Golden Myanmar & the Alluring Irrawaddy 2019
14 days with Avalon Waterways Rating: Deluxe
Day 1 YANGON, MYANMAR
Welcome to Yangon, formerly known as Rangoon, the country’s largest city and former capital. Hotel rooms are available for mid-afternoon check-in.
Day 2 YANGON
Historic Landmarks, Hot Tea, and Harmonious Living
CLASSIC A Guided Walk introduces you to the city’s famous and historic landmarks, including old colonial buildings and Sule Pagoda, built during the time of Buddha. Along the way, stop for a cup of tea or coffee with the locals. Next, stop at Chaukhtatgyi to see the massive Reclining Buddha measuring 213 feet. Later in the day, visit Shwedagon Pagoda, a national symbol. Here, an enchanting scene unfolds as the sun sets on the golden stupa, and locals come to pay their respects.
Tonight, dine in one of Yangon’s best restaurants for a delicious welcome dinner. (B,L,D)
Day 3 YANGON–BAGAN (EMBARKATION)
Beautiful Bagan and Your Suite Ship® Beckon
Late in the morning, fly to Bagan. Upon arrival, transfer to the port for embarkation. A welcome reception starts your evening.
DISCOVERY After dinner, a traditional Puppet Show will be presented in one of the lounges.
OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN BAGAN. (B,D)
Day 4 BAGAN
Temples and Shrines—From Sunrise to Sunset
Today, explore Bagan, capital of Myanmar from the 9th to the 13th centuries. During this time over 13,000 temples, monasteries, and pagodas were built in the plains surrounding the city—an area of about 40 square miles. Many of these structures have been lost over time, but around 2,300 still stand today, making this one of the world’s greatest archaeological sites.
DISCOVERY Early risers can make an Escorted Visit to one of the temples with a Local Guide to witness a glorious sunrise.
CLASSIC Start your Morning Excursion at a local market selling handicrafts, fabrics, and longyis. Then, stop at Shwezigon Pagoda, one of the country’s most important shrines. Lastly, visit a lacquer workshop to learn more about this ancient craft.
CLASSIC After lunch, your Afternoon Sightseeing centers on the Bagan archaeological zone. Highlights include Ananda, considered by many to be the most beautiful temple, and Dhammayangyi, the best preserved monument left standing. Also, stop to see the exquisite and well-preserved fresco paintings at Sulamani.
DISCOVERY End the day with a traditional Ox-Cart Ride to a temple, where you can ascend to the top as the sun sets.
OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN BAGAN. (B,L,D)
Day 5 SHWE PYI THAR
Rural Life in Myanmar Comes to Life
DISCOVERY This morning, partake in a Walking Tour through Shwe Pyi Thar, a typical village along the Irrawaddy. Here, visit a farmer’s home to learn more about daily life and see the locals making palm candy—a sweet and smoky confection—from the sap of the toddy palm.
DISCOVERY Enjoy time onboard your ship this afternoon. Join your Local Guide for a presentation on the Burmese language.
AFTERNOON/EVENING CRUISING. (B,L,D)
Day 6 SAGAING–EXCURSION TO AMARAPURA
Relaxation and Revelations
Relax this morning and take in the sights from one of the ship’s lounges or from your suite.
CLASSIC Take a Guided Excursion this afternoon to visit the important religious site of Sagaing with countless pagodas dotting the surrounding hillsides. Stop to see Kaunghmudaw Pagoda with its unique golden egg-shaped dome and a silversmith workshop. Lastly, explore Soon U Ponya Shin Pagoda for stunning views across the Irrawaddy to Mandalay. Then, travel to nearby Amarapura, former capital of Myanmar. Your visit focuses on the famous U Bein Bridge, a ¾-mile-long bridge built in 1783. Take a sampan ride on the lake for unforgettable views of the sunset behind the iconic bridge.
OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN SAGAING. (B,L,D)
Day 7 MANDALAY
The Golden Tapestries of Mandalay
CLASSIC In the morning, visit Local Workshops to see skilled artisans at work making tapestries, woodcarvings, and gold-leaf. Also visit Mahamuni Pagoda to see its impressive gold-leaf Buddha—reported to be covered in six inches of gold leaf from continuous application.
