Pandaw Cruise – The Irrawaddy

Ply from Yangon on-board a Pandaw Cruise 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. Optional stays in Yangon the capital with transfers and flights are offered as an add on to the cruise.

Planning your holiday is easy, and speak to your friendly Consultant for availability, latest offers, pre and post cruise touring options and flights.

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 Don

In 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 Zalon

We 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: Myanaung

Sailing 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: Thayetmyo

This 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 Magwe

Minhla – 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: Sale

Here 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: Pagan

In the morning, moor at the Tan-Chi-Taung mountain and enjoy the view. Continue with one of the highlights of your trip with a tour of a selection of the 3,000 listed monuments at this World Heritage Site, Pagan.

Day 10: Pagan

Further 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: Yandabo

This 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 Amarapura

Guests 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: Mingun

We 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 Myoung

Sail 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: Mandalay

Disembark at Mandalay.

Inclusions 
Meals: All meals & locally made soft drinks, local beer and local spirits, jugged coffee and selection of teas and tisanes, mineral water.
Accommodation:14 nights on-board the Pandaw Cruise
Guide: English Speaking Guide
Gratuities: Gratuities to crew on board the Pandaw Cruise
Entrance Fees & Touring: Entrance fees & activities as per itinerary
Share our page on:

Pandaw Cruise – Bagan and the Upper Irrawaddy

Our new Pandaw Cruise 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.

Planning your holiday is easy, and speak to your friendly Consultant for availability, latest offers, pre and post cruise touring options and flights.

Day 1: Pagan

Embark for lunch and followed by exploration of the 3000 plus Pagan monuments by coach. The ship will leave Pagan at 17:30.

Day 2: Yandabo

Cruise 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: Amarapura

Morning 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-Myoung

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 5: Khanyat

Stop 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: Katha

We 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 Island

Transfer by Local boat and visit Kyun Daw village where we will visit countless small Pagodas.

Day 8: 2nd Defile Of Irrawaddy

Cruise through the 2nd Defile, the most dramatic of the three gorges with cliffs towering over the narrow channel. Sail downstream.

Day 9: Tagaung

Walking tour of the ancient city of Tagaung viewing the fortifications, a famous nat or spirit shrine and the archaeological area.

Day 10: Mingun

Slip 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: Mandalay

Disembark after breakfast at the Jetty.

Inclusions 
Meals: All meals & locally made soft drinks, local beer and local spirits, jugged coffee and selection of teas and tisanes, mineral water.
Accommodation:10 nights on-board the Pandaw Cruise
Mountain Bikes:Quality mountain bikes available for independent exploration on RV Zawgyi and RV Kindat Pandaws
Guide: English Speaking Guide
Gratuities: Gratuities to crew on board the Pandaw Cruise
Entrance Fees & Touring: Entrance fees & activities as per itinerary
Share our page on:

Pandaw Cruise – The Golden Land

This is a very different Burma Pandaw cruise. Sail with Pandaw Cruises 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.

Planning your holiday is easy, and speak to your friendly Consultant for availability, latest offers, pre and post cruise touring options and flights.

Day 1: Yangon To 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: Thayetmyo

This 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: Magwe

Minhla – 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: Sale

Here 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-Taung

In the morning, moor at the Tan-Chi-Taung mountain and enjoy the view. Continue with one of the highlights of your trip with a tour of a selection of the 3,000 listed monuments at this World Heritage Site, Pagan.

Day 6: Pagan

Further 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: Yandabo

This small rural village is specialized in pot making. We visit the Pandaw School, built with past donations from Pandaw passengers.

Day 8: Mandalay, Sagaing And Amarapura

Guests 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 9: Mingun

We 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 10: Kyauk-Myoung

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 cruise back downstream to Mandalay.

Day 11: Mandalay

Disembark at Mandalay.

