Perhaps the most enjoyable and relaxing way to experience Myanmar is to cruise its rivers and waterways. Myanmar developed along the banks of the Ayeyarwady (Irrawaddy) River, the great lifeline that rises in the mountains of the far north, forms a vast 1,000 square mile delta and empties into the Bay of Bengal. From the deck of your comfortable riverboat, you can watch life as it has been lived for centuries. Fishing boats set out from small bamboo and teak villages, where the children excitedly wave from the shore. Village women set out to wash clothes and collect water, water buffalo till the fields – cruising gives a unique insight into the rural way of life.
Near Bhamo, the river constricts into the gorge of the famous second defile. At Bagan, the spires of ancient ruined pagodas rise above the trees. Near Pyay, carved Buddhas appear on the river cliffs, crafted by 19th century tax collectors. And the Ayeyarwady is only one river. The remote, undiscovered Chindwin River has recently been opened to tourism and boats can now be chartered to explore the fascinating ‘rice bowl’ of the delta region. Mr Myanmar Travel can help you discover Myanmar’s rivers by making your travel arrangements with the three quality river cruise companies that ply the country’s waters. Should you wish to have an even more personal and memorable river experience, we can charter various vessels from an evening, to a week or more, to explore this, the heartland of Myanmar.
In addition to the scheduled riverboat cruises that we offer, Mr Myanmar Travel can also charter vessels for day, overnight, multi-day and exploratory cruises. We have a variety of boats at our disposal, ranging from scaled-down, full service boutique cruise vessels, to small river and inshore boats.
Pandaw Cruises is the largest luxury river cruise company in Asia and they began here in Myanmar. The unique Pandaw river expedition concept evolved from the vestiges of the colonial Irrawaddy Flotilla Company. The 24 stateroom Pandaw II is one of the best known riverboats in the country and operates a choice of 6 different itineraries.
Ayravata Cruises original riverboat, the 150 foot, steel-hulled Pandaw 1947 is an original Irrawaddy Flotilla Company vessel built in, you guessed it, 1947 at Yarrow shipyard, Glasgow. She was refurbished in 1998 and has been in service as a boutique river cruise ship ever since. In 2007 the Paukan, a lovely 183 foot river cruiser was built in Yangon and joined her sister ship on the Ayeyarwady River.
Probably the most luxurious riverboat on the Ayeyarwady, the Road to Mandalay is brought to you by the Orient Express Company. Road to Mandalay offer five itineraries; short 4 and 5 day cruises visit Mandalay, the centre of Burmese culture, Sagaing famous for its silversmiths and the awe-inspiring plain of Bagan where more than 2,000 temples and pagodas await your discovery.