Ho Chi Minh City, Jungle, and Villages Aboard a Premier River Vessel

Mekong Expedition Cruise

Cambodia, Vietnam

8 Days

From $10,640

Level 1+

Easiest

Overview

    Contact Us Download Itinerary

    Call 1-800-368-2794 or contact us for any questions

    EARLY SIGN-UP DISCOUNT
    • 20% off on a limited number of cabins for 2024, 2025 & 2026 departures confirmed by June 30, 2024.
    • Waived single supplement on select departures
    Available on new bookings - Capacity is limited, please call for availability

    Overview

    This journey promises a truly immersive experience and the opportunity to discover rich heritage and traditions along the Mekong River. Experience one of Asia's most epic and worthwhile cruises. Embrace the most authentic parts of Mekong culture and way of life while embracing the beautiful landscapes of the Mekong river basin in the comfort and luxury of the Aqua Mekong riverboat.

    The Mekong has two distinct seasons. During the high season (mid-August to November), the river receives increased flows originating from the Tibetan highlands and China. The key difference is that, during the high water season, the Tonle Sap lake becomes accessible to river ships because the Tonle Sap river connecting the lake to the Mekong swells, and the Aqua Mekong can dock on the shores of the lake, just 45 minutes away from Siem Reap. The eight-month low water season (December through mid-August) sees a lower water level in the Mekong and reduced flows. Tonle Sap Lake is inaccessible to river ships during this period, which is why departures during this time end in Phnom Penh and include a 45-minute flight to Siem Reap.

    Please note that high-low water seasons may vary unexpectedly from year to year, and river cruises may have to adjust their itineraries on short notice.
    Mekong Expedition Cruise map

    Arrive: Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam (or reverse)

    Depart: Phnom Penh, Cambodia (or reverse)

    Highlights

    • Cruise the Mekong River aboard a luxury river vessel
    • Enjoy optional guided cycling tours, kayaking excursions on Kampong Chhnang's waterways
    • Explore the World Heritage Site of Tonle Sap Lake during high-and low-water season—both offer unique perspectives on the landscape
    • Visit Mekong's famed ‘Silk Island' to learn how artisans handcraft traditional krama silk from harvesting silk from silkworms to dyeing and weaving the silk on massive wooden looms
    • Take a local rickshaw through an atmospheric town, ride a traditional sampan fishing boat in a bustling waterway past fishermen on long tail boats

    Overview

      Contact Us Download Itinerary

      Call 1-800-368-2794 or contact us for any questions

      Itinerary

      Download Itinerary Expand All Days

      Note: This trip is not exclusive to, nor operated by, Wilderness Travel, who acts solely as an agent in booking your reservation with the operator. Please download the Rate Sheet in the Dates & Pricing section to see the full pricing details and contact our Cruise Collection Specialists to check availability.

