Irrawaddy River - Best Tours & Trips 2019

15 Irrawaddy River tours from 13 tour companies. 13 reviews. 5.0/5 avg rating.
The Irrawaddy River, which flows for 1,300 miles through exotic Burma (Myanmar), has become one of the most popular river cruising destinations in Asia, with new cruise lines and vessels proliferating along the country’s longest waterway. Itineraries typically run between Yangon (Rangoon) or Bagan and Mandalay, with unforgettable views of pagodas, Buddhist temples, villages, mountains, jungles, gorges, and rice paddies.
All Irrawaddy River cruises, tours, and adventure trips. Find the best guided trips and expert planned vacation and holiday packages.
Tours and operators on Stride Awarded and Featured by: Tours and operators on Stride Awarded and Featured by:

Filter to find perfect

DEPARTURE DATES

 
Search trip start dates

Travel Style Travel Style Relaxed A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers.
Full on For those looking to maximize their sight seeing time. You thrive on a packed day’s schedule from 8 am to 6pm, with some (but limited) free time. Most activities and meals included.
Mixed You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included.

Trip Type Trip Type Group Tour Groups are between 25-60 people, typically ~30-40. Usually there will be many opportunities to split off and enjoy meals and excursions in smaller groups. This is the most economical way to travel, saving up to 40% versus booking the same itinerary yourself.
Small Group Tour Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
River Cruise These vessels are smaller than most ocean cruisers, limiting which amenties are available. Passenger counts can vary. One of the biggest advantages of a river cruise is the ability to dock at smaller ports and local villages.
Small Ship Cruise Small ship cruises usually have a max passenger count of 500. The primary purpose of these trips is to spend time off the vessel in local ports (e.g. Mediterranean) or experiencing nature (e.g Galapagos or Antarctica). Cabins can vary from budget to luxury.
Private Guided Private tours give you the undivided attention of a guide, and often involve special access to sites and unique experiences not available to larger groups. This is a great option for families, couples, and small friend groups. Expect to pay a bit more for the extra service.
Self Guided / Independent Tour A travel company plans your itinerary and arranges all the logistics including lodging, local activities, and transportantion. You have the flexibility of a solo trip while still getting the convience and time savings of expert planning. Get 90% of the benefits of a tour, without a guide.
Vacation / Holiday Package Similar to a self guided tour, this usually involves a home base, such as a hotel or resort, with packaged activities and day tours as a part of the stay.
Large Ship Cruise This is the "floating city" experience, with multiple ways to enjoy your vacation aboard the ship as much as on land. Ships are multiple floors, provide several activities, culinary, and shopping options. They often make fewer stops and have less time available for shore excursions.

Itinerary Focus

Lodging Level Lodging Level Camping Typically involves most nights sleeping in tents (sometimes permanent tented sites) or in rustic cabins and lodges.
Basic - 2 star You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping.
Value - 3 star Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Premium - 4 star 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Luxury - 5 star The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays.

Price From*

$ 1,255 $ 8,599

Price Per Day

Trip Length

Countries

Physical Level Physical Level Very Easy Minimal walking - motor vehicles available for all major parts of trip.
Easy Normal generally flat walking in urban or suburban environments.
Moderate Walking or physical activity half to most of day - no carrying equipment.
Strenuous All or most of day hiking or biking, hills included.
Extreme Very challenging all day hiking and backpacking carrying significant equipment.

Travel Theme

Travelers Age

Stride Select Save! Stride Select Get Member Savings Sign up to become a member to get access to Member Savings trips. These trips are discounted beyond the tour operator’s best price. Membership is free and only requires your email.

Rivers & Seas

Cities & Attractions

Activities

Company

Flights & Transport

Continents & Regions

No filters applied

Myanmar & Southern China: Places Unexplored

Global Basecamps
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
15 days
$ 173 / day
$ 2,590
From : $ 3,186
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level : 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
Highlights
  • Visit Yangon, Shwedagon Pagoda
  • Visit the Baisha Murals at Baisha Village
  • Visit the ancient ruins of Indein
  • Explore the pristine surroundings of Inle Lake with a kayak to soak in the sound of nature
  • Enjoy Ayeyarwaddy Day Cruise
Visits:
Bagan, Kunming, Lake Inle, Lijiang, Mandalay, Rangoon, Shwedagon Pagoda, Yangon, Burma (Myanmar), China
View Trip

