Zawgyi Pandaw on the river
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Zawgyi Pandaw

A specially-designed luxury river cruiser with 10 comfortable staterooms oozing colonial charm.

Overview

Launched as a river cruiser in Myanmar in 2014, and full of colonial charm, the 132-foot long Zawgyi Pandaw is a specially-designed luxury small ship, accommodating up to 20 guests in 10 comfortable staterooms. She is notable for her shallow draught, which enables her to reach some of the more remote and hard-to-navigate areas of the upper Irrawaddy River and its tributary, the Chindwin River.

Staterooms

There are six staterooms on the Main Deck and four on the Upper Deck. Each is 150 square feet, air-conditioned, stylishly furnished and finished in brass and teak, with panoramic French-style windows that offer wonderful views of the passing scenery. All have twin beds, some of which convert to a double, complete with premium mattresses, quality linens, a duvet and two kinds of pillows.

In-cabin features include a wardrobe, writing desk/vanity with chair and make-up mirror, an electric mini-safe, multi-configuration plugs, individual climate controls, yoga mats for in-cabin use, and under-bed storage for suitcases All have en-suite bathrooms with hot water showers, hairdryers, and spa-branded amenities.

Dining

Meals are served bistro-style indoors and outdoors on the Upper Deck. Breakfast is buffet style, preceded by light bites, tea and coffee for early risers. Lunch is served either buffet style or sit-down, while dinners are four-course affairs, all created with fresh, locally sourced ingredients.

The chef will gladly prepare personalized daily meals with lighter/leaner options. Water, coffee, tea, soft drinks, local beer, local spirits and juices are complimentary and you can also order from an extensive list of premium wines. You can look forward to a welcome cocktail reception as well as a farewell party.

On Board Features

Zawgyi Pandaw’s character features are combined with modern facilities and superb service to ensure that your journey will be a comfortable one. You will want to spend your leisure time on the aft part of the covered Upper Deck where there is an observation lounge and a bistro area, a sun deck, small library and a small curio shop. You can enjoy cookery demonstrations and local entertainment on board, such as puppet shows.

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 Zawgyi 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 such as chess, Monopoly and Scrabble. Certain school holiday departures are designated as especially ‘family friendly’.

Every cruise is an adventure for couples, solo travelers, families and friends. The journey will take you as far north as Bhamo, where the Chinese border is within touching distance, and to the far reaches of northwest Myanmar where the candlelit street markets of Homalin are a beautiful reminder of how the country once existed many years ago.

Itineraries & Prices

1 / 2
8-Day
8-Day

8 Day / 7 Night - Chindwin: Monywa - Homalin

itinerary map

Embarkation

AM: You will be picked up between 08.00am-08.30am on embarkation day, from Mandalay Airport or you hotel in Mandalay. Your transfer Mandalay to the pier in Monywa is included in the cruise package.

Please note that the estimated transfer time is: For Mandalay Airport to Monywa (transfer 2.5 hours) - For hotel in Mandalay to Monywa (transfer 3 hours):

PM: After arriving Monywa, you will have an afternoon excursion to see Thandboodi Temple, Bawdhi Tahaung statue and the night market in the evening.

PLEASE NOTE: 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.

Zawgyi Pandaw's Chindwin: Monywa to Homalin - Day One - Cruising Along Chindwin River
Location
Monywa
Day
1 / 8

Phowin Taung

AM: In the morning, coach to the Phowin Taung Caves, where we will admire beautiful mural paintings and Buddha statues in riches. Beyond Monywa we enter the Upper Chindwin.

PM: Enjoy your afternoon lazily onboard.

Zawgyi Pandaw's Chindwin: Monywa to Homalin - Day Two - Local Life Along Chindwin River
Location
Chindwin River
Day
2 / 8

Cruising

AM: The river narrows and the forested hills fall away to farmland we pass a number of attractive villages like Kanee where we can stretch our legs.

PM: After visiting villages, we come back to the ship to have lunch and enjoy the view while cruising.

Zawgyi Pandaw's Chindwin: Monywa to Homalin - Day Three - Staff
Location
Chindwin River
Day
3 / 8

Mingkin

AM: Mingkin was rediscovered by Paul Strachan in 1987 and described in some detail in his book Mandalay: Travels from the Golden City. It remains for Paul the most art historically interesting site in Myanmar (more so than the now spoilt Pagan) with its Konbaung court style teak monasteries sumptuously decorated. Mingkin may be described as the Luang Prabang of the Chindwin.

PM: We explore Kalewa, the gateway town for the Chin State, with its markets and quaint wooden architecture.

