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Sanctuary Ananda Cruise: 5-Day Itinerary

Luxury – Myanmar

5-Day / 4-Night Ananda Myanmar Cruise: Mandalay to Bagan

 

Downstream river cruise on the beautiful Irrawaddy River from Mandalay to Bagan with daily sailing and excursions to village, markets and historic sites.

Each day on Sanctuary Ananda brings you new experiences, new sights, and new delights while exploring this fascinating emerging destination. 

Note:

The itinerary below is dependent on the river water level, weather conditions, and accessibility to locations, so touring may vary. 


Bagan Burma Tours

Day 1 – Arrival, Mandalay, U Bein Bridge

A tour of Mandalay can be arranged if arriving on an earlier flight. 


Check in at 12:30 pm and settle into your suite. Lunch will be served on board as we cruise towards the pagoda sprinkled hills of Sagaing. Here we will visit a Monastic school and orphanage where you will have the opportunity to meet some of the residents and understand the teachings of Buddhism before taking in the views from the top of the hill on the terrace of the Soon U Ponya Shin Pagoda.


Visit Amarapura, known as 'The City of Immortals' which in its heyday, held some 200,000 inhabitants.  We will visit one of the textile workshops, followed by the U Bein Bridge, a spectacular place to enjoy the sunset. Back on board Sanctuary Ananda, enjoy a local performance followed by dinner.

 

Ananda Myanmar Cruise

Day 2 – Sin Kyun Village, Mingun

Early this morning Sanctuary Ananda will sail north to the quaint village of Sin Kyun, a village just north of Mandalay sponsored by Sanctuary Retreats Philanthropy. Take an optional tour to witness firsthand the way of life in this unspoilt location seldom viewed by outsiders.


Next we sail south, past the sleepy village of Mingun, home to the unfinished pagoda which can be seen from the ship. After lunch a variety of onboard activities will be offered including a longyi (sarong) and thanaka (cosmetic) demonstration and mixology. A delicious dinner will then follow.

 

Irrawaddy River Tour

Day 3 – Pakokku, Irrawaddy River

Join our back of house tour and take a cooking class with our Executive Chef. One of our chefs will take you to the local market in Pakokku where mouth-watering fruit and vegetables are laid out with style.


After lunch on board, we will visit a small pagoda complex to see the different architecture of the stupas first-hand. Next, on to the great golden Shwezigon Pagoda, said to contain important relics of the Gautama Buddha, two bones and a copy of a tooth.


Enjoy the sunset over the Bagan plains. Admire the light change on the pagodas as they exude antiquity and mystery. Finally the sun sets behind the hills on the far side of the Irrawaddy River, filling the sky with a reddish glow, a truly magic moment.

 

Bagan Myanmar Tour

Day 4 – Bagan

Take an optional early morning balloon tour to capture a bird-eye view of the Bagan plain (an additional charge applies, please book in advance), followed by breakfast back on board.


Next, visit the temples of Bagan, including the great Ananda Temple which is regarded by folklore as the most beautiful temple in Myanmar.


Lunch will be served at Popa Mountain Resort with spectacular views over Mount Popa. Choose to climb the 777 steps where pilgrims give offerings and pray to carved figures; it's a climb to take slowly, relishing the views. Return to the ship in the early evening and enjoy the sunset as we sail. Tonight, a candlelit sandbank dinner is served with the backdrop of the twinkling lights of Bagan.

 

Bagan Tours

Day 5 – Bagan

Enjoy an early breakfast on your final morning before check out.


If you are departing on a later flight we will arrange for you to take a tour in Bagan. Leaving at 9am we will visit a local village in the heart of the Bagan plain, to see the way of life of the local people.


Next visit a lacquerware workshop. This ancient craft has been produced in Bagan since the time of King Anawrahta around 1050 AD. Here in the workshop the traditional methods are still used.


Sanctuary Ananda Special Departures

Special 5-Day Monywa Departures in 2018

Special sailings combining the best of the Irrawaddy and Chindwin rivers. Sailing downstream from Mandalay to Bagan in August and September 2018.

 

Day 1 – Mandalay

Check in at 12:30pm and settle into your suite. If you arrive on an earlier flight we can arrange a tour of Mandalay. This will include a visit to Mahamuni Pagoda, Shwenandaw Monastery and lastly a visit to Kuthodaw Pagoda (Maha Lawka Marazein). Kuthodaw is often called the biggest book in the world, for surrounding it are 729 marble slabs inscribed with the Tripitaka texts (Buddhist canon).

Lunch will be served on board as we cruise towards the pagoda sprinkled hills of Sagaing.

In the afternoon visit the pagoda sprinkled Sagaing Hill, an important religious and monastic centre, home to some 554 monasteries and 6,000 monks and nuns. Here we will visit a Monastic school and orphanage where you will have the opportunity to meet some of the residents and understand the teachings of Buddhism.

Next, take in the views from the top of the hill on the terraces of the Soon U Ponya Shin Pagoda which are truly breathtaking. Below and all around, pagodas of different shapes and sizes dot the landscape.