Myanmar: Cruising The Chindwin River

Myths and Mountains
Preferred
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
14 days
$ 424 / day
$ 5,930
From : $ 6,760
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays. Luxury - 5 star
Highlights
  • Sunset at Shwedagon
  • Bagan touring and home-hosted dinner
  • Craftspeople of Mandalay
  • 8 day cruise on the Chindwin
  • Visit Mingkin to see artworks
  • Explore Mawlaik, the capital of Chin State
  • Wander Shan Enclave of Yaungdoot
Visits:
Bagan, Mandalay, Yangon, Burma (Myanmar)
View Trip

A Taste of Myanmar

Myths and Mountains
Preferred
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
8 days
$ 391 / day
$ 3,125
From : $ 3,844
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
Highlights
  • Explore Yangon
  • Visit National Museum
  • Discover Ananda Temple
  • Visit Inle lake
  • Enjoy a boat ride on the Irawaddy
Visits:
Bagan, Mandalay, Shwedagon Pagoda, Yangon, Burma (Myanmar)
View Trip

Myanmar & the Irrawaddy

Abercrombie & Kent
Preferred
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
11 days
$ 500 / day
$ 5,495
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays. Luxury - 5 star
Highlights
  • 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
Visits:
Bagan, Lake Inle, Mandalay, Shwedagon Pagoda, Yangon, Burma (Myanmar)
View Trip

Golden Myanmar & the Alluring Irrawaddy with ...

19 days
$ 453 / day
$ 8,599
Travel Style : A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
Physical Level : Minimal walking. Motor vehicles for all major parts of trip. Wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Most cruises. Very Easy
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • Deluxe 10-night cruise from to Bhamo to Bagan in a Panorama SuiteSMwith Avalon’s exclusive Comfort Collection BedsSM. Enjoy an intimate cruise experience with a maximum of 36 guests on board.
  • Welcome to Thailand
  • Boat ride on klongs; visit the Grand Palace, Temple of the Emerald Buddha, and the Temple of the Reclining Buddha
  • Day at leisure

    Day 4 Bangkok–Yangon:
  • Fly to Yangon
  • Walking tour of the city’s landmarks; visit a local tea shop, Chaukhtatgyi, and Shwedagon Pagoda
  • Fly to Bhamo and explore the town by trishaw and foot; cruise through the dramatic second defile; onboard welcome reception
  • Visit a fisherman’s home, local school, and nunnery
  • Visit a local market and excursion to a local ethnic minority village in Katha; walking tour through village and walk to hilltop pagoda in Tigyang
  • Visit a monastery and present alms to the monks and see their lunch ritual
  • Walking tour through a pottery-making village
  • See unfinished pagoda & bronze bell in Mingun; visit U Bein Bridge and take a sampan ride at sunset in Amarapura
  • Sightseeing including Mahamuni, Kuthadaw and Shwenandaw Pagodas; visit tapestry, woodcarving, and gold leaf workshops; traditional dance performance
  • Visit Kaunghmudaw Pagoda, a silversmith workshop, and Soon U Ponya Shin Pagoda
  • Walking tour through this typical river village to visit a local farmer's home see palm candy being made; traditional puppet show
  • Watch sunrise from temple; sightseeing including a local market, Shwezigon Pagoda, lacquer workshop, Ananda Temple, Dhammayangyi Temple, Sulamani Temple; ox cart ride to temple for sunset
  • Fly to Heho; transfer to Inle Lake; lunch at Red Mountain Estate
  • Full-day excursion around the lake to see scenes of daily life; visit workshops of several cottage industries; Padaung music & dance performance
  • Transfer to Heho; fly to Yangon
Visits:
Andaman Sea, Bagan, Bangkok, Mandalay, Yangon, Thailand
View Trip

Golden Myanmar & the Alluring Irrawaddy with ...

