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IRRAWADDY RIVER CRUISES

An unforgettable Irrawaddy river cruise

Our Irrawaddy river cruises take you into the heart of the Burmese culture. The Irrawaddy flows from north to south through the country of Myanmar (formerly known as Burma.) It is the country's largest river and most important commercial waterway which is why no trip to this majestic country is complete without a Pandaw Irrawaddy cruise.

The Irrawaddy River is 2,210km long, it's the 55th longest river in the world, and discharges a staggering 13,000 litres of water into the Andaman sea per second.

Life onboard a Pandaw Irrawaddy cruise is just as relaxed as the Burmese people themselves. Our cruise itineraries will allow you to experience the true warmth of the locals as well as the beautiful, varying landscapes of such a fascinating country. We will take you to the lush teak plantations around Prome and the desert country south of Pagan. You will visit small villages and towns, monasteries and temples and see local agriculture and manufacturing first hand. Our cruises really allow you to get off the beaten track and see a side of Myanmar unseen by many tourists.

The staterooms aboard all of our Irrawaddy cruise ships are spacious and come with fresh fruits and flowers on arrival. You will find kimonos, slippers and spa-branded amenities in your room to make your stay that little bit more special. Our staff do everything they can to make your stay as comfortable as you'll need. We provide a peaceful setting to help you unwind and fully appreciate your surroundings, 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 10 night river cruise travels up and downstream between Prome and Mandalay. It really is a special journey taking you into the heart of Burmese life and culture. You will travel to working farms and meet the locals who will give you an insight into their daily lives. Visit temples and monasteries and pass differing landscapes as you travel on the powerful Irrawaddy River, from lush teak plantations to the barren desert.

Rivers: Irrawaddy River

Ships: RV Kanee Pandaw

from US$3,856.50 per person

members from US$3,428 per person

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

Relax and explore the majestic temples and monuments in the ancient city of Pagan on this 10 night Irrawaddy river cruise. You will visit working pottery factories and see how the riverside clay helps many locals earn a living. As you sail the remote upper Irrawaddy you will venture further into parts of Burma that many visitors aren't lucky enough to see. You'll visit local villages and towns and Pandaw has access to mountain bikes if you’d like to cycle around town.

Rivers: Irrawaddy River

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

from US$3,780 per person

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

This is a 14 night Irrawaddy cruise which launched in November 2019 onboard a new Pandaw ship, the RV Kanee Pandaw. This exciting journey will visit bustling markets, witness Buddhist artefacts and sculptures, see Italian built forts and ride rikshaws. You'll enjoy sightseeing from the sundeck as well as excursions into the towns and villages. You will travel between Yangon and the enchanting city of Prome and between Mandalay and Mingun on this unforgettable cruise on the Irrawaddy River.

Rivers: Irrawaddy River

Ships: RV Kanee Pandaw

from US$5,391 per person

members from US$4,792 per person

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

Being slightly shorter than our other Irrawaddy cruises, this is the ideal cruise if you want to experience life on the Irrawaddy River but may be limited on time. This cruise allows you to take in the delights of Pagan for 2 nights, exploring over 3000 monuments. You will also enjoy 3 nights in Mandalay, Burma's spiritual capital. You will experience small towns, villages and bustling markets by excursion. This is an excellent cruise for those wanting to see Burma at a slower pace.

Rivers: Irrawaddy River

Ships: RV Kanee Pandaw, RV Pandaw II

from US$1,885.50 per person

members from US$1,676 per person

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

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

The Great Irrawaddy Delta

7 NIGHTS

If you really want to get off the beaten track and see Burma at its most remote, our 10 night Great Irrawaddy Delta cruise is for you. This serene cruise explores the life on the wetlands, creeks and channels of the delta. You will adventure into the heart of the delta and experience the village life of the local Burmese people, visit the pretty towns, markets, temples, churches and mosques in this labyrinth of waterways.

Rivers: Irrawaddy River, Irrawaddy Delta

Ships: RV Kanee Pandaw

from US$2,286.36 per person

members from US$2,235.55 per person

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

This is a super convenient 4 night cruise on the Irrawaddy River and allows our passengers to see the sights from Mandalay to Pagan discovering the ancient capital, riverside villages, busy local markets and enjoy the stunning scenery from the deck of your cruise ship.

Rivers: Irrawaddy River

Ships: RV Kanee Pandaw, RV Pandaw II

from US$1,408.50 per person

members from US$1,252 per person

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 Kha Byoo Pandaw, RV Zawgyi Pandaw

from US$7,087.50 per person

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 per person

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

Irrawaddy River 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 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 ....

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
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.
Khanyat

Khanyat

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

The largest city in Myanmar, Rangoon (Yangon) is a mix of cosmopolitan high-rises, stunning architecture and historical sights. Featuring the best of everything Myanmar has to offer, this exceptional city is a must-see destination on your Irrawaddy River cruise . Top Attractions in Rangoon If you’re only planning a short stop in the City, you’ll want to make the most of your time in Rangoon. With so many things to see and do, you’ll be hard pressed to explore everything the City has to offer, but there are some tourist attractions that wouldn’t want to miss. Shwedagon Pagoda at Rangoon Shwedagon Pagoda The world-famous Shwedagon Pagoda is one of the most popular attractions in the City, and it’s easy to see why. Sometimes known as the Great Dagon Pagoda or the Golden Pagoda, the unique structure can be seen from almost every location in the City, and the golden roof of the Pagoda illuminates the skyline during dusk and throughout the night. Attracting thousands of pilgrims from around the world every year, the Shwedagon Pagoda is estimated to date back at least 2, 500 years. As well as being a revered holy temple, the Pagoda is a symbol of Rangoon (Yangon), and Myanmar as a whole. Shwedagon Pagoda at sunset Its exceptional architecture, peaceful tranquillity and stunning jewel-encrusted stupa ensure the Golden Pagoda remain one of Rangoon’s most visited locations, and what a location it is to see! Sule Pagoda Sule Pagoda is another exquisite example of religious architecture. The historical pagoda is home to thousands of statues and shrines, and it’s ornate, gilded exterior simply adds to the breath-taking City landscape. Chaukhtatgyi Pagoda The Chaukhtatgyi Pagoda is another must-see site in Rangoon. Featuring one of the country’s largest statues, the 66m sculpture of the reclining Buddha is revered by locals and tourists alike. One of the best-known temples in the wider area, the Chaukhtatgyi Buddha Temple offers a wonderful experience of the country’s religion, culture, and history. Bogyoke Aung San Market If you fancy a spot of shopping in Rangoon, there are endless shops and stores to visit. Stretching over 200 square miles, there’s not much the City doesn’t have to offer. However, Bogyoke Aung San Market offers an unmistakable and authentic experience. The bazaar features hundreds of stalls and stores, mainly offering antiques, jewellery, crafts, and clothing, as well as art galleries. Whilst the opportunity to pick up authentic souvenirs is enough to attract tourists, the colonial architecture and cobbled streets provide a fantastic experience of Rangoon in themselves. For guests travelling on Pandaw river cruises , there is ample opportunity to spend time in Rangoon. Our The Irrawaddy and The Golden Land cruise is one of the best ways to not only explore stunning Burma but also the historic Rangoon (Yangon).
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.
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.
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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