Sanctuary Myanmar River Cruiser

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10 Night Mandalay - Homalin - Bagan Cruise Ananda

Sail the less explored beautiful Chindwin River. Within the itinerary the ship will visit many tribal villages where you can learn about the local people and customs.

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

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Day 1

mandalay to chindwin confluence

Check in at 12.30pm and settle into your suite. For those guests arriving on an earlier flight we can arrange a tour of Mandalay. This will include a visit to Mahamuni Pagoda, Shwenandaw Monastery and lastly a visit to Kuthodaw Pagoda (Maha Lawka Marazein). As we sail 87 miles along the Chindwin towards Homalin, you'll have the chance to get a true insight into Myanmar thanks to on-board talks on traditions such as the local dress, thanaka make-up (the cosmetic technique used to protect skin from the hot sun) as well as see cookery demonstrations and history lessons. After years of being oppressed by its political regime, this is an exciting, eye-opening time to learn about Myanmar's fascinating culture from the country's own people.

Early evening, we'll drop anchor mid-river near where the Chindwin meets the great Ayeyarwady, and this is where we'll dock for the night.

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Day 2

yesago to monywa

In Yesagyo, we'll visit the town's colourful market stalls and also the great Thathanamita monastery, where there are around 1,000 monks still living and learning.  Visit Monywa and appreciate what's so very special about this cruise northwest of Mandalay: we take you to unspoiled scenery that rarely gets exposed to tourists. After exploring the city, a coach will transport you to a truly spectacular part of the world: the intricately decorated golden Thanboddhay Pagoda. It is truly staggering with its hundreds of crumbling stupas and almost half a million images of Buddha located in the niches around the inner wall. Next you'll visit Bodhi Tataung where you can see (and go into) the two enormous Buddha statues -the one reclining is about 333 foot long, and the other stands at a record height of 424 feet. 

It's back to the boat about 6.30pm in time for a beautiful dinner on board.

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Day 3

mokhtaw to maukkdaw

We'll set off for Mokhtaw village on the western bank of the Ayeyarwady so that we get there about 9am, leaving you time to enjoy breakfast beforehand, as we glide past stunning riverscapes. In Mokhtaw you will have a unique chance to see the monks being ordained at a Buddhist monastery; this is an opportunity to learn about this ceremony and culture in a way that few foreigners can. At 11am the boat will get moving again and the ship will next dock in Maukkadaw.

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Day 4

kalewa to mawleik

If you're up bright and early you'll have the chance to look around the unique wooden buildings of Maukkadaw village, which was once an important teak port. It is back to the boat at 8.30am so that we can set sail to Kalewa. From here it's a one-hour drive to Kalay (Mawlaik), which was a significant town for the British during World War II; when they retreated from Burma in 1942 this gave them easier access to India along the Manipur River. The cruise continues after lunch taking you through lush gorges, past wild jungle and tiny riverside villages - the scenery here looks like that of a land that time forgot. We'll also be hosting interesting talks on board the ship during the afternoon. At about 6pm, we will dock near Mawleik.

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Day 5

mawleik to sitthaung

Travelling 40 miles to Mawleik in the morning, we'll aim to get there around 8am. Once the main hub of Bombay Burma Trading Company, Mawleik is rich in colonial charm, and somewhere that very few tourists get to see in person. Our excursion will also let you experience an authentic working elephant camp just outside of town. Enjoy tea in the panoramic lounge as we sail north towards the thatched homes of our next rural village stop, Sitthaung. We'll drop anchor here at 4pm leaving you to explore Sitthaung, the final resting place of Irrawaddy Flotilla Company steamers; scuppered here in 1942 as an 'act of denial' from the advancing Japanese, it was from here that the survivors of the Japanese invasion marched out to Tamu on the India border.

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Day 6

sittaung to homalin

Travelling next via the remote village of Phaung Pyin, we'll cruise 85 miles to Homalin. The Uyu River is a major tributary of the Chindwin River, and the sand in this part of the river gets lots of attention from locals - look out for folks panning for gold here in the hope of finding small nuggets. On arrival at Homalin you'll hop on a tuk-tuk to Khaung Khan Pagoda - don't miss seeing Buddha's soul-uplifting lotus garden here. Then we'll return to our boat about 6.30pm and enjoy dinner as we dock here.

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Day 7

HOMALIN to masein

As we travel 224 miles towards Minkin, enjoy a restful day on board and take full advantage of Sanctuary Ananda's extensive services and facilities. We'll pass under-the-radar Kani on the banks of the Chindwin River, eventually dropping anchor at Masein at around 6pm. This is a part of the world that's a stranger to tourism, and it feels a true privilege to sail here.

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Day 8

minkin to kani

We'll get to Minkin about 12.30pm when you'll get a unique chance to see an extraordinary blend of European and Burmese architecture of the Mahar Minkyaung Monastery. The Shwe Sagar Buddha is especially remarkable - it was carved from a single piece of wood a thousand years ago. After this visit, the boat will proceed to Kani where we'll overnight.

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Day 9


It's 35 miles to Monywa where at 10am an excursion can take you to see the Po Win Taung caves near Shwe Ba Taung. Carved out of the sandstone hills, this setting is breath-nabbingly special to behold, and a highlight of any trip to Myanmar.

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Day 10

pakokku to bagan

In Pakokku, visit the local market and see cotton-blanket weavers, traditional cheroot makers and a shoe factory. Later the boat docks at Bagan and you travel by bus to the awe-inspiring Ananda Temple. The finale is a magical sunset at Pyathatgyi Temple. 

As the sun sets behind the hills the pastel dusk light on the pagodas creates a scene that is utterly mesmeric and soul stirring. It's then back to the Ananda for a special dinner to end thisremarkable river cruise.

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Day 11


Enjoy an early breakfast on your final morning before check out at 9am. If you are departing on a later flight we will arrange for you to take a 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.