Tour Route: Yangon – Thanlyin – Bagan – Pakkoku – Yanderbo – Ava – Mingun – Mandalay
Duration: 9 Days
Start/ End: Yangon/ Mandalay
River Cruise Name: Anawrahta (Heritage Line)
Day 1: Arrive in Yangon
Upon your arrival to Yangon International Airport, our guide will meet you and we head to the city centre, in which you have a lot of places to explore such as an independent monument, the city hall, court supreme court and colonial buildings of England. Next, we go for a walk inside Kandawgyi Park, immerse ourselves in the fresh air and take photos at the Royal Lake Kandawgyi and Karaweik Palace. Dine at the local Halal restaurant and spend the night at a hotel in Yangon.
Day 2: Yangon sightseeing
After breakfast, we will transfer to Mahabandola Street where offers you the panoramic view of the Bangeli Mosque. We will stroll to explore the gold shops on Shwebontha Street, visit the Sunni Surati mosque. After lunchtime, we will pay a visit to the Thachanpe Mosque which was built in 1920. It was restored and well preserved after 1950 (women are not banned). Sabashar is the king of India whose death and where he died today is the historic mosque. As your preference, we can go sightseeing the famous Treasure Art Gallery – there are numerous paintings from the early days; Beik Tha No Art Gallery is a place that the artwork of famous painters in Myanmar was preserved. In the evening, try walking on the shores of Inya Lake to refresh your body and soul.
Come back to the hotel and overnight in Yangon.
Day 3: Yangon – Thanlyin
In the morning, we have breakfast at the hotel then we will drive to Thanlyin via the Chinese-Myanmar bridge. Come to this destination you have chances to visit a famous small pagoda on the island. Take your time to visit the market to get a better understanding of the lives of local people here. Then, we will take photos together to save the beautiful memory in the City Hall, Independent Monument, High court and many colonial buildings featured British style.
Then we’ll reach Bogyoke Market also called “Scott Market”, where is home to a wide range of handicrafts, jewellery, textiles, paintings grinding in Myanmar; (Note: the market is always closed on Mondays & gazette holiday). We also hop on the Chinese market, where you can find a diverse and appealing array of fresh fruits, flowers, and local delicacies. At night, we pay a visit to the Shwedagon Pagoda, the most sacred pagodas of Myanmar and also one of the greatest wonders of the world. Then we continue strolling through the city centre to reach your hotel.
Overnight in Yangon.
Day 4: Yangon – Departure
In the morning, we will visit the Indian market in the city centre and shopping mall. After lunch, we transfer to the International Airport for your departure flight to Bangan.
Pick up at the airport by our guide and driver then transfer to hotel in Bagan.
Overnight in Bagan.
Day 5: Bagan – Pakkoku
Pick up at the hotel lobby then transfer to the pier for cruise check-in
When we leave the luxurious Anawrahta, we soak up at the quay of Bagan. A warm welcome by staff is waiting for you, get some refreshments after moving for a long distance.
Enjoy lunch when the ship passes Pakkoku. Pakkoku is an ancient trading town on the western riverbank of the Ayeyarwady. Right the moment you come to this area, you will see the longest bridge of Myanmar (Pakokku Bridge).
Onshore, our itinerary embarks on some of the small industries in this area, such as a cheroot-rolling factory or a producer of ‘Burmese slippers’ (“flip-flops”). Local handicraft vendors live on these productions. A visit to the thriving market gives us an insight into the local goods and trading. Pakokku is also well-known for many Tobacco distribution companies. If you like to buy some Burmese cigars, this is the place.
We continue visiting the Shwegu Temple. This temple was built with incredible, intricate carvings which were made from rare Yamanei wood. This place possesses a unique Buddha image seated on a lotus throne.
As the sun goes down and Burmese has immersed everything of it in a golden light, we participate in a special event at the Kipling’s Bar. Dress code has followed the style as we send “A toast to the past”, people gather and while gents may whiff cigars, ladies sip on tasty gins with tonic. We listen to some tales of the old days.
Adjacent dinner is prepared at the Hintha Hall. Join our open-air cinema on the sun deck under the stars if you can to enjoy classic movies (depends on weather conditions).
Day 6: Pakkoku – Yanderbo
For the early morning, there is a special yoga session on the sun deck to participate. Strengthen your muscles and ease your mind by merging with the Ayeyarwady and its therapeutical slow flow upstream. The next destination is Yanderbo. We will have breakfast while the ship passes the confluence of the Ayeyarwady and Chindwin River.
