High50 have teamed up with globally acclaimed travel experts cazenove+loyd to offer this exclusive cruise down the Irrawaddy River on Burma’s most luxurious boat with guide, Dr Marett-Crosby. The timing is perfect as January is in the middle of the dry season when balmy, sunny days give way to crisp, clear nights.
Dr Marett-Crosby works closely with Aung San Suu Kyi, sharing a belief in the growth of civil society and democracy in Burma. He is deeply passionate about this wonderful country, which has become his second home in recent years. His understanding of Burmese politics and culture will give guests a significant insight into the political journey the country has undertaken in recent years and where it may be headed just over a year after the 2015 elections.
cazenove+loyd’s contacts will open doors to heritage buildings which are not usually accessible to the public and take guests behind the scenes of this remarkable country. A fun and lively cocktail party and dinner will be held in the stunning gardens of The Belmond Governor’s Residence where guests can meet Burmese people from all walks of life in a relaxed and informal setting.
The full itinerary can be seen at cazenove+loyd, but here are a few of the highlights:
On arrival at Yangon International Airport, you will be met by a guide and transferred to The Belmond Governor’s Residence and in the early evening, gather together in the hotel gardens to meet Dr Michael Marett-Crosby for a private dinner. You will get the chance to visit historic sites and meet local experts not usually available to the public, personally arranged by Dr Marett-Crosby.
After a short flight to Mandalay, a private vehicle will take you to board The Belmond Orcaella and the journey begins with a sail to Mingun to see this wonderful Pagoda and world’s largest un-cracked bell. Exploring Mandalay City, the Kuthodaw Pagoda and the atmospheric Shwenandaw Monastery.
Cruise to the quaint village of Pauk Taw Myaing. Walk to Yandabo village in the morning light. This tiny village is famous for its production of terracotta pottery from the riverbank clay. Meet local artisans to understand the importance of the ceramic tradition and watch the village come alive with burning kilns and clay diggers.
Travel inland away from the river by road to Sale to see Yout-Saun-Kyaung, a 19th century wooden monastery home to an impressive 20ft bamboo strip lacquer Buddha and the surrounding villages.
From Magwe you will make an early morning visit across the river plain into the hills to Gokkyi village to experience rural Burmese life away from the river.
Meet the villagers, adorned in traditional colourful dress, who will join you to explore the market area.
Visit to the awe-inspiring Gwechaung Fort, built by Italian architects in 1860 to keep the British at bay.
Arrive in Bagan, one of the ancient and most spectacular sites on this extraordinary journey.
Rise slightly early to take an otherworldly morning hot air balloon flight over the plains and temples of Bagan*
*(Hot air ballooning is not included in the price but the trip is highly recommended and cazenove+loyd would be delighted to make reservations for those who wish).
The maximum group size is 44 people and their are only 5 cabin left to book. cazenove+loyd can recommend any extensions to the itinerary.