14 day Journey through the Chindwin River

Summary

This one-off sailing experience on July 22nd with Sanctuary Ananda travels from the intriguing city of Mandalay to the iconic temples of Bagan. It’s a fascinating 10-night itinerary that meanders along the Chindwin River. Immerse yourself in Burmese traditions as you glide past lush gorges and thick jungles. Visit Bodhi Tataung in Monywa, where you can go into enormous Buddha statues at a record height of 424 feet, and you will have the opportunity to see monks being ordained at a Buddhist monastery in Mokhtaw. Explore the ancient cave temples of the Po Win Taung and Shwe Ba Taung where wondrous legends surround its origins with tales of magical creatures, celestials and kings and queens. Experience an extraordinary blend of European and Burmese architecture at the oldest wooden monastery in Myanmar, Mahar Minkyaung. Witness local village life as you get the chance to watch cotton blanket weavers working their trade and interact with the villagers at the local markets where you can buy traditional food and handicrafts. 

You will have the option of experiencing an authentic working elephant camp near the colonial village of Mawleik, and see an extraordinary blend of the European and Burmese architecture of the Mahar Minkyaung Monastery in Minkin. 

Price

From £4,190 per person based on two adults sharing

Best time to go

This cruise operates once per year. It will set sail on 22nd July 2016

Departure Date

22 July 2016

Day 1: UK Departure
Overnight flight to Mandalay.  

Day 2: Mandalay Hill Resort, Mandalay (BB) 
Arrive into Mandalay and get a private transfer to the hotel to check-in for a one night stay. You will have an afternoon at leisure where you can relax in the beautiful spa or explore the sights of Mandalay.

Day 3: Sanctuary Ananda cruise boat in a suite (FB)
Transfer to the Sanctuary Ananda cruise boat to check in for a 10 night stay before sailing towards Myin Mu at 11.30am. Whilst you sail along the Chindwin River towards Paung Pyin, you'll have the chance to get a true insight into Myanmar thanks to on board talks on traditions such as the local dress, thanaka make-up, as well as cookery demonstrations and history lessons. This is an exciting, eye-opening time to learn about Myanmar's fascinating culture from the country's own people. In the early evening drop anchor mid-river near where the Chindwin meets the great Ayeyarwady River to dock for the night.

Day 4: Sanctuary Ananda cruise boat in a suite - Yesagyo to Monywa (FB)
At 5:00am the ship will start sailing. Enjoy the morning on board at leisure. Arrive in Monywa in the Sagaing Region around 2.30pm, when you'll continue to appreciate what's so very special about this cruise northwest of Mandalay and see the unspoiled scenery that rarely gets exposed to tourists. After exploring the city, a coach will transport you to a truly spectacular part of the world: the intricately decorated golden Thanboddhay Pagoda. It is truly staggering with its hundreds of crumbling stupas and almost half a million images of Buddha located in the niches around the inner wall. Next you'll visit Bodhi Tataung where you can see the two enormous Buddha statues. Return to the ship at 4:30pm and enjoy dinner on board.

Day 5: Sanctuary Ananda cruise boat in a suite - Mokhtaw to Maukkadaw (FB)
Relax on board as we sail towards the village of Maukkadaw. Arrive at the village, once an important teak port. Explore the town and its stunning teak buildings made even more exotic by the tropical jungle that surrounds them. Wander around the village and visit the brick monastery.

Day 6: Sanctuary Ananda cruise boat - Kalewa to Mawleik (FB)
Today visit Kalewa. Kalewa is the trading post between Myanmar and India, and this town rests at the point where the Myit Tha River with its source in India joins with the Chindwin. Kalewa is right at the foot of the Western Mountain Ranges that loom over the town, the pagoda on the hill and the placid waters of the river. The cruise continues after lunch taking you through lush gorges, past wild jungle and tiny riverside villages - the scenery here looks like that of a land that time forgot. There will also be interesting talks on board the ship during the afternoon. Tonight, the ship will dock at Masein.

Day 7: Sanctuary Ananda cruise boat in a suite - Mawleik to Sitthaung (FB)
Sail in the morning and arrive in Mawleik around 8:00am. Mawleik, once the administrative centre of the Bombay Burma Trading Company, is still a lively town with a vibrant market and colonial charm. This is a part of Myanmar that very few tourists see. Return to the ship at 11:30am and cruise north. Enjoy a cup of tea in the panoramic lounge as you sail towards the thatched homes of the next rural village stop, Hae Nin. The boat will anchor here for the night.

