River cruise tours don’t always mean cruising on the world-famous Danube River, Rhine River, and the Main River. Of course, they are brilliantly scenic, passing through some of the world’s romantic cities and highly popular monuments. Nevertheless, there is one more river called ‘Irrawaddy’ which is also famous for cruising expeditions. Here I am going to elaborate Irrawaddy River Cruising, including Irrawaddy River cruise lines in Burma.
Where does the river Irrawaddy flow through?
Here is the Irrawaddy river course map.
Irrawaddy River cruising
In the Burmese language, the Irrawaddy River is known as Ayeyarwady River. River Irrawaddy is not a glacial river but owes its source to two other rivers namely:
- Mali River
- N’mai River
Which cruise line offers Irrawaddy River Cruising tour?
There may be a couple of tour operators that can get you hooked with a few cruise lines but the one that I came across and impressed with is the “Scenic Aura”.
I found them on the website of National Geographic, the best cruise organizers in the world apart from being the most dependable and trusted source in-depth African Safaris.
- Pick up and drop from your arrival point such as airport, train station or the hotel you have booked in Myanmar
- Meals and drinks mentioned in the travel brochure
- Accommodation aboard the luxury yacht that can take in 44 passengers.
This is the luxury ship of Scenic Aura.
The major attractions of Irrawaddy River Cruising:
- Minhla Fort
- Bagan Plain
- Unique architecture of Burmese temples (pagodas)
- Lawkananda Wildlife Sanctuary
- Diverse marine life of this long Burmese river
- Visiting quaint Burmese villages
- Mandalay Palace
- Mandalay Hill
- Bagan city
- Chindwin River and forest
- Kani town
- Mingin village
- Hpowindaung-Buddhist cave complex
- Sambuddhai Temple of Monywa
- Sagaing Monastery
It seems the majority of the tourists for the Irrawaddy River Cruising would comprise Tibetans, Thais, Sri Lankans, and the Chinese who are all followers of Buddha as there are plenty of Buddhist pagodas, monasteries, and relics.
The starting point of the Irrawaddy River Cruising:
You board the ship at Mandalay that is located at northern Myanmar. To be more specific, from Yangoon (Rangoon), the capital of Myanmar, Manadaly is at a distance of 700+ km.
The Irrawaddy River cruise’s last stop.
All the passengers of Scenic Aura disembark at Yangoon, the southern-most tip of Myanmar.
So, your sightseeing of Myanmar takes places in between Mandalay and Yangoon by mooring the yacht at various towns and cities during which you will be introduced to the unique culture of the Burmese, participate in their interactive shows and enjoy the Burmese cuisine thoroughly that is influenced by India, Chinese, and Thai cuisine.
As mentioned above, the Burmese cuisine is a fine mixture of Indian, Chinese, and Thai. Like Thai food, the Burmese eat more seafood than any other meat.
The ingredients such as herbs, spices, and vegetables are exactly similar to India and Indian’s way of cooking and even serving too.
The Burmese food in restaurants is always accompanied by a fish sauce, much similar to Singapore and Vietnam.
Mohinga is the national food of Myanmar; it is a rice noodle accompanied by a bowl of fish soup.
Lahpet is widely served in Myanmar’s restaurants.
Ngapi– a fish paste in which the local residents dip almost anything such as sausages, fritters, and sandwiches
The wildlife of Myanmar.
Your Irrawaddy cruise would certainly include a visit to one of dense and humid Burmese rainforests that would be teeming with myriad insects that are extremely colorful and scary looking too.
You can definitely see:
- Sunda pangolin
- Langur monkey
- Lesser Mouse-deer
- Brown-winged Kingfisher
- Red-throated Sunbird
- Plain-pouched Hornbill
- Crested Partridge
I feel the Yerrawwadi River cruise in Myanmar would most interest the Buddhist monks and young students of Buddhism. In addition, I am sure nature lovers would certainly like the sweaty jungles of Myanmar and the wildlife that they host.
Oh yes, I nearly forgot. Here is the link to book your IIrrawaddy River Cruising with the Scenic Aura.