On this captivating river cruise, explore Bangkok, Thailand; cruise along the Irrawaddy River and see the best of Myanmar, known as the “Golden Land;” and go inland to the beautiful Inle Lake!In Bangkok, Thailand, you’ll get up close to its most renowned temples, including the Temple of the Reclining Buddha—the oldest and largest of its kind. In Yangon, 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. Feel 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. Sail along the untouched upper Irrawaddy and pass through the dramatic second defile with its magnificent cliffs. Visit remote villages for fascinating interactions with schoolchildren, nuns, monks, and pottery makers. The tranquil Inle Lake is surrounded by mountains with stilted houses dotting the shorelines. Here you’ll stop in Silk, Silversmith, and Cheroot Workshops, and attend a traditional song and dance performance by the Padaung long-necked women who live in the region.This unforgettable 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.
Day 1 Arrive Bangkok: welcome to ThailandDay 2 Bangkok: boat ride on klongs; visit the Grand Palace, Temple of the Emerald Buddha, and the Temple of the Reclining BuddhaDay 3 Bangkok: day at leisureDay 4 Bangkok–Yangon: fly to YangonDay 5 Yangon: walking tour of the city’s landmarks; visit a local tea shop, Chaukhtatgyi, and Shwedagon PagodaDay 6 Yangon–Bagan (Embarkation): fly to Bagan; onboard welcome reception; traditional puppet showDay 7 Bagan: watch sunrise from temple; sightseeing including a local market, Shwezigon Pagoda, lacquer workshop, Ananda Temple, Dhammayangyi Temple, Sulamani Temple; ox cart ride to temple for sunsetDay 8 Shwe Pyi Thar: walking tour through this typical river village to visit a farmer’s home and see palm candy being madeDay 9 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 AmarapuraDay 10 Mandalay: sightseeing including Mahamuni, Kuthadaw and Shwenandaw Pagodas; visit tapestry, woodcarving, and gold leaf workshops; traditional dance performanceDay 11 Kyauk Myaung: walking tour through a pottery-making villageDay 12 Kya Hnyat: visit a monastery and present alms to the monks and see their lunch ritualDay 13 Tigyang: walking tour through village and walk to hilltop pagodaDay 14 Katha:visit to local market; excursion to a local ethnic minority villageDay 15 Kyun Daw–Second Defile: visit a fisherman’s home, local school, and nunnery in Kyun Daw; cruise through the dramatic second defileDay 16 Bhamo (Disembarkation)–Heho–Inle Lake: explore Bhamo by trishaw and foot; fly to Heho; transfer to Inle Lake; lunch at Red Mountain EstateDay 17 Inle Lake: full-day excursion around the lake to see scenes of daily life; visit workshops of several cottage industries; Padaung music & dance performanceDay 18 Inle Lake–Heho–Yangon: transfer to Heho; fly to Yangon Day 19 Yangon: your vacation ends
Breakfast: American breakfast dailyLunch: 13 lunchesDinner: 13 dinners including a welcome dinner in Yangon