Cruise the Irrawaddy - The Golden Land

11 Days, from AU $5,075

The Cruise Ship

Temples of Bagan

Pahtodawgyi Pagoda, Mingun

Beautiful River Sunset

U-Bein Bridge, Amarapura

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This is a very different travel experience. Sailing through the heart of 'Middle Myanmar' you will pass through a varying landscape - from the lush teak plantations around Prome to the desert country south of Bagan. Visit a number of small villages and towns and see local agriculture and manufacturing first hand. These places are remote from the modern world and offer a glimpse of a timeless, lost Myanmar far from the usual tourist track. You will also visit a number of old monasteries and temples of art historical interest in this, the cultural heartland of old Myanmar.

Visiting Burma (Myanmar) is to travel into the past, into a mysterious and undiscovered world. Sharing borders with India and Bangladesh to the west, Tibet and China to the north, and Thailand and Laos to the east, Burma is a melting pot of cultures from across Asia. Along with a century of British colonialism, Burma is a unique destination that captivates travellers.

The cruise may be fantastic on its own or as an add-on for your holiday. This tour starts  in Prome and ends in Mandalayor, however transfers from other locations can be arranged as required. Discuss options with our Asia Travel Experts.

Suggested Itinerary

Day 1: Prome

We reach Prome by the afternoon and travel by coach to the 5th-8th century archaeological site of Thiri-ya-kittiya, the former centre of the Pyu civilization with a fascinating museum of early Buddhist artifacts and sculptures.

Prome, also known as Pyay, has become an important commercial centre for trade during the Bagan era and still serves as a transhipment point for cargo between southern and northern Burma. Thiri-ya-kittiya, the ancient Pyu capital, located about 8km south east of Prome is of interest and of historical importance due to its archaeological sites. Based on archaeological discoveries it is assumed that the glory times were between the fifth and ninth centuries.

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Day 2: Thayetmyo

This pleasant colonial town once guarded the border between Royal Myanmar and British Myanmar following the 2nd Anglo Myanmar War of 1855. Many of the buildings including the covered market date from this period. Thayet also boasts the oldest golf course in Myanmar (1885). We visit the market, see the colonial houses and ride out by horse cart to the golf course, passing through the former British botanical garden.

Day 3: Magwe

Minhla - We visit the two Italian built forts constructed to keep the British at bay from Royal Myanmar. The fight for the Minhla redoubt was the only serious action in the war and the death of a young subaltern inspired Kipling to write a poem. We ride Trishaws to reach the magnificent Magwe Myat-thalon Pagoda, constructed with solid gold bricks. Of interest are the many nat shrines and hermitages within the temple precincts.

Day 4: Sale

Here we visit the Yout-saun-kyaung monastery with its spectacular wood carvings; we also explore an area of splendid colonial-style houses and continue sailing upstream.

Salé, also known as Salay, is a lovely, old religious centre in Central Burma, located about 1.5 hours south of Bagan. Besides its beautiful and ancient monasteries, it is known for its colonial buildings. It is also the home town of U Pone Nya, one of Myanmar’s best known writers.

Day 5: Tan-Chi-Taung

In the morning, moor at the Tan-Chi-Taung mountain and enjoy the view. Continue with one of the highlights of your trip with a tour of a selection of the 3,000 listed monuments at this World Heritage Site, Pagan.

Day 6: Bagan

Further exploration by coach of the monuments follow by a lacquerware workshop and visit to the local markets. Sail in the noon to upstream. Evening walk at Oh Ne Kyaung village to see the local life in this typical river side community.

Bagan, formerly Pagan, is an ancient city that once featured over 10,000 Buddhist temples, pagodas and monasteries. Tour a selection of the most significant of the 3,000 monuments found at this World Heritage Site.

On par with Angkor Wat, Bagan, previously Pagan, ranks as one of the great wonders of the world with thousands of awe inspiring pagodas. Situated in central Burma on the plains adjacent to the Irrawaddy River, the city is dotted with thousands of ancient stupas and temples from various eras making it one of the most remarkable archaeological sites in the world.

