Kha Byoo on the river
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Kha Byoo Pandaw

This intimate, 10-cabin, 2-deck riverboat is styled after a graceful colonial-era paddle steamer.

Overview

Showcasing the graceful curved lines of a colonial-styled paddle steamer, the Kha Byoo Pandaw is one of the smallest river ships in Myanmar. With just 10 cabins, she has a very intimate atmosphere, while her shallow-draft design allows access from Mandalay to Bhamo, the most northern navigable point of the Irrawaddy, close to the border of China.

Cabins

The ship has two walk-around passenger decks, with five cabins situated on the Upper Deck and five on the Main Deck, all measuring 170 square feet and finished in teak and brass. All have en-suite bathrooms and all are equipped with air-conditioning, French windows and twin beds, with some that convert to doubles. Also provided are desks and safes, as well as bathrobes, hair dryers and slippers.

Life On Board

Leisure time is spent on the aft section of the covered Upper Deck, where you’ll find teak loungers and wicker furniture. As you immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of the river, you will be captivated by the great panoramas and the unceasing human and wildlife activity unfolding around you.

Enrichment activities consist of talks from on-board guides, documentaries complementing the boat’s itinerary, mainstream movies, cooking classes, and cultural dance performances. Mini-DVD players are available and a selection of DVDs can be found in the library. Be sure to take advantage of the open-bridge policy; this is the Captain’s Deck where the weather and charts are studied, where plans for the journey are decided and where the magic happens.

On-Board Dining

Meals are served bistro-style outdoors or indoors on the Upper Deck, affording backdrops of floodlit golden stupas and passing vessels, as well as sounds from the nearby villages. Breakfast is buffet style but preceded by coffee, tea and light bites for early risers.

Lunch is served either buffet style or standard sit-down, while dinners are four-course affairs featuring fresh, regional and seasonal produce. Coffee, tea, soft drinks, beer and domestic spirits are complimentary and served at the bar/library on the Upper Deck.

Shore Activities

There are mountain bikes on board for independent exploration of the scenic Burmese countryside and friendly villages at your own pace. At each river stop, the crew will advise you on the best routes to follow and, if required, a member of the crew will accompany you on your cycling adventures.

Family Fun

The Kha Byoo Pandaw Cruise offers a brilliant educational experience for youngsters, providing a great way for your kids to interact with locals and learn about Myanmar culture. Fishing rods and badminton nets are carried on board, as well as board games. Certain school holiday departures are designated as especially ‘family friendly’.

Every cruise is an adventure for couples, solo travelers, families and friends. Itineraries offer relaxed exploration of the Chindwin River and the remote upper Irrawaddy. You can see the magnificent temples of Pagan and the highlights of Mandalay, or take a scenic off-the-beaten-track voyage all the way to Katha, where George Orwell lived and wrote Burmese Days.

Itineraries & Prices

1 / 2
11-Day
11-Day

11 Day / 10 Night - Upper Irrawaddy: Bagan - Mandalay

itinerary map

Embarkation

AM: Embark at 11:30am.

PM: Welcome you on board for lunch and followed by an exploration of the 3000 plus Bagan monuments by coach. The ship will leave Bagan at 17:30.

 Kha Byoo Pandaw's Upper Irrawaddy: Bagan to Mandalay - Day One - Cruising Along Irrawaddy River
Location
Bagan
Day
1 / 11

Yandabo

AM: Cruise past the confluence with the Chindwin River and arrive at Yandabo village, famous for its production of terracotta pottery from the riverbank clay.

PM: Cruise through afternoon upstream towards Mandalay.

Kha Byoo Pandaw's Upper Irrawaddy: Bagan to Mandalay - Day Two - The Famous U-Bein Bridge
Location
Irrawaddy River
Day
2 / 11

Amarapura

AM: Morning visit to Ava and explore the ruins, visiting Bagaya Kyaung, a 200-year-old royal monastery made of teak with elaborate woodcarvings.

PM: Continue to visit the ancient capital of Amarapura and admire the paintings in a temple.

Kha Byoo Pandaw's Upper Irrawaddy: Bagan to Mandalay - Day Three - Me Nu Brick Monastery
Location
Irrawaddy River
Day
3 / 11

Kyauk-Myoung

AM: Visit the spectacular potteries near Kyauk-myoung where the famous 50-gallon water pots are handmade. We see all stages of manufacture from the throwing of the pots to the weeklong firing in huge kilns.

PM: We return to the ship and enter the third defile of Irrawaddy.

Kha Byoo Pandaw's Upper Irrawaddy: Bagan to Mandalay - Day Four - Khanyat
Location
Irrawaddy River
Day
4 / 11

Khanyat

AM: Stop at Khan-nyat village with its many Buddhist monasteries and visit the former head teacher's house, which also includes his small museum collections.

