Sherry and Bill Westernoff knew they had made the right vacation decision on one of their first days in Vietnam. While sailing in luxury on a traditional Vietnamese junk boat, they were awed by the limestone cliffs that tower over the blue-green waters of Ha Long Bay. “It was unforgettable,” Sherry said. “We looked out our cabin window and saw all the other junks with huge, unfurled orange sails. It was absolutely gorgeous.”
Months earlier, the retired couple from Alameda, California, discussed the idea of touring Vietnam and Cambodia with their AAA Travel Counselor, Linda Baehr of the Walnut Creek, California, branch. Baehr recommended a package from AmaWaterways, which operates cruises on the Mekong River that include pre- and post-cruise visits to Hanoi, Halong Bay, Ho Chi Minh City and the magnificent temples at Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, Cambodia.
For Sherry, 65, a retired AAA Travel manager, and Bill, 72, a retired export marketing manager, visiting floating markets on shore excursions and meeting locals in fishing villages perched along the Mekong River were highlights of the trip aboard the AmaDara.