Mekong means “the mother of water”. How apt for a great river than runs 2700 miles from the melting snows of the Tibetan Plateau all the way through China's Yunnan province to Burma, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. A cruise on the Mekong River is a wonderful choice – transporting you serenely through another world of ancient temples and pagodas, Buddhist monasteries, busy port towns with colourful bustling markets and floating houses, fishing farms and villages, silver and silk cottage industries, sumptuous undiscovered evergreen islands, tranquil lakes, wooded hills and paddy fields. As your Mekong cruise takes you along wide stretches of water and through narrow channels surrounded by leafy swathes of jungle, you’ll have the rare privilege of experiencing a remarkable ecosystem that’s one of the richest areas of biodiversity in the world – with otters, fishing cats, turtles, crocodiles, a huge variety of birdlife and an estimated 850 freshwater fish species.

No other river is home to so many species of very large fish, such as giant catfish and stingrays that can grow up to fourteen feet long. There was a time when the wild, turbulent rapids and waterfalls of some parts of the Mekong made navigation so difficult that it divided rather than united the people who live near it. Today though, the Mekong River is an important conduit for people and goods between the many towns along its banks – and an increasingly important link in international trade routes connecting the six Mekong countries with the rest of the world. So you’ll see for yourself on your Mekong cruise how life here revolves around its teeming waterways – with traditional long-tail boats, simple sampans, large commercial barges and floating markets that almost sink under the groaning weight of their colourful wares. A cruise on the Mekong is the perfect way to discover and understand this fascinating, wonderfully beautiful corner of the world - a serene experience that will immerse you in its people and customs at a wonderfully gentle pace.

Considering a cruise on the Mekong? You might find our Mekong River Cruise Guide blog post very helpful.

Lush trees and wooden boats by the Mekong tributary | Riviera Travel | Escorted Tour
15 days starting from £2999pp 
Asian River Cruise