Zawgyi Pandaw's Chindwin: Monywa to Homalin - Day Four - Landscape Drone View Along Chindwin
Location
Chindwin River
Day
4 / 8

Mawlaik

AM: Morning explore Mawlaik replaced Kindat as the administrative capital but ironically the Myanma refused to move there from upstream Kindat. It was mainly settled with the company houses of the Scottish owned and run Bombay Myanmarh Trading Corporation in the 1920s and 1930s. There are many splendid ‘Dak Bungalows’ set around a verdant golf course. Mawlaik and the other towns of the Upper Chindwin can only be reached by boat so cars are few. There is a dreamy otherworldly quality to such places and truly one feels that one has traveled there in the Pandaw time machine!.

PM: Afternoon we pass the mouth of the Yu River which drains the Kubu valley that provided the route for a Lieutenant Grant to march to the relief of the Manipur garrison when the chief commissioner of Assam was massacred in a local rebellion.

Zawgyi Pandaw's Chindwin: Monywa to Homalin - Day Five - Staff On Board
Location
Chindwin River
Day
5 / 8

Sitthaung

AM: Sitthaung was the final resting place of a number of IFC steamers scuppered there in 1942 in an ‘act of denial’ from the advancing Japanese who were a matter of hours behind. We hope to find remains of these ships as we have in the past at Katha on the Irrawaddy. It was from here that the survivors of the Japanese invasion marched out to Tamu on the Indian border.

PM: Explore Pantha, an important oil refinery belonging to the Indo-Burma Petroleum Co (Steel Brothers).

Zawgyi Pandaw's Chindwin: Monywa to Homalin - Day Six - Magnificent giant Buddha images Bodhi Tataung in Monywa
Location
Chindwin River
Day
6 / 8

Toungdoot

AM: Toungdoot or Hsawng-hsup in Tai, is an ancient Shan enclave which in British times still had a ruling sawbwa complete with palace and court. It will be interesting to see what has become of the royal family and their home and to see these Shan people so far from their Tai-Shan homelands.

PM: On the way to Homalin, the furthest navigable point on the Chindwin for vessels of our size. Alister McCrae wrote of his visit there in 1935 ‘I loved the atmosphere of quiet and peaceful living there. At night I could hear greylag geese as they came into the flooded land around us from far away north’. Bird in 1897 says little other than that Homalin is the headquarters of a township, but has very little trade’. Until we get there and explore the place there is not much we can say!

Zawgyi Pandaw's Chindwin: Monywa to Homalin - Day Seven - Monywa Drone View
Location
Chindwin River
Day
7 / 8

Disembarkation

Am: Disembarkation and transfer to Homalin airport. Your cruise includes a flight from Homalin to Mandalay. Please note the flight times for your flight from Homalin to Mandalay are currently as follows: Homalin - Mandalay UB-586 1610-1720 (Direct) May - Sep

Flight timings are subject to change.

IMPORTANT: Please note that water levels drop dramatically as of December and we might not be able to reach Homalin. You will be well rewarded with alternative excursions. We will be cruising up to Mawlaik and return to Kalewa where you will be flown out to Yangon or Mandalay.

Zawgyi Pandaw's Chindwin: Monywa to Homalin - Day Eight - Rice Fields by Chindwin River
Location
Homalin
Day
8 / 8
1 / 8

8 Day / 7 Night - Chindwin: Homalin - Monywa

itinerary map

Embarkation

AM: We will pick you up from your hotel in Mandalay between 09:00 and 10:00 to board your flight from Mandalay to Homalin UB-585 1200-1310 (May - Sep).

PM: Transfer to Homalin, followed by transfer from airport to jetty at Homalin, the furthest navigable point on the Chindwin for vessels of our size.

Alister McCrae wrote of his visit there in 1935 ‘I loved the atmosphere of quiet and peaceful living there. At night I could hear greylag geese as they came into the flooded land around us from far away north’. Until we get there and explore the place there is not much we can say!

IMPORTANT: Please note that water levels drop dramatically as of December and we might not be able to reach Homalin. You will be well rewarded with alternative excursions. We will be flying you to Kalay (instead of Homalin) where you will embark your ship in Kalewa, cruising up north to Mawlaik and returning downstream towards Monywa.

Zawgyi Pandaw's Chindwin: Homalin to Monywa - Day One - Docking at Night
Location
Homalin
Day
1 / 8

Toungdoot

AM: Toungdoot or Hsawng-hsup in Tai, is an ancient Shan enclave which in British times still had a ruling sawbwa complete with palace and court. It will be interesting to see what has become of the royal family and their home and to see these Shan people so far from their Tai-Shan homelands.

PM: On the way to Paungbyin, we will explore Patha, an important oil refinery belonging to the Indo-Burma Petroleum Co (Steel Brothers).

