Savour the colonial and spiritual heritage of Myanmar with this once-in-a-lifetime journey through the country’s heartland, following the spine of the Irrawaddy from Yangon to Mandalay and back again. This 19-day expedition tours Myanmar’s captivating colonial-era cities, its ancient archaeological wonders and the natural spectacle of Inle Lake – for the ultimate adventure in Southeast Asia.
Welcome to Yangon, where your tour begins with a choice of EmeraldPLUS activities, from shopping at a local market, a tour of Kandawgyi Park, and a special visit to the Shwedagon Pagoda, the most revered Buddhist temple in Myanmar. After a luxury hotel stay, you’re transferred to the airport for your flight to Inle Lake, one of the most spectacular regions of the country.
Vast, colourful and enduringly peaceful, Myanmar’s Lake Inle lies in perfect contrast to the bustling heart of Yangon. Board a small motorboat to begin your exploration of this sprawling lake, where you’ll pass humble villages built on stilts over the water, and witness leg-rowing fisherman tending to their floating gardens – a truly extraordinary encounter.
After three days of leisurely exploration within the peaceful tranquillity of Inle, you’ll fly to Mandalay to begin your luxury river cruise on the Irrawaddy. Journeying south, savour the heritage wonders of Mingun and Monywa, as well as an EmeraldPLUS visit to a local school in Yandabo, where you’ll meet with local children to learn about life on this life-giving passageway.
Day 11 brings you to Bagan, an archaeological site rich in ancient carvings, pagodas and temples. EmeraldPLUS gives you the chance to enjoy a tour of the region on a traditional oxcart, before visiting a local workshop to learn about Myanmar’s thriving tile lacquering industry and its unique traditions.
Your journey ends in Pyay, the former capital of the ancient kingdom of Pyu. Here, visit the Sri Ksetra Museum, whose artefacts date back to the 6th century, before visiting the impressive Shwesandaw Pagoda complex, a distinguished pilgrimage site. Returning to the ship, enjoy a farewell dinner and raise a glass to the end of your incredible trip.