Images of a Golden Land

Images of a Golden Land

5 Days / 4 Nights Roundtrip Yangon

Price fromUSD$2,820

• Choose your own morning adventure in Bagan, including a bike ride, a pagoda tour, a hot-air balloon flight or a visit to a community project • Explore historic sites or a rural village near Mingun • Discover Mandalay's incredible traditional arts, including bronze casting and marble carving • Visit a Buddhist nunnery in the Sagaing Hills

Bagan has been one of the main visitor attractions in Myanmar for many years, ranking alongside Angkor Wat in Cambodia and Borobudur on Java as the greatest historic sites in Southeast Asia. Over 3,000 temples dot the plain beside the Ayeyarwady River, most of which were built between the 11th and 13th centuries.

Day 1: Yangon > Bagan (L,D) Morning domestic flight from Yangon to Bagan. Your guides will meet you at the airport, from where you will visit the bustling local market. Explore the narrow lanes and admire stalls piled high with exotic fruits, vegetables and typical Myanmar products such as betel leaf, thanaka wood and cheroot cigars. Continue to a small complex near Minnanthu to discover off-the-beaten-track temples, including one with richly coloured murals dating from AD 1225. You will also visit Thitsawaddy, a pagoda affording panoramic views over the Bagan plains. Continue to Taung Be village, where you will board at 11:00 am.

After lunch on board, disembark for an afternoon excursion to one of the most significant pagodas of Bagan, Ananda Temple. This architectural masterpiece was built in AD 1090 and contains four gilded Buddha statues, each standing 30ft tall. You will also be led to a small temple, opened exclusively for Belmond guests, to discover magnificent murals by torchlight. A short walk brings you to a stunning view of 12th-century Thatbyinnyu, one of Bagan's tallest pagodas. A visit to a lacquerware workshop follows. Marvel at the exquisite patience and skill required to produce these finely detailed pieces, many of which take several months to complete.

As daylight starts to fade, gather to watch the sun set over plains peppered with hundreds of ancient pagodas. You then proceed to a small temple close to the jetty to participate in an exclusive Belmond experience - a magical candle-lighting ceremony.

Day 2: Bagan and sailing (B,L,D) After breakfast this morning, choose from a number of tour options before the ship sets sail at 9:30 am.

Sunrise Hot-Air Balloon Ride (Available October-March. Advance reservations essential. Surcharge applies - pay direct) Experience one of the most magical highlights of Bagan, a hot-air balloon ride as dawn breaks over the ancient pagodas. Departing at 5:00 am and returning to the ship at 8:30 am.

Pagodas in the Morning Enjoy an early-morning walking tour with your guide. Visit a small temple surrounded by fields where farmers can often be seen nurturing crops such as peanut, sesame and beans. Then explore the famous pagoda Sulamani ("crowning jewel"), with its impressive brick and ornamental work and murals dating from the 12th to 18th centuries. Tour begins at 7:00 am

Bagan by Bicycle (Limited space. Advance reservations essential. English-language tour only) Set off on an independent mountain bike adventure (a map will be provided), or opt to join our staff on a guided ride through Old Bagan. Pedal along small paths and roads that wind their way around ancient temples and pagodas. The ride is suitable for advanced beginners and above and cyclists should expect to bike on dirt road surfaces with patches of sand. The guided tour begins at 6:30 am.

Traditional Horse and Cart Ride (Advance reservations essential) Travel in time-honoured style with your own horse and buggy through Old Bagan. Your local driver will take you on a leisurely, scenic route through the heart of the archaeological zone, passing many ancient pagodas and offering plentiful photo opportunities. Please note that some buggy drivers may have limited English-speaking ability. Tour starts at 7:00 am

Village Visit and Social Contribution (English language only) Join our staff in Taung Be village to participate in one of Belmond's Social Contribution Projects. Next to the jetty is our free health clinic, established by the ship's doctor, Dr Hla Tun, where he treats hundreds of patients a week while Belmond Road to Mandalay is stationed in Bagan. Activities change depending on the current project and community needs and might include: preparing lunch for visiting patients, working in the pharmacy with the monk or helping to build a new eye clinic. The visit begins at 8:15 am.

