Pagan and the Upper Irrawaddy Downstream
FRC-836129/194495 Irrawaddy
11 Nights from
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We can package your cruise with flights, pre/post hotel stays and transfers. Call for details or enquire now.

*Terms and Conditions apply – see the Campaign Terms for full details.

At A Glance

What's Included

  • Entrance fees
  • Guide services (English language)
  • Gratuities to crew
  • Main meals
  • Local mineral water,j ugged coffee, teas & tisanes.
  • Quality mountain bikes available for independent exploration on Zawgyi and Kindat Pandaws.

What's Not Included

  • International flights
  • Port dues (if levied)
  • Laundry
  • All visa costs
  • Fuel surcharges (see terms and conditions)
  • All beverages except local mineral water, jugged coffee, teas & tisanes
  • Tips to tour guides, local guides, bus drivers, boat operators and cyclo drivers
Day 1
Mandalay, Myanmar (Burma)

Located in Central Myanmar, the city of Mandalay was the capital of Myanmar’s Last Kingdom and is located on the banks of the River Irrawaddy, 415 miles north of Yangon. Founded in 1857 by King Mindon, it was the official seat of Myanmar kings until it was occupied by the British in 1885 – who relocated the capital to Yangon. Despite this, many remains of the old Royal City and a number of old monasteries remain in Mandalay. It is also an important Buddhist religious centre and this soon becomes evident upon seeing the vast number of monks who reside here.

There are many palaces, temples, pagodas and monasteries to explore in the centre of the city, each of which will take your breath away. There are some 730 pagodas located at the foot of Mandalay Hill, near the Irrawaddy River. Each of these pagodas is set in a square which protects the Kuthodaw (“Works of Royal Merit”), which consists of Buddhist scriptures recorded on 729 white marble tablets.

Day 2
Kyaukmyaung, Myanmar (Burma)

Situated in the Sagaing Division of Myanmar is the town of Kyakmyaung, which is located 46 miles north of Mandalay on the west bank of the Irrawaddy River. This town is particularly famous for the manufacture of large glazed earthenware pots, which are otherwise known as Martaban jars.

Day 3
Khanyat, Myanmar (Burma)

Situated in central Myanmar, on the banks of the Irrawaddy River, north of Mandalay, is Khanyat. During your time here, you will be able to visit a Buddhist orphanage as well as the grave of an English officer, who was assassinated during the Pacification of Burma in 1887.

Day 4
Katha, Myanmar (Burma)

The city of Katha is located in the Kachin State of Myanmar and was part of the Sagaing Division. Upon claiming independence from the UK in 1948, Burma became Myanmar, but many British inspired landmarks remain in the city including George Orwell’s former home and the British Club.

Day 5
Kyun Daw, Myanmar (Burma)

Located in the Mingin township of Myanmar is the village of Kyun Daw, where you will be able to gain an unparalleled insight into village life by visiting the buildings that make up the local community.

Day 6
Irrawaddy River, Myanmar (Burma)

Also known as the Ayeyarwady or Elephant River, the Irrawaddy is the main river of Myanmar, flowing a total distance of 1,350 miles. In 1962, the former British colony closed its doors to the world, allowing it to embrace Buddhist culture and escape changes that subsequently affected her South-East Asia neighbours. Now open to tourism, the Irrawaddy River can take you on an unforgettable journey through the heart of this fascinating nation.

Nearly 1,000 miles from the Indian Ocean is Bhamo – the most northerly navigable point for larger vessels. Here, you will find a dazzling away of gorges, each of which offers spectacular vistas of glistening water and jungle areas.

Between Myitkyina and Mandalay, a journey through three narrow passages or gorges will take you to the Chindwin River, which meanders through a densely populated desert-like landscape to the temple city of Pagan.

Cruises along the lower course of the river will take you between Minbu and Prome, where the Irrawaddy flows through forest-covered mountain ranges. This journey will take you on a journey to the forts at Minhla and the teak plantations around the city of Prome. The Myanmar capital of Yangon is situated on the eastern side of a delta, where the Irrawaddy river branch enters the Gulf of Martaban in the Andaman Sea.

Day 7
Tagaung, Myanmar (Burma)

Located in the Mandalay Region of Myanmar is the town of Tagaung. It dates back to the early Christian era and has links with the ancient Pyu culture. Ruined fort walls and traces of a moat are the only recognisable remnants of this site. Due to the development of a new town in the area, very little excavation could take place except for what had already been discovered during the 1960’s.

Day 8
Mingun, Myanmar (Burma)

The fascinating Myanmar town of Mingun is located roughly an hour away from the city of Mandalay via the Irrawaddy River. One of the main attractions in the town is the Mingun Pathodawgyi, a monumental, yet incomplete stupa. It was built for King Bodawpaya in 1790, but the structure was never finished, after an astrologer claimed that upon completion, the king would die. Had it been completed, it would have been the largest stupa in the world. What was built remains standing today, albeit with huge cracks, which were formed following an earthquake in 1839. Other landmarks in the town include the world’s largest uncracked bell and the white pagoda of Hsinbyume Paya.

Day 9
Ava, Myanmar (Burma)

Also known as In-wa, Ava was once the ancient capital of Myanmar. This city is located on the left bank of the Irrawaddy River and 13 miles southwest of Mandalay. The only bridge across the Irrawaddy links Ava with the town of Sagaing, which is home to some of Myanmar’s many magnificent pagodas. Originally founded by King Thado Minbya as his capital in 1364, the city was so significant that, for a short period of time, Myanmar as a whole was referred to as In-wa by early travellers. Unique landmarks within the city include the Maha Aungmye Bonzan Monastery and Mae Nu Oak Kyaung, which represent some of the finest examples of Myanmar masonry, art and architecture.

Day 10
Bagan, Myanmar (Burma)

Without question, Bagan is one of Myanmar’s most spectacular temple cities. This spectacular city, located on the left bank of the Irrawaddy River – 90 miles southwest of Mandalay, is home to thousands of temples and pagodas. Founded in 1058, this archaeological zone was once home to 5,000 temples, although a few thousand of these no longer remain. Within this zone, there are many ancient Buddhist shrines and the beautiful golden pagoda of the Shwe Zigon Temple. Built by King Anawratha, the Shwe Zigon pagoda resembles a terraced golden pyramid and is topped by a golden umbrella, which holds many encrusted jewels.

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