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Daily Overview

UPSTREAM 

Day Destination Activities
1 Pagan EMBARKATION

Tour of Pagan’stemples, pagodas, and stupas

2 Pagan Visit a lacquerware workshop
3 Salay

Tan-Chi-Taung

Min-Nan-Thu

Witness colonial architectural treasures and timeless teak monasteries

See one of eight clinics in the Pagan area supported by the Pandaw Charity

4 Pakokku Visit the local market and town centre by tuk tuk
5 Yandabo Explore the village famous for its production of terracotta
6 Sagaing

Amarapura

Witness sanctuaries rich in woodcarving and religious art

Watch the sunset behind the world’s longest teak bridge, U Bein Bridge

7 Mingun

Mandalay

See the world’s largest working bell

Sight-see in central Mandalay

8 Mandalay DISEMBARKATION

 

DOWNSTREAM 

Day Destination Activities
1 Mandalay EMBARKATION

Sightseeing in central Mandalay

2 Mingun

Amarapura

See the world’s largest working bell and the unfinished pagoda

Watch the sunset behind the world’s longest teak bridge, U Bein Bridge

3 Yandabo Visit the village famous for its production of terracotta pottery
4 Pakokku

Tan-Chi-Taung

Explore the colourful local market and town on tuk tuk

Moor at the foot of the Tan-Chi-Taung mountains and ascend by WWII jeep

5 Min-Nan-Thu

Salay

Pakhannge

Visit one of eight clinics in the Pagan area which is supported by the Pandaw Charity

Witness colonial architectural treasures and timeless teak monasteries

6 Pakhannge

Pagan

 

Enjoy a day of sailing and sight-seeing along the way to Pagan

7 Pagan Visit a lacquerware workshop
8 Pagan DISEMBARKATION

Detailed Itinerary

UPSTREAM 

DAY 1 / PAGAN / EMBARKATION

Transfer from airport to ship for lunch followed by exploration of a selection of the 3000 plus Pagan monuments by bicycle or coach. Overnight Pagan.

 

DAY 2 / PAGAN

Further exploration of Pagan and visit a lacquer workshop. Overnight Pagan.

 

DAY 3 / SALAY / TAN-CHI-TAUNG / MIN-NAN-THU

Early morning sail to Salay. Once a bustling trading port, now a sleepy village filled with colonial architectural treasures and timeless teak monasteries and home to the best-known teak carved monastery in Burma.

We continue sailing to arrive mid-afternoon at the foot of the Tan-Chi-Taung mountains which we ascend by WWII jeep to visit a selection of the 3,000 listed monuments at this World Heritage Site.

Late afternoon we make a rewarding visit to Min-Nan-Thu, one of eight clinics in the Pagan area which is supported by the Pandaw Charity. Overnight at Nyaung U Oo.

 

DAY 4 / PAKOKKU

We visit the local market and town centre by favoured mode of transport – the tuk tuk. We moor overnight near the Chindwin confluence at Aung Pan Chaung.

 

DAY 5 / YANDABO

Explore Yandabo village, famous for its production of terracotta pottery from the river bank clay. Afternoon sailing to moor near Ava at Pau Taw Pauk Myaing.

 

DAY 6 / SAGAIN / AMARAPURA 

Sail to Sagaing. The true delight of Sagaing lies in its 1000 hermitages and sanctuaries, rich in woodcarving and religious art.

In the afternoon, we drive to Amarapura, the former capital of Myanmar where we enjoy a boat trip on the Taungthaman lake and watch the sunset behind the world’s longest teak bridge – U Bein Bridge. We will also see silk weavers at work in their shop. Overnight at Sagaing Jetty.

 

DAY 7 / MINGUN / MANDALAY

Morning sail to Mingun to explore on-foot the world’s largest working bell and unfinished pagoda.
Spend the afternoon sight-seeing in central Mandalay with visits to the palace and surrounding hills, crafts workshops and shopping. Overnight at Sagaing Jetty.

 

DAY 8 / MANDALAY / DISEMBARKATION

By 9:00am, disembarkation in Mandalay and transfer to either hotel or airport.

 

DOWNSTREAM 

DAY 1 / MANDALAY / EMBARKATION

Transfer from airport to ship. Embark for lunch and afternoon excursion to central Mandalay visiting the palace and hill areas, crafts workshops and shopping. Overnight Sagaing Jetty.

 

DAY 2 / MINGUN / AMARAPURA

We sail to Mingun where we see the largest working bell in the world and the unfinished pagoda, being the largest single mass brick building on earth. We also visit the Mingun Old Peoples’ Home, originally established with the assistance of the Irrawaddy Flotilla Company in the 1930s.

