A country of smiles… a land of grace…a people of welcome…a place of charm and culture….Myanmar is slowly unfolding its charms and hidden treasures to a world hungry for new adventures, new experiences. A land that time had almost forgotten has at last opened her doors to those looking for wonderment and places to treasure.
Bordered by five countries – Thailand, Laos, China, Bangladesh and India – Myanmar (formerly Burma) is a gentle land of shimmering lakes, mythical rivers, emerald forests, villages unchanged for centuries and its people are full of warmth and grace. While its temples and stupas, shrines and monasteries are as much part of the landscape as the colourful markets, vibrant festivals and remote villages. It is a land waiting to be uncovered… waiting to be discovered…but gently, slowly and with care which is why one of the best ways to explore its beauty is on our luxury cruise ship – Sanctuary Ananda.
The Irrawaddy River is the longest river in Myanmar which flows from north to south originating in the Kachin River at the N'mai and Mali River's confluence.
Although more so in the past the Irrawaddy river is still used as the main commercial transport route and you can regularly see local barges carrying piles of teak logs. Before motorised barges were used, locals would tie the teak logs together to form a large raft and would float down the river. The Irrawaddy Rivers connects the famous cities of Mandalay and Bagan with Yangon, the largest and main domestic and international transport hub. Mandalay and Bagan are two popular tourist areas due to their abundance of history. Mandalay is the second largest city in Myanmar and was the previous royal capital. Bagan was home to over 10,000 Buddhist temples, pagodas and monasteries with around 2,200 remaining.
The Chindwin River is the largest tributary of the Irrawaddy River and originates in the Kachin State of Myanmar and runs south before meeting the Irrawaddy River.
Due to low water levels, the Chindwin River is only accessible to larger river vessels during the monsoon season around late July and August and therefore is a much less explored area. Due to the lower number of boats and visitors, the areas around the Chindwin river are peaceful and unspoilt. Most of the river runs through beautiful scenic landscapes flowing through mountain ranges and dense forests.