Some of the world’s greatest, most diverse and fascinating rivers flow through Asia – the Yangtze, the Mekong and the Irrawaddy in particular. Voyaging these waterways offers an easy and effortless way to see the landscapes, history and culture of incredible countries such as China, Burma, Vietnam and Cambodia.
Whilst cruising the rivers of Europe can be a refined and cultured affair, Asia’s rivers tend to have an altogether wilder and more untamed nature. That’s not to say that your experience would be anything but supremely comfortable, even luxurious in some cases, but does mean that cruises on these rivers will exposure you to cultures, religions, traditions, scenery and a huge diversity of people that you won’t find on even the great rivers of Europe.
Slowing the pace of your trip right down, river cruising is a picturesque and relaxed way to travel, taking away the hustle and hassle of road travel and even taking you to places that roads can’t reach. Spending a week or more cruising along a waterway is an excellent way to get to know a country/countries better – you’ll get to see more local culture, meet riverside communities, spot wildlife and watch for the changes in the landscape. Shore excursions will help you explore deeper, taking you to sights of cultural, historical or even social interest – on the Irrawaddy in Burma for example, you can visit communities where the traditions of their ancestors are still very much alive and practiced daily.
For millennia, travelling by boat was the traditional means of getting around, meaning that there is plenty to see and do along the river, and in Asia these tend to be things that the masses miss. River cruise vessels in Southeast Asia tend to be small and intimate, especially if you are heading up into the northerly reaches of the Mekong and the Irrawaddy, whilst in China, the size of the Yangtze allows for bigger vessels and a full set of amenities, from swimming pools to cabaret shows. All of your meals are included, as well as shore excursions and cultural activities and/or lectures – so they can also represent reasonable value for money.
As Asia Inspirations we have relationships with Pandaw River Cruises and Belmond River Cruises for the Irrawaddy and Mekong Rivers, and a number of Yangtze cruises companies including Century, President, Sanctuary and Victoria. Visit our dedicated Yangtze River, Mekong River and Irrawaddy River pages for more information.
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The world’s largest and most populous continent, Asia is a vibrant and rambunctious fusion of ethnicities, cultures and customs; an incomparably rich and turbulent history showcased by mindboggling feats of architecture and engineering; a geography that encompasses towering peaks, unfathomable gorges and paradisiacal beaches; and a biodiversity that is so abundant that you’ll be reaching for your wildlife guide.