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18 Day Myanmar
(Burma) & Bangkok with 9 Day World Class River Cruise

18 days with Gate 1  Rating: First Class

River Cruise Itinerary

DAY 1 - Depart for Thailand
Depart for Thailand.

DAY 2 - Arrive in Bangkok
Welcome to Thailand! Arrive in exotic Bangkok, Thailand's capital city. The rest of the day is at leisure to rest, relax and acclimate to the new time zone.

DAY 3 - Tour of Bangkok 
Awake this morning in vibrant Bangkok, a captivating mix of ancient and modern. Meet your local host and fellow travelers for a briefing on the exciting journey that awaits you. Drive through Chinatown and then on to the colorful Indian Market. Visit Wat Po, the oldest and largest temple in the city, with its astonishing giant Reclining Buddha, over 150 feet long and almost 40 feet high. Drive via Royal Avenue, where most of the Government offices are located, and the King’s Palace before returning to your hotel. (Breakfast)

DAY 4 - Full Day in Bangkok
A full day at leisure to discover this endlessly fascinating city on your own. Or, join the optional morning tour to Wat Phra Kaew, known as the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, and the elaborate 18th century Grand Palace, symbolic heart of the kingdom - together they form the most impressive sights in Bangkok. This evening, you can see Bangkok at night on the optional Chao Phraya River Cruise that includes an international buffet dinner and "live" music. See the glittering lights as you sail past the Royal Navy Fort, the Grand Palace and many other beautiful temples magnificently illuminated. (Breakfast)

Optional: Half Day Grand Palace & Emerald Buddha (AM)
Optional: Chaophya River Cruise with Dinner (PM)

DAY 5 - Flight to Yangon, Myanmar (Burma)
Transfer to the Bangkok Airport, for your flight to Yangon (formerly Rangoon), the dynamic capital of Myanmar (Burma), the mysterious country that everyone is waiting to discover. Upon arrival, you’ll immediately view the astonishing panorama of some of the most impressive pagodas in the country. Meet your Tour Manager, transfer to your hotel. Yangon is a melting pot city of British, Burmese, Chinese and Indian cultures, and where contemporary and colonial Myanmar continues to coexist. The remainder of the day is at leisure. (Breakfast)

