Memories of Mandalay

From $5,300 | 16 Days | 14 Guided Tours | 2 Countries

Watch Video

Memories of Mandalay

From $5,300 | 16 Days | 14 Guided Tours | 2 Countries

Watch Video

Memories of Mandalay

From $5,300 | 16 Days | 14 Guided Tours | 2 Countries

Watch Video

Memories of Mandalay

From $5,300 | 16 Days | 14 Guided Tours | 2 Countries

Watch Video
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Memories of Mandalay

Rich history and mystical wonders await you in Thailand and Myanmar. There’s natural and spiritual beauty everywhere here, from the glittering Grand Palace of the Thai capital of Bangkok to the breathtaking forest of ancient stupas and pagodas of Bagan. Discover the exoticism of Old Burma during an 11-day cruise along the verdant Irrawaddy River, celebrated in Rudyard Kipling’s poem The Road to Mandalay. And take in the colonial architecture and ornate palaces and pagodas of Yangon and Mandalay, fascinating melting pots of Asian cultures. Join us on the entrancing Irrawaddy, and witness this corner of Asia frozen in time.

The Grand Palace, Bangkok, Thailand

Day 1 | Bangkok, Thailand

Fly to Bangkok. We meet you at the airport* and take you to the Shangri-La Bangkok (or similar) where you check in for a 2-night stay.

Day 2 | Bangkok, Thailand

This morning you can begin to acclimate yourself to this colorful part of the world. After breakfast at your hotel, take a guided tour of some of Bangkok’s highlights, including the canals and the famous Grand Palace. Dating back to the late 1700s, this walled complex features golden pagodas and the area’s distinctive stupas (spires). It has been the royal family’s main residence for more than 150 years, and also houses the entire administrative seat of government, including the military headquarters, state department and mint. In the afternoon, take a walk, browse one of the open air markets or visit one of the city’s museums. The evening is yours to explore; attend a traditional Thai puppet theater or temple dance performance, or shop at one of the many night markets. (B)

Shwenandaw Palace, Mandalay, Myanmar

Day 3 | Mandalay, Myanmar

After breakfast, check out of your hotel and proceed to the airport for your flight to Mandalay. Upon arrival, take a panoramic tour of central Mandalay, visiting the Mahamuni Pagoda, with its serene gold-leaf statue of the Buddha. You will stop to see gold-leaf beating and other traditional crafts before boarding your ship for a festive welcome dinner with your fellow guests. (B, D)

Royal Palace, Mandalay, Myanmar

Day 4 | Mandalay, Myanmar

Today, you have a full-day tour of Mandalay, including Mandalay Palace, the Myanmar Buddhist Orphanage Association, Shwenandaw Kyaung, or ‟Golden Palace Monastery,” with its exquisite teak carvings. and other important pagodas and monasteries. Stop for lunch at a local restaurant in Mandalay. (B, L, D)

The Irrawaddy River

Day 5 | Amarapura, Myanmar

Depart Mandalay early this morning and cruise downstream. Today we have stops at two former Burmese capitals: Ava and Amarapura. The Ava Kingdom unified and ruled Burma from the 14th through the 16th centuries, and Ava was the capital city for centuries. Today, we tour this peaceful, rural town, also known as Inwa, by horse-drawn cart. We then proceed to Amarapura, a more recent Burmese capital, now a township of Mandalay. We will see the city’s 19th-century stupas and monasteries and U Bein Bridge; at three quarters of a mile, it is the world’s longest teak bridge. Take a boat ride on the lake this evening for a great view of the sunset. Return to your ship and dine aboard as we continue south along the Irrawaddy. (B, L, D)

Monk Pottery, Yandabo, Myanmar

Day 6 | Yandabo, Myanmar

Today’s scenic cruising will feature a visit to one of the area’s typical small villages, Yandabo. The treaty ending the First Anglo-Burmese War (1824-1826) was signed here in February 1826. Today, the town has a population of about 1,000, and specializes in pottery making. We will spend time at a workshop to see how these useful vessels are created and fired. This evening, enjoy a traditional Burmese puppet show on the Sun Deck. (B, L, D)

