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Sagaing, Myanmar

Myanmar Uncovered on Pandaw

17-day stay and cruise from £6,160 pp incl. flights

Exclusive offer: Exclusive tailor-made fly, stay and cruise holiday


Short description

Watch as ancient empires spring to life along the banks of Myanmar's mightiest river

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  • Sail the Irrawaddy in style with premium wines, cocktail receptions and gourmet dining
  • Let included tours introduce you to Bagan's ancient temples
  • Watch the sun set from the summit of Mandalay Hill
  • Bookend your river cruise with hotel stays in Yangon, Mandalay and Inle Lake

In Brief

  • 3 Nights Yangon
  • 2 Nights Bagan
  • 1 Night Nyaung-U
  • 2 Nights Pau Taw Pauk Myaing
  • 3 Nights Mandalay
  • 3 Nights Inle Lake


Recommended for:
Expedition cruise | History & culture | Off the beaten track | Photography | River cruise

Between royal-capital tours and cottage-industry workshops, this luxury river cruise explores Myanmar's storied Irrawaddy River. Along the way you'll drop anchor to explore Bagan's ancient temple complex, climb Mandalay Hill for sweeping sunset views and watch as rural life plays out in sleepy riverside villages home to timber monasteries and the remnants of a colonial past. We've also included hotel stays in Yangon and Inle Lake, where expert-led tours will introduce you the gilded highlights of this enigmatic country.

Day by day itinerary

Day 1
Depart UK

After some included VIP-lounge relaxation, you’ll board your overnight flight to Yangon.

Days 2-3

Gilded spires greet your arrival into Myanmar’s largest city where a private transfer will see you to your city-centre hotel. Set amid landscaped gardens on the shores of Kandwagyi Lake, each room looks out to Shwedagon Pagoda, just a 15-minute stroll away. The following day, a city tour will introduce to this and other highlights as you take in everything from golden stupas to a sprawling parkland home to a glittering royal barge. At Kyaukhtatgyi Pgoda, watch as intricate carvings and colourful murals depict the life of Buddha before a teashop visit and a browse in lively Bogyoke Market. Then, in the afternoon, take a ride through the city outskirts on the Circle Train before exploring the colourful cacophony of Little India and Chinatown. 

Stay: Chatrium Hotel Royal Lake (Superior)

Meals: B

Day 4

Take a full-day trip to see the ancient pagodas, reclining Buddhas and still-working monasteries of Bago, Myanmar’s 16th-century capital. The city, 80 kilometres from Yangon, was also the seat of power for the erstwhile Hanthawadi Kingdom under the successive reigns of Mon and Myanmar kings. Along the way, you’ll call into the British War Cemetery near Htauk Kyant to see the final resting place of 27,000 allied soldiers.

Stay: Chatrium Hotel Royal Lake (Superior)

Meals: B

Days 5-6

Fly north to Bagan where a private transfer will bring you to the handcrafted luxuries of your river ship – Orient Pandaw. Settle into your suite, where French doors open to private balconies andgorgeous Irrawaddy views, before heading out on a guided afternoon tour of Bagan’s fabled Archaeological Zone. Springing up from the verdant plains, some 2,200 temples, stupas and gilded pagodas tell the story of a millennium-old empire that stretched from Myanmar’s northern mountains to its fertile delta. The following day, after a restful night on board, you’ll continue your tour of Bagan’s vast temple complex and visit a lacquer workshop to see first-hand an industry that was introduced to Burma as far back as the 12th century. 

Stay: Orient Pandaw (Superior)

Meals: B L D

Day 7
Salay & Nyaung U Oo

Rise early to watch life unfold along the river as you sail south to Salay, a sleepy riverside town where British-colonial buildings share the spotlight with a handful of Bagan-era temples and around 50 teak monasteries. Then, continue to Pakhannge for more monastery visits before returning north towards Nyaung U Oo. Along the way, you’ll pause at the foot of the Tan-Chi-Taung Mountains where a 4WD tour will showcase a further selection of the region’s UNESCO-listed monuments, followed by a late-afternoon visit to Min-Nan-Thu, one of eight clinics supported by the Pandaw charity.

