If you arrive on an early flight we will arrange for you to take a tour in Bagan. Leaving at 9am we will visit the bustling market of Nyaung U. The daily market is where the farmers meet to buy and sell a variety of goods, ranging from fruit and vegetables to china and lacquerware. After our visit to Naung U, we will move on to the great golden Shwezigon Pagoda before returning to Sanctuary Ananda.
Start sailing upstream towards Sagaing. Relax as we pass villages set against a backdrop of soft browns, rich tamarind trees, with white and golden pagodas gracing the distant hills. There is no better way to enjoy this riverine picture than from the Kansi panorama lounge.
After lunch a variety of on board activities will be offered including a longyi (sarong) and thanaka (cosmetic) demonstration, a back of house tour, and a talk on Myanmar – covering the country’s incredibly rich history, more recent and controversial events, and prospects for the future.
The morning will be spent sailing as you enjoy the passing countryside. A cooking class with our Executive Chef will be available.
In the afternoon visit the pagoda-sprinkled Sagaing Hill, an important religious and monastic centre, home to some 554 monasteries and 6,000 monks and nuns. Here we will visit a Monastic school and orphanage where you will have the opportunity to meet some of the residents and understand the teachings of Buddhism.
Next, take in the views from the top of the hill on the terraces of the Soon U Ponya Shin Pagoda which are truly breathtaking. Below and all around, pagodas of different shapes and sizes dot the landscape.
Visit the U Bein Bridge, a spectacular place to enjoy the sunset. This long teak bridge snakes across the Taungthaman Lake and each evening you can watch monks crossing the bridge to collect food donations. This is a very spiritual and time travelling experience.
Breakfast is served before check out in Mandalay.
If you are leaving on a later flight we can include a tour of Mandalay. This will include a visit to Mahamuni Pagoda, one of Myanmar’s most religious monuments housing the revered Mahamuni Image. Continue on to visit Shwenandaw Monastery, the only palace building to survive the bombings of World War II. This beautiful teak monastery had been the apartment of King Mindon, and after his death in 1879, his son King Theebaw removed it from the Mandalay palace.
Lastly a visit to Kuthodaw Pagoda (Maha Lawka Marazein), built by King Mindon in 1857, in effect a copy of the Shwezigon Pagoda in Bagan. Kuthodaw is often called the biggest book in the world, for surrounding it are 729 marble slabs inscribed with the Tripitaka texts (Buddhist cannon).