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GOLDEN MYANMAR & THE ALLURING IRRAWADDY WITH LAKE INLE EXTENSION (UPSTREAM) - CATEGORY B - 2019

Explore the best of Myanmar, known as “The Golden Land,” on this captivating river cruise along the Irrawaddy River. In Yangon, formerly Rangoon, you’ll see the magnificent, gilded Shwedagon Pagoda—considered the oldest pagoda in the world. Bagan, a medieval capital of Myanmar, with thousands of historical structures still standing, is one of the world’s greatest archaeological sites. Visit one of the many spiritual temples at sunrise and a local market selling the unique handicrafts of the region. Feel the unique energy of the people on a walking tour through the village of Shwe Pyi Thar as you interact with locals and see the daily work done at a farmer’s home. In Sagaing, see the stunning Kaunghmudaw Pagoda with its egg-shaped dome and watch a local silversmith at work. Continue this river cruise through traditional lands to the impressive city of Mandalay, where you’ll visit the revered shrine of Mahamuni Pagoda with its impressive gold-leaf Buddha and enjoy a traditional dance by local performers. Sail along the untouched upper Irrawaddy and pass through the dramatic second defile with its magnificent cliffs. Visit remote villages for fascinating interactions with schoolchildren, nuns, monks, and pottery makers. The tranquil Inle Lake is a beautiful area surrounded by mountains with stilted houses dotting the shorelines. You will explore this area, stopping in Silk, Silversmith, and Cheroot Workshops, and attend a traditional song and dance performance by the Padaung long-necked women who live in this part of Myanmar.

This river cruise vacation along the Irrawaddy offers everything from peaceful sailing and alluring scenery to grand, majestic temples and shrines and plenty of interaction with locals to learn and feel a part of the ancient culture. More than just a river cruise—an unforgettable adventure!

