Aqua Mekong, Vietnam & Cambodia

This is where the adventure ramps up a notch. Or should that be three?

The feelings of delirious excitement and pure nerves you experience while exploring the famous Mekong river will strike a chord with any former teen backpacker. Not that we can call it flash-packing - this floating, five-star boutique hotel is pure class.

The Aqua Mekong snakes its way from Ho Chi Minh City to Phnom Penh, but there's nothing cruise-like about the ship - there are only 20 suites, all clad in teak, with floor-to-ceiling windows that provide amazing views from the comfort of your king-sized bed.

Take an excursion on a skiff with expert guides Hoeum and Chariya as you squeeze down narrow waterways lined with lush paddy fields, visiting the most off-the-radar villages.


You'll sample mangosteen, sugar cane and pineapple at a local market; receive blessings from Buddhist monks in their secret sanctuaries, and float through ancient flooded forests. And if it all gets a little too much, you can slip into the pool at the back of the boat, grab a local beer and watch from afar. This is a real game-changer - all the adventure with zero fuss.

WOW FACTOR: Cycling along the river on one of the skiff's handy stash of bikes. See painted stork and spot-billed pelicans, and hunt for the Masked Finfoot (a south-east Asian duck with emerald-green feet).

GO: Abercrombie & Kent ( offers four nights on the Aqua Mekong, with a night either side in Ho Chi Minh City and Phnom Penh, from £3,795. Includes flights

FLIGHT TIME: 12 hours