Irrawaddy Voyager

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The Irrawaddy River continues to be Myanmar’s main highway with many locals living and working on its lush banks. Experience a side of the country that many have yet to explore from the comfort of an elegant Pandaw cruise boat, sailing from Mandalay to Bagan.

Places Visited

New Zealand - Yangon (2N) – Irrawaddy River Cruise (7N) - Yangon (1N) - New Zealand

Day 1: Fly Yangon
Fly with Singapore Airlines to the vibrant city of Yangon. Depending on your time of arrival the rest of the day is yours to start soaking up the local culture. Wellington and Christchurch passengers may depart one day earlier.
Day 1: Fly  Yangon
Day 2: Explore Yangon
Yangon, Myanmar’s capital until its relocation to Naypyidaw in 2006, is the heart of Myanmar’s spiritual life and a bustling city full of crumbling colonial charm. Today will be spent exploring this fascinating city. The first visit is to Sule Pagoda and the Chauk Htat Gyi Reclining Buddha. Continuing on, stop for photos at Karaweik Hall, a glittering barge palace floating on Kandawgyi Lake, and stroll through Bogyoke Market. Finally, explore Shwedagon Pagoda. Purported to have four relics of former Buddhas enshrined within, the pagoda is Myanmar’s most sacred Buddhist site. The complex’s huge golden stupa dominates the city’s skyline.
Day 2: Explore Yangon
Day 3: Fly to Mandalay
Transfer to the airport and fly to Mandalay where, on arrival, you will board your river cruise vessel on which you will spend the next seven nights. The ship, built in Yangon, is designed to reflect a golden age of colonial grandeur and features well-appointed cabins, excellent service and a relaxing spa. Sip on a welcome cocktail and take in your new surroundings before settling down to dinner served in the bistro-style dining room.
Day 3: Fly to Mandalay
Day 4: Mingun
Wake up to ever-changing river bank surroundings and take a leisurely breakfast outside on the deck to admire the passing views. Enjoy a morning walking tour of the village of Mingun home to what would have been, had it been completed, Myanmar’s largest temple – the Mingun Pagoda. Though incomplete, it is still a monumental structure – 50 metres tall, 72 metres wide and constructed entirely of brick. You’ll also see the huge Mingun Bell and the Mingun Old People’s Home.
Day 4: Mingun
Day 5: Kyauk Myoung
Disembark the cruise ship to visit the potteries close to Kyauk Myoung where we’ll see Myanmar’s famous 50 gallon water pots being made by hand. Sailing on, the next stop will be Khan-Nyat village, home to many Buddhist monasteries and an orphanage. Get an authentic glimpse of rural village life.
Day 5: Kyauk Myoung
Day 6: Amarapura
Visit the Sagaing Hills. An important religious and monastic centre, numerous monasteries and hermitages nestle amongst the greenery of the hills and perch along the ridge above the river making for an impressive sight. Drive to Amarapura to visit the magnificent wooden Bagaya Monastery and the U Bein Bridge, the world’s longest teak wood bridge.
Day 6: Amarapura
Day 7: Yandabo
Continue cruising leisurely downstream. Today’s visit will be to the village of Yandabo and its school, built through kind donations. The people here specialise in pot-making and you’ll be able to see the villagers at work before browsing the local, handcrafted wares.
Day 7: Yandabo
Day 8: Pakokku
Leave the ship to visit the river port of Pakokku. Hop on board a tuk tuk to explore the centre of this interesting and friendly town before a relaxed stroll through the local market. Arrive in Bagan.
Day 8: Pakokku
Day 9: Bagan
Explore enchanting Bagan. More than 2,000 Buddhist structures of all shapes and sizes strewn across a vast plain offers one of Myanmar’s most evocative and well known sights. The majority of the temples were built in the 11th and 12th centuries when Bagan was the centre of a powerful kingdom – it is said that at that time there were more than 13,000 temples on the plains. Spend the day exploring some of the temples’ cool interiors. They are all individual, from imposing to graceful and intricate to simple – there is plenty to see. You will also visit a lacquer workshop so you can see the process behind this traditional craft of the region.
Day 9: Bagan
Day 10: Fly to Yangon
Bid farewell to the crew of your cruise ship and transfer to the airport to fly to Yangon. On arrival, the rest of the day will be at leisure for you to continue your explorations of the city.
Day 10: Fly to Yangon
Day 11: Depart Yangon
Enjoy the day at your leisure before you are transferred to Yangon airport to board your overnight flight to New Zealand.
Day 11: Depart Yangon
Day 12: Arrive New Zealand
Arrive home today.
Day 12: Arrive New Zealand

Also Available

Tailor Your Tour

If you like most of the itinerary which we have suggested but you'd like to change the route and the accommodation, speak to our specialist Tailormade team, who can build your perfect itinerary based around where you would like to go, what you would like to see and how much you'd like to spend. Just call us on 0800 936 3998 and we'll help plan your dream holiday.

