Burma (Myanmar) River Cruises 2020-2022 | Pandaw Burma River Cruises | Pandaw.com
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BURMA RIVER CRUISES

Discover the majestic world of Burma (Myanmar)

Burma (Myanmar) is a majestic country. A country less travelled compared to its neighbours. The Burmese people are amongst the warmest and most welcoming of any you'll meet in Southeast Asia. The best way to immerse yourself in their rich history and culture is on a river cruise.

Burma, now known as Myanmar, is awash with rivers. The largest and the countries most important is the Irrawaddy River. It's 2,210km and navigable for over 1,600km.

The Chindwin River is the main tributary of the Irrawaddy and is navigable for 965km.

The Salween is approximately 2,815 km but the people who live on the river are extremely segregated because it's only navigable up to 90 km from the mouth.

The Sittaung is only 420km, strong currents make it less valuable as a means of transport so the river is used primarily to float timber for export. The river is navigable for 40 km year-round and for 90 km during three months of the year.

And lastly the Mekong. The Mekong is the twelfth longest river in the world, running from the Tibetan Plateau the river runs through China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. Its estimated length is 4,350km.

With so many rivers running through one country, the best way to experience the life of the Myanmar people is to embark on a river cruise. Our ships allow you to sail through the heart of Burma, through the breath-taking landscapes, past working villages, and awe-inspiring monasteries and temples. We'll take you off the beaten track to a seemingly forgotten world.

Our ships and our staff will have you relaxed and comfortable from the moment you step onboard. Your staterooms are spacious and come with fresh fruit and flowers on arrival. We supply kimonos, slippers and spa-branded amenities to make your stay extra special. We go above and beyond to make sure your time on our river cruise is enjoyed exactly as you wish; we provide a peaceful setting as well as arranged talks and demonstrations from the local people.

River Cruise itinerary for The Golden Land River Cruise map for The Golden Land

The Golden Land

10 NIGHTS

This is a 10 night river cruise, taking you into the heart of Burmese living. You will travel between Prone to Mandalay and witness differing landscapes; from abundant teak plantations to the arid desert, south of the ancient city of Pagan. You'll meet local farmers and experience an insight into their daily lives. We'll take you to the beautiful and breathtaking monasteries and temples and introduce you to the Myanmar culture.

Rivers: Irrawaddy River

Ships: RV Kanee Pandaw, RV Pandaw II

from US$3,856.50

members from US$3,428

Save up to 10% and No Single Supplement on selected dates

River Cruise itinerary for Pagan and The Upper Irrawaddy River Cruise map for Pagan and The Upper Irrawaddy

Pagan and The Upper Irrawaddy

10 NIGHTS

A 10 night cruise that allows relaxation and exploration. You will visit majestic temples and monuments in the ancient city of Pagan. You will see pottery being made from the riverside clay and venture to the remote upper Irrawaddy. You will travel off the beaten track where many visitors to Burma will never see. You'll visit local villages and towns and can explore on mountain bikes if you choose.

Rivers: Irrawaddy River

Ships: RV Kalay Pandaw, RV Kanee Pandaw, RV Kha Byoo Pandaw

from US$3,780

Save up to 10% and No Single Supplement on selected dates

River Cruise itinerary for The Irrawaddy River Cruise map for The Irrawaddy

The Irrawaddy

14 NIGHTS

Our new ship, RV Kanee Pandaw, launched in November 2019 is sailing this 14 night voyage. You will travel between Yangoon and the captivating city of Prome, Mandalay and Mingun. You'll visit markets, Italian built forts, ride Trishaws and pass lush teak forests and Buddha carvings on the mountainside. This is a truly remarkable trip and the perfect way to immerse yourself in the Burmese culture.

Rivers: Irrawaddy River

Ships: RV Kanee Pandaw

from US$5,391

members from US$4,792

Save up to 10% and No Single Supplement on selected dates

River Cruise itinerary for Mandalay Pagan Packet River Cruise map for Mandalay Pagan Packet

Mandalay Pagan Packet

7 NIGHTS

This 7 night cruise is the best way to soak up the life of those living on the Irrawaddy River. This is a relaxed cruise spending 2 nights in Pagan to allow time to explore over 3000 monuments and 3 nights in Mandalay 'the city of gems' Burma's spiritual capital. You will also visit small towns and villages, often by tuk-tuk and visit markets. It's a great cruise if you want to see Burma at a slower pace.

Rivers: Irrawaddy River

Ships: RV Kalay Pandaw, RV Kanee Pandaw, RV Orient Pandaw, RV Pandaw II

from US$1,885.50

members from US$1,676

Save up to 10% and No Single Supplement on selected dates

River Cruise itinerary for The Chindwin: 7 Nights River Cruise map for The Chindwin: 7 Nights

The Chindwin: 7 Nights

7 NIGHTS

The loveliest of rivers. In the past we only offered this during the monsoon due to water levels, but now our ultra low draught Pandaws can sail through to February. The river carves it way through mountains and forests and we stop at delightful unspoilt little towns. Our objective, Homalin is the capital of Nagaland and close to the India border. We will ply the Upper Chindwin weekly between Monywa and Homalin. Monywa is under three hours from Mandalay and the car transfer is included with the cruise. Homalin is now connected by scheduled flight with Mandalay.

Two fabulous itineraries: The Monywa to Homalin (and vv) itinerary sails from July to August and October to November. We have a revised itinerary from Monywa to Kalewa (and vv) operating December to February.

Please note river banks can be steep and walks through villages are on the daily program. Medium fitness is requiered.

Late bookings: please note that Chindwin expeditions need special permits, which can take up to 3 weeks. We kindly ask you to contact us via email or phone for short notice bookings.

Rivers: Chindwin River

Ships: RV Zawgyi Pandaw

from US$3,307.50

members from US$2,940

Save up to 10% and No Single Supplement on selected dates

River Cruise itinerary for A Voyage to Nagaland River Cruise map for A Voyage to Nagaland

A Voyage to Nagaland

7 NIGHTS

Only the small Kalay and Zawgyi Pandaws, with their ultra-low drafts, can journey north beyond Homalin in the high water season from mid-August to Mid-October on an adventure to Nagaland, famous for the fierce and distinctive Naga warriors and various ethnic communities. Along the way, the Chindwin River passes through dramatic scenery of dense jungles, high cliffs and deep gorges and visits remote villages each with a unique way of life.

Rivers: Chindwin River

Ships: RV Kalay Pandaw, RV Zawgyi Pandaw

from US$3,638.25

members from US$3,234

Save up to 10%

River Cruise itinerary for The Great Irrawaddy Delta River Cruise map for The Great Irrawaddy Delta

The Great Irrawaddy Delta

7 NIGHTS

The Irrawaddy Delta covers an area of over 1000 square miles with Rangoon, its most famous port and capital of all Burma from 1886 to 2005. Originally a vast inhabited wetland and jungle, much of it was cleared and cultivated by the British who annexed Lower Burma in 1855. It subsequently became the rice basket of Asia, effectively feeding much of the Indian Raj. During this period of prosperity a number of rice towns developed in the colonial style. The most famous of which was Bassein. The Irrawaddy Flotilla Company by the 1920s operated over 100 creek steamers across the Delta connecting these towns and villages at a time when there were neither roads nor bridges.

There are seven main channels and myriad lesser ones forming a complex labyrinth of waterways understood only by the most experienced pilots. In the backwaters there is the feel of Kerala, on the larger channels it could be New Orleans and the Deep South.

