Published online by Travel + Leisure | By Travel + Leisure Staff
Presenting 50 incredible destinations for 2015. Where will you go this year?
Mekong River Region
The mighty Mekong River in Southeast Asia is pulsing with new life thanks to a slew of riverboat launches. AmaWaterways’ 124-passenger AmaDara cruise makes 15-night trips connecting Vietnam and Cambodia; the 18-stateroom vessel Avalon Siem Reap has a similar itinerary. But the river’s reigning queen is the Aqua Mekong, owned by Italian-American entrepreneur Francesco Galli Zugaro, who already made a name for himself with his two luxury vessels on the Peruvian Amazon. With dedicated customers clamoring for an Aqua sequel, in fall 2014, Galli Zugaro launched a Mekong riverboat with three-, four-, and seven-night itineraries between Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and Siem Reap, Cambodia. All have off-the-beaten-path excursions—biking through remote Cambodian villages, exploring Vietnam’s floating markets—planned by a cast of excellent guides. New hotels, too, are opening in destinations along the delta. The towering Reverie Saigon, with 286 ornate Italian-designed rooms, is a welcome addition to Ho Chi Minh City’s hotel scene. Also in southern Vietnam, Aman Resorts’s new Amano’i has a collection of pavilions and villas nestled in a hillside, all with private pools and sweeping views of low-rise mountains and the deep blue Vinh Hy Bay. —Stirling Kelso