CRUISETOUR

Golden Myanmar and The Alluring Irrawaddy With Bangkok – Southbound (17 Days)

Cruise Line: Avalon Waterways
Ship: Avalon Myanmar  |  1 Review
Bangkok, Thailand to Yangon, Myanmar
DAY
PORT
Tour Segment  Cruise Segment
ARRIVE DEPART
DAY 1
Bangkok, Thailand

Welcome to Bangkok! Hotel rooms are available for mid-afternoon check-in.

DAY 2
Bangkok, Thailand

This morning your sightseeing begins with a boat ride through the klongs, Bangkok's canals, to see family homes, temples, and the way of life that give this city the nickname "Venice of the East". Stop at the stunning Grand Palace, featuring the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. Also visit the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, the oldest and largest Buddhist temple in Bangkok. It houses more than 1,000 Buddha images, including the 49-foot-high and 151-foot-long massive Reclining Buddha. The remainder of the day is at your leisure. (B, L)

DAY 3
Bangkok, Thailand

Enjoy a full day at your leisure. (Breakfast)

DAY 4
Bangkok, Thailand
Air travel
Yangon, Myanmar

Today, fly to Yangon. (Breakfast)

DAY 5
Yangon, Myanmar

This morning, take a walking tour of the city's famous and historic landmarks, including the High Court, City Hall, Central Railway Station, and Sule Pagoda, built during the time of Buddha. Stop along the way at a local tea shop for a cup of tea/coffee with the locals. After lunch, visit Chaukhtatgyi to see the massive reclining Buddha measuring in at 213 feet. Afterward, continue to Shwedagon Pagoda, the most important religious site in the country and a national symbol. Here, a truly enchanting scene unfolds as the sun sets on the golden stupa and locals come to pay their respects. Tonight, your welcome dinner is in one of Yangon's best restaurants. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 6
Yangon, Myanmar
Air travel
Bhamo, Myanmar
Second Defile, Myanmar

This morning, transfer to the airport for your flight to Bhamo. Upon arrival, explore Bhamo by local trishaw and by foot, then transfer to the port and board the Avalon Myanmar to begin your cruise on the Irrawaddy. This afternoon, get acquainted with the ship and sail through the dramatic Second Defile with its magnificent cliffs reaching down the narrow channel. Join a welcome reception this evening prior to dinner. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 7
Kyun Daw, Myanmar

This morning, visit the fascinating island village of Kyun Daw, where over 7,000 stupas surround the monastery. Take a walking tour for memorable encounters with the villagers. Visit a fisherman's home to learn more about daily life here and a school to interact with the children. You will also visit a nunnery to present the nuns with food purchased the day before at the market in Bhamo. Unlike monks, they have to collect and cook their own food. As you sail south this afternoon, with some luck, you may catch a glimpse of the rare Irrawaddy dolphin with its distinctive round forehead. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 8
Katha, Myanmar
Htigyaing, Myanmar

This morning, visit a local market, where you will see the locals buying and selling fish, meat, produce, and more. Then, journey a short distance outside the city to an elephant camp in the teak forest. Skilled mahouts will show you how they have worked with elephants for centuries, and you will have the opportunity to ride an elephant through the forest. Sail to the small village of Tigyaing for an afternoon walking tour through its narrow lanes and to visit the pagoda and reclining Buddha on a hilltop with stunning views. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 9
Kya Hnyat, Myanmar

This morning, visit the village of Kya Hnyat with its many Buddhist monasteries. Here you will interact with the monks at a local monastery. Each morning they don their distinctive saffron-colored robes and walk through the streets to collect alms, offerings of food, like cooked rice and curry. This is a truly memorable experience as you present alms to the monks and witness their lunch ritual. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 10
Kyaukmyaung, Myanmar

Today, take a walking tour through the captivating pottery-making village of Kyauk Myaung. Here you will learn more about the pot-making process and see how they are formed, fired, and glazed. Most interesting is the eye-catching 50-gallon variety, often referred to as Martaban or Ali Baba jars in colonial times. These pots could transport large quantities of liquor, fish sauce, peanut oil, and more, and have played an important part of maritime trade throughout Asia for centuries. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 11
Mingun, Myanmar
Mandalay, Myanmar
U Bein Bridge, Myanmar
Mandalay, Myanmar

This morning, take a walking tour through the village of Mingun to see its bronze bell, considered the largest working bell in the world. You will also stop at the famous unfinished pagoda, where construction was abandoned at 160 feet, only a third of the planned height. Afterward, sail a short distance to Mandalay. Visit nearby Amarapura, former capital of Myanmar, later in the afternoon. Your visit focuses on the famous U Bein Bridge, a three-quarter-mile-long bridge built in 1783 from reclaimed teakwood from the old royal palace in Inwa. The bridge is still a cornerstone of the community as locals and monks use it daily to cross Taungthaman Lake while fishermen and farmers go about their daily work below. Take a sampan ride on the lake for memorable views of the sunset behind the iconic bridge. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 12
Mandalay, Myanmar