Amarapura, was once known as ‘The City of Immortals’. Today, the leisurely ‘clack-clack’ from the looms of the cotton and silk weavers has replaced the noisy bustle of this former capital.

Visit the U Bein Bridge, a spectacular place to enjoy the sunset. This long teak bridge snakes across the Taungthaman Lake. After sunset, return to the Sanctuary Ananda.

A local performance will be followed by dinner on board.

 

 

Day 2 – Salingyi

Today is spent sailing south towards Salingyi. Take the opportunity to enjoy the on board activities and amenities.

After breakfast, our Executive Chef will take you on a culinary journey through the unique favours of Myanmar with a cooking demonstration. This is a great opportunity to discover what spices, meats and vegetables are used in traditional Burmese cooking, giving you lots of recipe inspiration you can take home with you.

After lunch a variety of on board activities will be offered including a back of house tour, a longyi (sarong) and thanaka (cosmetic) demonstration and a talk on Myanmar – covering the country’s incredibly rich history, the recent controversial decades to the outlook for the future of The Golden Land.

As we continue to sail south, enjoy the scenery of Myanmar’s river from Sanctuary Ananda’s sundeck. The inviting sun-loungers are shaded by canopies for when the sun is too high, while the plunge pool provides a cooling experience. There is also the option to visit our in-ship spa where there is a wide selection of treatments to choose from. Try therapies such as a traditional Thai massage or reflexology session. Our signature treatments include the ‘Ananda body scrub’ and ‘Ananda facial’, all using L’Occitane products and guaranteed to leave you feeling rejuvenated and ready for everything Myanmar has to offer.

Just before sunset we will enter the Chindwin River and start sailing upstream towards Monywa. This is an altogether different river to the Irrawaddy so expect the scenery to change dramatically and beautifully.

A delicious dinner will bring the day to an end.

 

 

Day 3 – Po Win Caves and Bodhi Tathaung

This morning, visit the Po Win Taung caves near Shwe Ba Taung. Carved out of the sandstone hills, this setting is breathtakingly special to behold, and a highlight of any trip to Myanmar. More ancient than the Thanbodday pagoda are the two cave pagoda complexes of Po win taung and Shwe ba taung, believed to be over 300 years old. There are almost one thousand caves in which both the Buddha images and the thrones were carved out of living rock. The natural shape of the caves was kept, and 17th century wall paintings in exquisite detail cover the interior walls. The entrances are rimmed with traditional motifs of vines and flowers, in high or low relief. Figures of mythical beings and traditional design elements are seen both carved and painted.

After the morning’s exciting excursion, we’ve chosen the perfect spot to serve a gourmet picnic lunch, offering exceptional views of the surrounding scenery.

Next we’ll head on to the intricately decorated golden Thanboddhay Pagoda, a truly staggering sight with its hundreds of crumbling stupas and almost half a million images of Buddha located in the niches around the inner wall. Afterward, visit Bodhi Tataung where you can see the two enormous Buddha statues – the one reclining is about 333 foot long, and the other stands at a record height of 424 feet. The reason we bring you here at this time of day is that it is best appreciated in the afternoon light.

Back on board, enjoy a delicious dinner and cocktails on board.

 

 

Day 4 – Bagan

After breakfast, join one of our chefs who will take you to the local market in Pakokku where mouth-watering fruit and vegetables are laid out with consummate style.

We will return to the Sanctuary Ananda for lunch as we sail on to Bagan.
After lunch on board, we will visit a small pagoda complex to see the different architecture of the stupas first-hand.

Next, on to the great golden Shwezigon Pagoda. This holds a special place among Burmese pagodas for two reasons: it was the first major monument built in the Burmese style (as distinct from Mon style) following the country’s conversion to Theravada Buddhism, and was the first pagoda to have nat (spirit) images allowed within the precinct. The Shwezigon is said to contain important relics of the Gautama Buddha, two bones and a copy of a tooth.

Enjoy the sunset over the Bagan plains. Admire the light change on the pagodas as they exude antiquity and mystery. Finally the sun sets behind the hills on the far side of the Irrawaddy River, filling the sky with a reddish glow, a truly magic moment.

A local performance will be followed by dinner on board.

 

 

Day 5 – Disembark in Bagan

Enjoy an early breakfast on your final morning before check out at 9am.

If you are departing on a later flight we will arrange for you to take a tour in Bagan. Leaving at 9am we will visit a local village in the heart of the Bagan plain, to see the way of life of the local people.

Next visit a lacquerware workshop. This ancient craft has been produced in Bagan since the time of King Anawrahta around 1050 AD. Here in the workshop the traditional methods are still used.


  • NOTICE:  The cruise schedule includes the latest information regarding your program, but last minute adjustments may occur. The schedule may shift due to the weather, site closure, or unexpected circumstances beyond our control. The exact time for each activity will be announced or posted by the on-board tour staff. The touring is active, so all participants should be in good health. Due to the rural location, handicapped accessibility is not available in Myanmar (Burma).  

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