With the largest cabin space on the Ayeyarwady river, and the highest crew to passenger ratio, Anawrahta offers the finest on-board experience in Myanmar. This impressive vessel is named after the founder of the Burmese nation, the modern day Myanmar.
DAY 1: SAILING
Board the majestic Anawrahta, berthed at the quay of Mandalay’s riverside and enjoy a warm welcome by our staff with some refreshments and a short safety briefing as you move into your “home” for the next days. Leisurely unwind on a relaxing sailing day. Take a swim in the 360-degree view pool on the sundeck or try out the fine treatments of our Thazin Spa while sailing towards Sagaing. Our lecture today will be on “Myanmar’s ways of life” followed by a cultural demonstration on “Traditional Longyi and Thanakha”, Myanmar’s traditional costumes and a natural paste applied on the face and body. Kindly join afternoon tea served in the Kipling’s Bar while gazing at the vast river view of the Ayeyarwady river. Tonight a longyi Cocktail Party will break the ice with your fellow guests.
DAY 2: AH MYINT VILLAGE & MONYWA
An early morning yoga session will be held on the sundeck to strengthen your muscles and ease your mind before Anawrahta enters the Chindwin river. Our morning excursion will take us the historical village of A Myint, which endured almost all of Myanmar’s dynasties. Explore the village life and their ancient pagodas built in 11-13 AD. Back on board, we will sail a short distance to Monywa while lunch is served on board. After lunch, we go by bus to Monywa where a spectacular styled Thanboddhay Pagoda (Thambuddhei Paya) with over 500,000 Buddha images and hundreds of golden spires can be found. Further down the road is the second tallest Buddha statue in the world, measuring 116 meters. It’s located behind a tremendous religious site with Bodhi trees, gardens with hundreds of sitting Buddhas, and a huge lying Buddha. The whole interior features depictions of Buddhist teachings on several floors. Back on board, we continue sailing up the river. Enjoy BBQ dinner tonight and a “Yamayana” dance performance on the sundeck.
DAY 3: MOKTAW
Today we disembark for a morning visit of Moktaw, a typical riverside village, to see their traditional way of life. If we are lucky we may witness a special ceremony at the local monastery. In the afternoon you will have the chance to join a ship tour with our cruise general manager exploring the fascinating Anawrahta. As the evening approaches and the Burmese sun immerses everything in a golden light, a special event will take place at the Kipling’s Bar. Dress up in style as we send “A toast to the past” during a British Club gathering where gents may whiff cigars and ladies sip on tasty gins with homemade tonic while listening to music and poems of a by-gone era.
DAY 4: MAUKKADAW & KALAYWA
Start your day with a morning walk through the small village of Maukkadaw, which once was a busy teak port. We will show you their remaining teak enterprises before visiting the local school and walking through this old village. Back on board, we continue cruising upstream passing small villages amid rolling hills at the riverbanks. In the afternoon a “Burmese Speaking Lesson” will be held in the Mandalay Lounge to be prepared for our market rally the next day. Tonight, we arrive at the riverside port of Kalaywa passing by its bridge that connects the main land with the Indian border for trade.
DAY 5: KALAYWA
This morning we will take a tour around Kalaywa by local tuk tuk. Visit the Pagoda on a hill top to have a vast view over the Kalaywa Town and Chindwin River. We continue to the Kalaywa Market. Do some shopping at the bustling colourful local market of Kalaywa, where you can practice your Burmese language skills during a market rally.
DAY 6: SITTAUNG
Join a lecture by our guide this morning or lounge around watching the passing sceneries of jungled cladded gorges. In the afternoon we arrive in the small Sittaung village, with its 28 houses and only 200 inhabitants. Today’s tour takes us to the ships of Irrawaddy Flotilla Company (the greatest river fleet that was ever assembled worldwide). Many of these were scuppered by the retreating British in 1942; rather than leaving them for the advancing Japanese Army. Back on board, we keep sailing upstream and afternoon tea will be served at the Kipling’s Bar.
DAY 7: TOUNGDOOT & HOMALIN
Time for an early morning yoga session on the sundeck while the ship sails towards the most beautiful part of the upper Chindwin river. After breakfast, you can join a demonstration about the ancient habit of betel-chewing as well as smoking cheroots cigars. Tasting is optional! On our afternoon excursion, we will visit the town Homalin, the end of the 400 navigable miles on the Chindwin river for us. Here we will take a tour of the stunning views from the high vantage point of the Buddha Lotus Garden before starting our downstream voyage. Our guide will explain the significance of the various statues depicting scenes from the life of Buddha. On the way back from this view point, you have a great chance to visit the village of the Naga tribe; one of Myanmar’s minorities that still have their own lovely culture and customs. Join their traditional tribal dance and to enjoy their traditional cuisine and drinks.
DAY 8: SAILING DAY
Today you have another opportunity to simply relax, enjoy the passing scenery and enjoy the facilities on board our beautiful ship. You may appreciate the power of the river as we now sail with the force of the current on our side. In the late morning, there will be a cooking demonstration by our Executive Chef who will show you the preparation of local dishes. The recipes will be provided for you to try them at home! In the afternoon a presentation about “Buddhism in Myanmar” will be lectured by our onboard guide. Tonight, a BBQ dinner will be served together with a entertaining performance by our crew. We will moor near the city Mawlaik.
DAY 9: MAWLAIK
Mawlaik has been used as the administrative capital of the British and many of the colonial-era house built by the Bombay-Burma Trading Company still remain nowadays. Our colonial heritage tour will take you to the post office, former British administrative buildings, the house of a former British commissioner, and the Mawlaik Golf Course which was built in the old colonial times. The tour ends with fun mini golf match at the greens of the Mawlaik Golf Course. Afterwards, we return to the ship and enjoy lunch on board. If today’s sailing goes well, we will have the time to visit the small village of Kyi Taung Oo where we can discover the only surviving (and still-working) wooden monastery that pre-dates the Konbaung Dynasty’s Foundation in 1752. “Kyi Taung Oo” means “Great Sacred Hill”, as you might expect there will be some astonishing views over the river and its surrounding area.
DAY 10: PHO WIN TAUNG – SHWE BA TAUNG
This morning you can simply relax and enjoy the passing scenery as well as our facilities on board. Our afternoon excursion will take you on a 45 minutes’ bus ride to Pho Win Taung to discover the cave-temple complexes outside of the city and the Shwe Ba Taung mountains. The caves are believed to be around 500-years-old containing many sandstone carvings of Buddha images, animals, plants, demons and ogres. In the evening a group will perform a “Puppet Show” on board in the lounge.
DAY 11: BAGAN
This morning you can simply relax and enjoy the last sailing hours on board and observe the passing scenery. In the afternoon we will arrive at our final destination- Bagan, the ancient city of King Anawrahta. On an orientation tour, we explore the magnificent Ananda Temple and Shwe San Daw Temple. Our evening ends at one of the “sunset” pagodas or a high plain ground to watch the breath-taking vista of the sun setting over the temple-strewn plain.
DAY 12: CHECK-OUT
A bid farewell to the crew and your floating home as your stay on the majestic Anawrahta ends after breakfast.
Please Note: Although it is our intention to operate the proposed itinerary as outlined above, we cannot be held responsible for any last minute changes of the program that might be necessary as a result of weather conditions, alterations to cruise schedules or other operational factors.
Images courtesy of WildEarthTravel