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Pagan & The Upper Irrawaddy: Pandaw Cruises

Private Travel | Cruises 14 Days & 11 Nights Lead-in price: £4395 Current prices from: £4395
Explore a little-visited region of northern Burma (Myanmar), sailing from Mandalay to Katha, former home of George Orwell. Visit charming local towns, Buddhist monasteries and small pagodas. All the while, marvel at beautiful riverside scenery, spectacular gorges and the dramatic landscape of the north, and learn about daily life along one of Indochina’s most important waterways, ending with an exploration of the temples of Pagan.

The Cox & Kings signature experiences

  • 10-night cruise through spectacular gorges
  • Visit isolated villages, hidden pagodas & shrines
  • Explore Katha, the setting for George Orwell's novel Burmese Days
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Superior Private Tour in brief

Day 1: Fly to Mandalay


Day 2: Mandalay

Arrive in Mandalay and transfer to the Mandalay Hill Resort for 1 night. (N)

Day 3: Mandalay

Transfer to the jetty and board your Pandaw vessel this morning for the 10-night Upper Irrawaddy cruise. Afternoon tour of Mandalay including visits to Mahamuni pagoda and U Bein Bridge. (B, L, D)

Day 4:Kyauk-myaung • Third defile

Morning cruising. Afternoon visit to the potteries near Kyauk-myaung, where the renowned 50-gallon water pots are made by hand. Return to the ship and enter the dramatic third defile of the Irrawaddy. (B, L, D)

Day 5: Khan-nyat • Tigyang

Stop at Khan-nyat village to visit its numerous Buddhist monasteries. Climb Pagoda hill at Tigyang for superb views of the Upper Irrawaddy river. (B, L, D)

Day 6: Katha

The colonial town of Katha has changed little since George Orwell lived here. The local fire station houses a collection of the Irrawaddy Flotilla Company’s ships’ bells, taken from sunken ships in the second world war. If time permits, a visit will also be made to an elephant logging camp in the hardwood forests of the hills that surround the town. (B, L, D)

Day 7: Kyun Daw

Transfer by local boat to visit the small village of Kyun Daw where there are numerous small pagodas. (B, L, D)

Day 8: Second defile

Cruise through the most dramatic of the three gorges where cliffs tower over the narrow channel. (B, L, D)

Day 9: Tagaung

Disembark for a walking tour of the ancient city of Tagaung. See the town’s fortifications, a nat (spirit) shrine and explore the archaeological area. (B, L, D)

Day 10: Mingun • Sagaing hills

Visit the unfinished pagoda at Mingun, home to the largest working bell in the world, then drive to the Sagaing hills to enjoy views over the region and the Irrawaddy river. (B, L, D)

Day 11: Ava

Morning visit to Inwa (Ava) and explore the ruins, visiting Bagaya Kyaung, a 200-year-old royal monastery made of teak with elaborate woodcarvings. In the afternoon arrive at Yandabo village, famous for its production of terracotta pottery from the riverbank clay. (B, L, D)

Day 12: Pagan

Disembark and spend a full day exploring the temples and pagodas of Pagan. (B, L, D)

Days 13-14: Pagan • Fly home

In the morning, disembark in Pagan and fly home, arriving the next day. Alternatively extend your stay with a flight south to Rangoon (Yangon). (B)

Meal basis

As per itinerary – B: Breakfast, L: Lunch, D: Dinner, N: No meals.

Important information Non-exclusive cruise

When on board the cruise, the transfers and excursions relevant to that cruise are operated as a group with other passengers who may or may not be Cox & Kings clients.

Superior tour

This tour is based in 4- and 5-star accommodation.

Single supplement

Available on request.

Tailor-made travel

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 enquire online.

Superior private tour accommodation

  • RV Kindat Pandaw
    RV Kindat Pandaw

    The original Kindat vessel was built in 1886 by Yarrows shipbuilders in London. The current incarnation was rebuilt and refitted in 2014 to create a ship with a draft shallow enough to explore the upper reaches of Burma's (Myanmar's) rivers. 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, with a panoramic French window and fittings of polished teak and brass. All meals are served in an air-conditioned bistro-style dining room, with additional outside 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.

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  • Mandalay Hill Resort
    Mandalay Hill Resort

    Mandalay Hill Resort lies at the foot of Mandalay Hill, with views of the Royal Palace walls and the city beyond. Guestrooms and suites are spacious, decorated in warm colours and fitted with modern amenities. The garden, pool and spa area are beautifully designed and maintained, and an ideal place to escape the city. Between October and March traditional dance performances with accompanying barbecue dinners are held at the Kinsana Garden Theatre within the hotel grounds. Features: 208 rooms, 2 restaurants, lounge bar, cafe, spa, outdoor pool with pool bar, fitness centre, tennis court, Wi-Fi. Room amenities: Minibar, safe, air conditioning, hairdryer, coffee & tea facilities, television.

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Superior private tour extensions

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Dates & prices


Guideline Prices

Low season from £4395 per person

High season from £4595 per person


Flexible Prices & Itineraries
For a quote based on alternative accommodation standards or flight options, or to tailor this itinerary, please call 020 7873 5000 or send an email enquiry

Additional Information

Please call 020 7873 5000 for more information or to make a booking.

Prices above are per person in pounds sterling (£), based on two people sharing a twin-room. The prices which were valid at the time of publication, may be subject to change, particularly as a result of variable flight costs. You will be informed of any such changes prior to booking.

  • • International flights (and domestic flights if applicable)
    • UK departure and overseas airport taxes
    • Accommodation, itinerary & meal basis as described
    • Local Transfers in a private chauffeur-driven vehicle
    • The support (if required) of an English speaking local representative
    • Local guides and entrance fees where applicable

Destinations on this tour

  • Mandalay

    Located on the wide bend of the Ayeyarwady (Irrawaddy) River, Mandalay is Burma's second...

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  • Mandalay

    Located on the wide bend of the Ayeyarwady (Irrawaddy) River, Mandalay is Burma's second...

    Read more >
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