Luxury Small Group Journeys – Myanmar and the Irrawaddy 2017

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Burma, Myanmar

Best time to go: January to March, October to December

10 Nights | from £4,595pp

Holiday type: Group departure

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Myanmar and the Irrawaddy, Asia, Luxury Small Group Journey with Abercrombie and Kent


  • Cruise in luxury for three nights on the legendary Irrawaddy River aboard all-balcony ‘Sanctuary Ananda’
  • Experience floating gardens and a private viewing of a traditional Intha boat race on tranquil Inle Lake.
  • Soar above thousands of pagodas and capture the photographs of a lifetime on a magical hot air balloon ride
  • Explore Shwedagon Pagoda — a fantasy of golden stupas, serene Buddhas and mythical beasts
  • Travel off the beaten path on a tour of Musmeah Yeshua, the last remaining Jewish synagogue in Myanmar

Myanmar and the Irrawaddy: Download PDF itinerary

Day 1 Arrive Yangon, Myanmar
Arrive in Yangon, where you are met and transferred to your hotel.
Sule Shangri-La, Yangon

Day 2 Yangon | Queen of the East
Today, enjoy your first taste of Myanmar, a profoundly Buddhist country, where many ancient traditions still flourish.Meet a traditional Burmese astrologer, who specializes in advising individuals on important life decisions - such as when to marry or buy property -  in order to correctly choose days for these events that will bring good fortune. Astrology plays an important role in the lives of the Burmese people, and is based on a unique Zodiac that derives largely from the Hindu and Vedic zodiac and traditions. This evening, gather with your fellow guests for a special welcome dinner.
Sule Shangri-La, Yangon | Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 3 Bagan | Temples & Pagodas
Fly to ancient Bagan, a city with more than 2,000 Buddhist pagodas and temples, the first of which was built by King Anawrahta in 1044. It’s estimated that more than 10,000 such sacred structures once adorned the dusty plain here. Upon arrival, visit a rural village, where you have a chance to interact with the locals en route to your hotel. After a short rest, continue your journey to see the Shwezigon Pagoda, Bagan’s greatest reliquary, built to house the Buddha’s collarbone, frontal bone and tooth. At sunset, Ride Like a Local as you weave your way through the ancient temple ruins on the back of a horse cart.
Aureum Palace Hotel & Resort | Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 4 Bagan | Ballooning Above the Temples
Rise early for an exhilarating hot air balloon ride (weather permitting) over Bagan, as the dawning sun illuminates the gold- and sand-coloured stupas. After breakfast, visit Ananda Temple. Built in 1090, it is the best preserved temple in the region. Next, travel to the little village of Wetkyi-In to see the wonderful Kubyaukgyi Temple, renowned for its ancient murals. Board luxurious all-balcony ‘Sanctuary Ananda,’ your home for a three-night cruise on the timeless Irrawaddy River. After lunch on board, visit a local lacquerware workshop before proceeding to the Gunee Temple complex to enjoy the sunset. Return to the ship for dinner.
Sanctuary Ananda | Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 5 The Irrawaddy River | A Timeless Journey
After breakfast on board ‘Sanctuary Ananda,’ explore Nyaung Oo Market and observe the locals selling and bartering for goods. Return to the ship for lunch and continue sailing. Listen to a special on board talk about Myanmar’s history and vision for the future, followed by demonstrations of the longgi (traditional Burmese cloth worn by men and women) and thanakha (a white cosmetic paste made from ground bark that is used on the face and arms by women and girls).
Sanctuary Ananda | Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 6 Sagaing / Amarapura | U Bein Bridge
This morning, learn the secrets of Burmese cuisine during a cooking class at a delightful Chef’s Table experience. After lunch, disembark to visit Sagaing, a former royal city renowned for the many monasteries, pagodas and stupas that dot its green hillsides. Proceed to Amarapura, where you embark on a local boat to view the picturesque U Bein Bridge — the oldest and longest teakwood bridge in the world — for a spectacular sundowner. Watch as locals riding bikes, carrying crops and commuting from work cross this tall, iconic wooden landmark, offering an insight into everyday life here and a sunset photo opportunity not to be missed.
Sanctuary Ananda | Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 7 Mandalay | Icons & Evening Prayers
Visit Sinjun village in the early morning hours, to experience village life before the heat of the day weighs on its inhabitants. After breakfast on board, explore a gold-leaf workshop, where the metal is hammered paper-thin and prepared for use in some of Myanmar’s holiest sites. This afternoon, visit the Shwenandaw Monastery and view the more than 700 marble slabs inscribed with Buddhist religious texts at Kuthodaw Pagoda, referred to as the biggest book in the world. Later, witness evening prayers at Shwe Kyin Monastery.
Rupar Mandalar Resort | Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 8 Inle Lake | Floating Gardens
Fly to Heho and drive to Nyaung Shwe to explore the 19th century Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery, a structure still in use built entirely out of teakwood. Next, stop at a Shan paper workshop. The paper, made from the fibers of the mulberry bush, is best known for its use in Burmese parasols. Enjoy a first-hand look at the artisans who produce this distinctive paper and craft a wide range of items from it. After lunch, board a boat and explore the ingenious floating gardens of Inle Lake. To create these gardens, used for growing fruit and vegetables, fishermen gather together lake plants such as water hyacinths and seagrass and anchor them with bamboo poles embedded in the lake bottom. Layers of mud, ash and more vegetation are then applied to form a farmable surface strong enough to stand upon. Also, visit Nga Phe Kyaung Monastery, which stands on stilts beside the lake, to view the Buddha statues on display in intricately decorated shrines. Transfer to your lakeside boutique hotel for the evening.
Aureum Palace Resort & Spa, Inle | Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 9 Inle Lake | Fifth-Day Market & Private Boat Race
After breakfast, visit the Fifth-Day Market, where hill tribe people in traditional dress barter for goods and produce. Stop at a blacksmith’s workshop and a weaving factory, and try your hand at making a cheroot (Burmese cigar). Stop for lunch at the Intha Heritage House, enjoying dishes made from recipes handed down for generations. Then, witness a private Intha boat race with afternoon tea. Marvel at the coordinated effort required by the 20 participants per boat, each using the traditional single-leg rowing technique that local fishermen still employ.
Aureum Palace Resort & Spa, Inle | Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 10 Yangon | Shwedagon Pagoda & Farewell Dinner
Fly to Yangon and transfer to your hotel. After time at leisure, transfer to Shwedagon Pagoda, the most sacred Buddhist site in Myanmar, for a sunset oil lamp lighting ceremony. Tonight, toast your time in Myanmar at a special farewell dinner.
Sule Shangri-La, Yangon | Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 11 Depart Yangon
After breakfast, transfer to the airport and depart.
Meals: Breakfast