Contrary to expectation these great wetlands are not monotonous at all and there is considerable human interest in the form of pretty towns, markets, temples, churches and mosques. There is also profuse bird life in the less populated areas.

Our 7-night programme enables relaxed exploration of this fascinating region, starting and returning to Rangoon.

Rivers: Irrawaddy River, Irrawaddy Delta

Ships: RV Kanee Pandaw

from US$2,286.36

members from US$2,032.32

Save up to 10% and No Single Supplement on selected dates

River Cruise itinerary for Mandalay to Pagan Four Night Cruise River Cruise map for Mandalay to Pagan Four Night Cruise

Mandalay to Pagan Four Night Cruise

4 NIGHTS

We are pleased to offer a convenient 4 night cruise on the irresistible Irrawaddy River between Mandalay and Pagan discovering the ancient Royal capitals, riverside villages, lively local markets and stunning scenery and sunsets.

Rivers: Irrawaddy River

Ships: RV Orient Pandaw, RV Pandaw II

from US$1,408.50

members from US$1,252

Save up to 10% and No Single Supplement on selected dates

River Cruise itinerary for Chindwin & The Upper Irrawaddy River Cruise map for Chindwin & The Upper Irrawaddy

Chindwin & The Upper Irrawaddy

18 NIGHTS

This is a 17 night cruise that combines both the beautiful Chindwin River with the mighty Upper Irrawaddy. It brings with it both relaxation and exploration. We travel for 7 days on the Chindwin River where you will visit the Phowin Taung Caves with beautiful mural paintings and Buddha statues, visit remote villages and enjoy a culinary demonstration by our head chef on how to prepare a traditional Burmese Ginger Salad. You will visit a teak wood forest by Tuk Tuk or coach and continue to the Pyar Swe Elephant Camp, a working camp where the elephants are protected in natural surroundings before you head to Kalewa overnight. After a morning of exploring you will take an internal flight to begin your journey on the Irrawaddy. On the Irrawaddy River, we journey off the beaten track for 10 nights, all the way to Katha once home to George Orwell and the setting for his book, Burmese Days. Other highlights include visits to potteries, Buddist monasteries and a climb to the top of Pagoda Hill at Tigyang to witness stunning views of the Irrawaddy. Your journey ends in Pagan where you will have a full day's exploration of the 3000 plus Pagan monuments.

Rivers: Chindwin River, Irrawaddy River

Ships: RV Kalay Pandaw, RV Zawgyi Pandaw

from US$7,402.50

Save up to 10% and No Single Supplement on selected dates

River Cruise itinerary for The Irrawaddy & The Great Irrawaddy Delta River Cruise map for The Irrawaddy & The Great Irrawaddy Delta

The Irrawaddy & The Great Irrawaddy Delta

18 or 22 NIGHTS

Sailing through the heart of 'Middle Myanmar' we pass through a varying landscape – from the lush teak plantations around Prome to the desert country south of Pagan. Combined with The Great Irrawaddy Delta, an area of over 1000 square miles originally a vast inhabited wetland and jungle. The Irrawaddy Flotilla Company by the 1920s operated over 100 creek steamers across the Delta connecting these towns and villages at a time when there were neither roads nor bridges. These places are remote from the modern world and offer a glimpse of a timeless, lost Myanmar far from the usual tourist track.

Rivers: Irrawaddy River, Irrawaddy Delta

Ships: RV Kanee Pandaw

from US$6,503.40

Save up to 10% and No Single Supplement on selected dates

Rivers in Burma

Chindwin River

Chindwin River

The Chindwin River flows down from the Burma – Assam border area, its waters rising from the Himalayan foothills. It is the main tributary of the Irrawaddy and is 1, 207km long. Of this great length, about 1000km is navigable only in vessels that have the shallowest drafts in the world. These designs, perfected by the Irrawaddy Flotilla in the 1880s, are the ones that passengers of our Chindwin river cruises continue to use to this day. The Chindwin river flows through remote areas with few roads or cars and most communities are connected by the river. Above Homalin we are in Nagaland where until Christianity arrived in the 19th Century the Nagas specialised in shrinking the heads of their human quarry. This is the loveliest of rivers but treacherous to navigate and larger ships can only venture up there in the monsoon, and even then not without difficulty. Pandaw operates the ultra-shallow draft Zawgyi Pandaw throughout the dry season between Monyaw and Homalin and in the monsoon as far as Hkamti.
Irrawaddy Delta

Irrawaddy Delta

The Irrawaddy Delta covers an area of over 1000 square miles with Rangoon, its most famous port and capital of all Burma from 1886 to 2005. Originally a vast inhabited wetland and jungle, much of it was cleared and cultivated by the British who annexed Lower Burma in 1855. It subsequently became the rice basket of Asia, effectively feeding much of the Indian Raj. During this period of prosperity a number of rice towns developed in the colonial style. The most famous of which was Bassein. The Irrawaddy Flotilla Company by the 1920s operated over 100 creek steamers across the Delta connecting these towns and villages at a time when there were neither roads nor bridges. There are seven main channels and myriad lesser ones forming a complex labyrinth of waterways understood only by the most experienced pilots. In the backwaters there is the feel of Kerala, on the larger channels it could be New Orleans and the Deep South. Contrary to expectation these great wetlands are not monotonous at all and there is considerable human interest in the form of pretty towns, markets, temples, churches and mosques. There is also profuse bird life in the less populated areas.
Irrawaddy River

Irrawaddy River

The Irrawaddy River in Burma ranks as the 55th longest river in the world at 2, 170km but it is in the top ten rivers in terms of discharge at 13, 000 litres per second. The river begins at the confluence of two rivers in Kachin State, the N'mai (Nam Gio) and Mali Rivers, and discharges into the Andaman sea through a vast 10, 000-square mile Delta. You can experience one of our Irrawaddy river cruises year round, for 1, 600km from Rangoon to Bhamo and, for part of the year, for another 200km as far as Myitkina close to the confluence. The main tributary is the Chindwin River . In the monsoon the average rise on the low water level is 30m but in the 1st Defile it is double this. There are three defiles between Mandalay and Myitkyina, the most spectacular of which is the second defile below Bhamo. Between here and the Delta the river varies hugely from mountains to plains. In the defiles the width is only a couple of hundred feet but in the plains it can be miles wide. In the low water season sand islands appear, many farmed on a seasonal basis, and navigation channels become serpentine and often hard to find. Pandaw operates several vessels on the Irrawaddy with services connecting Rangoon to Bhamo.

Burma Ships

RV Kalay Pandaw river cruise ship

RV Kalay Pandaw

The Kalay Pandaw was built in Mandalay in 2013 by our own team from within the company. This river yacht was built for private friend and family....
RV Kanee Pandaw river cruise ship

RV Kanee Pandaw

Pandaw are delighted to announce the construction of a new fourteen cabin K-class ship for Burma, now renamed Myanmar. These ultra-shallow twin ....
RV Kha Byoo Pandaw river cruise ship

RV Kha Byoo Pandaw

This ten cabin K class was completed in 2016 and is currently serving as the Pandaw Academy training ship at Pagan. Like so many of our K class ....
RV Orient Pandaw river cruise ship

RV Orient Pandaw

The first ship we built in Vietnam in 2008, the OP has seen service in five countries now – Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysian Borneo and now Burma. W....
RV Pandaw II river cruise ship

RV Pandaw II

Pandaw II was our first ever new build back in 2001. Though our oldest ship she is still young in river terms – her prototype the old Pandaw is ....
RV Zawgyi Pandaw river cruise ship

RV Zawgyi Pandaw

We acquired this Z craft in 2008 and fitted her out as a floating clinic as part of the Cyclone Nargis relief effort. Returned to us by the NGO ....