      (Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap Itinerary, Low Water Season, December to mid-August)
      From the Saigon meeting point, you will be transferred by air-conditioned coach to My Tho dock where you will be welcomed aboard the Aqua Mekong. Settle into your floating retreat, with its window wall conferring an endlessly captivating panorama. Enjoy these private Mekong moments on your California king bed, terrace, or daybed.
      Begin the day at Binh Thanh mat weaving village or opt to visit Sa Dec where you will peruse the vibrant market. In the afternoon, visit a typical Mekong Delta village called My An Hung where you will walk through verdant plantations. You will be invited to a local's home to taste local fruits while hearing traditional folk songs performed by villagers followed by a unique unicorn dance. A 10.5-mile biking option is also available.
      Travel by skiff along Bassac Canal to Chau Doc floating market, then head off by van to Long Son Pagoda atop Sam Mountain. Ask the monks about their age-old Buddhist practices. Return via the bustling morning market. Optional 11-mile bike ride on Long Khanh Island or take a rickshaw ride to visit Tan Chau Market with the boat's chef. After lunch, relax by the pool, try traditional Khmer massage, or learn to cook Mekong inspired dishes while you cross the border.
      On this river of time, you can admire dexterous Khmer artisans dyeing and weaving kroma, the ubiquitous item no Khmer lives without. Explore the riverbank on two wheels if you wish, past Buddhist temples and thatch houses perched on spindly wooden stilts while white oxen wade just offshore. After lunch, board the marine-grade aluminum skiffs and head toward the tamarind trees of Preah Prosop, a remote village little changed over several lifetimes.
      Explore the Cambodian capital by motorized tuk-tuk, the Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda and the National Museum of Cambodia, home to the world’s largest collection of Khmer art. For those who wish, you can visit the Tuol Sleng Museum of Genocide and the Killing Field or shopping at Russian Market. Bid farewell to 4-night guests who are disembarking in Phnom Penh. Return to welcome your 3-night passengers over custom sundowners like the Salted Watermelon Crush with Thai basil. Celebrate the onward journey toward the heart of this mighty river with a Khmer Apsara performance, an indigenous tradition memorialized on the temple walls at Angkor Wat.
      In the silversmith village of Koh Chen, watch artisans producing the magnificent silverware favored by Khmer royalty. Continue to Udong, the royal capital from the 17th-19th centuries, where you will learn about a uniquely challenging Buddhist practice at the Vipassana Dhura, a meditation center. In the afternoon, a walking tour of Kampong Prasat offers a close-up perspective on local lives and their riverside environment.
      In the cooler hours, head into the lush countryside to visit traditional potters and palm-sugar producers, astride mountain bikes or chauffeured by shaded tuk-tuk. Into the rice paddies you pedal to watch wizened masters scale sky-piercing palms towering above. Cruise across the glassy water and disembark among the lotuses for an ox-cart ride along the Tonle Sap riverbanks, past lacquered wooden houses where residents take refuge during these dry months in the relative cool of these outdoor impromptu living rooms.
      Customized exploration of Phnom Penh and disembarkation. Airplane transfers are provided if you would like to continue your Cambodian adventure to Siem Reap and its ancient lost city of Angkor Wat. Guests will be fully escorted by guides in a private luxury car transfer to Phnom Penh Airport.
      Day 1: Phnom Penh, Cambodia
      Day 2: Tonle Sap River / Koh Chen / Kampong Prasat
      Day 3: Tonle Sap River / Kampong Chhnang / Kampong Tralach
      Day 4: Mekong River /Koh Okhna Tey / Preah Prosop
      Day 5: Mekong River / Phnom Penh
      Day 6: Mekong River / Ka'om Samnor-Vinh Xuong Border Crossing / Chau / My An Hung, Vietnam
      Day 7:Mekong RIver / Binh Thanh / Sa Dec / Cai Be
      Day 8: Mekong River / Marina My Tho Port / Ho Chi Minh City
      Please Note: This itinerary does not include transport from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh.

      Dates & Pricing

      Payment & Cancel Schedule

      At time of reservation: $1,000
      105 days prior to departure: Balance


      Please note that this differs from our standard policy.

      Cancellation & Transfer Schedule

      Minimum fee: $500 per person
      91-120 days prior to departure: $1,000 per person
      90 days or less: 100% of trip cost

      Please note that this differs from our standard policy.

      Included
      • Accommodations aboard the Aqua
      • All meals included onboard the ship
      • Exclusive 1:1 crew-to-guest ratio
      • Custom designed, ergonomic, private speed boats for 10 guests
      • Kayaking, biking and fishing excursions, limited to 10 guests per guide
      • All beverages (non-alcoholic, house wine and beer)
      • All shore excursions
      • Laundry service (no dry cleaning onboard)
      • Satellite internet with intermittent connection
      • Group Transfers
      Not Included
      • International airfare
      • Visa and passport fees
      • Optional travel insurance
      • Any items of a personal nature (shopping onboard, bar expenses, spa services, etc.)
      • Private transfers
      • Optional gratuities for guide and crew

      Accommodations

      Scroll through our signature accommodations for this trip below. Although it is highly unlikely, we may make substitutions when necessary.

      Aqua Mekong

      Days 1-7 (7 nights)

      The 205-foot Aqua Mekong first set sail in 2014. Each of its 20 Design suites feature floor-to-ceiling windows facing the Mekong, large double closets, and spacious bathrooms with dual sinks and walk-in showers with rainforest shower heads. Four interconnected suites are available for families. With a maximum...