In the afternoon, we drive to Amarapura, the former capital of Myanmar where we enjoy a boat trip on the Taungthaman lake and watch the sunset behind the world’s longest teak bridge – U Bein Bridge. We will also see silk weavers at work in their shop. Overnight at Sagaing Jetty.

 

DAY 3 / YANDABO

Set sail at 8.30am for Yandabo village which is famous for its production of terracotta pottery using riverbank clay. The afternoon is spent in the village watching the tradesmen at work. Sail to Shwe Than Tint to spend the night.

 

DAY 4 / PAKOKKU / TAN-CHI-TAUNG

Sail to Pakokku where we explore the colourful local market and town using the popular tuk tuk as our transport. In the afternoon we will moor at the foot of the Tan-Chi-Taung mountains and ascend by WWII jeep to visit a selection of the 3,000 listed monuments at this World Heritage Site. Overnight in Tan-Chi-Taung.

 

DAY 5 / MIN-NAN-THU / SALAY/ PAKHANNGE
Between Tan-Chi-Taung and Salay we take a pause to make a rewarding visit to one of eight clinics in the Pagan area which is supported by the Pandaw Charity.

Our next scheduled stop is at Salay, once a bustling trading port but is now a sleepy village filled with colonial architectural treasures and timeless teak monasteries and home to the best-known teak carved monastery in Burma.

We end the day and stay overnight at Pakhannge, a Pagan dynasty city with several period temples and a collection of 18th and 19th wood carved monasteries from the Konbaung Period. This was the last Burmese monarchy before British colonial rule.

DAY 6 / PAKHANNGE / PAGAN

We enjoy a day of sailing and sights along the way to Pagan where we tie up late afternoon for overnight stay.

 

DAY 7 / PAGAN

Enjoy a full day exploring Pagan and visit lacquer workshops.

 

DAY 8 / PAGAN / DISEMBARKATION

Disembarkation in Pagan.

Dates & Prices

Itinerary Code
(Name of Itinerary)
 Itinerary Start Date  Ship Name  Route Duration (Nights) Main Deck Pricing PP Upper Deck Pricing PP
RRAS-04
(Mandalay Pagan Packet)
9/9/2017 RV Kalaw Pandaw Mandalay/Pagan 7 $2,220 $2,510
9/16/2017 RV Kalaw Pandaw Pagan/Mandalay 7 $2,220 $2,510
9/23/2017 RV Kalaw Pandaw Mandalay/Pagan 7 $2,220 $2,510
9/30/2017 RV Kalaw Pandaw Pagan/Mandalay 7 $2,220 $2,510
9/30/2017 RV Orient Pandaw Mandalay/Pagan 7 $2,220 $2,510
10/7/2017 RV Kalaw Pandaw Mandalay/Pagan 7 $2,220 $2,510
10/7/2017 RV Orient Pandaw Pagan/Mandalay 7 $2,220 $2,510
10/14/2017 RV Kalaw Pandaw Pagan/Mandalay 7 $2,600 $3,450
10/14/2017 RV Orient Pandaw Mandalay/Pagan 7 $2,600 $3,450
10/21/2017 RV Kalaw Pandaw Mandalay/Pagan 7 $2,600 $3,450
10/21/2017 RV Orient Pandaw Pagan/Mandalay 7 $2,600 $3,450
10/28/2017 RV Kalaw Pandaw Pagan/Mandalay 7 $2,600 $3,450
10/28/2017 RV Orient Pandaw Mandalay/Pagan 7 $2,600 $3,450
11/4/2017 RV Kalaw Pandaw Mandalay/Pagan 7 $2,600 $3,450
11/4/2017 RV Orient Pandaw Pagan/Mandalay 7 $2,600 $3,450
11/11/2017 RV Kalaw Pandaw Pagan/Mandalay 7 $2,600 $3,450
11/11/2017 RV Orient Pandaw Mandalay/Pagan 7 $2,600 $3,450
11/18/2017 RV Kalaw Pandaw Mandalay/Pagan 7 $2,600 $3,450
11/18/2017 RV Orient Pandaw Pagan/Mandalay 7 $2,600 $3,450
11/25/2017 RV Kalaw Pandaw Pagan/Mandalay 7 $2,600 $3,450
11/25/2017 RV Orient Pandaw Mandalay/Pagan 7 $2,600 $3,450
12/2/2017 RV Kalaw Pandaw Mandalay/Pagan 7 $2,600 $3,450
12/23/2017 RV Kalaw Pandaw Pagan/Mandalay 7 $2,600 $3,450
12/30/2017 RV Kalaw Pandaw Mandalay/Pagan 7 $2,600 $3,450
12/30/2017 RV Orient Pandaw Pagan/Mandalay 7 $2,600 $3,450
1/6/2018 RV Kalaw Pandaw Pagan/Mandalay 7 $2,600 $3,450
1/6/2018 RV Orient Pandaw Mandalay/Pagan 7 $2,600 $3,450
1/13/2018 RV Kalaw Pandaw Mandalay/Pagan 7 $2,600 $3,450
1/13/2018 RV Orient Pandaw Pagan/Mandalay 7 $2,600 $3,450
1/20/2018 RV Kalaw Pandaw Pagan/Mandalay 7 $2,600 $3,450
1/20/2018 RV Orient Pandaw Mandalay/Pagan 7 $2,600 $3,450
1/27/2018 RV Kalaw Pandaw Mandalay/Pagan 7 $2,600 $3,450
1/27/2018 RV Orient Pandaw Pagan/Mandalay 7 $2,600 $3,450
2/3/2018 RV Kalaw Pandaw Pagan/Mandalay 7 $2,600 $3,450
2/3/2018 RV Orient Pandaw Mandalay/Pagan 7 $2,600 $3,450
2/10/2018 RV Kalaw Pandaw Mandalay/Pagan 7 $2,600 $3,450
2/10/2018 RV Orient Pandaw Pagan/Mandalay 7 $2,600 $3,450
2/17/2018 RV Kalaw Pandaw Pagan/Mandalay 7 $2,600 $3,450
2/17/2018 RV Orient Pandaw Mandalay/Pagan 7 $2,600 $3,450
2/24/2018 RV Kalaw Pandaw Mandalay/Pagan 7 $2,600 $3,450
2/24/2018 RV Orient Pandaw Pagan/Mandalay 7 $2,600 $3,450
3/3/2018 RV Kalaw Pandaw Pagan/Mandalay 7 $2,600 $3,450
3/3/2018 RV Orient Pandaw Mandalay/Pagan 7 $2,600 $3,450
3/10/2018 RV Kalaw Pandaw Mandalay/Pagan 7 $2,600 $3,450
3/10/2018 RV Orient Pandaw Pagan/Mandalay 7 $2,600 $3,450
3/17/2018 RV Kalaw Pandaw Pagan/Mandalay 7 $2,220 $2,510
3/24/2018 RV Kalaw Pandaw Mandalay/Pagan 7 $2,220 $2,510
3/31/2018 RV Kalaw Pandaw Pagan/Mandalay 7 $2,220 $2,510

