Gliding through calm waters, past dramatic landscapes and spectacular scenery, river rides can sometimes be the highlight of a journey. Like they say, the voyage is often more important than the destination. Millions of travelers come from all over the world just to experience riding along its waters and capturing the moments on the way. Based on my own observation and research, here are my personal top 6 scenic river rides around the world.
1. Yangtze River, China
This river starts flowing from the Tibetan plateau all the way into the Yunnan Province of China. Passing through the Three Gorges, you get to witness the sort of landscape only described in ancient poetry. For nature-lovers, this is a quintessential part of your trip to China especially if you are looking to immerse in China’s natural beauty.
Flickr photo by herr_bert
2. Felucca Ride along the Nile, Egypt
As the longest river in the world, the Nile is legendary and one cannot miss a felucca ride if you’re ever in Egypt. Starting from Lake Victoria, Africa and running all the way into the Mediterranean Sea, the Nile is impressive in length and grandeur. The best spot to take a felucca ride is from Luxor or Aswan where river banks are kept in good conditions.
Flickr photo by mrschnips
3. Amazon River Cruise, South America
The second longest river in the world, the Amazon is known of the abundant wildlife, especially the anacondas that live within its waters. It covers almost 40% of South America and flows through Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela and Brazil. Catch a multi-day river cruise from Brazil and glide through lush tropical forests and visit primitive Amazonian tribes.
Flickr photo by lcrf
4. Yellow River, China
Also known as the Cradle of the Chinese Civilization, Huang He or Yellow River is so named for its muddy flow. Although a river ride on Yellow River is not as scenic as the rest, its historical and cultural significance is enough to impress you. Due to its proximity to Beijing, you can easily combine it with the Great Wall of China or an all-encompassing Indochina tour that include Vietnam and Laos.
Flickr photo by the Gonger
5. Congo or Zaire River, Congo
This river flows through the Congo Forest, the second largest forest in the world. The source of the river is in the highlands of the East African Rift and the river runs all the way into the Atlantic Ocean. For those with an adventurous spirit, you can catch the slow steamer from its capital, Kinshasa to Kisangani over a period of two weeks where you’ll pass through wooden riverside villages.
Flickr photo by Teseum
6. Mississippi River, U.S.A
Starting from the Red Rock, Montana, the Mississippi – of worldwide fame – is the largest river system in the United States, flowing into the Gulf of Mexico. Meandering through 10 different states, the Mississippi not only promises beautiful scenery, but also a rich history in Native American culture.
Flickr photo by m_e_mccarron
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