Magical Chindwin

A voyage along the Chindwin reveals a Burma of time gone by, where villages are only accessible by boat and the local people hold fast to the old traditions. Immerse yourself in beautiful scenery and fascinating heritage of a part of Burma that remains undiscovered

Please note that the below itinerary, from Monywa to Homalin (and vice versa) sails from July to August and October to November. A revised itinerary sails between December and February.

tour duration 11 Days from
tour price 4,640pp
tour type Private Tour

Places Visited

UK - Rangoon (1N) - Chindwin Cruise (7N) - Rangoon (1N) - UK

Tour Highlights

Cruise up the Irrawaddy River, the lifeline of Burma
Step back in time to the traditional village of Mawlaik on the upper Chindwin
Explore the sumptuous teak monasteries of Mingkin
Visit the spectacular Shwedagon Pagoda as it glistens
Visit the Thanbodi Temple with its million Buddha images
Travel to the Phowin Taung Caves to see the beautiful mural paintings and Buddhist statues

Days 1-2: Fly to Rangoon
Fly overnight to Rangoon, Burma’s former capital. On arrival you will be met by your guide and transferred to your hotel.
Days 1-2: Fly to Rangoon
Day 3: Fly to Homalin
Fly to the peaceful Homalin, a town on the Chindwin and the most northerly navigable point on the river for our Pandaw vessel. The scenery on this cruise is spectacular and you be warmly welcomed by the remote communities that we pass. Explore the Buddha Lotus Garden with its exquisite temple and stunning views. (B,L,D)
Day 3: Fly to Homalin
Day 4: Toungdoot
Discover the unique culture and history of Toungdoot, an ancient enclave of the Shan people. In the time of the British rule, the enclave still had a ruling sawbwa with a palace and court. Nestled in the peaceful Burmese countryside, here you’ll see what life is like for the Shan so far from their Tai-Shan homelands. On the way to Paungbyin, pass Patha, once an important oil refinery.
Day 4: Toungdoot
Day 5: Sitthaung
At Sitthaung there are a number of Irrawaddy Flotilla Company steams, scuppered here in 1942 in the face of the advancing Japanese army – we’ll keep an eye out for ship’s remains as we pass through. Later we’ll pass the mouth of the Yu River, which drains down the Kubu Valley, the route used by Lieutenant Grant to march to the relief of the Manipur garrison who were rebelled against in Indian state of Assam.
Day 5: Sitthaung
Day 6: Mawlaik
Enjoy a morning visit to Masein Village. Entering here is like taking a step back in time – located on the Upper Chindwin and only accessible by boat, this settlement very much keeps the old traditions alive but was also the centre of British teak logging in the 20th century. That legacy remains in the splendid colonial Dak bungalows that are set around a verdant golf course. Continue on the Kalewa, the gateway to Chin State – visit the markets and admire the quaint wooden architecture. (B,L,D)
Day 6: Mawlaik
Day 7: Mingkin
Step back in time at the traditional village of Mawlaik on the Upper Chindwin, an area Spend the morning exploring Mingkon. Called Burma’s most interesting art history site, there are some beautiful, sumptuously decorated teak monasteries to visit. Continue cruising along the Chindwin, stopping at attractive local villages to stretch our legs and say hello. (B,L,D)
Day 7: Mingkin
Day 8: Monywa
As the Chindwin widens and the forested hills give way to farmland we reach Monywa. Explore Monywa and spend some time at Moe Hnyin Than Boaddai Temple, where there are huge number of Buddha images, as well as one of the longest reclining, and one of the tallest standing Buddhas in Burma. (B,L,D)
Day 8: Monywa
Day 9: Phowin Taung
Take a morning excursion by coach to Phowin Taung Hill to visit the Phowin Taung caves with their beautiful mural paintings and Buddha statues from the 14th and 18th century. (B,L,D)
Day 9: Phowin Taung
Day 10: Disembark in Monywa
Head back on to dry land after breakfast and transfer by road to Mandalay. Fly to Rangoon. Later visit Shwedagon Pagoda, Burma’s most scared landmark. (B)
Day 10: Disembark in Monywa
Day 11: Fly Rangoon to UK
Fly home to the UK. (B)
Day 11: Fly Rangoon to UK

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.

02-Feb > 11-Feb - £4,640 BOOK NOW
16-Feb > 25-Feb - £4,690 BOOK NOW

Additional Price Information:

Based on London Heathrow departures
Subject to availability
Single supplement from £1,990
Sole traveller supplement from £1,990
Land only from £3,940pp (Rangoon - Rangoon)
Includes crew gratuities
Excludes tips to tour guides & drivers

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 passport holders

Why Book This Tour?

This tour is ideal for those with a short period of time who are looking to visit parts of Burma. This tour is ideal for those who are interested in taking a cruise up the Chindwin River.

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