The passengers of these river cruises have a rare vantage perspective of the country as they take in the passing montage of golden-green paddy fields, valleys and mountains all fed by the palm-lined waters of the mighty river. A pageantry of rural villages of stilted homesteads with shrimp drying on hammocks can be seen and accessed during these boat tours, where unique handicrafts can be purchased as souvenirs. Of course, the primary attraction of the river cruises are the temple visits such as the brick sculptures of Prasat Kravan and Ta Prohm in its exotic jungle embrace. The largest and best-preserved temple, the Angkor Wat, is indubitably the main draw, breathtaking with its ornate five tiers mirrored in the moat against the rose hues of the dawn and dusk. From the delicate wonder of Banteay Srei to a pilgrimage to Phnom Penh as well as visits to the floating markets and white-sanded islands dotting the river, a cruise on the Mekong yields a vista of unforgettable sights and sounds.
Lest you think that living on a houseboat can get somewhat cramped and restrictive after a while, it should be understood that most meals and evening entertainment will take place in local hotels and restaurants of good quality. A hotel in Phnom Penh is undoubtedly the best access point for an authentic Mekong cruise. The Raffles Hotel Le Royal is a leading luxury hotel Cambodia which provides international-standard service and accommodation for the duration of your Khmer exploration.