We have just returned from the most amazing adventure with Avalon Waterways Our journey began in Siem Reap Cambodia where we stayed in a boutique hotel Shinta Mani Club for 3 Nights 5 star service and accomodation. We met up with our fellow travellers who had flown in from Bangkok and also our cruise director Phiem. What an awesome CD he was . Nothing was too much trouble for him and his knowledge that he passed on to us was exceptional.
While in Siem Reap we went to Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom we were captivated with all the temples, so much history. After enjoying Siem Reap for a few days it was time to begin our luxurious cruise 7 days of bliss. The water was too low to embark the boat on Tonle Sap Lake so this meant a 7 hour trip by bus which is not unusual for this time of year. Never mind we all enjoyed the ride as we saw a lot of the local country side and stopped at a few places along the way including a bathroom stop where my husband was approached by a young girl who placed a large tarantula on his t-shirt. "Oh my Buddha" it was scarey!
We arrived to our boat Avalon Angkor around 2.00 pm where a very tasty lunch was ready for us. Well we were just amazed by the luxury of this beautiful boat. Our home for seven days.Polished wood everywhere beautiful timber decks. Our cabins were small but everything was just 5 star. The shower was huge and had very good water pressure. How we looked forward to the shower after our many tours in the quite warm weather.
The crew on the boat were wonderful caring, smiling and helpful all just real gems. Food on board for breakfast ,lunch and dinner was just fantastic (thanks to the chef) Nothing to complain about at all (except I managed to put on 3 kgs while lapping up the delicious food and free flowing drinks and lovely local cocktails every night) our glasses never seemed to be empty.
Some of the tours we did (all included) were things we would never do if travelling solo. We went to a local school where young children were able to practice their English, most enjoyable. Went on an ox cart ride, cyclo tour, Tuk Tuk ride, a visit to a local fish farm, brick factory a San pan ride. We also went through a local market having been given 5 items to find and trying to communicate with non English speaking locals Oh what fun and a real challenge. It was a little like" Amazing Race"We also went to a Vietnamese cooking school where we made a chicken/ginger dish, Vietnamese spring rolls and also a noodle soup.
We have been so busy. Arrived in Ho Chi Minh City. The traffic is just mad motorbikes going every which way. So hard to cross the road.
Well it was time after a visit to the Chu Chi Tunnels to have a farewell dinner at a local restaurant "Ly Club". What a fantastic night. Phiem our CD got up and sang a few songs. Soooo good!!!!!
We have had the most amazing and interesting experience and we have really enjoyed our time with Avalon Waterways(our second river cruise with them) we would recommend this trip to anyone who may be considering a Mekong River Trip. Avalon Angkor is only a small boat holding 32 passengers (travellers) but it is able to go to many places where the larger boats can't. So therefore you get to see a lot more of the local lifestyle.
We highly recommend this cruise.
Thank you Avalon and especially Phiem an awesome cruise director who has taught us so much. If anyone wants to know more we are happy to answer any questions 10/10
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