CLASSIC This afternoon, take a Guided Tour of Kuthodaw Pagoda and Shwenandaw Monastery, the only WWII bombing remnants of former King Mindon’s “Golden City” and extravagant teak palace.
DISCOVERY This evening, enjoy a traditional Dance Performance featuring local song and dance.
OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN MANDALAY. (B,L,D)
Day 8 KYAUK MYAUNG
Glazed and Amazed
Join your Local Guide for a longyi and thanaka presentation this morning.
DISCOVERY This afternoon, join a Guided Walk through the captivating pottery-making village of Kyauk Myaung to learn more about and see the pottery-making process. Most interesting is the eye-catching 50-gallon variety, often referred to as Martaban or Ali Baba jars. These pots could transport large quantities of goods and have played an important part of maritime trade throughout Asia for centuries.
AFTERNOON CRUISE TO KYA HNYAT. (B,L,D)
Day 9 KYA HNYAT
Giving Alms and Blessings in Return
DISCOVERY Interact with the monks at a Monastery Visit in Kya Hnyat. This is a truly memorable experience as you present alms to the monks and witness their lunch ritual.
Join your Local Guide this afternoon and learn more about the popular Burmese tea leaf and ginger salad.
AFTERNOON/EVENING CRUISE TO TIGYANG. (B,L,D)
Day 10 TIGYANG
Buddha with a View
DISCOVERY Explore the village of Tigyang on a Walking Tour through its narrow lanes and visit the Reclining Buddha on a hilltop with stunning views, OR:
ACTIVE Take the normal Walking Tour and add a steep climb to reach the Reclining Buddha.
AFTERNOON CRUISE TO KATHA. (B,L,D)
Day 11 KATHA
Burmese Days & Minority Culture
DISCOVERY Start your Guided Sightseeing at the local wet market, where you will see locals buying and selling fish, meat, produce, and more. Next, learn more about life during British rule at the former British Club, featured in George Orwell’s novel, “Burmese Days.” Lastly, meet with the Jingpo, one of over 100 ethnic minority groups in Myanmar. Here, you will learn about their culture, traditional dress, and unique method of making rice wine.
As you sail north this afternoon, with some luck, you may catch a glimpse of the rare Irrawaddy dolphin, with its distinctive round forehead.
AFTERNOON CRUISE TO KYUN DAW. (B,L,D)
Day 12 KYUN DAW–SECOND DEFILE–BHAMO
Engaging Local Encounters
DISCOVERY Explore the island village of Kyun Daw, where over 7,000 stupas surround the monastery. Your Guided Excursion includes a visit to a fisherman’s home and a school where you will interact with the children. You will also visit a nunnery to present the nuns with food purchased the day before at the market in Katha. Unlike monks, they have to collect and cook their own food.
This afternoon, spend time at leisure as you sail through the dramatic Second Defile with its magnificent cliffs reaching down the narrow channel.
Continue to Bhamo, the northernmost point ships can navigate the Irrawaddy.
AFTERNOON CRUISE TO BHAMO. (B,L,D)
Day 13 BHAMO (DISEMBARKATION)–YANGON
Farewell to the Irrawaddy
After breakfast, disembark the ship and explore Bhamo by local trishaw and by foot. Afterward, transfer to the airport for your flight to Yangon. The remainder of the day is at your leisure. (B)
Day 14 YANGON
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)
River Cruise Highlights
Yangon: Walking tour of the city’s landmarks; visit a local tea shop, Chaukhtatgyi, and Shwedagon Pagoda
Yangon–Bagan (Embarkation): Fly to Bagan; onboard welcome reception; traditional puppet show
Day 4 Bagan: Watch sunrise from temple; sightseeing including a local market, Shwezigon Pagoda, lacquer workshop, Ananda Temple, Dhammayangyi Temple, and Sulamani Temple; ox cart ride to temple for sunset
Shwe Pyi Thar: Walking tour through this typical river village to visit a farmer’s home and see palm candy being made
Sagaing–Amarapura: Visit Kaunghmudaw Pagoda, a silversmith workshop, and Soon U Ponya Shin Pagoda in Sagaing; visit U Bein Bridge and take a sampan ride at sunset in Amarapura
Mandalay: Sightseeing including Mahamuni and Kuthodaw Pagodas, and Shwenandaw Monastery; visit tapestry, woodcarving, and gold-leaf workshops; traditional dance performance
Kyauk Myaung: Walking tour through a pottery-making village
Kya Hnyat: Visit a monastery and present alms to the monks and see their lunch ritual
Tigyang: Walking tour through village and walk to hilltop pagoda
Katha: Visit to local market; excursion to a local ethnic minority village
