Discover The 12 Longest Rivers in Asia

Written by Kyle Glatz
Published: April 29, 2022
Image Credit iStock.com/martinhosmart
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Asia is a very large continent that is home to some of the largest rivers in the world. These rivers support billions of people with water, power, and transportation. Although Asia is not home to the longest river, it’s a continent rife with many valuable waterways. Today, we’re going to take a look at the 12 longest rivers in Asia! You’ll be surprised to learn that every one of these rivers measures over 1,000 miles in length!  

The 12 Longest Rivers in Asia

Unsurprisingly, many of the longest rivers in Asia are found in China. However, many other significant rivers on the continent are located in Russia and other countries. Consider the 12 longest rivers in this area of the world and see how they compare to each other.

12. Amur River

Oldest Rivers - Amur River
The Amur River has historical significance to both China and Russia.

Kutikan/Shutterstock.com

Amur River
Length1,755 miles
LocationChina and Russia
MouthStrait of Tartary

The first entry on our list of the longest rivers in Asia, the Amur River is a large river that flows from west to east, beginning in the north of China and flowing to its outlet in the Strait of Tartary near Ozerpakh, Russia. The river is home to various types of wildlife and has been an important area for both China and Russia throughout its history. While the Amur River itself measures 1,755 miles, its total system length when including the Argun River reaches 2,760 miles.

11. Yarlung Tsangpo Jiang River

Yarlung Tsangpo Jiang River

Boqiang Liao from Athens,Ohio , US / Creative Commons – License

Yarlung Tsango Jiang
Length1,765 miles
LocationChina, Bangladesh, and India
MouthBrahmaputra River

The Yarlung Tsangpo River is important in the present owing to the hydroelectric projects occurring along its run. The river starts in the Himalayas Mountains, with its source being the Angsi Glacier in western Tibet. From there, it flows over 1,700 miles until it reaches its mouth the Brahmaputra River.

10. Nizhnyaya Tunguska River

Nizhnyaya Tunguska river
Nizhnyaya Tunguska River is in a relatively remote part of the world.

Laura Diemer/Shutterstock.com

Nizhnyaya Tunguska River
Length1,857 miles
LocationRussia
MouthYenisey River

Measuring over 1,800 miles, the Nizhnyaya Tunguska River starts in the Angara Mountain range and flows roughly northwest until it reaches its mouth. Interestingly, this river is the second largest tributary of the Yenisey, the next river on our list! This river is long, but not as famous as other major rivers because it’s located in a relatively remote area of the world.

9. Yenisey River

Yenisey River
The Yenisey River has headwaters that begin in Mongolia.

KissCat/Shutterstock.com

Yenisey River
Length2,167 miles
LocationRussia and Mongolia
MouthYenisey Gulf

The Yenisey River is one of the largest rivers that flows through northern Russia, but the headwaters are located in Mongolia. The combined river system is the fifth-largest in the world and it runs through the central portion of Siberia. Like the Nizhnyaya Tunguska, the Yenisey River is located in a remote area. At its end, the river reaches the Arctic Ocean.

8. Indus River

The Indus River is the longest river in Pakistan.

iStock.com/Naresh Sharma

Indus River
Length2,243 miles
LocationPakistan, China, and India
MouthArabian Sea

The Indus River begins at Lake Manasarovar in China and flows west and then south between Pakistan and India. The river forms a natural boundary between the countries before reaching its final destination at the Arabian Sea.

7. Ob River

marsh vs swamp
Novosibirsk is on the banks of the Ob River.

Dmitriy Kandinskiy/Shutterstock.com

Ob River
Length2,268 miles
LocationRussia
MouthGulf of Ob in the Arctic Ocean

The Ob River is located in the western part of Siberia. This river begins in the Katun River, runs 2,268 miles while passing through the Novosibirsk, and eventually empties into the aptly named Gulf of Ob.  Interestingly, the Gulf of Ob is known as the world’s largest estuary. When measuring the Ob’s total river system, it measures 3,364 miles, the 7th longest river system in the world. Included in this river system is the Irtysh, which will rank higher on this list than the Ob River.

