Trip Type : Small Group Tour
Fascinating temple of Yangon, Burma-P

An Expedition up the Chindwin

Red Savannah
5.0 . Excellent
100%
Travel Style: You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
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: You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping. Basic - 2 star
12 days
From: $ 4,995 $ 416 / day
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Overview

Highlights

  • Cruise aboard a wonderful five-cabin colonial-style river cruiser
  • Reach remote, peaceful parts of Chin State
  • Step back in time as you experience a Myanmar unaffected by change and discover vestiges of the colonial era pre-WW2

Short Description

The towns and villages on the banks of the Chindwin are still very difficult to reach, and are best explored by boat. An expedition up this beguiling tributary of the Irrawaddy is an adventure into an Asia of yesteryear, as you pass former colonial outposts where teak and oil were extracted, and sail by hills through which thousands fled the Japanese advance to India in 1942.

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.
Trip Type Small Group Tour
See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping.
Lodging Level Basic - 2 star
Flights & Transport Only ground transport
Start City Mandalay
End City Yangon

Travel Theme

Small Ship Cruise

Destinations

Cities & Attractions

Mandalay Yangon

N/A
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Trip Includes

  • All your meals
  • Excursions and activities as per the itinerary
  • Soft drinks
  • Local beer and spirits
  • tips for crew are included.

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Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Mandalay

Accommodation: Hotel by the Red Canal

Arrive in Mandalay, the former royal capital and centre of Burmese culture on the banks of the Irrawaddy River.

Day 2: Explore Mandalay

Accommodation: Hotel by the Red Canal

Spend a day exploring several of the ancient Burmese capitals that surround the modern city, such as Ava and Sagaing. See too the fascinating workshops and artisans that flourish in the city and the wonderfully photogenic U-Bein bridge, the world's longest wooden bridge.

Day 3: Monywa

Accommodation: RV Kalay Pandaw

Drive out of Mandalay to board the RV Kalay Pandaw, your characterful and comfortable home-cum-transportation for the expedition up the Chindwin River. With just 5 large cabins, the Kalay Pandaw is extremely exclusive and intimate - the ideal expedition ship with the feel of a comfortable private yacht.

In the afternoon, explore Monywa and see the Thanbodi Temple, which boasts a million images of the Buddha.

Day 4: Phowin Taung Caves

Accommodation: RV Kalay Pandaw

Travel to admire the stunning mural paintings at the Phowin Taung Caves. Then cast off for the journey upriver. Beyond Monywa the river narrows and you sail past several villages on the banks.

Day 5: Mingkin

Accommodation: RV Kalay Pandaw

Arrive into Mingkin, which is an architectural tour-de-force, virtually unknown outside of Myanmar. There are plenty of traditional wooden houses surrounding amazing, teak monasteries in the Konbaung court style.

Day 6: Kalaywa and Mawlaik

Accommodation: RV Kalay Pandaw

Kalewa is considered the gateway to the Chin State, and had excellent markets selling all manner of exotic local produce. Further upstream is Mawlaik, to which colonial employees of the Bombay Myanmar Trading Corporation would repair after months extracting teak from the surrounding forests. Here they could have a hot bath and a drink, and this atmosphere is maintained to this day by the eerie lack of cars and the many Edwardian "Dak Bungalows" set around a golf course.

Day 7: Yuwa and Sittahaung

Accommodation: RV Kalay Pandaw

The expedition continues past the Kubu Valley and the Yu River, down which a relief force was sent to rescue the Manipur garrison during a local rebellion. Beyond this is Sittahaung where the British scuttled several of their commercial river steamers to prevent them from falling into the hands of the Japanese, in 1942. This was the starting point for what became the nightmarish trek over the mountains to India for all those fleeing the conflict.

Day 8: Paungbyin to Toungdoot

Accommodation: RV Kalay Pandaw

Continue upriver, deep into the Chin State, where the Indo-Burma Petroleum Company established a large oil refinery and where a community of Shan tribes people maintained an enclave, far from their homeland near the Thai border.

Day 9: Toungdoot to Homalin

Accommodation: RV Kalay Pandaw

Sail to the highest navigable point of the Chindwin River at Homalin, close to the Indian border, and surrounded by large, forest-covered mountains.

Day 10: Fly to Yangon

Accommodation: The Strand Hotel

Disembark and fly to Yangon, where you are met and transferred to The Strand Hotel, in the heart of the colonial downtown.

Day 11: Yangon

Accommodation: The Strand Hotel

Explore the city of Yangon with your local guide, seeing the crumbling colonial downtown, Scott Market and the fascinating Botataung and Shwedagon Pagodas.

Day 12: Depart Yangon

Transfer to Yangon airport to catch your flight out of Myanmar.

NB: The river journey operates upstream and downstream on alternating weeks during the season (late September - March). The above journey illustrates the upstream itinerary. The downstream itinerary works in reverse.

Availability

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Price From $ 4,995
Price Per Day: $ 416 per day
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16 Red Savannah Travel Reviews & Ratings

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An Expedition up the Chindwin

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Wonderful holiday

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Bastide de la Paix
Beautiful house, set in stunning rural Provence. Facilities are exceptional.
Exploration possibilities were endless. Many wonderful holiday memories were made.

Very impressed

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Red Savannah were simply phenomenal. I booked my honeymoon in East Asia and was, from the beginning, very impressed by the expertise, personal and detailed knowledge of the countries and places we were going to, and the sophistication of the recommendations. We put together a very detailed and bespoke package of a fantastic holiday, working through numerous options and alternatives as we went along. However, where Red Savannah really shone was once the holiday started. We received special attention from all hotels and local guides - all of which worked together seamlessly. Most importantly, because of freak weather conditions, we had to change arrangements or country twice - and Red Savannah worked overtime to find new options, flight routes and also often managed to get refunds wherever we were not able to go because of the weather or personal preference. It was like having a personal concierge available throughout - and a stellar experience. I am not easily impressed, but this experience was outstanding.
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Fabulous

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Yeah fabulous... Get me a holiday Now pls!

Details

Flights & Transport

Only ground transport

Group Size:

Intimate Group - 12 max

Trip ID#:

aneuptred

Trip Excludes

  • International flights
  • Personal expenses
  • Travel insurance

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