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Join a relaxing cruise along the Irrawaddy river, discovering the classic sights along with some lesser-visited riverside villages, temples and markets. You will be the guest of Pandaw Expeditions, whose ships are all custom built, designed and finished by traditionally skilled craftsmen as replicas of colonial river steamers. Luxury and comfort are present but discreet, but it is the colonial character and informal, friendly atmosphere that impresses, more like a party on a private yacht than a cruise ship.
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Fly from the UK to Rangoon. (N)
Arrive in Rangoon and transfer to The Savoy Hotel for 2 nights. (N)
Full-day tour of Rangoon, including its colonial buildings, Sule pagoda, Kandawgyi lake and the magnificent Shwedagon pagoda. (B)
Early morning flight to Mandalay. Continue to the jetty and board your Pandaw cruise for a 7-night cruise on the Irrawaddy river. Lunch is on board, followed byan afternoon coach tour of Mandalay, visiting Mandalay fort and some craft workshops. (B, L, D)
Today you will make an early start, entering the first of the three gorges along the river. Cruise to Mingun to view the pagoda here and the largest working bell in the world. You will also visit the Mingun Old Peoples' Home, originally established with the assistance of the Irrawaddy Flotilla Company in the 1930s. (B, L, D)
Visit the potteries near Kyauk-myoung, where the famous 50 gallon water pots are made by hand. You will see all stages of their manufacture, from the initial throwing of the pots to the week-long firing process in huge kilns. (B, L, D)
Disembark in Mandalay for an early morning excursion to visit Sagaing Hill, home to hundreds of monasteries, some 6,000 monks and nuns, and 500 stupas.
Continue to Inwa (Ava), an ancient city that served as Burma's (Myanmar’s) capital for nearly 400 years, and Amarapura, Burma's penultimate royal capital, home to the large Mahagandayon monastery. The day ends with a visit to U Bein Bridge in time for sunset. (B, L, D)
Continue downstream this morning and stop at Yandabo, a picturesque river village where the peace treaty of the first Anglo-Burmese war was signed. Yandabo is a small rural village famous for making pots. You will visit the Pandaw school with its new dispensary, both built with donations from previous Pandaw passengers. (B, L, D)
Today you will visit Pakokku, a small town on the west bank of the Irrawaddy which is often used as a stopping point for travellers heading south to Pagan (Bagan). Disembark and take a tuk-tuk to visit the town centre and the local markets. (B, L, D)
Spend a full day discovering a selection of the 2,000 listed pagodas and temples in Pagan. Highlights may include the Ananda temple, arguably the most beautiful temple in Pagan and a masterpiece of Mon architecture; Htilominlo temple, the tallest in Pagan with a height of 46 metres; Dhammayangyi temple, one of the largest structures in Pagan and with a similar architectural plan to Ananda temple; and Shwesandaw pagoda, a graceful, circular pagoda. (B, L, D)
Check out of your cabin after breakfast and disembark at the jetty in Pagan. Ttransfer to the airport for your flight to Rangoon. On arrival, transfer to The Savoy Hotel for an overnight stay. (B)
Transfer to the airport and fly back to the UK. (B)
As per itinerary – B: Breakfast, L: Lunch, D: Dinner, N: No meals.
This tour is led in each destination en route by a local tour guide. All excursions from the cruise are on a group basis and led by the cruise tour guide.
This tour is based in 4-star accommodation.
This cruise can also be done in reverse from Jinghong in China to Vientiane in Laos. In addition to this cruise, Pandaw Cruises also operates a number of cruise itineraries in Burma, Cambodia and Vietnam.
For a price quote based on alternative accommodation standards, to discuss flight options or to tailor this itinerary, please call to speak with a Cox & Kings consultant or
Built in 2014, the RV Kalaw Pandaw is an ultra light ship that combines one of the shallowest drafts on Burma's (Myanmar’s) rivers with one of the highest passenger to space ratios. The ship has 18 air-conditioned cabins: eight on the upper deck and 10 on the main deck, all with 15 sq metres of floor space, a panoramic French window and fittings of polished teak and brass. All meals are served in an air-conditioned bistro-style dining room with outdoor seating also available, in addition to a 24-hour hospitality bar and an onboard bakery producing daily freshly baked breads. All shore excursions are included and led by an expert local guide, while quality mountain bikes are also available for independent exploration.
This tour can be booked / reserved online by clicking on one of the coloured links below.
PDW2019: 10 Nights
Situated in the dry central plains of Burma on the banks of the Ayeyarwady (Irrawaddy)...
Burma's former capital and its biggest city, Rangoon (Yangon) is a relatively young city...