We reach the small riverside village of Yanderbo. It’s a unique and fascinating gem of the area where the Treaty of Yanderbo was signed by the King of Ava in 1826 to put an end to the First Anglo-Burmese war. Nowadays, the villagers keep water cooler than pots from anywhere else in the country, which is the reason to attract tourists to come here. Our broad-knowledge guides will give you the explanation to that.
We continue exploring the village on foot. You quickly see that the local villagers are so friendly, charming and opened. This will become some of the enchanting memories for you to take back home. Their techniques and skills to produce a variety of pots and utensils are perplexing. Try yourself to work on one of these pots.
Return to the board for a delicate lunch buffet. The ship continues heading northwards. Contemplating the river banks of this eternal stream while you stay on the sun deck or enjoy a spa treatment. Later, we learn more about the long-lasting traditional values (Longyi and Thanaka demonstration). We prepare a fascinating presentation about the history and also the culture of Myanmar afterwards. Before enjoying dinner you may like to enjoy spa treatments in the Thanzin Spa. Dinner at the Hintha Hall.
Optional: take a seat at our open-air cinema on the sun deck under the stars which show a classic movie (depends on weather conditions).
Day 7: Yanderbo – Ava – Mandalay
In the morning, get up early and take part in our yoga class, which helps you to get in the right form for a day.
Enjoy a breakfast when the ship sails northwards before we arrive in Ava.
In Ava, we experience a wonderful discovery of some highlights of the former royal capital. We explore this area by horseback carriage, marvel at many kinds of distinguished ancient monasteries and fanes: Bagaya Kyaung a teak monastery since 1834, which nowadays continues serving a monastic school; Maha Aung Mye Bonzan Monastery also called the Nanmyint observatory tower to come both in different art and creation.
Come back on board and participate a feast of a lunch buffet. We continue the cruise northwards, then eventually arrive at the ultimate highlight of this journey – Mandalay. Take your time to see the beautiful Sagaing Hills with many scattered pagodas as the ship pass by. We dock at Mandalay in the afternoon.
In the afternoon, the tour shows us some interesting sights of Mandalay. You will notice the incredible process of the gold-leaf beating; then we visit a silk-weaving manufacturer, followed by a stroll through the amiable streets, where to host many marble-carving workshops. The best highlight of this day is taking a sunset cruise around the famous “U-Bein Bridge” with a 200-year history. Come here and have a true “Kodak” moment.
We then return to the boat. After refreshing and right before dinner, we will watch a traditional dance and music performance presented by students and teachers at the Mandalay Art School.
Optional: After dinner, enjoy open-air cinema with classic movies on the sun deck (depends on weather conditions).
Day 8: Mandalay – Mingun – Mandalay
In the early morning, wake up and follow the going-on activities on the Ayeyarwady before breakfast is served.
Today, we embark on an amazing discovery of the most incredible pagodas of Mandalay. First, we pay a visit to the Kuthodaw Pagoda, reputed as “the world’s largest book”. This pagoda is the complex of a gilded pagoda and hundreds of shrines housing inscribed with marble slabs and several pavilions. We continue the tour to the Mahamuni Pagoda. The place is one of the most important Buddhist pilgrimage sites in Burma, they are also house to the most highly revered Buddha image in the country. The last spot today is the atmospheric Shwenandaw Monastery. It is the finest examples of traditional wooden monastery buildings, dated back from the 19th century, which used to be part of the Royal Palace of King Mindon’s Mandalay. From here we can have an overlook the city of Mandalay.
We back on board and have lunch as Anawrahta sail to the site of Mingun. Travel to Mingun to sightsee the monumental but unfinished stupa of King Bodawpaya. It is not completed due to an astrologer claiming to declare that: once the temple is completed, the king will die. Take a relaxed strolling tour to we reach the close-by world’s biggest bell 90 tons in weight.
When we return to the ship you will be invited by the cruise manager to a high tea at sunset with cocktails, sweets and treats. Anawrahta head back to Mandalay. Dinner is prepared at the restaurant, followed by some farewell entertainment by the crew in the lounge. After that, tourists will spend your last night on board.
Day 9: Mandalay
After breakfast at the hotel, you stay on your floating, luxury home. We wish you a wonderful oncoming journey in the Golden Land – Myanmar.
Our tour guide and driver will wait at the pier then straight to the airport for your international flight. Trip end.