Inclusions 
Meals: All meals & locally made soft drinks, local beer and local spirits, jugged coffee and selection of teas and tisanes, mineral water.
Transfers: Coach transfer Yangon - Prome (for upstream itinerary only, no bus transfer needed for downstream itinerary)
Accommodation:10 nights on-board the Pandaw Cruise
Guide: English Speaking Guide
Gratuities: Gratuities to crew on board the Pandaw Cruise
Entrance Fees & Touring: Entrance fees & activities as per itinerary
Share our page on:

Pandaw Cruise – The Great Irrawaddy Delta

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.

There are seven main channels in the Irrawaddy Delta and myriad lesser ones forming a complex labyrinth of waterways understood only by the most experienced pilots. In the backwaters there is the feel of Kerala, on the larger channels it could be New Orleans and the Deep South.

Contrary to expectation these great wetlands are not monotonous at all and there is considerable human interest in the form of pretty towns, markets, temples, churches and mosques. There is also profuse bird life in the less populated areas.

Our 7-night program aboard the stunning Katha Pandaw enables relaxed exploration of this fascinating region, starting and returning to Rangoon.

Planning your holiday is easy, and speak to your friendly Consultant for availability, latest offers, pre and post cruise touring options and flights.

Day 1: Rangoon To Pyapon

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.

Extend your stay and board one day earlier bed & breakfast on board the RV Katha Pandaw for an extra night. Enjoy the experience and perspective of staying in central Rangoon from your luxurious river ship.

Day 2: Pyapon To Bogale

Bogale 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 Myaungmya

This 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 Bassein

Morning 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: Bassein

A day at leisure in this charming port town and optional day trip by car to Ngwesaung Beach with lunch there.

Day 6: Bassein To Wakema

Noon 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 Maubin

On 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 Rangoon

Morning 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 
Meals: All meals & locally made soft drinks, local beer and local spirits, jugged coffee and selection of teas and tisanes, mineral water.
Accommodation:7 nights on-board the Pandaw Cruise
Guide: English Speaking Guide
Gratuities: Gratuities to crew on board the Pandaw Cruise
Entrance Fees & Touring: Entrance fees & activities as per itinerary
Share our page on:

Pandaw Cruise – The Upper Irrawaddy

Sail from Mandalay to Katha with Pandaw Cruises. Nearly 1000 miles from Rangoon and once home to George Orwell and the setting for his novel Burmese days. 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.

Planning your holiday is easy, and speak to your friendly Consultant for availability, latest offers, pre and post cruise touring options and flights.

Day 1: Mandalay

Board your Pandaw Cruise in Mandalay. 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 week long firing in huge kilns. We return to the ship and enter the third defile of Irrawaddy.

Day 2: Khanyat

Stop 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: Katha

We 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 Island

Transfer by Local boat and visit Kyun Daw village where we will visit countless small Pagodas.

Day 5: 2nd Defile Of Irrawaddy

Cruise through the 2nd Defile, the most dramatic of the three gorges with cliffs towering over the narrow channel. Sail downstream.

Day 6: Tagaung

Walking tour of the ancient city of Tagaung viewing the fortifications, a famous nat or spirit shrine and the archaeological area.

Day 7: Mingun

Slip 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: Mandalay

Disembark your Pandaw Cruise after breakfast.

Inclusions 
Meals: All meals & locally made soft drinks, local beer and local spirits, jugged coffee and selection of teas and tisanes, mineral water.
Accommodation:7 nights on-board the Pandaw Cruise
Mountain Bikes:Use of quality mountain bikes for independent exploration
Guide: English Speaking Guide
Gratuities: Gratuities to crew on board the Pandaw Cruise
Entrance Fees & Touring: Entrance fees & activities as per itinerary
Share our page on:

Pandaw Cruise – The Chindwin (December to February)

The Chindwin is Burma’s loveliest rivers. In the past we only offered this during the monsoon season due to water levels, but now our ultra low draught Pandaw Ships 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.

Planning your holiday is easy, and speak to your friendly Consultant for availability, latest offers, pre and post cruise touring options and flights.

Day 1: Monywa

Transfer from Mandalay to Monywa to board your Pandaw Cruise. Lunch on board. Afternoon excursion to see Thandboodi Temple, Bawdhi Tahaung statue and the night market in the evening.

