Myanmar (Burma)

Myanmar (Burma) River Expeditions

Where it all began, Myanmar (Burma) River Expeditions with Pandaw is a must! Cruise the Great Irrawaddy and its Delta, or discover the unspoiled islands of the Mergui Archipelago. Marvel at the temples of Bagan and venture into the upper Irrawaddy beyond Mandalay or the Chindwin with Pandaw Expeditions. Extend your stay to experience fabulous Inle Lake and the Golden Rock.

Speak to us for availability, latest offers, pre or post cruise touring options and flight detail, we know Myanmar!

Explore Myanmar (Burma)

Tour TypeTrip NameNo. DaysTour DetailsPrices
CruiseNEW! The Great Irrawaddy Delta8ItineraryOn Application
CruiseThe Mergui Archipelago 6ItineraryOn Application
CruiseThe Golden Land 10ItineraryOn Application
CruiseThe Irrawaddy 14ItineraryOn Application
CruiseMandalay Bagan Packet 7ItineraryOn Application
CruiseBagan And The Upper Irrawaddy11ItineraryOn Application
CruiseThe Chindwin (March to November)8ItineraryOn Application
CruiseThe Chindwin (December to February)8ItineraryOn Application
CruiseA Voyage To Nagaland8ItineraryOn Application
CruiseThe Upper Irrawaddy8ItineraryOn Application
CruiseMandalay To Bagan5ItineraryOn Application

The Great Irrawaddy Delta

Explore The Wetlands, Creeks And Channels

The Irrawaddy Delta covers an area of over 1000 square miles with Rangoon, its most famous port and capital of all Burma from 1886 to 2005. Originally a vast inhabited wetland and jungle, much of it was cleared and cultivated by the British who annexed Lower Burma in 1855. It subsequently became the rice basket of Asia, effectively feeding much of the Indian Raj. During this period of prosperity a number of rice towns developed in the colonial style. The most famous of which was Bassein. 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.

Itinerary   
Day 1: Rangoon To PyaponCheck-in at the jetty in Rangoon at 7.30 am. Early morning departure from Rangoon via the Twante Canal stopping at Twante to view the potteries and on to Pyapon (64miles) a delightful delta town and seaport with lively docks and markets.
Day 2: Pyapon To BogaleBogale is at the heart of the delta and once a Mon capital and trading port connected to international trading routes between the 15th and 18th centuries. We hope to visit the Mein Ma Hla Kyun Wildlife Reserve, an island of just under one hundred square miles classified as a mangrove eco system reserve and home to salt water crocodiles.
Day 3: Bogale To MyaungmyaThis will be the most fascinating day’s sailing as we weave through creeks and channels cross-country across the heart of the delta. We will stop for a walk about in a suitable village.
Day 4: Myaungmya To BasseinMorning cruise across the final section of delta to join the great Bassein River that takes us up to Bassein, the capital of the delta and an important seaport too. Of interest here are the traditional umbrella manufacturies, where the typical monk’s waxed cloth umbrellas are made. On foot we will explore the town, its shrines and vibrant markets.
Day 5: BasseinA day at leisure in this charming port town and optional day trip by car to Ngwesaung Beach with lunch there.
Day 6: Bassein To WakemaNoon departure with lunch to follow, taking the more usual upper delta route of the old IFC ‘launch service’ between Rangoon and Bassein. Evening exploration of this attractive river port.
Day 7: Wakema To MaubinOn these busier channels there will be a variety of shipping whilst the riverbanks team with life and activity. Maubin is a very pleasant place to enjoy a sunset walk along its colourful strand.
Day 8: Maubin To RangoonMorning run crossing the Twante Canal and home to the Rangoon River and our berth in colonial downtown and disembarkation between 12 and 12.30 pm (lunch excluded).
INCLUSIONS:
Entrance fees, guide services (English language), gratuities to crew, main meals, locally made soft drinks, local beer and local spirits, jugged coffee and selection of teas and tisanes, mineral water.

The Mergui Archipelago

7 Nights On Board A Classic 1960’s Motor Yacht

Save 50% on the Mandalay Pagan Packet River cruise when combining with this cruise

The Mergui Archipelago with its 800 islands is one of those areas that remain almost totally unvisited by foreigners. The local population are the Moken, often called sea gypsies and sometimes called pirates. During the Burmese socialist period, the Moken controlled the smuggling routes and would prey on shipping. Nowadays they have reverted to fishing and fish curing.

