucial role during the Vietnam War. Located just outside the city, these tunnels stretch over 120 miles and were used by Vietnamese resistance fighters as hiding spots, communication routes, and supply lines.

As you arrive, you’ll watch an introductory video that sets the scene, revealing the incredible ingenuity and resilience of the Vietnamese fighters. Then, embark on a guided tour through this labyrinthine network. Crawl through the narrow, dimly lit tunnels to experience the claustrophobic conditions soldiers endured. Along the way, you’ll encounter various underground chambers, including kitchens, hospitals, and living quarters, all ingeniously camouflaged from enemy detection. Witness an eye-opening exhibition of the traps and weapons used against the American GI’s, showcasing the resourcefulness and tactical acumen of the Viet Cong. Each trap, from the deadly punji sticks to the hidden pitfall traps, tells a story of a fierce struggle for independence.

As you explore, your guide will share poignant stories and historical insights, deepening your understanding of Vietnam’s tumultuous past. This visit is not just a walk through history but a powerful testament to the human spirit and the relentless pursuit of freedom.

Discover the Architectural Wonders of Ho Chi Minh City

Embark on a captivating city tour to explore the architectural marvels of Ho Chi Minh City, a bustling metropolis where history and modernity coexist harmoniously. Begin your journey at the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral, a stunning example of French colonial architecture with its twin spires reaching towards the sky, built entirely from materials imported from France. Just a short stroll away, you’ll find the Central Post Office, designed by the renowned architect Gustave Eiffel. Its grand hall, adorned with intricate wrought-iron detailing and a vaulted roof, exudes an old-world charm that transports you back to the colonial era.

Next, visit the Reunification Palace, a significant historical landmark that witnessed the fall of Saigon in 1975. Wander through its opulent rooms and underground bunkers, gaining insight into Vietnam’s tumultuous past. As you continue your tour, if time permits, make your way to the elegant Saigon Opera House. This beautifully preserved building is a testament to the city’s cultural sophistication, hosting an array of performances that showcase traditional Vietnamese arts and modern productions.

Finally, capture the grandeur of the City Hall, an architectural masterpiece that blends French colonial and modern influences seamlessly. Its ornate façade and impressive interiors are a testament to the city’s rich heritage and dynamic present. Each stop on this tour reveals a different facet of Ho Chi Minh City’s architectural splendor, leaving you with a deeper appreciation of its unique history and vibrant culture.

Cruise the Mekong River from My Tho to Cai Be

Set sail from the charming port town of My Tho and embark on a luxurious cruise along the majestic Mekong River. As you step aboard your elegant floating sanctuary, you are greeted with a warm welcome and the promise of adventure. Soon, the ship begins its graceful journey, navigating the winding waterways of one of Asia’s most storied rivers. Indulge in a sumptuous lunch buffet in the ship’s beautifully appointed restaurant, where floor-to-ceiling windows offer panoramic views of the serene river landscapes. As you savor a variety of delectable dishes, watch the vibrant scenes of rural life unfold along the riverbanks—fishermen casting their nets, children playing by the water’s edge, and lush greenery stretching as far as the eye can see.

In the afternoon, as the sun begins its descent, gather with fellow travelers in the open-air bar for a relaxing tea session. Sip on fragrant tea and enjoy an array of tasty treats while the ship anchors near the historic town of Cai Be. Here, the golden hues of twilight bathe the town’s traditional stilt houses and floating markets, creating a picturesque setting that feels like stepping back in time. Engage in lively conversations with your fellow adventurers, sharing stories and experiences as the tranquil beauty of Mekong Delta envelops you. The soothing rhythm of the river, coupled with the camaraderie of new friends, makes for an enchanting evening, setting the stage for more discoveries in the days to come.

Visit the Floating Markets and Traditional Workshops in Cai Be

Rise with the sun and embark on an early morning adventure to Cai Be’s floating market, a vibrant hub where local traders peddle their goods directly from boats laden with colorful produce. As you glide along the bustling waterways, you’ll witness a unique marketplace that comes alive with the chatter of vendors and the vivid display of fruits, vegetables, and handmade goods.