Tour prices are per person, twin share departing Auckland. Regional departures available on request. Additional charges: Tipping is payable on arrival in destination (see Additional Price Information below).

Additional Price Information:


Single Hotel Room and Cruise Cabin Option from $4,980
Land Only (Yangon to Yangon) 11 days from $6,442 per person twin share
Additional charges: Tipping - US$25 per person (subject to change) payable on arrival.
Tour availability is updated each Monday. While every effort is made to ensure availability status is current, it is advisable to contact our reservations department on 0800 936 3998. Limited seats denotes 4 seats or less available.

A visa is required by all nationalities. A single entry visa should be arranged in advance of travel.
Unlike many other tour operators, we include your entry visas in the price of our tour. We handle the entire visa process – all you need to do is fill out the form and send your passport to us. We are always on hand to help you with any questions or queries you might have when completing the form. 

Phone Calls
International and domestic calls can be made from your hotel room. It’s a good idea to check call costs with hotel staff or your local guide before making calls, as this can be expensive. A service charge may also be involved. To call New Zealand – the international access code is 00, followed by the country code 64, then the local area code (omitting the first 0), then the number.
 
Mobile Phones
Mobile phones are quite popular and you will find high quality coverage, with active roaming agreements with most of the service providers. Please make sure you are aware of associated costs and have activated your international roaming prior to departure.
 
Internet & Email
Internet cafes can be found in all major cities and even in some small towns. This is often the easiest and cheapest way to stay in touch. Most hotels have a business centre with internet access, but at a slightly higher rate. Some hotels may have wifi which usually comes at an additional cost and may only be available in hotel lobbies. 

Tipping is an expected element in the tourism industry today and Burma is no exception. Many passengers are often uncertain of how much to tip so we have established a tipping system whereby every passenger gives a set amount to the National Escort who will distribute the amount appropriately. On multi-country tips, this amount will be paid in stages on arrival in each country. If there is no National Escort, you will need to give your money to your Local Guides and tipping amounts for each city will be shown in your final itinerary. The amount for the kitty is calculated for each tour depending on the length, group size, and services used during the trip.
 
We will indicate the tipping amounts in your final documents for guidance.

Shopping can be a fun and entertaining component to any travel adventure. In keeping with most people’s interests whilst on holiday, your tour will include a reasonable number of opportunities to shop for local goods and souvenirs.
 
We have included visits to establishments that not only provide an opportunity to purchase a locally produced, great-value souvenir; but you’ll witness first-hand how these local products are made, their history and how they support the local economy. We are aware that people like to take home souvenirs, so we endeavour to ensure the shops you visit have a reputation for quality, honesty, and authenticity – we do our best to ensure that you don’t get ripped off. 

The cost of all meals is included in your group tour cost.

Breakfast is a combination of local and western food, usually served buffet style at the hotel you are staying in. Lunches and dinners consist of traditional cuisine and are served at reputable local restaurants. As is traditional in this region, lunch and dinner consists of small dishes of local cuisine which is then placed on the table for everyone to share so you can experience the variety of speciality dishes. The amount served is more than ample for the whole group. We aim to cater to the tastes of the majority of people and so the food is not too spicy or unusual in taste.
 
Drinks will be at each tour members’ own expense and paid for at the end of each meal. Beer is widely available and cheap. Western style wine is very expensive to import and is not widely available except at upmarket restaurants. Bottled drinking water, soft drinks, and fruit juices are also widely available – remember that you should only have ice or fruit juices from a trusted restaurant, where they will use boiled or bottled water.

Due to the French colonial influence in some Southeast Asian countries, black tea (commonly referred to as ‘lip-ton’ by the locals), coffee, and baguettes are available in most places. However, the local style is to have sweet condensed milk with their tea and coffee. Fresh dairy milk is not usually served but many restaurants will provide this if requested. ‘Cafe Sua-da’ (or iced coffee with milk) is a favourite choice amongst the locals.

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Why Book This Tour?

This tour is suited for those with a reasonable amount of time to travel and who are interested in travelling to some of the main sights of Burma via the Irrawaddy River, which runs through the country. This tour incorporates a seven night cruise on the Irrawaddy River and touring is at a comfortable and relaxed pace, giving you ample time to explore each destination.

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