If you’re a River Cruise lover and are looking for new sights to see, you should be thinking about journeying along the Mekong River. The Mekong, passing through six countries, is the world’s 12th-longest river. With lots of exciting scenery due to less development along the river side, Mekong River Cruises are cultural, authentic and varied. Many cruises travel through Cambodia – here we have picked some top sights to see when you go:
1. Royal Palace & Silver Pagoda (Phnom Penh).
Experience the residence of the King of Cambodia by going to the Royal Palace. One of the main attractions here is the Silver Pagoda. The pagoda gets its name from the hundreds of silver tiles that line the floor. Overall, this palace complex is a brilliant place to learn about the Royal Family of Cambodia and the traditions of the country. The exteriors of the buildings are lavish and decadent, a brilliant display of architecture – a must see.
2. Angkor Wat (Siem Reap).
Angkor Wat is not just another temple, but the largest religious structure ever built. Feast your eyes on this amazing 12th Century temple complex that spans 401 acres of Cambodia. The site is dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu, and took around 30 years to build. Due to its size – and fame – you can expect the site to be crowded with tourists. You don’t want to miss this monument though! Stay nearer the edges of the complex and follow the walls around to find less-crowded spots.
3. Cambodia’s Killing Fields & Genocide Museum (Phnom Penh).
Learn about an important event in Cambodian history when you visit the Killing Fields and Genocide Museum, just outside of Phnom Penh. Close to 2 million people, or 20% of the country’s population, died here during the Khmer Rouge. Near here, there is the Genocide Museum (Tuol Sleng). Today, the site is all green grass and trees but lurking beneath the surface are artefacts associated with torture, prison and execution. Visiting these sites is sure to be a harrowing experience, but absolutely necessary if you want to understand what the country has been through.
4. Angkor Thom (Siem Reap).
See the last remaining city of the Khmer Empire when you visit Angkor Thom. Just as beautiful as Angkor Wat, if not more, this square city features a long causeway with 54 figures on each side. These interesting stone figures represent demons and gods – you can see by the details in their faces which is which! See how the jungle has encroached on the city’s space – roots and vines climb up the temple structures, making the space even more special.
Take a River Cruise along the Mekong from Siem Reap to Ho Chi Minh City (or vice versa) and get a chance to see these awe-inspiring destinations. Many river cruise lines offer Mekong itineraries – anything from 4 days to 30 days. Email Bob@lloydstravel.com or your favourite Lloyds travel agent to discuss the options available to you! You don’t have to just see Cambodia! With a River Cruise, you will have the opportunity to see Vietnam, Laos, Thailand or China as well (depending on the route and optional pre/post-stays).
Written by Hannah Poaros