From the cultural capital of Mandalay to the extraordinary landscape of Bagan, experience the local life on this 8-day river cruise with Pandaw ship. Along the way, be amazed by the stunning scenery on the riverside and learn more about every part of the river you've passed through. Even more, you will capture many chances to mingle at the tranquil villages to observe their daily life and try your hands on doing their job.

Duration: 8 days/7 nights
Tour Routine: Mandalay – Mingun – Sagaing – Amarapura – Yandabo – Paokku – Ayardaw – Tant-Chi-Taung – Salay – Bagan
Start/End: Mandalay/Bagan
Tour Type: River Cruise, Nature, Landscape, In-depth Cultural
Tour Category: Pandaw Myanmar river cruise
Tour Highlights:

  • Discover the countryside of Myanmar by tuk-tuk
  • Walk on U Bein Bridge the oldest and longest teak bridge in the world
  • Explore the charms of magnificent pagodas in Bagan
  • Marvel at the unique architecture of Burma dating back to thousand years ago

Brief itinerary:
Day 1: Mandalay
Day 2: Mingun – Sagaing – Amarapura
Day 3: Yandabo
Day 4: Pakokku – Ayardaw
Day 5: Tant-Chi-Taung – Salay
Day 6: Salay – Bagan
Day 7: Bagan Discovery
Day 8: Bagan Disembarkation

  • Full Itinerary
  • Price & Inclusion
  • Accommodation
  • Photos

Day 1: Mandalay

Mingalabar! Welcome to Mandalay, the great city where we start our 8-day breathtaking river cruise along the Irrawaddy River.
Today, welcomed by the staff on Pandaw cruise. After settling into your cabin, we will take a short excursion to explore the hidden charm of Mandalay. Make your first visit to Mahamuni Pagoda, one of the most sacred religious sites in Myanmar. Spend your time to observe the pilgrimage and the massive golden Buddha image inside the pagoda.

Burma tours - a local story along the irrawaddy riverAfter that, proceed to a local workshop to gain more insights into the local productions. We will first visit the gold leaf workshop to see how the artisan creates glittering gold leaves which are used to gild on the pagodas throughout the country. Then, why don’t try your hands on doing a process to make the gold leaf under the guidance of the locals? Your morning visit might include a trip to the tapestry and weaving workshops where you will have a chance to interact with the skillful artisan and observe them create beautiful textiles by the traditional handlooms. Along the way, you also see the local making marble and stone carving.

golden leaf workshop in Mandalay

Day 2: Mingun – Sagaing – Amarapura

This morning, the ship will lead us to Mingun, a charming village that is mostly known for the gigantic Mingun Pagoda, elegant Mt Meru-shaped Hsinbyume Pagoda, and the world second largest Mingun Bell. Take leisure walk in the village to slowly explore the sights and indulge in the laid-back ambiance.

Mingun PagodaNext up, return to the ship and we continue sailing to Sagaing, one of the most important religious centers in Myanmar. Here we will stop for a visit to the Soon Nyu Ponya Shin Pagoda on the top of the hill. Dating back to the 7th century, it enshrines several Buddha relics revered by the successive king. What’s more, from the pagoda, you will gain a panoramic view of the picturesque river.
Later on, transfer to Amarapura, the former royal capital of Burma where we will visit the most ancient wooden bridge in the world: U Bein Bridge. In the golden light of sunset, the scenery will always be a mesmerizing stamp within your heart. Get your camera ready to save the best shot of the day.

magical sunset over U Bein Bridge

Day 3: Yandabo

The morning of day 3 continues leading us along the stunning Irrawaddy River to Yandabo Village. Be amazed by the breathtaking landscape of Myanmar blending in the lovely sunrise. As the ship reaches Yandaboo, we get off to take a short excursion to the village. Wander around the tranquil village to get the first taste of rural life. You might have a chance to meet with many friendly locals who carry things on their head. Your guide then will take you to a local village to interact with the people and see their daily life. You will learn how to make a pot from the clay using traditional methods. What’s a better way to experience the local life than trying your hands on making a clay pot under the guidance of the artisan.
Before returning to the board, we will visit the Pandaw supported Yandabo School (if it is not school holiday)

women carry pots on their head in yandabo pottery village

Day 4: Pakokku – Ayardaw

This morning we disembark for a short excursion to Pakokku, a trading center where is home to tobacco, cotton, peanuts, Tanaka and textile production. You will get on an exotic Tuk-tuk to discover the laid-back and traditional town. Head to the market to get a glimpse at the trade and daily life of the people. Don’t forget to bring your camera to save the best shot of the colorful market filled out with vegetable, fruits, and other products. Leaving the market, we continue visiting a cheroot workshop and discover how Burmese cigar is made.
After getting back to the ship, we continue our journey to Ayardaw charity clinic which is supported by Pandaw. In the afternoon, we take a leisure walk around the tranquil village.

local market in pakokku

Day 5: Tant-Chi-Taung – Salay

This morning drive up the winding road of the Tant-Chi-Taung Mountain to visit the hilltop stupa. On the way back, we stop to watch a traditional paper-mache elephant dance performed by the villagers.
Next up, we sail to Salay, a small charming town which was once a bustling trading port. Now, it is a sleepy village filled with colonial architectural treasures and timeless teakwood monasteries.
We will first visit Yoke-Sone Kyaung monastery, the best-known teak carved monastery in Burma. Then our next highlight will be Salay House, a historic site where you can learn and explore how British-Burma operated with displays and information panels or simply relax on the outdoor deck with a snack or beverage

Yoke Sone Kyaung monastery

Day 6: Salay – Bagan

This morning, we sail upstream from Salay to Bagan the magnificent temple town. Then spend the whole day to unlock the mythical beauty of Bagan. Start the day with a visit to Ananda Temple, well-known as the finest temple in Bagan dating back to the 12th century by King Kyansit Thar under Bagan dynasty.
Our next stop is Myingabar Gubyaukgyi Temple, the well-preserved murals which also depict typical day to day life in Bagan.
Your afternoon sightseeing takes you to Phwar Saw Village, a small idyllic village with just over 500 inhabitants. Wander around the village to capture the villagers’ way of life including fetching water, hearing cattle back home and preparing for dinner.

Gubyaukgyi Temple

Day 7: Bagan Discovery

A full day to discover the charming Bagan. Start at Shwesandaw Pagoda, one of a few temples in Bagan where tourists are allowed to climb it and gain a 360-degree view over the pagoda-studded plain. Then proceed to Shwezigon Pagoda, one of the oldest and most impressive monuments in Bagan. The main golden stupa in the pagoda is said to keep several sacred relics of the Buddha. Listen to your guide to learn more about the nine wonders of the pagoda and its typical architecture. Before returning to the ship, stroll around Khay Min Ga Temple, a complex of ancient pagoda noted with different architectural styles: Indian, Sri Lanka, and Mon.
In the afternoon, gain more local insights with a visit to the Lacquerware workshop. Observe the process of making the lacquerware handicrafts to know more about the unique item of the region. Your guide then will take you to the ancient Pyathonzu Temple to discover the Mahayana and Tantric style of architecture.
End of the day, we highlight our trip at Dhammayangyi Temple, the widest and largest temple in Bagan.

Khay Min Ga temple

Day 8: Bagan Disembarkation

After breakfast, this morning, check out at Pandaw ship and say goodbye to the crew to get back to the land. Trip ends. Thank you for making your 8-day Burma tour with us!

Price: 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