(Ayeyarwady River Cruise)
Experience Myanmar with your expert guide before you embark on a luxury river cruise for a seven night culture cruise of the Ayeyarwady River. Your voyage along the lifeblood of Myanmar starts in Mandalay, founded as a royal capital in 1857, and the modern centre of Burmese culture. Sail to Bagan, where pagodas and Buddhist monasteries dot the hills along the river. Cruise to Bagan, an ancient sanctuary where over 10,000 temples were built in the green plains, some 2,000 of them still remaining. Visit Mount Popa, sacred home of the nats, spirits worshipped in Buddhism. Cruise north again to Sagaing, considered to be the living centre of the Buddhist faith in Myanmar, and also the beautiful colonial hill station of Pyin U Lwin. Discover traditional Burmese living, and the rich spiritual presence along Myanmar's Ayeyarwady. All these with private pre and post tours.
Available Cruise Embarkation Dates (2013):
Mandalay-Mandalay: Jan 9,16,23,30, Feb 6,13,20,27, Mar 6,13,20,27, Apr 3,17,24, Jul 17,24,31, Oct 2,16,30, Nov 6,13,20,27, Dec 4,18
Bagan-Bagan: Jan 12,19,26, Feb 2,9,16,23, Mar 2,9,16,23,30, Apr 6,20,27, Jul 20,27, Oct 19, Nov 2,9,16,23,30, Dec 7.
A private vehicle with driver and guide will pick you up and transfer you between Yangon and the airport.
As a member of the luxurious Orient Express hotels, The Governor's Residence is a striking two-story teak mansion hotel dating from the 1920s. Situated within the elegant Embassy Quarter of Yangon, this Burmese establishment is close to the spectacular Shwedagon Pagoda. The Governor's Residence offers beautiful guest rooms and suites, luxuriously decorated with teak furniture, tropical cottons and silks. Each room is surrounded by a lush lotus garden and includes a large handmade, free-form bath. There are fantastic dining options and an enticing selection of gourmet delights can be had at Mandalay Restaurant and Mindon Lounge. The Governor’s Residence Hotel emanates style and history in a delightful setting and is a perfect retreat for guests to simply relax and rejuvenate.
What’s happening in the streets of Yangon when most other people are still sleeping or taking their shower? You’re going to find out soon. An early wake-up call is planned at 6:00 AM and the guide is expecting you in the lobby of your hotel at 6:30AM. Start your monring with a visit to the fish market on the Yangon River when it’s already busy. Next, continue to a vegetable market which is open 24 hours a day and try famous Burmese breakfast called Mohinga (a mild fish soup with noodles and crackers). By that time the monks are walking through the streets of Yangon to collect their alms, you will wait for them to pass and donate some food to them. Continue to the fruit and vegetable market before heading back to your hotel around 9:30 AM to have your full western breakfast.
Yangon is a sprawling city with a relatively small downtown area including several markets, colonial buildings, the Yangon River and a very green area with tree-lined streets and several lakes. During this full day tour you will be shown you the different faces of Yangon from the landmarks to the hidden markets that have sees only few westerners. During the day you will visit the Sule Pagoda, colonial downtown, the harbour, The Strand, one of the colourful local markets and Kandawgyi lake. The reclining Buddha will be visited just before taking the famous circular train to bring you right behind Bogyoke Aung San market before heading back to your hotel. The tour includes a drink at the Strand Hotel with lunch.
Bago is about an hour and half drive from Yangon and it used to be the capital of Myanmar under King Bayinnaung until 1819. It is an excellent place to visit and see the remains of a former capital, especially if you don’t have enough time to visit Mandalay or Bagan. In the morning, you will stop at a local market in Insein Township just north of Yangon to buy some fruits and snacks and afterwards you will have the opportunity to pay your respects to the thousands of allied soldiers buried at the Taukkyan War cemetery. In Bago city, you will visit the Kyatkha Wain monastery, which is one of the largest in the country. Arrive in time to see the preparations from the monks for lunch. Enjoy your lunch at a local restaurant and in the afternoon visit Shwemawdaw Pagoda as well as the Shwetalyaung Buddha and the remains of the former palace. Return to Yangon by train to see a different way of local live and country side.
Board your scheduled domestic flight from Yangon to Mandalay this morning.
On arrival to Mandalay, a cruise representative will direct you to your group transfer to port.
Welcome aboard!You'll have an opportunity to get settled in to your cabin before lunch.
After lunch, enjoy a guided group tour of the key sights of Mandalay regarded as the centre of Burmese culture and Buddhist learning. Afterward, return to your ship, stopping enroute to admire the sunset over the river. Dinner and local entertainment on board this evening, while overnighting at port.
