Explore Cambodia and Vietnam this week on TRAVEL GUIDES

This week our travel guides embark on a luxury river cruise on the Mekong from Cambodia to southern Vietnam.

Along the way, they learn about the history, culture and food of these dynamic and emerging vacation destinations. But is a floating haven the best way to experience the mighty Mekong?

Starting in the small tourist town of Siem Reap in Cambodia, our tour guides are greeted with a tuk tuk ride taking them to an authentic Buddhist water blessing. This is no ordinary water blessing and some of the guides regret wearing white.

While carving, our travelers are introduced to ancient Khmer warrior martial arts, including scarf-wielding fighters and crossbow experts.

It’s hard to walk around tropical Cambodia without bumping into a few bugs – literally. After getting a little too close and intimate with a scorpion, our guides headed out to the tourist strip for an afternoon snack… of frozen scorpions and fried tarantulas.

The highlight of their Cambodia trip is the famous Angkor Wat temple complex. Deep in the jungle lies the very site where the Hollywood blockbuster Grave robber was filmed, and our Guides are trying to follow in Lara Croft’s footsteps. In a nearby temple, some of them have another run-in with local wildlife.

Finally, it’s time for the luxury cruise on the Mekong. With huge suites to relax in, fine cuisine and bars on board, there is very little reason to disembark. But our guides are drawn to the shore by an entire village dedicated to silk crafts.

Downstream, in the capital Phnom Penh, our intrepid travelers pay homage to the Killing Fields and the Genocide Museum, learning the terrible truth about Cambodia’s horrific history under Pol Pot.

Next, our guides sail to Vietnam, where in the riverside village of Cai Be, they exchange the ship for a small Vietnamese wooden boat, a sampan. Will they become like locals, or are they a little too close to the waterline?

Leaving the Mekong behind for the bustling streets of Ho Chi Minh City, travel guides take a cyclo for a frontline tour through the infamous traffic. They arrive at the sprawling Ben Thanh markets and pick up a familiar-looking celebrity guide. Who knew Luke Nguyen was on food tours in his family’s hometown? For the true fans among our Guides, the day ends with a class at Luke’s Cooking School.

See what they rate out of five stars for their Mighty Mekong vacation.

Travel Guides airs Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m. on Nine and 9Now

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