      What the Trip is Like

      The trip is rated Level 1+, Easy, and is appropriate for anyone in good health who is physically active. Cruising days provide ample opportunities to relax on board, while shore excursions require a moderate amount of walking, often along uneven cobblestone streets and up and down stairs, and optional biking.
      Review Trip Level Details

      The tropical climate of Cambodia and Vietnam means temperatures are warm year-round, generally fluctuate between 78°F and 86°F. Unlike the usual summer or winter, the Mekong river has two distinct seasons: low-water and high-water, which refers to the water levels of the Mekong. The high-season runs from mid-August to November and receives increased flows originating from the Tibetan highlands and China. The low-season runs from December to mid-August. During high-season, water from the swelling Mekong lake increases its area of the Tonle Sap by up to six times and the majority of the areas surrounding Tonle Sap become wetlands that support a vast variety of wildlife. The lakes many stilt villages appear to float on water as the water level rises by as much as 26 feet! It is also during the swell that the Tonle Sap lake and river reverses its flow—a natural phenomenon that must be seen to be believed.

      Extend Your Trip

      Book your trip today

      Our Area Specialists know every detail about our tours. They will be happy to answer any questions and help you choose the journey that’s right for you. Contact us to learn more or book your trip today!

      Itinerary

      Submit the form below to download itinerary

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      Trip Levels

      With more than 200 different adventures to choose from, we want to help you find the trip that’s right for you. Our Trip Level system ranks each trip in two ways: a number rating from 1 to 6 according to the activity, and general travel rigors. 1 is the easiest and 6+ the most difficult—see descriptions below for explanations of each number. A plus (+) sign means the trip is a bit more strenuous than other trips of that level. The detailed explanation of each trip—below the bar with the number rating—is perhaps more important, specifying activities, altitudes, hiking, and travel conditions. The Detailed Itinerary, available by download or mail, gives further information. Our Area Managers can also answer questions and guide you to the trip that best suits your interests.

      Level 1 – Easiest

      Non-camping journeys, optional walks, little elevation gain or loss.

      Level 2 – Easy to Moderate

      Hotel nights and/or safari-style camping, hikes of two to four hours on some days. Other physical activities are sometimes included, such as optional sea kayaking.

       

      Level 3 – Moderate

      Half- to full-day hikes (3-6 hours) over rolling countryside on most days, occasional steep trails. Many of our hotel-based walking tours are in this category, as are our snorkeling adventures.

      Level 4 – Moderate to Strenuous

      Full-day hikes (4-6 hours), mountainous terrain, significant elevation gains and losses (hiking up or down as much as 3,000 feet) on many days. Altitudes no greater than about 10,000 feet.

       

      Level 5 – Strenuous

      Full-day hikes (4-8 hours), mountainous, steep terrain (hiking up or down as much as 3,500 feet) on many days. Trips with hiking at average altitudes of 10,000 to 12,000 feet are in this category.

      Level 6 – Very Strenuous

      Full-day hikes (5-8 hours), mountainous, steep terrain (hiking up or down as much as 3,500 feet) on many days. Most hikes take place at altitudes above 10,000 feet, with some days ascending as high as 18,000 feet.

