Chindwin River Cruise by RV Pandaw

from $$$/p

Itinerary Overview

The loveliest of rivers. In the past we only offered this during the monsoon due to water levels, but now our ultra low draught Pandaws can sail through to February. The river carves it way through mountains and forests and we stop at delightful unspoilt little towns. Our objective, Homalin is the capital of Nagaland and close to the India border. We will ply the Upper Chindwin weekly between Monywa and Homalin. Monywa is under three hours from Mandalay and the car transfer is included with the cruise. Homalin is now connected by scheduled flight with Mandalay.

Travel Map

Pandaw Cruise Myanmar

Detailed Itinerary

  • 1. Upstream
  • 2. Downstream

Day 1: Monywa

You will be picked up between 08.00am-08.30am on embarkation day. Your transfer Mandalay to the pier in Monywa is included in the cruise package. Afternoon excursion to see Thandboodi Temple, Bawdhi Tahaung statue and the night market in the evening.

  • Meals: Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation: Pandaw Cruise

Day 2: Phowin Taung

In the morning, coach to the Phowin Taung Caves, where we will admire beautiful mural paintings and Buddha statues in riches. Beyond Monywa we enter the Upper Chindwin..

  • Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation: Pandaw Cruise

DAY 3: Cruising

The river narrows and the forested hills fall away to farmland we pass a number of attractive villages like Kanee where we can stretch our legs.

  • Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation: Pandaw Cruise

DAY 4: Mingkin

Mingkin was rediscovered by Paul Strachan in 1987 and described in some detail in his book Mandalay: Travels from the Golden City. It remains for Paul the most art historically interesting site in Myanmar (more so than the now spoilt Pagan) with its Konbaung court style teak monasteries sumptuously decorated. Mingkin may be described as the Luang Prabang of the Chindwin. The gateway town for the Chin State, we explore Kalewa with its markets and quaint wooden architecture.

  • Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation: Pandaw Cruise

DAY 5: Mawlaik

Morning explore Mawlaik replaced Kindat as the administrative capital but ironically the Myanma refused to move there from upstream Kindat. It was mainly settled with the company houses of the by the Scottish owned and run Bombay Myanmarh Trading Corporation in the 1920s and 1930s. There are many splendid ‘Dak Bungalows’ set around a verdant golf course. Mawlaik and the other towns of the Upper Chindwin can only be reached by boat so cars are few. There is a dreamy otherworldly quality to such places and truly one feels that one has travelled there in the Pandaw time machine!. Afternoon we pass the mouth of the Yu River which drains the Kubu valley that provided the route for a Lieutenant Grant to march to the relief of the Manipur garrison when the chief commissioner of Assam was massacred in a local rebellion.

  • Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation: Pandaw Cruise

DAY 6: Sitthaung

Sitthaung was the final resting place of a number of IFC steamers scuppered there in 1942 in an ‘act of denial’ from the advancing Japanese who were a matter of hours behind. We hope to find remains of these ships as we have in the past at Katha on the Irrawaddy. It was from here that the survivors of the Japanese invasion marched out to Tamu on the India border. Pantha was an important oil refinery belonging to the Indo-Burma Petroleum Co (Steel Brothers).

  • Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation: Pandaw Cruise

DAY 7: Toungdoot

Toungdoot or Hsawng-hsup in Tai, is an ancient Shan enclave which in British times still had a ruling sawbwa complete with palace and court. It will be interesting to see what has become of the royal family and their home and to see these Shan people so far from their Tai-Shan homelands. On the way to Homalin, the furthest navigable point on the Chindwin for vessels of our size. Alister McCrae wrote of his visit there 1935 ‘I loved the atmosphere of quiet and peaceful living there. At night I could hear greylag geese as they came in to the flooded land around us from far away north’. Bird in 1897 says little other than that Homalin is the headquarters of a township, but has very little trade’. Until we get there and explore the place there is not much we can say!

  • Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation: Pandaw Cruise

DAY 8: Homalin

Disembarkation and transfer to Homalin airport.

  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Accommodation: n/a

Download Itinerary

Day 1: Homalin

Flight to Homalin and transfer from airport to jetty at Homalin.
Flight from Mandalay: We will pick you up from your hotel in Mandalay between 09:00 and 10:00 This domestic flight is included in the cruise price.

Transfer to Homalin, the furthest navigable point on the Chindwin for vessels of our size. Alister McCrae wrote of his visit there 1935 ‘I loved the atmosphere of quiet and peaceful living there. At night I could hear greylag geese as they came in to the flooded land around us from far away north’. Until we get there and explore the place there is not much we can say!

