13-Day Belmond Orcaella Cruise: Discovering the Chindwin River from Mandalay: Group Discovery

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Tour type

Tour Level: Relaxed / Easy

Tour Comfort: Luxury

Tour Period: 13 Days

tour highlights

  • Journey overland to Monywa and the colourful Thanboddhay Pagoda
  • Witness a Buddhist novitiation ceremony at Mokehtaw
  • Tuk tuk excursion to the Buddha Lotus Garden in Homalin
  • Tour of Mingun and the Mahar Min Kyaung Monastery

tour details

This leisurely cruise follows the Chindwin River through rugged and dramatic scenery, stopping at rural villages and remote monasteries. Discover a Myanmar few have experienced.

Join-in tour with departures as per schedule.

Morning flight from Yangon to Mandalay. Arrive to Mandalay International airport and transfer to jetty. Arrive on board Belmond Orcaella. The crew will escort you to your cabin and will give you a brief on the facilities. Belmond Orcaella sets sail.
Buffet lunch is served at the restaurant on the upper deck. You will experience the beautiful picturesque view when we pass the Mount Sagaing area. This afternoon there will be a welcome briefing & afternoon tea at the lounge bar located on the Sun deck. The topic is "Life on board and safety" presented by the hotel manager. This evening join the welcome cocktail before dinner is served at the restaurant on the upper deck.
Early this morning, Belmond Orcaella sets sail and begins the cruise upstream on the Chindwin River. Breakfast is served at the restaurant on the upper deck or in your cabin. This morning there will be a Lecture on "Myanmar ways of life" by your guide in the lounge bar before lunch is served at the Restaurant located on the upper deck. After lunch, disembark Belmond Orcaella for a bus journey to visit Monywa and the colorful carnival like Thanboddhay Pagoda, a temple from the mid-20th century with many walls covered in tiny images of Buddha. Continue by bus to Boddhi Tataung, the site of '1000 Buddha' and the magnificent 424 feet standing Buddha for photo shoot. Back to the ship and set sails to Moketaw.
Dinner is served at the restaurant on the upper deck. Drop anchor near Aitaung.
This morning visit the traditional and agricultural village of Mokehtaw. Alight for a walking tour of the village and a visit to the Monastery. At the Monastery, witness a traditional noviciation ceremony, regarded as a very important moment for young Myanmar boys. It is believed to bring great honor to the family.
Mid-morning board the fast boat and back to Belmond Orcaella. Lunch is served at the restaurant. Enjoy a leisurely afternoon on board and afternoon tea served in the lounge bar. This afternoon a demonstration of Myanmar's 'Longyi' tying & Thanaka application in the lounge bar provides entertainment. A 'Longy'i cocktail party will take place on the top deck giving you the opportunity to wear your longyi. Dinner is served in the restaurant and Belmond Orcaella will drop anchor near Maukkadaw.
This evening's entertainment will be a surprise on the river (weather permitting).
Early birds tea and coffee with pastries served at the lounge bar. An early morning visit to the village of Maukkadaw, well known as a "Teak Port". You will see many houses built using solid teak in the traditional style, and visit the local school. Board the fast boat back to Belmond Orcaella and set sail towards Kalewa.
Mid-morning brunch is served at the Restaurant on the upper deck. Relax on board today as Belmond Orcaella continues cruising. Afternoon tea is served in the lounge bar and a lecture "History in the nutshell" by Professor Dr. Khin Maung Nyunt will also take place. Dinner is served at the restaurant followed by Toh Dances on the Sundeck (weather permitting).
Breakfast is served at the restaurant on the upper deck or in your cabin. This morning transfer by fast boat to Kalewa. Enjoy a morning walk excursion at Kalewa, the trade gateway to India, an interesting town, with a lively market and the opportunity to see the life style of the local residents. Mid-morning re-board Belmond Orcaella and set sail towards Mawleik. Buffet lunch is served in the restaurant. Enjoy an afternoon of sailing and afternoon tea at the sun deck bar. Early evening take a leisurely walking tour by yourself at Mawleik town.
This evening a BBQ dinner will be served on shore at one of the colonial building in Mawleik town, transfer by local Tuk Tuk.
Breakfast is served in the restaurant or in your cabin before an early morning visit to Mawleik town. Take a local truck for transfer to a local Elephant camp. On the way back, enjoy a tour of this historically important town, once an administrative centre for the Bombay Burma Trading Company in the 1920s and 1930s.
Mid-morning Belmond Orcaella sets sail towards Sitthaung. Lunch is served in the Restaurant. Afternoon tea will be served in the lounge bar before a lecture on "Changes and current situation in Myanmar" by Dr. Khin Maung Nyunt.
Dinner is served in the restaurant followed by release of Shan Balloons on the top deck (weather permitting).
Breakfast is served at the restaurant on the upper deck or in your cabin.