      Mekong Expedition Cruise map
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The lakes many stilt villages appear to float on water as the water level rises by as much as 26 feet! It is also during the swell that the Tonle Sap lake and river reverses its flow&mdash;a natural phenomenon that must be seen to be believed.<\/p>","Custom_Accommodations":"","Custom_Cuisine":"","Custom_Transportation":"","Custom_What_the_Trip_is_Like_-_Header_1":"","Custom_What_the_Trip_is_Like_-_Text_1":"","Custom_What_the_Trip_is_Like_-_Header_2":"","Custom_What_the_Trip_is_Like_-_Text_2":"","Custom_Trip_Level_Note_1":"","Custom_Trip_Level_Note_2":"","System_Choosing_the_Right_Trip":"<p>Adventure travel often involves exotic destinations, unusual levels of physical exertion, or activities you may not have participated in previously. We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please call Wilderness Travel at 1-800-368-2794 or email us at <a href=\"mailto:\/\/info@wildernesstravel.com\">info@wildernesstravel.com<\/a>.<\/p>","System_References":"<p>We&rsquo;d be happy to put you in touch with a past client that has traveled with us.<\/p>","System_Visit_Our_Website":"<p>At <a href=\"https:\/\/www.wildernesstravel.com\/\">www.wildernesstravel.com<\/a>, you can book your trip online or find out about added departures, last-minute deals, and one-time Limited Edition adventures that aren&rsquo;t listed in our catalog. You can also access our complete library of detailed itineraries filled with enticing photos and videos, read bios of our Trip Leaders, find descriptions of trip accommodations, and check real-time availability of any trips that interest you.<\/p>","System_Helpful_Links":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-01-27T07:52:03 --><p>Wilderness Travel has compiled a list of useful websites for travelers. Find the Toucan Club tab on the home page of our website and choose Helpful Links: <a href=\"http:\/\/www.wildernesstravel.com\/ toucan\/links\">www.wildernesstravel.com\/ toucan\/links<\/a>.<\/p>","System_About_New_Trips":"This is a new adventure and one that we are particularly excited about offering. However, as with all new departures, flexibility and a spirit of adventure are always appreciated! Activities are described in the itinerary but they can vary, sometimes considerably, depending on weather conditions, the group, and other factors.","System_About_Private_Journeys":"<p>Wilderness Travel Private Journeys are designed for people who want to travel with their own small private group, but who still want to experience the same superb itinerary design, great accommodations, and signature quality of Wilderness Travel's escorted group trips. These Private Journeys allow you to choose your own dates and your traveling companions&mdash;and enjoy the WT touch on all aspects of the journey.<\/p>","System_Limited_Edition_Adventures":"This is a Limited Edition adventure&mdash;which means a unique trip we've never run before or offer only every few years. Led by our most experienced Trip Leaders, these journeys often take place in remote destinations with only the most basic infrastructure for tourism. If you see a Limited Edition trip scheduled for this year, now is the time to sign up, as spaces fill very early and the trip may not be back for a while! Planned daily activities and actual timings may vary due to local conditions or the discretion of your Trip Leader&mdash;it is important to bring your spirit of adventure for these special exploratory journeys!","System_Social_Media":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-03-29T11:33:43 --><p><strong>SOCIAL MEDIA:<\/strong> We invite you to share your adventure with us on social media. Tag @wildernesstravel and we may even feature your content on our pages!<\/p>","System_If_You_Miss_Your_Flight":"<p><strong>IF YOU MISS YOUR FLIGHT<\/strong><br>If you miss your flight or are otherwise delayed, contact our Wilderness Travel office, as well as our local partners, with your new flight information. Refer to the Emergency Contact Information listed in this Final Bulletin.<\/p>","System_Valid_Passport":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-06-16T10:26:21 --><p><strong>VALID PASSPORT:<\/strong> Check that your passport is valid for at least six months from the last day of your trip, and that you have at least two blank pages for any necessary visa or entry and exit stamps.<\/p>","System_Insurance_Policy":"<p><strong>INSURANCE POLICY:<\/strong> If you have purchased the Travelex Travel Protection Plan, you should have received an email confirmation of your policy. Please bring a digital or printed copy of this policy with you. If you cannot find your email confirmation, please contact Travelex's Customer Solutions team at 844-877-1885 or e-mail customersolutions@travelexinsurance.com. If you have not purchased Travelex insurance already, you have the option to do so up to 24 hours prior to your departure.