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From sailing through the Three Gorges in China aboard a luxury cruiser to soaring above the gilded pagodas and stupas of Myanmar, grand temples of Angkor and volcanic moonscape of Cappadocia, Asia’s diversity is boundless. Covering 8.7% of the Earth’s total surface area, Asia varies even within its regions in cultural ethnicity, environment, history, economics and political systems. From the expansive grasslands of Mongolia and Silk Road cities of central Asia to Malaysia’s melting pot of cultures, Indochina’s colonial heritage and Indonesia’s iridescent islands, experience authentic travel moments across the world’s largest continent while luxuriating in world-class accommodations. Wherever your journey takes you, we’ll be with you every step of the way, making sure your experience is utterly unforgettable and that you return home with a treasure of memories from the land of tea and silk.

Myanmar & the Irrawaddy

. . the thing that makes you feel young is a sense of discovery.  Paul Theroux

Dramatic Myanmar (Burma) is an intrepid traveller's dream. This is a land where holy men clad in traditional longyi are revered, thousands of ancient religious stupas rise out of flat plains, and floating-village life ebbs and flows upon Inle Lake. For a glimpse of old Indochina, there isn't a more eye-opening destination than this mysterious country, which only recently opened its borders to visitors.

Yangon, the country's largest city, is a beguiling mix of British, Burmese, Chinese and Indian influences, from its timeworn colonial architecture to its unique cuisine. In this deeply Buddhist country, pagodas pockmark the land, and some of the most impressive ones can be found in Yangon, including the Shwedagon Pagoda and the Sule Pagoda

If Yangon and Mandalay are Myanmar's capitals of culture and commerce, then Bagan is the country's spiritual center. Over 2,000 pagodas, stupas and temples dot the golden plains of Bagan - a once-in-a-lifetime sight to behold, best seen from above by private hot air balloon. Other highlights include the Ananda Temple, the best-preserved in the city, and Mount Popa, a stunning volcano that doubles as an ancient Buddhist pilgrimage site.

Travel to Mandalay, Myanmar's major commercial center, and explore sites such as the monastery-studded Mandalay Hill, a pilgrimage site for Buddhists for nearly two centuries. Perhaps the best way to experience both the romance of the colonial era and see the Burmese people's day-to-day realities is by cruising on the Ayeyarwady (Irrawaddy) River - aboard the new Sanctuary Ananda - all the way to Bagan, disembarking at temples and viewing life along the river.

> Cruise the legendary Irrawaddy River in luxury on the all-balcony Sanctuary Ananda.

> Spend two nights on Inle Lake and enjoy a private viewing of a traditional Intha boat race.

> Capture the photographs of a lifetime on a magical hot air balloon ride, soaring above the 2,000 pagodas and temples of Bagan's plain.

> 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.

> Learn the secrets of Burmese cuisine during a cooking class for a delightful Chef's Table experience.

Itinerary - Myanmar & the Irrawaddy

Day 1: Arrive Yangon, Myanmar - Sule Shangri-La
Arrive in Yangon, where you are met and transferred to your hotel.

Day 2:  Yangon | Queen of the East - Sule Shangri-La
Today, enjoy your first taste of Myanmar, a profoundly Buddhist country, where many ancient traditions still flourish. Its artisans are accomplished craftsmen and the atmosphere here is uncrowded and authentic. Begin with a tour of Shwedagon Pagoda, the most sacred Buddhist site in Myanmar. Tradition holds that it has stood for 2,600 years, making it the oldest historical pagoda in the world. Continue to the Reclining Buddha at Chauk Htat Gyi Pagoda, a 213-foot-long statue with an expressive enamel face. View the story of the Buddha’s life embossed on the soles of the statue’s staggered feet. Enjoy a traditional Burmese lunch at a local restaurant followed by a stroll through Scott Market (Bogyoke Market) amid shops filled with antiques, old coins, Burmese jade and handicrafts. Savor afternoon tea with a local writer and former colleague of Nobel Peace Laureate, Aung San Suu Kyi. This evening, gather with your fellow guests for a special welcome dinner hosted by Abercrombie & Kent. Meals: B L D

Day 3:  Heho/Inle Lake | Tranquil and Traditional - Inle Lake View Resort
Fly to Heho and drive to Nyaung Shwe to explore the 19th-century Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery. The structure is built entirely out of teak wood and is fully functional until this day. After lunch, explore the ingenious floating gardens of Inle Lake as well as Nga Phe Kyaung monastery by boat. Then, transfer to your lakeside boutique hotel. Meals: B L D