After setting sail a leisurely day on board awaits. In the afternoon Housekeeping staff will give a demonstration of how to tie a longyi, the Myanmar sarong worn by both men and women, and how to prepare thanaka, a paste that serves as both decorative make-up and protection from the sun. Indulge in afternoon tea local-style in our "Burmese Tea Shop" and later attend a fascinating lecture on Myanmar's Past, Present and Future by one of our expert guides.

This ship anchors mid-river for the night.

Day 3: Mingun and Rural Village(B,L,D) The ship continues to sail north. Enjoy a selection of morning activities, including a sunrise yoga session, a meditation class or an enticing cookery demonstration by our Chef. Before lunch, Dr Hla Tun will give a presentation on the charitable and community activities he is involved with at villages along the river, such as school building and healthcare projects.

After lunch the ship arrives at Mingun and you disembark, by transfer boat, for an afternoon tour.

The following two options are available:

Classic Mingun Enjoy a walking tour of Mingun and visit Pahtodawgyi, an enormous unfinished pagoda that was started in the late 18th century by King Bodawpaya but never finished due to a prophecy that the king would die upon its completion. You will have the chance to ring the world's biggest uncracked bell, which weighs 90 tonnes and stands 13 feet tall. You will also see the dazzling Myatheindan (Hsinbyume) Pagoda, constructed of seven whitewashed terraces designed to symbolise sacred Mount Meru. Those who wish can climb the 88 steps to the top of the pagoda, which represents obtaining nirvana.

Village Walk (English language only) An alternative option is to visit a rural village in the middle of the river. Walk along the island's narrow dirt paths and across fields of beans, corn and millet and see villagers going about their daily lives. Visit the home of talented woodcarvers who make decorative ox carts used for ordination ceremonies and witness the production of dried lima beans, a vital ingredient in Burmese Tea Leaf Salad.

Back on board you are invited to dress in your longyi for a special cocktail party.

Belmond Road to Mandalay anchors near Mingun tonight

Day 4: Mandalay and Sailing (B,L,D) After a short sail across the river, Belmond Road To Mandalay moors at Mandalay City. Disembark for a guided tour of this fabled city including all the major sites. The tour will continue through Amarapura, ending at Shwe Kyet Yet village where Belmond Road To Mandalay is waiting for guests to enjoy lunch on board. In the afternoon, visit the Sagaing Hills, considered to be the living centre of the Buddhist faith in Burma. Sagaing is also famous for its silver and silversmiths who still work in much the same way as their ancestors did. Dinner and local entertainment on board.

Early this morning, Belmond Road to Mandalay sails to the city of Mandalay, considered the religious heart of Myanmar and the home of Burmese traditional arts. You have a choice of morning tours:

Almsgiving (English language only) Transfer to shore at 7:30 am for an opportunity to donate food to a procession of monks in accordance with the Burmese custom of almsgiving. Those joining this activity can then continue their day with either of the following two tours of Mandalay.

Highlights of Mandalay Explore some of Mandalay's great treasures with your guide, including Kuthodaw Pagoda, a UNESCO-listed site with 729 stone tablets inscribed with Buddhist scriptures, and the atmospheric Shwenandaw, an intricately-carved wooden monastery which used to be part of King Mindon's living quarters. Pass through the streets of the marble quarter where artisans sculpt Buddhas of all sizes and continue to the outdoor workshop of a family of bronze casters to observe, first hand, the creation of statuesque Buddha images and ceremonial gongs.

Mandalay Arts and Shopping (English language only) This excursion focuses on Mandalay's local arts and cottage industries. Visit the home of candy makers to see their unusual methods of pulling and stretching sweets made from molasses. Watch artisans sculpting Buddha statues in the marble quarter and browse a store showcasing high-quality crafts. Watch skilled artisans carving intricate wood panels typically used for monasteries and weaving tapestries with semi-precious stones, and visit the outdoor workshop of a family of bronze casters. Finally, observe silk weavers at their looms, creating textiles with traditional ethnic patterns. This is a great place to purchase famous Amarapura silks.