After breakfast, visit a tapestry and woodcarving workshop to learn more about these cottage industries and see the skilled artisans at work. Then, stop at stop at a gold leaf workshop to see how it is made. Lastly, visit Mahamuni Pagoda, the most revered shrine in Mandalay, to see its impressive gold-leaf Buddha. Due to the continual application of gold leaves, officials estimate the gold is approximately six inches thick. This afternoon, visit Kuthodaw Pagoda and Shwenandaw Monastery, the only remnant of former King Mindon's "Golden City" to survive the bombing of World War II. Originally the king's living quarters, the building was moved after his death to its current location and converted into a monastery. Today, the original gilding has faded, but the intricate wood carvings endure, giving you a sense of how extravagant the original teak palace complex was. This evening, enjoy a traditional dance performance featuring local song and dance. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 13
Sagaing, Myanmar

Today, visit Sagaing, an important religious site with countless pagodas dotting the surrounding hillsides. Here, stop to see Kaunghmudaw Pagoda with its golden egg-shaped dome—unique among more traditional pagodas in Myanmar. Next, on to a silversmith workshop to learn how the local artisans turn silver into beautiful works of art. Lastly, explore Soon U Ponya Shin Pagoda at the top of Sagaing Hill for stunning views of the Irrawaddy and across to Mandalay. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 14
Shwe Pyi Thar, Myanmar

Relax this morning and take in the sights from one of the ship's lounges or your suite. This afternoon, take a walking tour through Shwe Pyi Thar, a typical village along the Irrawaddy. Here you will visit a local farmer's home to learn more about daily life here and see the locals making palm candy, a sweet and smoky candy, from the sap of the toddy palm. To harvest the sap, a climber scales the toddy palm and hangs an earthen pot under a slit he cuts in the tree. The sap is then cooked in an iron pan over an open wood fire until it thickens and can be formed into small pieces by hand. After dinner, a traditional puppet show will be presented in one of the lounges. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 15
Bagan, Myanmar

Today, explore Bagan, capital of Myanmar from the 9th to the 13th centuries. It is estimated that during this time over 13,000 temples, monasteries, and pagodas were built in the plains surrounding the city—an area of about 40 square miles. Many of these structures have been lost over time, but around 2,300 still stand today, making this one of the world's greatest archaeological sites. Early risers can visit one of the temples with a local guide to witness sunrise. After breakfast, your morning excursion starts with a visit to a local market selling handicrafts, fabrics, and longyis—a versatile sheet of cloth worn around the waist by most local men and women. Then, stop at the ornate Shwezigon Pagoda, one of the country's most important shrines. You will also visit a lacquer workshop to learn more about this ancient craft. After lunch, your sightseeing centers on the Bagan Archaeological Zone. Highlights include Ananda, considered by many to be the most beautiful temple, and Dhammayangyi, the best preserved monument left standing. Also stop to see the exquisite and well preserved fresco paintings at Upali Thein and Sulamani Temples. Your day ends with an ox cart ride to a temple, where you will ascend to the top as the sun sets. Tonight, join your cruise director and ship's crew for a farewell reception and special farewell dinner. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 16
Bagan, Myanmar
Air travel
Yangon, Myanmar

After breakfast, disembark the ship and transfer to the airport for your flight to Yangon. The remainder of the day is at your leisure. (Breakfast)

DAY 17
Yangon, Myanmar

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (Breakfast)

Golden Myanmar and The Alluring Irrawaddy With Bangkok – Southbound map

What's Included

Included

  • Services of a professional Cruise Director | Onboard lectures | Complimentary Wi-Fi access | Activities & Nightly piano music | Sightseeing with Local Guides | Headsets for all guided shore excursions | Superb dining with all meals on board daily featuring full breakfast, lunch, and dinner, including a welcome reception, Captain’s reception, and farewell dinner | Quality wines from Europe’s most famous wine regions with every dinner | One sitting with open seating arrangements

Not Included

  • Airfare | Gratuities | Any items of a personal nature | Anything not specifically noted as included

About Us

When designing its new ships, Avalon Waterways started with the traveler instead of the ship. This is a river cruise company that invites innovation, imagination and a relentless desire to create a smart use of space be its guide. The result? More space. Bigger views. More comfort … All thanks to one-of-a-kind Panorama SuitesSM on the industry’s only Suite Ships®. The Suite Ships of Avalon are revolutionizing the river cruise industry. For instance, on these signature vessels, Avalon brings an unprecedented level of thoughtfulness and attention to detail to every aspect of the Panorama Suites, providing travelers an oasis to escape to, not escape from. Even better? Avalon doesn’t offer travelers just a few Panorama Suites on each ship. Instead, 80 percent of the guest rooms on Suite Ships are Panorama Suite (they’re 30 percent larger than the average river cruise room). In designing its ships, Avalon has refused to see space as a barrier. That fact couldn’t be truer when looking at the company’s inspired indoor/outdoor space. For instance, Avalon’s Open-Air Balconies®, a completely new concept, make full use of the intended balcony experience – in any weather condition, in any season – without compromising room space. How? Giant wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling windows with a 7-foot opening. Avalon has considered every detail of the cruise experience. But perhaps it’s what the company hasn’t done that makes it so unique. It hasn’t filled ships to capacity with people. In fact, because the river cruise line made its rooms so spacious, there’s more room for less people. Simply put, Avalon Waterways is built differently

Insider Tip

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Terms & Conditions

Cruise-only fares are per person, based on double occupancy in US dollars, unless otherwise noted. Pricing and itinerary are subject to change without notice. Restrictions may apply.

Cruise-only fares are per person, based on double occupancy in US dollars, unless otherwise noted. Pricing and itinerary are subject to change without notice. Restrictions may apply.

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