16 days
$ 487 / day
$ 7,789
Travel Style : A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
Physical Level : Minimal walking. Motor vehicles for all major parts of trip. Wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Most cruises. Very Easy
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • Deluxe 10-night cruise from Bhamo to Bagan in a Panorama SuiteSMwith Avalon’s exclusive Comfort Collection BedsSM. Enjoy an intimate cruise experience with a maximum of 36 guests on board.
  • Welcome to Myanmar
  • Walking tour of the city’s landmarks; visit a local tea shop, Chaukhtatgyi, and Shwedagon Pagoda
  • Fly to Bhamo and explore the town by trishaw and foot; cruise through the dramatic second defile; onboard welcome reception
  • Visit a fisherman’s home, local school, and nunnery
  • Visit a local market and excursion to a local ethnic minority village in Katha; walking tour through village and walk to hilltop pagoda in Tigyang
  • Visit a monastery and present alms to the monks and see their lunch ritual
  • Walking tour through a pottery-making village
  • See unfinished pagoda & bronze bell in Mingun; visit U Bein Bridge and take a sampan ride at sunset in Amarapura
  • Sightseeing including Mahamuni, Kuthadaw and Shwenandaw Pagodas; visit tapestry, woodcarving, and gold leaf workshops; traditional dance performance
  • Visit Kaunghmudaw Pagoda, a silversmith workshop, and Soon U Ponya Shin Pagoda
  • Walking tour through this typical river village to visit a local farmer's home see palm candy being made; traditional puppet show
  • Watch sunrise from temple; sightseeing including a local market, Shwezigon Pagoda, lacquer workshop, Ananda Temple, Dhammayangyi Temple, Sulamani Temple; ox cart ride to temple for sunset
  • Fly to Heho; transfer to Inle Lake; lunch at Red Mountain Estate
  • Full-day excursion around the lake to see scenes of daily life; visit workshops of several cottage industries; Padaung music & dance performance
  • Transfer to Heho; fly to Yangon
Visits:
Andaman Sea, Bagan, Mandalay, Yangon, Thailand
View Trip

Highlights of Burma

10 days
$ 279 / day
$ 2,785
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • BURMA - INLE LAKE: The tranquil Inle Lake is located in Burma's Shan State, and is home unique fish species and prolific bird life. Many of the communities who live in villages surrounding the lake are from Burma's various ethnic minority groups, such as the Danu and Bamar people. Enjoy a boat ride on the lake, visit nearby monasteries, and look for the distinct woven bags and silk fabrics made in the area.
  • BURMA - IRRAWADDY RIVER: Embark on a boat ride on one of the country's most significant waterways, the Irrawaddy River. Stop at rural villages, local pagodas and to see intricate carvings at Kyauk Gu U Min. The river is home to the endangered Irrawaddy dolphin, who are under threat from dam construction. The river eventually flows into the Andaman Sea via the Irrawaddy Delta.
  • BURMA - LOCAL MARKETS: Experience Burma's local life, colorful produce and fantastic array of local handicrafts in its numerous fascinating markets. Near Inle Lake, frequent a local market where many diverse ethnic minority groups gather, and in Yangon and Mandalay, search for exquisite examples of Burmese lacquerware, fabrics and other eye-catching merchandise. Enjoy interacting with Burma's warm, friendly people as you peruse their wares.
  • BURMA - SAGAING HILL: Sagaing Hill, located outside Mandalay, is an important religious center. It is home to numerous pagodas and monasteries amongst its hills, and is a highly picturesque and spiritual place to explore. The site is located on the banks of the Irrawaddy River, with the buildings spread amongst lush, tropical foliage. Visit a local nunnery, and explore some of the 600 whitewashed pagodas and monasteries.
  • BURMA - SHWEDAGON PAGODA: Burma's striking Shwedagon Pagoda has a sparkling golden stupa which can be seen from all over Yangon. It is considered one of the most sacred Buddhist sites in Burma. It contains various ancient relics, and you can witness devout locals going about various rituals on their visit. All visitors should remove their shoes before the first step at any of the entrances.
  • BURMA - HILLTRIBE EXPERIENCE: Embark on a trek beyond the shores of Inle Lake to visit various hilltribe villages, home to Burma's numerous ethnic minority groups including the Intha and Pa-O people. You can also take in a Shan cooking school, or pay a visit to a local orphanage. Learn more about the different cultures that make Burma home, and gain insights into their traditions and way of life.
Visits:
Bagan, Lake Inle, Mandalay, Yangon, Burma (Myanmar)
View Trip

Myanmar Adventure

10 days
$ 169 / day
$ 1,685
Travel Style : A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • Visit the National Museum, filled with artifact and cultural exhibits of Myanmar
  • Explore Scott Market and see the sunset at the iconic Shwedagon Pagoda
  • Cycle through Bagan for a visit to the temples
  • Travel by boat to Pakkokuwhile
  • Discover fascinating Po Win Taung Caves
  • See the giant reclining Hlaungdawmu Buddha
  • Enjoy sunset in  Mandalay at U Bein Bridge
  • Travel by long tail boat on Inle lake and see on floating gardens, fishermen and  stilted villages. Travel by boat to the far edge of Inle Lake to Indein, where trees can be found growing out of the ancient stupas
Visits:
Yangon, Burma (Myanmar)
View Trip