Disembark to delve deeper into the cultural tapestry of Cai Be by visiting traditional craft and food production workshops. Here, skilled artisans will demonstrate the intricate processes of making rice paste, rice paper, and the region’s famous coconut candy. Watch as rice is ground into a fine paste, transformed into delicate sheets of paper, and observe the meticulous handcrafting of sweet, chewy coconut candy—a true taste of local ingenuity.

Your journey continues as you sail through the network of narrow canals that crisscross the lush Mekong Delta. These waterways are the lifeblood of the region, and along their banks, you’ll see farmers toiling in emerald-green fields, tending to crops that sustain their families and communities. This intimate glimpse into rural life offers a serene and picturesque contrast to the bustling market, rounding out a morning rich in discovery and authentic experiences.

Explore Tan Chau and its Vibrant Local Market

In Tan Chau, dive into the heart of local life by exploring the bustling market, where stalls overflow with vibrant fruits, fresh vegetables, and exotic spices. The air buzzes with the chatter of friendly vendors eager to share their stories and goods. Next, venture to a floating fish farm on the Mekong River, where you’ll get an up-close look at the region’s impressive aquaculture industry. Witness how local fishermen raise tilapia and the unique Basa catfish in floating enclosures, learning about their daily routines and sustainable practices.

Hop aboard a xe loi, the traditional local taxi, for a charming ride through the town’s winding streets. This leisurely journey offers a glimpse into the everyday life of Tan Chau’s residents, passing by colorful workshops where artisans craft intricate mats and other goods from water hyacinths. The relaxed pace of the town is infectious, inviting you to slow down and soak in the peaceful atmosphere.

Before bidding farewell to Vietnam, take a moment to savor the unique blend of cultures in this border town, with its harmonious mix of Chinese, Kinh, and Khmer influences. As you prepare to cross into Cambodia, reflect on the rich tapestry of experiences Tan Chau has offered, setting the stage for more adventures ahead.

Delve into Phnom Penh’s Historical and Cultural Heritage

Phnom Penh Royal Palace

In Phnom Penh, immerse yourself in Cambodia’s poignant history with a guided tour to the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek and the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, also known as S21. Walk the haunting grounds of the Killing Fields, where thousands of victims of the Khmer Rouge regime were executed, and reflect on the chilling remnants of this tragic era. At S21, a former high school turned into a notorious prison, you’ll encounter harrowing exhibits that document the atrocities committed during this dark chapter in Cambodian history.

After this somber exploration, shift to the regal and cultural highlights of Phnom Penh. Visit the Royal Palace, a glittering complex that serves as the King’s residence, and marvel at the intricate architecture and manicured gardens. The adjacent Silver Pagoda, named for its gleaming silver-tiled floor, houses an array of national treasures, including a life-sized gold Buddha adorned with diamonds. Delve deeper into Cambodia’s artistic heritage at the National Museum, where a vast collection of Khmer art and artifacts tells the story of the nation’s ancient civilizations.

For a change of pace, hop on a cyclo, a traditional bicycle rickshaw, and weave through the bustling streets of Phnom Penh. Experience the city’s lively atmosphere, passing by local markets, colonial-era buildings, and riverside promenades. Cap off your day with an enlightening lecture on modern Cambodian history by a local expert, providing valuable insights into the country’s journey from past struggles to present-day resilience. This comprehensive exploration of Phnom Penh offers a profound understanding of Cambodia’s rich and multifaceted heritage.

Witness Traditional Khmer Fashion and Local School Performances

Sail to the enchanting Angkor Ban village, a serene oasis untouched by time, where you’ll step into a world rich with tradition and charm. As you disembark, the vibrant colors of traditional Khmer fashion displays greet you, with locals proudly showcasing the intricate designs and patterns that have been passed down through generations. 

The journey continues to a local school, a beacon of hope and learning supported by Heritage Line. Here, children eagerly await to perform for you, their music and dance a beautiful testament to Cambodia’s rich cultural heritage. Their graceful movements and heartfelt melodies offer a glimpse into the artistic soul of this rural community. Engage with the warm-hearted villagers, who welcome you with genuine smiles and open arms. Learn about their innovative educational initiatives that strive to preserve their cultural heritage while fostering a brighter future for the younger generation. Wander through the village, witnessing daily life, from farmers tending their fields to artisans crafting traditional wares. 

