Tailor-Made Holiday

Rivers, Lakes and Coast of Myanmar- Strand Cruise

Three night cruising on board The Strand, including Inle Lake and beach stay

14 days

from £3,995pp (excluding flights)

This 14 day holiday to Myanmar has the spot light firmly placed on Myanmar’s natural treasures. The extensive network of rivers, lakes, wetlands, and coastal waters are as important to this country as the thousands of pagodas and temples found in this most devout Buddhist land. 

  • Four days of luxury cruising on board The Strand from Mandalay to Bagan
  • Climb the pagodas of Bagan and watch the sun set from Pyathagyi Pagoda
  • Explore the natural beauty of Inle Lake on board a private motorboat or paddle a canoe
  • Travel by local boat to St Andrews Bay – an insightful afternoon with the local community 

Overnight in Mandalay before cruising the Irrawaddy. A private guide will accompany you on an orientation tour, ensuring that the highlights of Amarapura, the weaving factories and the iconic photographic U Bein Bridge are not missed.

Join the new luxurious ship – The Strand Cruise, a contemporary river vessel, for a four day downstream experience. Visit the Royal Cities of Mingun and Sagaing, and Mandalay and Bagan  are included in your pre and post cruise touring itinerary.

A full day in Bagan is a must with our expert guide. We dont allow you to become one of the crowd. Let us find the perfect spot for sunset, void of tourist buses.

Flying east to Shan State, spend time at Inle Lake. Do as the locals do, and get about by motorized boat and traditional canoe.

A direct flight to Thandwe brings you to the low key beach resort of Ngapali. Indulge in four days of sublime relaxation. For those interested in the local customs a private visit to St Andrew’s Bay can be arranged. Travel by traditional means, across the bay by local boat and on land by ox cart.Take a small boat for snorkelling. A local family will warmly host you for lunch. Spend quality time in the company of this fishing community.

The exquisite beauty of Myanmar’s water bodies have sustained the livelihood of many communities for centuries. You will spend time in each of these three significant locations.

The Irrawaddy River

The Irrawaddy is the country’s largest river and most important commercially, used for trade and transport, as early on as the sixth century. The native Kachin people – live in the lowland region of this river valley. This fertile expanse is one of the world’s great rice growing regions.

Inle Lake

The Intha, the people of Inle live in shore facing lake villages and on the lake itself. They are largely self-sufficient farmers. The Inle carp caught from the lake are a staple of local diet. The Intha grow vegetables and fruit in large floating gardens on the surface of the lake

ngapali Bay

The pristine beaches found on the Bay of Bengal maintains a charming fishing village feel, and although Ngapali is becoming a justified coastal resort, the fishermen still haul the daily catch off the boats, driving ox drawn carts through the surf – the entire village seems to be waiting and preparing for the boats to return.  The dried fish go as far afield as Bangladesh. Ngapali’s isolation, the westernmost part of Myanmar - means that few people make it here – but development will come, so get here quick.

This holiday suggestion can be extended to include further destinations in Myanmar, such as the Mergui Archipelago or the tribal lands of Chin State, Loikaw or the temples of Mrauk U. Further afield combine with Northern Thailand.

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Price Excluding Flights £Flight cost from 
£ 3995 £ 700

Itinerary at a glance

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Day 1

Fly London to Bangkok overnight

Day 2

Fly Bangkok to Mandalay


Half Day Orientation of Mahamuni and Amarapura
Begin at the Mahamuni pagoda and have a look at this 100 year old Buddha statue originating from Mrauk Oo. It is a very lively temple compound where men are sticking gold leaves to the Buddha statue. The Mahamuni is also an excellent place to shop around for the perfect Buddha statue (bronze or wood). Can’t find what you are looking for? Find a marble statue at the next stop which is the marble carving street.
The old capital of Amarapura is a quiet village where you hear the sound of the weaving machines. We walk through the famous Mahagandayon monastery complex with hundreds of monks, visit one of the small weaving factories and walk over U-Bein Bridge and take a boat ride before heading back to your hotel.

