Expert’s Eye: Faces of the Mekong

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The most treasured sights of a great journey aren’t the temples, urban skylines or mountain vistas — they’re the faces of the people you meet, as A&K Managing Editor Dan Wiencek learned on a recent trip to Southeast Asia.

People of the Mekong River

For ages, I have wanted to see Angkor Wat and the ruins of the Khmer Empire, the bustling streets of Bangkok and the rapidly rising nation of Vietnam. I had the opportunity as part of a seven-night cruise down the Mekong River, which began (after a few prefatory days in Bangkok and Siem Reap) at the port town of Kampong Cham, Cambodia, and ended in Saigon at the river’s mouth. Yet as great as these places are, what drew me irresistibly day after day was the people in the riverside towns along the way. I was astonished at the openness, curiosity and friendliness we encountered, without exception, everywhere we went. Most “vacation photos” — my own especially — are shots of the same sites thousands of other people have taken (only not as good). When it came to exploring the Mekong, the “sights” that stand out for me are the faces, each one unique, each one bringing the destination to life in a way no building or natural wonder ever could.

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Video: Experience Life Along the Irrawaddy River in Magical Myanmar

Travel to Southeast Asia and the mythical land of Myanmar and experience this long-hidden country in style. Cruise along the storied Irrawaddy River in luxury on an all-balcony river ship, going ashore to stroll through the markets and observe local life. Soar above the temple-dotted plains in a hot air balloon and witness a traditional boat race on tranquil Inle Lake for a complete — and authentic — Burmese experience.

Click here to learn more about luxury travel to Myanmar.

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Video: Explore Temples and Cultures of Southeast Asia

Get inspired with this glimpse of Images of Indochina & Angkor Wat, a revealing Luxury Small Group Journey from Abercrombie & Kent. Take in the sights and sounds of Southeast Asia: sailing magical Ha Long Bay, sharing a sunrise over Angkor Wat and exploring lively Ho Chi Minh City and Bangkok. Experience the local culture with insider access to the traditions, cuisine, markets and temples that define this evocative corner of the world.

Follow along as we spend three days exploring the stunning ruins of ancient Angkor with an expert local guide, including visits to Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom. Absorb the mysterious beauty of Ha Long Bay, studded with soaring limestone islands, on an overnight cruise. Delve into Vietnam’s recent history, descending into the Cu Chi Tunnels near Ho Chi Minh City. Experience the vibrancy and color of café culture in Hanoi and Saigon.

You’ll also glimpse the special brand of A&K magic that makes these experiences more than just a collection of destinations — the thoughtful touches that bring our discerning guests back year after year.

 

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Explained: The Mekong River

Explained: The Mekong

Meet the “Mother of Water” on an A&K Luxury Cruise

Explained: The MekongSoutheast Asia is filled with diverse peoples and cultures, each with traditions uniquely their own. Yet this multifaceted region has one unifying element that offers locals and fans of luxury travel alike a common frame of reference — the enduring presence of the Mekong River.

The Mekong originates in China’s Qinghai Province where it is called Lancang Jiang, and flows southeast for 2,700 miles through the popular small group travel destinations of Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, before it empties into the South China Sea. Like the Mississippi River in the United States, the mighty Mekong is vital to the lives of the tens of millions who live along its wide, winding waters. It is a source of sustenance, a means of travel, a place of business — in short, the Mekong is a way of life. Continue Reading ›

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