Itinerary  
Day 1: KawthaungPassengers embark at the border port of Kawthaung. After lunch explore the town of Kawthaung and surrounding area. Overnight in Kawthaung.
Day 2: Naung Wee IslandSail on to Naung Wee island to visit a Moken (sea gipsy) village and learn about their extraordinary water bourn life. Overnight off Barwell Island.
Day 3: Lampi Marine National ParkVisit the Lampi Marine National Park with its mangrove forests and diverse bird life including the hornbill. After a tour of the area with excellent bird watching we return to the beach to relax.
Day 4: Kyun Pila IslandAt sea and on to visit the Kyun Pila island for a picnic ashore.
Day 5: Nga Man Group of IslandsWe explore the Nga Man group of one hundred and fifteen islands and land on the main island for a trek inland and time on the beaches to snorkel and see something of the amazing marine life here.
Day 6: Cockscomb IslandSail to Cockscomb Island with its limestone caves and hidden lagoon accessible only on the ship’s tenders. In the afternoon we will move round to the South Bay where we can kayak and swim off pristine white sandy beaches and watch the sun go down as cocktails are served on the beach.
Day 7: KawthaungArrive at Kawthaung in the morning and disembark for your onward journey.
INCLUSIONS:
All excursions as stated, entrance fees, guide services (English language), main meals, jugged coffee, selection of teas and tisanes, local soft drinks, local beer, local spirits, mineral water, crew gratuities, kayaks & snorkelling equipment.

The Golden Land

The Classic Irrawaddy River Cruise

SAVE UP TO 10% AND NO SINGLE SUPPLEMENT ON SELECTED DATES

This is a very different Burma cruise. 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. We visit a number of small villages and towns and see local agriculture and manufacturing at first hand.

These places are remote from the modern world and offer a glimpse of a timeless, lost Myanmar far from the usual tourist track. We also visit a number of old monasteries and temples of art historical interest in this the cultural heartland of old Myanmar.

 

Itinerary  
Day 1: Prome (Pyay)We reach Prome by the afternoon and travel by coach to the 5th-8th century archaeological site of Thiri-ya-kittiya, the former centre of the Pyu civilization with a fascinating museum of early Buddhist artifacts and sculptures.
Day 2: ThayetmyoThis pleasant colonial town once guarded the border between Royal Myanmar and British Myanmar following the 2nd Anglo Myanmar War of 1855. Many of the buildings including the covered market date from this period. Thayet also boasts the oldest golf course in Myanmar (1885). We visit the market, see the colonial houses and ride out by horse cart to the golf course, passing through the former British botanical garden.
Day 3: MagweMinhla - We visit the two Italian built forts constructed to keep the British at bay from Royal Myanmar. 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.We ride Trishaws to reach the magnificent Magwe Myat-thalon Pagoda, constructed with solid gold bricks. Of interest are the many nat shrines and hermitages within the temple precincts.
Day 4: SaleHere we visit the Yout-saun-kyaung monastery with its spectacular wood carvings; we also explore an area of splendid colonial-style houses and continue sailing upstream.
Day 5: Tan - Chi - TaungIn the morning, moor at the Tan-Chi-Taung mountain and ascend by WWII jeep. Afternoon, we tour a selection of the 3,000 listed monuments at this World Heritage Site, Bagan.
Day 6: BaganFurther exploration by coach of the monuments follow by a lacquerware workshop and visit to the local markets. Sail in the noon to upstream. Evening walk at Oh Ne Kyaung village to see the local life in this typical river side community.
Day 7: YandaboThis small rural village is specialized in pot making. We visit the Pandaw School, built with past donations from Pandaw passengers.
INCLUSIONS:
Coach transfer Yangon-Prome (for upstream itinerary only, no bus transfer needed for downstream itinerary), entrance fees, guide services (English language), gratuities to crew, main meals, locally made soft drinks, local beer and local spirits, jugged coffee and selection of teas and tisanes, mineral water.