Zawgyi Pandaw's Chindwin: Homalin to Monywa - Day Two - Staff Band Performance
Location
Chindwin River
Day
2 / 8

Sitthaung

AM: Sitthaung was the final resting place of a number of IFC steamers scuppered there in 1942 in an ‘act of denial’ from the advancing Japanese who were a matter of hours behind. We hope to find remains of these ships as we have in the past at Katha on the Irrawaddy. It was from here that the survivors of the Japanese invasion marched out to Tamu on the Indian border.

PM: We pass the mouth of the Yu River which drains the Kubu valley that provided the route for a Lieutenant Grant to march to the relief of the Manipur garrison when the chief commissioner of Assam was massacred in a local rebellion.

Zawgyi Pandaw's Chindwin: Homalin to Monywa - Day Three - Chindwin River Drone View
Location
Chindwin River
Day
3 / 8

Mawlaik

AM: Explore Mawlaik replaced Kindat as the administrative capital but ironically the Myanma refused to move there from upstream Kindat. It was mainly settled with the company houses by the Scottish-owned and run Bombay Myanmarh Trading Corporation in the 1920s and 1930s. There are many splendid ‘Dak Bungalows’ set around a verdant golf course. Mawlaik and the other towns of the Upper Chindwin can only be reached by boat so cars are few. There is a dreamy otherworldly quality to such places and truly one feels that one has traveled there in the Pandaw time machine! Then the gateway town for the Chin State.

PM: We explore Kalewa with its markets and quaint wooden architecture.

Zawgyi Pandaw's Chindwin: Homalin to Monywa - Day Four - Staff Performing Entertainment for Guests On Board
Location
Chindwin River
Day
4 / 8

Mingkin

AM: Mingkin was rediscovered by Paul Strachan in 1987 and described in some detail in his book Mandalay: Travels from the Golden City. It remains for Paul the most art historically interesting site in Myanmar (more so than the now spoilt Pagan) with its Konbaung court style teak monasteries sumptuously decorated. Mingkin may be described as the Luang Prabang of the Chindwin.

PM: We pass by a number of attractive villages like Kanee where we can stretch our legs.

Zawgyi Pandaw's Chindwin: Homalin to Monywa - Day Five - Magnificent Giant Buddha images Bodhi Tataung in Monywa
Location
Chindwin River
Day
5 / 8

Monywa

AM: Entering the lower Chindwin where the river widens and the forested hills fall away from farmland, we pass a number of attractive villages.

PM: We will explore Monywa and make a trip to the Thanbodi Temple with its million Buddha images.

Zawgyi Pandaw's Chindwin: Homalin to Monywa - Day Six - Monywa Drone View
Location
Chindwin River
Day
6 / 8

Phowin Taung

AM: In the morning, coach to the Phowin Taung Caves, where we will admire beautiful mural paintings and Buddha statues in riches.

PM: Spend your afternoon enjoying the view onboard.

Zawgyi Pandaw's Chindwin: Homalin to Monywa - Day Seven - Panoramic View of Sagaing
Location
Chindwin River
Day
7 / 8

Disembarkation

AM: Disembark at Monywa and transfer to Mandalay.

Please note the estimated transfer time is as follows:

*For Monywa to Mandalay Airport : 2.5 hours

*For Monywa to hotel in Mandalay : 3 hours

Zawgyi Pandaw's Chindwin: Homalin to Monywa - Day Eight - Landscape Along Chindwin River
Location
Monywa
Day
8 / 8
1 / 8

Accommodations

Social Areas

Al Fresco Dining
Bar Lounge
Bar
Outdoor Lounge
Deck
Dining
Exterior
Lounge
Tables on the deck
Waiter with a tray and drinks
Bartender
Sitting area on the deck
Sitting area on the deck
Waiter with a beer
Ship seen from outside
Indoor Lounge

Suites & Cabins

Zawgyi Pandaw's Main Deck Suite Zawgyi Pandaw's Main Deck Suite

Main Deck Suite

Guests
2
Size
14 m² / 150 ft²
Beds
Double / Twin

These stylishly furnished rooms feature a sizeable French-style window that offers magnificent views of the passing scenery. Guests can enjoy comfort in these individual climate-controlled rooms that come with an ensuite bathroom equipped with spa-branded amenities.

Zawgyi Pandaw's Upper Deck Suite Zawgyi Pandaw's Upper Deck Suite

Upper Deck Suite

Guests
2
Size
14 m² / 150 ft²
Beds
Double / Twin

Guests can enjoy their sleep in these cabins that come with the finest bedding designed for comfort. The ensuite bathrooms come fully equipped with a hot water shower, toiletries, and a hairdryer for you to enjoy after a busy day of activities.

Technical Information

Deck Plan

Deck plan

Features

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