GOLDEN LAND VOYAGE
Bagan – Mandalay
Cruise Length(s): 5 Days -4 Nights / 4 Days – 3 Nights / 3 Days – 2 Nights
Welcome to the Ayeyarwady on board with Heritage Line.
There is an extraordinary timeless quality to Myanmar’s Irrawaddy River, also known as the Ayeyarwady. Rising among Himalayan glaciers and flowing freely for almost 2,200 km across the whole country into the Indian Ocean, this river is a witness of contemporary history. The kings of medieval Bagan would almost certainly recognise its riverbank life today with its bullock cart or the tiered pagodas atop rambling teak monasteries.
The displayed program below is a sample of a 4-night cruise upstream from Bagan to Mandalay. Please read the program below carefully regarding 3- and 2-night cruise options.
Day 1: Bagan - Pakkoku
Around noon you disembark the luxurious Anawrahta, berthed at the quay of Bagan. After a warm welcome by our staff offering some refreshments you move into your “home” for the next days.
Enjoy a leisurely lunch as the ship sails towards Pakkoku. Pakkoku is an old trading town on the western riverbank of the Ayeyarwady. Right before the arrival you see the longest bridge of Myanmar (Pakokku Bridge).
On shore the tour takes us to some of the small industries in this area, such as a cheroot-rolling factory and a producer of ‘Burmese slippers’ (“flip-flops”). Local handicraft vendors try to make their living with it. A visit of the thriving market gives us an insight of the local goods and trading. Pakokku is also well-known for the production of Tobacco. If you like to buy some Burmese cigars, this is the place.
We continue touring to the Shwegu Temple. This temple features incredible, intricate carvings made from rare Yamanei wood. It also houses a unique Buddha image seated on a lotus throne. Back on board lunch is served and Anawrahta continues her journey, eventually arriving at the utmost highlight of this journey - Mandalay. The ship will dock at the Mandalay pier at the early afternoon (approx. 2PM).
As the evening approaches and the Burmese sun immerse everything in a golden light a special event will take place at the Kipling’s Bar. Dress up in style as we send “A toast to the past” during a British club gathering where gents may whiff cigars and ladies sip on tasty gins with tonic. Share some tales of the old (British-Burmese) days. Isn’t sometimes the time to lose time.
Adjacent dinner is served at the Hintha Hall. If you feel like it you can join our open air cinema under the stars on the sun deck showing classic movies (depends on weather conditions).
Day 2: Pakkoku - Yanderbo
For early morning risers there is a special opportunity to participate at a yoga session on the sun deck. Strengthen your muscles and ease your mind by merging with the Ayeyarwady and its therapeutical slow flow upstream. The next stop is Yanderbo. While having breakfast the ship passes the confluence of the Ayeyarwady and it’s greatest tributary, Chindwin River.
We arrive at the quiet, small riverside village of Yanderbo. An unique and fascinating gem of a village where in 1826 the King of Ava signed the Treaty of Yanderbo, signaling the end of the First Anglo-Burmese war. Nowadays the villagers produce a type of water pot which is reputed to keep water cooler than pots from anywhere else in the country. Anawrahta’s broad-knowledge guides will offer you the explanation to that.
On foot we explore the village. You quickly notice that the villagers here are extremely friendly, charming and open for chit-chats. You will definitely take back home some enchanting memories. Their techniques and skills to produce a variety of pots and utensils are perplexing. Try yourself to work on one of these pots.
Back on board a delicate lunch buffet awaits you. The ship continues its journey northwards. Gaze on the river banks of this eternal stream from your bench on the sun deck or alternatively, a spa treatment would have the same recreation effects.
In the afternoon we learn more about some of the long lasting tradtions (Longyi and Thanaka demonstration). A fascinating presentation about the history and culture of Myanmar follows afterwards.
Before dinner you may like to enjoy one of our various treatments in the Thanzin Spa. Dinner is served at the Hintha Hall.
If you feel like it you can take a seat at our open air cinema under the stars on the sun deck showing a classic movie (depends on weather conditions).
Day 3: Yanderbo - Ava - Mandalay
In the morning our yoga class helps to get in the right form for a day.
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast as the ship sails some more miles northwards before we arrive in Ava.
In Ava we disembark for a wonderful discovery of some very highlights of this former royal capital. By horse-drawn carriage we explore this area, sprinkled with many kinds of distingueshed ancient monasteries and fanes: Bagaya Kyaung a jaw-dropping teak monastery built in 1834, which nowadays continues to be a monastic school; Maha Aung Mye Bonzan Monastery or the Nanmyint watch tower come both in a different art and creation. It is the peace of Ava which you will then hopefully absorb during a laid-back apéritif at a secret place in the middle of this sacred spot on earth
Back on board a feast of a lunch buffet is served and Anawrahta continues the cruise northwards, eventually arriving at the utmost highlight of this journey - Mandalay. Take some time to observe the beautiful Sagaing Hills with loads of scattered pagodas while the ship is passing by. We will dock at Mandalay at the early afternoon (approx. 2PM).
At this time we bid farewell to our guests of the 3-day/2-night cruise.
In the afternoon a magnificent tour shows us some of the most interesting sights of Mandalay. Observe the incredible process of the gold-leaf beating, visit a silk-weaving manufactorer and finally have a stroll through the amiable streets hosting many marble-carving workshops. The ultimate highlight of this day is a sunset cruise in a small rowing boat around the famous 200 year old “U-Bein Bridge”- a true “Kodak” moment.
We wistfully return to the boat. After some refreshing time and before dinner you are invited to watch a traditional dance and music performance by students and teachers of the Mandalay Art School.
After dinner our nightly open air cinema is offering another classic movie on the sun deck (depends on weather conditions).
Day 4: Mandalay - Mingun - Mandalay
Wake up in the early morning and follow the going-ons on the Ayeyarwady before breakfast is served.
After breakfast we say good-bye to our guests of the 4-day/3-night cruise.
Today we take our guests on an amazing discovery of the most impressive pagodas of Mandalay during a morning tour. First we visit the Kuthodaw Pagoda, which is known as the “the world’s largest book”. This pagoda comprises of a gilded pagoda, hundreds of shrines housing inscribed marble slabs and several pavilions. We continue to the Mahamuni Pagoda, which is one of the most important Buddhist pilgrimage sites in Burma and houses the most highly revered Buddha image in the country. Last but not least the atmospheric Shwenandaw Monastery, which is maybe the finest examples of traditional 19th century wooden monastery buildings. It used to be part of King Mindon’s Mandalay Royal Palace. From this elevated point we can entirely overlook the city of Mandalay.
We return to the ship and have lunch while Anawrahta sets sail to the site of Mingun. Mingun showcases the monumental, unfinished stupa of King Bodawpaya. It has never been completed, due to an astrologer claiming that states: once the temple would be completed, the king will die. Via a relaxed walking tour we reach the closeby world’s biggest un-cracked bell, weighing 90 tons.
Upon return to the ship our cruise manager invites to a high tea at dusk with cocktails, sweats and treats. Anawrahta sail gently back to Mandalay. Dinner is served is the restaurant and afterwards the crew offers some farewell entertainment in the lounge before you retire for your last night onboard
Day 5: Mandalay
After breakfast your stay on your floating, luxury home regrettably ends. Heritage Line and the Anawrahta crew wish you a wonderful onward journey in the Golden Land - Myanmar.