The Irrawaddy

See it all from Rangoon to Mandalay

SAVE UP TO 10% AND NO SINGLE SUPPLEMENT ON SELECTED DATES

Ply from Yangoon to the delightful city of Prome on the edge of the Delta to Mandalay and Mingun. Daily stops include tours of the historic capitals of Pagan with its 3,000 monuments, and Mandalay with its royal palace and many sites around the city, particularly on the river.

We will pass from the lush teak forests around Prome, through the near desert of Middle Burma before we reach the former King’s capital Mandalay.

 

Itinerary   
Day 1: Rangoon (Yangon)Embark and sail up the Rangoon River and enter the Twante Canal, which connects the Yangon River with the Irrawaddy Delta. We stop on route at the Twante Town and explore city center.
Day 2: Maubin and Nyaung DonIn morning we walk visit to Maubin bustling market and city surrounding area. Afternoon our exploration of Delta area NyaungDon city visit to see country life style. Moor over night at Zakagyi.
Day 3: Danabyu and ZalonWe continue our exploration of Delta creeks and stop at Donabyu, another little known town with a busy port and bustling markets. In the First Anglo Burmese War of 1825 the Burmese General Maha-Bandoola was defeated here following a long and disastrous campaign by the British. Afternoon walk in Zalon city to visit beautiful Golden Buddha image and return to ship. Moor overnight at Henzada.
Day 4: MyanaungSailing all day and we stop to visit the markets and see old colonial buildings in the sleepy Delta town of Manaung. We enter the Irrawaddy River.
Day 5: Prome (Pyay)Early morning we sail slowly upstream and downstream A Kaut Taung area, to view Buddha carvings on the mountainside, from the upper deck or Sundeck. We reach Prome by the afternoon and travel by coach to the 5th-8th century archaeological site of Thiri-ya-kittiya, the former centre of the Pyu civilization with a fascinating museum of early Buddhist artifacts and sculptures.
Day 6: ThayermyoThis pleasant colonial town once guarded the border between Royal Myanmar and British Myanmar following the 2nd Anglo Myanmar War of 1855. Many of the buildings including the covered market date from this period. Thayet also boasts the oldest golf course in Myanmar (1885). We visit the market, see the colonial houses and ride out by horse cart to the golf course, passing through the former British botanical garden.
Day 7: Minhla and MagweMinhla - We visit the two Italian built forts constructed to keep the British at bay from Royal Myanmar. 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.We ride Trishaws to reach the magnificent Magwe Myat-thalon Pagoda, constructed with solid gold bricks. Of interest are the many nat shrines and hermitages within the temple precincts.
Day 8: SaleHere we visit the Yout-saun-kyaung monastery with its spectacular wood carvings; we also explore an area of splendid colonial-style houses and continue sailing upstream.
Day 9: BaganIn the morning, moor at the Tan-Chi-Taung mountain and ascend by WWII jeep. Afternoon, we tour a selection of the 3,000 listed monuments at this World Heritage Site, Bagan.
Day 10: BaganFurther exploration by coach of the monuments follow by a lacquerware workshop and visit to the local markets. Sail in the noon to upstream. Evening walk at Oh Ne Kyaung village to see the local life in this typical river side community.
Day 11: YandaboThis small rural village is specialized in pot making. We visit the Pandaw School, built with past donations from Pandaw passengers.
Day 12: Mandalay, Sagaing and AmarapuraGuests will take a tour of central Mandalay visiting the Mahamuni Pagoda and Shwe Nan Daw Kyaung teak carved monastery. In the afternoon we visit Sagaing. The true delight of Sagaing lies in its 1000 hermitages and sanctuaries, rich in woodcarving and religious art. Next we explore the ancient capital of Amarapura by coach, take a boat ride along Taungthaman lake and watch the tranquillity and serenity of this beautiful lake and its famous U-Bein Bridge at sunset.
Day 13: MingunWe stop at Mingun to see the largest working bell in the world and the unfinished pagoda which is the largest single mass of brick building in the world. We also visit the Mingun Old Peoples Home originally established with the assistance of the Irrawaddy Flotilla Company in the 1930s.
Day 14: Kyauk MyoungSail upstream and 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 week-long firing in huge kilns. Afternoon sailing to Mandalay.
Day 15: MandalayDisembark at Mandalay.
INCLUSIONS:
Entrance fees, guide services (English language), gratuities to crew, main meals, locally made soft drinks, local beer and local spirits, jugged coffee and selection of teas and tisanes, mineral water.