Day 8: Sanctuary Ananda cruise boat - Sitthaung to Homalin (FB)
Today visit Paung Pyin, the northernmost point of the cruise. The Uyu River is a major tributary of the Chindwin River, and the sand in this part of the river gets a lot of attention from locals;  look out for locals panning for gold here in the hope of finding the alluvial nuggets. This afternoon sail south to Sitthaung, where you will dock overnight. See the emerald green paddy fields on your way to the village pagoda. Near the mouth of the Yu River which drains the Kubu valley, Sitthaung was the final resting place of a number of IFC steamers scuppered there in 1942.

Day 9: Sanctuary Ananda cruise boat in a suite - Homalin to Masein (FB)
Travel towards Masein, enjoy a restful day on board and take full advantage of Sanctuary Ananda's extensive services and facilities. Dock at Masein at 2:30pm and overnight. Misty hills rise high on the horizon and near the village of Masein, a row of 28 white-washed pagodas line the crest of a sloping hill and file down towards the river. 

Day 10: Sanctuary Ananda cruise boat in a suite - Minkin to Kani (FB)
Sail in the morning and arrive at Minkin at 11:00am. Here you'll get a chance to see an extraordinary blend of European and Burmese architecture of the Mahar Minkyaung Monastery, the oldest wooden Monastery. The Shwe Sagar Buddha is especially remarkable, it was carved from a single piece of wood a thousand years ago. After this visit, the boat will proceed to Kani where you’ll dock for the night.

Day 11: Sanctuary Ananda cruise boat in a suite - Monywa (FB)
This morning, visit the Po Win Taung caves near Shwe Ba Taung. Carved out of the sandstone hills, this setting is breathtakingly special to behold and a highlight of any trip to Myanmar. More ancient than the Thanbodday pagoda are the two cave pagoda complexes of Po win taung and Shwe ba taung, believed to be over 300 years old. There are almost one thousand caves in which both the Buddha images and the thrones were carved out of living rock. The natural shape of the caves remains  and 17th century wall paintings in exquisite detail cover the interior walls. The entrances are rimmed with traditional motifs of vines and flowers, in high or low relief. Figures of mythical beings and traditional design elements are seen both carved and painted.

Day 12: Sanctuary Ananda cruise boat in a suite - Pakokku to Bagan (FB)
This morning sail from Yesagyo to Pakokku, arriving at 8:00am. This is an opportunity to watch cotton-blanket weavers and visit the local market with Sanctuary Ananda's chef. At 11:00am the ship will set sail to Bagan, arriving after lunch. Visit the awe-inspiring Ananda Temple. Completed in 1091 AD, it is commonly referred to as one of the four great temples in Bagan. The Ananda is regarded by folklore as one of the most beautiful temples in Myanmar. Next, visit Htilominlo Temple; a two-storey redbrick temple built around 1211 AD. It is a magnificent structure, though now heavily restored. Enjoy the sunset from the terraces of the Pyathatgyi Temple. Admire the light change on the pagodas as they exude antiquity and mystery. Finally the sun sets behind the hills on the far side of the Ayeyarwady River, filling the sky with a reddish glow, a truly magical moment. Enjoy your last night with the Sanctuary Ananda crew with a candlelit sandbank dinner. 

Day 13: Bagan Thiripyisaya Sanctuary Resort  in a suite - Bagan (BB)
Enjoy an early breakfast on your final morning before check out at 9:00am. Take a short tour of Bagan, visit Minanthu village in the heart of the Bagan plain to experience the way of life of the local people, before progressing to a brick factory. Onto the village of Myinkaba, a centre of the ancient craft of lacquerware which has been produced in Bagan since the time of King Anawrahta around 1050 AD. Here in the workshop the traditional methods are still used. The last stop is at a jaggery workshop which produces unrefined sugar. Transfer to the Bagan Thiripyisaya Sanctuary Resort to check in for a 1 night stay.

Day 14: Departure
Today transfer to Bagan airport for your overnight flight home.

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Includes
Accommodation and meals as specified, flights, airport taxes, transfers and shared activities as per itinerary.

Excludes
Meals and activities where not detailed, gratuities, souvenirs, visas and insurance.

Cleveland Collection tailor makes all itineraries to include highlights of your choice. Speak to one of our travel experts to create your perfect holiday based on your travel requirements.

*We try to keep our 'from prices' as accurate as possible, but please do be aware that when travelling in peak times such as Christmas and school holidays, prices shown will vary considerably.


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