6. Brahmaputra River

Brahmaputra river
The Brahmaputra River flows through many remote areas.

Meiqianbao/Shutterstock.com

Brahmaputra River
Length2,391 miles
LocationChina, Bangladesh, and India
MouthGanges River

The Brahmaputra River forms at a confluence with the Yarlung Tsangpo River, and it flows through China, Bangladesh, and India. This river is significant to the people that live along its banks because it provides hydroelectric power, freshwater, and fishing opportunities.  The Brahmaputra River eventually flows into the Ganges River.

5. Irtysh River

The Irtysh River is important for water supply, irrigation, and navigation

iStock.com/Tatiana Sall

Irtysh River
Length2,640 miles
LocationChina, Kazakhstan, Russia, Mongolia
MouthOb River

Despite being longer, the Irtysh River is a tributary of the Ob River. This waterway is widely used for shipping throughout Russia and Kazakhstan. The river is crossed by various railway bridges and flows through several major cities in China, Russia, and Kazakhstan. Eventually, it reaches its mouth at the Ob River.

4. Lena River

The Lena River has been the site of many archaeological discoveries, including mammoth tusks.

FotoSovushka/Shutterstock.com

Lena River
Length2,668 miles
LocationRussia
MouthLena Delta, Arctic Ocean

The Lena River is the longest contained in Russia. The river begins in the Baikal Mountains and flows until it reaches the Lena Delta, an area that becomes a wetland in the spring and summer months after being frozen for much of the year.

3. Mekong River

The Mekong River is one of the most dammed rivers in the world.

Mike Towers/Shutterstock.com

Mekong River
Length3,050 miles
LocationChina, Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam
MouthMekong Delta

The Mekong River is a massive river that spawns from the Lasaigongma Spring in China and flows primarily southeast before reaching the Mekong Delta in Vietnam. The river is noteworthy for providing hydroelectric power, fishing, transportation, and providing fresh water.

2. Yellow River

The Yellow River is a very long river that drains into the Bohai Sea.

cnyy/Shutterstock.com

Yellow River
Length3,395 miles
LocationChina
MouthBohai Sea

Named for the color of the soil found in its lower course, the Yellow River is a massive body of water that starts in the Bayan Har Mountains in China. The runner-up in our list of the longest rivers in Asia, flows entirely within China, but is the second-longest river entirely within the country. The river is incredibly important for power development in the country as it has over a dozen hydroelectric power dams.

1. Yangtze River

Yangtze River
The length of the Yangtze River rivals the two largest rivers in the world.

mark stephens photography/Shutterstock.com

Yangtze River
Length3,915 miles
LocationChina
MouthThe East China Sea

The Yangtze River is the largest in Asia, and it measures nearly 4,000 miles in length. It’s close to the length of the Amazon River. The river is home to the Three Gorges Dam, an incredible feat of engineering. The river’s drainage basin is massive, measuring almost 700,000 square miles. The river passes through many important cities, provides massive amounts of hydroelectric power, and serves as an important artery for the transportation of goods.  

What is the Longest River in the World?

The Nile River was once considered the longest river in the world, and it’s the longest in Africa.

iStock.com/Phototreat

The Nile is commonly accepted as the largest river in the world. However, some people contend that the headwaters of the Amazon may actually be farther away from the river’s mouth than previously thought. These individuals think that the Amazon River could be longer.

For now, though, we’re going to stick with the Nile River as the longest river in the world at a length of 4,132 miles.

famous bend of yangtze river in Yunnan Province, China
The Yangtze River is the longest river in Asia
iStock.com/martinhosmart
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About the Author

I'm a freelance writer with 8 years of experience. I've written in a variety of niches such as video games, animals, and managed service providers. I graduated from Rowan University in 2014 with degrees in English and Education. When I'm not working, I enjoy playing video games, reading, and writing for fun.

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