Burma is like no other country on earth and on this seven night river cruise on the Orcaella, the latest Asian cruiser from Orient Express, you will appreciate just why. Along the way you will see some of the 4,000 sacred stupas scattered across the plains of Bagan, visit the markets and meet the people. You turn back the clock when you enter this time-warped country where the adventure travel of old lives on. This is authentic Asia with locals who greet you like long lost family. There are so many experiences awaiting in Burma and it is a country that fuels your emotions, stimulates your senses and stays in your soul.
After travelling from the capital Yangon (formerly Rangoon) you board the Orcaella at its moorage in Bagan, the famous ancient Pagoda city. Following lunch on board you join your experienced guide for a visit to the ancient sites in and around Bagan and later see the magnificent sunset over the marvellous Bagan plain. Back on board after dinner traditional Bagan artists perform for you this evening.
Start today with a morning shopping tour of Bagan, which is famous for its production of Burmese Laquerware and then visit the revered Shwezigon Pagoda. There is also the opportunity to arrange a morning tour around Old Bagan by horsecart or bicycle. Later set sail towards Salay for an afternoon visit to the beautifully decorated ancient Wooden Monastery and an impressive 20ft Straw Lacquer Buddha. Breakfast, lunch and dinner on board.
Salay – Magwe – Min Hla
You set sail early morning and before lunch stop at the trade port town of Magwe and see its famous Myathalon Pagoda. People come to this pagoda from miles around for important religious festivals. Also make a stop at the busy local market to experience the daily hustle and bustle. Continue to Min Hla and make a late afternoon visit to the Min Hla Fort, the site of a great battle during the second Anglo Burman war. Breakfast, lunch and dinner on board.
Min Hla-Gawaechuang-Pyay (Prome)
Today you visit the quaint Gawaechaung village by ox-cart in the early morning for a first-hand experience of the rural lifestyle along the Ayerwaddy River. Spend the afternoon sailing before reaching the ancient Myanmar capital Pyay (Prome). During the 1890’s Pyay was a booming trading town, and there is still much activity in and around the docks. Join the Pyay City Tour in the late afternoon visiting the impressive Shwesadaw Pagoda and the imposing 10 Storey Sitting Buddha watching over this important site. Breakfast, lunch and dinner on board.
Pyay (Prome) – (Sri Ksetra)-Mid River
Spend the morning exploring the ancient city of Sri Ksetra (Fabulous City) with its unique cylindrical shaped stone stupas. Dating back to the 5th century, this city flourished during the rule of the Pyu. Before returning to the ship make a stop at the Shwemyatmyan Pagoda to see the only bespectacled Buddha in Burma which is said to have curing powers. Spend the afternoon relaxing on board and taking in the scenery. Along the way you will have the chance to see the famous Cliff Carvings at Akauk Taung. Breakfast, lunch and dinner on board.
Disembark at the town of Zalon and take a trishaw along the main street, lined with stunning colonial style wooden houses and large tropical gardens, to the magnificent Pyaytawpyan Pagoda, which is also known as the Returning Home Pagoda. The famous bronze Buddha statue inside was once stolen by the British Army and later returned by order of Queen Victoria during a visit to India. Continue to another little-visited town called Danuphyu scene of a Burmese defensive against British troops during the Anglo Burman war. Drop anchor off the town of Nyaungtong for the night. Breakfast, lunch and dinner on board.
Your final full day on board the luxurious Orcaella, so make the most of it. Spend the morning relaxing and taking in the scenery as you sail back along the Ayeyarwady River to Rangoon. Along the way stop at the port town of Syriam and go on a guided tour there. Tonight enjoy your final dinner on board as the sun sets over the river.
Today your wonderful river cruise on board the Orcaella comes to an end. Say farewell to new found friends and return to your hotel in Rangoon or travel to the airport to catch an onward flight or begin your journey home. This great cruise on the Ayeyarwady River makes a great add on to any longer holiday in this mysterious and colourful country.