PM: We go ashore and climb Pagoda Hill at Tigyang with its stunning views of the Upper Irrawaddy River.

Kha Byoo Pandaw's Upper Irrawaddy: Bagan to Mandalay - Day Five - Kyouk Myoung
Location
Irrawaddy River
Day
5 / 11

Katha

AM: We reach the enchanting colonial town of Katha, the setting for George Orwell’s Burmese Days. Little has changed since then. Of interest, are the fire station’s collections of the Irrawaddy Flotilla Company’s ship’s bells taken from sunken ships in the Second War. Katha was the final resting place of the old flotilla and here over a hundred ships were scuppered in 1942 in an Act of Denial before the advancing Japanese.

PM: We also visit an elephant logging camp at Katha in the hardwood forests of the hills that surround the town and further upstream.

Kha Byoo Pandaw's Upper Irrawaddy: Bagan to Mandalay - Day Six - Mandalay
Location
Irrawaddy River
Day
6 / 11

Kyunt Daw Island

AM: Transfer by local boat and visit Kyun Daw village where we will visit countless small Pagodas.

PM: Continue our visit to Kyun Daw village and then back to the ship.

Kha Byoo Pandaw's Upper Irrawaddy: Bagan to Mandalay - Day Seven - Bagan
Location
Irrawaddy River
Day
7 / 11

Second Defile

AM: Cruise through the 2nd Defile, the most dramatic of the three gorges with cliffs towering over the narrow channel.

PM: Sail downstream.

Kha Byoo Pandaw's Upper Irrawaddy: Bagan to Mandalay - Day Eight - Bikes for Excursion
Location
Irrawaddy River
Day
8 / 11

Tagaung

AM: Walking tour of the ancient city of Tagaung viewing the fortifications, a famous nat or spirit shrine and the archaeological area.

PM: Spend your afternoon onboard.

Kha Byoo Pandaw's Upper Irrawaddy: Bagan to Mandalay - Day Nine - Inside a Temple
Location
Irrawaddy River
Day
9 / 11

Mingun

AM: Slip our moorings early in the morning and stop at Mingun to see the largest working bell in the world and the unfinished pagoda that is the largest single mass of brick building in the world. We also visit the Mingun Old People’s Home originally established with the assistance of the Irrawaddy Flotilla Company in the 1930s.

PM: Drive through the beautiful Sagaing hills to the hilltop to enjoy an amazing view over the region and Irrawaddy River.

Kha Byoo Pandaw's Upper Irrawaddy: Bagan to Mandalay - Day Ten - Locals Playing Bingo
Location
Irrawaddy River
Day
10 / 11

Disembarkation

AM: Disembark after breakfast at the Jetty.

Kha Byoo Pandaw's Upper Irrawaddy: Bagan to Mandalay - Day Eleven - Young Monks inside a Dharma Temple
Location
Mandalay
Day
11 / 11
1 / 11

11 Day / 10 Night - Upper Irrawaddy: Mandalay - Bagan

itinerary map

Embarkation

The itinerary for this expedition is indicative only. As we travel to remote areas, changes to the itinerary will inevitably occur. A flexible approach is required if you book this cruise. W

PM: We start our Mandalay tour with a visit to the Mahamuni Pagoda with one of the country’s most venerated Buddha images. Continue to a gold leaf and tapestry workshop and walk along the marble & stone carver’s street. Visit a silk and cotton weaving workshop. Travel by bus to the famous “U Bein” bridge, it is about 1.2 km long and is said to be the world’s longest teak wood bridge. It has been built in 1784. With small boats we sail over the Taungthaman Lake and enjoy the sunset.

Kha Byoo Pandaw's Upper Irrawaddy: Mandalay to Bagan - Day One - Cruising Along Irrawaddy River
Location
Mandalay
Day
1 / 11

Kyauk-Myoung

AM: Morning cruising.

PM: Afternoon visit the spectacular potteries near Kyauk-myoung where the famous 50-gallon water pots are handmade. We see all stages of manufacture from the throwing of the pots to the weeklong firing in huge kilns. We then enter the third defile of the Irrawaddy.

Kha Byoo Pandaw's Upper Irrawaddy: Mandalay to Bagan - Day Two - Mingun
Location
Irrawaddy River
Day
2 / 11

Khanyat

AM: Stop at Khan-nyat village with its many Buddhist monasteries and visit the former head teacher's house, which also includes his small museum collections.

PM: Later we go ashore and climb the Pagoda Hill at Tigyang with its stunning views of the Irrawaddy.