Returning to the ship for lunch.

In the afternoon, disembark for an excursion to discover the hills of Sagaing, the spiritual centre of Myanmar, which is home to hundreds of monasteries, nunneries and Buddhist learning centres. Enjoy expansive views of the Ayeyarwady River from the Soon U Ponya Shin Pagoda and visit a Buddhist nunnery to learn about the monastic way of life. End the day at the magnificent 200-yearold U Bein Bridge, one of Myanmar's most photographed sites.

Tonight enjoy a farewell dinner and evening of traditional entertainment.

Day 5: Mandalay > Yangon(B) After an early breakfast, transfer to Mandalay airport for your return flight to Yangon.

Myin Mu Itinerary - Low Water Levels

Day 1: Yangon > Bagan (L,D) Morning domestic flight from Yangon to Bagan. Your guides will meet you at the airport, from where you will visit the bustling morning market at Nyaung U. Explore the narrow lanes and admire stalls piled high with exotic fruits and vegetables and typical Myanmar products such as betel leaf, thanaka wood, cheroot cigars, water pots, and tea leaves. Continue to a small temple complex near Minnanthu to see series of temples that are off the beaten path. One temple displays richly coloured murals dating from AD 1225. You will also visit Thitsawaddy, a temple that provides a panoramic view over the plains of Bagan. Boarding your boat at 11:00 am.

After lunch on board, disembark around 3:00 pm for an afternoon excursion visiting one of the most significant pagodas of Bagan, Ananda Temple. This architectural masterpiece was built in AD 1090 and contains four gilded Buddha statues, each standing 30ft tall. Your Belmond experience also takes you to a small temple that will be opened just for us, where you can discover the murals of the interiors by torchlight. A short walk takes us to a stunning view of Thatbynnyu, one of Bagan's tallest pagodas that dates back to the 12th century. You will also visit a workshop to observe Bagan's famous lacquerware being crafted. Marvel at the exquisite patience and skill required to produce these finely detailed, handmade pieces, many of which take several months to complete.

As daylight starts to fade you gather to watch the sunset over plains peppered with hundreds of ancient pagodas. You then proceed to a small temple close to the jetty to participate in an exclusive Belmond experience - a magical candle-lighting ceremony.

Belmond Road to Mandalay anchors at Bagan this evening.

Day 2: Bagan and sailing (B,L,D) After breakfast this morning, choose from a number of tour options before the ship sets sail at 9:30 am.

Sunrise Hot-Air Balloon Ride (Available October-March. Advance reservations essential. Surcharge applies - pay direct) Experience one of the most magical highlights of Bagan, a hot-air balloon ride as dawn breaks over the ancient pagodas. Departing at 5:00 am and returning to the ship at 8:30 am.

Pagodas in the Morning Enjoy an early-morning walking tour with your guide. Visit a small temple surrounded by fields where farmers can often be seen nurturing crops such as peanut, sesame and beans. Then explore the famous pagoda Sulamani ("crowning jewel"), with its impressive brick and ornamental work and murals dating from the 12th to 18th centuries. Tour begins at 7:00 am.

Bagan by Bicycle (Limited space. Advance reservations essential. English-language tour only) Set off on an independent mountain bike adventure (a map will be provided), or opt to join our staff on a guided ride through Old Bagan. Pedal along small paths and roads that wind their way around ancient temples and pagodas. The ride is suitable for advanced beginners and above and cyclists should expect to bike on dirt road surfaces with patches of sand. The guided tour begins at 6:30 am.

Traditional Horse and Cart Ride (Advance reservations essential) Travel in time-honoured style with your own horse and buggy through Old Bagan. Your local driver will take you on a leisurely, scenic route through the heart of the archaeological zone, passing many ancient pagodas and offering plentiful photo opportunities. Please note that some buggy drivers may have limited English-speaking ability. Tour starts at 7:00 am.