  • Meals: Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation: Pandaw Cruise

Day 2: Toungdoot

Toungdoot or Hsawng-hsup in Tai, is an ancient Shan enclave which in British times still had a ruling sawbwa complete with palace and court. It will be interesting to see what has become of the royal family and their home and to see these Shan people so far from their Tai-Shan homelands. On the way to Paungbyin. Patha was an important oil refinery belonging to the Indo-Burma Petroleum Co (Steel Brothers).

  • Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation: Pandaw Cruise

DAY 3: Sitthaung

Sitthaung was the final resting place of a number of IFC steamers scuppered there in 1942 in an ‘act of denial’ from the advancing Japanese who were a matter of hours behind. We hope to find remains of these ships as we have in the past at Katha on the Irrawaddy. It was from here that the survivors of the Japanese invasion marched out to Tamu on the India border. We pass the mouth of the Yu River which drains the Kubu valley that provided the route for a Lieutenant Grant to march to the relief of the Manipur garrison when the chief commissioner of Assam was massacred in a local rebellion.

  • Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation: Pandaw Cruise

DAY 4: Mawalaik

Explore Mawlaik replaced Kindat as the administrative capital but ironically the Myanma refused to move there from upstream Kindat. It was mainly settled with the company houses of the by the Scottish owned and run Bombay Myanmarh Trading Corporation in the 1920s and 1930s. There are many splendid ‘Dak Bungalows’ set around a verdant golf course. Mawlaik and the other towns of the Upper Chindwin can only be reached by boat so cars are few. There is a dreamy otherworldly quality to such places and truly one feels that one has travelled there in the Pandaw time machine! Then the gateway town for the Chin State. We explore Kalewa with its markets and quaint wooden architecture.

  • Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation: Pandaw Cruise

DAY 5: Mingkin

Mingkin was rediscovered by Paul Strachan in 1987 and described in some detail in his book Mandalay: Travels from the Golden City. It remains for Paul the most art historically interesting site in Myanmar (more so than the now spoilt Pagan) with its Konbaung court style teak monasteries sumptuously decorated. Mingkin may be described as the Luang Prabang of the Chindwin. And we pass a number of attractive villages like Kanee where we can stretch our legs.

  • Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation: Pandaw Cruise

DAY 6: Monywa

Entering the lower Chindwin where the river widens and the forested hills fall away from farmland, we pass a number of attractive villages. We will explore Monywa and make a trip to the Thanbodi Temple with its million Buddha images.

  • Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation: Pandaw Cruise

DAY 7: Phowin Taung

In the morning, coach to the Phowin Taung Caves, where we will admire beautiful mural paintings and Buddha statues in riches.

  • Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation: Pandaw Cruise

DAY 8: Monywa

Disembark at Monywa IWT jetty at 08.30 am and we transfer you to Mandalay. Arrival at Mandalay airport is approx. 12.30pm. If you arrange your individual flights them please don’t book them earlier than 14.00pm for domestic or 15.00pm for international. Or arrival at your hotel in Mandalay approx. 13.30pm.

  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Accommodation: N/A

Download Itinerary

Important Notes:

  • Please note that water levels drop dramatically as of December and we might not be able to reach Homalin. You will be well rewarded with alternative excursions. We will be cruising up to Mawlaik and return to Kalewa where you will be flown out to Yangon or Mandalay.
  • The itinerary for this expedition is indicative only. As we travel to remote areas, changes to the itinerary will inevitably occur. A flexible approach is required if you book this cruise.

Departures

2021

2022

Upstream

13 Nov, 27 Nov, 25 Dec

8 Jan, 22 Jan

Downstream

06 Nov, 20 Nov, 19 Dec

1 Jan, 15 Jan, 29 Jan

Important information

What's included ?

Transportation

River Cruise, Car

Accommodation

Accommodation on Luxury Pandaw Cruise (7 nights)

Meals

7 Breakfasts/ 7 Lunches/ 7 Dinners

Price Includes

  • One way domestic flight
  • Overnights on Pandaw Cruise
  • Daily (group) shore-excursions & entrance fees
  • Sightseeing and transfers during the cruise
  • English speaking tour guiding on-and offshore
  • Entertainment/activities during the cruise as mentioned in the program
  • Meals as mentioned in the program
  • Local mineral water
  • Jugged coffe, teas & tisanes
  • Complimentary usage of ship facilities (exclusive of spa treatments)

Price Excludes

  • Transfers from/to meeting point to/from the Luxury Pandaw Cruise
  • Crew and guide gratuities
  • Visa fees
  • Personal expenses
  • Other beverages than those stated under inclusion
  • Medical services
  • Spa treatments
  • Port and anchorage fees
  • All other services or items not listed under inclusions

Cancellation Policy

  • From time of booking until 61 day prior to departure non-refundable deposit
  • From 60 days and less till departure, no show, late arrival or early return 100% cancellation fee

Customer Reviews