Alternatives to a Mekong Delta Cruise

Thursday, March 8, 2018

The Mekong River is one of the most significant rivers in Southeast Asia. This river flows through six countries into the Pacific Ocean. A Mekong Delta Cruise is a great way to experience the cultural importance of this river. The Mekong Delta is in Vietnam and is a major part of the livelihood of people living along the river. There are millions of people that use the river daily, creating several rice fields, small fishing villages and floating markets throughout its channels. This cruise will let you explore their style of life. Cruises run from Vietnam to Cambodia. These cruises can be booked as day trips, using smaller traditional boats. Multiple-day trips are also available that use full-sized cruise ships for comfortable accommodation.

Cruising along the Mekong River will allow you to see the local culture of Vietnam and Cambodia. The Mekong River is just one aspect of their local economy. There are several other tours available to see a more rural side of this region.

Irrawaddy River Cruise

Irrawaddy river cruise

A river cruise alternative to the Mekong Delta Cruise is the Irrawaddy River Cruise. The Irrawaddy River runs through Myanmar, formerly Burma. Just as the Mekong, this river plays an important role in Myanmar, throughout history and even today. Irrawaddy Delta is located in the metropolis called Yangon (Rangoon) and serves as the country’s largest port. This river has multiple channels running throughout the entire country.

The Irrawaddy River Cruise gives you access to the less-traveled parts of Myanmar. You will have an intimate look at local villages, ancient cities, and even landmarks such as pagodas and Buddhist shrines. The entire river is surrounded by wetlands which makes it a great viewing place for the wildlife in the country. In certain parts of the river, you may even come across the Irrawaddy dolphin.

Cruises along the Irrawaddy River can last for multiple days with a full cruise experience to compliment your journey into the untouched regions of Myanmar.

Red River Delta Cruise

Mekong Delta Cruise

The popularity of the Mekong Delta Cruise provided by several tour companies have caused other companies to expand their cruise offerings. The Red River Delta Cruise is one of the newer cruises in the region that ventures into new territory. The Red River Delta Cruise takes passengers through northern Vietnam.

The cruise begins at Halong Bay. This Bay is located on the edge of Vietnam and has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. From this location, cruise boats take you on a multi-day tour heading toward the Red River. A great feature of the Red River Cruise is that it passes through Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam.

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The Red River Cruise stops off at many destinations along its route. You will get to explore not only the major city of Hanoi but also other smaller villages in the northern region of the country.

Yangtze River Cruise

Yangtze river

The Yangtze River stretches across the length of China. This river separates the country into north and south. This river is massive compared to other top river cruises in this region. The Yangtze River is the largest river in Asia and the third largest in the world.

The Yangtze River cruise takes passengers on a trip through many different regions of China. The river cruise passes through several major cities including Shanghai and Yichang. You’ll get a chance to explore these cities as the cruise ship docks. The cruise also passes through natural landscapes of the country such as mountains and the Three Gorges Region. You’ll come across several rural villages with temples, pagodas, and local markets to explore.

Cruise ships serving the Yangtze River tend to be larger compared to many other cruise ship tours. The size of the river allows for more flexibility of the ships. These ships usually offer unique amenities not found on other cruises in the region.

Mergui Archipelago Cruise

The Mekong Delta Cruise takes you on a journey inland while the Mergui Archipelago Cruise lets you explore the waters of Southeast Asia. The Mergui Archipelago is a series of islands located off the coast of Burma and Thailand. These islands are virtually untouched by tourism and require permission to travel in the area. The Mergui Archipelago Cruises are a rare opportunity to explore this region of Southeast Asia.

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This cruise is great for people interested in remote island life. The cruises here stop by many of the larger islands in this archipelago. While docked, you will have the chance to explore the islands further and even the surrounding waters. The Mergui Archipelago has a vibrant marine life. Diving, snorkeling, and fishing are common in this region.

The Mergui Archipelago Cruise also takes you through the region’s national park. This national park includes a forest and a variety of wildlife. You will even be able to explore some of the island caves.

Salween River Cruises

Salween river cruise

There are many large river cruises that journey throughout the Southeast Asia region. There are also smaller rivers that flow into the larger rivers. These rivers typically don’t support large cruise ships. They can still be explored using smaller boats.

Salween River Cruises are a popular cruise route. This cruise is a day tour offered specifically for sightseeing. The river flows between villages along the river spanning from Thailand to Myanmar. The cruises are offered on open longboats. You will be able to stop off by these villages or simply examine the local way of life from your vessel.

Southeast Asia has a variety of cruises available for tourists. These journeys are popular because they allow travelers to explore some of the less traveled areas of the region. The cruises pass through a variety of landscapes, villages, and even major cities. The Mekong Delta Cruise is one of the top tours in the region. There are many tour providers that serve this river in addition to other major rivers around the area. Cruises are a great way to explore Southeast Asia. The comfort of many of the cruise ships will give you a luxurious experience. This experience is joined with a local cultural emersion with your surroundings.

Bryan Shelmon a freelance writer for
The best part about travelling is experiencing completely different ways of living that make you appreciate life even more.