As you immerse yourself in the hospitality and warmth of Angkor Ban, you’ll gain a deep appreciation for the resilience and vibrancy of rural Cambodia, making this visit a truly enriching and unforgettable part of your Vietnam Cambodia cruise.

Visit Silk Production Workshops on Koh Oknha Tey Island

On the picturesque Koh Oknha Tey Island, embark on a fascinating journey into the world of Cambodian silk production. As you step into the tranquil workshops, you’ll witness the entire lifecycle of silk creation, starting with the tiny silkworm larvae. Observe how these larvae are carefully nurtured until they spin their precious cocoons. Marvel at the meticulous process of extracting the raw silk threads, which are then dyed in vibrant hues using traditional, natural techniques.

The transformation continues as you watch skilled artisans at their looms, weaving these threads into luxurious silk fabrics. The rhythmic clatter of the looms and the dexterous hands of the weavers create a mesmerizing symphony of craftsmanship. You’ll gain a deep appreciation for the artistry and labor that goes into producing high-quality Cambodian silk.

To complete your visit, participate in a serene monk’s blessing ceremony. This spiritual ritual, conducted by local monks, is intended to bestow health and prosperity upon participants. As the monks chant their blessings, you’ll feel a profound connection to the island’s rich cultural heritage and spiritual traditions. The serene atmosphere, coupled with the monks’ gentle presence, provides a moment of reflection and tranquility, making your visit to Koh Oknha Tey Island truly unforgettable.

Explore Angkor Wat and Other Ancient Temples in Siem Reap

Siem Reap Angkor Wat

Visit the mesmerizing iconic Angkor Wat, the world’s largest religious monument and a marvel of Khmer architecture. As you step through its grand entrance, the intricate bas-reliefs and towering spires transport you to an era of ancient grandeur. Wander through its vast corridors and marvel at the detailed carvings depicting Hindu epics and divine dancers, capturing the essence of Khmer spirituality and artistry.

Next, venture into the mystical realm of Ta Prohm, where nature and history entwine. This temple, famously known as the “Tomb Raider” temple, is engulfed by massive tree roots that snake through the crumbling stone structures, creating a surreal and otherworldly atmosphere. It’s a photographer’s paradise and a testament to the relentless power of nature reclaiming its domain. Continue your exploration to Angkor Thom, the last great capital of the Khmer Empire. Enter through the imposing South Gate, flanked by a row of 54 gods and demons, and make your way to the enigmatic Bayon Temple. This architectural wonder is adorned with 216 serene and smiling stone faces, each exuding an aura of timeless wisdom and serenity.

Your journey would not be complete without visiting the Terrace of the Elephants and the Terrace of the Leper King. The former was a grand viewing platform for the king to oversee his victorious returning army, adorned with life-sized elephant carvings and intricate bas-reliefs. The latter, shrouded in mystery, is named after the statue of a leper king and features intricate carvings of celestial beings and mythological creatures.

Final thoughts

From crawling through the historic Cu Chi Tunnels and exploring the vibrant floating markets of Cai Be to marveling at the architectural grandeur of Ho Chi Minh City and the serene beauty of the Mekong River, each moment of our curated list of things to do on a Vietnam Cambodia cruise is filled with discovery and wonder. Phnom Penh’s poignant history, the tranquil charm of rural Cambodia, and the majestic temples of Angkor Wat further enrich this journey, offering a deep dive into the rich cultural heritage of both countries.

With Viland Travel’s customized tours – such as the Vietnam and Cambodia 12-day breathtaking cruising trip, every aspect of your Vietnam Cambodia Cruise is meticulously planned to ensure a seamless and enriching experience. Their expert guides and personalized itineraries mean you won’t miss a single highlight or hidden gem. Whether you’re savoring local delicacies, engaging with local artisans, or simply relaxing on the deck as the stunning landscapes pass by, Viland Travel ensures your journey is both memorable and unique.

Ready to explore the wonders of Vietnam and Cambodia? Let Viland Travel be your guide on this extraordinary cruise. Book now to embark on a journey filled with cultural immersion, historical insights, and breathtaking natural beauty. Adventure awaits!