The sparkling pagodas and saffron cloaked monks
of Myanmar (Burma) can be viewed from the serenity of the
Ayeyarwady River onboard the Road To Mandalay as it sails on a
series of 12-day ‘Gorges of the Far North’ cruises in August and
September this year.
The cruise sees the Road To Mandalay sail 682
nautical miles departing from the storied city of Mandalay up to
Bhamo, near the Chinese border and at the foothills of Yunnan,
finishing at the spellbinding plain of temples at Bagan.
The voyage is only possible post rainy season when the
river is swollen and water levels are high enough to allow passage through the three dramatic gorges, flanked by vertical cliffs, in
the north of the river. Delving deep into the heart of a country largely undiscovered by tourists, the cruise, ideal for travellers
seeking authentic new adventures, incorporates
off-the-beaten-track experiences and inimitable glimpses into
Burmese life in comfort and style.
upriver from the departure point at Mandalay, guests discover the
world's largest brick-built pagoda and uncracked bell at Mingun
and visit traditional clay pot sculptors at Nwe Nyein. Local
markets are encountered in the quaint village of Kyan Hnyat and in
the old town of Katha, the British outpost once home to George
Orwell, author of 'Burmese Days', guests will be transported back
to the 1930’s as they discover the streets of this enchanting
colonial town in trishaws.
Continuing north, the
cruise includes a visit to the island of Shwe Paw with its highly
venerated pagoda and monastery with pretty gardens well maintained
Reaching the northern-most leg
of the cruise at Bhamo, barely 50 miles from the Chinese border,
the scenery is a stunning contrast of lush jungle, bamboo forests,
steep rock gorges and mountains. There is the opportunity to
interact and meet with the local people who rarely see tourists
venturing this far north, with excursions including a tour of Bhamo and its backstreets and the bustling market.
Returning downstream on the ship, guests disembark to board a
train through thick jungle to the forest station of Naba. Another forest adventure, this time aboard an elephant, enables guests to
watch the mammals hard at work moving teak.
of Burma's second-largest city Mandalay is followed by a show of
tribal dancing aboard the ship. Mandalay is Myanmar's spiritual
capital, and its many monks and nuns pursue their studies
alongside the most intact record of the Buddha's teachings, carved
in stone on 77 tablets.
The itinerary also includes visits to the
Golden Palace and Mahamuni Temple with its impressive statue of
the Buddha, covered in thick gold leaf.
the world-famous plain of more than 2000 spectacular temples at
ancient Bagan whets appetites for a guided tour of the ancient
sites on the final day, including an optional tour to Mount Popa
and its summit monastery, legendary sacred home of the 37 Nats.
The Road To Mandalay, launched over 17 years ago,
is the longest running and most established river cruiser
operating on the Ayeyarwady and offers a refined travel experience
with facilities including a wellness centre, swimming pool and a
variety of lively evening entertainment.
With a capacity of 82,
the Road To Mandalay is a large and well appointed ship that
provides the best vantage point to admire the views of Burmese
life from the country’s largest and most vital river.
Mountain scenery, the great Ayeyarwady River, ancient temples and
a fascinating mix of friendly local people are all features of this extraordinary experience.
Departures for the Bhamo cruise in
2012 commence on 1, 15 and 29 August, and 12 September and are
priced from £2380 per person which includes all table d'hôte meals
and accommodation on board based on two people sharing, domestic
flights, transfers and all sightseeing. Packages can also be
tailor-made to include a stay at Orient-Express’ hotel in Yangon,
The Governor's Residence.
Guests can book this
insightful 11-night trip to Bhamo before 30 June 2012 and stay at
The Governor’s Residence for two nights on a complimentary basis
either before or after the cruise. Offer is subject to
availability, and the code RG11 should be quoted upon booking.
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