From floating markets to forests: Asia’s 5 must-experience boat rides
Sitting on a boat in the middle of a river, while soaking in the surrounding nature, is just a different kind of serenity. Here are 5 such places in Asia where you can experience a soothing boat ride while also exploring the cultures of the places.
Floating Market, Thailand
When we think Thailand, we think beach. However, the floating markets in Thailand is something that nobody should miss. While there are many floating markets in Thailand, the most popular one is Damneon Saduak Floating Market. Around 62 miles away from Bangkok, the market consists of a 19-mile-long canal with multiple boats, selling different products, starting from fruits and vegetables to souvenirs for tourists and even clothes. You get to go shopping, but on water. The boat-man will take you to the different boats of the sellers and you can shop your desired products. It is a boat ride and a shopping trip. Now that sounds like fun!
Ratargul Swamp Forest, Bangladesh
Being one of the very few freshwater swamp forests in the world, Ratargul swamp forest is place you must visit if you are in Sylhet. A boat ride through this beautiful swamp forest is a one-of-a-kind experience. Surrounded by trees and various wildlife, the small canals that go through the forest is perfect for boat rides. The journey will definitely help you destress and connect with nature. The dense forest does not allow much sunlight to come in, so it will be quite dark, but that won't stop you from seeing the beautiful greenery that will surround you.
Inle Lake, Myanmar
Inle Lake, located in the Shan Hills of Myanmar, is simply a breath-taking place to visit. The lake is surrounded by mountains on all sides, which is a spectacular sight to behold. What is more unique about this place is the small villages that are situated on the lakes. The floating gardens in these villages are absolutely beautiful. You will get to experience the lives of the people who live on water by spending a day on a boat on Inle lake. You can hire a private wooden boat to go around the lake for a day and enjoy a beautiful sunset while sitting in the middle of the lake. While all boat rides are different, this one will definitely give you an experience you will never forget.
Mekong Delta, Vietnam
A two-hour drive from Ho Chi Minh City, you will find a place where day-to-day life is fully conducted on water. The Mekong Delta is not only a crucial part of Vietnam, but also Cambodia. You will see a blend of culture and people as you spend a day exploring the eccentric lives of these people. You will find small villages among the greenery and some lively markets selling delicious fruits and home-made treats. Banh Xeo, a rice pancake and Keo Dua, coconut candy, are recommended by the locals for you to have on you day exploring the Mekong Delta. You will also find yourself encountering many locals while going about as boats are the main mode of transportation in this area. The Mekong Delta is the perfect place to discover the culture of Vietnam while also enjoying a day on a boat.
Kinabatangan River, Malaysia
Kinabatangan River is one of the best places to visit in Malaysia if you want to experience the wildlife of Malaysia. While floating through the river, you can see the beautiful forests along the river where you can see different kinds of wildlife. Orangutans, Macaque Monkeys, Bornean Pygmy Elephants are often seen roaming in these forests. While the beautiful view of the forests can be distracting, don't forget to look down as you may be able to spot some freshwater sharks and crocodiles. Don't worry, they won't harm you unless you harm them. Over your head, you will see a huge variety of birds flying above the river which is absolutely breath-taking. Just this boat trip alone can make your trip to Malaysia one of the best trips of your life.