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  • Writer's pictureKatie

Inside Asia

If you're thinking about going on a river cruise and don't know where to start, this article might help. There are plenty of reasons why you should visit Asia and experience the many cultures and wonders it has to offer. However, in this article, we will explore the abundance of river cruising options available in Asia.

There are at least 120 river cruises across Asia for you to choose from, so I've compiled a list of rivers you need to visit in Asia. The following cruises allow you to truly unwind, all the while encountering the local life and magnificent scenery.

Mekong River

The Mekong River needs to be on top when we're talking about Asian rivers. The Mekong River runs through 6 Asian countries: China, Laos, Burma, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand.

Cruising down the Mekong river allows you to experience the best of the countries mentioned above. You'll come across many of Asia's luscious tropical jungles along with spectacular mountains and valleys on this cruise.

The route you'll take is packed with viewings of wildlife, rice, floating villages and markets, and even visits ashore to temples and monasteries. A cruise along the Mekong River is one of the most adventurous options available in Asia.

That being said, cruising along the Mekong River is one of the most authentic ways to experience the Asian waterways.

These cruises are offered all year round but beware of the rainy season from May to October. Portions of your cruise could be affected by the seasonal water levels of the waterways.

Yangtze River

This 4000-mile river in China is Asia's longest river while also being one of Asia's most scenic rivers. The Yangtze is also the third-longest river in the world.

On this cruise, you'll pass by gorgeous mountains, bamboo forests, and you'll also get the opportunity to visit the infamous engineering marvel that is the Three Gorges Dam. You may also have the chance to go inland and see some of China's most famous tourist sites like the Great Wall and the Terracotta Warriors in Xian, along with many old Ghost towns and ancient temples.

Cruises can run from four to fourteen days. The best time to go on a cruise of the Yangtze River is during the spring and fall months (April - May and September - October).

Irrawaddy River

Due to decades of oppressive military rule, tourism has long been off-limits in Myanmar, but that has changed over the last few years. Tourism in Myanmar has picked up substantially. This boost in tourist activity led to the influx of river cruises along the Irrawaddy River, also known as the Ayeyarwady River.

The river flows from the north of the country down to the south, making it the perfect way to visit most tourist sites that Myanmar has to offer. A popular route along the Irrawaddy River takes you from Old Bagan to Mandalay. On this route, you'll get to see more than 2,000 temples, monasteries, and pagodas.

Mandalay was the last royal capital of Myanmar. The royal palace that has been restored to its former glory is a sight that's well worth seeing while you cruise the Irrawaddy River. There is also a chance that you'll spot the elusive Irrawaddy dolphin. This endangered species is a rare sight, but if you're lucky enough, it's quite magnificent!

The best time to cruise the Irrawaddy river is from November through April. The temperature is quite pleasant during these months, but the rain and humidity start from late May to October.

No trip to Asia is complete without a journey down one of its atmospheric rivers. The rivers in this article are only to get you started on your cruising trips in Asia- there is an abundance of rivers you can choose from.

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