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Burma River Cruises 2024/2025

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Burma Travel Guide

Welcome to the world of Burma River Cruises, a journey that takes you through the heart of Myanmar on its most majestic waterways. Cruising in Burma isn't just about the places you visit; it's about the serene experience of the river itself. Imagine gliding past stilted villages, golden pagodas, and landscapes that haven't changed in centuries. The unique selling points of a Burma River Cruise are many. You've got incredible cultural attractions like the ancient city of Bagan, with its thousands of historic temples and pagodas. There's the historical significance of royal Mandalay. And then there's the untouched natural beauty – think lush jungles, mountains, and remote villages. It's a chance to disconnect from the hustle and bustle and see a side of Myanmar that's remained largely unchanged over time. With river cruise volume buys plus our low everyday prices you can save up to 50% versus the brochure price! Book your Burma river cruise today with AffordableTours.com, your discounted river cruise headquarters.

Burma Travel Guide

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Burma Travel Guide

Burma River Cruises Highlights

  • Shwedagon Pagoda: This gleaming gold pagoda is the crown jewel of Yangon, visible from all around the city. It's not just a stunner to look at; it's a deeply spiritual place for the locals.
  • Bagan Archaeological Zone: Imagine over 2,000 temples and pagodas spread across a vast plain. It's an awe-inspiring sight where you can witness the sheer scale of historical devotion.
  • U Bein Bridge: Near Mandalay, you'll find the world's longest teakwood bridge stretching across Taungthaman Lake. It's a hub of daily life and offers a magical experience at sunset.
  • Mingun Pahtodawgyi: This massive unfinished stupa would have been the largest in the world. Even in its incomplete state, it's impressive and a testament to human ambition.
  • Inle Lake's Floating Gardens and Leg Rowers: Inle Lake is famous for its unique floating gardens and the Intha fishermen who row with their legs—an iconic image of Myanmar.
  • Kuthodaw Pagoda: Also known as the "World's Biggest Book," it's surrounded by hundreds of stone slabs inscribed with Buddhist scriptures.
  • Mount Popa: An extinct volcano considered the home of Myanmar's spirits, known as "nats." Climbing to the top offers panoramic views and a spiritual atmosphere.

Burma River Cruises Travel Tips

  • The local currency, kyat, as some places don't take credit cards.
  • Pack light breathable clothes because it can get pretty warm, but also bring a jacket – it can be cool on the river in the mornings and evenings.
  • Respecting the local cultures; places like pagodas ask visitors to dress modestly, so pack clothes that cover your shoulders and knees.
  • Don't forget a hat, sunglasses, and comfortable shoes for when you're exploring on land.

Burma River Cruises Things To Do

  • Mandalay

    Sitting along the Irrawaddy River, Mandalay is home to Sagaing Fault, which is the meeting point for the India and Sunda tectonic plates. The presence of the plates puts Mandalay at risk for earthquakes. Mandalay experienced a magnitude 7 quake in 1956, also called the Great Sagaing Quake. 

    Best Time To Visit

    Mandalay features two seasons - a dry season and a wet season. Travel to Mandalay between November and February, known as the dry season. The wet season covers the months of March through October. April is extremely hot, with temperatures averaging about 87 degrees Fahrenheit. 


    You Should Know

    You can visit a variety of pagodas and temples when you climb to the top of Mandalay Hill. The Kyauktawgyi Pagoda was built by King Mindon between 1853 and 1873. King Thibaw Min had the Shwenandaw Monastery or Golden Palace built in 1880. Made of teakwood, the structure displays carvings of Buddhist mythical stories. While most of the Mandalay Palace was annihilated during World War II, the watchtower and Royal Mint survived.
  • Mingun

    Sitting next to the Irrawaddy River to the northwest of Mandalay is Mingun, a town that is found in central Myanmar. The "Unfinished pagoda," called Mingun Pahtodawgyi, is one of the town's fascinating buildings.

    You Should Know

    The "Unfinished Pagoda" features the highest brick pile in the world.King Bagyidaw built the Myatheintan Pagoda to honor his wife, Queen Hsinbyume, who died when giving birth in 1812. About 100,000 emeralds were used in the construction of the pagoda which was flattened by an earthquake 20 years later. However, the building was restored by King Mndon, a little lover 40 years later, in 1874.
  • Ava or Inwa
    Ava or Inwa

    Known for its temples, Ava or Inwa is home to religious structures built from the fourteenth to seventeenth centuries. At that time Ava served as the capital of Burma. The Bagaya Kyaung, made of teak wood, is a well-known monastery built in the 1800s.

