Asian River Cruise Destinations


How about cruising through Asia? What are some of the Asian river cruise destinations? You’ll have some very different choices in terms of location, culture, and climate for these river cruise destinations. In Southeast Asia, the climate is much different than it is in China. Vietnam, Cambodia & Thailand have warmer weather year-round. In China the seasons and temperature are more similar to central Europe.

Some of your options and possible travel destinations in Asia are listed below. We’ll explore each destination in more detail on its own page.

Similar to African River cruise packages, you'll spend most of your trip on land than you will on a river cruise ship. 

See Asian River Cruises


The Yangtze is probably the most popular and well-known river in Asia. Cities such as, Beijing, Shanghai, Xi'an, Yichang, Chongqing and sometimes Hong Kong, are typically featured in Yangtze River cruise itineraries. The river cruise is usually between Yichang and Chongqing, which is where the Three Gorges are located as well as Shibaozhai. 

Other destinations, include the UNESCO-designated Temple of Heaven and the Great Wall of China in Beijing and the Terra Cotta Army in Xi'an.

Yantgze River Cruises

Vietnam & Cambodia

The Mekong River flows through six countries in southeast Asia. A couple of its destinations are Vietnam and Cambodia. Some of the cities that you might see in Vietnam are Hanoi & Ho Chi Minh City. As you journey through Cambodia, some of the places you might visit include – the largest city and the capital of Cambodia - Phnom Penh as well as Siem Reap.

Mekong River Cruises

Laos & Thailand

A few suppliers offer cruises on the River Kwai in western Thailand. The most popular city for this destination is probably Kanchanaburi.

The Mekong River also flows through Laos and Thailand. River cruises on this part of the Mekong will take you through Luang Prabang, Laos – a top-ranking 2012 destination according to Wanderlust Travel Awards.

Bangkok, Thailand might also be included in your itinerary for either river cruise destination.

River Kwai in Thailand


Asian River cruise destinations also include a couple of rivers and cities in Myanmar. It’s located in southeastern Asia along the Indian Ocean and borders Thailand, China, Laos and India.

Formerly known as Burma, the country of Myanmar hosts river cruises on the Irrawaddy (or Ayeyarwady) River. Some itineraries also include the Chindwin River, which joins the Irrawaddy near Mandalay.

A couple of cities you might visit – Yangon and Mandalay.


Located in the South China Sea, Borneo is the third largest island in the world. It is a tropical island that is covered with rain forests and jungles.

Major river cruise lines don’t offer cruises in Borneo. There are quite a few smaller travel companies that offer jungle cruises on the Rungan River.

Travel destinations in Borneo will probably be Palangkaraya Harbor, Kanarakanm, Tangkiling and Central Kalimantan.


India is probably not a destination most people think of when planning a river cruise. It’s located in South Asia between Pakistan to its west and China and Nepal to its east. India is not considered part of the Middle East or the Far East. 

A couple of rivers you can cruise in India are the Hooghly, Brahmaputra and Ganges rivers. Cities you might visit on your journey will probably include Calcutta, New Delhi and Jaipur.

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Lauri Wakefield is a travel writer who specializes in  river cruises in Europe and the U.S. Connect with her on Twitter and Google+.

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