Road to Mandalay

17 days
$ 275 / day
$ 4,676
Travel Style : A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
Highlights
  • Discover Mandalay and Bagan
  • Have a chance to cruise in Inle Lake
  • Explore  Popa Mountain National Park
  • Discover Sule Pagoda, Botataung Pagoda and Kandawgyi Lake
Visits:
Bagan, Mandalay, Yangon, Burma (Myanmar)
View Trip

Myanmar

16 days
Check price
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
Highlights
  • Discover the fading colonial architecture of Yangon
  • Spend three nights soaking in the tranquility of Inle Lake
  • Discover the iconic temples of Bagan and Mandala
  • Visit Golden temples
  • Ancient pagodas and artistic heritage
Visits:
Bagan, Hwange National Park, Lake Inle, Mandalay, Shwedagon Pagoda, Yangon, Burma (Myanmar)
View Trip

Golden Myanmar & the Alluring Irrawaddy with ...

16 days
$ 447 / day
$ 7,149
Travel Style : A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
Physical Level : Minimal walking. Motor vehicles for all major parts of trip. Wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Most cruises. Very Easy
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • Experience a traditional puppet show
Visits:
Andaman Sea, Bagan, Lake Inle, Mandalay, Yangon, Burma (Myanmar)
View Trip

Spiritual Icon of Myanmar

6 days
$ 209 / day
$ 1,255
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Minimal walking. Motor vehicles for all major parts of trip. Wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Most cruises. Very Easy
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • Discover Myanmar

  • Visit Botahtaung Pagoda, Bogyoke Market, Shwedagon Pagoda, one of the wonders of the world
  • Explore Thanlyin is a major port city of Burma
  • See the Sadan Cave, is the biggest of the caves in the area and the 5th longest in Myanmar.
Visits:
Shwedagon Pagoda, Yangon, Burma (Myanmar)
View Trip

Classic Myanmar

13 days
$ 269 / day
$ 3,495
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • Explore Bagan
  • Visit to Mine Thauk Village which gracefully straddles the water and land, and is famous for a local market
  • See the most amazing historical sights of Shan State, the Inn Thein Pagoda complex to view the hundreds of small stupas
  • See the old traditional Buddhist monastery, at the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda
  • Visit the revered Buddhist Caves containing ten thousand Buddha statues.
  • Visit the tranquil Mahagandayon Monastery to get a glimpse of the Buddhist monks
Visits:
Bagan, Lake Inle, Mandalay, Shwedagon Pagoda, Yangon, Burma (Myanmar)
View Trip

Classic Myanmar

8 days
$ 206 / day
$ 1,650
Travel Style : A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • Explore downtown Yangon with a visit to Scott Market and a sunset visit Shwedagon Pagoda
  • Travel to Bagan to see the best of Bagan’s distinctive temples including Shwezigon that dazzles in gold, the delicate painted ceilings of Wetkyi-in-Gubyaukgyi and Ananda, the most revered of all, with its four standing Budd.
  • Travel by boat to the island of Kyun Thiri located in the middle of the Irrawaddy River. Fly to Mandalay and the gateway to the ancient capitals of Sagaing, Inwa and Amarapura.
  • Arrive Inle Lake to get your first glimpses of daily life on the water, travelling by long tail boat to nearby villages and pagodas
  • Pass by floating gardens and see the fisherman using one leg to row their boats. Visit Indein, to see a small patch of crumbling stupas from the 17th century.
Visits:
Bagan, Shwedagon Pagoda, Yangon, Burma (Myanmar)
View Trip

Hidden Wonders of Myanmar

15 days
Check price
Travel Style : A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays. Luxury - 5 star
Highlights
  • Sunset At U Bein Bridge

 

  • Explore Temple Town

 

  • The Golden Shwedagon Pagoda

 

Visits:
Mandalay, Yangon, Burma (Myanmar)
View Trip
1- 15 of 15 Trips Shown
X
Unlock Member Savings

In order to see Stride Select deals you must sign in. We’ve negotiated with many of the world’s best travel companies to save you money! Get the best experiences, save up to $700 per person, and be a hero to your travel companions!

or
or
Provide email and Password

We respect your privacy and take great care to protect your information. By joining you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Already a member?