Back to Myanmar


Departure Dates & Pricing

Departure Dates Per Person from
7th, 14th, 28th Jan, 4th, 11th, 18th, 25th, Feb, 5th, 4th,18th Mar, 10th Dec £4,595Book now
1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd, 29th Oct, 5th, 12th, 26th Nov £4,825Book now
17th, 24th Dec £6,135Book now


28th Mar, 4th, 11th Apr departures do not have balloon flights operating on these dates.
The above prices include all accommodation, guiding and meals as specified. Subject to availability. Excludes international flights. Single Supplement on request
Itinerary may operate with some slight routing changes due to low water levels.
Price based on Classic Cabin Bagan Deck, supplements apply for other cabins.
Bangkok Pre Tour Extension. 3 days from £1015 per person. Available on 14th Jan; 4th, 18th Feb; 4th Mar; 8th, 22nd Oct, 5th, 12th Nov, 10th, 17th and 24th Dec departures.
Luang Prabang PostTour Extension. 4 days from £2,215 per person. Available on 7th, 14th Jan, 4th, 11th Feb; 4th, 18th Mar, 8th, 29th Oct; 5th Nov, 10th and 24th Dec departures.
Minimum age is 10 years.


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Celebrate with a luxury holiday with Abercrombie & Kent

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Abercrombie & Kent


Our office in Yangon is managed by a local team of experienced and passionate travel professionals with an intimate knowledge of Myanmar, enabling them to provide clients with great insight into this fascinating destination, and ensuring a seamless experience every step of the A&K journey. With their long standing personal connections and networks they're also there to help you uncover local secrets and experiences, and to open doors to people and places normally beyond the reach of the ordinary traveller.

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Useful info

Myanmar (Burma) Map

Best time to be there

Myanmar (Burma) has three clear seasons: from March to May are the very hot summer months, the wet and humid monsoon runs from May to October and the cold dry winter lasts from November to February. The best time of year to visit is late November early December when the rains have gone, the landscape is lush and green and the skies are crystal clear. However any time from late November to March is a good time to travel.

Fly to

Yangon (Thai Airways via Bangkok)

flying time

12 hours 55 minutes via Bangkok

time difference

GMT +6 1/2 hours


Required for UK passport holders

Health Requirements

Yellow Fever certificate if arriving from an endemic area

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