A Myanmar river cruise vacation takes you to a place that's "quite unlike any land you know."
It was Rudyard Kipling who remarked Burma (now Myanmar) is "quite unlike any land you know." Golden temples as far as the eye can see dot the ancient capital of Bagan, one of the world's greatest religious sites. Verdant rice fields and wooden ox carts, working elephants and forested gorges provide sublime landscapes. The iconic Shwedagon Pagoda rises amidst Yangon, the capital, resplendent in its gold leaf attire.
While retaining much of the natural, untouched beauty of its ancient past, Myanmar is a culture emerging. A journey on the Irrawaddy (Ayeyarwady) and Chindwin Rivers provide a glimpse into this distant world and its newfound voice. Witness a traditional Noviciation Ceremony of local monks, experience a local tea shop, explore caves with nearly 500 Buddha chambers carved into the hillside, or enjoy a jungle trek.
While Myanmar is slowly developing its infrastructure, river cruise lines have been offering a comfortable way to discover the country. Most prominent is Belmond (formerly Orient Express) who has been operating programs here for some years, and the Anawrahta from Heritage Lines. Newer entrants include Ama Waterways, Abercrombie & Kent, and others.