Launched in 2014, Aqua Mekong offers 3, 4 and 7 nights itineraries journeying up and down the iconic Mekong River 48 weeks of the year, travelling from Siem Reap in Cambodia on to Tonle Sap and Phnom Penh, crossing into Vietnam and visiting Caibe and on to the capital city of Vietnam, Saigon (or the reverse trip, up river beginning in Vietnam and traveling north to Cambodia). Decorated with muted earth tones and sleek interiors, the Aqua Mekong is like a floating boutique hotel with a focus on chic design and excellent service – there is a 1 to 1 ratio of staff to passengers. Sleeping a maximum of 40 passengers, Aqua Mekong has 20 luxury suites, each with with floor-to-ceiling window, air-conditioning and en-suite bathrooms containing a rainforest shower with instant hot water, and 8 of the suites have private balconies.
Aqua Mekong has indoor and outdoor bars, an indoor dining room and outdoor private dining. Leading chef, David Thompson, who was awarded the first ever Michelin star for a restaurant serving Southeast Asian food, creates Khmer-influenced menus using the day’s catch and the freshest market produce. Facilities include an outdoor plunge pool with private cabanas, an observation deck with outdoor sunbeds and a top deck exercise room overlooking the river. There is also a private screening room with theatre-style seating, a library and games room, and a luxury spa containing two treatment rooms with double massage beds. Offshore excursions along the river include guided tours of the flooded emerald forests and bamboo stilt villages accessible only by boat, birdwatching trips to spot flocks of painted storks and spot billed pelicans, and visits to pagoda temples and remote Buddhist monasteries.
To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted.Bill Bryson