The Road To Mandalay cruises gently along the Ayeyarwady River, and accesses the unique sights, scents and sounds of Myanmar in style and luxury. Newly refurbished accommodations on The Road To Mandalay are spread across four decks, providing passengers with luxurious facilities in excellent comfort and space, offering sublime views of Myanmar and the Ayeyarwady River. Fitted with two bars, a lounge, restaurant, gift shop and open-air pool, your comforts and desires are well catered to.
After an early breakfast you'll join the group for a visit to a local village for a walking tour. This traditional Burmese village gives you the opportunity to discover the Burmese way of life first hand - from farming and handicrafts to spirit houses and tea-shops.
The ship gets underway mid morning and begins its journey south. The rest of the day is spent relaxing on board observing the fascinating local river life from the top deck. An on-board guide lectures on the Myanmar way of life.
The ship arrives at Bagan where over 2,000 temples and pagodas are scattered over an awe-inspiring plain beside the river. A guided group orientation tour introduces you to the most important temples.
After lunch you may rejoin the guide to visit the inside of some of the more significant pagodas. Alternatively, you can hire a bicycle or horse-drawn cart and explore this fascinating area on your own. Late afternoon the guide takes you to watch the sun setting over a field of glowing pagodas by the river. Dinner and local entertainment in the evening.
Today presents a full day group excursion to Mount Popa, a national park and believed to be the sacred home of powerful 'Nats' (spirits). On top of a rocky crag is a picturesque complex of monasteries, pagodas and shrines which can be reached via a winding, covered walkway. Lunch is taken at the Mount Popa Resort. Dinner and local entertainment on board.
After breakfast join the guide to explore some of Bagan's local markets selling wood carvings, fabrics, longis and rattan goods. See Myanmar's famous lacquerware being made. Alternatively, you can hire a bicycle or horse-drawn cart and explore this enchanting area on your own. Mid-morning, the ship sets sail headed back in the direction of Mandalay. On board the guide lectures on the Ayeyarwady River. The ship anchors mid-river for the evening providing a marvellous opportunity to observe the stars. A casual cocktail party is followed by dinner.
Continue sailing up the river until Road To Mandalay arrives at the little Burmese village of Shwe Kyet Yet in the early afternoon. After lunch enjoy a group excursion to Sagaing considered to be the living centre of the Buddhist faith in Myanmar and famous for its silversmiths who still work in much the same way as their ancestors did. Return to the ship for dinner and local entertainment.
Visit Pyin U Lwin (formerly Maymyo), a colonial hill station set high in the mountains. Soak up the atmosphere with its cool climate, English style houses, colourful market and beautiful botanic gardens. A typical Shan lunch is taken at a colonial house. Return to the ship for a final dinner on board.
You'll disembark from your ship back in Mandalay this morning, and bid farewell to your fellow cruisemates.
Take a group transfer to the airport for your onward flight to Yangon.
Board your scheduled domestic flight from Mandalay to Yangon.
A passport and visa are required for entry into Myanmar for both US and Canadian citizens. We will provide a letter of invitation which you can then use to acquire your visa. Visas must be obtained prior to arrival. Processing generally takes 8 working days along with a visa processing fee of approximately $30. Travelers are required to show their passports with valid visas at all airports, train stations, and hotels. Security checkpoints are common outside of tourist areas.
Please note obtaining a visa is your responsibility. These requirements change often and therefore it is best that you check with the Embassy of Myanmar for the most up to date visa information.
HEALTHHealth insurance is required. Medical facilities are not widespread and poor quality. We recommend that you see a health-care provider who specializes in Travel Medicine. The doctor or health-care provider will determine what vaccinations and medication you will need, depending on factors such as your health and immunization history, areas of the country you will be visiting, and planned activities. For more information on travel requirements, visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website: http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/burma.aspx COUNTRY INFOCapital: Yangon (Rangoon). Government: Socialist Republic since 1974. Power assumed by the army in 1988. Language: The official language is Myanmar (Burmese). There are over 100 dialects spoken in Myanmar. English is spoken in business circles. Religion: 89% Theravada Buddhist. The remainder are Hindu, Muslim, Christian and animist. Time: GMT + 6.5. Electricity: 220-230 volts AC, 50Hz. Telephone: Country code +95. Only larger cities can be dialed direct from within Myanmar; smaller towns still use manual switchboards and callers need to ask the operator to connect them to a specific town operator. International calls are difficult to place outside hotels. Mobile Telephone: There is no international roaming in Myanmar. Note: Mobile phones may be collected by customs on arrival and released to you upon departure. Internet: There are a few Internet cafes, but access to many free international e-mail services is blocked. All Internet use is monitored by the government and is usually expensive.
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