<\/p>","System_Covid-19_Travel_Requirements":"<p><strong>PRE-DEPARTURE INFORMATION<\/strong><strong>: <\/strong>Please review your Pre-Departure Information booklet included in this packet for important information regarding Wilderness Travel's COVID-19 protocols, packing lists, recommended reading, tipping, etc.<\/p>","System_Wilderness_Travel_Office":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-03-29T11:38:07 --><p>Our office in Berkeley, California can be reached at 510-558-2488, or by email at info@wildernesstravel.com. We are available during regular business hours (M-F, 8:30 am-5:00 pm, PST). <\/p>","System_ECI_Travel_Insurance":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-03-29T11:38:31 --><p>If you have purchased the Travelex Travel Protection Plan through Wilderness Travel, please remember to bring your Confirmation of Coverages (COC) with you on the trip, including your Plan Number and important emergency contact information.<\/p><p>If you've purchased a travel protection plan on your own, we recommend that you bring a copy of your policy, including all coverages, with you on your trip.<\/p>","System_Face_Masks_and_Hand_Sanitizer":"","System_DidNotPurchase_Insurance":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-02-28T12:27:44 --><p>Travel Insurance: We recommend that you purchase travel insurance for this trip. For your convenience, we offer Travelex travel protection. Please let us know if you would like us to add the Travelex Travel Protection Plan to this final invoice. You can learn more about the policy on our <a href=\"https:\/\/www.wildernesstravel.com\/toucan\/travel-insurance\">website<\/a>.<\/p>","System_Purchased_Insurance":"Please remember to bring a copy of your Travelex Confirmation of Coverage and State Specific Policy with you on your trip. You should have received an email directly from Travelex with these documents. If you need this email to be re-sent, please contact Travelex's Customer Solutions team at 844-877-1885 or e-mail customersolutions@travelexinsurance.com. <br><br><br>","System_COVID-19":"The Public Health Emergency for COVID-19 declared by the World Health Organization and the US Department of Health and Human Services expired in 2023. As of March 2024, we no longer require guests who exhibit cold or flu symptoms to test for COVID-19. Guests who test positive for COVID-19 will be required to follow local health protocols, wear a mask in group vehicles and during indoor activities for the remainder of the trip, and may be asked to dine separately. Any travel companion sharing a room with them will also be required to wear a mask at all times in the shared group vehicles for the remainder of the trip.<br><br>We encourage all travelers to actively monitor their own well-being and to use common-sense preventative measures such as regular handwashing (or use of hand sanitizer) and\/or wearing a face mask. If you are feeling sick, we encourage you to self-isolate and\/or wear a mask to protect your fellow travelers. Guests may be required to wear a mask if the Trip Leader believes the situation warrants it.<br><br>Leading up to the trip, we encourage you to do everything possible to stay healthy, including avoiding close contact with anyone displaying cold or flu symptoms and washing your hands often. As always, by traveling with Wilderness Travel, guests agree to be accountable for their own well-being. If you are worried about a fellow traveler's cold or flu-like symptoms, you may opt to wear a mask or distance yourself as needed. It's important to remember that there are inherent risks associated with travel and group settings.<br><br>These protocols will be reviewed and adjusted as guidance evolves. <br><br>","System_Photography":"<strong>Camera Recommendations<\/strong><br>With the many advances in digital technology, a simple compact digital camera or even your smartphone is capable of taking pictures suitable for the needs of most people. For higher quality images and the ability to use long lenses for closer wildlife pictures, a DSLR camera is well worthwhile, though heavier. Most digital cameras and phones have good video options, but you may want to consider a GoPro for a lightweight, waterproof option. Always practice ahead of time with new equipment and bring your manual with you. You may want to consider renting camera equipment for your trip from places such as <a href=\"https:\/\/www.lensrentals.com\/\">lensrentals.com<\/a>. This is an especially good idea for renting large zoom lenses that you may need for just one trip. Adding their extra insurance fee to cover expensive equipment is recommended. <br><strong><br>Camera Accessories<\/strong><br>We recommend bringing at least two large capacity memory cards or a small digital storage unit (or tablet) to back up your photos, freeing space on your memory cards. Don't forget to bring a battery charger and a backup battery so one is always charged and ready to use. For trips where you may be away from power sources for multiple days, consider looking into a solar-powered battery charger or buying additional backup batteries, and check that you have the appropriate adapter for the electrical outlets in your destination.