AmaDara inaugural cruise: Life aboard AmaDara

A typical day begins with breakfast from 7 to 9 a.m., although early birds can have their coffee and nibbles from 6 a.m. in the Saigon lounge. Breakfast fare always includes Pho Ba and eggs your way at the Action Station; a buffet of cold meats and cheese, pancakes, bacon, sausage, baked beans, broiled tomatoes, potatoes, boiled eggs, various juices and a variety of sweet pastries and fresh baked breads. Morning excursions typically begin at 8:30 and …

Read moreAmaDara inaugural cruise: Life aboard AmaDara

AmaDara inaugural cruise: About AmaDara

A new ship is like a young girl, a work in progress as she is groomed, improved and tweaked into gracious maturity. Ama Waterways’ latest river vessel, Ama Dara, is a lovely, young lady with great bones that will benefit from the further refinement her owners intend to make. Googling AmaDara will get you to all of the measurements and details, if that is what you want. Sort of like recreating a baseball game from stats in …

Read moreAmaDara inaugural cruise: About AmaDara

AmaDara inaugural cruise: Days 13 and 14

ABOARD AMADARA-One last day in Saigon begins at the Ben Thanh Market for a last batch of shopping and haggling. Wondering how it is all going to fit in my suitcase, I join two travel pals for lunch at the highly touted Cuc Gach Quan. Alas, perhaps AmaDara has spoiled us for the cuisine did not meet our expectations. Back at the Sofitel, still pondering purchases vs. space, we decide to treat ourselves to a foot massage. …

Read moreAmaDara inaugural cruise: Days 13 and 14

AmaDara inaugural cruise: Day 12

ABOARD AMADARA-Landing in Saigon I wake up to find AmaDara against the bulkhead at the industrial port of My Tho. River vessels stop here because to reach the port of Saigon they must take to the open ocean, much too dangerous in a flat-bottomed ship. Bill paid, passport in hand, luggage out, breakfast eaten, cabin key cards back to reception, all of the details of disembarkation handled, it is time to leave AmaDara for an optional two-night …

Read moreAmaDara inaugural cruise: Day 12

AmaDara Inaugural Cruise: Day 11

ABOARD AMADARA-Our last full day of excursions begins with a boat ride to Sa Dec, where a walk along the bustling riverfront market place left no doubt that this is a hub of commerce. Many a village marketer buys produce here. No takers in ghe group, however, when a Vietnamese delicacy, rats, were pointed out. This is a busy city of 103,000. Always a big city by Mekong Delta standards, during the American War, as the Vietnam …

Read moreAmaDara Inaugural Cruise: Day 11

AmaDara inaugural cruise: Days 9 and 10

We cruised all day, reaching Vietnam waters, the formalities of checking visas (all taken care of for us by the staff) and finally mooring midstream at Tan Chau just in time for ice cream on the sundeck and a spectacular sunset. The Mekong is mighty in southern Vietnam, wide and fast flowing. If Jerome Kern had seen it before the Mississippi, the caramel waters of the Mekong surely would have become Big Muddy. Other things tip you …

Read moreAmaDara inaugural cruise: Days 9 and 10

AmaDara inaugural cruise: Days 7 and 8

Capital Capitol Phnom Penh How many different kinds of watches – fake designer or otherwise – can there be? The answer lies in Phnom Penh’s Central Market where booth after booth after booth displays mountains of different kinds of wrist-worn timepieces beneath and above the glass counters. Want a genuine fake Hermes bag? Gucci? Valentino? Keep walking through this high-domed, circular edifice to merchandise and head to the many spokes of covered and semi-covered stalls. Everything from …

Read moreAmaDara inaugural cruise: Days 7 and 8

AmaDara inaugural cruise-Day 6 Capitols Present

ABOARD AMADARA-Phnom Penh is Cambodia’s capitol now but from 1618 to 1865 that honor belonged to Oudong, about 22 miles to the north. Its hundreds buildings, temples and royal stupas (repositories for cremation ashes) were destroyed by bombings in the early ‘70s and it is now a small town with the country’s largest Buddhist center. The center encompasses a large temple, housing for monks and nuns, dining hall, a school and pleasant gardens. Our morning began there …

Read moreAmaDara inaugural cruise-Day 6 Capitols Present

AmaDara inaugural cruise: Day 5

ABOARD AMADARA- Villages Afloat and on Land There are 173 floating villages in Cambodia with some 1.2 million people living in them. From AmaDara we boarded a very comfortable touk tor boat to visit one, Kampong Chhnang, on Tonle Sap Lake. As we motored along the liquid main street a fascinating floating lifestyle passed by. Grocery stores, sundry stores, clothes shops, karaoke bars, even discos afloat. Machine shops, bamboo stock for rebuilding the houses (each lasts four …

Read moreAmaDara inaugural cruise: Day 5

AmaDara inaugural cruise-Day 4 Kampong

ABOARD AMADARA-What do you do on a 300 kilometer bus ride through the Cambodian countryside between Siem Real and Prek Dam? Learn a bit about the country and its customs from Nip, our genial guide for this leg of our voyage. For example, don’t be insulted when a Cambodian asks how old you are then if you tell him you are anything over 60, he remarks how very old you are. It’s a compliment; very few Cambodians …

Read moreAmaDara inaugural cruise-Day 4 Kampong

CLOSE
CLOSE