Irrawaddy River Cruise

Irrawaddy River Cruises is Myanmar luxury travel

When visiting the country a Irrawaddy cruise should be on the agenda. For Myanmar people this is one way to reach large parts of the country since the road and train system is even less than lousy. 

Today for tourists this has another dimension and that is called luxury travel on a river vessel. E.g. probably the best of those had been floated the half world around from the Rhine in Germany to become the "Road to Mandalay". There are some more cruiser and even old ones from colonial times where resurrected and renovated.

Irrawaddy at Sagaing      Around Mogok      In the Delta

River Pictures      Ayeyarwady at Bagan      River Life      Tributary & Sources


Around Mandalay      Other Waterways


This is one of the great waterways of Asia 


flowing through the country for around thousand miles. From the sources in the mountains of the north and uniting with many tributary, finally pouring through the delta into the Andaman Sea.


myanmar mountains of the north
Myanmar mountains of the north





Irrawaddy river map
Irrawaddy river map
Here are some Irrawaddy River Maps. It took a long time until the sources of the stream were found or rather identified because there are hundreds of small tributaries in the mountains of Kachin State. 

Some time ago the authorities defined the the confluence of the N'mai and Mali River as the source.

The British were very active to find a "real" source but nobody can do that because there are too many.





rushing down from eternal snow
Rushing down from eternal snow

Irrawaddy river water near Mandalay
Irrawaddy river water near Mandalay

irrawaddy cruises attraction
Irrawaddy River Cruises attraction

Boarding at Bagan
Boarding at Bagan

Chindwin is the biggest tributary
Chindwin is the biggest tributary

irrawaddy river life
Irrawaddy river life

Irrawaddy River Delta at Pathein
Irrawaddy River Delta at Pathein



Also the water is very badly used by people who have no idea about management. A good example is the so called "dry zone" in the center, where there is no need


Dry Zone of the center at Bagan
Dry Zone of the center at Bagan

at all that anything is dry since this stream runs through. It could be a "Garden of Eden  effectively it's a semi desert why? Because the laziness is extremely widespread and nobody does anything to get "Mother Earth" a fresh cover.


The present-day traveler is a different one

they are the tourists who try to peep into the past of famous Burma using the great highway under very pleasant conditions with wide and long river ships mainly cruising between Mandalay and Bagan both cities where Myanmar kings ruled.


Irrawaddy river in the 19th Century
Irrawaddy river in the 19th Century

In the 19th Century for waterway was navigated by steamers of the Irrawaddy Flotilla Company, most of which have been well equipped with the comforts of civilization. Today because of poor maintenance only very limited distances can be navigated by bigger ships

From the luxury steamer of today such as the "Road to Mandalay" travelers can see local color and more for the insight into the life of the people in the villages along the brown water and watch the smaller Ayeyarwady cargo boats, bamboo and teak rafts.



Road to Mandalay Myanmar Luxury Travel
Road to Mandalay is typical Myanmar Luxury Travel 

Villages are regular stops
Villages are regular stops

Some villages are regular stops on the journey and they do a little show to explain the real rural Myanmar and sometimes bathe in the cool river. At small hamlets at the steep banks secluded 



small hamlets at the steep banks
Small hamlets at the steep banks

from the real world beyond people are help the wide bamboo and teak wood rafts to navigate downstream. The river vessels with the foreign travelers leave Mandalay the center of "upper Burma" for the hardly 2 day voyage down to Bagan. It is an interesting encounter between the modern age and a countryside still stuck in colonial time.

The journey has a great start and end, 

the pagodas of Bagan and at the other end the the white an golden temples on the Sagaing Hills opposite Mandalay.


golden temples on the Sagaing Hills
Golden temples on the Sagaing Hills

Irrawaddy River cruises at Mandalay
Irrawaddy River cruises at Mandalay

Local cargo and passenger ships
Local cargo and passenger ships


huge bamboo rafts
Huge bamboo rafts


irrawaddy cruises in the delta
Irrawaddy cruises in the delta


Irrawaddy river cruises in the delta
Irrawaddy River cruises in the delta
Irrawaddy river in the delta
Irrawaddy river in the delta

Irrawaddy River Cruises at Yangon Harbor
Irrawaddy River Cruises at Yangon Harbor


Harbor Irrawaddy River Cruise
Harbor Irrawaddy River Cruise
Yangon Harbor Irrawaddy River Cruise
Yangon Harbor Irrawaddy 

River Cruise


The little problem on this sampan cruises is they wont take foreigner as passenger, they are very afraid what could happen in case of an accident. This deliberation makes sense because the Yangon river here is about one kilometers wide, it is a lively waterway and not even life jackets in the boat are.


The tourists of today have a continuous changing panorama on a visit to Myanmar from a different perspective. This cruise  is probably the best top notch travel in Burma.


Myanmar Luxury Travel on board the Orcaella
The Orcaella for great cruising

There are 3 main companies in the luxury segment


one is Orient Express which also operate the train in Europe and one between Bangkok and Singapore plus two high end ships which are the "Road to Mandalay" and 'Orcealla" plus a high end boutique hotel "Governor's Residence" in Yangon. That is a converted colonial style


luxury beach resort at Ngwe Saung
Luxury beach resort at Ngwe Saung

villa. Another local hotel provider operates the Treasure beach resort at Ngwe Saung and a few other high end lodges at Inle Lake and Mandalay. They also own Bagan Air and Kandawgyi Palace Hotel which is probably the most idyllic in Yangon right at the lake.


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