Gorges of the Far North

Delving deep into unexplored northern Burma, this 5* luxury river cruise passes through dramatic scenery and finishes at the spellbinding temples of Bagan.

tour duration 15 Days from
tour price On Request
tour type Private Tour

Places Visited

UK - Rangoon (2N) - 5* Luxury Irrawaddy Cruise (11N) - Rangoon - UK

Tour Highlights

Explore the fascinating collection of Buddhist sights in Rangoon
Cruise up the Irrawaddy River, the lifeline of Burma
Experience life in a typical riverside Shan Minority Village
Discover Burma’s colonial past at the charismatic city of Mandalay
Watch the industrious Asian elephants collect teak in the jungles of northern Burma
Get lost amongst the hypnotising rows of Bagan Temples

Days 1 Fly to Rangoon (Yangon)
Fly overnight to Rangoon, the former capital of Burma (Myanmar).
Days 1 Fly to Rangoon (Yangon)
Day 2 Arrive Rangoon
On arrival you will be met by your expert tour guide and transferred to your hotel.
Day 2 Arrive Rangoon
Day 3 Rangoon at Leisure
Rangoon, Burma's capital until its relocation to Naypyidaw in 2006, is the heart of Burma's spiritual life and a bustling city full of crumbling colonial charm. This morning is free to spend as you wish. In the afternoon, enjoy a tour of the key sights from its colonial-era architecture to glittering Buddhist pagodas. (B)
Day 3 Rangoon at Leisure
Day 4 Irrawaddy Cruising
Fly to Mandalay and board the Road to Mandalay cruise ship to set sail for northern Burma, witnessing dramatic changes in scenery on the way. In Mingun, visit the impressive Mingun Temple and the massive Mingun Bell. Get to know your fellow travellers at a pre-dinner drinks party. (B,L,D)
Day 4 Irrawaddy Cruising
Day 5 Gorges & New Nyein
Cruise through the first of the three magnificent gorges around midday. Take a walk through Nwe Nyein and see clay pot sculpting. Later, float past the picturesque island pagoda at Thihadaw. (B,L,D)
Day 5 Gorges & New Nyein
Day 6 Kyan Hnyat & Cruising Upstream
Stroll around the delightful village of Kyan Hnyat, where the morning market bustles with activity. Continue cruising north through vast stretches of picturesque landscapes. (B,L,D)
Day 6 Kyan Hnyat & Cruising Upstream
Days 7-8 Katha Market & Shan Village
Take a morning walk around colourful Katha Market, made famous by author George Orwell in Burmese Days. After lunch on board, take a boat ride to the port of Shwegu and experience life in a typical riverside Shan village. The following day visit Bhamo, a city just 65 kilometres from the Chinese border. (B,L,D)
Days 7-8 Katha Market & Shan Village
Day 9 Weima village
Today you will arrive at Weima village and enjoy a visit to an elephant camp. After that, continue with a visit to the local school to donate school stationary. Spend the afternoon on board and enjoy afternoon tea in the Lounge. (B,L,D)
Day 9 Weima village
Day 10 Kachin Jungle
Take an early morning train to the Kachin Jungle and teak forests. In the afternoon enjoy Myanmar's traditional dress
Day 10 Kachin Jungle
Day 11 Mogok Elephants
Enjoy a walking tour at Ma Lae Village and a visit to the monastery. Witness a traditional Noviciation Ceremony. After dinner enjoy the Yamayana play on the Observation Deck. (B,L,D)
Day 11 Mogok Elephants
Day 12 Discover Mandalay
Cruise to Mandalay for a city tour that includes the iconic U Bein Bridge, the longest teakwood bridge in the world. Enjoy a special dinner on the sandbank this evening. (B,L,D)
Day 12 Discover Mandalay
Day 13 Bagan Sunset
Continue cruising to Bagan past raw, Burmese village life. Watch the sunset over the incredible temple dotted plain; one of Burma's most evocative sights. (B,L,D)
Day 13 Bagan Sunset
Day 14 Bagan Temples
Visit the ancient temples of Bagan, often compared to Angkor Wat for their architecture and cultural significance. If you wish, explore the site by horse-drawn carriage or bicycle. In the afternoon, you may wish to join the optional excursion to mist-wreathed Mt Popa, an important pilgrimage site. (B,L,D)
Day 14 Bagan Temples
Day 15 Fly to Rangoon & Depart
Disembark your cruise ship and fly to Rangoon. Later today, fly to the UK arriving home the following day. (B)
Day 15 Fly to Rangoon & Depart

Also Available

Tailor Your Tour

If you like most of the itinerary which we have suggested but you'd like to change the route and the accommodation, speak to our specialist Tailormade team, who can build your perfect itinerary based around where you would like to go, what you would like to see and how much you'd like to spend. Just call us on 0800 9884 888 and we'll help plan your dream holiday.

