Discovering the Chindwin River
• Journey overland to Monywa and the colourful Thanboddhay Pagoda • Witness a Buddhist novitiation ceremony at Mokehtaw • Tuk tuk excursion to the Buddha Lotus Garden in Homalin • Tour of Mingun and the Mahar Min Kyaung Monastery
Spend 13 days exploring the history and beauty of the Chindwin river as you sail past golden temples, quaint villages, and sacred mountains.
Day 1: Yangon > Mandalay (L,D) Morning flight from Yangon to Mandalay. On arrival into Mandalay, you will be met by local guides and escorted on a Mandalay city tour. You will visit Shwenandaw Kyaung, built in 1880 by King Thibaw Min; stop for a photo opportunity near Sedona Hotel to capture the palace with Mandalay Hill in the background; continue to Kyauksittan, Mandalay's marble and bronze carving district, and the Mahamuni Pagoda, enshrining a highly revered Buddha image.
After the tour you transfer to Belmond Orcaella to check in at 11:30 am
While enjoying a buffet lunch admire the picturesque views as the ship passes the Sagaing hills, dotted with pagodas and monasteries.
At around 5:30 pm you will pass through the confluence between the Ayeyarwady and Chindwin Rivers. Celebrate your first evening on board at a welcome cocktail party followed by dinner.
Day 2: Monywa (B,L,D) This morning enjoy an introductory lecture about the Myanmar way of life as we cruise towards Monywa.
Disembark for a short journey by fast boat to Monywa town. Here a bus takes you to Boddhi Tataung, the site of the magnificent 424 ft standing Buddha, one of the largest in the world. We will continue with a tour of the enchantingly colourful Thanboddhay Pagoda, a 12th-century temple whose many walls are bedecked with tiny Buddha images. Returning to the ship at 5:00 pm
The ship drops anchor near Aitaung for the night.
Day 3: Mokehtaw (B,L,D) After breakfast a fast boat takes you on the short journey to Mokehtaw, a traditional rural village. Alight for a walking tour and a visit to the monastery, where you will witness a Buddhist noviciation ceremony, a very important moment for young Burmese boys. It is believed to bring great honour to the family. Return to Belmond Orcaella at 10:00 am.
Spend a leisurely afternoon on board before a longyi cocktail party and after dinner entertainment.
The ship stops for the night near Maukkadaw.
Day 4: Maukkadaw (B ,L,D) Disembark for an early morning visit to the village of Maukkadaw, a well-known teak port. You will notice many traditional houses built from the attractive, tropical hardwood and visit the local school to see books and stationary donated to the students. Return to the ship for brunch.
This afternoon take afternoon tea in the Lounge while Dr. Khin Maung Nyunt treats you to a local history lecture.
Dinner is followed by Toh dances on the Sundeck.
The ship drops anchor near Kalewa.
Day 5: Kalewa & Mawleik (B,L,D) After breakfast take a fast boat to Kalewa, the trade gateway to India, for a walking tour. This interesting town boasts a lively market and many historic Baptist churches. Return on board at 09.30 am and set sail towards Mawleik.
After afternoon tea alight for a walking tour of lively Mawleik town at 4:30 pm. You are free to explore this former administrative centre of the Bombay Burmah Trading Company at your leisure.
Dinner this evening is a barbecue on shore at Mawleik, with transfers by local tuk tuk.
Day 6: Mawleik (B,L,D) The morning board a local truck for a journey to a local elephant camp to see the tuskers in action. On the way back, you are taken on a tour of Mawleik's impressive historical buildings. Return to Belmond Orcaella and set sail for Sittaung at 9:30 am.
Enjoy lunch and afternoon tea on board. This afternoon your guide will give an illuminating talk on Burmese culture and history.
Dinner is followed by the release colourful Shan balloons into the night sky, creating a magical, glowing spectacle.
Belmond Orcaella docks tonight at Sitthaung
Day 7: Sitthaung (B,L,D) Disembark for a morning trek to the rural village of Sittaung. This small village is home to only 28 houses and around 200 people. On the way to the main pagoda, admire beautiful views of the brilliant green paddy fields. Sittaung was used as a shortcut to India by British troops withdrawing from Myanmar (then Burma). The road to India, the border of which is just 36 miles away, still exists. Return to the ship to set sail at 9:00 am.
After lunch on board the ship enjoy the views as we sail towards Naung San Kyin, or participate in the discussion of Myanmar religions, culture and traditions in the Lounge.
Drop anchor for the night at Naung San Kyin.
