Irrawaddy River

Why you should visit The Irrawaddy River

  • See seldom visited areas due to the inaccessibility of the villages
  • View the country at a slower pace from a different perspective 
  • Relax in the knowledge that there is no packing and unpacking 
  • Travel in the company of guest speakers or themed river cruises

Our specialists ‘Must Do’

Paul, our Burma specialist advises booking early. River journeys are increasingly popular and with a limited number of spaces aboard places go quickly.

A little more about The 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.

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.

When to go 

The best time to cruise the lower stretches of the Irrawaddy River is from October to March which is the dry season. Cruise departure dates are often dictated by a combination of weather and reasonable water levels. The Bhamo cruises normally operate during late August and September.

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