Day 2: Phowin Taung & Kyauk Ka Village

Morning 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: Kanee

The 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: Mingkin

Morning 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: Kalewa

Morning 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: Mawlaik

Morning 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 Camp

Morning 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: Kalewa

Disembark at Kalewa IWT Jetty and explore Kalewa with its markets and quaint wooden architecture. Continue to Kalay Airport for your onward flight to Yangon or Mandalay.

Inclusions 
Meals: All meals & locally made soft drinks, local beer and local spirits, jugged coffee and selection of teas and tisanes, mineral water.
Flights: One way Domestic Flight: Kalewa to Yangon or Mandalay
Transfers: Transfers to / from ship as described
Accommodation:7 nights on-board the Pandaw Cruise
Guide: English Speaking Guide
Gratuities: Gratuities to crew on board the Pandaw Cruise
Entrance Fees & Touring: Entrance fees & activities as per itinerary
Share our page on:

Pandaw Cruise – The Chindwin (March to November)

The Chindwin is Burma’s loveliest rivers. In the past we only offered this during the monsoon season due to water levels, but now our ultra low draught Pandaw Ships 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.

Planning your holiday is easy, and speak to your friendly Consultant for availability, latest offers, pre and post cruise touring options and flights.

Day 1: Monywa

Transfer from Mandalay to Monywa to board your Pandaw Cruise. Afternoon excursion to see Thandboodi Temple, Bawdhi Tahaung statue and the night market in the evening.

Day 2: Phowin Taung

In 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: Cruising

The 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: Mingkin

Mingkin 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: Mawlaik

Morning 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: Sitthaung

Sitthaung 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: Toungdoot

Toungdoot 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: Homalin

Disembarkation and transfer to Homalin airport.

Inclusions 
Meals: All meals & locally made soft drinks, local beer and local spirits, jugged coffee and selection of teas and tisanes, mineral water.
Flights: One way Domestic Flight: Homalin to Yangon or Mandalay and for
Transfers: Transfers to / from ship as described
Accommodation:7 nights on-board the Pandaw Cruise
Guide: English Speaking Guide
Gratuities: Gratuities to crew on board the Pandaw Cruise
Entrance Fees & Touring: Entrance fees & activities as per itinerary
Share our page on:

Pandaw Cruise – A Voyage into Nagaland

Only the small RV Kalay and RV Zawgyi Pandaw ships, with their ultra-low drafts, can journey north beyond Homalin in the high water season from mid-August to Mid-October. Nagaland is 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 on the cruise.

Planning your holiday is easy, and speak to your friendly Consultant for availability, latest offers, pre and post cruise touring options and flights.

Day 1: Kalewa

This morning fly from Yangon or Mandalay to Kalewa. On arrival transfer to the your Pandaw Ship. Explore ashore visiting the local market and enjoying panoramic views over the Chindwin from top of a hill.

Day 2: Mawlaik

Set 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: Sitthaung

Continuing 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: Toungdoot

Morning 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: Khamti

Scenic 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: Nagaland

Morning visit to Khampti market and sail the Chindwin today towards Homalin stopping at villages not used to western travellers.

Day 8: Homalin

Morning 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 
Meals: All meals & locally made soft drinks, local beer and local spirits, jugged coffee and selection of teas and tisanes, mineral water.
Flights: Domestic flight: Yangon or Mandalay to Kalewa / Homalin to Yangon or Mandalay
Transfers: Transfers to / from ship as described
Accommodation:7 nights on-board the Pandaw Cruise
Mountain Bikes:Use of quality mountain bikes for independent exploration
Guide: English Speaking Guide
Gratuities: Gratuities to crew on board the Pandaw Cruise
Entrance Fees & Touring: Entrance fees & activities as per itinerary
Share our page on:

Pandaw Cruise – The Mergui Archipelago

The Mergui Archipelago with its 800 islands is one of those areas that remain almost totally unvisited by foreigners. Though now some live-a-board dive boats and yachts venture with special permission into the southern islands from their bases in Thailand, the bulk of the archipelago has remained unvisited since colonial times. During that period when the archipelago was first charted most of the islands were named after colonial civil servants, a number retain these quaint names to this day.

