River Cruise Itinerary for Chindwin and Mergui Archipelago | Pandaw.com
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PANDAW COMBO RIVER CRUISE

CHINDWIN & MERGUI ARCHIPELAGO

15 NIGHTS FROM US$6,807.60
SAVE UP TO 10% ON SELECTED DATES

Chindwin, 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 unspoiled little towns.

Combining this with the Mergui Archipelago with its 800 islands, one of those areas that remain almost totally unvisited by foreigners.

This trip includes flight to Yangon and Kaw Thaung and hotel stay in Yangon.

Please note: This expedition requires a sufficient level of fitness and agility to climb in and out of tenders from the ship and at shore. Launching and boarding inflatable and rigid tenders can be challenging. Please be aware that the Andaman Explorer has a steep gangway and a good level of fitness is essential to ensure guest safety. There may be rough water which can challenge those with limited mobility. Launching and excursions are dependent on safe weather conditions as deemed by the Master of the Andaman Explorer and sea conditions.

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15 NIGHTS FROM US$6,807.60
SAVE UP TO 10% ON SELECTED DATES
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IMAGES

EXPEDITION MAP

YOUR SHIP

EXTENSIONS

PRE CRUISE EXTENSIONS

Pre Royal Mandalay 3 nights

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Northern Shan State Adventure 4 Nights

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POST CRUISE EXTENSIONS

Burma's Undiscovered South Post Tour - The Strand

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OPTIONAL PACKAGE ADDONS

Private Dining

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Pre-Bookable House Wine Package

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Free Flow Drinks

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Free Flow Drinks & Wine Package

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ITINERARY

DAY 1 MONYWA

Afternoon excursion to see Thandboodi Temple, Bawdhi Tahaung statue and the night market in the evening.

PLEASE NOTE: The itinerary for this expedition is indicative only. As we travel to remote areas, changes to the itinerary will inevitably occur. A flexible approach is required if you book this cruise.

More about Monywa

DAY 2 PHOWIN TAUNG

In the morning, coach to the Phowin Taung Caves, where we will admire beautiful mural paintings and Buddha statues in riches. Beyond Monywa we enter the Upper Chindwin.

More about Phowin Taung

DAY 3 CRUISING

The river narrows and the forested hills fall away to farmland we pass a number of attractive villages like Kanee where we can stretch our legs.

DAY 4 MINGKIN

Mingkin was rediscovered by Paul Strachan in 1987 and described in some detail in his book Mandalay: Travels from the Golden City. It remains for Paul the most art historically interesting site in Myanmar (more so than the now spoilt Pagan) with its Konbaung court style teak monasteries sumptuously decorated. Mingkin may be described as the Luang Prabang of the Chindwin. The gateway town for the Chin State, we explore Kalewa with its markets and quaint wooden architecture.

More about Mingkin

DAY 5 MAWLAIK

Morning explore Mawlaik replaced Kindat as the administrative capital but ironically the Myanma refused to move there from upstream Kindat. It was mainly settled with the company houses of the by the Scottish owned and run Bombay Myanmarh Trading Corporation in the 1920s and 1930s. There are many splendid ‘Dak Bungalows’ set around a verdant golf course. Mawlaik and the other towns of the Upper Chindwin can only be reached by boat so cars are few. There is a dreamy otherworldly quality to such places and truly one feels that one has travelled there in the Pandaw time machine!. Afternoon we pass the mouth of the Yu River which drains the Kubu valley that provided the route for a Lieutenant Grant to march to the relief of the Manipur garrison when the chief commissioner of Assam was massacred in a local rebellion.

More about Mawlaik

DAY 6 SITTHAUNG

Sitthaung was the final resting place of a number of IFC steamers scuppered there in 1942 in an ‘act of denial’ from the advancing Japanese who were a matter of hours behind. We hope to find remains of these ships as we have in the past at Katha on the Irrawaddy. It was from here that the survivors of the Japanese invasion marched out to Tamu on the India border. Pantha was an important oil refinery belonging to the Indo-Burma Petroleum Co (Steel Brothers).

