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Great Rivers of Asia

| Words by Ashley Diterlizzi |

Cruising is continuing to grow as one of the most popular modes of travel for many Australians. Journey to Asia where you can drift along peaceful and nomadic rivers that flow throughout the continent, dissecting its landscape. Here are the great rivers of Asia.

The Yangtze River

The Yangtze River is the longest river in China and the third longest in the world, measuring an impressive 6,380 kilometres in length. Steeped in myth and legend, vertical limestone cliffs line the river as it rises up to the mountains of Tibet. A journey of the river takes roughly three days if you stop to marvel at the impressive architectural and archaeological sites along the way.

The Mekong River

The Mekong River is an important source of water in Southeast Asia, measuring 4,350 kilometres in length. The river flows from the Tibetan Plateau through China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and finally, Vietnam. Drift past floating markets and stilt houses along the lively river.

Mekong Delta

The Ganges River

The trans-boundary Ganges River is 2,525 metres long and flows through India and Bangladesh. It’s the largest river in India, starting in the Himalayas and emptying into the Bay of Bengal. Unfortunately, the river is also much polluted, posing threats to human and environmental health.

Brahmaputra River

One of Asia’s major rivers, the Brahmaputra River flows through China, India and Bangladesh. The river originates in the Tibetan Himalayas and travels almost 2,900 kilometres in length. The people of Bangladesh rely heavily on the river’s floodplains which are home to millions of people.

Indus River

Floating through south Asia from Tibet and into India and Pakistan, the 3,610 kilometre long river is also known as the great trans-Himalayan River. The Indus has a history dating back to Alexander the Great who recorded healthy forest cover in the region surrounding the river. The Mughal Emperor Babur listed rhinoceroses along its banks. Although the healthy forest cover is all but lost, the rich diversity of wildlife can still be found in the river.

Mekong Delta

Bei River

The northern tributary of the Pearl River in southern China, the Bei River, flows about 350 kilometres south from Guangdong to Xi (West) River. Directly translated, the river is called North River and for centuries has played an important role in transport between China’s northern and southern regions.

Amu Darya River

Also known by its ancient Latin name, Oxus, the Amu Darya is a major river in central Asia. The river’s total length is 2,400 kilometres and most of the water comes from glaciers in the Pamir Mountains and Tian Shan.

The Irrawaddy River

While not great in size on the scale of the other rivers on this list, the Irrawaddy is a major water source to the people of Myanmar. The Irrawaddy River flows from north to south through Myanmar and is the country’s largest river. Cruise along the waters and gain insight into local life along the riverbanks, explore its major tributary, the Chindwin, and discover the stunning scenery.

Discover Asia from its great rivers on one of our small group journeys or speak to our experts about private tours.