World Facts

The Longest Rivers in Asia

The Yangtze River is the longest river in Asia.

Hundreds of rivers rise in Asia. The rivers drain into several large water bodies such as the Pacific, Indian Ocean, Black Sea, Arctic Ocean, and Mediterranean Ocean. Some of the rivers also end in lakes while some end in deltas. The rivers of Asia display different characteristics throughout the year. The Siberian Rivers freeze during winter and flood the region in spring as snowfield melts. In dry regions, most of the rivers are temporary, especially the rivers that are served by melting snow and glacier in the mountain. The rivers have varied lengths, volumes, and discharge rates. Here is a look at some of the longest rivers in Asia

Four Longest Rivers in Asia


At 6,380 kilometers, the Yangtze is not only the longest river in Asia but also the third longest in the world. It is also the longest river in the world to flow entirely within the boundaries of a single country. By volume, it is the world’s 6th largest river. The Yangtze River drains an area of approximately 1.8 million square kilometers. It originates from several tributaries in the Tibetan Plateau and empties into the East China Sea.


Yenisei–Angara–Selenga Rivers combine to form the second longest river flow in Asia at 5,539 kilometers. The Yenisei River is the largest river system flowing into the Arctic Ocean. It rises in Mongolia and drains much of central Siberia. The Angara River is the headwater tributary of the Yenisei while Selenga River is a headwater of the Yenisei-Angara River System. The Yenisei–Angara–Selenga flow through Russia and Mongolia before emptying into the Kara Sea and drains an area of approximately 2.5 million square kilometers.

Yellow River

The Yellow River is the third longest Asian river at 5,464 kilometers. It originates from the Bayan Har Mountains in Western China and flows through several provinces and empties into the Bohai Sea. Yellow River drains an area of approximately 752,500 square kilometers. Its basin is an important place for Chinese civilization. With the frequent floods and course changes, the river wrecks havoc to the surrounding areas. Thus, Yellow River is sometimes referred to as Scourge of the Han People.


The Ob–Irtysh flow is fourth longest river flow in Asia at approximately 5,410 kilometers. The Ob River in Western Siberia is the 7th longest river in the world. It is a confluence of Biya and Katun River which originate from the Atlas Mountain. At Khanty-Mansiysk, the Ob River joins the Irtysh River which originates from Mongolia Atlai. The Ob–Irtysh drains an area of approximately 2.99 million square kilometers and flows into Gulf of Ob.

Other Major Rivers in Asia

Six more rivers in Asia cover a course of more than 3,500 kilometers. These rivers include Amur-Argun, Lena, Mekong, Brahmaputra-Tsangpo, Indus-Sengge Zangbo, and Shatt al-Arab-Euphrates.

Conserving the Asian Rivers

Changes in climate and manmade threats have affected the most of the rivers in Asia. Industrial pollution has affected the quality of water in these rivers. Industrialization, which is a major source of pollution, has also led to the excessive extraction of water for industrial use. However, there is hope and a future for the Asian rivers if the suggested conservation methods are implemented. Some of these conservation methods include alternative disposal of industrial waste, regulating the construction of dams along the rivers, and controlling settlement along the river banks, among other methods.

The Longest Rivers in Asia

RankRiverLength (km)
3Yellow River5,539
9Indus-Sengge Zangbo3,610
10Shatt al-Arab-Euphrates3,596

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