The longest river in Asia and the third longest in the world at more than 3,915 miles, the Yangtze river flows from the Tibetan Plateau in the west to the East China Sea. A China river cruise will take you through the impressive Three Gorges (Qutang, Wuxia, & Xiling) and view the immense dam, China's largest construction project since the Great Wall. Qutang, the shortest and most dramatic gorge, is an unimaginable place where you can nearly touch the perpendicular mountains rising from the Yangtze river banks. Find your Avalon Yangtze river cruise below.
From its source high up in the Tibetan Plateau, the powerful Mekong River courses for over 3,000 miles through Asia, providing a lifeline for millions of people. With an Avalon Waterways river cruise you can explore China, Burma, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam, immersing yourself in the local culture. In Vietnam, you can cruise the massive Mekong Delta that covers an area of some 15,000 square miles. This picturesque area is dotted by rice paddies, fish farms, fruit orchards, and more. In Cambodia, explore French-influenced Phnom Penh, the spectacular Silver Pagoda, and learn about the sobering Khmer Rouge regime. North of the city you cruise on the Tonle River, which connects the main Mekong with Tonle Sap or “Great Lake.” You’ll enjoy the scenery as the river narrows and passes through villages and woodlands. Your Avalon Waterways cruise will show you the Asia that other travelers rarely get to see.
As you cruise along, each day is a tapestry of exotic flavors, captivating panoramas, and bustling river activity. Watch villagers make candy from the sap of the toddy palm tree, and wander through a pottery making village to see the process from start to end. Visit a monastery, where you will present alms to the monks and observe their daily lunch ritual, and interact with children at a village school. Other highlights include a visit to a local farmer’s home to learn more about his work and life. You’ll even have a chance to ride an elephant! All this and more awaits on this incredible adventure.
More than 90% of the Burmese population follows the Buddhist religion. Unsurprisingly, the graceful form of the pagoda is a natural part of the landscape, and you’ll visit the most important in the country, including Yangon’s stunning Shwedagon—considered by many to be the oldest pagoda in the world. Explore some of the 2,300 majestic temples that dot the plains of Bagan, including Ananda, one of the most beautiful of all the remaining temples. You will also ascend to the top of a temple for an unforgettable view of sunset! In Mandalay, visit Mahamuni Pagoda as well as Shwenandaw Monastery, the only surviving building from the original royal palace complex. In nearby Amarapura, visit U Bein Bridge for a sampan ride at sunset—an iconic image you won’t soon forget. Beyond the must-see sights, Avalon delivers hands on activities and encounters with local people that allow for a truly immersive and memorable experience. Cruise north of Mandalay on the most scenic part of the river past traditional riverside villages, teak forests, lavish shrines, and a host of bird and animal life. If your are lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of the rare Irrawaddy dolphin.