Inclusions

15 breakfasts
15 lunches
15 dinners
Tour Provider Avalon Waterways
Number of Days
16
Price From
AUD $9,639
Start Location
Yangon, Myanmar
End Location
Yangon, Myanmar
Age Range
Avg. 100+
Group Size
20 to 44
Tour Style
Comfort
Tour Themes
Marine/Cruise
Physical Rating
Easy to Moderate
Tour departure dates
StartEndAvailabilityPrice
17 Jan 201901 Feb 2019On RequestAUD $9,639
06 Feb 201921 Feb 2019On RequestAUD $9,639
26 Feb 201913 Mar 2019On RequestAUD $9,639
18 Mar 201902 Apr 2019On RequestAUD $9,219
07 Apr 201922 Apr 2019On RequestAUD $8,569
06 Sep 201921 Sep 2019On RequestAUD $8,779
26 Sep 201911 Oct 2019On RequestAUD $8,779
30 Oct 201914 Nov 2019On RequestAUD $9,759
19 Nov 201904 Dec 2019On RequestAUD $9,919
23 Dec 201907 Jan 2020On RequestAUD $9,919
ItineraryExpand
Day 1: YANGON, MYANMAR.
Welcome to Yangon, formerly known as Rangoon, the country's largest city and former capital. Hotel rooms are available for mid-afternoon check-in.
Day 2: YANGON.
Historic Landmarks, Hot Tea, and Harmonious Living. CLASSIC - A Guided Walk introduces you to the city's famous and historic landmarks, including old colonial buildings and Sule Pagoda, built during the time of Buddha. Along the way, stop for a cup of tea or coffee with the locals. Next, stop at Chaukhtatgyi to see the massive Reclining Buddha measuring 65 metres (213 feet). Later in the day, visit Shwedagon Pagoda, a national symbol. Here, an enchanting scene unfolds as the sun sets on the golden stupa, and locals come to pay their respects. Tonight, dine in one of Yangon's best restaurants for a delicious welcome dinner. (B,L,D)
Day 3: YANGON-BAGAN (EMBARKATION).
Beautiful Bagan and Your Suite Ship Beckon. Late in the morning, fly to Bagan. Upon arrival, transfer to the port for embarkation. A welcome reception starts your evening. DISCOVERY - After dinner, a traditional Puppet Show will be presented in one of the lounges. OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN BAGAN (B,D)
Day 4: BAGAN.
Temples and Shrines-From Sunrise to Sunset. Today, explore Bagan, capital of Myanmar from the 9th to the 13th centuries. During this time over 13,000 temples, monasteries, and pagodas were built in the plains surrounding the city-an area of about 64 sqaure kilometres (40 square miles). Many of these structures have been lost over time, but around 2,300 still stand today, making this one of the world's greatest archaeological sites. DISCOVERY - Early risers can make an Escorted Visit to one of the temples with a Local Guide to witness a glorious sunrise. CLASSIC - Start your Morning Excursion at a local market selling handicrafts, fabrics, and longyis. Then, stop at Shwezigon Pagoda, one of the country's most important shrines. Lastly, visit a lacquer workshop to learn more about this ancient craft. CLASSIC - After lunch, your Afternoon Sightseeing centres on the Bagan archaeological zone. Highlights include Ananda, considered by many to be the most beautiful temple, and Dhammayangyi, the best preserved monument left standing. Also, stop to see the exquisite and well-preserved fresco paintings at Sulamani. DISCOVERY - End the day with a traditional Ox-Cart Ride to a temple, where you can ascend to the top as the sun sets. OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN BAGAN (B,L,D)
Day 5: SHWE PYI THAR.
Rural Life in Myanmar Comes to Life. DISCOVERY - This morning, partake in a Walking Tour through Shwe Pyi Thar, a typical village along the Irrawaddy. Here, visit a farmer's home to learn more about daily life and see the locals making palm candy-a sweet and smoky confection-from the sap of the toddy palm. DISCOVERY - Enjoy time onboard your ship this afternoon. Join your Local Guide for a presentation on the Burmese language. AFTERNOON/EVENING CRUISING (B,L,D)
Day 6: SAGAING-EXCURSION TO AMARAPURA.
Relaxation and Revelations. Relax this morning and take in the sights from one of the ship's lounges or from your suite. CLASSIC - Take a Guided Excursion this afternoon to visit the important religious site of Sagaing with countless pagodas dotting the surrounding hillsides. Stop to see Kaunghmudaw Pagoda with its unique golden egg-shaped dome and a silversmith workshop. Lastly, explore Soon U Ponya Shin Pagoda for stunning views across the Irrawaddy to Mandalay. Then, travel to nearby Amarapura, former capital of Myanmar. Your visit focuses on the famous U Bein Bridge, a 1.2 kilometre (3/4 mile) long bridge built in 1783. Take a sampan ride on the lake for unforgettable views of the sunset behind the iconic bridge. OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN SAGAING (B,L,D)
Day 7: MANDALAY.
The Golden Tapestries of Mandalay. CLASSIC - In the morning, visit Local Workshops to see skilled artisans at work making tapestries, woodcarvings, and gold-leaf. Also visit Mahamuni Pagoda to see its impressive gold-leaf Buddha-reported to be covered in six inches of gold leaf from continuous application. CLASSIC - This afternoon, take a Guided Tour of Kuthodaw Pagoda and Shwenandaw Monastery, the only WWII bombing remnants of former King Mindon's "Golden City" and extravagant teak palace. DISCOVERY - This evening, enjoy a traditional Dance Performance featuring local song and dance. OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN MANDALAY (B,L,D)
Day 8: KYAUK MYAUNG.
Glazed and Amazed. Join your Local Guide for a longyi and thanaka presentation this morning. DISCOVERY - This afternoon, join a Guided Walk through the captivating pottery-making village of Kyauk Myaung to learn more about and see the pottery-making process. Most interesting is the eye-catching 50-gallon variety, often referred to as Martaban or Ali Baba jars. These pots could transport large quantities of goods and have played an important part of maritime trade throughout Asia for centuries. AFTERNOON CRUISE TO KYA HNYAT (B,L,D)
Day 9: KYA HNYAT.
Giving Alms and Blessings in Return. DISCOVERY - Interact with the monks at a Monastery Visit in Kya Hnyat. This is a truly memorable experience as you present alms to the monks and witness their lunch ritual. Join your Local Guide this afternoon and learn more about the popular Burmese tea leaf and ginger salad. AFTERNOON/EVENING CRUISE TO TIGYANG (B,L,D)
Day 10: TIGYANG.
Buddha with a View. DISCOVERY - Explore the village of Tigyang on a Walking Tour through its narrow lanes and visit the Reclining Buddha on a hilltop with stunning views, OR: ACTIVE - Take the normal Walking Tour and add a steep climb to reach the Reclining Buddha. AFTERNOON CRUISE TO KATHA (B,L,D)
Day 11: KATHA.
Burmese Days & Minority Culture. DISCOVERY - Start your Guided Sightseeing at the local wet market, where you will see locals buying and selling fish, meat, produce, and more. Next, learn more about life during British rule at the former British Club, featured in George Orwell's novel, "Burmese Days." Lastly, meet with the Jingpo, one of over 100 ethnic minority groups in Myanmar. Here, you will learn about their culture, traditional dress, and unique method of making rice wine. As you sail north this afternoon, with some luck, you may catch a glimpse of the rare Irrawaddy dolphin, with its distinctive round forehead. AFTERNOON CRUISE TO KYUN DAW (B,L,D)
Day 12: KYUN DAW-SECOND DEFILE-BHAMO.
Engaging Local Encounters. DISCOVERY - Explore the island village of Kyun Daw, where over 7,000 stupas surround the monastery. Your Guided Excursion includes a visit to a fisherman's home and a school where you will interact with the children. You will also visit a nunnery to present the nuns with food purchased the day before at the market in Katha. Unlike monks, they have to collect and cook their own food. This afternoon, spend time at leisure as you sail through the dramatic Second Defile with its magnificent cliffs reaching down the narrow channel. Continue to Bhamo, the northernmost point ships can navigate the Irrawaddy. AFTERNOON CRUISE TO BHAMO (B,L,D)
Day 13: BHAMO (DISEMBARKATION)-HEHO-INLE LAKE.
After breakfast, disembark the ship and explore Bhamo by local trishaw and by foot. Afterward transfer to the airport and fly to Heho, gateway to Inle Lake, a tranquil body of water surrounded by mountains. Pause at Red Mountain Estate to bask in the beautiful scenery as you enjoy a lunch of authentic fare and wine produced from the vineyards here. Continue to your lakeside resort, where you will spend the next two nights. (B)
Day 14: INLE LAKE.
Today, join a fascinating Guided Excursion to see scenes of life around the lake. Stilted houses dot the shorelines, and the local Intha people use the famous one-legged rowing technique to fish and tend their floating gardens of tomats, cucumbers, aubergine, and more. These clever gardens are made from weeds lashed together and mud from the lake bottom, then anchored using bamboo poles, allowing them to rise and fall with the water level of the lake. Along the way, stop at a silk workshop, where they use the fibers of the lotus plant to weave garments. You will also visit a silversmith workshop and a cheroot workshop, where young girls roll the cigars at a dizzying pace. Before dinner, attend a music and dance performance by the Padaung long-necked women who live in this part of the country. (B,L,D)
Day 15: INLE LAKE-HEHO-YANGON.
Today, transfer to Heho for your flight back to Yangon for an overnight stay. (B)
Day 16: YANGON.
Your holiday ends with breakfast this morning. (B)