Inclusions

  • Airport or hotel transfers to/from ship on DAY 1 and DAY 8
  • Entrance fees
  • Guide services (English speaking)
  • Gratuities to crew
  • Main meals
  • Drinks include locally made soft drinks, local beer and local spirits, jugged coffee, mineral water and selection of teas and tisanes

Ship Details

RV Orient Pandaw

BuiltLengthDecksCabinsPassengersCabin Size
200855m2306016m²More Details

RV Kalaw Pandaw

BuiltLengthDecksCabinsPassengersCabin Size
201457m2183616m²More Details

Travel Tips

The Irrawaddy

Travel Documents / Visas

1. Passport

Canadian citizens must have a passport that is valid for at least 6 months after the last date of travel in Myanmar.

Citizens of other countries should consult with their travel agent or our office.

2. Visa

Canadians require a tourist visa to enter Myanmar. Visas can be obtained online in advance by visiting the Myanmar Department of Immigration website here.

Packing List

A handy checklist of what to bring on your trip can be downloaded here.

 

Insurance

We very strongly recommend the purchase of appropriate travel insurance for any trip outside of Canada. Information on travel insurance options can be found here.

           

Smoking

Not permitted anywhere indoors. There are designated areas on the outside decks.

 

Weather

January – February:  Warm days in the  mid to high 20’s. Very dry. Seldom rains.

March – May: Hot days in the mid to high 20’s and cool evenings. Mostly dry.

October – cool days in the mid to high 10’s. Occasional frost but mostly dry.

 

Arrival / Departure

Upon booking, we will provide detail instructions on how to meet your ship on embarkation day. In some cases, the transfer from a pre-designated pickup point will be included in your cruise fare. If you have not made any pre or post tour arrangements with us, you will have to arrange your own transportation to and from the port of embarkation or the pickup point. We are happy to provide advice or to assist in arranging transfers.

The ship will not be ready for check-in before midday (unless otherwise stipulated in the itinerary). If you have luggage that you need to deposit so you can enjoy some free time in port, the purser may be able to accommodate you provided we know in advance.

The cruise will finish in the morning (usually around 7-8am) on the final day. It is necessary to have settled your onboard account and to have disembarked by this time as instructed by the cruise director on the day before.

