This 11-day cruise from Mandalay to Bagan covers alluring attractions along the legendary Irrawaddy River. Unlock the hidden treasure in Mandalay, see the world’s largest Buddhist book, look for the foundation of the largest pagoda ruin in Mingun, marvel at the stunning sunset from the hill and mingle with the friendly villagers to taste the authentic local life and share your own cultural experience.

Duration: 11 days/ 10 nights
Start/End: Mandalay/Bagan
Tour Route: Mandalay Kyauk – Myong – Katha – Kyunt Daw Island – Tagaung – Mingun – Sagaing – Ava – Amarapura – Bagan
Tour Category: River cruise Burma
Cruise Ship: Pandaw
Tour Highlights:

  • Explore the cultural heritage sites in Mandalay
  • 11 breathtaking night cruise on Pandaw ship
  • Get on an exotic Pony cart to wander around the former royal capital Ava
  • Unlock the magical beauty of Bagan
  • Learn more about the culture and tradition of Burmese people

Brief Itinerary:
Day 1: Mandalay (L, D)
Day 2: Kyauk – Myong (B, L, D)
Day 3: Khanyat (B, L, D)
Day 4: Katha (B, L, D)
Day 5: Kyunt Daw Island (B, L, D)
Day 6: 2nd Defile of Irrawaddy (B, L, D)
Day 7: Tagaung (B, L, D)
Day 8: Mingun – Sagaing (B, L, D)
Day 9: Ava – Amarapura (B, L, D)
Day 10: Bagan (B, L, D)
Day 11: Bagan Disembarkation (B)

  • Full Itinerary
  • Price & Inclusion
  • Accommodation
  • Photos

Day 1: Mandalay (L, D)

Mingalabar! Welcome to Mandalay, the city of great cultural heritage.
Today, start your Burma tour with a short excursion to discover the hidden charm of Mandalay. Start the day with a visit to Mahamuni Pagoda, one of the most important religious sites in Myanmar. Here you will have a chance to marvel at the massive golden image in the pagoda which is said to be one of the most highly revered Buddha images in the country.

Mahamunipagoda is home to one of the most sacred Buddha images in MyanmarLeaving the pagoda, we head to a local workshop to observe the traditional production in the region. Visit a gold leaf and tapestry workshop and walk along the marble and stone carving to see how the local artisans create their product using traditional methods. Then, if you want to experience the authentic local life, why don’t try your hands on making the gold leaf under the guidance of the artisan. Afterward, gaze out at the silk and cotton weaving to learn more about the handicrafts of the locals.
Next up, follow your guide to Amarapura, the former royal capital of Burma, which is far-famed as the “City of Immortality”. Upon here, head to U Bein Bridge, a heart-touching attraction in Amarapura which is well-known as the longest and oldest teak bridge in the world. Stretching through 1.2 km across the serene Taungthaman Lake, the bridge provides you a wonderful location to enjoy the majestic sunset.
Today overnight on Pandaw cruise ship.

U Bein Bridge sunset

Day 2: Kyauk-Myong (B, L, D)

This morning enjoy your breakfast while the ship sailing to the picturesque pottery village near Kyauk-Myong. Spend your time at leisure on the board, you can choose either to read a book, write your travel diary or nibbling a cocktail and admire the beautiful scenery along the river.
On arrival at Kyaung-Myong, we disembark to discover the tranquil village and its people. Take leisure walk and feel the peaceful aura that delights your soul in every step of the way. Then we will visit a family to observe the real life of the people and witness all stages of manufacture.
Later on, return to the board and we continue our journey on Irrawaddy River.

Kyauk myong pottery village

Day 3: Khanyat (B, L, D)

Rise before dawn this morning to capture the majestic sunrise from Kandaw cruise ship. You can stand on the deck and breathe the fresh cool air while the light wind playing with your hair. Today, make a visit to Khanyat, a small but very charming village. Spend your time to discover the culture and Buddhist tradition in the monasteries as well as see real the life of the villagers who are now remaining their simple way of life. You sightseeing might include a visit to the grave English teacher’s house where you will have a chance to chat and see his museum collection.
Later on, transfer to Tigyang, a beautiful town where will lure your heart with the rice paddies and teak plantation. Here climb to the Pagoda Hill to contemplate the dramatic view to the gentle river and surrounding area.

the pagoda hill in tigyang village

Day 4: Katha (B, L, D)

A full day to sightseeing in Katha – the majestic river town which was once inspired in the great George Orwell’s Burmese Days. Take a leisure walk along the riverside to gaze out at the daily life of the local people. Then take a scenic drive through the charming colonial houses to see the great influence of the British colonial to the architecture of Burmese people. Spend your time to take a stroll through the Strand road to see the local pace of life and visit an elephant logging camp before returning to the board.

