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RIVER CRUISES ON THE IRRAWADDY
Sometimes referred to as ‘the Road to Mandalay’, after Rudyard Kipling’s iconic poem, this magical river flows north to south through Myanmar. You can expect this spectacular river cruise to take you past sleepy villages, sprawling reed banks and diminutive fisherman’s huts.
Major changes to the political regime (Myanmar was under fierce military rule for much of the 1980s and 1990s) mean this little-known place is quickly becoming the destination of one of Asia’s most popular river cruises. A little off the beaten track, this cruise is perfect for you if you’re looking for adventure.
Each day begins with the sound of devotional chanting from the waterside monasteries, which has to be one of the most remarkable alarm calls you’ll ever hear. You will see another way of life in this magical kingdom that is full of pagodas, temples and grottos.
Mandalay is Myanmar’s second city, where old meets new in spectacular style. Originally founded at the foot of the Mandalay hills by King Mindon, the stunning pagoda-studded slopes still loom over this city. A casualty of the Second World War, much of this mesmerising city was bombed flat, but it has since benefited from a construction boom. It is worth making the effort to climb the city's 760ft covered walkway to the top to truly appreciate the sprawl of this mystical place. The trek is especially popular at sunset where you’ll be approached by friendly young monks attempting to practice their language skills!
This fairy-tale town is one of Myanmar’s finest offerings. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it boasts no fewer than 3,000 pagodas, temples and Buddhas, including the world’s largest reclining Buddha. This is the place to be if you are interested in Myanmar’s religious heritage. Also, be sure to pay a visit to the stunning 170ft Ananda Pahto temple. Thought to have been built in 1090, this shimmering relic is considered to be the largest and most revered of all of Bagan’s temples.
There is an extraordinary timeless quality to Myanmar's Irrawaddy River. In fact, one could imagine that medieval royalty would have felt at home on its banks. If you’ve been bitten by the travel bug, then get ready for an unforgettable slice of life in mystical East Asia.
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