Asia is definitely a growing region when it comes to river cruising, as more and more people are choosing to venture outside of Europe to see these beautiful waterways. This part of the world offers an exciting alternative to sailing along rivers like the Danube and Rhine, opening up a whole new world of vibrant culture and stunning scenery.
Avalon Waterways offers the chance to explore three different rivers here, giving you no excuses not to make 2016 the year you take an Asian river cruise.
An Irrawaddy River cruise through Myanmar (Burma) is as much about the people you will meet along the way as it is about the journey itself. Avalon will give you plenty of chances to interact with local communities, in a bid to understand what life is like in these remote places. You will come across people producing sweets from tree sap, offer alms to Buddhist monks as they go about their daily routine and see local schools and farms in full flow.
One of the most important symbols in the Buddhist religion is that of the pagoda. These beautiful structures will stand out along the banks of the river and take your breath away when seen in large numbers in places like Bagan.
Although the Yangtze River is the world’s longest waterway with its entirety situated within one country, you will only explore a small section during your cruise. However, there’s no need to be disappointed as this is also the most scenic and breathtaking part of this historic river. The Three Gorges, each different from the next but united by their beauty, offer landscapes that you will never forget. As you sail through them, you will also reach the gigantic Three Gorges Dam; a modern engineering marvel. Along the way, mystical pagodas dot the clifftops and authentic sampans drift serenely alongside your ship.
Avalon’s Yangtze itineraries also include a range of land tours that give you the opportunity to see more of China’s historic highlights. Trips to places such as Beijing, Xian and Chengdu present the chance to walk sections of the Great Wall, see the iconic Terracotta Warriors, visit the world-renowned panda sanctuary and much more.
Providing food, work and irrigation for thousands of people, it’s hard to grasp just how important the Mekong is to those living in Vietnam and Cambodia. And with Avalon Waterways, you will get to see how the locals make use of such a rich resource. Like most operators, the company offer Mekong river cruises along the lower reaches of the river, between Siem Reap and Ho Chi Minh City. Your trip will be graced by the presence of bustling floating markets and essential rice paddies.
As you drift between remote villages and energetic cities such as Kampong Cham, you’ll pay visits to archaeological sites, communities built on stilts and the harrowing Killing Fields. The latter recounts a story that is difficult to hear but that deserves to be told out of respect for those who lost their lives at the hands of the Khmer Rouge and Pol Pot.
One thing worth remembering when you book with Avalon Waterways is that there is the option to take advantage of their luxury chauffeur service. Providing that you live on the UK mainland and no more than 100 miles from your chosen airport or train station, you will be picked up from your home, travel to your departure point in a stress-free manner and then collected again on your return.
If you would like to book your Asia river cruise with Avalon Waterways, our knowledgeable team can find the best itinerary for you. Call or contact us online today.