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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.
Visit the archaeological site of Thiri-ya-kittiya, former centre of the Pyu civilization. You will cross jungle and countryside to visit the monumental Pyu Stupas and the excavations of the former palace-city in this walled early centre of Buddhism.
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.
This pleasant colonial town once guarded the border between Royal Myanmar and British Myanmar following the second Anglo Myanmar War of 1855 and many of the buildings including the covered market date from this period. You will visit the market, see the colonial houses and ride out by horse and cart to see the countryside and golf links.
Visit Minhla and Gwechaung, two Italian built forts constructed to keep the British at bay from Royal Myanmar. Climb the Gwechaung hill for the view. In the afternoon, cruise on to Magwe to climb the river bank and wend the way through a labyrinth of passages and paths to reach the magnificent Myat-thalon Pagoda.
Here you will visit a number of teak monasteries including the Yout-saun-kyaung with its spectacular wood carvings. You will also explore an area of splendid colonial-style houses.
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
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.
Today you are able to further explore the wonders of Bagan along with visits to lacquer workshops and the local market. In the afternoon, sail upstream and disembark to enjoy an evening walk in Oh Ne Kyaung village to witness the local life in this typical riverside community.
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.
Arriving in Mandalay, you will disembark and tour the city visiting the Mahamuni Pagoda and Shwe Nan Daw Kyaung teak carved monastery. In the afternoon visit the ancient capitals of Ava and Amarapura by coach and onboard a sampan. Cross the iconic U Bein Bridge, perhaps the world’s longest and oldest teak bridge.
Amarapura is a classical Pali name and means ‘The City of Immortals’. Founded by King Bodawpaya in1783, the year after he came to the throne, and it superseded Ava as capital of the Konbaung empire. Nowadays it is a suburb attached to the south of present day Mandalay. The area is populated by craftsmen who, in a legacy from royal times when people lived by royal order in occupation defined communities, still live in the quarters given to them by King Mindon. Thus south of the Maha-muni along the road to Amarapura there are quarters for: stone carvers, wood carvers, bronze casters and in the heart of Amarapura itself a community of silk weavers
In the morning you have the opportunity to further explore Ava before sailing upstream in the afternoon and mooring overnight at a jungle village north of Mandalay.
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)
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.
Phone now to discuss options to personalise your itinerary.
The beautifully crafted cruise ships have been hand finished in brass and teak by traditional craftsmen. Whilst luxury and comfort are discreetly present, it is the colonial character and friendly atmosphere that prevail. Each ship has an ultra shallow draft allowing for travel to remote areas, which would be unreachable by other vessels, let alone overland.
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.
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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!
10 nights aboard your Cruise Ship. All GetAboutAsia accommodation is handpicked by us. Upgrades are available for this itinerary.
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.
Availability of accommodation and season.
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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