River Cruise Stops

Amarapura

Amarapura

A former capital city of Myanmar, Amarapura is situated on the banks of the Irrawaddy River . To explore this ancient city, you can join us on one of four of our Irrawaddy river cruises. In this guide to the former capital, we’ll explain exactly how you can fill your time in Amarapura. The History Of Amarapura Amarapura has a long history and it can be traced back to 1783, when the city was originally founded by King Bodawpaya and called “The City of Immortals”. It was made the capital of the Konbaung empire until Bodawpaya’s grandson moved power to the city of Ava in 1823. The capital has been moved around numerous times since then and power landed back in Amarapura for a short period from 1841. Even though Amarapura was used as a capital city for a number of times throughout its history, there is actually little to see of this period of power and grandeur. That’s because the parliament, royal apartments, military barracks, and horse and elephant stables were dismantled and taken to the new capitals. A royal palace did remain, but over the years it was dismantled so its bricks and stones could be used elsewhere. Nowadays, Amarapura is classed as a suburb of Mandalay and is home to a strong population of craftsmen. You’ll even find that the town is split into different quarters depending on occupations and crafts, such as stone carvers and bronze casters. Waterfront at Amarapura Things To See And Do In Amarapura There is plenty to see and do around Amarapura these days, and one of the main sites of interest is the Bagaya monastery. Originally built in 1593, the monastery was badly damaged in a fire in 1821. The government rebuilt an exact replica in its place in the early 1990s, and this still stands and attracts visitors to this day. The U-Bein bridge is another popular attraction for travelers and visitors these days. This long footbridge is the world’s longest and crosses the shallow Taungthaman Lake. It is thought to be one of the most photographed sights in the whole of Myanmar. Try to visit the bridge just after sunrise to see hundreds of monks and locals cross the bridge in droves. Sunset behind the U-Bein Bridge The Werawsana Jade Pagoda is another highlight in Amarapura as it is the only pagoda in the world to be built completely out of jade. Try to see it in the evening when the light from the setting sun makes the temple’s jade shine green. You might also see travelers attend one of the many carnival-like religious events and parties that regularly take place at the pagoda. There’s certainly plenty to see and do once you disembark the boat in Amarapura. It’s a great place to explore and discover some of the best that the Myanmar culture has to offer. The best way to explore Amarapura is on either The Irrawaddy or The Golden Land cruise where you can see the U-Bein bridge for yourself.
Ava

Ava

“And here it may be said that of all the ruined capitals of Burma which make their appeal on behalf of the transitoriness of life. . . Ava is the most gracious”. VC Scott O’Connor Mandalay (1907) Ratanapura, City of Gems, Ava or Inwa was the intermittent capital of Burma between the decline of Pagan around 1300 and the final move to Amarapura in 1837. However it was not till Thalun’s decision to move the capital from Toungoo to Ava in 1637 that it truly became the centre of power until 1752 when it was sacked by the Mons. Following the rise of a new Burmese dynasty, the Konbaung in 1756, Hsinbyushin moved the capital back. Even after 1837 the Burmese kings were still referred to as the King’s of Ava. Situated on the confluence of the Irrawaddy and Myitnge rivers the place was easily defended and today makes a pleasant excursion. The city follows the classic Burmese city plan: fortified with zig zag walls and surrounded by artificial moats linked to the two rivers. The brick walls are still evident, though tumbled down in part. Of the original palace, state offices and regimental quarters little survives, as they were made of wood and relocated to Amarapura in 1837. The area is now under farmland and a horse cart ride through the paddy fields from monument to monument gives a pleasant glimpse of life in rural Burma. We visit the Bagaya Kyaung, a 200 year old royal monastery made of teak with elaborate wood carvings.
Bogale

Bogale

Bogale is a small city located in the Bogale Township, Ayeyarwady Region, Myanmar. It is located on the southwestern part of Myanmar/Burma on the mainland section of the country. It can be reached by both water transportation and by land.
Danupyu

Danupyu

Little known town with a busy port and bustling markets
Homalin

Homalin

Nestled between forested mountains rising up to 2700 metres, the township of Homalin is a truly picturesque place. You won’t find many tourists here, making it a great location to experience Myanmar in its rawest form on one of our Chindwin River Cruises . Homalin on the banks of the Chindwin river There are local shops here that you can visit as well as a few small bars for grabbing a drink. There are also temples here too to explore. Despite being a sleepy town, it does have its own airport located on the outskirts. Most of the settlement is fairly walkable, although you can grab a tuktuk to help get around if you’d prefer. Homalin has an intriguing history. During world war 2, it was briefly occupied by the Japanese. It was also once a regular stop for the Irrawaddy Flotilla Company – a historic ferry company made up of paddle steamers that were the inspiration behind Rudyard Kipling’s famous poem 'Mandalay'. Gold has been found on the beaches of the Uyu river – a tributary leading off of the Chindwin river. Local villagers often come to the beach to pan the sand in the hope of finding gold particles. Gold nuggets have even been found washed up on the beach. Homalin is located in Northwest Myanmar near the Indian border. It's the farthest navigable point of the Chindwin river and so is rarely visited by cruises. Two of our cruises stop here, which you can find more information on at the bottom of this page. Market stall in Homalin Tamanthi Wildlife Reserve Homalin's closest and most popular attraction is Tamanthi Wildlife Reserve. The sanctuary was founded in 1974 and boasts an area of 596. 7 square kilometres. Within this reserve you'll find a diverse array of wildlife, some of which is incredibly rare. Some of these animals include elephants, tigers, leopards and bears. Javan rhinoceroses are reported to have once been sighted in the reserve, but these are now thought to be extinct in the area. This could be a great adventure for those that love wildlife. Naga new year festival The Naga are a local indigenous people within the area. If you’re visiting during January, you may catch the Naga new year festival. This event runs for several days and involves plenty of jubilations in which the local people dance and have dinner over a bone fire. Our Voyage to Nagaland and the 7 Night Chindwin cruise offers a more in depth exploration into Naga culture, stopping at smaller villages further down the bank. For those that are interested in exploring this side of Myanmar, take a look at our cruises visiting the area!
Kalewa

Kalewa

Kalewa is one of the largest ports on the Chindwin River and an important trans-shipment point for goods going to and coming from nearby India.
Katha

Katha

The enchanting colonial town of Katha was setting for George Orwell’s Myanma Days. Katha was also the final resting place of the old flotilla and here over a hundred ships were scuppered in 1942.
Khamti

Khamti

Khamti is known as ‘the land full of gold’.
Khanyat

Khanyat

Visit a Buddhist orphanage and the grave of an English officer assasinated here during the Pacification of Burma (1887).
Kindat