More about Sitthaung

DAY 7 TOUNGDOOT

Toungdoot or Hsawng-hsup in Tai, is an ancient Shan enclave which in British times still had a ruling sawbwa complete with palace and court. It will be interesting to see what has become of the royal family and their home and to see these Shan people so far from their Tai-Shan homelands. On the way to Homalin, the furthest navigable point on the Chindwin for vessels of our size. Alister McCrae wrote of his visit there 1935 ‘I loved the atmosphere of quiet and peaceful living there. At night I could hear greylag geese as they came in to the flooded land around us from far away north’. Bird in 1897 says little other than that Homalin is the headquarters of a township, but has very little trade’. Until we get there and explore the place there is not much we can say!

More about Toungdoot

DAY 8 HOMALIN - RANGOON

Disembarkation and transfer to Homalin airport for a domestic flight to Yangon. Transfer to your hotel and rest of day at leisure.

More about Homalin

DAY 9 RANGOON - KAWTHAUNG

Transfer and domestic flight Yangon to Kaw Thaung. After lunch explore the town of Kawthaung and surrounding area. Sail on evening or morning tide.

More about Kawthaung

DAY 10 NAUNG WEE ISLAND

Sail on to Naung Wee island to visit a Moken (sea gipsy) village and learn about their extraordinary water bourn life. Sail all night.

DAY 11 SAILING THE ARCHIPELAGO

Sail all day north through the archipelago with a stop to swim and snorkel and explore ashore on an island of interest.

More about Mergui

DAY 12 MERGUI

All day ashore to explore this fascinating colonial port city. Afternoon voluntary trip by car to the rarely visited town of Tanintharyi (Tenasserim), once capital of this region.

DAY 13 LUN LE ISLANDS

Morning sail to Port Maria to visit the Karen communities there. Swimming and snorkeling off a desert island in the afternoon. Sail all night.

DAY 14 LAMPI MARINE NATIONAL PARK

Visit the Lampi Marine National Park with its mangrove forests and diverse bird life including the hornbill. We go up river by kayak deep into the mangroves with excellent bird watching and return to the beach to swim or snorkel. Afternoon visit to Mokkein sea gypsy villages.

DAY 15 COCKSCOMB ISLAND

Sail to Cockscomb Island with its limestone caves and hidden lagoon accessible only on the ship’s tenders. In the afternoon we will move round to the South Bay where we can kayak and swim off pristine white sandy beaches and watch the sun go down as cocktails are served on the beach.

DAY 16 KAWTHAUNG

Arrive at Kawthaung in the morning and disembark for your onward journey.

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WHATS INCLUDED

Cruise Price Includes: Domestic flight Homalin to Rangoon and domestic flight from Rangoon to Kawthaung, one night at Sule Shangri La Yangon (or similar), all excursions as stated, entrance fees, guide services (English language), main meals, local mineral water, jugged coffee, teas & tisanes, crew gratuities, kayaks & snorkeling equipment.

Cruise Price Excludes: International flights, port dues usd 195 per person, laundry, all visa costs, fuel surcharges (see terms and conditions), all beverages except local mineral water, jugged coffee, teas & tisanes and tips to tour guides, local guides, bus drivers, boat operators and cyclo drivers.

Please note: There is no credit card machine available on the Andaman Explorer due to connectivity issues. Please bring USD cash to settle your on board bill at the end of the cruise.

Please note: Thai citizens enter Burma visa-free but need a pre-arranged visa when visiting Mergui.

Please note: This expedition requires a sufficient level of fitness and agility to climb in and out of tenders from the ship and at shore. There may be rough water which can challenge those with limited mobility.

TRANSFERS & JOINING

DAY 1 MONYWA

Your transfer Mandalay to the pier in Monywa is included in the cruise package.

Please input the following information into the notes box of your booking or email us at information@pandaw.com:
For Mandalay Airport to Monywa (transfer 2.5 hours):
your arrival time and flight number
For hotel in Mandalay to Monywa (transfer 3 hours):
your hotel name and hotel address

You will be picked up between 08.00-08.30 on embarkation day.

DAY 16 KAWTHAUNG

Disembarkment after breakfast between 09:00 & 10:00.

Passengers with an onwards flight from Kawthaung will be brought to Myo Ma Jetty in Kawthaung and have to arrange further transport at their own cost.

Passengers with an onward flight from Ranong or a hotel in Ranong will be brought to Saphan Pla Jetty in Ranong, Thailand and have to arrange further transport at their own cost.

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