With FREE membership you:

  • Save up to $700 per person!*
  • Access private deals and offers
  • See personalized trip recommendations
  • Save favorite trips
See member program details

Top Irrawaddy River Experiences and Attractions

Top Irrawaddy River Experiences

Gazing in wonderment at the thousands of colorful temples, pagodas, and monasteries in Bagan (Pagan) that make this a “Buddhist wonderland.”

Taking a hot air balloon ride over Bagan for a bird’s eye view of the temples. 

Viewing the world’s largest reclining Buddha in Bagan. 

Visiting legendary Mandalay, the last royal capital and center of Buddhist culture.

Spending time in Yangon (formerly Rangoon), where British colonial architecture mixes with ancient Buddhist temples.

Gliding past remote villages and spotting saffron-robed Buddhist monks walking briskly to a temple. 

Encountering a pagoda made of solid gold bricks in Minhla. 

Being unexpectedly invited into a villager’s modest bamboo house for tea.

view more

Irrawaddy River Trip Reviews

13 Irrawaddy River Tour Reviews - Summary 100% Recommend

5.0 out of 5
Excellent 13
Great 0
Average 0
Disappointing 0
Terrible 0
Value
5.0
Guide
5.0
Activities
5.0
Lodging
5.0
Transportation
5.0
Meals
5.0

Tour Reviews Write a Review

An unforgettable trip

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

May was an excellent guide, very kind and always wanting to help, great attention to detail

Read more
Operator EPG Travel

Bottom line is that we had a wonderful time, guides and accommodations were excellent and we were impressed that your local tour operator, had our backs.

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

All of our interactions with Toni and Jen were totally professional. Your rapid responses were appreciated, since we were working on a relatively abbreviated time line. We realize that we're pretty nit-picky and demanding in a way that differs from your usual cliental since we're much more comfortable handling things on our own. We were very satisfied with your flexibility and knowledge -- you pushed hard for things you felt important (i.e. the city tour and marionette show in Yangon -- both of which you were totally right) and let other things slide (i.e. Mt. Popa). The final product was a compromise that accommodated our style and your expertise -- it looked great on paper and translated into a fascinating trip.

Above all else -- our choice to go with local guides rather than a national guide was perhaps the most crucial decision in making our trip so spectacular. Each of our four guides was wonderful and their expertise in their local region shined through. We are so, so happy that we chose this option.

You planned a great trip for us -- accommodations, guide, and local travel agency back-up were all top-notch.

Read more
Operator Myths and Mountains

Irrawaddy River Tours and Travel Guide

Irrawaddy River Attractions & Landmarks Guide

The Irrawaddy River, which flows for 1,300 miles through exotic Burma (Myanmar), has become one of the most popular river cruising destinations in Asia, with new cruise lines and vessels proliferating along the country’s longest waterway.

Itineraries typically run between Yangon (Rangoon) or Bagan and Mandalay, with unforgettable views of pagodas, Buddhist temples, villages, mountains, jungles, gorges, and rice paddies.

Long shunned by the international community for its human-rights violations, Burma has reformed and opened up to the world. A cruise on the Irrawaddy, Burma’s longest river – navigable for nearly 900 miles – is its economic lifeline and offers front-row seats for viewing what is now one of Southeast Asia’s most sought-after destinations. The river (also spelled Ayeyarwady) links Burma’s major cities and many rural villages as it flows south from the Himalayas into the Andaman Sea. 

Because Burma was a mostly closed society for so long, it hasn’t changed much – yet – and is still largely untouched by mass tourism. But some of its official nomenclature has changed: “Myanmar” replaced “Burma” some years ago, though it’s still better known by its former name. And you will most likely visit Yangon, formerly known as Rangoon, on your river cruise. 

Burma is rooted in the Theravada Buddhist philosophy of metta: benevolence, friendship, goodwill, and kindness. Prepare to receive smiles and perhaps generous invitations from villagers who may greet you on the street. Buddhist monks and nuns in long, flowing robes are treated with great respect; take photos only with permission. Other Burmese women and men wear a traditional sarong, called a longhi.

Irrawaddy River Highlights

1. Rural Burma

The Irrawaddy riverfront offers an ever-changing kaleidoscope of gorges, mountains, lush jungles, verdant rice paddies. tiny villages of bamboo thatched-roof dwellings sometimes built on stilts, small fishing vessels, families on boats selling fruits and vegetables, riverside temples, monasteries, and  pagodas – many painted bright gold or white – as well as sarong-clad villagers, saffron-robed monks, and pink-robed nuns.