Day 7: Yandabo

Head upstream to the Chindwin confluence and stop in the evening at Yandabo, famous for the signing of an Anglo/Burmese peace treaty, while nowadays a pottery producing village. Here you will visit the school built with donations from previous passengers.

Yandabo is a little village with about 350 houses, which are home to five to ten Burmese. Most of families are involved in the pottery production while the others are farmers, fishermen or supply raw material for the manufacturing. The pots are shipped and sold all over the country.

Day 8: Mandalay and Amarapura

Guests will take a tour of central Mandalay visiting the Mahamuni Pagoda and Shwe Nan Daw Kyaung teak carved monastery. In the afternoon we visit Sagaing. The true delight of Sagaing lies in its 1000 hermitages and sanctuaries, rich in woodcarving and religious art. Next we explore the ancient capital of Amarapura by coach, take a boat ride along Taungthaman lake and watch the tranquillity and serenity of this beautiful lake and its famous U-Bein Bridge at sunset. 

Day 9: Mingun

We stop at Mingun to see the largest working bell in the world and the unfinished pagoda which is the largest single mass of brick building in the world. We also visit the Mingun Old Peoples Home originally established with the assistance of the Irrawaddy Flotilla Company in the 1930s.

Day 10: Kyauk-Myoung

Arrive to Ngwe Nyein village to visit the spectacular potteries nearby, where you can see manufacturing stages of the famous 50 gallon, handmade water pots. Return downstream to visit Minguna, a small town with many Buddhist monuments and most famous for its unfinished Pahtodawgyi pagoda and the world’s largest working bell. Rumours state that the pagoda has not been finished because of an astrologer’s claim, which supposed that the King would die once it had been completed. At a height of approximately 150 metres, it would have been the largest one in the world. Moor overnight at Shwe Kyet Yet Jetty (South of Mandalay))

Day 11: Mandalay Disembarkation

Disembark at Mandalay Shwe Kyet Yet jetty

With its numerous monasteries and pagodas and its rich history, Mandalay is the cultural and religious heart of Burma. Built on the shores of the Irrawaddy River at the foot of Mandalay Hill, this former royal capital of the Burmese Kingdom and last home of the kings is now Burma’s second largest city. Its name was made famous by Rudyard Kipling’s book ‘The Road to Mandalay’ and evokes images of a bygone era and the city’s former royal glory.

Travel Styles

All Get About Asia trips have been designed to make sure you have an unforgettable travel experience. We have developed several trip styles to cater for our diverse range of travellers. Read what your ideal Get About Asia experience might look like here.

Superior:from AU $5,075

All GetAboutAsia prices are based on twin share and depend on availability and season. All our itineraries can be customised including international flights and extra nights. For questions or further information, Enquire Now!

Important Information

Accommodation:

10 nights aboard your Cruise Ship. All GetAboutAsia accommodation is handpicked by us. Upgrades are available for this itinerary.

Inclusions:
  • All main meals on board
  • All transport on tour
  • All itinerary attractions including fees or permits
  • Coffee, tea and water as well as all local alcoholic beverages

 

Notes:

Visa for Burma
Burma just started their online e-visas last month. http://evisa.moip.gov.mm/

The e-Visa is open to tourists from 41 countries, including the US, but only grants entry to the country at Yangon International Airport, making the method unsuitable for those crossing at land borders or flying into Mandalay.

Money in Burma

There are now ATMS in major cities but not in local villages and credit cards accepted in some shops. We recommend to take a travelex cash passport and some US money to change over to local Kyat. If you have any kyat left over at the end of your trip you can change (at a lower rate) it back into USD at a hotel, or at the airport when departing.

Price Dependent:

Availability of accommodation and season.

Trip Information

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" The Myanmar cruise was excellent I really enjoyed it. The food excellent, the boat staff were most kind and attentive, our guide was very informative and was also lots of fun. The accommodation on board was charming and sort of historical. I felt I had seen a lot of Burmese life. Very successful, I could be interested in the Laos cruise later in the year." — Malcolm, Gold Coast, March 2018

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