Meet at the Chatrium Hotel in Yangon and transfer by coach to Prome. Visit the 5th-8th century archaeological site of Thiri-ya-kittiya, former centre of the Pyu civilization. We cross jungle and countryside to visit monumental Pyu stupas and the excavations of the former palace-city in this walled early centre of Buddhism.
This pleasant colonial town once guarded the border between Royal Burmah and British Burmah following the 2nd Anglo Burmese War of 1855 and many of the buildings including the covered market date from this period. We visit the market, see the colonial houses and ride out by horse and cart to see the countryside and golf links.
In Minhla and Gwechaung we visit the two Italian built forts constructed to keep the British at bay from Royal Burmah. We climb the Gwechaung hill for the view. In the afternoon we cruise on to Magwe where we climb the river bank and wend our way through a labyrinth of passages and paths to reach the magnificent Myat-thalon Pagoda.
We visit a number of teak monasteries including the Yout-saun-kyaung with its spectacular wood carvings. We also explore an area of splendid colonial houses.
We tour a selection of the 3,000 listed monuments at this World Heritage Site, Bagan.
Further exploration by coach of the monuments, is followed by a visit to a lacquer ware workshop and the local markets. This afternoon we sail upstream and enjoy an evening walk in Oh Ne Kyaung village, to see the local life in this typical river side community.
Yandabo is a very small rural village that specialises in pot making. We visit the Pandaw School, built with past donations from Pandaw passengers.
We will take a tour of central Mandalay visiting the Mahamuni Pagoda and Shwe Nan Daw Kyaung teak carved monastery. Next we explore the ancient capital of Amarapura by coach and sampan and cross the U Bein Bridge to see the paintings in the temple.
We stop at Mingun to see the largest working bell in the world and the unfinished pagoda, that is the largest single mass of brick building in the world. We also visit the Mingun Old Peoples Home originally established with the assistance of the Irrawaddy Flotilla Company in the 1930s.
Visit the spectacular potteries near Kyauk-Myoung where the famous 50 gallon water pots are hand made. We see all stages of manufacture from the throwing of the pots to the week long firing in huge kilns. We enter the Third Defile and sail upstream all day stopping at Khan-nyat village with its many Buddhist monasteries and an orphanage we support.
We explore by foot the ancient city of Tagaung viewing the fortifications, the shrine of Bo Bo Gyi a famous nat or spirit who protects sailors plying the river and the archaeological area. In the evening we climb the Pagoda Hill at Tigyang with its stunning views of the Irrawaddy.
We reach the enchanting colonial town of Katha, setting for George Orwell's Burmese Days, and little changed since then. Of interest is the fire station's collection of IFC ship bells taken from sunken ships in the Second World War.
Today we travel by local speedboat to view the largest of the Irrawaddy gorges.
Traveling downstream, we stop for a walk in a jungle village.
This afternoon we will disembark (at approximately 2:00pm) at the Shwe Kyet Jetty, in Mandalay where our trip concludes.