Kindat

Myanmar is famed for its untouched scenery and temple-strewn landscapes, and never is that more the case than in remote destinations like Kindat. On one of our Chindwin River Cruises you can experience Kindat first hand. The lack of information about Kindat is one of the things that makes it such an appealing place to visit. It’s so out of the way that you won't even find it on Google Maps, with the closest marked destination being nearby Mawlaik. Located in an incredibly sparse part of the Chindwin Valley, Kindat was once the furthest point for IFC steamers outside of monsoon season. The name Kindat translates to 'military outpost, ' and the Myanmar kings established the destination during ancient times. Now, it's home to an impressive colonial post office which, as you'll see on your visit, has been transformed into a local school. Housing plots in Kindat Top attractions in Kindat Kindat in itself is all the attraction you’ll need when you visit here. The difference found in the way of life will strike any visitor as soon as they step off the boat. This is, after all, a destination so isolated that river is the only real way to get there. Walking around the secluded streets and shacks couldn't be further from the busy city living you might be used to in your everyday life. This, paired with the stunning sights on offer, is sure to make your trip here one to remember. Nearby destinations also worth attention include: Mawlaik Sitthaung Toungdoot Each of these locations makes an appearance alongside Kindat on our 7-night voyage to Nagaland, and offer similar out-of-this-world experiences. If you want a taste of authentic Myanmar life, then it doesn't get much better than locations like these. What is Kindat famous for? As well as being the furthest point for the IFC steamers of the past, Kindat is famed for (as you can guess by the name), its use as a military outpost. The remnants of the past are fast fading from this location as can be evidenced by the transformation of the old post office. Mostly untouched by the outside world, Kindat is certainly a destination unlike many modern locations we know today. Kindat on the Nagaland River Cruise Our iconic Voyage to Nagaland cruise is a 7-night trip that takes you right into the land of the Nagaland Warrior and brings a whole host of amazing views and destinations along with it. Every single day is guaranteed to bring you a sight like none you've ever seen before, and Kindat is no different. On the third day of your journey, you'll spend the morning here before heading to Yuwa.
Kyauk-Myoung

Kyauk-Myoung

Visit the spectacular potteries near Kyauk-myoung 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.
Magwe

Magwe

At Magwe we climb the river bank and wend our way through a labyrinth of passages and paths to reach the magnificent Myat-thalon Pagoda. This pagoda is constructed with solid gold bricks. Of interest are the many nat shrines and hermitages within the temple precincts.
Mandalay

Mandalay

Though Rangoon is the modern day capital, Mandalay, or Yadanapura — the ‘City of Gems’, remains the Golden Land’s spiritual capital. To know Mandalay and its pleasant surrounds is to know Burma. Situated in the heart of Upper Burma, the city is at the hub of river routes from China and India and land routes from the Shan massif and Siam beyond. The city throbs with life and trade. This is a city of markets and monasteries and is no touristic backwater. As well as being the economic epicentre of Upper Burma Mandalay is the religious capital of Burma There as many living monasteries and pagodas as Pagan has dead ones and the monastic population numbers over 100, 000. The present city covers an area of 25 square miles and is rapidly growing. Yet Mandalay is a relatively recent creation. One story tells that King Mindon decided to move the capital to a new site from Amarapura in 1856 because the Irrawaddy Flotilla Company steamers kept him awake at night with their whistles! The reality is that Mindon, a moderniser and reformer, was anxious to break with the past and establish a new era of peace and prosperity for Burma following the humiliation of the two British annexations. This was symbolised by the construction of a splendid new capital. The palace-city, that also housed government offices and personnel and military regiments, was vast. The original moat and walls a mile and a half on each side still stand with their splendid pyatthat spires over each gate. Within lay the ‘forbidden city’ — an elaborate system of teak pavilions, throne rooms and halls. Tragically this was destroyed by an incendiary bomb in the Second World War but it has now been meticulously reconstructed to give an impression of the awesome scale of the royal palace and its sumptuous decoration of gold leaf and lacquer. Around the palace area the devout king lavished donation upon donation constructing splendid teak monasteries for the royal monks, rest houses for pilgrims, shrines on the Mandalay hill and most significantly the great Kuthodaw Pagoda. The Kuthodaw is rightly said to be the world’s largest book as here the king had the Buddhist scriptures inscribed on 1, 774 marble slabs, each housed in its own private pavilion. These many dedications may be visited today and truly conjure an image of the strange mix between opulence and obeisance that existed in royal Burma. The British captured Mandalay in 1885 following a campaign for control of the Irrawaddy and on 1st January 1886 the Burmese empire was formally annexed by Lord Randolph Churchill as he rose his glass at the stroke of midnight. The royal palace was renamed Fort Dufferin and a new city on a grid plan was laid out to the south-west of the palace-city extending to the river bank and its important port. This plan remains to this day though sadly many of the old colonial buildings have been lost — either in the war, fire or 1990s developers. Glimpses of the old colonial city may still be seen, particularly in the downtown area around the Mahamuni Hpaya-gyi — the city’s principal shrine.
Maubin

Maubin

A town in the Ayeyarwady Division in south-west Burma, Maubin (also known as Ma-ubin) is an incredible place to visit. Known for its growing communication and transportation services, colourful sand and its bustling markets, it will make a pleasant stop during your river cruise. You can visit Maubin either in The Irrawaddy River Cruise or The Great Irrawaddy Delta River Cruise. As you approach the banks, you will be met with traditional boats and houses. Fresh vegetables at Maubin market Key Facts About Maubin It has just over 51, 000 residents It is 339 km south of the capital – Nay Pyi Taw Its inhabitants are Karen and Bamar The main religion is Buddhism Rice and fish are two of the main contributors to Maubin’s economy Top Attractions To Visit in Maubin Pagodas As the main religion in Maubin is Buddhism, there is a variety of pagodas to see within the town. Located on Sane Mya Kanthar Street is the beautiful Sane Mya Kanthar Ceti Pagoda. On the Toe River, in the southern part of Muabin is Pagoda Paw Taw Mu Ceti, an ancient pagoda with gold accents and a regal staircase. Both wonderful pagodas to see during your trip to Maubin, they will immerse you into the culture of the country. Dae Thin Yay Kyaw One of the most renowned attractions in the Maubin area is Dae Thin Yay Kyaw, a floating village that will transport you into a different world. With no bicycles, motorbikes, cars or roads, it has only stilted houses. Its water fields are mostly used for agricultural purposes and are a breathtaking sight for anyone that ventures there. Close enough that you can explore the village during your river cruise, it’s a popular swimming spot for locals. Maubin Beach As you enter into Maubin you will come across a bridge. If you follow the signs to the Ta Lot Lat East Village you will come across the beautiful Maubin Beach. A sandbank on the side of the river, it’s perfect for those wanting a break from the bustling market. In the afternoon, the water recedes, allowing people to walk across to the opposite sandbank. What Maubin is Famous For Maubin is not only famous for its rice fields, stilt houses, pagodas and bustling markets but it also has for project bridges. Khattiya Bridge, Maubin Bridge, Bo Myat Htun Bridge and Pantanaw River-Crossing Bridge are must-sees. Khattiya Bridge Located between Bokanbay Village, Maubin and Latyargyi Village, Khattiya Bridge is only 12 feet in length. Opened in 1997, it can carry an impressive 13 tons and is manufactured with a concrete bale iron frame. Banks of the Irrawaddy at Maubin Maubin Bridge Nestled between Taloatlatt West Village and Taloatlatt East Villages in the township, Maubin bridge was built in 1998. One of the bigger bridges in the area, it has a 60-ton capacity. Bo Myat Htun Bridge Set on the eastern bank of Ayeyarwaddy, this impressive bridge is over 2600 meters. Spanning across the Naungton township, Taung Tan village and up to Ayeryarwaddy, this bridge is an attraction in itself. Pantanaw River-Crossing Bridge Set on the Bayintnaung street river bank, this bridge measures 420 feet. Showcasing the development in the area, it can carry transport lorries up to 60 tons.
Mawlaik