Village Visit and Social Contribution (English language only) Join our staff in Taung Be village to participate in one of Belmond's Social Contribution Projects. Next to the jetty is our free health clinic, established by the ship's doctor, Dr Hla Tun, where he treats hundreds of patients a week while Belmond Road to Mandalay is stationed in Bagan. Activities change depending on the current project and community needs and might include: preparing lunch for visiting patients, working in the pharmacy with the monk or helping to build a new eye clinic. The visit begins at 8:15 am.

After setting sail a leisurely day on board awaits. In the afternoon Housekeeping staff will give a demonstration of how to tie a longyi, the Myanmar sarong worn by both men and women, and how to prepare thanaka, a paste that serves as both decorative make-up and protection from the sun. Indulge in afternoon tea local-style in our "Burmese Tea Shop" and later attend a fascinating lecture on Myanmar's Past, Present and Future by one of our expert guides.

This evening, you are invited to wear your new longyi at a Longyi Cocktail party before dinner. After dinner visit the Observation Deck for an unforgettable surprise on the river (weather permitting).

This ship anchors mid-river for the night.

Day 3: Myin Mu and Alacapa villages After a short sail this morning, Belmond Road to Mandalay arrives at Myin Mu, the northern most point for cruising during your journey. During the early months of the year, the water levels of the Ayeyarwady River typically drop for a period of a few weeks to a few months, creating a narrower channel for navigation near Mandalay. During this time, Belmond Road to Mandalay moors at Myin Mu, a typical riverside town 30 miles south of Mandalay, instead of at our jetty near the city. This mooring location gives our guests a unique opportunity to experience some beautiful rural areas and less-visited sites in the countryside.

Our experience is that many people consider seeing the natural life of Myanmar and contact with the local people to be the highlight of their stay. Myin Mu is a small town on the shore beside our mooring place with about 30-40,000 people. This morning, join our guides to explore Myin Mu.

Board tri-shaws for a ride around the town, which will include a visit to the local market to experience the bustling activity around the market and teashops, and a scenic tour along the Strand Road. As in all small Burmese towns, the cool of the morning is a time for much activity and our mooring place gives you a chance to experience the daily life of the Burmese people. For those who wish to be active, you can pedal your own tri-shaw and take the driver on a tour of the town! You will also learn about some of the typical cottage industries of the area with a visit to a 'Burmese Slipper' manufacturing workshop and the home of a family of bamboo weavers to see how bamboo houses are constructed. Return to the ship for lunch.

This afternoon, return to shore to discover another local village in the area. Drive to the picturesque farming village of Alacapa where you are free to walk through the town and experience the warm friendliness of the people, and have a glimpse into a life-style unchanged for centuries. Farmers here grow a variety of crops from corn, sesame, chili peppers, fava beans and onions and other villagers specialize in the production of pottery, making cooking pots and small oil lamp bowls used pagoda offerings. Visit a compound of homes that typically houses multiple generations of the family.

Tonight, there will be an evening of traditional entertainment after dinner on board.

The ship anchors at Myin Mu for the night.

Day 4: Mandalay or Monywa Today, guests have the choice of two full-day excursions that explore the rich cultural heritage of the surrounding region.

Full-day Excursion to Mandalay City, Amarapura & Sagaing: Disembark with your guide and together you will go to the city centre of Mandalay (approximately 2 hours from Myin Mu overland). Explore some of the city's great treasures with your guide, including Kuthodaw Pagoda, a UNESCO-listed site with 729 stone tablets inscribed with Buddhist scriptures, and the atmospheric Shwenandaw, an intricately-carved wooden monastery which used to be part of King Mindon's living quarters. Lunch will be at Bistro 82 in the heart of the city.

Discover some of the Burmese Traditional Arts for which the city of Mandalay is famous. Pass through the streets of the marble quarter where artisans sculpt Buddhas of all sizes, and visit the outdoor workshop of a family of bronze casters to observe, first hand, the creation of statuesque Buddha images and ceremonial gongs.

