Irrawaddy Voyager
5 5 4

Irrawaddy Voyager

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The Irrawaddy River continues to be Burma’s main highway with many locals living and working on its lush banks. Experience a side of the country that many have yet to explore from the comfort of an elegant cruise boat, sailing from cultural capital Mandalay to the magical temples of Bagan.

tour duration 12 Days from
tour price 3,290pp
tour type Group Tour

Places Visited

UK - Rangoon (2N) – Irrawaddy River Cruise (7N) - Rangoon (1N) - UK

Tour Highlights

Explore the fascinating collection of Buddhist sights in Rangoon
Cruise up the Irrawaddy River, the lifeline of Burma
See hermitages and monasteries dotted throughout Sagaing Hills
Marvel as red-robed monks cross the U Bein Bridge
Watch local Burmese life along the Irrawaddy River
Get lost in the enchanting Temples of Bagan

Day 1-2 Fly overnight to Rangoon
Fly overnight to the vibrant city of Rangoon. Depending on your time of arrival the rest of the day is yours to start soaking up the local culture.
Day 1-2 Fly overnight to Rangoon
Day 3 Rangoon
Rangoon, Burmas capital until its relocation to Naypyidaw in 2006, is the heart of Burmas spiritual life and a bustling city full of crumbling colonial charm. Today will be spent exploring this fascinating city. The first visit is to Sule Pagoda and trhe Chauk Htat Gyi reclining Buddha. Continuing on, stop for photos at Karaweik Hall, a glittering barge palace floating on Kandawgyi Lake, and stroll through Bogyoke Market. Finally explore Shwedagon Pagoda. Purported to have four relics of former Buddhas enshrined within, the pagoda is Burmas most sacred Buddhist site. The complex's huge golden stupa dominates the citys skyline.
Day 3 Rangoon
Day 4 Irrawaddy Cruise
Transfer to the airport and fly to Mandalay where, on arrival, you will transfer to the jetty and board your river cruise vessel on which you will spend the next seven nights. The boat, built in Rangoon, is designed to reflect a golden age of colonial grandeur and features well-appointed cabins, excellent service and a relaxing spa. Sip on a welcome cocktail and take in your new surroundings before enjoying lunch and an afternoon excursion to central Mandalay. This evening settle down to dinner served in the bistro-style dining room.
Day 4 Irrawaddy Cruise
Day 5 Mingun
Wake up to ever-changing river bank surroundings and take a leisurely breakfast outside on the deck to admire the passing views. Enjoy a morning walking tour of the village of Mingun home to what would have been, had it been completed, Burma’s largest temple – the Mingun Pagoda. Even incomplete it is still the world’s largest brick building. Though incomplete, it is still a monumental structure – 50 metres tall, 72 metres wide and constructed entirely of brick. In fact, it is the world’s largest brick building! You’ll also see the huge Mingun Bell and visit the residents of the Mingun Old People’s Home, set up by the Irrawaddy Flotilla Company in the 1930s, to say hello.
Day 5 Mingun
Day 6 Kyauk Myoung
Disembark the cruise ship to visit the potteries close to Kyauk Myoung where we’ll see Burma’s famous 50-gallon water pots being made by hand. Sailing on, the next stop will be Khan-Nyat village, home to many Buddhist monasteries and an orphanage. Meet the people of the community and get an authentic glimpse of rural village life.
Day 6 Kyauk Myoung
Day 7 Amarapura
Visit the Sagaing Hills. An important religious and monastic centre, numerous monasteries and hermitages nestle amongst the greenery of the hills and perch along the ridge above the river making for an impressive sight. Spend some time amongst the historical ruins of the former royal capital of Ava. The city was finally abandoned in 1839 after being the on/off home to kings and queens since 1364. Travel on to another former royal capital, Amarapura, now a lovely leafy suburb of Mandalay. Here, see the magnificent teak Bagaya Monastery, with its many elaborate woodcarvings, and the U Bein Bridge, the world’s longest teak wood bridge.
Day 7 Amarapura
Day 8 Yandabo
Continue cruising leisurely downstream. Today’s visit will be to the village of Yandabo and its school, built through kind donations of Pandaw travellers. The people here specialise in pot-making, with clay taken from the river bank, and you’ll be able to see the villagers at work before browsing the local, handcrafted wares.
Day 8 Yandabo
Day 9 Pakokku
Leave the ship to visit the river port of Pakokku. Hop on board a tuk tuk to explore the centre of this interesting and friendly town before a relaxed stroll through the local market. Arrive in Bagan in the afternoon and immediately begin your explorations of a selection of the thousands of temples.
Day 9 Pakokku
Day 10 Bagan
More than 2,000 Buddhist structures of all shapes and sizes strewn across a vast plain offers one of Burma’s most evocative and well known sights. The majority of the temples were built in the 11th and 12th centuries when Bagan was the centre of a powerful kingdom – it is said that at that time there were more than 13,000 temples on the plains. Spend the day exploring some of the temples’ cool interiors. They are all individual, from imposing to graceful and intricate to simple – there is plenty to see. There will also be a visit to a lacquer workshop so you can see the process behind this traditional craft of the region.
Day 10 Bagan
Day 11 Rangoon
Bid farewell to the crew of your cruise ship and transfer to the airport to fly to Rangoon. On arrival the rest of the day will be at leisure. You can continue your explorations of the city or just some time to relax.
Day 11 Rangoon
Day 12 Fly to UK
Fly to the UK, arriving home the same or following day.
Day 12 Fly to UK

Also Available

Private Departures for this tour

If the dates we have available for this tour don't suit your needs, or you are not sure travelling as part of a group is for you, maybe a Private Departure would be more ideal. Based on exactly the same itinerary as the group tour, our Private Departures give you the freedom to choose your own departure date and simply enjoy your holiday with your family, your partner, or your friends. On Private Departures your tour will be led by an English speaking local guides in each destination

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.

12-Oct > 23-Oct - £3,290 LIMITED
23-Nov > 04-Dec - £3,290 LIMITED

Additional Price Information:

Based on London Heathrow departures
Flight upgrades available on request
Land only from £2,330 (Rangoon -Rangoon)
Single room from £290
Tipping paid locally US$65
Upper deck upgrades available from £500pp

18-Jan > 29-Jan - £3,490 BOOK NOW
15-Feb > 26-Feb - £3,590 BOOK NOW
22-Mar > 02-Apr - £3,590 BOOK NOW

Additional Price Information:

Based on London Heathrow departures
Flight upgrades available on request
Land only from £2,330 (Rangoon -Rangoon)
Single room from £290
Tipping paid locally US$65
Upper deck upgrades available from £500pp

Wendy Wu Tours, inspect all of our hotels to ensure they meet the high levels of service which we require for our guests. If the hotels details below for your tour are not available, hotels of a similar standard will be used.

Summit Parkview Hotel
Summit Parkview Hotel - Yangon, Burma (2 Nights)
hotel star rating



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.

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What's Included

International flights & current taxes
Domestic transportation
Accommodation
Touring with guides & entrance fees
Visa fees for UK & EU passport holders
All meals
Local soft drinks, local beer and local spirits on the cruise
All excursions
Crew gratuities
Use of bikes on board

Why Book This Tour?

This tour is suited for those with a reasonable amount of time to travel and who are interested in travelling to some of the main sights of Burma via the Irrawaddy River, which runs through the country. This tour incorporates a seven night cruise on the Irrawaddy River and touring is at a comfortable and relaxed pace, giving you ample time to explore each destination.

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