Combining a gentle journey with a relaxed and luxurious stay on the Sanctuary Ananda Cruise, the 9-Day Travel in Style with Sanctuary Ananda Cruise meanders the mighty Ayeyarwaddy River exploring Bagan and Mandalay.
Arrive in Yangon and take an introductory tour to the Bogyoke (Scott) Market followed by an extended visit to Shwedagon Pagoda, one of the world’s most spectacular religious monuments. The next day, fly to Mandalay and transfer to Gawein jetty to board the Sanctuary Ananda. Enjoy lunch onboard while cruising toward the pagoda-dotted Sagaing Hill. Visit a monastic school where you will have the opportunity to meet some of the residents and understand the teachings of Buddhism before exploring the terrace of the Soon U Ponya Shin Pagoda. After that, visit Amarapura and one of its textile workshops, followed by the U Bein Bridge, a spectacular place to enjoy the sunset.
On the third day, sail to the quaint village of Sin Kyun and take an optional tour to observe this unspoilt area. Next, pass the sleepy village of Mingun, home to an unfinished pagoda that can be seen from the ship. On the fourth day, join the back of house tour and take a cooking class with the boat’s Executive Chef.
On arrival in Bagan, visit the great golden Shwezigon Pagoda, said to contain important relics of Gautama Buddha. Enjoy the sunset over the plains of Bagan, admiring the light change on the pagodas as they exude antiquity and mystery. On the fifth day, visit more of the ancient temples of Bagan, including the great Ananda Temple which is regarded by folklore as the most beautiful temple in Myanmar. Lunch will be served at Popa Mountain Resort with spectacular views over Mount Popa. In the evening, a candlelit sandbank dinner is served with the backdrop of the twinkling lights of Bagan.
Enjoy your final morning onboard before flying to Heho. Transfer from Heho to Inle and embark on a boat trip on the famous Inle Lake and historic Indaing region. Disembark at the jetty and walk through Indaing village to reach the 14th – 18th century pagoda ruins of Nyaung Ohak. Many pagodas here remain charmingly unrenovated, with plants and even small trees growing out of them, making the area very atmospheric. A covered walkway popular with souvenir stallholders leads up to Shwe Inn Thein Paya. The next day, enjoy a full-day boat trip on Inle Lake – a photographer’s dream. Its calm waters are dotted with floating vegetation and fishing canoes, to which scenic hills provide the perfect backdrop. See the lake’s unique ‘leg rowers’, stop at Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, the holiest religious site in southern Shan State, visit the Mya Set Kyar traditional silk-weaving workshop, and marvel at Nga Phe Kyaung Monastery, one of the oldest on the lake, where you can see exquisite Buddha statues which are more than 200 years old.
On Day 8, fly back to Yangon and explore the city’s colonial heritage buildings. On your last day in Yangon, transfer to Yangon International Airport for a departure flight for your onward destination.
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