The local population IS Mokkein, often called sea gypsies and sometimes called pirates. During the Burmese socialist period the Mokkein controlled the smuggling routes and would prey on shipping. Nowadays they have reverted to fishing and fish curing. They are a people with their own language and culture who entirely live on the sea and have evolved a remarkable way of life. We will visit Mokkein islands such as Lampi in the Sullivan Islands.

The ship carries kayaks and snorkelling equipment for free use.

Planning your holiday is easy, and speak to your friendly Consultant for availability, latest offers, pre and post cruise touring options and flights.

Day 1: Kawthaung

Passengers embark at the border port of Kawthaung. After lunch explore the town of Kawthaung and surrounding area. Overnight in Kawthaung.

Day 2: Naung Wee Island

Sail 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 Park

Visit 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 Island

At sea and on to visit the Kyun Pila island for a picnic ashore.

Day 5: Nga Man Group Of Islands

We 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: Sailing The Mergui Archipelago

Sailing the Mergui.

Day 7: Cockscomb Island

Sail 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 8: Kawthaung

Arrive at Kawthaung in the morning and disembark for your onward journey.

Inclusions 
Meals: All meals & locally made soft drinks, local beer and local spirits, jugged coffee and selection of teas and tisanes, mineral water.
Accommodation:7 nights on-board the Pandaw Cruise
Equipment:Kayaks & snorkelling equipment
Guide: English Speaking Guide
Gratuities: Gratuities to crew on board the Pandaw Cruise
Entrance Fees & Touring: Entrance fees & activities as per itainerary
Share our page on:

Pandaw Cruise – Mandalay Bagan Packet

A fabulous way to discover the mighty Irrawaddy River aboard a Pandaw Cruise 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. Exceptional value for money with no single supplement on many selected departures!

Planning your holiday is easy, and speak to your friendly Consultant for availability, latest offers, pre and post cruise touring options and flights.

Day 1:  Mandalay

Transfer from the airport to the ship for lunch followed by excursion to Mandalay which is not only the country’s second largest city but also the religious centre of Burmese culture. The excursion starts with a visit to Mahamuni Buddha Image, one of the most important pilgrimage sites in Myanmar. The statue was brought here in 1785 by King Bodawapaya after the invasion of the Arakan Kingdom in 1784. To pay respect to the Buddha image, male devotees apply gold leaf to the image. As a result, the Mahamuni Buddha Image has been covered with a thick layer of gold leaf (about 15 cm). The walk continues along the street renouned for its marble carvers. Continue to Shwe Kyaung (Golden Palace Monastery) which was built in 1857 and was originally part of the royal palace before it was moved to the present site in 1879. Explore UNESCO listed Kuthodaw Pagoda, with the world’s biggest book. It accommodates 729 marble slabs engraved with the Buddha’s Parli Scriptures housed in shrines. After the gold leaf hammering workshop, stop by the moat surrounding the Royal Palace for a great photo opportunity with a backdrop of Mandalay Hill. Moor overnight at Sagaing.

Day 2 Mingun – Sagaing – Amarapura

Set sail to Mingun for a morning walking tour around the unfinished stupa built by Amarapura’s King Bodawpaya in 1790 which was intended to be the world’s largest stupa but remained unfinished since 1808 and also visit the world’s largest ringing bell. In the afternoon, drive up to the top of Sagaing Hill and admire the bird’s eye view over the Irrawaddy river curving around Sagaing city from SoonU Ponnya Shin hill top-pagoda. Later an introduction to the Buddhist nuns’way of life at a nunnery. Drive to Amarapura, a former capital (initially from 1783 to 1819 and subsequently from 1839 to 1852). Visit a silk and cotton weaving workshop, Amarapura’s major business. At sunset take a local boat on Taungthaman lake at U Bein Bridge, the world’s longest teak bridge. Moor overnight at Sagaing.

