Burma and the Gorges of the Bhamo (16 days)

Day 1

Mandalay , Myanmar

Day 2

Mandalay, Myanmar→Sagaing, Myanmar

Day 3

Mandalay , Myanmar

Day 4

Nwe Nyein , Myanmar

Day 5

Tagaung, Myanmar

Day 6

Katha , Myanmar→Shwe Gu , Myanmar

Day 7

Irrawaddy River, Myanmar

Day 8

Bhamo, Myanmar→Moeda , Myanmar

Day 9

Kyar Nyat, Myanmar

Day 10

Sin Kyun , Myanmar

Day 11

Sagaing, Myanmar

Day 13

Bagan, Myanmar

Day 14

Bagan, Myanmar→ Yangon, Myanmar


Day 1
21 Aug 2018
Mandalay , Myanmar
Rupar Mandalar Resort Dinner

This evening, visit the Shwekyin Kyaung Monastery

and observe the novice monks. Renowned for their

remarkable discipline, the monks here attend to the

finest details including the symmetrical stacking of

sandals before prayer. The auspicious nature of this

monastery is brought to light as we receive an authentic

blessing for prosperity and spiritual security in the face

of our journey.

We linger a while upon the evening. A special Welcome

Dinner and puppet show at the Mya Nanda Restaurant

awaits before we rest at the Rupar Mandalar Resort.

Day 2
22 Aug 2018
Mandalay, Myanmar
Sagaing, Myanmar
Rupar Mandalar Resort Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Embark on an exploration of Sagaing. Emerald hills

topped with silver and gold pagodas, Sagaing is home

to Buddhist monasteries, nunneries and a monastic hospital.

Observe the hallowed skyline from Soon Oo Ponya Shin

Pagoda on Sagaing Hill.

The Shwenandaw Monastery is the last building remaining

of what was once the Mandalay Palace. Upon returning

to Mandalay, examine its intricately carved panels that

depict Jataka tales – stories concerning the previous

incarnations of Buddha. After visiting Kuthodaw Pagoda,

we enjoy sunset from a prime vantage point. On board

a local boat, become familiar with the frills of cruising as

glasses are raised in celebration.

Day 3
23 Aug 2018
Mandalay , Myanmar
Sanctuary Ananda Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Board the Sanctuary Ananda this morning. While most

river ships head south, our captain will point the bow

in a northerly direction. We spend the day acquainting

ourselves with life on the Irrawaddy. Later, there will be

a reception of drinks and canapes followed by a lavish

Welcome Dinner on board.

Day 4
24 Aug 2018
Nwe Nyein , Myanmar
Sanctuary Ananda Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

In the charming pottery village of Nwe Nyein, watch

craftsmen create beautiful pots as they work potters’

wheels with their legs. Back on board, we learn about

Burmese traditions such as sarong tying and make-up

techniques. The remainder of the day is spent travelling

through soul-stirring riverscapes to Kyar Nyat, where the

Sanctuary Ananda will dock for the night.

Day 5
25 Aug 2018
Tagaung, Myanmar
Sanctuary Ananda Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Arriving in the ancient walled town of Tagaung, fascinating

archaeological sites dating back to the Pyu Dynasty await

our discovery. We continue our voyage upriver toward

the town of Katha, aiming for an early morning arrival.

An evening lecture, held on board, on Myanmar’s history

is sure to be an enlightening affair.

Day 6
26 Aug 2018
Katha , Myanmar
Shwe Gu , Myanmar
Sanctuary Ananda Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

The languid current guiding our path, a morning meditation

session is held on the Sun Deck. At the same time,

intricacies of Burmese cuisine are enlightened by our chef.

In Katha, tuk tuks ferry us to the colonial splendour

of the former British Club, which was used as a literary

retreat by George Orwell when writing Burmese Days.

Day 7
27 Aug 2018
Irrawaddy River, Myanmar
Sanctuary Ananda Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Easing into a day on board, we cruise to the most northern

navigable point of the river for a ship of this size, setting

our sights on Bhamo. We are deep in the tropics when

we pass the famous Parrot’s Head statue. It is said that

if the beak of this bird-shaped rocky outcrop is touching

the water, the river is too high to navigate. Before delving

into dinner, enjoy a traditional Kachin dance performance.

Day 8
28 Aug 2018
Bhamo, Myanmar
Moeda , Myanmar
Sanctuary Ananda Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

In the bustling market town of Bhamo, we explore

the Shwe Kyi Na pagoda and historic Catholic churches.

