The Golden Land Downstream

Board a traditional ship and cruise along the languid Irrawaddy River, still Myanmar's main highway, passing the unforgettable sights and rural scenes of the cultural heartlands of old Myanmar.

Day 1 Depart Mandalay
Embark your Pandaw cruise ship at Shwe Kyet Yet Jetty in Mandalay. Explore central Mandalay, including the Mahamuni Pagoda, one of the most important pilgrimage sites in Myanmar, and the Shwe In Bin teak carved monastery. Afterwards, discover the ancient capital Amarapura. Here you will visit the teak wood monastery of Bagaya Kyaung and walk along U Bein Bridge. (L,D)
Day 2 Yandabo
Explore the ancient capital of Ava. Cruise downstream and wander the small village of Yandabo, which specialises in pottery making, in the late afternoon. Next, visit the Pandaw School developed through the donations of Pandaw passengers. (B,L,D)
Day 3 Bagan
Tour the ancient city of Bagan, formerly known as Pagan, to see a selection of the 3,000 temples and pagodas found here. Bagan is well-known as the centre for the manufacture of laccquerware and you will have the opportunity to visit a number of local workshops this afternoon. (B,L,D)
Day 4 Bagan
Walk to the top of Tan Kyi Taung Mountain to view the sunrise (optional WWII jeep to the top available). In Salé you will see the Youtsaunkyaung and explore an area of colonial-style houses. (B,L,D)
Day 5 Magwe
Climb the river bank and wander through passages to reach the Mya Thalon Pagoda, constructed using solid gold bricks. (B,L,D)
Day 6 Minhla
Visit the Italian-built fort of Minhla, constructed to keep the British at bay. View the colonial-style houses of Thayetmyo, explore a local market and take a horse-drawn cart ride through the countryside. (B,L,D)
Day 7 Pyay (Prome)
Visit the former centre of the Pyu civilisation known as Thiri Ya Kittiya, an archaeological site, and view the Buddhist artefacts and sculptures at the museum. (B,L,D)
Day 8 Akauk Taung
Stop at the famous cliffs of Akauk Taung to view the stone cravings which are carved into the rocks along the riverbank. (B,L,D)
Day 9 Danuphyu
This morning you explore the Irrawaddy Delta creeks. Stop to visit Danuphyu, a little known town with a busy port and a bustling local market. (B,L,D)
Day 10 Twante
Sail through the Yangon River and enter the Twante Canal, which connects the Yangon River with the Irrawaddy Delta. Stop en route to visit Twante, in the afternoon. (B,L,D)
Day 11 Yangon
Disembark your Pandaw cruise ship early this morning at Botahtaung Jetty in Yangon, where your arrangements end. (B) NOTE: Please provide your arrival and departure flight details to our Travel Consultants at the time of booking.

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).

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.