DAY 6 - Pyay (Prome), Embarkation on the Irrawaddy Explorer, Sri Ksetra 
As your journey on the Irrawaddy River begins, a morning scenic drive takes you to Pyay, (formerly Prome), controlled by the Mon Tribe during the Bagan Era and then conquered by Burmese King Alaungpaya in 1754. En route, an informative lecture introduces you to Pyay and the banks of the Irrawaddy. After embarkation on the deluxe RV Irrawaddy Explorer, you’ll be warmly welcomed by the friendly crew before sharing a buffet lunch of local favorites. Time to relax before the afternoon excursion to Thayekhittaya (Sri-Ksetra), the "Fabulous City", designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Later, visit the impressive 2500-year-old Shwesandaw Pagoda, an incredible array of golden stupas, serene Buddhas and intricate mythical beasts - its spires are the heart of the city. On board tonight, a Welcome Reception and Dinner to follow. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 7 - Colonial Thayetmyo 
A horse cart transports you this morning to the charming colonial town of Thayetmyo that once guarded the border between Royal Myanmar and British Myanmar. Outside the town is the oldest golf course in Myanmar used by the British – you can try your swing at the first hole! Then, continue to the bustling local covered market and drive past colonial homes that were constructed during the British colonization of Burma. Return to the ship in time for lunch and an afternoon of relaxation and panoramic scenery on board. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 8 - Explore Magwe
This morning venture out into the district capital city of Magwe aboard trishaws (three wheeled bicycle where one person sits alongside the driver). Take a ride through the city to the vibrant local market. This is a great place to experience the local life. Spend some time to explore and shop at the market. Afterward, board your trishaws and head back to the river for a visit to Mya Tha Lun pagoda, a beautifully gilded stupa, built in 1929. The pagoda made of gold solid bricks is set on a hilltop with a beautiful panoramic vantage point. Return back to the ship and sail the rest of the day. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 9 - Salay, Ananda
Sail downstream today to the Bagan-era village of Salay, an active religious center founded in the 13th century with its over 50 impressive teak monasteries and untouched British colonial buildings. Visit the huge Youqson Kyaung wooden monastery designed as a replica of the Crown Prince House in Mandalay with its intricate exterior carvings depicting 19th century court life and scenes from Buddha's past lives. Continue past some interesting Bagan-era monuments, visiting Mann Paya, a pagoda with a beautiful lacquerware Buddha. Return to the ship for lunch on board. This afternoon, embark on an excursion to one of the most incredible areas of Myanmar: Bagan. Once the center of the Pagan Empire, Bagan today is a tourist, artist, and archaeological mecca. Begin the tour with the massive Htilominlo Temple, built by King Htilominlo on the site where he was selected as the next king. While the murals that once decorated much of the inside of this temple have only survived on the ceilings, Htilominlo boasts the finest plaster carvings which still remain undamaged on the arch pediments. A visit to Bagan would not be complete without exploring one of its most famous temples, Ananda. Built in 1105 AD during King Kyanzittha’s reign, it is one of the largest and best preserved Buddhist temples in Bagan. Explore the cruciform of the temple, with four standing Buddhas facing north, south, east, and west. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 10 - Astonishing Bagan 
A truly extraordinary day as you arrive in Bagan, the country's spiritual center and one of the largest and most unforgettable archaeological sites in the world. Over 2,000 pagodas, stupas, and temples dot the golden plains of the city - an astonishing sight to behold. Travel to Htilominlo, to see a demonstration of sand art. Next, visit the magnificent Ananda temple, a whitewashed masterpiece that houses four standing Buddhas. Continue to Dhammayangyi, Bagan's largest temple, built during the reign of King Narathu. After leisure time and lunch on board, visit a traditional lacquerware workshop to observe the time-consuming process of handmade lacquer products. Next, explore the 13th century cave temple of Gubyaukgyi with its Indian-style spire, beautiful murals and carvings. Then, proceed to the last temple of the day, Shwe San Daw. Ascend to the top for extraordinary sunset views over the Bagan plains before returning to the ship for dinner. Entertainment on board this evening is a special performance of the celebrated Myanmar Puppets. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 11 - Nyaung-U Market, Hnaw Kone Walking Tour
Today's exploration of Bagan begins at the bustling Nyaung-U morning market; see the daily life of the country, as people shop and bargain for food and wares at the colorful stalls. Next, explore the gilded Shwezigon Pagoda, one of the oldest and most impressive monuments in Bagan. This religious site dates to the reign of King Anawrahta, founder of the Bagan Kingdom. Afterward, return back to the ship and set sail for Hnaw Kone, a typical, rural, river village. Upon arrival, embark on a walking tour. Stop to see the local handicraft of bamboo cane basket weaving. Watch the villagers as they expertly split bamboo and skillfully weave the strands into baskets or larger panels for building homes. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 12 - Yandabo and its Pottery Workshops
Arrive in Yandabo, a picturesque village famous for its terracotta pots made from the clay of the riverbank. Here, the historic peace treaty was signed that ended the first Anglo-Burmese war in 1826. A walking tour of this small village of less than 350 houses takes you to the workshops. Watch the pairs of women creating, decorating and firing the pottery. If school is in session, you'll have the opportunity to meet local children and tour the school. On board this afternoon, relax over lunch and sojourn in the lounge. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 13 - Phowintaung Caves, Thanboddhay Pagoda
A full day excursion to the city of Monywa, on the eastern bank of the Chindwin River, a major trade center for agricultural products from the surrounding valley. Here visit the amazing 12th century Phowintaung Caves, adorned with hundreds of Buddha statues placed inside niches decorated with wonderful mural paintings. After a box lunch, return to the ship after a very interesting day, with time to relax at the ship's spa before tonight's dinner on board. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 14 - Ancient Mingun, Excursion to Ava, Magnificent Amarapura
Morning visit to the ancient city of Mingun. On the leisurely walking tour, visit the monumental "unfinished" Mingun Temple, started by King Bodawphaya in 1790 and the 90-ton ringing bell, the world's largest. Nearby, view the beautiful white Myatheindan Pagoda modeled after mythical Mount Meru, dedicated to his Princess who died in childbirth. After lunch, horse carts transport you to Ava, a former capital city; visit the 200-year-old teak Bagaya Kyaung Monastery, the Nanmyin watchtower, and Me Nu Ok Kyaung monastery. End the day at magnificent Amarapura, a more recent Burmese royal capital. Walk across the famous teak U-Bein Bridge before boarding a sampan that takes you on a memorable sunset ride on the river. Tonight, a festive Farewell Dinner with a dance and theater performance. On your last night together on the Irrawaddy River, bid a fond farewell to your newfound friends and share wonderful memories of a great journey. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 15 - Disembarkation, Mandalay
Morning disembarkation followed by a tour of bustling Mandalay. Stop at a gold leaf workshop before continuing to the Mahamuni Pagoda to observe a demonstration of how gold leaf is used on many of the Buddha statues. Ascend Mandalay Hill to visit the gilded Kuthodaw Pagoda, called "the world's largest book," named after its 729 marble slabs inscribed with Buddhist teachings. At the Shwenandaw Monastery, originally part of the Royal Palace in Amarapura, view one of the best examples of traditional Myanmar-style intricate woodcarvings in the country. The rest of the day is at leisure to independently discover Mandalay. (Breakfast)

