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Mandalay to Bagan Expedition River Cruise

8 Days
Prices From:
US$ 1,535

Enjoy a cruise aboard the traditionally styled ship, the Orient Pandaw visiting sights and sites around Mandalay and vicinity before heading south to Bagan, home to more than 3000 Buddhist temples. This cruise gives a wonderful glimpse into both well known and lesser known places.

  • See sidebar for general information on Pandaw Cruises

Start your one week cruise along the Irrawaddy River in Mandalay in the heartland of Myanmar. After joining your cruise ship, the Orient Pandaw, enjoy a tour of Mandalay visiting the Golden Palace Monastery, the opulent Mahamuni Pagoda. Mandalay Hill with its magnificent views of the city and some craft centres. The Orient Pandaw was built in 2008 and the design is very typically Vietnamese. It holds a maximum of 60 passengers.

The next morning, set sail for Mingun known for its ancient pagoda with the Mingun Bell, said to be the largest working bell in the world. Weighing 90 metric tons, the Mingun Bell was cast in bronze in 1808. A stop here also includes the Mingun Old People’s Home established in the 1930’s. Overnight in Mingun.

Sail on to the small village of Nyein, famous for its potteries. Later, the ship sails north all day and enters the Third Defile - a narrow pass or gorge between mountains or hills – stopping at Khan-nvat village with its many Buddhist monasteries and an orphanage.

The following day reach Sagaing, known as a centre for meditation. More than 5000 monks and nuns come from allover the country to live here. The pagodas and monasteries crowd the numerous hills along a ridge running parallel to the river. Next is a stop at Ava, an ancient Imperial capital of successive Burmese kingdoms from the 14th to 19th centuries. It was completely destroyed by a series of major earthquakes in 1839. Here visit the Bagaya Kyaung, a 200 year old royal monastery made of teak with elaborate wood carvings. Later, visit the ancient city of Ava bridge, the world's longest teak wood bridge, beautiful at sunset.

The next day brings you to Yandabo known for its terra cotta pottery. It also has a historical significance as it was the place where the Burmese and British kings signed their peace treaty after the first Anglo-Burmese war. Sail later to Pakokku for overnight.

After exploring the market here, travel by coach to Bagan, the ancient city which is one of the richest archaeological sites in Asia. It has to the largest and densest concentration of Buddhist temples, pagodas, stupas, and ruins in the world. Today, explore some of the 3000 temples. Then return to the ship which will stay overnight in Bagan.

The next day is a full day devoted to visiting some of the more popular temples before watching the sun set over drinks on the sun deck bar. One more overnight in Bagan before disembarking at the end of your river cruise.


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8 Days
Prices From:
US$ 1,535

Itinerary View Trip Map

Day 1


Transfer from Mandalay Airport (or your Mandalay hotel) to the ship, and enjoy a welcome lunch. In the afternoon, venture into central Mandalay to visit the Golden Palace Monastery, Mahamuni Pagoda, craft workshops and market areas.

Meal Plan Lunch and Dinner
Duration7 Nights
Day 2


Set sail early this morning and arrive into Mingun, known for its large unfinished pagoda as well as the world's largest un-cracked working bell. Visit the Mingun Old Persons' Home, originally established with the assistance of the Irrawaddy Flotilla Company in the 1930s.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 3

New Nyein

Cruise upriver to Nwe Nyein, and admire the beautiful pottery made in this small village. Later, stop at Khan Nyat, home to many Buddhist monasteries, and visit a local orphanage. Afterwards, continue downstream towards Sagaing Pier.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 4

Sagaing Hills - Ava

Sagaing Hills is known as a centre of meditation within Myanmar, and over 5,000 monks and nuns come from all over the country to live here. Not only will you get a glimpse of the life of these monks, you'll also visit silversmiths at work in small studios. Continue on to Ava, situated at the confluence of the Irrawaddy and Myitnge rivers. Ava is home to Bagaya Kyaung, a 200-year-old royal monastery made of teak, with elaborate wood carvings. Later in the afternoon, visit the ancient city of Innwa, then admire the U Bein bridge at sunset, the longest teak-wood bridge in the world.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 5


Yandabo is where Burmese and British kings signed their peace treaty after the first Anglo-Burmese war. Besides this historical significance, the town is also known for its terracotta pottery. The afternoon will again be spent sailing and enjoying more culinary lessons before docking in Pakokku for the night.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 6

Pakokku - Bagan

Explore Pakokku's colourful local market and town centre by tuk-tuk this morning, then travel by coach to Bagan. Dotted with thousands of temples, Bagan is one of the richest archaeological sites in the world, and undoubtedly the highlight of a journey through Myanmar. Visit some of Bagan's temples before returning to the boat for a traditional Burmese puppet show.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 7


Spend a full day visiting Bagan's incomparably beautiful temples. Bagan is also home to a thriving tradition of lacquerware making, and you will have the chance to visit a workshop. Later, enjoy the display of colours against the temples as you enjoy the sunset from the ship.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 8

Depart Bagan

After breakfast, transfer to the Bagan Airport or a Bagan hotel for your onward arrangements.

Meal Plan Breakfast

Other Information



2017: Oct 7, 14, 21, 28; Nov 4, 11, 18, 25; Dec 2, 30.

2018: Jan 6, 13, 20, 27; Feb 3, 10, 17, 24; Mar 3, 10, 24.  


2017: Oct 7, 14, 21, 28; Nov 4, 11, 18, 25; Dec 23, 30.

2018: Jan 6, 13, 20, 27; Feb 3, 10, 17, 24; Mar 3, 10, 17, 31.


  • 7 nights’ accommodation on board ship
  • Arrival and departure transfers to/from ship
  • Guided touring and entrance fees as per itinerary
  • Gratuities to crew
  • Meals as specified
  • Locally-made soft drinks, local beer and local spirits
  • Jugged coffee and a selection of teas and tisanes
  • Mineral water


  • Travel insurance
  • International and domestic airfare & airfare taxes
  • Visa fees if applicable
  • Meals and beverages not specifically indicated
  • Optional excursions
  • Items of a personal nature
  • All other gratuities
  • Port dues (if levied)
  • Fuel surcharges


SHIPS: Please note that a combination of ships are used on this route, depending on departure date (RV Orient Pandaw, RV Kalaw Pandaw, RV Kha Byoo).


Prices are "from", per person, based on twin/double share accommodation and for travel in low season. Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates will apply, Limited seats/spaces and all pricing is subject to change and availability. Rates for single or triple travellers are available on request -- please inquire.

24 Mar 2018
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