1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2015
While we started in Bangkok, we flew to Mandalay, Myanmar where we boarded our ship. We then proceeded to sail down the Irawady river for 12 days, then stayed in Yangon (formerly Rangoon) one night. The country is not terribly developed ... Read More
While we started in Bangkok, we flew to Mandalay, Myanmar where we boarded our ship. We then proceeded to sail down the Irawady river for 12 days, then stayed in Yangon (formerly Rangoon) one night. The country is not terribly developed with practically no docks to pull into on the stops. We climbed up dirt banks to the roads. There was a lot of walking but it was all worth it. We thoroughly enjoyed the cruise, the crew, the boat, the guide and our guide. Food was great too. The only minor problem was a several hour long bus trip from the town where we left the boat to Yangon. Still it was an opportunity to see the countryside away from the river (including seeing a farmer washing his elephant before going off to work. Myanmar is mainly a Buddhist country with many beautiful temples including the spectacular one in Rangoon. It was also wonderful to see the small towns with smaller temples, markets, houses, shops and schools. It was a great trip. I highly recommend it (even in its new iteration with less time on the river, more on airplanes, and no long bus trip. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2015
We picked this trip, since Myanmar was an entirely new and exotic destination. The Shangri La hotel in Bangkok was beautiful. We flew to Mandalay for a short tour and where we boarded the boat. The accommodations are very simple, but ... Read More
We picked this trip, since Myanmar was an entirely new and exotic destination. The Shangri La hotel in Bangkok was beautiful. We flew to Mandalay for a short tour and where we boarded the boat. The accommodations are very simple, but practical. It was the same flat bottom style on the Irrawaddy as the Vietnam/Cambodia trip on the Mekong. The food was fresh and delicious - we liked the many local dishes on board. Everything is casual and open seating. Every day we stopped at different villages, with something to see or learn at each one. We saw so many Buddhas and beautiful Temples and Pagodas, with monks and monasteries everywhere. We learned about the history of the country. The education resources are very limited. Politics were bad, but recently things seem to have improved a bit. We had lectures, a movie, various talks, guest monks and craft persons on board. People in the villages were often poor, but seemed very friendly and got by OK. We were on all kinds of fun transportation. Our guide, Dorothy, was wonderful and so full of interesting information. She taught us all, much about her country and often surprised us with a song, a small gift, or a funny story. When we returned from dusty walks, the crew on our boat collected our shoes and sandals we wore and returned them cleaned off to our doorsteps! Nice! We ended Myranmar in Yangon for a couple of nights and then flew back to Bangkok. The only negative was that nearly all 50 of the guests ended with respiratory infections- coughing mostly. Perhaps from so much dust, close quarters, and sharing of serving utensils on board. We were not warned until we were on the ship about the minimal emergency health resources on the trip. Luckily no one had an emergency. Also, minimal wifi available along the river, except in hotel stops. There are 3 main levels on board- access by steep stairs only. Top level is shaded. Read Less

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