Ayarwaddy River Cruise
Sail the mighty Ayarwaddy and experience the highlights of Myanmar in luxury from the great river.
A country only recently open to tourists, but one deeply integrated into Britain's past, Myanmar is an intrepid travellers delight.
Sip cocktails overlooking the Yangon river in the Stand hotel, where British officers used to cheers with the likes of Rudyard Kipling and Orson Welles.
Visit the Shwedagon Pagoda, gracefully watching the city from its hilltop; it's the most sacred temple in Myanmar and people travel across the country to make merit at the golden stupa.
Head north to Mandalay, Inle Lake and the temple ruins of Bagan. Fly or take a train to Mandalay, and if you have the time, the traditional way to travel to Bagan is along the Ayarwaddy river by ship.
Float along the river and watch daily river life from a comfortable vantage point on deck. Witness the full expanse of Bagan from above with panoramic views from a hot air balloon, or explore a few of the thousand temples by horse and cart.
Explore the lesser known Karen state and visit the Golden Rock perched on the edge of a 1100 metre high cliff. If you are feeling lucky, your local guide will help you place some gold leaf onto the rock itself, and if the rock doesn’t fall, you are bound for good luck and health.
No trip to southeast Asia is complete without a trip to the beach, and Myanmar’s Ngapali beach offers a pristine, and often deserted, beach with azul water and colourful sunsets.
No trip to Myanmar would be complete without visiting the old capital Yangon, the mysterious Inle Lake or the magical site of Bagan. Our Simply Myanmar Classical Myanmar and Golden Myanmar itineraries include these historical wonders and our local tour guides will show you some of the hidden gems within each. Shop at Yangon’s Bogyoke market, rise into the morning sky and see sunrise over Bagan from a hot air balloon, and explore Inle lake’s pagodas and tribal markets by private boat.
Myanmar gets very hot in April and May, and the monsoon season can sometimes bring days of non-stop heavy rain, so October to March is the best time to visit Myanmar. With visitor increasing every year, most famous sites can get busy over the Christmas and New Year period. November and February are the best months to visit Myanmar, but pack a jumper as the nights in northern Myanmar can feel cold.
Myanmar’s most well known festival is the Thadingyut Festival of Light. During the full moon in October, temples, public buildings and homes are decorated with candles and coloured lights. Thadingyut transforms the busy streets of Mandalay and Yangon, with the Shwedagon Pagoda becoming even more magical surrounded by thousands of candles.
Yangon has a colonial history, and the Savoy Hotel is the perfect place to explore the charm of the ‘old days’. Rooms are filled with Burmese antiques and grand teak furniture, while the Kipling bar and terrace calls for tea and an afternoon reading Orwell’s ‘Burmese Days’. Spend a night at the Inle Princess Resort, which boasts comfortable bungalows with a lakeside location and a private terrace for sunset views.
Contrast the old ruins of Bagan with a new luxury hotel like Bagan Lodge. Each of their villas and suites are decorated to be a private sanctuary, with polished wooden floors and a spacious living room area. The roof of villas is designed to look akin to a tent, and along with the earthy red colours, Bagan Lodge brings in an air of understated luxury. Alternatively Aureum Palace Spa and Resort has a generously sized swimming pool with views over the Bagan temples.