Day 8: Homalin (B,L,D) Today's excursion takes us to Homalin. Stroll along the riverside and visiting the morning market. Drive to the Buddha Lotus Garden and the most famous pagoda in town, where you can soak up mesmerizing views spanning the Chindwin River and the towering mountains that are home to the Naga tribes. Sample a variety of their dishes and drinks before returning to the ship at 11.30 am and heading downstream.
Spend the afternoon at leisure as we sail to Nan Maw Leik.
Tonight anchor near Nan Maw Leik.
Day 9: Sailing & Kyidaung Village (B,L,D) After breakfast make your own way to the sundeck by 10:00 am to enhance your gastronomic knowledge and skills at a cooking demonstration hosted by Executive Chef Bansani on the Sundeck. Whet your appetite for your lunch served in the Restaurant.
In the afternoon set off on a walking tour of Kyidaung, a very typical, quaint Burmese village, and Kyidaung Oo Monastery, the centre of village life for the last 300 years. Expect a warm welcome from the locals and a glimpse into their gentle, rural lifestyle. Return to the ship at 6:00 pm.
The ship anchors overnight near Mingin.
Day 10: Mingin & Kani (B,L,D) Disembark for an early morning walking tour of Mingin, a very important town during the period of King Mindon. Continue to visit the impressive Maha Min Kyaung monastery built in 1912. The monastery is built in a distinctly European style including Italian glass window.
Return to the ship and continue towards Kani. This afternoon visit Kani town, which is famous for being the home of the Nat spirit "Lord of the white horse". Take a walk through the town to the site of the Nat shrine. Experience a real Nat Pwe paying homage to the Nat.
Late afternoon Belmond Orcaella sets sail towards Monywa where it will drop anchor.
Day 11: Bagan (B,L,D) Enjoy a mid-morning brunch before disembarking for a guided visit to the wondrous ancient sites of Bagan. Your excursion will include the temples Gubyaukgyi, Sulamani, Shwesandaw, and Ananda-one of the finest and best preserved examples, dating from 1100. You will also visit a lacquerware workshop to see the traditional craft in action, and witness an unforgettable sunset over the Bagan plain.
Return to the ship for dinner.
Day 12: Bagan & Mount Popa (B,L,D) This morning transfer to shore for a morning tour of Bagan, starting at the morning market of Nyaung Oo followed by the major temples of Hti-Lo-Min-Lo and seeing the revered Shwezigon Pagoda. Lunch today is taken on shore in a Bagan restaurant.
This afternoon there is a choice of activities. You may choose to join an excursion to the sacred Mount Popa, the traditional home of the 37 'Nats' or animist spirits which have been worshipped in Myanmar since long before the arrival of Buddhism. The bus journey will take about two hours altogether but there will be a stop en route at a Toddy Palm plantation to see the traditional methods still employed to produce jaggery, a palm sugar which goes into sweets and an alcoholic drink. (Please do not wear Red or Black).
Or you may decide to hire a horse & cart (with driver) for local sightseeing, or rent a bicycle for a private tour.
This evening enjoy a farewell cocktail party on the top deck with an Elephant Dance before enjoying your last dinner in the restaurant.
Day 13: Bagan > Yangon (B) Disembark early morning for your return flight to Yangon.
Please Note: The rivers of Myanmar vary from season to season, with as much as a 30 foot variance in water level. During the months of January through June, the water levels of the Ayeyarwady may drop for a period of a few weeks to a few months, creating a narrower channel for navigation. During the months of July through October, high water levels may affect the Chindwin River. To accommodate for changes in water levels, Belmond Orcaella may operate on an adjusted itinerary during these periods and our mooring locations may be amended.
State and Deluxe Cabins • Double or twin beds • En-suite bathroom • Seating area, writing desk and satellite TV • Floor to ceiling windows with Juliet balcony • All our cabins offer satellite TV, air-conditioning, an iPod docking station
Balcony Suites and Junior Suite Amenities • King-sized bed or queen sized twin beds • En-suite bathroom • Seating area, writing desk and satellite TV • Floor to ceiling windows with balcony • Butler service • Complimentary spa treatment • All our cabins offer satellite TV, air-conditioning, an iPod docking station
• Buffet breakfast and lunch, and table d'hote dinner - both eastern and western choices available • Complimentary soft drinks, mineral water, local beer and free flow house wine (local and international) with lunch and dinner • Internal flights within Myanmar included between Yangon and ship, as per itinerary • Fully-qualified resident doctor • All sightseeing, as per itinerary
Pricing (per person) $USD
Booking conditions • Prices are per person in US Dollars
• Please contact World Journeys for the updated USD exchange rate
• Prices are per person in US Dollars • Please contact World Journeys for the updated USD exchange rate
Not included • Myanmar Visa
• Myanmar Visa