Mawlaik

Mawlaik replaced Kindat as the administrative capital. Like other towns of the Upper Chindwin, they can only be reached by boat so cars are few. There are many fine colonial 'dak' bungalows set around a golf course.
Mingkin

Mingkin

Mingkin, with its Konbaung court style teak monasteries are sumptuously decorated. Mingkin may be described as the Luang Prabang of the Chindwin. The oldest wooden monastery in Burma is to be found here and at Kan village there are a stupendous collection of Konbaung period wood carvings, kept safe by the much venerated Lord Abbot.
Mingun

Mingun

Here at Pandaw, we are thrilled to help curious travellers gain a fresh perspective of Asia providing trips to attractions and experiences that are nearly completely inaccessible with other forms of transportation. Discerning travellers are encouraged to uncover remote locations that hold hidden wonders which will take you on a whirlwind journey back to the past. On five of our expeditions, you can explore the Irrawaddy river and one of the most popular stops is Minigun. The ruins here are absolutely remarkable and have beaten the sands of time. Embedded in a picturesque location, the stories behind the attractions here are nothing short of astounding! Tidying the grounds in Mingun Fascinating Stories Of The Land The tale of Mingun begins in 1790 when King Bodawpaya ordered a temple be built that reflected the power and dominance of his rule. If it had been built, the temple would have reached an astounding 150 metres. Even unfinished, the temple remains the largest single mass brick building in the world. According to researchers, the construction of the tower caused a terrible impact on both the people and the local economy. Due to this, a plan was devised to halt the work. There are two tales that explain why the tower remained unfinished. One theory suggests an astrologer claimed that the completion of the temple would bring the King’s doom while another suggests the ruler was told it would bring the end of Mingun itself! A smaller model of the unfinished temple can be viewed close by and there is no doubt that it would have been a remarkable piece of architecture. Indeed, even in it’s finished form our travellers can’t help but marvel at its beauty. In the past, the temple was a key place of worship for locals in the area. Today, there is still a shrine nearby with an image of Buddha, making it a popular place for meditation. Of course, the unfinished temple isn’t the only attraction that makes Mingun a worthy and exciting stop on our luxury river cruises. You will also be able to discover the heaviest working bell ever created. The bell was cast in 1808 and finished in 1810. There are many secrets behind its creation, including how it was made across the river and carried to the other side using remarkably innovative tools. Despite an earthquake knocking the bell off its support in 1839, it has been carefully preserved and still works to this day. A stone's throw from these attractions clients can also view the great Myatheindan Pagoda. This gorgeous curving piece of architecture stands out due to its beautiful white shade. The building was designed to resemble the mythical Mount Meru and it certainly has an aura of enchantment. Unlock The Secrets Of Mingun With Pandaw At Pandaw, we are thrilled to be able to provide our passengers with incredible adventures to locations like Mingun and other similar hidden parts of Asia. There are so many wonders that are only accessible by the waters that we navigate with ease on our luxury cruises ready to cater to your every need. We’ll be your companions and your expert guides on a journey through Asia you won’t forget. Market stall at Mingun
Minhla and Gwechaung

Minhla and Gwechaung

These are two Italian built forts constructed to keep the British at bay from Royal Burmah. These were captured by the British in the 3rd Anglo Burmese War. The fight for the Minhla redoubt was the only serious action in the war and the death of a young subaltern inspired Kipling to write a poem. Gwechaung, the more impressive of the forts was captured from the rear before the Burnese could turn the guns around.
Monywa

Monywa

Entering the Lower Chindwin where the river widens and the forested hills fall away to farmland we pass a number of attractive villages. We will explore Monywa and time permitting make a quick trip to the Thanbodi Temple with its million Buddha images.
Myaungmya

Myaungmya

When boarding a Pandaw River Cruise, you can be prepared to visit some of the most beautiful places in Asia. One of those incredible places is Myaungmya. Myaungmya is one of the most beautiful sites to see in the whole of Burma on one of our Irrawaddy Delta Cruises . Myaungmya is just one of the destinations you will have the joy of visiting when you book a Pandaw River Cruise. Myaungmya is located in south Burma in the Irrawaddy division. Myaungmya was formed in 1893 from a portion of the Bassein district. The Bassein district itself is swamped in history. Bassein town until 1317 was a part of the Devagiri Yadavas territory. Shortly after, it became a port for the Gujarat Muslim Kings. The Portuguese established a fort at the trading station in Bassein in 1526. The fort is now in ruins, and Bassein became famous for its shipbuilding industry. Myaungmya is nowadays mostly known for its beautiful sites and especially its rice cultivation and fishing. Nearly all of the inhabitants of Myaungmya occupy both of these trades. Locals in Myaungmya on the bank of the Irrawaddy Delta Myaungmya township is the original ancestral home of the Mon Nya. The Mon people were among the earliest people to inhabit southeast Asia. The Mon alone were responsible for the spread of Theravada Buddhism. The Mon people incredibly were among the earliest civilizations in the history of early Thailand and of course the history of Myanmar itself. The Mon people were a major influence on Myanmar culture. The Mon common tongue is called the Mon Language and is that of Austroasiatic language. You can still find this beautiful language spoken among some of the inhabitants of Myaungmya today. Of course, Myaungmya township is a part of the deltaic tract and a part of the Irrawaddy region. The Irrawaddy region itself plays host to beautiful forest land, and the import and export of wood are some of the most important components of its economy. One of the most popular places in the Irrawaddy region is Pathein. Pathein also sits on the Irrawaddy River and is another neighbor of Myaungmya that boasts a host of secrets. Pathein is one of the most important ports outside of Yangon and was also at a time part of the Man kingdom. In close proximity to Pathein is Diamond Island. Diamond island is not only extremely popular among bathers. It is also known to be a major resting area for green turtles. Diamond Island also hosted a communication station, that is unfortunately now closed. In 1908 the station was the point of contact for the Andaman Islands and Bassein. In 1942 and during the second world war, Yengyua, a river steamboat evacuated British radio operators stranded on the island. The best way to experience Myaungmya is on The Great Irrawaddy Delta cruise.
Nagaland

Nagaland

India is not just one of the oldest civilizations in the world. It’s also a country with a rich history and extraordinary cultural and religious diversity with each of its states having its own subtle variations in culture, mythology, topography and cuisine. At Pandaw, our obsession is unlocking the many diverse gems of this thriving and industrious country for travellers from around the world. Our greatest delight is helping adventurous people find and explore Asia’s most naturally beautiful, historically significant and culturally rich locations from the water. Our luxurious India river cruises are designed to make the country’s stunning locations accessible to all. Locations like the lush, beautiful and culturally rich state of Nagaland. From the river, we’ll guide you through this wonderful state to allow you the chance to explore the very best of what it has to offer. History and People of Nagaland The State of Nagaland was inaugurated back in 1963, and is the 16th State of the Indian Union. It is surrounded by Assam to the west, Burma (Myanmar) to the east, Arunachal Pradesh to the North and Manipur to the South. Within the state, there are 11 Administrative Districts, which are inhabited by 16 major tribes as well as numerous sub-tribes. Each tribe has its own distinct culture, customs, language and dress, making Nagaland one of the most wonderfully diverse places in India to visit. Life in Nagaland is much now as it has been for centuries, slow and relaxed, free of the high-tech encumbrances of the modern world. Things to See and Do in Nagaland Nagaland’s remote and largely unspoilt natural beauty makes it the perfect spot for travellers wanting to see a glimpse of India before it became a thriving hub of industry and commerce. As you explore this state on our river cruises you’ll get the chance to explore a number of villages, many of which are not accustomed to western visitors. And don’t forget to stop by the Khampti market to pick up some totally unique gifts and mementos to commemorate a trip that you’ll never forget. No trip to Nagaland is complete without a visit to the state museum in Kohima, where you can learn all about this fascinating land and the equally fascinating naga people who inhabit, seeing numerous artefacts of the various naga tribes that call this state home. Unspoilt Nagaland scenery Homalin to Kalewa- Enjoy Nagaland with us With so much to see and explore, then natural wonders of Nagaland are best explored by boat. Fortunately, our Homalin to Kalewa river cruise will allow you the opportunity to explore all there is to see in the gentle and relaxed way that’s befitting of this timeless land. Let Pandaw Cruises unlock Asia’s gems for you Make Pandaw your companion in exploring the diverse natural and cultural wonders of Nagaland & the Chindwin River . Every member of our team, along with your crew, is dedicated to bringing you a travel experience you’ll never forget, combining the many wonders of the Asian continent with an unassuming standard of luxury. Our cruise ships are small enough to allow you to explore Asia’s treasures yet offer the highest passenger-to-deck-space ratio of any cruise ships afloat. We can’t wait to explore the rivers of India with you!
Pagan