Kyun Daw–Second Defile–Bhamo: Visit a fisherman’s home, local school, and nunnery in Kyun Daw; cruise through the dramatic Second Defile
Bhamo (Disembarkation)–Yangon: Explore Bhamo by trishaw and on foot; fly to Yangon
All This Included
Explore the best of Myanmar, known as “The Golden Land,” on this captivating river cruise along the Irrawaddy River. In Yangon, formerly Rangoon, you’ll see the magnificent, gilded Shwedagon Pagoda—considered the oldest pagoda in the world. Bagan, a medieval capital of Myanmar, with thousands of historical structures still standing, is one of the world’s greatest archaeological sites. Visit one of the many spiritual temples at sunrise and a local market selling the unique handicrafts of the region. You’ll be immersed in the unique energy of the people on a walking tour through the village of Shwe Pyi Thar as you interact with locals and see the daily work done at a farmer’s home. In Sagaing, see the stunning Kaunghmudaw Pagoda with its egg-shaped dome and watch a local silversmith at work. Continue this river cruise through traditional lands to the impressive city of Mandalay, where you’ll visit the revered shrine of Mahamuni Pagoda with its impressive gold-leaf Buddha and enjoy a traditional dance by local performers. Your river cruise will conclude in dramatic fashion as you sail along the untouched upper Irrawaddy. Visit remote villages for fascinating interactions including visits with schoolchildren, nuns, monks, and pottery makers. You’ll also pass through the second defile with its magnificent cliffs.
This river cruise vacation along the Irrawaddy offers everything from peaceful sailing and alluring scenery to grand, majestic temples and shrines and plenty of interaction with locals to learn and feel a part of the ancient culture. More than just a river cruise— an unforgettable adventure!
Ship Amenities - Avalon Myanmar:
Air-conditioned Panorama Lounge
Open-air observation lounge with shade system & premium lounge chairs
Spacious, open-seating dining room
Bar serving premium spirits, wine & complimentary coffee, tea, soft drinks, and local beer/spirits throughout the day
Complimentary Wi-Fi access in the lounges (where signal is available)
Spa treatment rooms
Library and games
Non-smoking interior and staterooms
Ship Dining - Avalon Myanmar:
Spacious, open-seating dining room
Delectable regional & Western cuisine with all onboard meals
Seasonal recipes featuring the freshest local ingredients
Vegetarian options available with all meals
Complimentary coffee, tea, soft drinks, local beer/spirits with all onboard meals
Daily early-riser coffee & tea
Full breakfast buffet with live cooking station
Lunch buffet with live cooking station showcasing local specialties served by our Head Chef
Four-course à la carte dinners with choice of salads, soups, entrées, dessert or cheese
Complimentary wine with all onboard lunches & dinners
Accommodations on this Tour
Yangon: Sule Shangri-La
Cruising: Cabin aboard Avalon Myanmar
Dates and Prices do not include air travel.
Participation in this vacation requires purchase of the following flights from Avalon Waterways, not included in the pricing: (1) roundtrip air from your U.S. gateway and intra-vacation air segments; or (2) intra-vacation air segments only, starting at $630. Required intra-vacation air segments: Yangon/Bagan; Bhamo/Yangon. Air prices were effective on February 7, 2018, and their availability is limited. At the time you purchase your tour, air prices may be higher.
Gratuities for Local Guides & drivers are included (excludes extensions which are to be paid locally).
Avalon offers the opportunity for solo travelers to sail with no single supplement (subject to availability). Please call for single accommodation details and prices. Triples not available.
All prices are per person based on double room occupancy. Cruise price based on Category B in a Panorama Suite on Irrawaddy Deck. To upgrade to a Category A on Mandalay Deck, add $400 per person or $800 in single occupancy.
Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions
The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines. Sorry, we are unable to offer air from countries other than the U.S. However, for those international customers who are able to arrange their own transportation to the trip origination city, we are able to offer the land/cruise portion of the package at the price quoted.
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