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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!

Viking Manadalay; Wonderful Experience!

Viking Mandalay Cruise Review by littlegit

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: January 2016
  • Destination: Asia River
  • Cabin Type: Standard Outside Stateroom
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!
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Cabin Review

Standard Outside Stateroom
Cabin C 205
The ship is a lovely traditional style vessel. The cabins are all wood and have screened doors. The shower is larger than in most ships. Our North American plugs fit the outlets in the hotels and in the cabin. There are drawers built into the side of the very high beds. There is space for suitcases under the bed but they don’t fit if the bed has been made into a double. Storage is available below deck.
Middle Deck Outside Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews