Mystical Myanmar 2022 Scenic River Cruise
Myanmar’s exquisite temples might hold pride of place in the heart of this mesmerising country, however Mother Nature’s awe-inspiring power has carved out a few spectacles of her own. Take to the waters of the Irrawaddy in unprecedented luxury, as you journey from Magwe to Mandalay. The majestic Inle Lake reveals the ancient practice of one-legged rowing, perfected over centuries.
Fly from a choice of UK airports on selected airlines.
Settle into your Club floor room at your hotel Yangon for a two night Special Stay. This evening enjoy the included amenities of your Pacific Club access.
Freechoice: Embark a local train for a ride around Yangon’s suburbs. Alternatively, be guided on a tour of Yangon’s thriving art scene, or ride a ferry across the Yangon River to Dhala village.
Later this afternoon visit Chaukhtatgyi Paya, Yangon’s reclining Buddha.
Enrich: Enjoy your welcome dinner at the iconic colonial Strand Hotel.
Transfer to the airport and fly to Bagan. On arrival wander through the city’s oldest market at Nyaung U, followed by a local lunch. Later, learn all about the production of Burmese lacquerware, a Bagan specialty, before transferring to the luxurious Scenic Aura, where you can relax at the welcome reception as you set sail.
Spend the morning relaxing and getting to know the facilities of the most luxurious ship on the river, Scenic Aura. This afternoon arrive in Magwe, exploring the town by traditional trishaw. Take in the elevated views from Mya Tha Lun Pagoda, a mesmerising architectural vision set on Naguttama Hill. Remain alongside over night for your own exploration.
This morning continue cruising downstream to Minhla and it’s Italian built forts where their capture by the British brought to an end to an independent Burma. Explore the fort before accepting the challenge to shop as a local in the market. Afterwards begin sailing back upstream towards Salay.
Make use of the ship’s luxury and take the time to sip a cocktail by the pool, attend an on board demonstration or enjoy some solitude on your private balcony during your full day sailing upstream along the Irrawaddy to Salay.
Arrive early this morning. On your exploratory walking tour of this colonial riverside town, admire the mix of old Burmese and British architecture and visit Youqson Kyaung, a beautiful teak monastery now converted to a museum.
Enrich: Soak up the ambience of the river and the colonial feel of the town whilst enjoying traditional local Burmese tea and snacks in a restored colonial villa dating from 1906.
Continue sailing upstream to Bagan. Relax on the sundeck with a cocktail in hand viewing the many temples and pagodas that line the river as you approach the ancient location. Upon arrival, visit the most iconic sight of this hypnotic region, the Ananda Temple. Continue travelling by horse and cart through a local village, and as the sun begins to set, the surrounding plain filled with temple ruins. Tonight on board enjoy a string puppet show.
For the early risers, attend and partake in morning alms for the local monks.
Freechoice: Visit a toddy farm en-route to Mount Popa, home to Myanmar’s nats or nature spirits, before enjoying lunch overlooking the temple or cross the river to Tant Kyi Tuang to take in the expansive elevated views of Bagan. Alternatively, either explore the Temple Circuit in more depth, or enjoy a visit to the sites of Old Bagan.
Enrich: Tonight, be wowed by a Scenic exclusive magical themed dinner, with included free flow drinks and a cultural show played out in front of candle lit Bagan temple ruins.
Optional Hot Air Balloon Flight!
Balloons over Bagan - On selected dates, take a chance to ride in a hot air balloon flight over the majestic temples of Bagan. Must be purchased prior to your cruise to guarantee availability.
Depart Bagan and sail to Pakkoku. Upon arrival this afternoon, travel by local tuk tuk to a cheroot cigar workshop, the local market and longyi and blanket factory – perfect for shopping.
After a relaxing morning cruising, arrive in Yandabo where in 1826, the peace treaty ending the First Anglo-Burmese war was signed. Now famous for its pottery, stroll through the village and witness the artisans honing their craft and observe their unusual way of firing the pottery. Continue sailing to Mingun.
In Mingun, discover the stories behind a huge unfinished brick pagoda and the all-white Hsinbyume Pagoda, Myanmar’s Taj Mahal. Nearby, admire the un-cracked Mingun Bell.
Take in the amazing views from the sundeck during the dazzling approach to Myanmar’s spiritual capital Sagaing, dotted with hundreds of gilded pagodas and monasteries.
Freechoice: Interact with novice monks, nuns and orphans during a special visit to a monastic supported school before continuing to a quiet nunnery where you will partake in the ritual and our donation to the resident nuns before their midday meal.
Also take in the views over the Irrawaddy River from Sagaing Hill before sailing to Mandalay to visit Amarapura.
Sundowners: In Amarapura, relax with evening drinks in boats under U-Bein Bridge, to capture that memorable photo of the bridge’s silhouette at sunset.
Back on board enjoy the special farewell by Scenic Aura’s crew.
After disembarkation, admire the intricate artistry of Shwenandaw, a wooden monastery covered internally in gold leaf. Equally impressive are the sights at Kuthodaw Pagoda, home to the ‘World’s Largest Book’. Later walk through the rebuilt Mandalay Palace, destroyed during World War II and check into the Pullman Mandalay Mingalar.
Enrich: Learn how to produce gold leaf at a local workshop. At Mahamuni Pagoda, male guests will be able to place the gold leaf on the iconic Buddha statue.
Fly to Heho and drive to Nyaung Shwe. After lunch, glide across Inle Lake in private long tail boats towards your award-winning resort for a three night Special Stay.
Begin with an excursion by the most comfortable long tail boats on the lake to visit Inle Lake’s main market, which moves every five days. See the holiest site in Inle Lake, the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda and Royal barges.
Enrich: Learn about life at home on the lake with a visit to a local Intha family for your lunch.
Later, cruise down a network of small canals to the Pa-Oh village of Indein.
Freechoice: Visit Pindaya Caves, or visit Taunggyi for lunch at Myanmar’s oldest winery. Alternatively, walk to a nearby village.
Fly to Yangon for lunch at the historical House of Memories Restaurant. Check into the club floor at Melia Yangon Hotel and savour your farewell dinner at the beautiful Le Planteur Restaurant.
Say farewell to Myanmar and transfer to the airport for your flight home with Singapore Airlines.
Please note: This itinerary is a guide only and may be amended for operational reasons such as high and low water. As such, the cruise may operate altered from that stated above.
- Return flights from London (regional departures may be available at a supplement)
- All meals on board and as stated with Breakfasts, Lunches and Dinners ashore including two local beers or soft drinks with lunches and dinners
- Complimentary beverages all day, every day
- Private butler for all guests
- Choice of dining options, from casual fare in River Café to fine dining in Crystal Dining
- Complimentary on board guest laundry
- Complimentary Wi-Fi internet (when signal available)
- Return airport transfers
- Stays in Luxurious Hotels
- Experience Inle Lake by comfortable long tail boats and explore the villages and towns in the surrounding countryside with Scenic FreeChoice
- Visit Myanmar’s first World Heritage Site
- Explore the former capitals of Sagaing and Inwa
- Discover the village of Myinkaba, a small village famous for its laquerware workshops.
- Explore the temples of Bagan with Scenic FreeChoice
- Try local forms of transport including trishaws and horse carts
- Visit traditional tea shops and sample local snacks with friendly locals
- Donate to the saffron-clad monks and novices collecting alms in Mandalay
- Visit local villages and see how the locals make their livelihood
- Tipping, gratuities and porterage are all taken care of
It is your responsibility to verify all visa and passport requirements necessary for your holiday. You are responsible for obtaining independently and paying for all visas and entry documents, for meeting all health and other requirements, and for any documents required by the laws, regulations, orders, and/or requirements of the countries you will visit. You should confirm the necessary requirements for visas via the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website which can be found here
If you are unsure regarding how to obtain a visa or would like more information then please give us a call and one of our river cruising experts will be more than happy to assist.