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Irrawaddy River, Myanmar

Irrawaddy River

The mighty Irrawaddy forms the backbone of Burma (Myanmar), several options exist for river journeys along its length that allow one to discover little-visited villages that lie along its banks.

These range from simple local ferries to deluxe riverboats that offer all the luxuries of modern travelling.

A popular trip on a modern air-conditioned local boat takes just one day between Mandalay and Bagan but spend a little longer and you can make it a two or three day trip on a boat with lacquered decks, rattan furniture, comfortable cabins and delicious food.

Boats on the Irrawaddy River, Myanmar
Irrawaddy River, Myanmar

A little bit more about Irrawaddy River

This can be extended further, up to a five day trip with shore excursions allowing you to see local villages and places of interest which are only accessible by boat. For the really adventurous, take one of several river expeditions offered each summer that extend into the upper reaches of the Bhamo river and its tributaries. These are seldom visited areas but explorations are made possible because of the low draft on the boats.


What do you really love doing? We curate your itinerary especially for you.

Irrawaddy River Villages

Visit seldom seen villages on the shores of the Irrawaddy, accessible only by boat.

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Upper Irrawaddy Exploration

Travel deep into remote areas of the Upper Irrawaddy on board Pandaw to explore remote locations such as Katha, included in George Orwell’s Burmese Day.

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Meet our experts

A passion for travel runs right through every one of our experts - meaning they're always ready with first-hand insight about their specialist countries.

Paul Craven

Paul is the Conde Nast Traveler chosen Specialist for Central Asia and the Silk Route.

Being from a family with Army connections I can from an early age remember travelling. From camping in Europe and then later being sent to boarding school when we lived in Germany at the age of eight, complete with shorts, long socks, a cap and my suitcase. In appearance not too dissimilar to the children evacuated to the countryside during the blitz. Later, my father’s postings took us to Nepal where we had to transit Delhi and Kathmandu where we were sometimes stranded for days and Hong Kong from where I travelled in 1983 through China for two months.

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Deborah Brock-Doyle

My first journey for Steppes was in 1999 when I set off to explore Thailand to gather those little details that constitute Steppes Travel’s trademark knowledge. I have since been lucky enough to travel extensively in Southeast Asia, China, the Middle East and India. A few special memories include being joined at dinner by an otter in Laos, proudly being shown an illicit picture of the Dalai Lama in Tibet and diving with manta rays on Christmas day in Indonesia. I’m pretty sure I always leave a country wishing I had done more, seen more, learned more ….. but I also always hope to return …

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Your expertise helped us with our choices of activity, and we were often pleasantly surprised by some of the things arranged - the boat building at Inle was fascinating, we loved eating in the Burmese houses and thought that a real highlight and adored the ballooning in Bagan.


Why Choose Steppes?

These may be uncertain times but they are, without a doubt, still full of opportunity to discover the extraordinary safely. Through knowledge and expertise, we can connect you to those destinations embracing travellers with the added confidence of flexible booking and decades of insight.

Are you ready to discover extraordinary once again?

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