The city of Mandalay lies on the eastern banks of the Irrawaddy River and is the modern-day economic hub of Myanmar. Mandalay is almost a byword for exotic, yet nowadays the city centre has become standard modern fare. Look beyond the norm, however, and its backstreets and surrounding areas hold more than their fair share of culture and old-world charm.


You will be staying at Hotel by the Red Canal, Bed & Breakfast

Day 3

Transfer to the Strand Cruise


Day 1 Mandalay
Start off your journey with a rich breakfast on the illustrious U-Bein Bridge. After which, we invite you to uncover the Mahamuni Pagoda as well as the Shwe In Bin monastery in the heart of Mandalay. Return on board with the rest of the crew for a delightful lunch to your liking whilst setting sail for the esteemed city of Mingun and its beautiful sandy beaches. The end of the first day will be celebrated with a Welcome cocktail on the upper deck, all the while gazing at the sunset and its beautiful array of colours scattered across the sky onto Sagaing Hill.

No visit to Myanmar is complete without a trip down the Irrawaddy. Be it on a humble local ferry or a deluxe river boat offering luxuries galore, the chance to experience life on both the river and its banks should not be missed. Witness the locals going about their daily business and trade, and admire the range of memorable landscapes that unfold as you journey down the river.


You will be staying at The Strand Cruise, Full board

Day 4

Day 2 Sagaing Hills
The day begins with a visit of Sagaing Hills and Soon U Ponya terraces to enjoy unforgettable views of the tower and the Ayeyarwady River. Followed by a tranquil horse drawn cart ride around one of the country's former capitals, Ava. Once back on board, lunch is served while the ship sets sail to Bagan. In the afternoon, relax with activities and workshops put forth by our crew.This evening the captain invites all to enjoy a cocktail and succulent dinner.


You will be staying at The Strand Cruise, Full board

Day 5

Day 3 Bagan
Arrival in Bagan and the much anticipated Heritage Trail. Marvel at Bagan's wonders including Ananda, Shwezigon pagodas and Gu Byauk Gyi temple while adventuring into the area. After a delicious lunch on board, revisit history at the Lacquer Factory. As twilight sets in, admire the sunset alight the river, then look forward to a festive evening with a farewell dinner on the sand bank (if weather permits) and local extraordinary performances from talented local artists


You will be staying at The Strand Cruise, Full board

Day 6

Day 4 Old Bagan
Disembark in Old Bagan where you will be accompanied to your Bagan hotel.


This is Bagan - Full day orientation tour
Meet with your guide this morning for a full day orientation tour by car. Our experienced guide through Bagan will show you the best known temples of the area. We start the day climbing a pagoda to get a first impressive view over the whole area. From here the guide plans his way to some of the other amazing temples that have been here for hundreds of years. Places like the Ananda, Dhammayangyi, Sulamani, and Thatbyinnyu will certainly impress you. Lunch will be taken at a local restaurant and around 4pm we continue the tour by horse cart to Pyathagyi pagoda for sunset with some refreshing drinks served! Whenever you see a temple you like, just ask you guide to stop to have a look at it - simply pick your own favourite temple.

The ancient, lost city of Bagan in Myanmar is a truly extraordinary sight. Set in a 70 square kilometre expanse of open countryside and farmland, framed by a backdrop of distant mountains, the 4000 or so temples scattered across the plain are all that remain of a once important capital.


You will be staying at Bagan Lodge, Bed & Breakfast

Day 7

Fly Bagan to Heho


Your guide will meet you on arrival and transfer you to Inle Lake


Half Day Tour of Indein
In the south of the lake the ruins of Indein are certainly worth a visit. Partly covered by vegetation the area looks like a 'pagoda forest'. Walk for about one hour to enjoy a fantastic view over the lake. A home-made cooked lunch is served in a local house. Continue towards the Nam Pan village for a very interesting trip going local with a small canoe. Whenever you are tired paddling yourself, continue by motorboat back to your hotel.

Nestling in a valley of the Shan Plateau, Inle Lake is a spectacular freshwater lake at an altitude of almost 1000 feet. It is notable for its inhabitants, known as the Intha people or 'leg rowers', who developed a culture that has survived for centuries. Floating markets and the surrounding villages make this a fascinating place to visit during a trip to Myanmar.