This early morning's visit is to Sitthaung, a small village of only 28 houses and about 200 people. On the way up to the main pagoda of the village, you will see brilliant green paddy fields. This village is known as a shortcut to India by the British troops withdrawing from Burma. The road to India still exists (36 miles to the border). Back to the ship and Belmond Orcaella sets sail this morning towards Naung San Kyin. Buffet lunch is served at the restaurant
An afternoon to relax on board while Belmond Orcaella cruises. Afternoon teas at the lounge bar and an interesting free discussion will take place on Myanmar religions, culture, tradition and lifestyle with Professor Dr. Khin Maung Nyunt in the lounge bar.
Dinner is served in the restaurant. Belmond Orcaella will drop anchor tonight near Naung San Kyin.
Early Breakfast is served at the restaurant or in your cabin before this morning's excursion to Homalin town. Walk along the riverside and visit the morning market. Then drive to Buddha Lotus Garden and the most famous Pagoda in the area, the view from this high point is stunning, spanning from the Chindwin River up to the towering mountains of the Naga tribe. Sample few of their dishes and drinks. Late morning Belmond Orcaella sets sail downstream. Lunch is served in the restaurant. Afternoon tea is served late afternoon and Dr. Aung Thu talks about Orient-Express "Social Contribution Projects" at the lounge bar.
Dinner is served in the restaurant and the cruise will anchor near Nan Maw Leik.
Belmond Orcaella sets sail early morning.
A leisurely breakfast is served in the restaurant or in your cabin. Mid-morning there will be the opportunity to observe a cooking demonstration with the executive chef Bansani at the sundeck bar. Buffet Lunch is served at the Restaurant.
Late afternoon enjoy a walking tour to Kyidaung Village and Kyidaung Oo Monastery.
This is a very typical quaint Burmese village, be welcomed by the local villagers and experience the rural Burmese.
Dinner is served at the restaurant as Belmond Orcaella drops anchor near Mingin.
An early breakfast is served at the restaurant or in your cabin. Disembark for an early morning walking tour of Mingin, a very important town during the period of King Mindon. Continue to visit the impressive Maha Min Kyaung monastery built in 1912. Very different to other monasteries we visit, it is built in a distinctly European style including Italian glass window. Belmond Orcaella sets sail towards Kani this morning. Lunch is served in the restaurant.
This afternoon visit Kani town, which is famous for being the home of the 'Nat' spirit "Lord of the white horse". Take a walk through the town to the site of the Nat shrine. Experience a real Nat Pwe paying homage. Late afternoon sets sail towards Monywa. Dinner is served in the restaurant and Belmond Orcaella will drop anchor near Monywa.
Early birds coffee and tea with pastries served at the lounge bar. A mid-morning brunch is served in the Restaurant today. Early afternoon, disembark for a visit to the important historical sites of the marvellous Bagan with our guides. Dinner is served in the Restaurant.
Breakfast is served in the Restaurant.
This morning transfer to shore for a morning tour of Bagan, starting at the morning market of Nyaung Oo followed by the major temples of Hti-Lo-Min-Lo and seeing the revered Shwezigon Pagoda. Lunch today is taken on shore at art @ Bagan restaurant.
This afternoon there is a choice of activities. You may choose to join an excursion to the sacred Mount Popa, the traditional home of the 37 'Nats' or animist spirits which have been worshipped in Myanmar since long before the arrival of Buddhism. The bus journey will take about two hours altogether but there will be a stop en route at a toddy palm plantation to see the traditional methods still employed to produce jaggery, a palm sugar which goes into sweets and an alcoholic drink. Or you may decide to hire a horse and cart (with driver!) for local sightseeing, or rent a bicycle for a private tour.
This evening enjoy a farewell cocktail party on top deck with elephant dance before enjoying your last dinner in the restaurant.
Breakfast is served in the restaurant before you disembark Belmond Orcaella for your onward journey.

includes

Our tour prices are included of:

  • All sightseeing tour and transfer services arranged by Belmond Orcaella cruise
  • 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 and baggage handling
  • Domestic airfare from Yangon to Mandalay and Bagan to Yangon

excludes

Not included are:

  • Myanmar visa fee
  • 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 with meals
  • Laundry Service
  • Telephone calls and Fax charges
  • Travel insurance (cover against all cancellation costs, medical expenses, including repatriation in the event of accident or illness)

notes

Important Note:

The rivers of Myanmar vary from season to season, with as much as a 30 foot variance in water level. During the months of January through June, the water levels of the Ayeyarwady may drop for a period of a few weeks to a few months, creating a narrower channel for navigation. During the months of July through October, high water levels may affect the Chindwin River. To accommodate for changes in water levels, Belmond Orcaella may operate on an adjusted itinerary during these periods and our mooring locations may be amended.
    Tour code: BORC12DCR
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