DAY 16 - Full Day Pyin-oo-lwin, Sagaing
After breakfast, drive to the former British hill station of Pyin-oo-lwin. This scenic hill town is a popular weekend getaway. Visit Maha Ant Htoo Kan Thar Pagoda on the way, the perfect opportunity to take pictures of the beautiful surroundings. Upon arrival in Pyin-oo-lwin, stroll around the lovely Kandawgyi Botanical Gardens and take a horse cart ride. After some free time in Pyin-oo-lwin, enjoy lunch at a local restaurant and then on to Sagaing. See the peaceful vista of hundreds of white pagodas, including the impressive Kaunghmudaw Pagoda built with an egg-shaped golden stupa. With over 3,000 monks and nuns, Sagaing is widely regarded as the center of Buddhist faith in Myanmar. Watch the sunset from atop Sagaing Hill before returning to Mandalay for time on your own. (Breakfast, Lunch)

DAY 17 - Flight to Bangkok
Today, return to Bangkok by flight for a final day of leisure in the country's capital. Enjoy the day revisiting some of the famous sites and be sure to shop to your heart's content for gifts to bring back home. (Breakfast)

DAY 18 - Depart Thailand
Your vacation ends today after breakfast. (Breakfast)

Tour Map
River Cruise Highlights
  • Visit serene Wat Po, home of the astonishing giant Reclining Buddha, over 150 feet long
  • Visit Pyay (formerly Prome), a stupa studded Irrawaddy riverside town
  • Excursion to Thayekhittaya (Sri Ksetra), a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Horse cart ride to the charming colonial town of Thayetmyo
  • Tour the Bagan-era village of Salay, an active religious center founded in the 13th century
  • Visit Bagan, one of the most unforgettable archaeological sites in the world
  • Visit Yandabo, a picturesque village famous for its terracotta pots
  • Tour the amazing Phowindaung Caves, adorned with hundreds of Buddha statues
  • Stroll along Mandalay’s 200 year old U-Bein Bridge

All This Included
  • All intra-flights: Bangkok-Yangon, Mandalay-Bangkok
  • 16 nights accommodations
  • Port fees
  • Hotel taxes, fees & service charges
  • Hotel & cruise porterage
  • 35 meals: 16 breakfasts, 10 lunches, 9 dinners
  • Services of English-speaking tour manager (Days 5-16)
  • Services of local guide in Bangkok
  • Shore excursions per itinerary
  • Entrance fees per itinerary

River Cruise Features & Amenities

  • Complimentary bottled water, coffee, tea, soft drinks, local beer, and wine with dinner
  • Welcome & Farewell receptions
  • Locally inspired dinners
  • Series of cultural performances, educational talks, cooking classes, and ship tour
  • Spacious air conditioned lounge with nightly entertainment
  • Fitness center & spa
  • Non-smoking ship interior
Accommodations on this Tour
Cruising: Cabin onboard Irrawaddy Explorer
Bangkok: Ramada Plaza Bangkok Menam Riverside
Yangon: Lotte Hotel Yangon
Mandalay: Mercure Mandalay Hill Resort

  • Land only price does not include arrival/departure transfers, but does include intra-flights Bangkok-Yangon and Mandalay-Bangkok. Cruise itineraries are subject to change. Alternative sights may be visited depending upon water levels While sailing with Paukan Cruises (Irrawaddy River) passengers are subject to the cruise line's Terms & Conditions.
  • The Irrawaddy Explorer cabins cannot accommodate 3 passengers; therefore, triple rooms will be accommodated in a twin and single cabin.
  • This moderately active trip covers a fair amount of ground each day. Expect from three to four hours walking every touring day. The pace is moderate, however you will encounter some uneven surfaces, stairs, steps and significant slopes. Low water levels may require walking additional steps or slopes to reach the bank. The Irrawaddy cruise will start in Prome. Transfer to Prome from Yangon requires 5 to 7 hours driving.
  • 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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