River Cruise Itinerary for Chindwin and The Upper Irrawaddy | Pandaw.com
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PANDAW COMBO RIVER CRUISE

CHINDWIN & THE UPPER IRRAWADDY

18 NIGHTS FROM US$8,662.50
NO SINGLE SUPPLEMENT ON SELECTED DATES

Chindwin, the loveliest of rivers. Our objective, Homalin is the capital of Nagaland and close to the India border. The river carves it way through mountains and forests and we stop at delightful unspoiled little towns.

Combine this with the scenic and remote Upper Irrawaddy. We journey off the beaten track for 10-nights all the way to Katha once home to George Orwell and the setting for Burmese days. Other highlights will be passage through the 3rd and 2nd defiles.

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18 NIGHTS FROM US$8,662.50
NO SINGLE SUPPLEMENT 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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POST CRUISE EXTENSIONS

IRRA Post cruise Rangoon

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2 Nights Mystical Inle Lake Post Tour

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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

Upstream      Downstream

DAY 1 PAGAN

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.

Embark for lunch and followed by exploration of the 3000 plus Pagan monuments by coach. The ship will leave Pagan at 17:30.

More about Pagan

DAY 2 YANDABO

Cruise past the confluence with the Chindwin River and arrive at Yandabo village, famous for its production of terracotta pottery from the riverbank clay. Cruise through afternoon upstream towards Mandalay.

More about Yandabo

DAY 3 AMARAPURA

Morning visit to Ava and explore the ruins, visiting Bagaya Kyaung, a 200-year-old royal monastery made of teak with elaborate woodcarvings. Continue to visit the ancient capital of Amarapura and admire the paintings in a temple.

More about Amarapura

DAY 4 KYAUK-MYOUNG

Visit the spectacular potteries near Kyauk-myoung where the famous 50-gallon water pots are handmade. We see all stages of manufacture from the throwing of the pots to the weeklong firing in huge kilns. We return to the ship and enter the third defile of Irrawaddy.

More about Kyauk-Myoung

DAY 5 KHANYAT

Stop at Khan-nyat village with its many Buddhist monasteries and visit the former head teacher's house, which also includes his small museum collections. We go ashore and climb the Pagoda Hill at Tigyang with its stunning views of the Upper Irrawaddy River.

More about Khanyat

DAY 6 KATHA

We reach the enchanting colonial town of Katha, setting for George Orwell’s Burmese Days. Little has changed since then. Of interested are the fire station’s collections of the Irrawaddy Flotilla Company’s ship’s bells taken from sunken ships in the Second War. Katha was the final resting place of the old flotilla and here over a hundred ships were scuppered in 1942 in an Act of Denial before the advancing Japanese. We also visit an elephant logging camp at Katha in the hardwood forests of the hills that surround the town and further upstream.

More about Katha

DAY 7 SAIL UPSTREAM KYUNT DAW ISLAND

Transfer by Local boat and visit Kyun Daw village where we will visit countless small Pagodas.

DAY 8 2ND DEFILE OF IRRAWADDY

Cruise through the 2nd Defile, the most dramatic of the three gorges with cliffs towering over the narrow channel. Sail downstream.

DAY 9 TAGAUNG

Walking tour of the ancient city of Tagaung viewing the fortifications, a famous nat or spirit shrine and the archaeological area.

More about Tagaung

DAY 10 MINGUN

Slip our moorings early in the morning and 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 People’s Home originally established with the assistance of the Irrawaddy Flotilla Company in the 1930s. Drive through the beautiful Sagaing hills to the hilltop to enjoy an amazing view over the region and Irrawaddy River.

More about Mingun

DAY 11 MANDALAY

Disembark after breakfast and transfer to your hotel in Mandalay.

More about Mandalay

DAY 12 MONYWA

Morning transfer from your hotel to Monywa to join your ship. 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 13 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 14 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 15 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 16 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 17 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 18 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 19 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

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WHATS INCLUDED

Cruise Price Includes: One way domestic flight Kalewa-Mandalay, Entrance fees, guide services (English language), gratuities to crew, main meals, local mineral water, jugged coffee, teas & tisanes, 2 nights accommodation in Pagan, half day sightseeing of Pagan with private guide, Pagan Zone tax, transfer between ships.

Cruise Price Excludes: International flights, port dues (if levied), 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.

TRANSFERS & JOINING

DAY 1 PAGAN

Embark at Pagan (Ayer jetty) by 11:30am.

DAY 11 MANDALAY

Disembark at the Saggai Lay Kyun Man Aung Jetty.

DAY 12 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 (transfer 3 hours).

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.

DAY 19 HOMALIN

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

Homalin - Mandalay UB-586 1610-1720 (Direct) May - Sep

Flight timings are subject to change.

TESTIMONIALS

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