Pagan

Travellers who book one of our Irrawaddy river cruises are guaranteed to discover some incredible stops on their enchanting river journey. However, there is no location quite like Pagan. Filled with architectural wonders and embedded in a rich history. Pagan is largely inaccessible but our river cruises provide travellers with a backstage pass to this incredible destination and you will be able to journey deep into the heart of this ancient land yourself. We’re delighted to be able to show our passengers a world far beyond the realms of what they thought possible and present them with something extraordinary. Join us on one of our cruises and take the trip of a lifetime to witness Pagan for yourself. Manuha temple in Pagan Discover A Historic City Located on the left bank of the Irrawaddy River, Pagan is roughly ninety miles from Mandalay . Those who are keen historians will know that Pagan is the iconic location of Mynamar . The old city was built in 849 CE and between the 11th and 13 century, this was the capital of the region. According to experts, Pagan was once the size of modern-day Mandalay! During 1287, pagan was overrun with the Mongols. The terrifying tribe was active in the region during this period and Pagan was but one of their many conquests. The evidence of their impact on the location can still be seen to this day. On our exciting expeditions, you will discover many of the secrets of this incredible location. Pagan was once a walled-off fortress with borders that stretched for over 2 miles. By many, it was viewed as a sacred city and it’s famously rich lands were the source of its strength through the ages. One of the earliest structures that can be discovered and viewed on our cruises actually dates back to the turn of the tenth century. Despite being battered by earthquakes, it is still in remarkable condition. You’ll find that many of the areas around Pagan have been given restorations to preserve their natural beauty and ensure that their stories live on. Things To See And Do In Pagan As well as being able to explore the remains of an ancient city, our expert guides can provide incredible details into everything that you may uncover through Pagan. You may also encounter researchers who are striving to root out more of the mysteries that still remain deeply buried here. Perhaps you could be the one to uncover a secret that has been lost in the sands of time? We certainly encourage you to take a closer look at the shrines around Pagan. These are monuments to cultural deities, believed to have protected the land from disaster. Shwezigon Pagoda in Pagan Book A Cruise Now To Journey To Pagan Yourself Pagan is one of the most mysterious and unique locations in Asia. It’s a fascinating place filled with wonder where you will be able to uncover the secrets of the past. With our expert team acting as your guide, you will be able to discover more about this fascinating location, all the while enjoying the luxuries on a cruise ship, built to cater to your every need.
Pakokku

Pakokku

We are visiting the local market and town center by Tuk Tuk
Phowin Taung

Phowin Taung

Located in the Sagaing Division of Myanmar, Phowin Tuang is a sight you have to see to believe. Luckily, you can do just that when you book one of our Chindwin River Cruises . Twenty-five kilometers west of Monywa city and 10 km southeast of Yinmabin, this astounding Buddhist destination sits on the west bank of the Chindwin River. By boat, it's possible to catch sight of the over 900 caves and astonishing monuments that this location has to offer. View from Phowin Taung Phowin Taung translates to "Mountain of Isolated Solitary Meditation, " a name that local legend suggests was given by supernatural alchemist U Po Win. It's believed he could perform feats such as flying, surviving underwater, and curing illness. During his lifetime, legend tells that U Po Win practiced Shamatha Meditation to attain what the Buddhists refer to as Siddhi, or 'the ultimate state of renunciation'. That is all anyone really knows about the caves found at Phowintaung, though experts suggest that paintings found in this destination may date back to the 14th-18th centuries. History aside, some key facts worth noting ahead of a river cruise here include: There are 947 large and small Buddhist caves There are nearly 450, 000 Buddha images Sculptures have been carved into the sandstone Most of the caves are 1. 8 to 4. 6 meters deep Zone fees are $2 per person, and access is possible by boat or bridge One of the Phowin Taung caves Things to do on a trip to Phowintaung As you can imagine from a destination with 947 caves to choose from, it can be tricky to know where to start when you reach Phowintaung. During your stay, try to stick to key caves like the Hpo Win Daung Buddha Statue Cave Temple and the small galleries you can access from the image hall. Note, too, that there are plenty of spectacular sites to see just from walking around this destination. The iconic sandstone sculptures, such as the Myanmar lion and golden monkeys are all around. Speaking of golden monkeys, it's worth looking out for these during your trip. They are a regular feature of the Phowintaung caves, and it's possible to buy monkey food for them from nearby villages. Golden Monkey at Phowin Taung Note, too, that Phowintaung Pagode Festival is held here every year and is usually celebrated in November depending on the Myanmar lunar calendar. This is a vibrant time to visit, with plenty of traditional music and plays all around. Phowintaung and the Chindwin river cruise If you book our 7 night Chindwin river cruise , you can expect to enjoy your second day at Phowintaung via coach. This provides plenty of time to admire this spectacular Buddhist monument and the many caves in the area. Phowintaung and the Chindwin & Upper Irrawaddy cruise Phowintaung also appears on day 2 of our new Chindwin & Upper Irrawaddy cruise. Here, you'll spend the morning in these spectacular caves before visiting Kyauk Ka Village in the afternoon.
Prome (Pyay)

Prome (Pyay)

As part of The Golden Land and your Irrawaddy River Cruise , you will get to enjoy a stop-off at Prome (Pyay) in Myanmar. Once known as Burma, the country of Myanmar is well worth a visit as it has some truly unforgettable local cuisine as well as decorative pagodas and unbelievable natural landscapes. Even though it isn’t such a hotspot for tourists these days, there are still many great reasons to visit beautiful Prome (Pyay) on the banks of the Irrawaddy River. In this quick travel guide to Prome (Pyay), we’ll go over some of its history and the things you can visit during your stop there. The History Of Prome (Pyay) Prome (Pyay) has been a busy trading town for a long time, and the town itself dates back to an ancient capital called Thayekhittaya. The ruins of this old capital are actually still visible, just a five-mile drive out of modern-day Prome (Pyay). The town today is known by a few different names, although the most common are Prome and Pyay. Pyay is the name that the locals use, while Prome came about as a result of mispronunciation by the British. Over the years, the use of Prome became so widespread that it is often thought of as the town’s official name. Prome (Pyay) Town Things To See And Do In Prome (Pyay) Thayekhittaya It’s well worth the short trip to get out to the ruins at Thayekhittaya to see the early town that would later become Prome (Pyay). It’s a fascinating site and also features a very interesting museum where you will be able to see some early Buddhist artifacts and sculptures. You’ll also be able to see some of the current excavations up close. The Central Market The town’s market is a bustling place to be and certainly a great location for a spot of people watching. You will also be able to shop for some souvenirs here as well. There will be plenty of stalls and stands selling trinkets and local goods for you to rummage through. If you’re hungry you can sample some of the delicious street food available. Payagyi Paya This gorgeous pagoda once marked one of the four corners of the ancient city of Thayekhittaya. Many believe that it dates from the 5th or 6th century. It consists of three floors and the pagoda’s pinnacle is lit up at night. These are just some of the highlights of visiting Prome (Pyay). When you get off in the town during the stop-off as part of your Pandaw River Cruise , you certainly won’t be bored as there is so much to explore. Even just wandering around the town will be enjoyable as you can soak up the sunshine while taking in the traditional way of life in Myanmar.
Pyapon

