My wife and I have booked a river cruise/land tour that visits Vietnam, Cambodia and the Mekong. It starts in Hanoi and ends in Ho Chi Minh City. The land tour starts in Hanoi for two days, two days visiting Ha Long Bay, two days visiting Siem Reap and then we start a 7 day Mekong cruise ending with two days in Ho Chi Minh City. We have the option of skipping the land tour and just doing the 7 day cruise which we intend to do.
The reason we are skipping the land tour is because we feel it is rushed and we also enjoy independent travel. We like an occasional cruise if it has the right itinerary fully recognizing the negative aspects of the short port visits. Our plan is to travel independently to Hanoi and spend 4 nights there then four nights in Siem Reap where we would meet the ship and start the cruise. In researching this trip I have been quite impressed by what I have read about Luang Prabang in Laos. It seems to have many of the characteristics that we enjoy in our travels. Would it be worth the logistical effort to sandwich a 4 night visit to Luang Prabang between our stays in Hanoi and Siem Reap? I should add that due to the age factor and our interests in exploring new places a return visit to this part of the world is not likely.