DOLPHIN CRUISE ON THE UPPER AYEYARWADY

This guided tour will introduce you to the cultural highlights and most famous destinations in Myanmar.

Day 1: Embarkation on M.S. HINTHA at 7.00 a.m. and leave Mandalay at 8.00 a.m. Sail upstream for about 50 miles to the villages of Sithe or Myitkangyi. After one hour you’ll pass the magnificent Mingun Pagoda on the west bank, her mighty though ruined guardian lions wishing you a good trip. Life on the Ayeyarwady River is like a journey back in time: farmers come with their oxcarts to get water for their gardens, children splash about in the water while their mothers are doing their family’s laundry. You even might see people hauling a craft upriver that has no motor.

The variety of ships on the river is incredible: there are ‘high tech’ (at least for Myanmar standards) ferries and tankers as well as traditional teak boats, river taxis and ships that transport giant logs downriver. And, of course, fishermen casting their nets in the river. Sometimes you might come across one of the giant bamboo rafts that drift slowly downriver. It takes several weeks from their starting point on the Upper Ayeyarwady downstream to the big cities. People live aboard these platforms and sell the bamboo on the way (see photo). When all bamboo is sold, their transport is gone and they go back to their home villages by car and flush with cash. Then start anew! Enjoy the life around you from your comfortable mahogany deckchair or the rattan sofas, sipping a drink while the crew prepares your lunch on the upper deck. Continue your journey upstream and with a little bit of luck you might even see a dolphin. Definitely, you’ll see flocks of birds and arrive at the village of Sithe and take a stroll to see the simple village life and the villagers preparing their dinner. Then back to the ship, enjoy a sundowner, while you watch the birds coming back to ‘their’ sandbank for the night. Dinner aboard ship or barbecue in the village. Enjoy the tropical night on the river and have a refreshing night’s sleep in your comfortable cabin with attached hot water showers and fan.

Day 2: get up early in the morning for this is the best time to see dolphins. The villagers offer several activities (NOT INCLUDED!) like going out with a fisherman, learning how to cast a net etc. Pls. inquire the price before you start and pay directly to the villagers. The visitor information centre of the village introduces you to the daily life of the villagers and their surroundings. The natural balance on the Upper Ayeyarwady River needs to be protected, as there are many threats to it: stray dogs disturbing the birds on the sand banks, gold washing and other activities, the worst among them the strictly banned electro-fishing which destroys even the smallest fish – tomorrow’s catch! Stroll through the village, have a look at the village school and enjoy the simple life. Back aboard for lunch and then we sail downriver. If you haven’t seen Mingun yet, the boat can stop there for sightseeing (entrance fee NOT included!). Back in Mandalay in the late afternoon, disembark.

END OF THE TRIP!

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PRICE:  USD per person in Twin cabin

Included:
passage on M.S. Hintha (2days/1night), meals (2 lunches, one dinner, one breakfast), free flow of drinks incl. soft drinks, beer and local liquor, entrance fee for the village, English speaking guide

NOT included: foreign liquor, wine (local and foreign), entrance fee Mingun, tips, drinks, jetty transfer in Mandalay, activities in the village!

TOUR CODE:MDL2DD
PRICE:$$$
DURATION:2 Days / 1 Night
OPERATED:On request
STARTS:7am in Mandalay
ENDS:5-6pm at Mandalay jetty
RATING:Adventure cruise
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