A cruise through Myanmar, also known as Burma is like taking a trip back into the history of the Southeast Asian country. A cruise along Myanmar’s Irrawaddy River takes in exotic scenes of everyday village life and a number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The river has been an important artery for trade, culture and religious movement throughout the history of Myanmar. The closure of the country to tourists for many years has allowed the rural river settlements to remain untouched, with historical sites remaining intact until the country was recently opened to tourists from the west.
Golden Myanmar River Cruises take place between the cities of Prome and Mandalay over 10 nights and eleven days. While onboard the luxury river ship passengers are provided with three full meals per day, and free unlimited water, soft drinks and local alcoholic beverages. Guides are provided for all trips and land excursions during the cruise, entrance fees to tourist sites are also included in the price of the cruise. While cruising along the Irrawaddy River performances reflecting the cultural history of the country of Myanmar are provided, including puppet shows and dance performances.
The main reason for taking a river cruise along the Irrawaddy is to take in the sites of a country that has yet to be largely affected by commercialism. World heritage sites of Mandalay and Bagan are two of the stops made during a Golden Myanmar River Cruise. The site of Bagan contains over 3,000 sites listed as historically important by the UNESCO World Heritage organization. Tours include trips to the city of Yangon, sight seeing opportunities include the 2,000 year old Sule Pagoda and shopping in Bogyoke Market.
Throughout its history Myanmar has been famous for the creation of pottery, including 50 gallon water pots created in villages along the Irrawaddy. River cruises include tours of small pottery making villages Ngwe Nyein and Yandabo. Other excursions include trips to the summit of Tan-chi-taung, and the 19th century British built Thayetmyo Frontier Post. The Frontier Post was created to guard the border between British Myanmar and Royal Myanmar after the war of 1855. Other excursions relating to the occupation of Myanmar by the British include forts built by Italians to protect Royal Myanmar from British invasion.
Myanmar’s Irrawaddy River Valley is important in the establishment of civilization in Southeast Asia. The Burman people colonized the Irrawaddy River region in the 9th century, slowly establishing the Pagan Empire throughout Myanmar by the middle of the 11th century. From the Irrawaddy River the Burmese language and culture stretched out into the rest of the country, including the rise of the dominant religion of Theravada Buddhism. Britain ruled the country of Myanmar from the 19th century until the country was given independence in 1948. In 2011, military rule of Myanmar ended allowing the country to hold free democratic elections and open up to foreign visitors.