YANGON / IRRAWADDY CRUISE / MINGUN / KYAUK MYOUNG
The Burma Irrawaddy voyager introduce you to the Burma’s main highway with many locals living and working on its lush banks. Experience a side of the country that many have yet to explore from the comfort of an elegant cruise boat, sailing from Mandalay to Bagan.
Fly overnight to the vibrant city of Rangoon. Depending on your time of arrival the rest of the day is yours to start soaking up the local culture.
Rangoon, Burma’s capital until its relocation to Naypyidaw in 2006, is the heart of Burma’s spiritual life and a bustling city full of crumbling colonial charm. Today will be spent exploring this fascinating city. The first visit is to Sule Pagoda and the Chauk Htat Gyi reclining Buddha. Continuing on, stop for photos at Karaweik Hall, a glittering barge palace oating on Kandawgyi Lake, and stroll through Bogyoke Market. Finally, explore Shwedagon Pagoda. Purported to have four relics of former Buddhas enshrined within, the pagoda is Burma’s most sacred Buddhist site. The complex’s huge golden stupa dominates the city’s skyline.
Transfer to the airport and y to Mandalay where, on arrival, you will board your river cruise vessel on which you will spend the next seven nights. The boat, built in Rangoon, is designed to re ect a golden age of colonial grandeur and features well-appointed cabins, excellent service and a relaxing spa. Sip on a welcome cocktail and take in your new surroundings before settling down to dinner served in the bistro- style dining room.
Wake up to ever-changing river bank surroundings and take a leisurely breakfast outside on the deck to admire the passing views. Enjoy a morning walking tour of the village of Mingun, home to what would have been, had it been completed, Burma’s largest temple – the Mingun Pagoda. Though incomplete, it
is still a monumental structure – 50 metres tall, 72 metres wide and constructed entirely of brick. You’ll also see the huge Mingun Bell and the Mingun Old People’s Home.
Disembark the cruise ship to visit the potteries close to Kyauk Myoung where you’ll see Burma’s famous 50 gallon water pots being made by hand. Sailing on, the next stop will be Khan-Nyat village, home to many Buddhist monasteries and an orphanage. Get an authentic glimpse of rural village life.
Visit the Sagaing Hills. An important religious and monastic centre, numerous monasteries and hermitages nestle amongst the greenery of the hills and perch along the ridge above the river making for an impressive sight. Drive to Amarapura to visit the magni cent wooden Bagaya Monastery and the U Bein Bridge, the world’s longest teak wood bridge.
Continue cruising leisurely downstream. Today’s visit will be to the village of Yandabo and its school, built through kind donations. The people here specialise in pot-making and you’ll be able to see the villagers at work before browsing the local, handcrafted wares.
Leave the ship to visit the river port of Pakokku. Hop on board a tuk tuk to explore the centre of this interesting and friendly town before a relaxed stroll through the local market.
Arrive in enchanting Bagan. More than 2,000 Buddhist structures of all shapes and sizes strewn across a vast plain offer one of Burma’s most evocative and well known sights. The majority of the temples were built in the 11th and 12th centuries when Bagan was the centre of a powerful kingdom – it is said that at
that time there were more than 13,000 temples on the plains. Spend the day exploring some of the temples’ cool interiors. They are all individual, from imposing to graceful and intricate to simple – there is plenty to see. There will also be a visit to a lacquer workshop so you can see the process behind this traditional craft of the region.
Bid farewell to the crew of your cruise ship and transfer to the airport to y to Yangon. On arrival the rest of the day will be at leisure for you to continue your explorations of the city.
Transfer to the airport to catch your departure flight. End of the 11 day Burma Irrawaddy Voyager