Stops may include archaeological sites rich in ancient Buddhist artifacts, as well as remnants of the British colonial period – including forts dating from the second Anglo-Myanmar War in the mid-19th century. If you stop in the village of Minhla, you’ll find a pagoda made of solid gold bricks.

2. Mandalay

Made famous in the West by Rudyard Kipling’s poem “Mandalay” (…An' the sunshine an' the palm-trees an' the tinkly temple-bells; On the road to Mandalay…”), this is Burma’s second largest city and served as the country’s last royal capital.

Still the spiritual center of Burma’s Buddhist culture, it’s home to thousands of Buddhist monks, an array of colorful pagodas and monasteries, and more than 2,500 Buddha images, many carved from alabaster. Cruises often embark or disembark in Mandalay, offering extra time for sightseeing there.

3.Bagan

An UNESCO World Heritage Site, Bagan is Burma’s most spectacular city, featuring thousands of temples, pagodas and Buddhas – including the world’s largest reclining Buddha.

In good weather conditions, hot air ballooning rides are available to take in the entire scene from above. Short Irrawaddy cruises (3-4 days) make the voyage from Bagan north to Mandalay, while some cruises embark in Bagan for the journey south to Yangon.

4. Yangon (Rangoon)

Yangon is Burma’s premier city and the usual southern embarkation point for Irrawaddy cruises, which typically include sightseeing here first. It’s a good place to see British colonial architecture side by side with Buddhist religious structures.

Some boats explore the Irrawaddy Delta. To the south of Yangon before embarking on the Irrawaddy itself. Other cruises leave from Mandalay or Bagan and travel south to disembark at Yangon.

Chindwin River Side Trip

The Chindwin is a tributary of the Irrawaddy that offers a scenic add-on possibility to your cruise, complete with temples, cave pagodas, mountains, gorges, jungles and villages. One temple contains some 600,000 Buddha images. Watch for orcaella, the beakless dolphins that inhabit the river.

Top Irrawaddy River Travel Companies

All Irrawaddy River cruises, tours, and adventure trips. Find the best guided trips and expert planned vacation and holiday packages. Average rating of 5.0 for all Irrawaddy River trips.

15 trips from 13 tour companies with 13 reviews

More Irrawaddy River Guided Tours

What is Stride?

Stride is the top reviews site for experiential travel and tour packages.

Now you can search tens of thousands of trips from more than 1,000 operators and expert trip planners. Most travel agencies and websites only show options from large companies that pay big commissions. We show you all the options we can gather. We want you to have all the information to find your perfect trip, no matter who it’s with. About us.

Use Stride to:
Search thousands
Search thousands of itineraries and match your style and budget.
Compare local
Compare local experts with global tour operators side by side.
Read reviews
Read reviews by travelers and experts.
Read reviews
Save money as a Stride member (its free), with exclusive deals & rebates.
We are on a mission...

...to help more people travel further, travel more, and travel better. Learn more.

Got it
×
×
Sign in to Save Trips
Welcome back! We're so happy to see you. ? Forgot Password?
Don't have an account? Join
  • Bookmark trips you like
  • Share with your travel companions
  • Track price changes
  • Access private discounts on trips you save
×
Sign in to see your results

TripFinder is a member-only feature. Don’t worry, it’s free!

With a membership you:

  • Save up to $700 per person!*
  • Access private deals and offers
  • See personalized trip recommendations
  • Save favorite trips
*See Member Savings Program details
×
Activate your free Stride membership

Just use the email address and password provided in the email we sent.

? Forgot Password?

With your free membership you:

  • Save up to $700 per person!*
  • Access private deals and offers
  • See personalized trip recommendations
  • Save favorite trips
*See Member Savings Program details
×
To Follow, sign in or sign up (it's free) ? Forgot Password?
Don't have an account? Join
member benefits
First name is required!
Last name is required!
First name is not valid!
Last name is not valid!
This is not an email address!
Email address is required!
This email is already registered!
Please enter valid email address
Password is required!
Enter a valid password!
Please enter 6 or more characters!
Please enter 16 or less characters!
Passwords are not the same!
Terms and Conditions are required!
Email or Password is wrong!
Please select the captcha checkbox!
Please select the valid captcha!
Something went wrong! Try again later!

x