 

Money

The currency is the Burmese Kyat. It is approximately 1,000 Kyat for 1 $CAD.

Relatively few places accept credit cards. There are ATMs available in the major cities and airports, but in the country they are difficult to find.

Gratuities (Tipping)

Gratuities are included in the price of your Myanmar cruise. If you feel that a member of the crew provided exceptional service, you are welcome to discreetly show your appreciation by personally giving them a tip in an envelope.

Onshore, local drivers and guides can be tipped at your discretion. Typically USD$1 or 2 is very well received.

Laundry

A laundry bag is provided in each stateroom for your laundry needs. Laundry is collected each morning when your room is made up and will be returned to you by the following day. We regret that dry cleaning services are not available.

 

Excursions

Most of our programs include a full complement of excursions. Some additional excursions may be available on board at an extra cost. Please check with us or consult the purser on board for additional information.

Excursions will usually involve a lot of walking, often on dirt roads and on stone steps. If you have difficulty walking any distance, please let us know in advance and we will advise how best we can accommodate you.

Etiquette

South-East Asians are generally tolerant and easy going, however discussions about politics and religion are probably best avoided. In Myanmar, any form of disrespect for the national religion, Theravada Buddhism, is inappropriate. Unlike many faiths, Buddhists make their temples open to foreigners, permitting the taking of pictures (not always!) and general invasion of their sacred space. They ask only one thing: that we take our shoes and socks off.  In addition please pay particular attention to the following:

  • Do not point with your feet.
  • In the company of monks or elders never cross your legs.
  • Do not touch people on the head or upper body.
  • When beckoning someone to come over do not flap your hand in the standard

Western ‘come over here’ motion; instead turn your hand around so that your palm points down towards yourself.

  • Do not attempt to shake hands with monks or nuns. Note that people in general

rarely shake hands here but rather smile and nod.

  • Women should never sit down next to a monk.
  • In all temples and pagodas, shorts and skirts must cover the knees for both men and women. Arms can be exposed by shoulders should be covered. (ie. No tank tops or sleeveless blouses)

Activity Level / Strenuousness

Light to Moderate – The ship will often dock on a riverbank with a gangplank. It is necessary to be reasonably sure-footed as walking will be on dirt roads and paths. Temples often have many stairs which are mostly not obligatory to climb, but for the full benefit you will need to. Note that the high temperatures and humidity in summer may also make participation on this trip more strenuous than you may be accustomed to compared to the climate at home.

Regrettably, we cannot accommodate guests in a wheelchair on this program.

Food

Breakfast, lunch and dinner are all included in your cruise fare so you shouldn’t be too hungry.

Among the more interesting dishes in Myanmar is “Mohinga”, which is a bowl of rice noodles in a fish soup. You’ll often find it on the breakfast menu which takes some getting used to, but is well worth the try. Burmese curry, particularly the fish curry has a flavour which is quite different from those of its neighbours, but also to be recommended.

Language

Your shipboard staff almost all speak English of course, but onshore, few of the locals will be able to. For this reason it is wise to have a guidebook with a few of the most common and polite phrases. The crew will also be more than happy to teach you a few words of Burmese.

Medical Facilities

There are no medical personnel onboard the ship. However, the purser can contact onshore medical people for emergency and non-emergency situations and rapid evacuation can easily be facilitated in the most urgent cases.

Phone & Internet

Free Wi-Fi is available in the main public areas of the ship but not necessarily in all cabins. As internet is provided through a mobile network, bandwidth (speed) will vary depending on the number of concurrent users, the proximity to a cell tower and other factors. It will almost certainly be much slower than you are accustomed to at home.

If you would like to have regular data and phone connection, we suggest either arranging an overseas roaming plan with your mobile operator, or pick up a local SIM card if you have an unlocked phone.

 

Health / Vaccinations

There is a risk of malaria in certain areas and/or during a certain time of year in Myanmar. It would be wise to consult your physician or a travel medical clinic for advice on any precautions that should be taken.

As always, we recommend being in good health prior to any long distance travel.

Consult your physician with any specific concerns in regard to this program.

Safety & Security

Myanmar has undergone significant political change in the last few years. Regardless of this, most places you will visit are very safe and even petty crime against tourists happens seldom.

In larger cities it is always wise to be aware of your surroundings and to avoid large gatherings of people.

You can access current information about the security situation in Myanmar by referring to the Canadian government travel advisory site at:

https://travel.gc.ca/destinations/myanmar

Suggested Reading

Letters from Burma

On the Irrawaddy

The Pandaw Story: On the Rivers of Burma and Beyond

Myanmar: An Illustrated History and Guide to Burma