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Myanmar & the Irrawaddy River

Myanmar River Cruise

Summary : Cruise the legendary Irrawaddy River in luxury on a all-balcony stylish boutique riverboat. Spend two nights on Inle Lake and enjoy a private viewing of a traditional Intha boat race. Capture stunning aerial photographs on a magical hot air balloon ride, soaring above Bagan's 2,000 pagodas and temples. Explore Shwedagon Pagoda just before sunset - a fantasy of golden stupas, serene Buddhas and mythical beasts. Travel off the beaten path, and learn the secrets of Burmese cuisine during a cooking class for a delightful Chef's Table experience.

Activities : Birding, Culture


Prices from
$999,999,999 to $0

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Day 1 – 2

Arrive in Yangon, where you are met and transferred to your hotel.

The next day enjoy your first taste of Myanmar, a profoundly Buddhist country, where many ancient traditions still flourish. Visit the Reclining Buddha at Chauk Htat Gyi Pagoda, a 213-foot-long statue with an expressive enamel face. This evening, gather with your fellow guests for a special welcome dinner.

Meals Day 2: B, L, D

Day 3

Fly to ancient Bagan, a city with more than 2,000 Buddhist pagodas and temples, the first of which was built by King Anawrahta in 1044. It’s estimated that more than 10,000 such sacred structures once adorned the dusty plain here. Upon arrival, visit a rural village, where you have a chance to interact with the locals en route to your hotel. After a short rest, continue your journey to see the Shwezigon Pagoda, Bagan’s greatest reliquary, built to house the Buddha’s collarbone, frontal bone and tooth. At sunset, Ride Like a Local as you weave your way through the ancient temple ruins on the back of a horse cart.

Meals: B, L, D

Day 4
Bagan / Embark

Rise early for an exhilarating hot air balloon ride (weather permitting) over Bagan, as the dawning sun illuminates the gold- and sand-colored stupas. After breakfast, visit the well-preserved, built in 1090. Next, travel to the little village of Wetkyi-In to see the wonderful Kubyaukgyi Temple, renowned for its ancient murals. Board luxurious all-balcony ‘Sanctuary Ananda,’ your home for a three-night cruise on the timeless Irrawaddy River. After lunch on board, visit a local lacquerware workshop before proceeding to the Gunee Temple complex to enjoy the sunset. Return to the ship for dinner.

Meals: B, L, D

Day 5
The Irrawaddy River

After breakfast on board ‘Sanctuary Ananda,’ explore Nyaung Oo Market and observe the locals selling and bartering for goods. Return to the ship for lunch and continue sailing. Listen to a special onboard talk about Myanmar’s history and vision for the future, followed by demonstrations of the longgi (traditional Burmese cloth worn by men and women) and thanakha (a white cosmetic paste made from ground bark that is used on the face and arms by women and girls).

Meals: B, L, D

Day 6
Sagaing / Amarapura

This morning, learn the secrets of Burmese cuisine during a cooking class at a delightful Chef’s Table experience. After lunch, disembark to visit Sagaing, a former royal city renowned for the many monasteries, pagodas and stupas that dot its green hillsides. Proceed to Amarapura, where you embark on a local boat to view the picturesque U Bein Bridge — the oldest and longest teakwood bridge in the world — for a spectacular Scenic Sundowner. Watch as locals riding bikes, carrying crops and commuting from work cross this tall, iconic wooden landmark, offering an insight into everyday life here and a sunset photo opportunity not to be missed.

Meals: B, L, D

Day 7

After breakfast on board, explore a gold-leaf workshop, where the metal is hammered paper-thin and prepared for use in some of Myanmar’s holiest sites. This afternoon, visit the Shwenandaw Monastery and view the more than 700 marble slabs inscribed with Buddhist religious texts at Kuthodaw Pagoda, referred to as the biggest book in the world. Later, witness evening prayers at Shwe Kyin Monastery.

Meals: B

Day 8
Inle Lake

Fly to Heho and drive to Nyaung Shwe to visit a Shan paper workshop. The paper, made from the fibers of the mulberry bush, is best known for its use in Burmese parasols. Enjoy a firsthand look at the artisans who produce this distinctive paper and craft a wide range of items from it. After lunch, board a boat and explore the ingenious floating gardens of Inle Lake. To create these gardens, used for growing fruit and vegetables, fishermen gather together lake plants such as water hyacinths and seagrass and anchor them with bamboo poles embedded in the lake bottom. Layers of mud, ash and more vegetation are then applied to form a farmable surface strong enough to stand upon. Also, visit Nga Phe Kyaung Monastery, which stands on stilts beside the lake, to view the Buddha statues on display in intricately decorated shrines. Transfer to your lakeside boutique hotel for the evening.

Meals: B, L, D

Day 9
Inle Lake

Visit the Fifth-Day Market, where hill tribe people in traditional dress barter for goods and produce. Stop for lunch at the Intha Heritage House, savoring dishes made from recipes handed down for generations. Then, witness an Intha boat race with afternoon tea. Marvel at the coordinated effort required by the 20 participants per boat, each using the traditional single-leg rowing technique that local fishermen still employ.

Meals: B, L

Day 10

Fly to Yangon and transfer to your hotel. Enjoy some time at leisure. Tonight, toast your time in Myanmar at a special farewell dinner.

Meals: B, L, D

Day 11

After breakfast, transfer to the airport and depart.

Meals: B


This itinerary is subject to change. Itinerary will operate with routing changes in the case of low water levels. ExpeditionTrips.com is not responsible for itinerary changes.

Accommodations, meals and fully guided sightseeing (including park and entrance fees) as noted in the itinerary; airport transfers to/from hotel in the first/last city; local wine and beer at designated welcome and farewell dinners; coffee/tea/soft drinks/water at included meals; local bottled water during sightseeing; porterage of two (2) pieces of baggage; hotel taxes; and gratuities except for your Tour Director and any extension guides. Subject to change without notice.

Not Included:
Any airfare; additional expenses incurred due to a change, delay or cancellation of any flight; excess baggage charges; airport departure tax; travel insurance; passport and visa fees; any optional activities and extensions; gratuities for your Tour Director and any extension guides; meals, beverages and sightseeing not included in the itinerary or mentioned above as included; personal expenses such as communication charges, Internet/WiFi and laundry (if available); fuel surcharge may apply.

Photo Credit: © A&K Image Library

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