Rivers of Asia. Photo: KnowInsiders
Rivers of Asia. Photo: KnowInsiders

Asia is a massive continent with rivers interlinking all over its sizable landmass. Historically, its major rivers have played an essential role in providing freshwater, fertile soil, food, and transportation to people many generations past. Even now, the benefits of good land to farm, transportation, and potential energy gathered from watermills still act as an incentive to live near rivers. Plus, rivers continue to house some of the most diverse and endangered wildlife on Earth.

Their unique habitat allows for rare plants and animals to take root. And in some areas, the rivers continue to play an important role in people's livelihoods, particularly those of fishers living off the land. From a more ecological perspective, rivers carry water and nutrients and drain surface water. Suffice it to say, rivers are important for many reasons. Here are some of the largest waterways in Asia.

The List of 10 Longest and Beautiful Rivers in Asia

1. Yangtze River - 3,915 miles

2. Yellow River - 3,395 miles

3. Mekong River - 3,050 miles

4. Lena River - 2,668 miles

5. Irtysh River - 2,640 miles

6. Brahmaputra River - 2,391 miles

7. Ob River - 2,268 miles

8. Indus River - 2,243 miles

9. Yenisei River - 2,167 miles

10. Nizhnyaya Tunguska River - 1,857 miles

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Which are the 10 Longest and Beautiful Rivers in Asia?

1. Yangtze River - 3,915 miles

Photo: Tour du lịch
Photo: Tour du lịch

The Yangtze, the longest River of Asia as well as in China with a length of 6,300 km. It’s extended across and shares borders with ten provinces and has eight tributaries. It is the chief medium of waterways in china. It shares geological, cultural, and political boundaries with countries.

The sediment deposits over there are almost 65 million years old, and the whole valley establishes and depicts Cenozoic history.

The climate facilitates rice production, sericulture, and holds a source of half crop production of china. The yearly rainfall received there is 1,100 mm. It offers a river cruise has been a great medium of tourist attraction at that place. The tourists enjoy the majesty of the three gorges.

Importance of the Yangtze River.

In China, the Yangtze (“Son of the Ocean”) is also known as Chang Jiang (“Long River”), Da Jiang (“Great River”) or Jiang (“The River”). The Yangtze is historically, culturally and economically very important for China. More than one third of China’s population lives in the Yangtze basin. The basin contributes more than two-thirds of the total volume of rice and has some 30 species of economic significance for commercial fisheries in China. In addition, it is the principal navigable waterway of China, with intensive cargo and passenger traffic.

2. Yellow River - 3,395 miles

Photo: CGTN
Photo: CGTN

It runs through 9 provinces, and it pours into the Bohai Sea near Dongying in Shandong province. The Yellow River is one of a number of rivers that are important for China’s existence. However, it has been accountable for several fatal floods, as the only natural catastrophes in history that have killed more than one million people. It length reaches 5,464 km – 3,395 miles.

3. Mekong River - 3,050 miles

Photo: Jacada Travel
Photo: Jacada Travel

The Mekong River crosses through many borders, going from southeastern China through Tibet and Yunnan province to Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, then finally to Vietnam and draining into the South China Sea. It comprises part of the border between Myanmar and Laos, and Laos and Thailand. It's the longest Southeast Asian river, coming in at 3,050 miles (4,909 km). Its name varies from country to country, but it is most recognized outside of Asia by its Chinese name.

Top 10 Most Beautiful Rivers in the World Top 10 Most Beautiful Rivers in the World

Rivers have been an extremely essential part of people’s lives throughout centuries in all parts of the world, and undoubtedly they are incredibly charming.

4. Lena River - 2,668 miles

Photo: Gracia Films
Photo: Gracia Films

Lena River is found entirely within the borders of Russia and has a total length of 2,668 miles (4,294 km). It is located in the north and is found in an area with plentiful wildlife and natural resources, like gold. The river starts in the Baikal range, slightly east of the Baikal Lake itself, and flows mainly through the Russian Republic of Sakha, eventually joining the Yenisei River before going in a large arc up to the Laptev Sea which is part of the Arctic Ocean, where it ends.

5. Irtysh River - 2,640 miles

Photo: CGTN
Photo: CGTN

The fifth-longest waterway in Asia is the Irtysh River. It originates from glaciers on the Altai Mountains of Xinjiang province in China, right on the border with Mongolia, before passing westward across the northern corner of the Chinese territory and through Kazakhstan, where it flows northwest in the Eastern tip of the country and is known as the Ertis River. It then crosses into Russia before eventually making its way to the Ob River in western Siberia. It comes in at a sizable length of 2,640 miles (4,248 km).

