Asia’s rivers are rich with exotic landscapes and fascinating cultural insights; each stunning location boasting endless natural beauty.
In our final week of Cruise Month, we will transport you to spiritual capitals, Buddhist pagodas and royal palaces in some of the most magical destinations on the planet.
Where to river cruise in Asia
Crossing six nations from its source in the Qinghai province of China, the Mekong flows between Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam before draining into the South China Sea. River cruises along the banks of the Mekong explore the history of this beautiful waterway, from floating markets selling fish and tropical fruit to the biodiversity of plants, mammals and birds.
Many river cruises include itineraries that take guests to explore the bustling Cambodian city of Phnom Penh and Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City, where classic Asian architecture and exhilarating atmospheres await. You can also enjoy peace and quiet at religious sites such as UNESCO World Heritage-listed Angkor Wat, and 10th Century temple, Banteay Srei.
As the world’s third longest river, the Yangtze is a 6,300km stretch of must-see sights. Travel between Shanghai and Beijing, where you can walk the inspirational Great Wall of China as it snakes across the northern border, or stand among the Terracotta Warriors as they guard the first emperor, Qin Shi Huang Di. You can also witness the man-made majesty of the Three Gorges Dam – the world’s largest hydropower project – after passing through the locks from Chonqing to Wuhan.
The Irrawaddy is the lifeline of Myanmar: commercial waterway, food source and spiritual gateway for local communities all at once.
Most cruises begin in Mandalay or Yangon: the former, the last royal capital of Myanmar, and the latter, the home of the sacred golden Shwedagon Paya. Cruise to the temple-city of Bagan and witness the architectural silhouette of almost 2,300 majestic temples turning fiery red against the setting sun. In Mandalay, visit the Shwenandaw Monastery to see teak-carved depictions of Buddhist myths carved into the walls and ceilings.
Experience the magic of Asia’s waterways
No matter which river you choose, an Asia cruise is guaranteed to thrill and inspire. Exotic food, beautiful architecture and rich cultures allow this region to maintain its ancient roots with flair, making it one to explore time and time again.
Take a look at the enchanting Asia river cruises below, and prepare to fall in love.