Have you always wanted to visit Myanmar but not sure where to start? A River Cruise is an exceptional way to see the highlights of the country, without all the hassles. Here we share what you might expect from an Irrawaddy River Cruise.
Myanmar (otherwise known as Burma) only recently opened its borders after a good long 50 years, making it a prime destination for any globetrotter. The country has all the charms of SE Asia while still maintaining its individuality. Even in the more popular sites like the UNESCO Valley of Bagan, Myanmar is still protected from the inevitable changes of tourism.
A River Cruise is the best way to visit the more remote villages of the north, just 30 miles from the border of China. Cruises can start from either north or south, but the country is perhaps best explored first in the relaxing north and later in the more chaotic, bustling markets of the south.
The Irrawaddy River, also known as the Road to Mandalay, will open your eye to the ancient and unblemished cultures of rural Myanmar. Step back in time to a land full of oxcarts, monasteries, village markets, toddy palm trees, pottery masters. If you’re lucky, you may even glimpse the elusive Irrawaddy dolphin!
When to Sail
Prime cruise season is from September to April. The driest, and coolest, season is between November and February. Starting May, Monsoon season hits SE Asia in full force, when the snow melt from the Himalayas swells the river to disturbing levels—avoid the traditional summer months.
Ship to Ship
Though ship amenities and features differ from cruise line to cruise line (and often ship to ship), guests can usually expect high standards on our renowned trips. Spacious suites, with large closets and private bathrooms, premium bar and restaurant, fascinating destination lectures, onboard entertainment, and sightseeing adventures.
What to Expect?
Cruises typically run around 2 weeks in length, roundtrip Yangon or Bangkok to Yangon.
That’s 14 days or more to explore the Golden Land of Myanmar from top to bottom:
- Start with a walking tour of the Shwedagon, said to be the oldest pagoda in the world
- Fly north to Bhamo, where your boat awaits
- Sail past ornate shrines, hillside villages and teak forests
- Stop at island villages, learn about daily life of schoolchildren and fishermen
- Visit a local market, and ride an elephant through a sea of teak trees
- Pay your respects at the monastery of Kya Hnyat and learn about pottery-making in Mandalay
- At Amarapura, enjoy a sampan ride at sunset
- Watch a traditional puppet show
- Sip local tea at a speciality tea boutique
- Marvel at the 2,000+ stupas and pagodas in the Bagan Valley
Got your curiosity piqued? Call us up for a chat about possibility to cruise or otherwise explore the fascinating country of Myanmar. 503-224-0180 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
READ MORE: Buddhas & Boats on Inle Lake