The Road to Mandalay Cruising

Find tranquility along Myanmar's most fabled river, gliding past ancient pagodas and charming fishing villages on a journey of discovery on board the luxurious and intimate Belmond Road to Mandalay on a sojourn along the Ayeyarwady River. 

HIGHLIGHTS

Stay in the impeccable Strand Yangon & the Belmond Road to Mandalay

Be guided by specialists guides

Enjoy the spectacular Ballons Over Bagan experience

Savor delightful and traditional cuisine of Myanmar

ITINERARY

DAY 1: ARRIVE YANGON

Arrive Yangon this morning as we then embark on an introductory tour of the fast-developing city, including a short ride on the local circular train. Yangon is a sprawling city with a relatively small downtown area including several markets, colonial buildings, the Yangon River and a very green area with tree-lined streets and several lakes. Experience the different faces of Yangon from the landmarks to the hidden markets that have seen only few westerners. This afternoon, we will meet with Ma Thanegi (Burmese writer, food lover and former secretary of Aung San Suu Kyi) at your hotel for a drink. She will give you an insight of the events in Myanmar history as she was closely associated to the opposition movement in the uprising of 1988. She spent 3 years in the Insein Jail and published a number of books including “Nor Iron Bars a Cage”. As evening falls, we visit the illuminated Shwedagon pagoda – a magic and mystical moment at a time it’s not very busy on the main platform. Your guide will explain to you the history of the pagoda for a deeper insight in the Buddhist religion and how the spiritual belief is mixed with the belief in nats – the Myanmar spirits. Participate in Mee Htun Bwe, a special ceremony of offerings to Buddha in hopes of receiving wisdom and enlightenment. You will assist in lighting 1000 oil lamps on the platform surrounding the Shwedagon pagoda. Later, we enjoy an Asian inspired dinner prepared by Michelin star chef at the brand-new Seeds restaurant. 

Overnight: Strand Hotel, Yangon

Meals: Dinner

DAY 2: YANGON / BAGAN

Early this morning, be transferred to the airport for a short flight to Bagan where on arrival, we transfer to Taung Be village for your embarkation of the Belmond Road to Mandalay. Enjoy lunch on board and thereafter, set off on a guided tour. Visit Ananda, one of Bagan’s most magnificent temples. Explore a rarely visited temple by torchlight and learn about the traditional art of lacquer ware. The day ends watching the sun set over the mesmerizing, temple-strewn plains and includes an exclusive candle-lighting ceremony just for our guests. Tonight, dine under the stars at the Road to Mandalay Grill on the Observation Deck. 

Overnight: Belmond Road to Mandalay

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 3: BAGAN / SAILING

Early morning rise today as we embark on the spectacular "Balloons Over Bagan" hot air balloon ride over the temple zone in Bagan. The mostly British balloon pilots are operating each balloon under highest UK safety standards and the views you will get are simply breathtakingly spectacular. After floating in the air and
following the wind you will land safely and be welcomed back on the ground by a smiling crew serving
cold champagne before bringing you to your hotel. Thereafter, you have the opportunity to select from a bicycle or horse-and-cart ride around the temples of Old Bagan, a sunrise temple tour or a visit to a local community project. As the ship sails towards Mandalay, enjoy onboard activities ranging from a cultural lecture to a treatment at the spa. Relax by the pool on the Observation Deck, the largest outdoor space of any river cruise ship in Myanmar, or keep fit in the gym. Sample local infusions and delicacies in our Burmese Tea Shop and learn how to dress in traditional Myanmar longyi, a type of sarong. In the evening, dine on a selection of Asian and Western dishes in the elegant Restaurant. Sample the house wines or choose from our extensive international wine list.

Overnight: Belmond Road to Mandalay

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 4: SAILING / MINGUN

During the morning’s sailing there are a range of activities available, from sunrise yoga and meditation to cookery demonstrations and a talk from the onboard doctor. Arrive in Mingun and choose from two fascinating tours. Discover the historical sites nearby or join a walk through a rural village, engaging with the locals. In the evening you are invited to wear a traditional sarong to our vibrant Longyi Cocktail Party on the Observation Deck. 

Overnight: Belmond Road to Mandalay

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 5: ARRIVE MANDALAY

We arrive in Mandalay after a short cruise. Early risers can participate in a Buddhist alms-giving ceremony on shore. Today, you can select the tour of your choice: “Highlights of Mandalay” visits important historic sites around the city, including Kuthodaw Pagoda and Shwenandaw Golden Monastery OR “Mandalay Arts and Shopping” focuses on the city’s renowned traditional crafts, such as bronze, marble, silk and woodwork.  Rejoin the ship at Shwe Kyet Yet village. After lunch, visit the Sagaing Hills, considered to be the living centre of the Buddhist faith in Myanmar. Toast the sunset with a champagne cocktail overlooking the amazing U Bein Bridge. After a sumptuous farewell dinner on board, enjoy traditional entertainment. 

Overnight: Belmond Road to Mandalay

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 6: DEPART MANDALAY

After breakfast, disembark from Belmond Road to Mandalay where you will be transferred to the airport for your journey home or continue your adventures in Myanmar and beyond. 

Meals: Breakfast

HOTELS

Built in 1901 and acquired soon after by the Sarkies brothers, famed for the likes of Raffles in Singapore and The E&O in Penang, The Strand Hotel remains one of Asia’s most enduring and awe-inspiring Colonial landmarks. The recently-refurbished icon offers contemporary luxury and comfort combining timeless elegance and grandeur to ensure a representative experience in Yangon. 

Strand Hotel, Yangon

With just 46 cabins, Belmond Road to Mandalay is an intimate experience that matches the peace of your surroundings. Head to the top deck and sip cocktails in the stylish lounge, or sink into a padded rattan chair and watch the scenery unfold. 

Belmond Road to Mandalay Cruise

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