Pyapon

On one of our Irrawaddy Delta cruises , you can experience the small town of Pyapon on the Pyapon River, a tributary of the Irrawaddy Delta. Pyapon The History Of Pyapon Located 75 miles south of Rangoon, Pyapon is a small fishing town on the Irrawaddy River. Although it’s known for its fishing, the marshlands were reclaimed in the 20th century for rice production due to the rice paddies. As a result, it’s still one of the main producers of rice in Myanmar, shipping its products to the rest of the country and is known as the “Rice Basket” of Burma. The rice paddies attracted Burman and Karen settlers, many of which are still in Pyapon today mixed with the ancient, indigenous Mon race. Top Attractions The natural beauty of Pyapon is what stands out the most as you float along the Irrawaddy River 15km away from the Andaman Sea. As well as the paddies that dominate the landscape, cruisers often spot birds in the less populated areas. River crocodiles sometimes lay on the bank, and dolphins have been known to use the backwaters as nurseries. From an industrial point of view, the diesel-electric plant is a contrast to the natural Buddist culture and scenery, which mainly consists of temples. The temples are popular attractions for visitors who want to learn more about the history of Pyapon as well as the modern-day society. Things To Do On A Pyapon Cruise The best way to get a taste of this island-like town is to take a backwater tour. Pyapon is similar to other backwater villages, such as Alleppey in Kerala, India, and you can see the life of the people and the togetherness of the community in real-time. After the damage of Cyclone Nargis, the villages are under construction and still show the signs of destruction 11 years later. Jungles comprise a significant range of the landscape, so a trek down through the vegetation on the lookout for Irrawaddy dolphins and saltwater crocs is a must too. However, if you want to get off the water, there is more than people watching or animal spotting. In the hustle and bustle of the town, you’ll find vibrant markets that sell everything from rice and fish to flavoursome spices. Pandaw Cruises Here at Pandaw Cruises, we have the ultimate 7-night Great Irrawaddy Delta expedition that takes in everything from Rangoon to Pyapon, Bogale and the Twante Canal in Maubin. Not only do we include transfers, excursions and main meals, but we offer fantastic English-speaking guides. Entrance fees come as standard, too.
Rangoon (Yangon)

Rangoon (Yangon)

“Rangoon owes its history to two factors, the Shwe Dagon Pagoda and the River. The former made it a place of note in earlier ages; the latter has made it the chief port of Burma today. ” BR Pearn, History of Rangoon. 1939 Rangoon is a recent capital. In 1854, following the 2nd Anglo Burmese War the British made the small port with its important national pilgrimage shrine the administrative capital of their recent acquisition — Lower Burma. Up till then, despite its excellent location on the Rangoon River, Rangoon had been of limited economic and political significance . The city stands on the Eastern edge of the Delta and is on the Rangoon River, not the Irrawaddy. It was not connected by water to the Irrawaddy proper till the construction of the Twante Canal in the early part of this century. Originally known as Okkala and later Dagon (as in the Shwedagon Pagoda), Rangoon was renamed Yangon or ‘The End of Strife’ after the conquest of Lower Burma by King Alaunghpaya in 1755. The city later became anglicised as ‘Rangoon’. The name has now officially reverted to Yangon. The downstream port of Syriam had up till then been the entreport for Upper Burma. The British laid out the city with its grid plan — the cross-streets being numbered in the American way. The city soon prospered as a glance at the magnificent colonial architecture will tell. Rangoon was a cosmopolitan capital with large Indian and Chinese communities. As you walk along the street Many curious folk you will meet, Nearly every sort of man From the Shores of Hindustan; Persians, Turks, and bland Parsis Moguls, Gurkhas, Siamese, Placid folk from far Cathay - Where’s the Burman stowed away? Rodway Swinhoe. The Incomplete Guide to Burma. 1923 Though the non-Burman population decimated in number and wealth by the 1962 Revolution the cosmopolitan nature of the city can be seen in the many temples and mosques, churches and cathedrals, commercial buildings and palatial residences. Rangoon has always been one of the loveliest cities in Asia and until recently caught in an enchanted time warp. As the country opens and money floods in from other Asian countries the first casualty is the magnificent architectural heritage. Rangoon Division now has a population of over three million and covers an area of over 200 square miles.
Salay and Salay House

Salay and Salay House

One of our Irrawaddy River Cruises through Myanmar can take you to many fascinating destinations. One of the most popular stops on our cruises is Salay and the beautiful Salay House, which is a well-known attraction in the village. Salay is a beautiful village, and just one of the stops that our guests can enjoy on one of our Irrawaddy river cruises. When you choose to join us on one of our exciting and fascinating river cruises, you don't want to miss out on the incredible things that Salay has to offer its visitors. Novice nun at Salay About Salay Salay is a village just over 20 miles from Bagan, which originates from the 12th or 13th century. As an active religious centre, there are approximately 50 monasteries and fewer than 10, 000 residents - that's fewer than 200 people per monastery. In addition to the earlier history of Salay, the village's colonial history can also be observed when you visit. Visitors can see some remaining British colonial buildings, which stand as a reminder of the Burma Oil Company and its presence in the village in the 19th century. From the same century, wooden monasteries can be seen and explored. What is Salay House? Salay House is one of the popular attractions in the village. Formerly a trading company warehouse built in 1906, it has been carefully restored and now serves as a museum. Anyone who loves to explore the culture of the destinations that they visit will love this addition to our river cruise itinerary. The museum offers an educational experience, looking at the area's past and the culture of the present too. The museum has a market-to-table menu for dining too, which you can enjoy on the outdoor decking as you look out over the river. Other Attractions to Visit in Salay As well as visiting Salay House, there are various other attractions for you to enjoy in the village. You can admire the architecture from different eras, and visit some of the monasteries that show the village's strong religious connection. The Mann Paya Buddha is one of the older attractions, possibly originating from around 1300 AD. The story goes that it was spotted floating down the river in 1888, and pulled ashore by villagers. They then painted it in gold lacquer, making it not just one of the largest Buddha images in the country but also one of the only lacquered images. Wood carving of Buddha at Salay Experience Salay and Salay House on a Pandaw River Cruise Join us on one of our Myanmar river cruises, and experience Salay and Salay House on one of the stops. Our Mandalay Pagan Packet Cruise offers you a thrilling river cruise that shows you a fascinating new world, giving you a chance to explore Salay and look at Salay House. Take a look at our river cruise options to read about other destinations and our beautiful river cruisers.
Sale