    Best Time To Visit

    The best time to see Ava or Inwa is during the dry season, which takes place from November through April. The beginning of the season is cooler, so you may want to travel at that time.


    You Should Know

    The Maha Aungmye Bonzan Monastery dates back to the 1800s. The monastery's crypts attract bats in the area. 
  • Bagan

    One of the most popular port destinations, Bagan is known for its temples. The archaeological area of Bagan features an approximate 25 square-mile area. The quiet town is a big draw for anyone interested in archeology and Asian history.

    Best Time To Visit

    Visit Bagan during the first part of the dry season, when you can experience cooler temperatures.


    You Should Know

    The Shwezigon Pagoda is known for it intricate gold leaf facings. At least 2,200 temples and pagodas can currently be seen in Bagan. Archeological experts believe about 10,000 Buddhist temples and pagodas once stood in the area. 
  • Nyaung Shwe
    Nyaung Shwe

    Regarded as being the portal to Inle Lake, Nyaung Shwe appeals to the backpacker crowd. The main street of Yone Gyi Road boasts economical eateries, stupas, and places where you can gain online access. 

    Best Time To Visit

    Visit Nyaung Shwe from November to December, when the weather and temperatures are pleasanter.


    You Should Know

    The biggest pagoda in Nyaung Shwe, Yadana Manaung can be found on Paung Daw Seiq Road. The road runs next to the primary thoroughfare of Yone Gyi Road. Mingalar Market features local produce and souvenir handicrafts.
  • Kalaw

    If you wish to experience village life up-close in Myanmar, Kalaw is your go-to place. Some of the popular sites in Kalaw village include the Thein Taung Monastery, the Hnee Pagoda, which features a massive gold Buddha, and the local Myoma Market.

    Best Time To Visit

    Travel during the first part of the dry season, or in November or December.


    You Should Know

    Find spices and noodles at the central Myoma Market. Visit Hnee Pagoda in the early morning when it first opens to enjoy a little peace before the crowds descend on the site. The temple opens its doors at 8:00 am.
  • Inle Lake
    Inle Lake

    A good place to hike or cycle is Inle Lake. At the lake, you can also observe fishermen rowing their boats with one leg. Floating gardens can also be seen. Along the lake, stilt houses frame the borders of the water.

    Best Time To Visit

    Plan a visit to Inle Lake during November. 


    You Should Know

    The Khaung Daing hot springs, in the area, feature dips in private pools. Close to Inle Lake, the village of Khaung Daing is the place to visit for shan tofu and tofu salad.
  • Yangon

    Yangon is another popular Burma river cruise stop. The largest city in Myanmar, Yangon began as a fishing village called Dagon. It was Myanmar's capital from 1948 to 2005. Yangon is noted as being the place of the "Golden Pagodas." The largest pagoda in Yangon is the Swhedagon Pagoda.

    Best Time To Visit

    Visit Yangon when the temperatures and weather are more moderate, or in November or December. 


    You Should Know

    Yangon's high-rise structures do not feature elevators. Instead, baskets are hung out of the buildings with ropes, which people use to pull up items or food. Both men and women wear a piece of clothing known as lonyi. The sheet of fabric ties around the waist and falls at the ankle.

Burma River Cruise Packages

  • Getting There

    Getting to your Burma River Cruise is an adventure in itself. Most cruises kick off from Mandalay or Yangon. Mandalay, right in the center of the country, is easily reached by air from Myanmar's largest city, Yangon, and other international hubs like Bangkok and Singapore. Once you land, the cruise ports are just a taxi ride away from the airports.

    Yangon, the more common starting point, is served by an international airport too. It's in the south and gives you a taste of colonial architecture and busy markets before you even step onto the boat. Cruise ships dock right in the city, making it super simple to get from your plane to your cabin. Remember, the rivers are the roads here, so once you're on board, you're on the main artery through Myanmar's heartland.

  • Immerse Yourself in Burma’s Culture

    When scheduling a Burma River Cruise, it's important to consider the best time for your journey. The optimal period for river cruising in Burma is between November and February. During these cooler months, the weather is more conducive to the range of outdoor activities and sightseeing opportunities that a river cruise offers. With temperatures averaging between 20°C to 24°C, this time is ideal for comfortably exploring Burma's rich cultural and natural heritage from the river.

    However, the period from March to May in Burma brings higher temperatures, often exceeding 30°C. While river cruising is still possible during these hotter months, it's advisable to plan activities that are less exposed to the intense midday sun, such as indoor or shaded experiences.

