Cambodia River Cruises
With Avalon luxury river cruises, passengers have to opportunity to visit the wondrous country of Cambodia. Located in Southeast Asia, Cambodia’s bordering countries include: Thailand to the northwest; Laos to the northeast; Vietnam to the east; and the Gulf of Thailand to the southwest. Covering 69,890 sq miles, Cambodia’s landscape varies between a low-lying central plain surrounded by uplands and low mountains and also includes the impressive Tonle Sap (Great Lake) and the upper reaches of the Mekong River delta. The climate in Cambodia is similar to the rest of Southeast Asia, comprised of two distinct seasons: the rainy monsoon season between May and October with temperatures dropping to around 22°C; and then the dry season from November to March. Avalon luxury river cruises offer holidays between the months of September and March when the majority of the time the weather will be warm and dry.
Once Avalon passengers cross the Cambodian border on the Mekong River they will cruise onto the capital and largest city of Cambodia, Phnom Penh. Rich in French colonial charm Phnom Penh was once considered the ‘Pearl of Asia’ before destruction hit the city during the Khmer Rouge regime in the 1970’s. Passengers will be offered a sobering glimpse into the atrocities that were inflicted on the Cambodian people by the Khmer Rouge regime. For those who want to, the first visit will be to the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, an old school that was converted into Cambodia’s most important prison in 1975. Passengers will then be taken to the Killing Fields, an old Chinese cemetery where 200,000 people died under the orders of the Khmer Rouge regime. Despite the tragic events over the years, Phnom Penh is now a bustling, vibrant city with beautiful and historical architecture. Passengers will have a great chance to view the city on a private cyclo tour taking in many of the city’s highlights such as the Royal Palace with the two spectacular pagodas in the Palace grounds and the National Museum which contains an excellent collection of art from Cambodia’s ‘’Golden age’’ of Angkor, and a charming courtyard in the centre.
Cambodian villages such as Prek Bang-Kong and Angkor Ban will be explored by Avalon passengers. In Prek Bang-Kong, silk weaving is still a well preserved tradition, and passengers will see silk weaving in local houses and gain an insight into how the silk is produced. On from Prek Bang-Kong is the village of Angkor Ban, where a walking tour through the rural village will allow passengers to see Khmer houses, a local school and a Buddhist monastery where passengers can meet local monks. Further down the river is Cambodia’s third largest city Kampong Cham, and towards the west of the city, Avalon passengers will be able to enjoy a visit to the twin holy mountains of Phnom Pros and Phnom Srey. Here they will see the beautiful Stupa as well as two huge Buddha statues, and after they will head to Nokorbachey, an Angkorian temple complex home to several original statues of Buddha.
Avalon’s luxury river cruises will next journey over the lovely Tonle Sap (Great Lake), a vast body of water that provides the perfect breeding ground for fish, which is a vital food source for people living on the lake. Across the lake is the city of Siem Reap. Siem Reap is Northwest of Cambodia and the gateway to the Angkor Archaeological Park. Passengers will visit the majestic temples of Angkor, constructed between the 9th and 13th centuries, and the architectural grandeur of the Khmer temple complex is arguably unmatched among ancient ruins anywhere else in the world. Firstly Avalon passengers will visit the Angkor Thom, one of the most widely recognised Temples in Siem Reap unique because of the Bayon temple adorned with over 200 carved faces. A visit to the Angkor Wat, built in the 12th century and known to many as the ‘symbol of Cambodia’, is a must. Passengers will be left awe inspired on visiting the largest Khmer monument in the world, also one of the finest and most beautiful, providing great competition for Machu Picchu or the Taj Mahal. Passengers can continue their exploration of the Angkor temple complex with a visit to Ta Prohm; unlike the other temples it has been relatively untouched. Passengers will be able to experience the temple with the same wonder that the early explorers who discovered it had, with masses of tree roots growing over and through the ruin walls.