Sale

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; moor at the Tan-chi-taung mountain and ascend on foot or by WWII jeep for the spectacular sunset over Pagan.
Sitthaung

Sitthaung

Near the mouth of the Yu River which drains the Kubu valley, Sitthaung was the final resting place of a number of IFC steamers scuppered there in 1942.
Tagaung

Tagaung

When you book an Irrawaddy River Cruise with Pandaw, you can expect to stop off at some of the most interesting and enchanting locations. This is something that is represented no better than by the ancient city of Tagaung. You will be able to explore this city on foot, viewing the incredibly fortifications. During the evening, you will be able to climb the Pagoda Hill at Tigyang. This offers the most incredible views, so you will want to make sure that you take your camera with you. Tagaung What to expect from Tagaung Tagaung is located on the river Ayeyarwady's east bank. It is 56 miles north of Shwebo and 127 miles north of Mandalay. Its civilization goes back to the early era of Christianity, with Pyu culture. It is certainly an impressive place to visit. At present, the only remnants of this ancient site are traces of the moat and ruins of the fort walls. It appears that the river has washed away the western wall. There is evidence that Buddhism prevailed at this site since the early times. This is because there is a big ruined pagoda called the Shwe Zigon. Due to the fact that almost all of the ancient site is now occupied by the new town, archaeological excavations could not be carried out. There were only a few plots of this carried out during the 1967-69 period. However, those that were conducted do show that there is evidence of religious edifices and habitation sites. Tagaung on the banks of the Irrawaddy river By visiting Tagaung on one of our cruises, you will get a real feel for what it used to be like here in ancient times. Nevertheless, you will also see what modern-day Tagaung is like as well. There are still artefacts and ancient ruins across the city. However, Tagaung today has a population of more than 6, 500 and it is also home to 950 households. It is starting to turn into a busy town, and it has a lot of personality too. To say it is a place that is one-of-a-kind would be no exaggeration. It has so much depth of history and character yet you can also see that the town is on a new journey too. If you are interested in visiting the magical and ancient city of Tagaung, all you need to do is book a cruise with Pandaw today. We actually have a number of different cruises that involve stopping off at this impressive location, including our new cruise, which is our Pagan & The Upper Irrawaddy . You can find more information on all of the cruises we have running iva our website.
Thayetmyo

Thayetmyo

You can join two of our popular Irrawaddy river cruises to visit the beautiful town of Thayetmyo. Both The Irrawaddy and The Golden Land cruises will take you to this pretty region and you will have the chance to disembark the ship and explore Thayetmyo at your own pace. Here’s our quick guide to Thayetmyo and why it’s really worth visiting during your time in Myanmar on one of our popular cruises. Thayetmyo on the banks of the Irrawaddy river The History Of Thayetmyo Thayetmyo is a small town on the banks of the Irrawaddy River in upper Myanmar. It had a significant armed forces present since the middle of the 1800s and was developed as a colonial town by the British after the second Anglo Burmese War in 1855. The town was still home to a British battalion throughout the First World War and also had a large battalion made up of local army as well. The oldest golf course in the whole of Myanmar was located in Thayetmyo and this had reciprocal links to Scotland’s famous Royal & Ancient St. Andrews course. These links are under dispute these days, though, as the modern Royal & Ancient St. Andrews course now denies them. Traditionally, the area had a strong trade in rice, tobacco, cotton, and oilseeds. In the 1960s, the area’s economy was revolutionized when two lime-stone quarries were established just south of the town. These were used to provide supplies for the local cement factory. What To See And Do In Thayetmyo One of the main attractions in Thayetmyo is the large war cemetery that is located just outside of the town. It is the final resting place for thousands of Turkish prisoners of war. The prisoners were originally taken hostage in Iraq and transported by the British forces to labor camps in what was Burma. Hundreds of them died in these camps from Malaria. For years, the cemetery was left in a state of neglect until the Turkish government stepped in during the 1960s. After trying to set up initiatives for maintenance for the cemetery, permission for the work was finally granted in 2012. Of course, the extensive war cemetery isn’t the only thing to see during your time in Thayetmyo. In the center of the town is also a bustling market, where you will be able to rummage through trinkets to try to find some souvenirs to take home. The market is also a great place to head if you want to sample some local street food as well. Lots of visitors to Thayetmyo also enjoy exploring the town’s streets so that they can see all of the traditional colonial architecture and houses. It’s possible to take a horse and cart trip out to the scenic edges of the town and to check out the golf course. There is plenty to see and do in the town of Thayetmyo, and you will certainly enjoy your time off the ship here. For all travelers who love history and want a glimpse into life in one of Britain’s colonies, then this will certainly be an interesting location for you.
Toungdoot

Toungdoot

Toungdoot or Hsawng-hsup in Tai, is an ancient Shan enclave which in British times still had a ruling prince or sawbwa complete with palace and court.
Wakema

Wakema

In the Ayeyarwaddy Division of south-west Myanmar lies the idyllic town of Wakema. A small yet bustling town surrounded by awe-inspiring greenery and wildlife, it is known as a melting pot of religions, with Baptist, Buddhism and Muslim places of worship scattered around it. Accessible via one of Pandaw’s Irrawaddy Delta River Cruises , you will be able to walk through the busy streets of the port, tasting incredible culinary delights and seeing the locals working on the market stalls on day 6/7. Houses on the banks of the Irrawaddy river at Wakema Key Facts About Wakema It has a population of over 42, 000 people It is also known as Wagay-ma, Wancuma, Wankinna and Wagema It has a warm and welcoming atmosphere It is in the Myaungmya District It is a unique stop on your river cruise Top Attractions to Visit in Wakema Although Wakema is quite a small town, it’s filled with things to see and do during the time you are there. When you have a few hours to spare, you can see the following: Hantharwaddy Kamahtann Monastery Hidden amongst lush greenery, this historic treasure is a must-see for those looking to dip their feet into the culture of Myanmar. Located just off a dirt road, from the moment that you arrive at this monastery you will feel at one with nature. BoGyoke Park Not to be confused with the much larger park in Yangon, this little yet beautiful park makes for a wonderful explore when you are in Wakema. Situated next to the banks of the river, it is often missed by tourists exploring the area. Thet Kya Ma Har Thiri Pagoda This beautiful and ornate pagoda is located in the heart of Wakema. Architecturally fascinating, from the moment you enter this pagoda you will feel at peace with your surroundings. One of Wakema’s most popular tourist attractions, it is visited by thousands of people each year. The perfect place to visit whilst on your river cruise, it showcases Myanmar’s religious traditions. What Wakema is Famous For Although Wakema is visited by many tourists per year (most commonly those on a river cruise), the traditional look and feel of the town makes it a wonderful place to visit for those wanted to see the true Myanmar. Not only is it known for its variety of religions, busy port and market, but it is also home to the Government Technological Institute that was established in 1996. A prominent university attended by numerous locals and international students, it has grown over the years to introduce state of the art equipment. When you are on your river cruise, you will be able to pass by the university gates due to its proximity to the centre of town. Wakema is also known as the hometown of Sayadaw U Pannya Vamsa who was a notable Buddhist missionary who worked throughout Sri Lanka and Malaysia (as well as other areas) until his death in 2017. A builder of 8 monasteries around the world, his rich history make him beloved in the town. The Great Irrawaddy Delta cruise will allow you to explore this beautiful town.
Yandabo

Yandabo

Here we visit the Pandaw School built with donations from past Pandaw passengers and see potteries, the main industry for this village.

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