    The rainy season in Burma, lasting from June to October, transforms the landscape into a lush green environment. Yet, this season can be quite wet, and some river areas may become challenging to navigate due to increased water levels. This could impact the river cruising experience.

    For those looking to enjoy a Burma River Cruise with the advantage of lower prices and fewer tourists, the shoulder months of March or October are worth considering. These months provide a more authentic, local experience of Burma. However, it's important to be prepared for the heat in March or the residual rains in October. Each season in Burma offers a unique river cruising experience, so choosing the right time depends on your preferences for weather and crowd levels.

  • Experience the Flavors of Burma on a River Cruise

    When you're on a Burma river cruise, get ready for a culinary journey as exciting as the sights you'll see. Burmese food is a mix of unique flavors influenced by its neighbors: Thailand, India, and China.

    One can't-miss dish is "mohinga" – a comforting bowl of rice noodles swimming in a fish-based broth often considered the national dish. For something a bit heartier, try "lethok son," a tangy salad made with fermented rice, fresh vegetables, and roasted nuts. Don't skip on "tea leaf salad" either; it's a burst of texture and flavor with its mix of fermented tea leaves, crispy beans, and nuts.

    Thirsty? Sip on some sweet, milky "Burmese tea," a staple drink here that reflects the laid-back tea culture.

    For a true taste of local life, visit the bustling markets where vendors serve up these delicious eats fresh every day. If you're looking for a sit-down experience, ask the cruise staff – they'll point you to some hidden gems where you can sample the best of Burmese cuisine. Just be sure to bring an appetite because you're going to want to try everything!

  • Why Book a River Cruise to Burma?

    Thinking about a trip to Burma? A river cruise should be at the top of your list. Here's why: it's one of the best ways to see the country without the fuss. On a cruise, you get to unpack once, and your hotel travels with you—no hopping between different places to stay. Plus, the views from the river are something else. You'll see parts of Burma that you just can't from the road or from a hotel room.

    River cruises often come with guides who really know their stuff, so you'll get stories and insights into the places you're passing by. Also, some spots along the river are tough to get to any other way. Your cruise might stop at little villages or hidden temples that most travelers don't get to see. And when it comes to value, cruises can be a great deal because they include a lot of things in the price, like meals and tours. So, if you're looking for a unique, hassle-free way to explore Burma, a river cruise is it.

  • Ready to Book Your Burma River Cruise?

    Ready to explore the unique charm of Burma from its rivers? A river cruise here isn't just a trip; it's an adventure into the heart of Southeast Asia. You'll glide past ancient temples, lively markets, and stunning landscapes. It's a hassle-free way to see the sights without having to pack and unpack at every stop.

    Burma is a place where the journey itself becomes part of your story. On a river cruise, you can settle into the rhythm of the river, learn from local guides, and enjoy the comfort of your floating hotel. It's a fantastic way to connect with the culture, taste the local cuisine, and see the country from a unique perspective.

    If you're ready for an unforgettable experience, now's the time to book your Burma river cruise. Adventure, relaxation, and discovery await on these storied waters. Don't miss out on the chance to create memories that will last a lifetime.

Burma River Cruises Frequently Asked Questions

  • Best Time to Take Burma River Cruises

    When you choose to embark on a Burma river cruise will depend on your budget and your tolerance to hot temperatures. If you plan on going out on daily excursions, it is probably best to plan your river cruise in November so you will not feel impaired by the heat and humidity.

  • What Are Burma River Cruises?

    Burma river cruises feature popular river stops at the capital of Mandalay and Bagan. Some go as far as Yangon. It just depends on the length of the river cruise route and the number of days you plan to travel. Burma river cruises feature stops at villages and enable river cruise-goers to see some of the area's leading temples.

  • What’s Included on Burma River Cruises?

    If you take a Burma river cruise, you will receive all your daily meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) onboard ship free as well as complimentary beverages. Wi-Fi is also provided along with luxury accommodations that feature balconies. Guided tours are provided by experienced tour guides.

  • What’s the Best River Cruise of Burma River Cruises?

    The best Burma river cruise is one that meets your criteria with regards to pricing and interests. Talk to your travel representative about customizing a Burma river cruise package for you. 

  • How Much Do Burma River Cruises Cost?

    If you schedule a Burma river cruise for 10 days, you will pay, on average $3,500 per person. The price includes free Wi-Fi, all your meals and beverages, airport transfers, and Wi-Fi.

Learn More About Burma Cruises

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