MY004-River Cruises

    10 days 9 nights

Traveling by road, by air and on water; you discover why the country is often dubbed the Golden Land

Myanmar is eager to share its charming reminders of colonial days and thousands of lovingly preserved pagodas with an appreciative world. Traveling by road, by air and on water; you discover why the country is often dubbed the Golden Land. Cruise journey on Myanmar’s Ayeyarwaddy River is one of life’s great travel experiences.

Day 1: Yangon
On arrival you will be welcomed by Myanmar Shalom tour guide and transferred to your hotel for check-in. Drive through downtown to explore the city centre and its fabulous mix of architecture and sites. The streets are filled with historical buildings many of which have a faded colonial charm not seen elsewhere in Asia. You’ll start at the post office – a lovely historic building- and to Sule Paya in the middle of downtown, passing by Strand Hotel, Mahabandoola Garden and Independence Monument along the way. Then visit Little India and Chinatown – stop to greet the vendors and let them introduce you to their wares – some familiar, some exotic. Photo stop at the Karaweik Hall royal floating barge.Nothing will prepare you for Shwedagon Pagoda, with its glittering gold stupa. At the pagoda observe local pilgrims and monks offering their devotions and enjoy the amazing sunset view at Shwedagon pagoda.

Day 2: Yangon – Bagan
Early morning flight to Bagan. Begin  exploration of Bagan by visiting a busy local market and gain an insight into the bustling market atmosphere in Bagan. You will spend the day exploring the architectural masterpieces of this amazing town by visit to a diverse selection of the most important pagodas and temples. Also visit a local lacquerware workshop and watch men and women ply their craft using traditional methods. A visit  to lacquer craftsmen and  workshops in nearby Myinkaba village includes meeting with Aung Mying, a laquerware artist world-renown for producing pieces of exceptional quality- and written about in the book:  Burmese Laquerware. Sightseeing continues with visits to Manuha Temple, Nanbaya Temple, and Myingaba Gu Byaukgyi Temple. Watch sunset atop one of Bagan’s ancient monuments.

Day 3: Bagan –   (Optional:  Balloons Over Bagan)- (R.V. Paukan) www.paukan.com
Today you will have a unique opportunity to see the ancient city of Bagan from a different perspective. From a hot air balloon, you will get a magnificent aerial view of thousand-year old pagodas and temples and rural villages nestled along the Irrawaddy River as you glide aloft for about an hour.  A champagne celebration concludes our adventure. Return to the hotel for breakfast.

After breakfast this morning continue sightseeing in Bagan and then transfer to Gaewin Jetty to embark on a charming cruising boutique hotel, the elegant Paukan, 2007 ship with its fine service and facilities. Cruising along the river and in the late afternoon stop in a typical river village. After dinner onboard our ship, enjoy a Dance and Drama performance by the Mandalay Arts School on the sundeck.

Day 4: Bagan – Mandalay (R.V. Paukan) www.paukan.com
Cruise all day with stop enroute in the morning to visit Yandabo, a typical river village specialize in Pot-Making, where the peace treaty of the First Anglo-Burmese war was signed on Feb. 24, 1826. Moor overnight nearby a village (Ywar Thit Gyi or Pauk Myaing Pauk Taw) few miles away from Ava Bridge.

Day 5: Mandalay
Enjoy the sunrise. After an early breakfast, the passengers will disembark at Sagaing Jetty (Thursday only) or Gawein jetty (Sunday Only) at around 09.30/10.00 hrs. This afternoon visit the second most sacred image in Myanmar next to the Shwedagon Pagoda is the Mahamuni Pagoda. Next visit Golden palace Monastery famous for its intricate woodcarvings. Continue to the Kuthodaw Pagoda, which is known as the world largest book due to the Buddhist scripture carved on 729 marble slabs. Before sunset visit a 200-year-old teak bridge, the most photographic site in Myanmar.

Day 6: Maymyo
After breakfast drive (80 km – 2 hours) on a scenic route to Pyin Oo Lwin (Maymyo), principal hill station and summer retreat during the British colonial period, with its lovely lake, waterfalls, botanical garden and colonial era-buildings. Sightseeing in Pyin Oo Lwin starts with a visit to downtown colonial-era buildings and the central market. Unique, brightly painted miniature stagecoaches, drawn by lively teams of horses, are waiting to carry travelers to the National Kandawgyi Gardens, the beautiful botanical gardens of Maymyo. The cooler weather allows many flowers and fruits, commonly found in temperate climates, to thrive here. After lunch proceed to Peik Chin Myaung Cave, since ancient times a Buddhist shrine. Stop at a winemaking workshop before returning by road to Mandalay.

Day 7: Mandalay-Heho – Pindaya
Transfer to Airport for afternoon flight to Heho, gateway to Inle Lake and the Shan State. Known as the most beautiful lake in Myanmar, Inle Lake’s calm waters are surrounded by high hills and dotted with floating gardens and stilted villages. Upon arrival proceed to by road to Pindaya and visit Pinday Caves, a unique site housing thousand of Buddha images places there by pilgrims and devotes over the centuries. A scenic drive takes us to Nyaung Shwe, a small jetty where you pick up the private boat for a 30-minute ride to the hotel, located on the shores of the lake.

Day 8: Inle Lake- Indein
This morning will be spent exploring beautiful Inle Lake. Continue sightseeing in Inle Lake, maneuvering by boat though long, scenic channnels where you can watch the farmers cultivate their produce in “floating gardens”.  You will visit the fascinating village of Indein, with it’s complex of ancient shrines and stupas and walk though exotic colonnades of stairways and shop stalls.  You’ll visit the “long neck” tribal women, and weaving and craft villages perched on stilts. See the lake’s unique “leg rowers” – the Intha people row standing up with one leg wrapped around an oar. Dinner at the hotel or fine traditional Shan restaurant.

Day 9: Inle – Yangon
Morning flight to Yangon. Then enjoy a visit to Scott Market, the sprawling 75-year-old Market. At the market you will find a whole variety of interesting Burmese souvenirs, from lacquer ware to gems & jewelry – bargain at the stores to fully experience the Burmese market atmosphere! Visit the over 100 year old beautiful Rangoon Synagogue. In there you will have the opportunity to meet with Trustee of the Synagogue to learn  the Jewish Life in the Pagoda Land.  Drive through the city and observe the influences of other cultures in the region. Visit the Jade Buddha temple with marble statue weighs 500 tons and the largest in the world.

Day 10: Yangon – Departure
After breakfast, day at leisure until transfer to airport for International departure flight.