Kha Byoo Pandaw's Upper Irrawaddy: Mandalay to Bagan - Day Three - Inside a Pagoda
Location
Irrawaddy River
Day
3 / 11

Katha

AM: Arrive at the enchanting colonial town of Katha, setting for George Orwell’s Burmese Days. Little has changed since then. Of interest, are the fire station’s collections of Irrawaddy Flotilla Company ship’s bells taken from sunken ships in the Second War. Katha was the final resting place of the old flotilla and here over a hundred ships were scuppered in 1942 in an Act of Denial before the advancing Japanese.

PM: We continue to an elephant logging camp at Katha in the hardwood forests of the hills that surround the town and further upstream.

Kha Byoo Pandaw's Upper Irrawaddy: Mandalay to Bagan - Day Four - Local Shops
Location
Irrawaddy River
Day
4 / 11

Kyunt Daw Island

AM: Transfer by local boat to visit Kyun Daw village where we visit countless small Pagodas.

PM: Cruising.

Kha Byoo Pandaw's Upper Irrawaddy: Mandalay to Bagan - Day Five - Young Monks Inside A Dharma Temple
Location
Irrawaddy River
Day
5 / 11

Second Defile

AM: Cruise through the 2nd Defile, the most dramatic of the three gorges with cliffs towering over the narrow channel.

PM: Sail downstream.

Kha Byoo Pandaw's Upper Irrawaddy: Mandalay to Bagan - Day Six - Giant Buddha Images Bodhi Tataung in Monywa
Location
Irrawaddy River
Day
6 / 11

Tagaung

AM: We explore by foot the ancient city of Tagaung viewing the fortifications, a famous nat or spirit shrine and the archaeological area.

PM: Cruising.

Kha Byoo Pandaw's Upper Irrawaddy: Mandalay to Bagan - Day Seven - Shwedagon Pagoda
Location
Irrawaddy River
Day
7 / 11

Mingun

AM: We cast off early in the morning and stop at Mingun to see the largest working bell in the world and the unfinished pagoda that is the largest single mass of brick building in the world. We also visit the Mingun Old People’s Home originally established with the assistance of the Irrawaddy Flotilla Company in the 1930s.

PM: Drive through the beautiful Sagaing Hill to the hilltop to enjoy an amazing view over the region and Irrawaddy.

Kha Byoo Pandaw's Upper Irrawaddy: Mandalay to Bagan - Day Eight - Young Monks Praying inside Buddha Cave
Location
Irrawaddy River
Day
8 / 11

Ava

AM: Morning visit to Ava and explore the ruins, visiting Bagaya Kyaung, a 200-year-old royal monastery made of teak with elaborate woodcarvings.

PM: In the afternoon arrive at Yandabo village, famous for its production of terracotta pottery from the riverbank clay.

Kha Byoo Pandaw's Upper Irrawaddy: Mandalay to Bagan - Day Nine - Inside a Local Village
Location
Irrawaddy River
Day
9 / 11

Bagan

AM: Full day’s exploration of the 3000 plus Bagan monuments by coach.

PM: Full day’s exploration of the 3000 plus Bagan monuments by coach.

Kha Byoo Pandaw's Upper Irrawaddy: Mandalay to Bagan - Day Ten - Monks in Bagan
Location
Irrawaddy River
Day
10 / 11

Disembarkation

AM: Disembark after breakfast.

Kha Byoo Pandaw's Upper Irrawaddy: Mandalay to Bagan - Day Eleven - Local Children Feeding Elephant
Location
Bagan
Day
11 / 11
1 / 11

Accommodations

Social Areas

Al Fresco Dining
Breakfast Buffet
Deck
Dining
Lounge Deck
Lounge
Waiter by the table
Breakfast buffet
Chairs on the deck
Tables on the deck
Chair and tables on the deck
Evening lounge

Suites & Cabins

Kha Byoo Pandaw's Main Deck Suite

Main Deck Suite

Guests
2
Size
16 m² / 172 ft²
Beds
Double / Twin

Enjoy a peaceful night's sleep in these cabins that come with imported quality linens and duvets. The room also features multi-configuration plugs to accommodate all your devices and an ensuite bathroom that comes with spa-branded amenities, slippers, and a kimono.

Kha Byoo Pandaw's Upper Deck Suite

Upper Deck Suite

Guests
2
Size
16 m² / 172 ft²
Beds
Double / Twin

Guests can enjoy these beautiful cabins featuring panoramic french windows that open to a personal deck space for relaxation. The cabins feature a generous closet space and under-the-bed storage for all your items. The rooms also come with slippers, a kimono, and an ensuite bathroom.

Technical Information

Deck Plan

Deck plan

Features

  • Air conditioning
** Use of certain equipment at additional cost, ask for details