SMALL GROUP TRAVEL


Vietnam & the Mekong with
Dr. Thurman

A spiritual journey from Hanoi to Phnom Penh

  • Explore Buddhist sites and other cultural riches with Dr. Robert Thurman, one of the world’s foremost Buddhist scholars
  • Four-night cruise along the Mekong River aboard the sophisticated Aqua Mekong
  • Hike up to Mahayana Buddhist Sam Mountain monastery and visit with monks
GeoEx Journey to Vietnam & the Mekong with Dr. Thurman
Trip Type: Scheduled Departure
Destinations:
Trip Length: 11 Days
Activity type(s): Cultural Tour, Cruises
Trip Extensions: Call 888-570-7108 for custom extension options

Led by distinguished author and Buddhist scholar, Dr. Robert Thurman, this extraordinary voyage through Vietnam and a touch of Cambodia offers an intimate exploration of Buddhism. As we wander the French colonial streets of Hanoi, move along the vibrant banks of the Mekong, and discover the elaborate pagodas of Phnom Penh, we appreciate Indochina's cultural riches and delve into the region's Buddhist traditions. Our experience is deepened by exclusive visits with Buddhist monks, a supremely comfortable cruise on the Mekong River, and daily meditations and discussions led by Dr. Thurman.

We begin in Hanoi, taking in splendid temples and meeting an acclaimed historian in his home before exploring architecturally resplendent Hue and the wonders of Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). Next we venture to the colorful Mekong River for a five-day cruise aboard the luxurious Aqua Mekong. We’ll dip into markets, engage with villagers, and participate in a private meditation ceremony with Buddhist monks. Crossing into Cambodia, we top off the trip with the highlights of its capital, Phnom Penh. And all along, we enjoy the insights of veteran GeoEx trip leader and a Condé Nast Traveler Top Travel Specialist Brent Olson.

Ask about our four-day group extension with Dr. Thurman to the breathtaking Khmer complex of Angkor Wat. 

About Dr. Robert Thurman

Dr. Thurman is a professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies at Columbia University, president of Tibet House US, and president of the American Institute of Buddhist Studies. The New York Times has called Dr. Thurman “the leading American expert on Tibetan Buddhism.” Dr. Thurman also translated important Tibetan and Sanskrit philosophical writings and lectures and writes on Buddhism, particularly Tibetan Buddhism. 

This special journey with Dr. Thurman was custom crafted for and benefits Tibet House.

Vietnam tour map

Itinerary at a Glance


  • Day 1: arrive in Hanoi
  • Day 2: Hanoi exploring
  • Day 3: fly to Hue, visit with historian
  • Day 4: Hue touring
  • Day 5: fly to Ho Chi Minh City, explore
  • Day 6: Ho Chi Minh City discovery
  • Day 7: drive to My Tho, board the Aqua Mekong, embark on river cruise
  • Days 8 & 9: Mekong River cruise, with village, temple, and market visits
  • Day 10: river cruise, crossing into Cambodia
  • Day 11: Phnom Penh sightseeing, depart.

  • Optional Angkor Wat Extension:

    Join our 4-day, post-trip extension with Dr. Thurman to Angkor Wat. Details to come upon booking your spot on the Vietnam and Mekong journey.