Turning the Sanctuary Ananda back, and cruising in a

southerly direction now, we see the peculiar practice of

pachyderms and people working together harmoniously

at an elephant logging camp in the village of Moeda.

Day 9
29 Aug 2018
Kyar Nyat, Myanmar
Sanctuary Ananda Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Though standing on your private balcony is an ideal way

to take in the ever-changing river scenes, perhaps you’d

like to make the experience even more otherworldly

with a morning meditation session on the Sun Deck.

We revisit the small village of Kyar Nyat, alighting in the

afternoon. Teased by exotic scents that waft from nearby

food stalls, village life continues to its own rhythm.

Day 10
30 Aug 2018
Sin Kyun , Myanmar
Sanctuary Ananda Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

It’s an honour to pass time with the humble villagers

of Sink Kyun, predominantly farmers and hatmakers. The

village of around 1,000 people has received philanthropic

help from the guests of Sanctuary Ananda, which includes

a library and a house for an English teacher. Our arrival

is welcomed, therefore, with much delight.

Day 11
31 Aug 2018
Sagaing, Myanmar
Sanctuary Ananda Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

We cruise by the monumental temple of Mingun, followed

by an afternoon visit to Amarapura, or the City of Immortals,

where we are serenaded by the clickety clack of weavers’

looms at a textile workshop. Over the darkening U Bein

Bridge, the longest teak bridge in the world, we bear

witness to a spectacular sunset.

A marionette show plays out on board tonight allowing

us great insight into the Myanmar of the 18th century.

Day 12
01 Sep 2018
Yandabo, Myanmar
Sanctuary Ananda Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

As we close in on Bagan, riverside monuments become

increasingly grander. We see Mahamuni Pagoda and

Shwenandaw Monastery, where hundreds of age-old

marble slabs inscribed with Buddhist texts comprise what

some historians consider the biggest book in the world.

Day 13
02 Sep 2018
Bagan, Myanmar
Sanctuary Ananda Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Arriving in Bagan, we visit the Nyaung U market and

the great golden Shwezigon Pagoda. At the 1091-built

Ananda Temple, we find ourselves astounded by legend

that tells the story of a king, so enthralled by the original

structure, that he executed the architects after its inception.

The day’s finale is a quiet moment on the terraces of the

Pyathatgyi Temple, awash in a sunset glow.

Day 14
03 Sep 2018
Bagan, Myanmar
Yangon, Myanmar
Governor's Residence Hotel Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Bidding farewell to the cheerful crew of the Sanctuary

Ananda in Bagan, we board a morning flight to Yangon,

where the Governor’s Residence Hotel awaits. Spend the

afternoon on your own personal schedule, delving into

the city’s striking cultural scene.

Day 15
04 Sep 2018
Yangon, Myanmar
Governor's Residence Hotel Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today is set aside for an epic immersion into discovery.

Seldom visited by travellers, the Kalaywa Tawya Monastery

offers us a glimpse into the daily details of novice monks,

our visit coinciding as it does with the monks’ meal time.

Within the Reclining Buddha Pagoda, we cast our eyes

over an enclosure devoted to the study of Buddhist

manuscripts as well as a collection of effigies. The glittering

domes of the Shwedagon Pagoda round off our sightseeing,

before we prepare for a four-course Farewell Dinner at

Le Planteur restaurant.

Day 16
05 Sep 2018
Yangon, Myanmar
None Breakfast, Lunch

Spend the day at the National Museum and investigate

the Musmeah Yeshua, the city’s last remaining synagogue.

Of course, you may otherwise prefer to wander at leisure.

Afterwards, we visit Bogyoke Aung San Market which

houses standard household goods as well as antique

heirlooms and produce that, while exotic to us, is

common fare for locals.

Later this afternoon, transfer to Yangon Airport.

Tour Features


  • Cruises & Water Tours
  • Culture, History & Arts
  • Food & Wine
  • Sightseeing
  • Wildlife & Nature


The rarely navigated reaches of the Upper Irrawaddy River are flanked by steep gorge walls with echo-chamber acoustics, amplifying each screech and squawk from the treetops above. Deep in remote central Myanmar, riverside villages are unmoved by the chatter of the outside world, and buffered by tropical forests that appear untouched but for the occasional pagoda. Welcome aboard our privately chartered ship, Sanctuary Ananda. With only 36 travellers on board, we chart a course across sites rarely glimpsed by the western world.

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