Ananda Temple, Bagan, Myanmar

Day 7 | Bagan, Myanmar

Bagan was the capital city of Burma from 1044 to 1287. The plain east of the curving Irrawaddy is one of the most wondrous sights in Myanmar. We visit several of the 3,000 listed monuments: Dhammayazika Paya, with its amazing views; Dhammayangyi, the biggest temple (both built in the 12th century); and the 11th-century Ananda, one of the best-preserved Bagan temples. (B, L, D)

Salé Monastery, Magway, Myanmar

Day 8 | Salé Monasteries, Myanmar

This morning we stop at Tan-Chi-Taung where you will get a taste of local life on a village walk. The villagers will perform an elephant dance for us on the riverbank. Today’s scenic Irrawaddy cruising is punctuated with an afternoon stop at the famous Salé Monasteries. The highlight of this group of teak monastery structures is the Yout-Saun-Kyaung, with its spectacular wood carvings, built in 1882. Also explore a nearby area of splendid colonial-style houses before returning to your ship. (B, L, D)

Mya-Tha-Lun Pagoda, Magway, Myanmar

Day 9 | Magway, Myanmar

This morning, we stop at a typical riverside community that you will be able to explore by foot. Interact with the local people and get a taste of daily life. This afternoon we visit the magnificent Mya-Tha-Lun Pagoda, which is the largest shrine in the region and provides a great scenic overview of the riverbank. (B, L, D)

The Irrawaddy River

Day 10 | Magway, Myanmar

This morning in Magway, visit the local market and town center by trishaw before we continue cruising the Irrawaddy. This afternoon, we stop to visit Minhla, a fort built by two Italian brothers to protect Royal Burma from the British. A gentle climb up to Minhla Fort is rewarded with sweeping views of the surrounding area and the river. (B, L, D)

Traditional Myanmar Foods

Day 11 | Kan Ne, Myanmar

Today’s excursion takes you to the traditional village of Kan Ne to experience old Burma at its most authentic. Here, you’ll witness a way of life that hasn't changed much over the centuries. Visit the primary school to learn about the education system in this rural corner of Myanmar. The children here will demonstrate some traditional dances and share a snack with you, courtesy of the village monk from the nearby monastery. If you’d like, you can join the children in a song before returning to the ship. (B, L, D)

Monks of Pyay, Myanmar

Day 12 | Pyay, Myanmar

Visit the fascinating archaeological museum of the Srikshetra period (6th to 9th century), a museum of early Buddhist artifacts and sculpture. See the early prototype stupa called ‟Phayargyi.” Continue to the magnificent Shwesandaw Pagoda where you will get a magnificent view over the Irrawaddy and of the city, Pyay. (B, L, D)

Yangon, Myanmar

Day 13 | Yangon, Myanmar

After a final onboard breakfast, disembark your ship. Take a ride through the verdant countryside to Yangon, the former Burmese capital also known as Rangoon (“end of strife”), where you check in to the sumptuous Traders Hotel (or similar) for a 2-night stay. Dine at your hotel. (B, D)

Shwedagon Pagoda, Yangon, Myanmar

Day 14 | Yangon, Myanmar

Founded in the 11th century as a fishing village, Yangon was transformed into a major hub during the colonial era. It was replaced as the administrative capital in 2005 but remains the country’s largest city and cultural capital. Today you have a guided tour of Yangon’s highlights; we will focus on some of the city’s spectacular Buddhist temples, including the Shwedagon Pagoda, sometimes called the “Golden Pagoda,” thought to be more than 2,500 years old. You will also see some of Yangon’s grand colonial-era structures along Strand Road and the Kyaukhtatgyi Pagoda, which houses a monumental reclining Buddha; at 180 feet long, it is the largest in the world. Relax before a farewell dinner at the Kandawgyi Palace restaurant. (B, D)

Wat Arun Temple, Bangkok, Thailand

Day 15 | Bangkok, Thailand

After breakfast, check out of your hotel and proceed to the airport. Fly to Bangkok and check into the Shangri-La Bangkok (or equivalent) for a final evening before your flight home. (B)

The Grand Palace, Bangkok, Thailand

Day 16 | Bangkok, Thailand

After your hotel breakfast, proceed to the Bangkok airport. Or, extend your stay in Bangkok with an additional 2-night extension so you can experience more of this fascinating city. (B)

The following meals are included: B = Breakfast; L = Lunch; D = Dinner

* Airport meet & greet transfers included when air is purchased from Viking River Cruises

Memories of Mandalay - 2014 Bangkok to Mandalay to Yangon - Cruise Itinerary