6. Brahmaputra River - 2,391 miles

Photo: Shafaqna India | Indian Shia News Agency
Photo: Shafaqna India | Indian Shia News Agency

Brahmaputra River is the 6th longest river in Asia and shares political boundaries with three countries and flows through India, Bangladesh, and Tibet. The length of the river is 3,848 kilometers (2,391 miles). It is known as Dihang in Arunachal Pradesh, Yarlung Tsangpo river in Tibet, and Dilao in Assam.

The river originates through the Mansarovar lake and which is at the north of the Himalayas. The average discharge is 30,770-meter cube per second and ranks 9th globally. The Indian and Bangladeshi natives are reliant over this river, and it carries a population of 130 million people. Kamrup region, Maijan lake, The Twin Rock, Accoland are some places that are sources of tourist attraction.

7. Ob River - 2,268 miles

Photo: World Atlas
Photo: World Atlas

Ob river ranks 7th and is one of the longest Rivers in Asia. It has a length of 3,650 km(2,268 miles). It is situated in Russia and is the world’s 7th longest river. It flows through four countries and fulfills their water requirements.

It flows through Biysk, Barnaul, Novosibirsk, and Surat. Katun, Biya, and the Ob-Irtysh system serve as the main sources of the river. It has been habitat to many organisms with diverse flora and fauna and unique and sculpted river valleys.

They are a great source of fishery, crops, transportation, and hydroelectric energy. The Museum of the Ob river, San Siti are some places of tourist attraction.

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8. Indus River - 2,243 miles

Photo: Pinterest
Photo: Pinterest

The Indus River is the next one on this list, coming in at 2,243 miles (3,610 km) and going through three countries: China, India, and Pakistan. It is the biggest and most critical river in Pakistan and it has twenty major tributaries. It starts from the Tibetan plateau near Lake Mansarovar and the Himalayas, runs through the Indian territories Jammu and Kashmir, then flows south through the entire country of Pakistan before ending in the Arabian Sea, a part of the Indian Ocean.

9. Yenisei River - 2,167 miles

Photo: Zenq.am
Photo: Zenq.am

Being 2,167 miles long, Yenisei River is the largest river system running to the Arctic Ocean. It is the innermost of the three enormous Siberian Rivers that run into the Arctic Ocean. Moreover, the utmost depth of the Yenisei reaches 80 feet. Throughout World War II, both Germany and the Japanese Empire saw eye to eye to divide Asia along a line that tracked the Yenisei River to the border of China, and all along the border of China and the Soviet Union.

10. Nizhnyaya Tunguska River - 1,857 miles

Photo: DeviantArt
Photo: DeviantArt

The Lower Tunguska River is among the longest Rivers of Asia. The length of the river is 3,487 kilometers (1,857 miles). The river shares its political boundaries with Russia and Siberia. It is the second-largest tributary of the Yenisey.

It emerges from the Central Siberian Plateau. It has an average discharge of 3,680-meter cube per second, and the estimated basin size is 473,000-kilometer square. It offers beautiful scenic views with stones near the shoreline, slopes of the river canyon, and the whirlpools.

Its chief tributaries are Nizhnyaya Tunguska, Uchami, Teteya, Nidym, and Tura. It contributes towards the dense river network and creates summer pathways. Tunguska nature reserve, The Tunguska event is the major source of tourist attraction.

Climate Change And Pollution

Unfortunately, as is the case with all other natural environments dealing with the encroaching of human civilizaion, the rivers of Asia are not immune to the effects of climate change and pollution. Considering the drastic effects of higher carbon emissions and the ever-increasing pile of human garbage, it makes sense that these major rivers in Asia deal with damaging consequences to their biodiversity.

Climate change and its subsequent increases in temperature will likely intensify the melting of Central Asian glaciers, causing an initial bump in water, but in the long run leading the decreased runoff of rivers. River runoffs refer to all the water that comes into the river system. Runoff cycles will also shift their peak to the early months of the year, leading to decreased flow in the summer months, which potentially could impact local agriculture. Overall the amount of water will decrease, which in combination with heatwaves and monsoons, could make it hard for people the many people in Asia who rely on rivers to subsist.

Many rivers in the region are also already highly polluted with domestic, industrial, and agricultural waste, to the point where the water quality has reached unsafe levels. Some rivers even have mercury levels 100 times more than the legal amount. This has partially happened due to rapid economic development and urbanization, so pollution is likely to continue unabated.

It is clear that more must be done to protect the rivers of Asia, but this will not be easy and will likely take global coordination. Only time will tell if that's possible.

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