|The Irrawaddy: 14 nights, 600 miles and see all Burma|
14 nights aboard Pandaw II/RV Sagaing Pandaw/RV Katha Pandaw
21 departure dates from 23-Dec-2013 to 5-Mar-2015
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Prome to Mandalay/Katha - 15 days on a Pandaw
If you would like to know more information about the river stops in this itinerary, please click on the underlined destinations.
Day 1: Prome and the Ancient Pyu
Meet at the Chatrium Hotel in Yangon and transfer by coach to Prome. Visit the 5th-8th century archaeological site of Thiri-ya-kittiya, former centre of the Pyu civilization. We cross jungle and countryside to visit monumental Pyu stupas and the excavations of the former palace-city in this walled early centre of Buddhism.
Day 2: Thayetmyo Frontier Post
This pleasant colonial town once guarded the border between Royal Burmah and British Burmah following the 2nd Anglo Burmese War of 1855 and many of the buildings including the covered market date from this period. We visit the market, see the colonial houses and ride out by horse and cart to see the countryside and golf links.
Day 3: Minhla Forts and Magwe
In Minhla and Gwechaung we visit the two Italian built forts constructed to keep the British at bay from Royal Burmah. We climb the Gwechaung hill for the view. In the afternoon we cruise on to Magwe where we climb the river bank and wend our way through a labyrinth of passages and paths to reach the magnificent Myat-thalon Pagoda.
Day 4: Sale Monasteries
Here we visit a number of teak monasteries including the Yout-saun-kyaung with its spectacular wood carvings; we also explore an area of splendid colonial-style houses.
Day 5: Pagan
In the morning, moor at the Tan-Chi-Taung mountain and ascend by WWII jeep. Afternoon, we tour a selection of the 3,000 listed monuments at this World Heritage Site, Pagan.
Day 6: Pagan Monuments
Further exploration by coach of the monuments follow by a lacquerware workshop and visiting the local markets. Sail in the noon to upstream and evening walk in Oh Ne Kyaung village to see the local life in this typical river side community.
Day 7: Yandabo
This very small rural village specialises in pot making. We visit the Pandaw School, built with past donations from Pandaw passengers.
Passenger will take a tour of central Mandalay visiting the Mahamuni Pagoda and Shwe Nan Daw Kyaung teak carved monastery. Next we explore the ancient capital of Amarapura by coach and sampan and crossing the U Bein Bridge to see the paintings in a temple.
Day 9: Mingun Pagoda and Bell
We stop at Mingun to see the largest working bell in the world and the unfinished pagoda, that is the largest single mass of brick building in the world. We also visit the Mingun Old Peoples Home originally established with the assistance of the Irrawaddy Flotilla Company in the 1930s.
Day 10: Kyaung-myoung Potteries and Khan-nyat Village
Visit the spectacular potteries near Kyauk-myoung where the famous 50 gallon water pots are hand made. We see all stages of manufacture from the throwing of the pots to the week long firing in huge kilns. We enter the Third Defile and sail upstream all day stopping at Khan-nyat village with its many Buddhist monasteries and an orphanage we support.
Day 11: Tagaung Ancient City and Tigyang Hill
We explore by foot the ancient city of Tagaung viewing the fortifications, the shrine of Bo Bo Gyi a famous nat or spirit who protects sailors plying the river, and the archaeological area. In the evening we climb the Pagoda Hill at Tigyang with its stunning views of the Irrawaddy.
Day 12: Katha / Burmese Days
We reach the enchanting colonial town of Katha, setting for George Orwell’s Burmese Days, and little changed since then. Of interest is the fire station’s collection of IFC ships bells taken from sunken ships in the Second War.
Day 13: The Second Defile
Travel by local speedboat to view this the largest of the Irrawaddy gorges.
Day 14: Downstream
We stop for a walk in a jungle village.
Day 15: Mandalay
Disembark at 2.00 pm at Shwe Kyet Yet Jetty, Mandalay.
Cruise Price Includes: Entrance fees, guide services (English language), port dues, main meals, locally made soft and alcoholic beverages, jugged coffee and selection of teas and tisanes, mineral
Cruise Price Excludes: International flights, port dues (if levied), laundry, all visa costs, fuel surcharges (see terms and conditions), imported beverages such as wines, premium spirits and liqueurs, fancy soft drinks like Perrier, espressos and cappuccinos at bar.
River Conditions Warning!
The rivers you will sail on are subject to seasonal rises and falls of water level, in some places as much as 30 metres. Water levels can change dramatically overnight and a sudden rise can impede our progress upstream considerably and even prevent us from passing under certain bridges. A sudden fall can result in our being unable to get into certain places or go as far upstream as we would hope. Groundings on sandbars are not infrequent and are part of the excitement of any Pandaw expedition. Published itineraries are indicational only and subject to sudden change. In such events alternative itineraries will be provided and we do our best to ensure that if a stop is missed we make up for it with another stop. Passengers are thus forewarned and expected to be flexible and patient. River cruising in Asia can be a dramatic and adventurous experience - not like cruising the controlled waterways of Europe or America. Note also that we operate in areas with little or no developed infrastructure and subject to the strictures of local officialdom. Be prepared for this and it is all more the fun!
Registration is at 06.00 am
40 Natmauk Road
* Transfer by coach to Prome to board ship takes approx 6 hours. Bus journey depends on road condition and traffic.