Travelling in Asia can sometimes be overwhelming with the sheer variety of sights, smells and traffic. This assault on the senses is also what makes travelling around this great continent so appealing. For a more tranquil approach take a step back and view life from the water. Consider spending a night relaxing and watching the stars on a traditional Keralan houseboat in southern India or explore the floating markets of the mighty Mekong River in Vietnam, picking up some fresh fruit as you drift by.
China’s incredible Yangtse River offers a chance to spend three days cruising through the dramatic scenery of the Three Gorges. If you are short on time catch a ferry from Guilin and pass by the remarkable limestone peaks of the Li River en route to Yangshuo. For equally impressive karst scenery you could also hop on a traditional Junk to explore Vietnam’s Halong Bay.
For a different taste of life on the water take a boat from the bathing ghats in Varanasi and float along the sacred Ganges whilst watching the evening aarti ceremony take place. Alternatively jump in a water taxi at Sadarghat terminal and weave between the traffic on Bangladesh’s Buriganga River. Burma’s Inle Lake is home to fishermen who use a unique method of rowing, using a leg to hold and power the oar whilst standing at the front of the boat, as well as floating markets which can be explored by longtail boats.
Soak up the atmosphere, take things slow and make time to stop off to meet the people who make Asia’s varied waterways their home.