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EXPLORE 'OFF THE BEATEN TRACK'

THE CHINDWIN: 7 NIGHTS
7 NIGHTS CHINDWIN MONYWA - HOMALIN FROM US$3,150
SAVE UP TO 10% AND NO SINGLE SUPPLEMENT ON SELECTED DATES

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 Rangoon and 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.

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Please Note: Prices shown are per person in USD$ and include all discounts.
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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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2 Nights Mystical Inle Lake Pre Tour

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Mystical Inle Lake & Southern Shan State Adventure (4 nights) - Kalaw Hill Lodge

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2 Nights Southern Shan State Adventure - Kalaw Hill Lodge

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POST CRUISE EXTENSIONS

Post Cruise Rangoon (CH)

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OPTIONAL PACKAGE ADDONS

Private Dining

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Pre-Bookable House Wine Package

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ITINERARY

Upstream      Downstream

DAY 1 MONYWA

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

IMPORTANT: Please note that water levels drop dramatically as of December and we might not be able to reach Homalin. You will be well rewarded with alternative excursions. We will be cruising up to Mawlaik and return to Kalewa where you will be flown out to Yangon or Mandalay.

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

Disembarkation and transfer to Homalin airport. 

IMPORTANT: Please note that water levels drop dramatically as of December and we might not be able to reach Homalin. You will be well rewarded with alternative excursions. We will be cruising up to Mawlaik and return to Kalewa where you will be flown out to Yangon or Mandalay.

More about Homalin

DAY 1 MONYWA

Lunch on board. 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 & KYAUK KA VILLAGE

Morning Excursion by coach to Phowin Taung Hill where we visit the Phowin Taung Caves with beautiful mural paintings and Buddha statues dating back to the 14th and 18th centuries. In the afternoon, we visit the Kyauk Ka Village famous for the making of black Lacquer.

More about Phowin Taung

DAY 3 KANEE

The river narrows and the forested hills fall away to farmland. Enjoy a morning culinary demonstration by our head chef on how to prepare a traditional Burmese Ginger Salad. Arrive in Kanee and take an afternoon walking tour of the village.

DAY 4 MINGKIN

Morning cruise up river. After lunch, we explore Mingkin, 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.

More about Mingkin

DAY 5 KALEWA

Morning walking tour of Minkin followed by cruise to Kalewa located at the confluence of the Chindwin and the Myittha Rivers, where we enjoy a walking tour.

More about Kalewa

DAY 6 MAWLAIK

Morning visit to Masein Village and then sail to Mawlaik, the town that 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!.

More about Mawlaik

DAY 7 MAWLAIK ELEPHANT CAMP

Morning excursion by Tuk Tuk or coach to Bus to view the Teak wood Forest outside Mawlaik. Continue to the Pyar Swe Elephant Camp, a working camp where the elephants are protected in natural surroundings. We then sail to Kalewa where we overnight.

More about Mawlaik

DAY 8 KALEWA

Disembark at Kalewa IWT Jetty and explore Kalewa with its markets and quaint wooden architecture. Continue to Kalay Airport for your onward flight to Rangoon or Mandalay (included in the price of this cruise).

More about Kalewa

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WHATS INCLUDED

Cruise Price Includes: One way domestic flight Yangon/Mandalay-Kalewa resp Kalewa-Yangon/Mandalay Entrance fees, guide services (English language), gratuities to crew, main meals, locally made soft drinks, local beer and local spirits, jugged coffee and selection of teas and tisanes, mineral water.

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 and tips to tour guides, local guides, bus drivers, boat operators and cyclo drivers.

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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 08.00am-08.30am on embarkation day.

DAY 8 HOMALIN

Your cruise includes a flight from Homalin to Mandalay or Yangon. Please note the flight times for your flight from Homalin to Mandalay or Rangoon are currently as follows:

Homalin - Yangon YJ-264 1540-1820
Homalin - Mandalay YJ-264 1540-1640

Flight timings are subject to change.

DAY 1 MONYWA

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

DAY 8 KALEWA

Please note that airline timings are subject to change depending on domestic flight schedules.

Please note the flight times for your flight from Kalay to Mandalay or Rangoon are currently as follows:

Kalay - Yangon K7-227 1615-1845
Kalay - Mandalay K7-227 1615-1705

Flight timings are subject to change.

TESTIMONIALS

TRAVEL BLOGS

Reflections on the Chindwin by Pandaw Founder Paul Strachan

'The Chindwin is the loveliest of rivers. . . ' so wrote my late friend Alister McCrae of his 1930s trip up the great tributary as a young assistant .... read more