Sanctuary Myanmar River Cruiser

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11 Night Mandalay - Bhamo - Bagan Cruise Ananda

Sail along the Upper Ayeyarwady and through the three gorges. This stretch of the Ayeyarwady River is surrounded by breathtaking forests. With daily sailing and excursions you will enjoy visiting the less explored areas of Myanmar.

Please note that this itinerary also operates Bagan to Bhamo to Mandalay.

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Day 1

mandalay to nwe nyein

Embarkation no later than 8:45am and settle into your suite. Lunch will be served on board as we set sail for the charming pottery-making village of Nwe Nyein where we'll be moored overnight.

As we glide down the river, you can enjoy talks and demonstrations on traditions such as how to wear a longyi (sarong) and the thanaka make-up technique (the local cosmetic used to protect skin from the hot sun) as well as cookery lessons and history talks.

Welcome dinner on board the ship. Overnight in Nwe Nyein.

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Day 2

nwe nyein to kyar nyet

After an early breakfast, we'll take you on a walk to a pottery factory in the village of Nwe Nyein on the western bank of the Ayeyarwady River. Here we'll watch the craftsmen create beautiful pots as they work their potters' wheels with their legs.

We'll then spend the day travelling through soul-stirring riverscapes to Kyar Nyet where we will dock for the night.

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Day 3

kyar nyet to katha

We depart from Kyar Nyet early in order to arrive in Tagaung in the morning. After a fine breakfast we shall depart to explore ancient Tagaung, which dates back to the Pyu Dynasty. This rich archaeological site still has the original city walls which have been extremely well preserved.

Next we'll sail upstream to Katha which we will reach the following morning.

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Day 4

katha to shwe gu

We arrive into Katha mid-morning.

Since Katha was featured in George Orwell's Burmese Days, we'll take you by tuk-tuk to the author's former house in what was the British Club.

After the visit, we will sail upstream to Shwe Gu where we'll moor overnight. During your dinner aboard RV Sanctuary Ananda there will be a Tai-Shan dance performance.

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Day 5

shwe gu to bhamo

Setting sail from Shwe Gu at 5:30am, spend the morning enjoying the facilities onboard Sanctuary Ananda. 

We arrive at Bhamo at lunchtime where there will be non-stop spectacular rivers scenes for you to admire before we dock to explore the town in the afternoon.

Our visit to Bhamo will let you see the market and downtown Bhamo, which includes a trip to Shwe Kyi Na pagoda and historic Catholic churches.

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Day 6


The morning visit to Sin Khan will have you touring a 1929-built monastery as well as centuries-old stupas.

We'll set sail for Moeda village just before lunch, and as we travel down the river we'll pass the notable 'spirit rock' which has been sculpted into the shape of a parrot.

In the afternoon, you can browse the old wooden shop-houses of Moeda's market and take in the colours and aromas of the fresh produce and food stalls here.

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Day 7


Relax during a leisurely cruise to Kya Nyat - Take a guided walking tour of this small village and you'll spy archaeological treasures and get an authentic taste of local life.

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Day 8


This morning we will head South. For the next leg of the cruise, gaze at riverside pagodas such as Anya Thi Ha Taw on its island in the Ayeyarwady.

Next stop is Sin Kyun, where we will arrive about mid-morning.

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Day 9

sin kyun to mandalay

If you'd like to witness traditional farming and artisanal life in our adopted village, we'll show you around Sin Kyun.

Next we'll cruise southwards to Mingun where the monumental temple and 90-tonne Mingun Bell, one of the world's heaviest ringing bells, awaits.

In the afternoon visit Amarapura, once known as 'The City of Immortals'. Today, the leisurely 'clack-clack' from the looms of the cotton and silk weavers has replaced the noisy bustle of this former capital. We will visit one of the textile workshops, followed by the U-Bein Bridge, a spectacular place to enjoy the sunset. This long teak bridge snakes across the ever evolving Taungthaman Lake. After sunset, catch a boat up the Ayeyarwady River and return to the Sanctuary Ananda.

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Day 10

mandalay to yandabo

This morning, see Mahamuni Pagoda and Shwenandaw Monastery where hundreds of age-old marble slabs inscribed with Buddhist religious texts at Kuthodaw Pagoda are referred to by some historians as the 'biggest book in the world'.

We'll spend the afternoon sailing downstream to Bagan, which means you have ample time to enjoy the luxuries on board Ananda. Maybe have a spa treatment or relax by the pool with a book from our library?

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Day 11


After breakfast, visit bustling Bagan by bus and its Nyaung-U local market and the great golden Shwezigon Pagoda. Then travel to the incredible 1091-built Ananda Temple.

The day ends with a romantic candlelit sandbank dinner.

Dinner tonight is extra special thanks to a local performance.

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Day 12


Take an optional early morning balloon tour to capture a birds-eye view of the Bagan plain (an additional charge applies, please book in advance. October - March only.), followed by an early breakfast back on board before check out at 9am.

If you are departing on a later flight we will arrange for you to take a a morning tour in Bagan. We will visit Minanthu village in the heart of the Bagan plain, to see the way of life of the local people, before progressing to a brick factory. Onto the village of Myinkaba, a centre of the ancient craft of lacquerware which has been produced in Bagan since the time of King Anawrahta around 1050 AD. Here in the workshop the traditional methods are still used. The last stop is at a jaggery workshop which produces unrefined sugar.