Stay: Orient Pandaw (Superior)

Meals: B L D

Days 8-9
Pakokku & Yandabo

As you continue your voyage north, you’ll call in to Pakokku, exploring its bustling market and town centre by tuk tuk before mooring overnight at the confluence of the Irrawaddy and Chindwin rivers. The following morning, visit Yandabo to see pottery being made from Irrawaddy clay and drop anchor at Pau Taw Pauk Myaing, just a stone’s throw from Ava, whose forts and palaces formed Myanmar’s capital between the 14th and 19th centuries.

Stay: Orient Pandaw (Superior)

Meals: B L D

Days 10-11
Sagaing & Mingun

Arrive into Sagaing, a centre for religion where 600 pagodas pockmark the emerald-green hills with flashes of white and gold. A tour of the town will take you past monasteries and nunneries to sweeping views of the river and its gently undulating surrounds. Then, in the afternoon, drive to Amarapura, a former royal capital best known for its U Bein Bridge – a 1.2-kilometre-long teakwood structure straddling Taung Tha Man Lake. The following day you’ll sail to Mingun to see the world’s largest working bell before arriving into Mandalay for a tour of its Mahamuni Pagoda and Golden Palace Monastery. End the day with a walk along the city’s marble and stone carvers’ street before returning to the ship for your final night on board.

Stay: Orient Pandaw (Superior)

Meals: B L D

Day 12

Leaving the ship behind, a private transfer will bring you to the Sedona Hotel. Then, your local guide will introduce you to the sights of Kuthodaw Pagoda whose 729 marble tablets, inscribed with the Buddhist Tripiṭaka, are regarded as the world’s largest book. End your stay with a walk to the summit of Mandalay Hill for spectacular sunset views across the city’s pancake-flat sprawl.

Stay: Sedona Hotel, Mandalay (Superior)

Meals: B

Days 13-15
Inle Lake

Fly east to Heho for a transfer across the Shan Plateau, stopping to admire the thousands of Buddha images at Pindaya Caves, a labyrinth of chambers dramatically carved into a limestone ridge. You’ll also learn about local paper craft –another of Myanmar’s burgeoning cottage industries – before a tour of the century-old Sing-gaung monastery and your arrival into Nyaungshe, Inle Lake’s largest town. Then, over the next two days, let guided tours, boat cruises and lakeside drives bring you between the region’s monasteries, temples, markets and villages as you watch local Inthar people punting with their legs to reach secluded fishing spots and petty floating gardens. You’ll also call into Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda to see the gilded royal barges used during Inle’s annual festival and visit a cheroot factory where cigars are still hand rolled.

Stay: Inle Princess Resort, Inle Lake (Superior)

Meals: B

Days 16-17

A private transfer sees you back to Heho for your flight to Mandalay and overnight connection to the UK.

Meals: B



Any element of this cruise can be adjusted to suit your needs. Just contact us to find out more.


17-day stay and cruise from £6,160 pp incl. flights

Twin Cabin (TwinCabin): £6,160

Exclusive tailor-made fly, stay and cruise holiday


  • Return flights between the UK and Myanmar with Emirates
  • Private transfers throughout in air-conditioned vehicles
  • Domestic flights as outlined in the itinerary
  • 3 nights hotel accommodation in Yangon at the Chatrium Hotel Royal Lake on a BB basis
  • 1 night hotel accommodation in Mandalay at the Sedona Hotel on a BB basis
  • 3 nights hotel accommodation in Inle Lake at the Inle Princess Resort on a BB basis
  • Private guides and tours as outlined in the itinerary. Shared guides and tours on the cruise
  • 7 nights on board Orient Pandaw to include entrance fees, guide services (English language), gratuities to crew, main meals, locally made soft drinks, local beer and local spirits, jugged coffee and selection of teas and tisanes, and mineral water.

Cruise operates up to three times a month upstream and downstream on three vessels between August and March

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At Wexas, we specialise in bespoke travel experiences. Our itineraries are just samples of what we can arrange, and can be changed depending on your precise needs, finances and ideas by our experienced destination specialists.

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