We had a wonderful time on our Mekong River cruise, and AMA Waterways was just great. We had taken a Viking last year to China and this one was even better than Viking. We enjoyed the luxury but at the same time, the destinations were very interesting. The crew was very responsive, warm, and greeting all the time. This trip can be a bit tiring if you are not prepared for that. There are a lot of things to see and you need to be able to do a lot of walking, and climbing if you want to experience it the most. We loved it, and we met some very memorable friends on this trip that we will keep in touch with forever. Overall, unless you have an aversion to seeing Vietnam, this is a beautiful place, and the people are very welcoming. 64% of the population is 35 years or younger, and they do not like their government either. Hopefully one day they will be more free, but they are making great strides in their well being. Cambodia was also very interesting, and they are having more issues of rebuilding but are also improving. Just a great trip!
Amawaterways and their guides and staff pulled off a great Cambodia and Vietnam experience. I signed up for the cruise plus pre and post tours. Ship, hotels, tours, and guides were all very good. The Halong Bay experience was magical. The fellow travelers were very agreeable and made the trip all the more fun.
On the "pre-cruise program", Ha Long Bay in Vietnam was a HUGE DISAPPOINTMENT. The Ship on which we were supposed to visit the bay and spend the night at sea "broke down" and we went on the excursion on another, much more "basic" ship. By the evening we were transferred back to the "original ship" to spend the night DOCKED IN THE PORT !!
We chose the cruise and land trip and it was all first class. The Sofitel hotels were elegant and in excellent locations. We arrived in Saigon three days early, and that gave us time to rest up from the long flight and do some exploring on our own. We did the same at the end and stayed longer in Hanoi. The Amadara was just as pictured and the food was excellent. The best of all was the staff-very friendly and proud of their service always with smiles. Try a dinner at the Chef's Table-a real treat. The cruise manager was super and every detail was taken care of. We never waited for anything. The guides were very knowledgable and adding local guides at each stop made it very personal.
I wish we had been able to have another day in Phenom Phen otherwise, the stops were well planned. If you want to explore more on your own, just take the seven day cruise and book the land on your own schedule, but don't miss Ha Long Bay that was offered as part of the land tour by Ama.
River cruising is a great way to see the country side and the life of the people. I prefer to be on a ship the whole time but staying in different cities is the only way to accomplish a trip like this. The hotels, all Sofitel brand, were beautiful and very welcoming. The resort in Siem Riep was beyond description!!!.
Some of the excursions were depressing. We did not go to the Killing Fields or the War Museum in Saigon. We did love walking in the villages and seeing the people that lived there, The people are very friendly and happy.
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