You will be staying at Pristine Lotus Resort, Bed & Breakfast

Day 8

Day of Sightseeing
Inle Lake in southern Shan State is a vast natural lake surrounded by traditional Shan villages. On the lake itself the Intha people have been living for many centuries in village built entirely on stilts on the lake. Travel by private motorboat around the lake to discover the natural beauty of the lake, visit the floating gardens, see some of the famous leg rowers and have some tea at a local family's house. On and around the lake traditional markets are held in different villages according to a five day rotating schedule and you will be able to visit a colourful market frequented by Shan and PaO people living nearby. Also visit a local cheroot factory (where the Burmese cigars are made), floating tomato gardens, Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, an Intha house where a traditional Intha lunch is served. There is also opportunity to visit a weaving factory.


You will be staying at Pristine Lotus Resort, Bed & Breakfast

Day 9

Fly Heho to Thandwe


The remainder of the day is at leisure at Ngapali Beach


You will be staying at Sandoway Resort, Bed & Breakfast

Day 10

Day at leisure


You will be staying at Sandoway Resort, Bed & Breakfast

Day 11

Day trip to St. Andrew's Bay
About one and a half hour's south of Ngapali by local fishing boat lies a traditional village called Maung Shwe Lay. Today you will visit the sublime St. Andrew's Bay. We pick you up from your hotel by boat and have a leisurely ride across the sea to arrive in a perfectly shaped, quiet bay. Maung Shwe lay is a local fishing community where life stands still. On your visit walk around the village and local market, village school and library. Afterwards travel by oxcart through the village back to the beach. A small boat will take you for snorkelling in the bay in front of the village with plenty of coral and colourful fish. After lunch at a local house on the beach head back to your hotel for around 4pm.

The small, traditional fishing village of Ngapali Beach is home to a beautiful white sandy beach on the shores of the Bay of Bengal.


You will be staying at Sandoway Resort, Bed & Breakfast

Day 12

Day at leisure


You will be staying at Sandoway Resort, Bed & Breakfast

Day 13

Fly Thandwe to Yangon


On arrival be driven to House of Memories for lunch


Yangon Heritage Walk
Yangon downtown is unique with much of its colonial-era architecture still standing. You find one of Asia's most impressive collections of late nineteenth and early twentieth- century buildings, religious and secular. Starting after lunch this walking tour will take you through downtown Yangon, focusing on its old colonial buildings. Your guide will walk you through the back streets in a relaxed tempo and explain you the history of each building some of them empty, some getting restored and some used for different purposes than when built. This walk along the streets of Yangon will at least architecturally take you a step back in time. During the tour you will have time to taste typical Burmese tea and snacks at Rangoon Tea House. After the tour visit Gekko, a cosy restaurant on Merchant Street in a historical building.


Illuminated Shwedagon Pagoda
In the evening, visit the illuminated candle lit Pagoda.

No longer the capital but still Myanmar's largest city, Yangon remains one of the country's most important commercial hubs. International isolation over the last five decades has left the city with an enduring colonial charm. Architecture from a bygone era lines the streets of the old centre, whilst the beautiful Shwedagon Pagoda - a dazzling Buddhist temple attracting pilgrims from all over the world - dominates the skyline.


You will be staying at Sule Shangri-La Hotel, Bed & Breakfast

Day 14

Fly Yangon to Bangkok

Fly Bangkok to London

Accommodation

Below you can see some of the wonderful places we recommend you stay on your journey.

Sandoway Resort

Sandoway Resort

Nestled amongst palm trees on a pristine white sand beach on the Bay of Bengal, Sandoway Resort consists of 56 cottages and villas spread amongst six acres of tropical gardens....

View Accommodation

The Strand Cruise

The Strand Cruise

One of the newest ships on the river, the Strand Cruise takes its inspiration from the iconic Strand Hotel in Yangon....

View Accommodation

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

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Deborah Brock-Doyle, Travel Expert

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For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

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