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Sanctuary Myanmar River Cruiser

10 Night Mandalay - Paung Pyin - Bagan Cruise

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Day 1

Mandalay to Sin TaE

Option 1: Check in at 11.00am at the Jetty in Mandalay and settle into your suite, before sailing towards Myin Mu at 11.30am.

Option 2: Arrive at Mandalay Jetty by 1.30pm and transfer by bus to Myin Mu. Check in to Sanctuary Ananda and settle into your suite.

For those guests arriving on an earlier flight we can arrange a tour of Mandalay.

As we sail along the Chindwin towards Paung Pyin, 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. 

Tonight, join us in the Kansi Panorama Lounge for a welcome briefing along with a campagne and canapés reception followed by the welcome dinner on board the ship.

Day 2

SIN TAE TO own pin seik

At 5am the ship will start sailing. Enjoy the morning on board at leisure. Arrive in Monywa in the Sagaing Region at 2.30pm, when you'll no doubt continue to 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 the two enormous Buddha statues - the one reclining is about 333 foot long, and the other stands at a record height of 424 feet. The reason we bring you here at this time of day is that it is best appreciated in the afternoon light.

Return to the ship at 4.30pm and enjoy dinner on board while sailing towards Own Pin Seik.

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Day 3


Start the day with a meditation session on the Sun Deck and for those who wish to learn how to prepare Asian delicacies, our chef will be happy to demonstrate.

Relax on board as we sail towards the village of Maukkadaw. Arrive at the village in the late afternoon, once an important teak port. Explore the town and its stunning teak buildings made even more exotic by the tropical jungle that surrounds them. Wander around the village and visit the brick monastery.

This evening we will screen one of the most famous movies about Aung San Suu Kyi, The Lady, in the Kansi Panorama Lounge with canapés. Overnight at Ngar Own.

Day 4


Take part in a morning lecture presented by our resident guide followed by an afternoon visit to Kalewa. Kalewa is the trading post between Myanmar and India, and this town rests at the point where the Myit Tha River with its source in India joins with the Chindwin. Kalewa is right at the foot of the Western Mountain Ranges that loom over the town, the pagoda on the hill and the placid waters of the 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. Tonight, the ship will dock at Masein.

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Day 5


Sail in the morning and arrive in Mawleik mid-morning. Mawleik, once the administrative centre of the Bombay Burma Trading Company, is still a lively town with a vibrant market and colonial charm. This is a part of Myanmar that very few tourists see.

Return to the ship at 11.30am and cruise north.

After lunch, why not take part in one of our interesting on board lectures.

We recommend you take tea in the panoramic lounge as we sail towards the thatched homes of our next rural village stop, Hae Nin. The ship will anchor here for the night.

Day 6


Enjoy an early morning meditation session on board the Sun Deck.

Sail south to Sitthaung, where we will see the emerald green paddy fields on your way to the village pagoda. Near the mouth of the Yu River which drains the Kubu valley, Sitthaung was the final resting place of a number of IFC steamers scuppered there in 1942.

Later on visit Paung Pyin, the northernmost point of the cruise.

The Uyu River is a major tributary of the Chindwin River, and the sand in this part of the river gets a lot of attention from locals – look out for folks panning for gold here in the hope of finding small nuggets.

Day 7


As we travel towards Masein, enjoy a restful day on board and take full advantage of Sanctuary Ananda’s extensive services and facilities.

Join our chef for a cooking demonstration to test your knowledge of local delicacies and learn how to create delicious Asian dishes.

Dock at Masein at 2.30pm.

Misty blue and green hills rise high on the horizon, and near the village of Masein, a row of 28 white-washed pagodas line the crest of a sloping hill and file down towards the river. The number signifies the 28 Buddhas that have brought enlightenment to the world.

Tonight we will screen the movie Rangoon and serve delicious canapés in the Kansi Panorama Lounge.

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Day 8


Sail in the morning and arrive at Minkin at 11am.

Here you’ll get a chance to see an extraordinary blend of European and Burmese architecture of the Mahar Minkyaung Monastery, the oldest wooden 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.

After lunch, join an afternoon lecture to learn about Myanmar's past, present and future.

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Day 9


This morning, visit the Po Win Taung caves near Shwe Ba Taung. Carved out of the sandstone hills, this setting is breathtakingly special to behold, and a highlight of any trip to Myanmar. More ancient than the Thanbodday pagoda are the two cave pagoda complexes of Po win taung and Shwe ba taung, believed to be over 300 years old. There are almost one thousand caves in which both the Buddha images and the thrones were carved out of living rock. The natural shape of the caves was kept, and 17th century wall paintings in exquisite detail cover the interior walls. The entrances are rimmed with traditional motifs of vines and flowers, in high or low relief. Figures of mythical beings and traditional design elements are seen both carved and painted.

Tonight, take part in a cocktail demonstration during which you will learn how to make Golden Land and Chindwin cocktails and taste them first hand.

Day 10


This morning sail from Yesagyo to Pakokku. This is an opportunity to watch cotton-blanket weavers and visit the local market with Sanctuary Ananda's chef. At 11am the ship will set sail to Bagan, arriving after lunch. Visit the awe-inspiring Ananda Temple. Completed in 1091 AD, it is commonly referred to as one of the four great temples in Bagan. The Ananda is regarded by folklore as one of the most beautiful temples in Myanmar.

Next, visit Htilominlo Temple; a two-storey redbrick temple built around 1211 AD. It is a magnificent structure, though now heavily restored. Enjoy the sunset from the terraces of the Pyathatgyi Temple. Admire the light change on the pagodas as they exude antiquity and mystery.

Finally the sun sets behind the hills on the far side of the Irrawaddy River, filling the sky with a reddish glow, a truly magic moment. Tonight there will be a local performance on board. Enjoy your last night with a candlelit sandbank dinner, served with the backdrop of the twinkling lights of Bagan.

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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 a morning tour in Bagan. Leaving at 9am we will visit a local village in the heart of the Bagan plain, to see the way of life of the local people. Next visit a lacquerware workshop. This ancient craft has been produced in Bagan since the time of King Anawrahta around 1050 AD. Here in the workshop the traditional methods are still used.
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