luxury Myanmar holidays - Kha Byoo boat
luxury Myanmar holidays - bathers in the Chindwin
luxury Myanmar holidays - Irawaddy River
luxury Myanmar holidays - life on the Chindwin
luxury Myanmar holidays - Kha Byoo cabin
luxury Myanmar holidays - monks

An Expedition up the Chindwin

FURTHER JOURNEYS IN MYANMAR  brown-arrow-right.png

Day 1 - Arrive in Mandalay
Arrive in Mandalay, the former royal capital and centre of Burmese culture on the banks of the Irrawaddy River.

Overnight: Hotel by the Red Canal

Day 2 -  Mandalay
Spend a day exploring several of the ancient Burmese capitals that surround the modern city, such as Ava and Sagaing. See too the fascinating workshops and artisans that flourish in the city and the wonderfully photogenic U-Bein bridge, the world's longest wooden bridge.

Overnight: Hotel by the Red Canal

Day 3 - Monywa
Drive out of Mandalay to board the RV Zawgyi Pandaw, your characterful and comfortable home-cum-transportation for the expedition up the Chindwin River. With just 10 large cabins, the Zawgyi Pandaw is extremely exclusive and intimate - the ideal expedition ship with the feel of a comfortable private yacht.


In the afternoon, explore Monywa and see the Thanbodi Temple, which boasts a million images of the Buddha.

Overnight: RV Zawgyi Pandaw 

Day 4 - Phowin Taung Caves

Travel to admire the stunning mural paintings at the Phowin Taung Caves. Then cast off for the journey upriver. Beyond Monywa the river narrows and you sail past several villages on the banks.

Overnight: RV Zawgyi Pandaw 

Day 5 - Cruisng

Spend the day cruising the narrow river flanked by forested hills, passing a number of attractive villages including Kanee.

Overnight: RV Zawgyi Pandaw 

Day 6 - Mingkin & Kalewa
Arrive into Mingkin, which is an architectural tour-de-force, virtually unknown outside of Myanmar. There are plenty of traditional wooden houses surrounding amazing, teak monasteries in the Konbaung court style. Kalewa is considered the gateway to the Chin State, and had excellent markets selling all manner of exotic local produce.

Overnight: RV Zawgyi Pandaw 

Day 7 - Mawlaik
Further upstream is Mawlaik, to which colonial employees of the Bombay Myanmar Trading Corporation would repair after months extracting teak from the surrounding forests. Here they could have a hot bath and a drink, and this atmosphere is maintained to this day by the eerie lack of cars and the many Edwardian "Dak Bungalows" set around a golf course. The expedition continues past the Kubu Valley and the Yu River, down which a relief force was sent to rescue the Manipur garrison during a local rebellion.

Overnight: RV Zawgyi Pandaw

Day 8 - Sitthaung
Beyond the Yu River is Sitthaung where the British scuttled several of their commercial river to prevent them from falling into the hands of the Japanese, in 1942. This was the starting point for what became the nightmarish trek over the mountains to India for all those fleeing the conflict.

Overnight: RV Zawgyi Pandaw

Day 9 - Toungdoot
Continue upriver, deep into the Chin State, where the Indo-Burma Petroleum Company established a large oil refinery and where a community of Shan tribes people maintained an enclave, far from their homeland near the Thai border. Leaving Toungdoot we set sail for Homalin, the highest navigable point of the Chindwin River. This small town is located close to the Indian border, and surrounded by large, forest-covered mountains.

Overnight: RV Zawgyi Pandaw

Day 10 - Yangon
Disembark and fly to Yangon, where you are met and transferred to the very comfortable Savoy Hotel.

Overnight: The Savoy Hotel

Day 11 - Yangon
Explore the city of Yangon with your local guide, seeing the crumbling colonial downtown, Scott Market and the fascinating Botataung and Shwedagon Pagodas.

Overnight: The Savoy Hotel

Day 12 - Depart Yangon
Transfer to Yangon airport to catch your flight out of Myanmar. 

NB: The river journey operates upstream and downstream on alternating weeks during the season (late September - March). The above journey illustrates the upstream itinerary. The downstream itinerary works in reverse. 





From £3,230 / $4,995 per person for land arrangements (excluding international flights), based on two people sharing a double/twin room/cabin. On board the Zawgyi Pandaw all your meals, excursions, soft drinks, local beer, local spirits and tips for crew are included.

All of our itineraries are tailor-made according to the interests of our clients and the above itinerary is an example only. Please contact our Myanmar holidays specialist, Edward Granville, for your own luxury holiday to Myanmar on +44 (0)1242 787805.


The Red Savannah Experience

The idea for Red Savannah was always based on a clear market need. Put together a small team of the most experienced (nobody has less than 10 years experience) travel designers and provide a service that revolves around knowledge, empathy and genuine friendliness. A company that brings back craftsmanship and substance, without the glitz and over-hackneyed travel jargon. In short, a travel company redefined for the 21st century.

Download Your Brochure