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The river boat cruise trend takes off in Cambodia

Travel experts and commentators are noting the development of the river cruise trend in countries like Vietnam and Cambodia. With a growing interest in these Southeast Asian destinations, the river cruise is an ideal way to experience some of their most popular attractions in the region including the UNESCO World Heritage site Angkor Wat.

The river boat cruise trend takes off in Cambodia

What better way to discover the Southeast Asia than with a riverboat cruise?

Lucky for travellers the river boat cruise trend is taking off in southeast Asia. Fodors the popular travel guide publisher, recently reported on the upcoming launch of cruise company Halmark Ltd, which will operate five riverboats offering all-inclusive river cruises exploring Asia by 2015.

"Interest in visiting Southeast Asia via riverboat is higher than it has ever been before and that means more ships are setting course along rivers like the Mekong, which flows through Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, and Thailand; Myanmar's Irrawaddy, and even the Ganges that starts at the Bay of Bengal and runs through both Bangladesh and India".

David Molyneaux writer for the US publication the Miami Herald elaborated on his own cruise experience along the Mekong and Tonle Sap rivers with one of the key highlights being a visit to UNESCO World Heritage site Angkor Wat, recognized as the largest Hindu temple complex and indeed the world's largest religious monument.

Molyneaux noted, "Cambodia and Vietnam have become a hot river cruise destination because of such Bucket List destinations as Angkor, which was home 1,000 years ago to a great Hindu empire that left behind some 19 square miles of stone temples and tombs, now in various states of ruin and restoration; the bustling cities of Siem Reap, Phnom Penh, and Ho Chi Minh; the Cu Chi Tunnels in Vietnam where the Viet Cong hid during the war that lasted deep into the 1970s; and the majestic Mekong River."

With the popularity of Southeast Asian countries like Vietnam and Cambodia at an all time high, thanks to their unique mix of breath taking scenery, culture and historical monuments the river cruise trend is a welcomed addition to their tourism brand as it provides a way for travellers to experience some of these destinations hidden treasures.

At the end of May, Cambodia's tourism information department reported an 18 per cent growth in arrivals in the month of March when compared to the same month in 2012. The province of Siem Reap, the gateway to the Angkor region and the home of the Angkor Wat was the most popular destination accounting for 56.2 per cent of all arrivals.

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