Mandalay Bagan Packet

Discover Burma’s Ancient Royal Capitals

SAVE UP TO 10% AND NO SINGLE SUPPLEMENT ON SELECTED DATES
Save 50% off this itinerary if booked in combination with the Mergui Archipelago

A fabulous way to discover the mighty Irrawaddy River aboard a Pandaw with up to two weekly departures between the historic royal capitals with two nights moored at Pagan and three at Mandalay as well as exploring small towns and villages of lost Burma in between.

Itinerary  
Day 1: BaganTransfer from airport to ship for lunch followed by exploration of a selection of the 3000 plus Pagan monuments by bicycle or coach. Overnight Pagan.
Day 2: BaganFurther exploration of Pagan and visit a lacquer workshop. Overnight Pagan.
Day 3: PakokkuEarly morning sail to Salay. Once a bustling trading port, now a sleepy village filled with colonial architectural treasures and timeless teak monasteries and home to the best-known teak carved monastery in Burma.
Visit to Pakhannge, a Pagan dynasty city with several period temples and a collection of eighteenth and nineteenth century wood carved monasteries from the Konbaung Period. This was the last Burmese monarchy before British colonial rule.
We continue sailing to arrive mid-afternoon at the foot of the Tan-Chi-Taung mountains which we ascend by WWII jeep to visit a selection of the 3,000 listed monuments at this World Heritage Site.
Late afternoon we make a rewarding visit to Min-Nan-Thu, one of eight clinics in the Pagan area which is supported by the Pandaw Charity.
Overnight at Nyaung U Oo.
Day 4: YandaboWe visit the local market and town centre by favoured mode of transport – the tuk tuk. We moor overnight near the Chindwin confluence at Aung Pan Chaung.
Day 5: AvaExplore Yandabo village, famous for its production of terracotta pottery from the river bank clay. Afternoon sailing to moor near Ava at Pau Taw Pauk Myaing.
Day 6: MingunSail to Sagaing. The true delight of Sagaing lies in its 1000 hermitages and sanctuaries, rich in woodcarving and religious art.

In the afternoon, we drive to Amarapura, the former capital of Myanmar where we enjoy a boat trip on the Taungthaman lake and watch the sunset behind the world’s longest teak bridge - U Bein Bridge. We will also see silk weavers at work in their shop. Overnight at Sagaing Jetty.
Day 7: MandalayMorning sail to Mingun to explore on-foot the world’s largest working bell and unfinished pagoda.
Spend the afternoon sight-seeing in central Mandalay with visits to the palace and surrounding hills, craft workshops and shopping. Overnight at Sagaing Jetty.
Day 8: MandalayBy 09:00am disembarkation in Mandalay and transfer to either hotel or airport.
Please Note: There is no late check out possible.
INCLUSIONS:
Airport or hotel transfers to/from ship on DAY 1 and DAY 8. Entrance fees, guide services (English language), gratuities to crew, main meals, locally made soft drinks, local beer and local spirits, jugged coffee and selection of teas and tisanes, mineral water.

Bagan and The Upper Irrawaddy

Including Mandalay, The Gorges & Katha

SAVE UP TO 25% AND NO SINGLE SUPPLEMENT ON SELECTED DATES

Our new program enables relaxed exploration of the magnificent temples of Pagan, the highlights of Mandalay and the scenic and remote Upper Irrawaddy. We journey off the beaten track for 10-nights all the way to Katha, nearly 1000 miles from Rangoon and once home to George Orwell and the setting for Burmese days. Other highlights will be passage through the 3rd and 2nd defiles, not to mention visits to enchanting local towns and villages.To further enhance your experience, we now have a number of quality mountain bikes for your use.

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.

