Memories of Mandalay

From $5,000 | 16 Days | 14 Guided Tours | 2 Countries

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Memories of Mandalay

From $5,000 | 16 Days | 14 Guided Tours | 2 Countries

Watch Video

Memories of Mandalay

From $5,000 | 16 Days | 14 Guided Tours | 2 Countries

Watch Video

Memories of Mandalay

From $5,000 | 16 Days | 14 Guided Tours | 2 Countries

Watch Video

Memories of Mandalay

Natural beauty, rich history and spiritual wonders await you in Thailand and Myanmar (Burma). Begin your journey in bustling Bangkok, where you encounter some of the Thai capital’s highlights, including the unforgettable Grand Palace temple complex set on the Chao Phraya River. Then fly to Myanmar for a two-day stay in Yangon (Rangoon) and a breathtaking cruise along the verdant Irrawaddy River, known as “the Road to Mandalay” after Rudyard Kipling’s famous poem. And in legendary Mandalay, experience the sweep of the region’s history from palaces and pagodas through colonial times to a contemporary melting pot of Asian cultures.

Day 1 | Bangkok, Thailand

Fly to Bangkok. We meet you at the airport* and take you to the Millennium Hilton (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 walk, browse one of the open air markets or visit one of the city’s museums. In the afternoon, 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, featuring golden pagodas, spires and the area’s distinctive stupas, has been the royal family’s main residence for more than 150 years, and also houses the entire administrative seat of government, including military headquarters, the state department and the mint. 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)

Day 3 | Yangon, Myanmar

After breakfast, check out of your hotel and proceed to the airport for your flight to Yangon, the former Burmese capital also known as Rangoon (“end of strife”). 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. Transfer to the sumptuous Traders Hotel (or similar) for a two-night stay and dinner at your hotel. (B, D)

Day 4 | Yangon, Myanmar

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 over 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 dinner in a selected local restaurant. (B, D)

Day 5 | Pyay, Myanmar

After breakfast, check out of your hotel and take a ride through the verdant Burmese countryside to Pyay, a charming town on the Irrawaddy River, where you will board your river cruise ship. Enjoy cocktails on deck during the embarkation briefing, then enjoy a festive welcome dinner with your fellow guests. (B, L, D)

Day 6 | Thayetmyo Frontier Post, Myanmar

Have breakfast, then take a brief excursion to nearby Thiri-ya-kittiya, an archeological site that is the former center of the 5th- through 8th-century Pyu civilization. See monumental Pyu stupas and the excavations of the former palace-city in this walled early center of Buddhism, and visit the museum to see some of the artifacts discovered. This afternoon, take in in the sights of rural Burma along the Irrawaddy’s bank as you begin cruising up the river. Today’s excursion takes you to colonial-era Burma; we visit the Thayetmyo Frontier Post, a pleasant town that once guarded the border between Royal Myanmar and British Myanmar. See the 19th-century covered market, colonial houses, golf courses and more. (B, L, D)

Day 7 | Minhla Colonial Fort, Myanmar

Continue cruising the Irrawaddy. Midmorning, stop to visit Minhla, an Italian-built fort constructed to protect Royal Myanmar from the British. A gentle climb up to Minhla Fort is rewarded with sweeping views of the surrounding area and the river. This afternoon we visit the local market and town center by trishaw, then continue to the magnificent Mya-Tha-Lun Pagoda. (B, L, D)

Day 8 | Salé Monasteries, Myanmar

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)

Day 9 | Bagan, Myanmar

This morning we stop at the Tan-Chi-Taung mountain and ascend by car to see the spectacular view over Bagan. The villagers will perform an elephant dance for us on the river bank. Bagan was the capital city of Burma from 1044 to 1287. This plain east of the curving Irrawaddy is one of the most wondrous sights in Myanmar. We visit a selection of some of the 3,000 listed monuments and catch the sunset from an incredible vantage point. This evening enjoy a traditional Burmese puppet show on the sun deck. (B, L, D)

Day 10 | Bagan, Myanmar

This morning, further explore the Bagan area, visiting several of the 3,000 listed monuments: the amazing views from the terrace of Dhammayazika Paya, and the biggest temple of Dhammayangyi (both built in the 12th century), and one of the best preserved of all Bagan temples, the 11th-century Ananda. Visit a lacquerware workshop and learn about Yun-de, or Burmese lacquerware, and its production. This lacquer is a sap that is straw colored but when brushed on forms a hard, glossy, black surface resistant to moisture and heat. This afternoon we stop at a typical riverside community where you will be able to explore by foot, interact with the local people and get a taste of daily life. (B,L,D)

Day 11 | Yandabo, Myanmar

Today’s scenic cruising will feature a visit to one of the area’s typical small villages. Yandabo’s claim to fame is that the treaty ending the First Anglo–Burmese War (1824–1826) was signed here in February of 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. (B, L, D)

Day 12 | Amarapura, Myanmar

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 the world’s longest teak bridge. Take a boat ride on the lake this evening for a great view of the sunset. (B, L, D)

Day 13 | Mandalay, Myanmar

Arrive in Mandalay early this morning and take a panoramic tour of central Mandalay, visiting the Mahamuni Pagoda, with its serene gold-leaf statue of the Buddha, and Shwenandaw Golden Palace monastery with its exquisite teak carvings. We stop to see gold-leaf beating and other traditional crafts. Dinner is served aboard. (B, L, D)

Day 14 | Mandalay, Myanmar

Today, you have a full-day tour of Mandalay, including Mandalay Palace, the Myanmar Buddhist Orphanage Association and other important pagodas and monasteries. This evening, your ship’s captain and crew invite you for a gala farewell dinner. (B, L, D)

Day 15 | Bangkok, Thailand

Have a final onboard breakfast, then disembark and proceed to the airport. Fly to Bangkok and check into the Millennium Hilton (or equivalent) for a final evening before your flight home. (B)

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