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Bangkok Extension

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A visa is required by all nationalities. A single entry visa should be arranged in advance of travel.
Unlike many other tour operators, we include your entry visas in the price of our tour. We handle the entire visa process – all you need to do is fill out the form and send your passport to us. We are always on hand to help you with any questions or queries you might have when completing the form. 

Phone Calls
International and domestic calls can be made from your hotel room. To call the UK the international access code is 00, followed by the country code 44, then the local area code (omitting the first 0), then the number. To call Wendy Wu Tours it is 00 44 207 403 7860. Emergency 24 hour telephone (out of office hours) is 00 44 7984 041 625.
Mobile Phones
Mobile phones are growing in popularity and you will find high quality coverage. There are active roaming agreements with all phone carriers; however SMS and call rates can be expensive. We recommend that you contact your mobile supplier if you intend to use international roaming during your holiday and ensure you investigate all associated costs before you leave the UK.
Internet & Email
Internet cafes can be found in all major cities and even in some small towns. This is often the easiest and cheapest way to stay in touch. Most hotels have a business centre with internet access, but at a slightly higher rate. Some hotels may have Wi-Fi which usually comes at an additional cost and may only be available in hotel lobbies. 

Tipping is an expected element in the tourism industry today and Burma is no exception. Many passengers are often uncertain of how much to tip so we have established a tipping system whereby every passenger gives a set amount to the National Escort who will distribute the amount appropriately. On multi-country tips, this amount will be paid in stages on arrival in each country. If there is no National Escort, you will need to give your money to your Local Guides and tipping amounts for each city will be shown in your final itinerary. The amount for the kitty is calculated for each tour depending on the length, group size, and services used during the trip.
We will indicate the tipping amounts in your final documents for guidance.

Shopping can be a fun and entertaining component to any travel adventure. In keeping with most people’s interests whilst on holiday, your tour will include a reasonable number of opportunities to shop for local goods and souvenirs.
We have included visits to establishments that not only provide an opportunity to purchase a locally produced, great-value souvenir; but you’ll witness first-hand how these local products are made, their history and how they support the local economy. We are aware that people like to take home souvenirs, so we endeavour to ensure the shops you visit have a reputation for quality, honesty, and authenticity – we do our best to ensure that you don’t get ripped off. 

The cost of all meals is included in your group tour cost. Breakfast is a combination of local and western food, usually served buffet style at the hotel you are staying in. Lunches and dinners consist of traditional cuisine and are served at reputable local restaurants. As is traditional in this region, lunch and dinner consists of small dishes of local cuisine which is then placed on the table for everyone to share so you can experience the variety of speciality dishes. The amount served is more than ample for the whole group. We aim to cater to the tastes of the majority of people and so the food is not too spicy or unusual in taste.
Drinks will be at each tour members’ own expense and paid for at the end of each meal. Beer is widely available and cheap. Western style wine is very expensive to import and is not widely available except at upmarket restaurants. Bottled drinking water, soft drinks, and fruit juices are also widely available – remember that you should only have ice or fruit juices from a trusted restaurant, where they will use boiled or bottled water.
Due to the French colonial influence in some Southeast Asian countries, black tea (commonly referred to as ‘lip-ton’ by the locals), coffee, and baguettes are available in most places. However, the local style is to have sweet condensed milk with their tea and coffee. Fresh dairy milk is not usually served but many restaurants will provide this if requested. ‘Cafe Sua-da’ (or iced coffee with milk) is a favourite choice amongst the locals.

What's Included

all international airfares
all domestic transportation, departure taxes and current fuel surcharges
all accommodation
meals as stated
entrance fees, guides and daily tours
visa fees for UK and EU passport holders

Why Book This Tour?

This tour is suitable for those with a reasonable amount of time and who are interested in exploring the northern reaches of Burma. This tour is made up primarily of a river cruise on the Irrawaddy River. This tour is on the luxurious Oriental Express ‘Road to Mandalay’ ship, for our more discerning traveller.

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