Itinerary  
Day 1: BaganPLEASE 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 Bagan at 17:30.
Day 2: YandaboCruise 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.
Day 3: AmarapuraMorning 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.
Day 4: Kyauk - MyoungVisit 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.
Day 5: KhanyatStop 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.
Day 6: KathaWe 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.
Day 7: Sail Upstream Kyunt Daw IslandTransfer by Local boat and visit Kyun Daw village where we will visit countless small Pagodas.
Day 8: 2nd Defile of IrrawaddyCruise through the 2nd Defile, the most dramatic of the three gorges with cliffs towering over the narrow channel. Sail downstream.
Day 9: TagaungWalking tour of the ancient city of Tagaung viewing the fortifications, a famous nat or spirit shrine and the archaeological area.
Day 10: MingunSlip 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.
Day 11: MandalayDisembark after breakfast at the Jetty.
INCLUSIONS:
Entrance fees, guide services (English language), gratuities to crew, main meals, locally made soft drinks, local beer and local spirits, jugged coffee and selection of teas and tisanes, mineral water. Quality mountain bikes available for independent exploration on Zawgyi and Kindat Pandaws.

The Chindwin (March to November)

Explore ‘Off The Beaten Track’

SAVE UP TO 20% AND NO SINGLE SUPPLEMENT ON SELECTED DATES

The loveliest of rivers. In the past, we only offered this during the monsoon due to water levels, but now our ultra low draught Pandaws can sail through to February. The river carves it way through mountains and forests and we stop at delightful unspoilt little towns. Our objective, Homalin is the capital of Nagaland and close to the India border. We will ply the Upper Chindwin weekly between Monywa and Homalin. Monywa is under three hours from Mandalay and the car transfer is included with the cruise. Homalin is now connected by scheduled flight with Rangoon and Mandalay.

Two fabulous itineraries: The Monywa to Homalin (and vv) itinerary sails from July to August and October to November. We have a revised itinerary from Monywa to Kalewa (and vv) operating December to February.

Please note river banks can be steep and walks through villages are on the daily program. Medium fitness is required.

Late bookings: please note that Chindwin expeditions need special permits, which can take up to 3 weeks. We kindly ask you to contact us via email or phone for short notice bookings.

Itinerary   
Day 1: MonywaAfternoon 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.
Day 2: Phowin TaungIn 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.
Day 3: CruisingThe 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 4: MingkinMingkin 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.
Day 5: MawlaikMorning 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.
Day 6: SitthaungSitthaung 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).
Day 7: ToungdootToungdoot 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!
Day 8: HomalinDisembarkation 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.
INCLUSIONS:
One way domestic flight Yangon/Mandalay-Kalewa resp Kalewa-Yangon/Mandalay Entrance fees, guide services (English language), gratuities to crew, main meals, locally made soft drinks, local beer and local spirits, jugged coffee and selection of teas and tisanes, mineral water.

The Chindwin (December to February)

Explore ‘Off The Beaten Track’

SAVE UP TO 20% AND NO SINGLE SUPPLEMENT ON SELECTED DATES

The loveliest of rivers. In the past this cruise was offered during the monsoon due to water levels, but now our ultra low draught Pandaws can sail through to February. The river carves it way through mountains and forests and we stop at delightful unspoilt little towns. Our objective, Homalin is the capital of Nagaland and close to the India border.

We will ply the Upper Chindwin weekly between Monywa and Homalin. Monywa is under three hours from Mandalay and the car transfer is included with the cruise. Homalin is now connected by scheduled flight with Rangoon and Mandalay.

Two fabulous itineraries: The Monywa to Homalin (and vv) itinerary sails from July to August and October to November. We have a revised itinerary from Monywa to Kalewa (and vv) operating December to February.

Please note river banks can be steep and walks through villages are on the daily program. Medium fitness is required.

Late bookings: please note that Chindwin expeditions need special permits, which can take up to 3 weeks. Check with our consultants for short notice bookings.

