All aboard the Aqua Mekong | jason lee coates
jason lee coates

All aboard the Aqua Mekong

It’s a first for me, but as I can feel this experience is going to be extraordinary, I will be writing this blog in a 5 part series over 5 days, reflecting my exact experience of the cruise ship Aqua Mekong.


Having been to Vietnam a few times before, but never to Saigon – or Ho Chi Minh City as it is correctly called – myself and my travel companion arrived at the ultra hip Hotel des Arts without expectations late at night. What greeted us was a chic hotel with a rooftop whose speakers were booming, a crowd of cool travelers and hip locals overlooking the infinity pool and onto the bustling city below.


After one of the best hotel breakfasts I’ve ever had – there’s a pho station!! –  we strolled around the nearby cathedral and downtown, before we were picked up and whisked to the pier where we would board the majestic Aqua Mekong. To call this boat a cruise does not do it justice – it’s a floating 5 star extravaganza. 


With its chic, dark exterior, on board it’s all about luxurious minimal lines. The boat is 62 meters long and was designed by Saigon-based Nood design – if you could imagine an Aman hotel afloat, that’s about as close as you can get.


My room’s curtains opened up to a floor-to-ceiling panorama, revealing the changing landscape as I would float down the Mekong from Ho Chi Minh City to Phnom Penh in Cambodia. The large ensuite bathroom with rain shower, the subtle lighting options around the room, and the daybeds in front of the windows provided plenty of comfort and glamour. With large-scale rooms and suites to accommodate a maximum of 40 guests – the ratio of  passengers to guests is 1:1 – it’s a guaranteed intimate experience. 

部屋のカーテンを開けると床から天井までの大きい窓が広がり、サイゴンからカンボジアのプノンペンまで絶景を独り占め。ゆっくり楽しめて僕は満足♪ なんと40人以上もの大型スイートもあんだって。誰でも楽しめるクルーズになってるよ!さすが!

After exploring the ship, I wasted no time and headed to the in-house spa for my Khmer oil massage which was mindblowing – as I could hear the gentle hum of the boat gliding through the water, I was hypnotized by the rhythmic movements of my masseuse’s hands.

Master chef David Thompson – of Michelin star Nahm fame – is consulting chef on the Aqua Mekong and has created an incredible menu based on regional and local favourites. Tonight’s red chicken curry was literally the best I’ve ever eaten, and the appetizer of pork, prawn and ginger on betel leaves, and pomelo and squid salad with chili jam put me in the perfect mood for sleep.
I’m dreaming about what’s in store tomorrow.

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jason lee coates
director H3O fashion bureau, creative director

東京ベースのスタイリスト(AVGVST所属)、エディター、H3O Fashion Bureauのディレクター。日本在住9年目、オーストラリア出身。ファッションに対するアプローチは、世界に存在するユニークなファッションブランドを日本に広めて行く事。あらゆる角度からインスピレーションを得、スタイリストとして新鮮なエディトリアルを作って行く事も目標。大のシューズファン。

TOKYO クリエイティブディレクター director H3O fashion bureau creative director


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