11-Day Pandaw Cruise (Bagan and The Upper Irrawaddy-Downstream) – Group Discovery

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Tour type

Tour Level: Relaxed / Easy

Tour Comfort: Superior

Tour Period: 11 Days

tour highlights

  • 10 Nights river cruise along the Ayeyarwaddy River from Mandalay, Katha to Bagan
  • Exploring the famous pottery village Yandabo where you will learn traditional pottery making
  • Sightseeing in the old cities of Ava and Amarapura
  • Visit to the villages in the remote areas and observe their rural ways of life
  • Get inspired in the colonial town Katha, setting of George Orwell's Burmese Days
  • Admire the beauty of breathtaking river scenery passing through the second Defile
  • Sightseeing in Mingun with its the largest working bell and the unfinished giant pagoda
  • Luxurious atmosphere on the deck of one of Pandaw cruise

tour details

This 10-night cruise journey features exploration of the magnificent temples of Bagan, the highlights of Mandalay and the scenic and remote Upper Ayeyarwaddy. Starting from Mandalay, cruise all the way down to the former ancient capital of Bagan, boasting the unique culture and century-old heritage. On your way, seize the opportunity to visit and explore the rural village where you will learn about the ways of life and their traditional cottage industries. Not to miss Katha, once home to George Orwell and the setting for Burmese days. Other highlights will be passage through the 2nd defile and visit to the stunning sites in Ava and Mingun in upper Myanmar.

Join In tour with departures as per schedule.

Check-in on board at Lay Kyun Man Aung Jetty by 11:30 hours. Start your Mandalay tour with a visit to the Mahamuni Pagoda with one of the country's most venerated Buddha images. Continue to a gold leaf and tapestry workshop and walk along the marble and stone carver's street. Visit a silk and cotton weaving workshop. Travel by bus to the famous U Bein Bridge, built in 1784. It is about 1.2 km long and is said to be the world's longest teak wood bridge. With a small boat, sail over the Taungthaman Lake and enjoy the fascinating sunset.
Overnight on board
Enjoy your morning with delicious breakfast, sailing until you arrive to the spectacular potteries near Kyauk Myaung village where the famous 50-gallon water pots are handmade. You will see all stages of pottery making from the throwing of the pots to the weeklong firing in huge kilns. Then, pass through the 3rd Defile of the Ayeyarwaddy River.
Overnight on board
Stop at Khan Yat village with its many Buddhist monasteries and visit the former head teacher's house, which also includes his small museum collections. Later, you go ashore and climb the Pagoda Hill at Tigyang with its stunning views of the .
Overnight on board
Today, arrive in the enchanting colonial town of Katha, setting for George Orwell's Burmese Days. Little has changed since then. Of interested are the fire station's collections of the Ayeyarwaddy Flotilla Company's ship's bells taken from sunken ships in the Second War. Katha was the final resting place of the old flotilla and here over a hundred ships were scuppered in 1942 in an Act of Denial before the advancing Japanese. After that, visit an elephant logging camp at Katha in the hardwood forests of the hills that surround the town and continue sailing upstream.
Overnight on board
Transfer by Local boat and visit Kyun Daw village where you will visit countless small Pagodas on the way.
Overnight on board
Cruise through the breathtakingly beautiful 2nd Defile, the most dramatic of the three gorges with cliffs towering over the narrow channel. Sail downstream.
Overnight on board
Experience the relaxing walking tour of the ancient city of Tagaung, observing the fortifications, a famous nat or spirit shrine and the archaeological area.
Overnight on board
Slip your mooring early in the morning and stop at Mingun to see the largest working bell in the world and the unfinished pagoda that is the largest single mass of brick building in the world. You will also visit the Old People's Home originally established with the assistance of the Ayeyarwaddy Flotilla Company in the 1930s. Drive through the beautiful Sagaing hills to the hilltop to enjoy an amazing view over the region and the mighty Ayeyarwaddy river.
Overnight on board
Morning visit to Ava and explore the ruins, visiting Bagaya Kyaung, a 200-year-old royal monastery made of teak with elaborate woodcarvings. In the afternoon, arrive at Yandabo village, famous for its production of terracotta pottery from the riverbank clay.
Overnight on board
Spend your full day with exploration of the most important and famous Bagan monuments by coach.
Overnight on board
Disembark after breakfast by 08:30 hours at Bagan Aye Yar jetty for your onward journey.


Our tour prices are included of:

  • Accommodation in twin/sharing cabin (or single cabin)
  • Meals as specified in the itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch and D=Dinner)
  • All entrance fees for the places as mentioned in the program
  • Tours with English-speaking on board guide (all tours are join-in)
  • Service charges, room tax


Not included are:

  • International flights
  • Domestic airfare
  • Myanmar visa fee
  • Port dues (if levied)
  • Surcharges for throughout guides (English and other languages)
  • Personal expenditure, such as drinks, souvenirs, laundry, camera fees, communications, postage, gratuities etc.
  • Meals and services other than mentioned in the programme
  • Drinks at bar
  • Travel insurance (cover against all cancellation costs, medical expenses, including repatriation, in the event of accident or illness)



The rivers you will sail on are subject to seasonal rises and falls of water level, in some places as much as 30 metres. Water levels can change dramatically overnight and a sudden rise can impede our progress upstream considerably and even prevent us from passing under certain bridges. A sudden fall can result in our being unable to get into certain places or go as far upstream as we would hope. Groundings on sandbars are not infrequent and are part of the excitement of any Pandaw expedition. Published itineraries are informational only and subject to sudden change. In such events alternative itineraries will be provided and we do our best to ensure that if a stop is missed we make up for it with another stop. Passengers are thus forewarned and expected to be flexible and patient. River cruising in Asia can be a dramatic and adventurous experience
  • not like cruising the controlled waterways of Europe or America. Note also that we operate in areas with little or no developed infrastructure and are subject to the strictures of local officialdom. Be prepared for this and it is all more the fun!
Tour code: PDW10PUIDW

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