George Orwell house in Katha

Day 5: Kyunt Daw Island (B, L, D)

Today is a long day of cruising on the Irrawaddy River. We will pass through the untouched landscape of Burma where sometimes we might see several local village living scattered along the banks of the river. As the ship reaches Kyunt Daw Island, we will stop for a short excursion to marvel at countless small Buddhist pagodas on the island.

Day 6: 2nd Defile of Irrawaddy River (B, L, D)

The morning of day 6 delivers you to the 2nd defile of Irrawaddy River. This is the most spectacular part of the river which provides you with amazing and beautiful scenery. Today enjoy your leisure time on the board. You can experience various onboard activities as the ship’s schedule such as cooking classes and interesting talk about Burmese tradition and culture.

Day 7: Tagaung (B, L, D)

The amazing day 7 offers you an exciting walking tour to explore the ancient city of Tangaung – an idyllic town on the eastern bank of Irrawaddy River. Make your way to the top of the hill where you will have a chance to admire the breathtaking view of the city and the lovely river.

Local people living along Irrawaddy river

Day 8: Mingun – Sagaing (B, L, D)

This morning we continue our journey downstream to Mingun – a little hidden treasure on the western bank of Irrawaddy River. Disembark from the board, we head to Mingun Bell. It had been the largest ringing bell in the world until the construction of The Bell of Good Luck in China 2000. Take leisure walk to Mingun Pahtodawgyi, the ruin of the world’s largest Buddhist pagoda. Standing in front of the sight, you will witness its huge cracks which were created by several earthquakes. Listen to your guide to know more about the story of the construction before moving to the next site. Your guide then will take you to Mingun Buddhist Home for aged people to visit over 80 elderly people living in the home.
Next up, take a scenic drive to Sagaing, an important religious site in Myanmar where hundreds of Buddhist monasteries and countless stupas dominate the skyline. Visit Soon Nyu Ponya Shin pagoda on the top of the hill and marvel at the breathtaking view over Irrawaddy River.

Mingun pagoda-the largest unfinished Buddhist temple in the world

Day 9: Ava – Amarapura (B, L, D)

The morning of day 9 takes you to the “kingdom” of Ava (also known as Inwa), the former royal capital of Burma. Upon here, get on an exotic horse cart to slowly indulge in the tranquil ambiance of the town. Make your first visit at Bagaya Monastery, a magnificent teakwood monastery which displays the antique architecture and sculptures. Then our sightseeing might include a visit to Nan Myint watchtower and the impressive Maha Aungmye Bonza Monastery to witness one of the finest examples of Burma architecture in the 19th century.
In the afternoon, make your way to Amarapura. On arrival, visit several sites in the city including ruins of the city gate, the palace, and tombs of old kings. Take a stroll through the town, you will also witness numerous impressive stupas.

Maha Aungmye Bonza Monastery is the finest example of the brick monastery of Burma in the 19th century

Day 10: Bagan (B, L, D)

A full day to explore Bagan, the fascinating archaeological town of Myanmar. Today, spend your time to discover some of the most beautiful temples among over 3000 stupas and temples remain on the plain.
Visit Shwezigon Temple, the most sacred pilgrimage site in Bagan. The main golden stupa inside Shwezigon is said to be home to several relics of Buddha. Listen to your guide to know more about the wonders of the pagoda before moving to Ananda Temple, regarded as one of the most beautiful temples in Bagan. Dating back to the 12th century, the pagoda displays a collection of Buddhist statues and mural paintings that worth to discover. You guide then also take you to visit Khay Min Ga, a complex of man-made masterpiece and nature’s creation. Before sunset, visit Shwesandaw Temple, one of the highest temples in Bagan noted for its dramatic five terraces.
Later on, transfer to a sunset hill in the region where you will sit back and enjoy the heart-touching beauty of the sunset, which is one of the not-to-miss experiences while traveling to Bagan.

the main golden stupa of Shwezigon temple is where to keep the relic of Buddha

Day 11: Bagan Disembarkation (B)

After breakfast, say goodbye to the crew and check-out at Pandaw vessel. Tour ends. Thank you for making your 11 day Irrawaddy cruise with Go Myanmar Tours!

Please contact us for the price of this package
What’s Included?

  • Entrance fees
  • Guide services (English speaking guide, other languages upon request)
  • Main meals: B – Breakfast, L – Lunch, D – Dinner)
  • Mineral water, jugged coffee, teas & tisanes

What’s Excluded?

  • International flights
  • Port dues (if levied)
  • Personal expenses
  • Visa fee
  • Fuel surcharges
  • Tips to guides, bus drivers, boat operators, and cyclo drivers