Itinerary   
Day 1: MonywaLunch on board. Afternoon excursion to see Thandboodi Temple, Bawdhi Tahaung statue and the night market in the evening.
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 2: Phowin Taung & Kyauk Ka VillageMorning Excursion by coach to Phowin Taung Hill where we visit the Phowin Taung Caves with beautiful mural paintings and Buddha statues dating back to the 14th and 18th centuries. In the afternoon, we visit the Kyauk Ka Village famous for the making of black Lacquer.
Day 3: KanneThe river narrows and the forested hills fall away to farmland. Enjoy a morning culinary demonstration by our head chef on how to prepare a traditional Burmese Ginger Salad. Arrive in Kanee and take an afternoon walking tour of the village.
Day 4: MingkinMorning cruise up river. After lunch, we explore Mingkin, 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.
Day 5: KalewaMorning walking tour of Minkin followed by cruise to Kalewa located at the confluence of the Chindwin and the Myittha Rivers, where we enjoy a walking tour.
Day 6: MawlaikMorning visit to Masein Village and then sail to Mawlaik, the town that 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!.
Day 7: Mawlaik Elephant CampMorning excursion by Tuk Tuk or coach to Bus to view the Teak wood Forest outside Mawlaik. Continue to the Pyar Swe Elephant Camp, a working camp where the elephants are protected in natural surroundings. We then sail to Kalewa where we overnight.
Day 8: KalewaDisembark at Kalewa IWT Jetty and explore Kalewa with its markets and quaint wooden architecture. Continue to Kalay Airport for your onward flight to Rangoon or Mandalay (included in the price of this cruise).
INCLUSIONS:
One way domestic flight Yangon/Mandalay-Kalewa resp Kalewa-Yangon/Mandalay Entrance fees, guide services (English language), gratuities to crew, main meals, locally made soft drinks, local beer and local spirits, jugged coffee and selection of teas and tisanes, mineral water.

A Voyage to Nagaland

Discover The Land Of The Naga Warrior

SAVE UP TO 15% AND NO SINGLE SUPPLEMENT ON SELECTED DATES

Only the small Kalay and Zawgyi Pandaws, with their ultra-low drafts, can journey north beyond Homalin in the high water season from mid-August to Mid-October on an adventure to Nagaland, famous for the fierce and distinctive Naga warriors and various ethnic communities.

Along the way, the Chindwin River passes through dramatic scenery of dense jungles, high cliffs and deep gorges and visits remote villages each with a unique way of life.

To further enhance your experience, we now have a number of quality mountain bikes for your use during the cruise.

PLEASE NOTE: The itinerary for this expedition is indicative only and subject to reconnaissance. As we travel to remote areas, changes to the itinerary will inevitably occur. A flexible approach is required if you book this cruise.

Please note that Chindwin expeditions need special permits which can take up to 3 weeks. Check with our consultants for short notice bookings.

Itinerary   
Day 1: KalewaTransfer to the your Pandaw. Explore ashore visiting the local market and enjoying panoramic views over the Chindwin from top of a hill.
PLEASE NOTE: The itinerary for this expedition is indicative only and subject to reconnaissance. As we travel to remote areas, changes to the itinerary will inevitably occur. A flexible approach is required if you book this cruise.
Day 2: MawlaikSet sail to charming Ma Sein Village and continue to Mawlaik, the former seat of the Bombay Burma Corporation's timber extraction operations for the Chindwin Area. The old Headquarters building still stands here.
Day 3: Kindat Sail to Kindat (translated in Burmese meaning a military outpost), with its old colonial post office (now a school). Also visit the tiny village of Yuwa, where previous Pandaw travellers report a delightful atmosphere from friendly locals.
Day 4: SitthaungContinuing upstream we sail to Sitthaung, the final resting place of a number of Irrawaddy Flotilla Company steamers scuppered there in 1942 in an ‘act of denial’ from the advancing Japanese who were a matter of hours behind. Remains of these ships can be found here. 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). We also explore Paungpyin village and take a walking tour including a visit to the market and the attractive wooden houses.
Day 5: ToungdootMorning visit to Toungdoot or Hsawng-hsup in Tai, is an ancient Shan enclave who 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. Alistair 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’.
Day 6: KhamtiScenic explorations upstream into the remote Nagaland. Afternoon arrive at Khamti, known as ‘the land full of gold’ due to the prevalence of gold panning in the nearby tributary of the Chindwin. We visit the town, the monastery meet local Tai speaking peoples.
Day 7: NagalandMorning visit to Khampti market and sail the Chindwin today towards Homalin stopping at villages not used to western travellers.
Day 8: HomalinMorning visit Homalin, an interesting town close to the Indian border with attractive forested mountains on either side – some rising to over 9,000 feet. Irrawaddy Flotilla Company used to visit here and during World War II, Homalin was occupied by the Japanese. In the afternoon transfer to the airport for your flight.
INCLUSIONS:
Domestic flights Yangon/Manday to Kalewa and Homalin to Yangon/Mandalay or v.v. Entrance fees, guide services (English language), gratuities to crew, main meals, locally made soft drinks, local beer and local spirits, jugged coffee and selection of teas and tisanes, mineral water. Quality mountain bikes available for independent exploration on the Kalay and Zawgyi Pandaws.