<br><strong><br>Sharing Your Images<\/strong><br>We would love for you to share photos from your trip, and with your permission, may even use your photos in our marketing materials or on our photo blog. We request that you send us a small sample of your best images. Please email your photos to wtphotoblog@gmail.com or tag us @WildernessTravel on social media.<br><strong><br>Photography Etiquette<\/strong><br>When taking pictures of local people, be aware of cultural considerations. Approaching people with a warm smile and using polite gestures or simple phrases to ask permission to photograph them usually works well. It is always recommended to engage people in conversation before asking to photograph them, but if people do not wish to have their photo taken, please honor their requests. We urge travelers to avoid giving money in exchange for photo opportunities, which makes it harder for future travelers to have a meaningful personal interaction with local people. Please always heed your Trip Leader's guidelines for what is appropriate. ","System_Gear_Store":"To help you prepare for your next WT adventure, we've put together a great collection of top brands including Patagonia, Outdoor Research, Eagle Creek, and more at our WT Gear Store (<a href=\"https:\/\/wildernesstravel.newheadings.com\/\">wildernesstravel.newheadings.com<\/a>).","System_Questions?":"<p>Our Area Specialists are your single point of contact and would be happy to answer any questions about your trip!<br>800.368.2794 | 510.558.2488<\/p>","System_Pricing_Detail-Small_Group_Adventure":" <br><br>To offer the lowest possible cost, our trips are priced according to the number of participants on the trip. All costs are per person, based on double occupancy. If you wish to have a single room, you must pay the single supplement fee. Please note that Wilderness Travel staff, or guests of Wilderness Travel such as travel writers, photographers, or leaders-in-training, are not included in the tier pricing count.","System_Travel_Insurance":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-01-27T07:58:05 --><p>We highly recommend you purchase travel insurance. You can take advantage of a comprehensive Travel Protection Plan designed for Wilderness Travel by Travelex, or purchase other insurance on your own. See our website for details: <a href=\"http:\/\/www.wildernesstravel.com\/insurance\">www.wildernesstravel.com\/insurance<\/a><\/p>","System_Make_it_Your_Trip":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-03-29T11:44:18 --><p>The prices above are for the ready-to-book adventure outlined in this Detailed Itinerary, a popular option that has been handcrafted by our Area Specialists to include the best of every destination. While many travelers choose to book this tour as is, our Area Specialists are also happy to work with you to customize this Private Journey to suit your specific interests and style of travel. We can arrange for longer or shorter stays, offer hotel upgrades (see below for sample costs), or add an extension to additional places of interest. We can even add special activities or customize excursions depending on your interests. We invite you to contact us to discuss your options!<\/p>","System_Signing_up_for_a_Trip":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-03-29T11:44:42 --><p>Early reservations are recommended since accommodations often sell out far in advance. Please call 1-800-368-2794 and ask for our [Africa Manager] or email us at [africa@ wildernesstravel.com] with any questions that you may have about this trip. To reserve your Private Journey, we will need to know your preferred dates of travel. We will then check availability and send you a proposed itinerary with exact pricing for your adventure. We can typically hold a provisional booking for one week. At that time, we must collect your initial deposit or accommodations will be released. We accept Visa, Mastercard, or American Express card. Upon receipt of your deposit, we will send you a Welcome Packet that includes a letter of confirmation, Detailed Itinerary, Trip Application, Medical Form, and Pre-Departure Information Booklet with information to help you prepare for your adventure. Please see our Cancellations and Transfer Fee Schedule for specific payment information.<\/p>","System_Trip_Leaders":"<p>Wilderness Travel Trip Leaders have a passion and a joy for creating an unforgettable journey. We are extremely proud of them and the incredible travel experiences they make possible. For more information, including client comments about them and which specific trips they will be leading, please visit <a href=\"https:\/\/www.wildernesstravel.com\/leaders\/\">wildernesstravel.com\/leaders<\/a>.<\/p>"},"terms":{"PaymentSchedule":"<p>At time of reservation: $1,000<br>105 days prior to departure: Balance<div><br><\/div><div><em>Please note that this differs from our standard policy.<\/em><\/p>","CancelSchedule":"<p>Minimum fee: $500 per person<br>91-120 days prior to departure: $1,000 per person<br>90 days or less: 100% of trip cost<\/p><p><em>Please note that this differs from our standard policy.<\/em><\/p>"}}