Day 3 Yandabo

Explore Yandabo village, famous for its production of terracotta pottery from the river bank clay. This village is well-known as the place where the first Anglo-Burmese war ended by the peace treaty signed in 1826. Morning walking tour and a visit to a pottery workshop to see first-hand the production process. This is a hands-on experience which you are welcome to try. Visit the Pandaw supported Yandabo School (if no school holidays). Moor overnight at Shwe Tan Tit village.

Day 4 Pakokku – Ayardaw

Explore Pakokku, experiencing the local market and town centre by Tuk Tuk. Sail to the Ayardaw charity clinic supported by Pandaw. Afternoon walk around the village. Pakkoku is a city of about 100,000 inhabitants located 30 km from Pagan. Main produce are tobacco, cotton, peanuts, Thanatkha (traditional make-up and sun lotion) and textiles. Visit Pakokku’s main market by Tuk Tuk. Stop at a cheroot workshop and discover how traditional cheroot cigars are made. Moor overnight at Tant Chi village.

Day 5 Tant-Chi-Taung – Salay

Drive up the winding road of the Tant-Chi-Taung mountain to visit the hill top stupa. On the way back, watch a traditional paper-mache elephant dance performed by the villagers from Tant-Chi. Sail to Salay, a small town which was once a bustling trading port, now a sleepy village filled with colonial architectural treasures and timeless teak monasteries. Walk from the ship to Yoke-Sone Kyaung, the best-known teak carved monastery in Burma, stopping at Salay House on return. Moor overnight at Salay.

Day 6 Salay – Pagan

Morning cruise upstream from Salay to Pagan to explore its many temples. The first temple visited is Ananda, known as the finest temple in Pagan in terms of ancient architecture, built in AD 1105 by King Kyansit Thar, the third king of Pagan dynasty. Explore the high standard of Pagan craftsmanship including niches with statues, glazed plaques, the standing Buddha statues and murals. Next stop is Myingabar Gubyaukgyi temple built in AD 1113 by Prince Rajakumar, son of King Kyansit Thar. Discover the well-preserved murals which also depict typical day-to-day life in Pagan. End the day with a walk through Phwar Saw Village; a small village with just over 500 inhabitants situated between New Pagan and Nyaung U airport. It was named after the very famous and influential queen for three consecutive Kings in Pagan’s late 13th century. The villagers rely on bean and pea farming, breeding cattle and producing small lacquerware handicrafts. A short stroll in the village under the shimmering sunshine in the late afternoon is the perfect way to capture the villagers’ way of life including fetching water, herding cattle back home and preparing for dinner. Moor overnight Pagan.

Day 7 Pagan

Further exploration of Pagan and visit a lacquerware workshop. Visit to Shwe San Daw stupa, one of only a few monuments allowing travellers to climb it, gaining a 360-degree view over the pagoda-studded plain. The next visit is to Shwe Zi Gone Pagoda, built in AD 1086 and believed to enshrine a hair relic of the Buddha. Before returning to the ship for lunch, take a stroll around the Khay Min Ga pagoda complex to learn about the different architectural styles: Indian, Sri Lankan, Myanmar-Mon hybrid and Myanmar. And In the afternoon, visit a Lacquerware workshop to explore the process of making lacquer handicrafts which is the specialty craft of Pagan. Continue to the unique Payathonezu, three inter-connected temples with a narrow passage built in the late 13th century. End the day with a visit to Dhamayangyi from AD 1170, the widest and largest temple in Pagan. Watch the sunset from the top of Taung Guni temple before returning to the ship. Moor overnight Pagan.

Day 8 Pagan

By 0900am disembark your Pandaw Cruise in Pagan and transfer to either hotel or airport.

Inclusions 
Meals: All meals & locally made soft drinks, local beer and local spirits, jugged coffee and selection of teas and tisanes, mineral water.
Transfers: Airport or hotel transfers to/from ship
Accommodation:7 nights on-board the Pandaw Cruise
Guide: English Speaking Guide
Gratuities: Gratuities to crew on board the Pandaw Cruise
Entrance Fees & Touring: Entrance fees & activities as per itinerary
Share our page on:
1 2 3 6