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5 Bangkok (Laem Chabang) to Asia River Viking Mandalay Cruise Reviews

We had never been to Burma and were intrigued by the political developments there. The cruise itself was very somfortable witrh an extremely attentive staff and the usual Viking good planning for shore excursions The stay at Inle ... Read More
We had never been to Burma and were intrigued by the political developments there. The cruise itself was very somfortable witrh an extremely attentive staff and the usual Viking good planning for shore excursions The stay at Inle Lake was magical, with outstanding accomodations, and the discovery of a waterborne way of life we had never seen before (or since)! The depth of the Budhist faith was another unexpected discovery. It was impossible not to see some temple or other wherever we looked. The Shangri-La hotels at the beginning and end of the cruise were excellent in every way, the Bankok one on the river is incredibly pleasant, indeed we stayed there a few more days. The food on the Mandalay was fine but not quire as good as on othet Viking cruises, probably due to limited availability of ingredients in a very, very poor country. Finally perhaps the best part of the cruise were the other guests all of whom vere interesting and congenial people, maybe there was something special about people chosing to go to a relativelly little travelled country. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
A fantastic opportunity to experience a difference culture and a far different way of life. We were not disappointed. From a taste of opulent life in a grand hotel in Bangkok to the simple and basic life in Myanmar. Beautiful people ... Read More
A fantastic opportunity to experience a difference culture and a far different way of life. We were not disappointed. From a taste of opulent life in a grand hotel in Bangkok to the simple and basic life in Myanmar. Beautiful people with a welcome smile for all. A marvelous experience to find a third world country with no begging. A rare experience, there were the usual "vendors", mostly children and young adults, all trying to sell their goods, but no begging and fair pricing for the most part. What a shame that the cruises are coming to end. Viking made the experience a "once in a lifetime" event with a superb agenda delivered from a marvelous old style, classic, mostly teak, river boat, with very large and fully equipped cabins. More like a large hotel suite than a river boat cabin.. A floating hotel staffed by a service oriented crew that sought out ways to make your trip special. Every aspect of the trip was outstanding! From booking, to transfers, to accommodations, to the great meals, and the above average guides. Based on this trip, I will be taking another Viking cruise in Asia. This trip is gone, but if it ever comes back, grab it., Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We wanted to see Myanmar before it is changed forever by mass tourism. This itinerary allowed us to visit not only the major centres of Yangon and Mandalay but also small remote villages only accessible easily by river. We thoroughly ... Read More
We wanted to see Myanmar before it is changed forever by mass tourism. This itinerary allowed us to visit not only the major centres of Yangon and Mandalay but also small remote villages only accessible easily by river. We thoroughly enjoyed meeting some of the local people, especially the children who were so eager to practice their language skills on us. Visiting local markets was very interesting and colourful, as were the gold leaf factory and lacquerware workshop. The addition of a stopover at Inle Lake with a visit to the silk weaving workshop was very special. The ship was wonderful - lovely teak decor and a spacious sundeck. The crew were superb, always ready to assist us, even to the extent of cleaning our shoes whenever we came back onboard. We are so glad we went but disappointed to learn that Viking has withdrawn from Myanmar and this trip is no longer available. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Viking has a wonderful Myanmar cruise/tour itinerary. You get a chance to see some of the major tourist sites but also visit small villages. Many people loved the villages most of all. The trip starts in Bangkok at the beautiful ... Read More
Viking has a wonderful Myanmar cruise/tour itinerary. You get a chance to see some of the major tourist sites but also visit small villages. Many people loved the villages most of all. The trip starts in Bangkok at the beautiful Shangri-La Hotel. We arrived 2 days ahead but did not use the Viking pre-tour extension. It was less expensive to take a cab to the hotel (500 baht), upgrade to a deluxe river view room instead of the Viking standard room (still very nice) and book a couple of tours on our own. FYI the hotel will let you store things until your return at the end of the cruise. I enjoyed every single excursion. This is an interesting country. There are no optional excursions. What you see is what you get, plus a lot more! Viking makes this trip worry free. We were taken care of every step of the way. The staff is friendly, helpful and just can’t do enough for you. We travelled in January (a great month to go). It was sunny every day and I did not see a single mosquito. There were very few bugs. Viking said the areas we were travelling had no malaria. A couple of people took malaria pills and stopped because the medication made them feel sick. In January it is very cold at Inle Lake. It dropped to 5C (41F) at night. I wish I had packed warmer clothes. It gets very warm in the day but nights and mornings are chilly. Even if you are not an American, bring US cash. Most of the places we visited took US dollars. I thought I would use local currency from ATMs. In Yangon I tried my bank card plus 3 credit cards and was unable to withdraw cash. Myanmar does not have systems in place to handle all cards. Fortunately at the Mandalay airport there was a KBZ bank ATM that accepted my debit card. Although perfect for me but this trip is not for everyone. You will walk barefoot in temples and walk on some pretty dirty surfaces. (Viking provides moist wipes to clean your feet after.) There are a lot of stairs to climb and some are very steep. At the smaller villages the ship is tied up to a tree. A gang plank lowered and once you cross it, the climb up the bank is steep. This would not be a good trip for anyone with mobility issues. I would say the Viking Mandalay is a bit less refined than European cruises. The cabins and food may not be as fancy but the ambience is more what you expect from being on the Irrawaddy. The experience of seeing Myanmar in more of a traditional way before it changes is what is important. This was an amazing trip that I will never forget and unlike any other cruise I have been on. Kudos Viking! Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
A trip down the Irrawaddy, this s a small river ship, 28 cabins and maximum of 56 passengers. We had already sailed on this river ship in Vietnam and Cambodia, so knew the layout and quirks. This cruise is all inclusive, all meals are ... Read More
A trip down the Irrawaddy, this s a small river ship, 28 cabins and maximum of 56 passengers. We had already sailed on this river ship in Vietnam and Cambodia, so knew the layout and quirks. This cruise is all inclusive, all meals are served in the only dining room at set times, limited menu choices but caters for most tastes. The sail down the Irrawaddy has stops every day to visit either a village or sights but always returning to the ship for all meals. Single beds unless you ask for a double, but a double makes storage access difficult as the beds have cupboards built in. The crew were excellent, drinks included unless you want premium liquors, bar staff remembered your favourite drink. Food amazing, both Burmese and European. Lots of temple viewing, watching sunrise over Bagan was a special moment. Village stops were great but dusty. Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
Viking Mandalay Ratings
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