Burma By Ship – In George Orwell’s Footsteps

What could be better than exploring the peculiarities and remote places in Burma in peace and quiet on the waterway? In the Golden Land of Burma – a country starting with letter B listed on COUNTRYAAH – you will encounter a varied landscape, a rich cultural heritage and, last but not least, friendly people. With this example route you will discover not only highlights of Burma but also insider tips away from the main tourist routes: Follow George Orwell’s footsteps as a young police officer in Burma by ship.

Burma By Ship - In George Orwell's Footsteps 3

This is an example of one of our tours and should serve as a source of inspiration. Would you like a different cruise or route? Of course, the itinerary including the destinations can be adapted and we will be happy to work out a round trip for you that is tailored to your interests and budget.

Best travel time: The Upper Irrawaddy is best traveled after the rainy season from October to February.

Duration of the trip : River cruise 7 days. We recommend 3 to 4 weeks, which can be expanded into a comprehensive tour of Burma .

Price: on request. Varies greatly depending on the shipping company.

Travel planning: This river trip is something very special and leads to the north of Burma in regions still largely undiscovered by tourism. A portion of the spirit of discovery belongs in your luggage! Different cruise operators cover this route – we know the difference.

Tip: The perfect read for this varied tour is “Days in Burma” by George Orwell.

Day 1: Arrival in Mandalay
Arrival in Mandalay and transfer to your hotel. Visit to the Kuthodaw Pagoda, the largest book in the world and the Maharmuni Buddha. Stroll over the famous U Bein Bridge, which is the longest teak wood bridge in the world at 1.2 km and was built in 1787. With a small boat you sail across Taungthaman Lake and enjoy the sunset and overnight in Mandalay.

Day 2: Beginning of the Irrawaddy cruise
Experience traditional handicrafts in a gold leaf workshop, in a sculpture, wood carver and / or doll studio. After noon you will be driven to the pier and your 7-day river cruise on the upper part of the Irrawaddy River – a region only accessible to foreigners by water – will begin.

You will visit the potteries near Kyauk-Myoung, which make the large clay pots typical of the region. In the afternoon you drive through the third bottleneck of the upper Irrawaddy. Overnight on RV Pandaw.

Burma By Ship - In George Orwell's Footsteps 2

Day 3: Khanyat (river trip)
Further upriver you visit the village Khanyat with its many Buddhist monasteries and visit the house of the priest of the place. Overnight on board RV Pandaw.

Day 4: Katha (river cruise)
Your Irrawaddy river cruise takes you to the colonial city of Katha, the setting of the novel “Days in Burma” by George Orwell, who was stationed here as a police officer for several months. Not much has changed since then, so you will experience a place full of nostalgia. You will also visit a working elephant camp. Overnight on RV Pandaw.

Day 5: Kyun Daw (river trip)
With a small local boat you take a trip to the island of Kyunt Daw and visit this typical Burmese village with its golden pagodas, far from the usual tourist routes. Overnight on RV Pandaw.

Day 6: Second Irrawaddy breakthrough (river cruise)
Today you will pass the second narrow gorge of the Irrawaddy during your river cruise, perhaps the most exciting part of your river cruise. Overnight on RV Pandaw.

Day 7: Tagaung (river trip)
A walk takes you through the historical Tagaung. Here you will visit, among other things, the defenses, the well-known Nat Shrine and the archaeological sites before you go back to your river boat for the last night on board. Overnight on RV Pandaw.

Day 8: Mingun and Sagain (river trip)
In the morning in Mingun you will visit the largest functioning bell in the world and an unfinished pagoda, which is the world’s largest single building made of bricks. Then it goes on to Sagaing. The greatest charm of Sagaing is the 1,000 hermit clauses and sanctuaries, rich in wood carvings and religious art, as well as the community of Buddhist monks and nuns. Disembarkation after lunch. Your guide will be waiting for you at the pier. Transfer to the hotel and in the late afternoon further sightseeing of Mandalay and enjoy the sunset on Mandalay Hill. Overnight in Mandalay.

Day 9-12: Bagan
Overland drive to Bagan, where extensive sightseeing awaits you in this unique site. As far as the eye can see, countless temples, pagodas and stupas adorn the landscape. You explore the most interesting facilities by car, for example the Ananda Temple and the Shwezigon Pagoda. You will also visit a craft shop where Bagan’s famous Laquer goods are made.

Another highlight is the unforgettable hot air balloon ride over the temple fields of Bagan at sunrise.

Day 13: Pindaya and Inle
Transfer to the airport in Bagan and flight to Heho. Then drive to Pindaya, past hilly agricultural land. A visit to the stalactite caves of Pindaya with the numerous Buddha statues will impress you too. Then transfer via Nyaung Shwe to Inle Lake and transfer by boat to your hotel, which is built on stilts on the lake.

14th – 15th day: Inle Lake with cooking class and mini hike
Inle Lake is the home of the Inthas and one-legged rowers. Together with the guide you will explore the lake and its surroundings by long boat: 5-day market, lotus weaving, and Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, to name just a few highlights.

You can also look forward to a visit to Sagar and a cooking class, where you will be initiated into the secrets of Intha cuisine before you hike across rice fields and along cotton plantations to Indein.

Day 16: Yangon
Transfer to the airport in Heho and flight to Yangon. Stroll through the center of the city of 5 million with its colonial buildings. Visit the more than 2000 year old Sule Pagoda and the lively Scott Market, where everything from handicrafts to clothes and jewelry is for sale. The Shwedagon Pagoda, one of the most beautiful pagodas in the country, will show you its gold-plated exterior in a particularly impressive way at sunset and if you feel like it, go on a culinary excursion in the evening.

Day 17: Yangon and journey home
Continuation of your sightseeing: Visit to a monastery where over 1300 monks live. Then take the leisurely circular train back to the city center. Visits to the studios of renowned artists can be arranged on request.

Even the best vacation comes to an end. Time to do some final shopping before you are driven to the airport and it is time to say goodbye to Burma. Or: Extend your vacation on one of the dream beaches of Ngapali or Ngwe Saung.

Burma By Ship - In George Orwell's Footsteps