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Cruising the Remote Chindwin River in Burma

8 days from £2735 per person

The upper reaches of the Chindwin River is a remote, wild but beautiful land. Following the Indian border before turning inland towards Mandalay, this Chindwin cruise retains an expeditionary essence with an adventurous routing through what remains a little-visited region. Seven nights in duration, this cruise operates downstream from Homalin or upstream from Monywa and visits the historic settlements of Toungdoot, Sitthaung, Mawlaik and Mingkin. Flights up to Homalin are included, as are coach transfers between Mandalay and Monywa. Note that the itinerary shown is based on travel from March to November. Between December and February water levels drop dramatically and it may not be possible to reach Homalin so an alternative routing is followed.

Route: Homalin - Toungdoot - Sitthaung - Mawlaik - Mingkin - Monywa - Mandalay

Itinerary Highlights

Little-explored, the Chindwin is one of Burma’s most remote rivers. Slicing through the heart of isolated rural Burma, the scenery is spectacular and the river-life fascinating to witness.

During World War II, isolated Sitthaung was where many of the Irrawaddy Flotilla Company ships were scuppered in 1942. Remains of some of the vessels can still be seen here today.

Few travellers are ever fortunate enough to visit Mingkin but this important historical site is home to beautiful teak monasteries and the oldest wooden religious complex in Burma.

Itinerary: Cruising the Remote Chindwin River in Burma

This morning at 1030 hours you will be met at your hotel and taken to Mandalay Airport in good time for the flight to Homalin. On arrival you will be transferred to the Chindwin River to board the RV Kha Byoo for the seven night downstream ‘Chindwin’ cruise. With its ultra-low draught, Homalin is the furthest navigable point on the Chindwin for vessels of this size. Later leave Homalin and begin cruising south towards Toungdoot. (D)
Today arrive in Toungdoot. During British rule this ancient Shan territory, which is also known as Hsawng-hsup, had its own palace and court. With a beautiful setting, this remote outpost is an ideal place to fully experience traditional rural Burma. Leaving Toungdoot continue on to Sitthaung passing both Paungbyin and Patha, the latter of which was once the location of an important oil refinery that belonged to the Indo-Burma Petroleum Company. (B/L/D)
Located close to the Indian border at Tamu start the morning in Sitthaung, a tiny Chindwin settlement. During World War II, Sitthaung was where the vast majority of Irrawaddy Flotilla Company ships were scuppered in 1942 by the retreating British so that this precious fleet did not fall into Japanese hands. Continuing on, the remains of some of these vessels may be seen and later pass the mouth of the Yu River which drains the Kubu valley. (B/L/D)
Despite its inaccessible location, during British rule Mawlaik was the administrative centre of the region and was mainly settled by the Scottish owned and run Bombay-Burmah Trading Company during the 1920s and 1930s. Disembark to see the colonial-era homes and charming ‘dak’ bungalows of this sleepy backwater town. Return to the boat and cruise downriver to Kalewa with its pretty riverside setting and interesting traditional wooden architecture. Later leave Kalewa and continue on towards Mingkin. (B/L/D)
Today arrive in little-visited Mingkin. With its unique highly decorated teak monasteries, including the oldest wooden religious complex in the country, Mingkin is one of the region’s most important historical sites. The remainder of the day will be spent on the river cruising downstream to Monywa. There will be a few opportunities to leave the boat and visit some of the many pretty villages that line the Chindwin. (B/L/D)
This morning enter the lower Chindwin where the river widens and the flood plain is much more intensively cultivated. Disembark in Monywa, an important agricultural trading centre close to the confluence of the Chindwin and Irrawaddy rivers, and visit the colourful Thanbodi Temple with its large collection of Buddha images. Moor overnight close to Monywa. (B/L/D)
After breakfast travel by coach to the Phowin Taung caves. Here explore this important religious site which is noted for its ancient Buddha images and highly decorative wall murals. The caves are believed to date to the early 1700s. Later return to Monywa and the boat where the remainder of the day will be at leisure. (B/L/D)
This morning disembark the boat in Monywa at IWT Jetty and transfer by road to Mandalay – a journey of around three hours. (B)
**KEY: N = No meals, B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner

What To Do Next?

We design unique, tailor-made holiday itineraries to suit you, by combining your ideas with our knowledge and experience. Once you have an idea of what you’re looking for, or if you require some advice, please call us or complete the enquiry form online for a quotation.

What's included

  • Domestic flights
  • Cruise accommodation and sightseeing with other passengers
  • Shared transfers as specified

What's not included

  • Any International flights
  • Cost of visas
  • Travel Insurance
  • Expenses of a personal nature
  • Meals unless specified

Guide to Price

The above price is based on two people travelling together and sharing accommodation in low season. The price is only a guide and can vary according to selected airlines, hotels and date of travel. If you wish to travel with your family, friends or on your own we will be very happy to assist you with your arrangements.

Myanmar Holiday Review

We had a truly wonderful trip, exploring, meeting people and seeing the country. An itinerary, and thank you for all that you and your team did for us. Everything went like clockwork and our guide May, and the drivers were fantastic.

SR & JR - Myanmar - November 2017

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