Asia’s third-longest river at 2,620 miles, the mighty Mekong rises in the highlands of Tibet and empties into the sea at the south of Vietnam, having irrigated the Chinese provinces of Szechwan and Yunnan, and Myanmar, Laos, Thailand and Cambodia along the way. The Vietnamese call it Song Cuu Long, the Nine Dragons River, these being the nine branches of the famous delta, the rice bowl of the country. Home to a rich source of fish, plant and bird life, the Mekong is a vital water source to the towns, rice fields and orchards that line its banks, and inland. By a curious natural phenomenon, the immense Cambodian Lake Tonle Sap
sees the course of the river reverse its flow.
On Viking’s Magnificent Mekong cruise you’ll witness all the glories of a timeless landscape and its ancient culture, through the symbols of fast-paced 21st-century life. Sampans and speedboats share the river. Yet, classic Mekong images soon impress themselves: shimmery paddy fields, water buffalo wallowing at the river’s edge, thatched huts on wooden stilts, drifting bunches of water hyacinth, glimpses of temple spires – all combine to make the Magnificent Mekong a river cruise holiday that lives up to its name.
The Yangtze River Valley boasts some of the world’s most spectacular landscapes of misty mountains, breathtaking gorges, bamboo groves and serene lagoons. Along its narrow, cliff-bound course lie some of China’s greatest cultural treasures – ancient tombs, temples and natural wonders. The great river rises in the Tibet Plateau and flows east across the entire width of China, to the East China Sea near Shanghai. It cuts the
country in half and has historically marked the division between north and south China. At around 3,434 miles, the Yangtze is the third longest river in the world, after the Nile and the Amazon.
All along the course of the Yangtze are little rural villages where life goes on much as it has for centuries. A stunning array of scenery awaits at every bend in the river, the most popular sections being the Middle Reaches with the Three Gorges, Lesser Three Gorges and Chongqing, and the Lower Reaches that include Wuhan and Shanghai – sights and cities that you can look forward to on this extraordinary river.