As you journey back to Myin Mu, stop at the ancient capital of Amarapura where you will visit the famous U Bein Bridge, one of Myanmar's most photographed sites. Also visit the Sagaing Hills, the spiritual centre of Myanmar and home to hundreds of pagodas and numerous monasteries, nunneries and Buddhist learning centres. You will visit one of these nunneries and enjoy the panoramic views from the high vantage point of the Soon U Ponya Shin Pagoda. The drive from Sagaing to Myin Mu is approximately 1.5 hours and your arrival on board Belmond Road to Mandalay is expected to be around 6:00 pm

Full-day Excursion to Monywa: (English language only, must be requested on board at least one day in advance) As an alternative today, opt for an excursion to Monywa. Situated on the Chindwin River around 1.5 hours west of Myin Mu, Monywa is an off the beaten path destination that is less frequented by tourists. Explore some of the fascinating highlights of this remote area including a visit to the world's tallest Standing Buddha and the accompanying giant Reclining Buddha. Standing some 424 feet high, this standing figure dominates the landscape for miles around, gazing serenely over the toddy-palm trees. Surrounding these enormous statues is an outdoor garden filled with rows of 1,000 meditating Buddha statues, each under their own umbrella and Bodhi tree. You will then continue on to the brightly-coloured Than Buddhay Temple. While the exterior of this pagoda is one of the most vibrant and decorative in Myanmar, it has a cathedral-like quiet on the inside where around half a million Buddha images gaze out from their niches in the walls. Also visit a small Thanaka market in Monywa, where vendors sell the wood and grinding stones used for making Thanaka paste, a popular natural cosmetic worn by many women and children. After lunch at a local restaurant, return to the ship in the late afternoon and enjoy some at leisure at the pool and spa.

Tonight, enjoy a Farewell Dinner

The ship anchors mid-river at Myin Mu.

Day 5: Depart Myin Mu An early-bird breakfast is served before you disembark and transfer to the airport for your return flight to Yangon.

Please note The rivers of Myanmar vary from season to season, with as much as a 30ft variance in water level. From January through June, the Ayeyarwady's levels may drop for a few weeks to a few months, creating a narrower channel for navigation. To allow for these changes, Belmond Road to Mandalay may operate a revised itinerary and mooring locations may be amended.

Cabins: The accommodation in this graceful river cruiser seamlessly blends tradition comfort with complete luxury. Cabins are spacious, air conditioned and furnished with bright, airy fabrics.

Superior Cabin: These cabins offer all the comfort needed to fully enjoy the Irrawaddy River cruise. As all our cabins on board they are all external and display a large window to admire the on going scenery when cruising.

Deluxe Cabins: These sixteen cabins have been fully designed and created to optimize space and views through three windows.

State Cabins: Their comfort will suit all our guests' requirements, and include twin/double beds, dressing table, armchair and wardrobe space.

Governor's Suite: The Governor's Suite space and views enchant your discovery of this magical land.

Single Cabins: Their size is similar to the superior but feature a single bed to optimize space and comfort and are supplied with all private facilities.

• Buffet breakfast and lunch, and table d'hote dinner - both eastern and western choices available • Complimentary soft drinks, mineral water, local beer and free flow house wine (local and international) with lunch and dinner • Internal flights within Myanmar included between Yangon and ship, as per itinerary • Fully-qualified resident doctor • All sightseeing, as per itinerary

Pricing (per person) $USD

Type TWIN SINGLE

2017

Superior Cabin

Deluxe Cabin

State Cabin

Governor's Suite

Single Superior Cabin

-

$2,820

$3,880

$4,920

$7,650

-

-

-

-

-

-

$2,820

Departs

2017
Jan 7, 14, 21(L), 28(L)
Feb 4(L), 11(L), 18(L), 25(L)
Mar 4(L), 11(L)
Sep 16, 23, 30
Oct 7, 14, 21
Nov 4, 11, 18, 25
Dec 16, 23, 30

L = Myin Mu - Low Water Levels

Booking conditions

• Prices are per person in US Dollars • Please contact World Journeys for the updated USD exchange rate

Please refer to World Journeys terms & conditions.

Not included

• Myanmar Visa