Day 4:  Inle Lake | Five-Day Market & Private Boat Race - Inle Lake View Resort
After breakfast, enjoy a Market Visit to the Five-Day Market to see regional hill tribe people in traditional dress bartering for goods and produce. Stop at a blacksmith’s workshop on an authentic Artisan Visit before trying your hand at making a cheroot (Burmese cigar). Stop for lunch at the Intha Heritage House, serving authentic Intha dishes from recipes handed down through generations. Afterward, witness a private Intha boat race with afternoon tea. Marvel at the coordinated effort required by the 20 participants per boat, each using the traditional single-leg rowing technique that some local fishermen still employ. Return to your hotel for dinner. Meals: B L D

Day 5:  Mandalay | Ancient Capital - Rupar Mandalar Resort
Fly to Mandalay and drive to Ava. An ancient imperial capital of Burma from the 14th to the 19th centuries, Ava was destroyed, and ultimately abandoned, after a series of earthquakes in 1839. Explore the ruins by horsecart, including Maha Aungmye Bonzan Monastery, Bagaya Monastery and the Watch Tower. Return to Mandalay to witness evening prayers at Shwe Kyin Monastery, followed by dinner at your hotel. Meals: B L D

Day 6:  Mandalay | Boarding Sanctuary Ananda - Sanctuary Ananda
View the more than 700 marble slabs inscribed with Buddhist religious texts, referred to by some as the biggest book in the world, at Kuthodaw Pagoda. Then, board luxurious all-balcony Sanctuary Ananda, your home for a four-night cruise upon the timeless Irrawaddy River. After lunch, disembark to visit Sagaing, renowned for its monasteries and pagodas. Proceed to Amarapura, with its silver workshops, where you embark on a local boat to the U Bein Bridge — the oldest and longest teakwood bridge in the world — for a spectacular Scenic Sundowner. Then, return to the ship for dinner. Meals: B L D

Day 7:  The Irrawaddy River | A Timeless Journey - Sanctuary Ananda
Enjoy early morning meditation or yoga on deck before breakfast. Relax on deck or receive a spa treatment this afternoon. Later, listen to a special talk on Myanmar’s history and vision for the future on board, followed by a longyi (traditional Burmese cloth worn by men and women) demonstration. Meals: B L D

Day 8:  Pakokku/Bagan | Temples & Pagodas - Sanctuary Ananda
This morning, learn the secrets of Burmese cuisine during a cooking class for a delightful Chef’s Table experience. Then, disembark to discover Pakokku Village. Visit its local market to see daily life and locals bargaining for goods. Also, learn how the Thanaka paste — used by Burmese women for makeup and as a sunscreen — is made, when you watch locals preparing it. Then, proceed to another of Bagan’s many temples before returning to the ship for dinner and a traditional Burmese musical performanceMeals: B L D

Day 9:  Bagan | Ballooning Over Bagan - Sanctuary Ananda
Rise early for a wondrous hot air balloon ride over Bagan as the dawning sun illuminates the gold- and sand-colored stupas. Next, visit Nyaung Oo Market and explore Ananda Temple. Built in 1090, it is the best preserved temple in Bagan. Tonight, enjoy a special candlelit dinner on Bagan’s sandbank. Meals: B L D

Day 10:  Yangon | Musmeah Yeshua and a Farewell Lunch - Sule Shangri-La
Disembark and fly to Yangon. Discover Musmeah Yeshua, the last remaining Jewish synagogue in Myanmar, built during Burma’s colonial era in the heart of the city center. Toast your journey at a farewell lunch. Your afternoon is at leisure, perhaps for some last-minute shopping. Tonight, transfer to the airport to depart or stay the night for no added cost. Meals: B L

Day 11:  Depart Yangon
After breakfast, transfer to the airport and board your flight homeward bound. Meals: B


Sanctuary Ananda  - A Vessel Built for Luxury
Experience Myanmar's splendors aboard the Sanctuary Ananda with 21 all-balcony cabins, gourmet cuisine, teak-lined spa and morning meditation.


  The Utmost in Comfort and Elegance
  • Ample cabins with private balconies
  • Beds with luxurious Malaika Egyptian cotton sheets
  • Traditional Burmese-inspired decor
 A Holistic Travel Experience
  • Complimentary early morning meditation and yoga
  • Evening lectures on customs, culture and history
  • A crew devoted to your complete enjoyment

in association/Abercrombie & Kent

Customize Your Journey

Explore these suggestions. Then personalize your own itinerary. Select your dates, choose additional destinations, modify hotel selections, add activities, tours, and anything else on your list. The choice is yours! We will prepare your ideal custom-designed journey with pricing based upon your travel dates and the number of persons in your party.

Meals as indicated:  B = breakfast L = lunch D = dinner


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