I recently enjoyed the 8 Day Majestic Mekong river cruise and tour with Travelmarvel from Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap.
From September to December travellers can cruise from the port near Ho Chi Minh city along the Mekong and across the Tonle Sap lake into Siem Reap. During other months the water level is low and the ships cannot access Tonle Sap Lake so passengers are transported by road in a comfortable air conditioned coach between the riverside town of Prek Kadam into Siem Reap.
We travelled in August and so did this coach trip. In my opinion this was a bonus – after a week cruising along Mekong it’s an interesting change to see the Cambodian countryside and how the locals live away from the river.
Locals live in rural villages on Khmer houses raised on stilts for protection from floods, and sometimes accessed by ladders, or wooden staircases. The frames are wooden with bamboo walls and gabled thatch roof to protect from rain. Their livestock are kept below their houses.
On the way we stopped at the Kampong Kdei Bridge which was built in the 12th century and used to be the longest corbeled stone-arch bridge in the world. This bridge has more than twenty narrow arches spanning 285 ft (87m) and is one of the few Khmer empire bridges to have survived to modern day.
The trip took approx 5 hours and includes a comfort stop and the opportunity to buy drinks, snacks & trinkets at a local market along the way.