The Upper Irrawaddy

Discover Mandalay, scenic Gorges & Katha

SAVE UP TO 15% AND NO SINGLE SUPPLEMENT ON SELECTED DATES

Nearly 1000 miles from Rangoon and once home to George Orwell and the setting for his novel Burmese days we sail from Mandalay to Katha. Highlights will be passage through the 3rd and 2nd defiles, not to mention visits to enchanting local towns and delightful villages.

To further enhance your experience, we now have a number of quality mountain bikes for your use.

Itinerary   
Day 1: MandalayPLEASE 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.
Set sail and 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.
Day 2: Khan-nyatStop 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.
Day 3: KathaWe 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.
Day 4: Sail Upstream Kyunt Daw IslandTransfer by Local boat and visit Kyun Daw village where we will visit countless small Pagodas.
Day 5: 2nd Defile Of IrrawaddyCruise through the 2nd Defile, the most dramatic of the three gorges with cliffs towering over the narrow channel. Sail downstream.
Day 6: TagaungWalking tour of the ancient city of Tagaung viewing the fortifications, a famous nat or spirit shrine and the archaeological area.
Day 7: MingunSlip 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.
Day 8: MandalayDisembark after breakfast.
INCLUSIONS:
Entrance fees, guide services (English language), gratuities to crew, main meals, locally made soft drinks, local beer and local spirits, jugged coffee and selection of teas and tisanes, mineral water. Quality mountain bikes available for independent exploration on Zawgyi and Kindat Pandaws.

Mandalay to Bagan

Explore From Mandalay To Pagan

SAVE UP TO 10% ON SELECTED DATES

We are pleased to offer a convenient four-night cruise on the irresistible Irrawaddy River from Mandalay to Pagan discovering the ancient Royal capitals, riverside villages, lively local markets and stunning scenery and sunsets.

Please Note: The downstream Mandalay to Pagan operates 5 nights until March 2017.

Itinerary   
Day 1: BaganEmbark anytime between 11.30am and 5pm. Explore some of Pagan’s 3000 monuments and visit a lacquer workshop. Overnight Bagan.
Day 2: Salay - Pakhannge - Tan-Chi-Taung - Min-Nan-ThuEarly morning sail to Salay. Once a bustling trading port, now a sleepy village filled with colonial architectural treasures and timeless teak monasteries and home to the best-known teak carved monastery in Burma.
Visit to Pakhannge, a Pagan dynasty city with several period temples and a collection of eighteenth and nineteenth century wood carved monasteries from the Konbaung Period. This was the last Burmese monarchy before British colonial rule.
We continue sailing to arrive mid-afternoon at the foot of the Tan-Chi-Taung mountains which we ascend by WWII jeep to visit a selection of the 3,000 listed monuments at this World Heritage Site.
Late afternoon we make a rewarding visit to Min-Nan-Thu, one of eight clinics in the Pagan area which is supported by the Pandaw Charity. Overnight at Nyaung U Oo.
Day 3: PakokkuWe visit the local market and town centre by favoured mode of transport – the tuk tuk. We moor overnight near the Chindwin confluence at Aung Pan Chaung.
Day 4: YandaboExplore Yandabo village, famous for its production of terracotta pottery from the river bank clay. Afternoon sailing to moor near Ava at Pau Taw Pauk Myaing.
Day 5: SagaingDisembark in the morning around 9.00am at the Sagaing Jetty.
INCLUSIONS:
Transfers to/from ship on DAY 1 and DAY 5 as described. Entrance fees, guide services (English language), gratuities to crew, main meals, locally made soft drinks, local beer and local spirits, jugged coffee and selection of teas and tisanes, mineral water. Use of quality mountain bikes for independent exploration.