Above: Sundeck on the Sanctuary Ananda

Ayeyarwady Riverboats

Given Myanmar’s poor transport infrastructure, one of the most pleasant and rewarding ways to see the country is aboard a luxury riverboat. This has been a favorite trip of Hideaway Report readers for many years.

Aside from the reliable level of comfort, the leading riverboats provide well-organized excursions to pagodas, monasteries and culturally significant sites, allowing passengers to experience relatively remote and unspoiled areas of the country that would otherwise be inaccessible. Of course, just watching the life of the river from the observation deck is endlessly diverting.

The usual journey on the Ayeyarwady River takes four days/three nights to travel the 128 nautical miles downstream from Mandalay to Bagan, or five days/four nights to sail upstream from Bagan to Mandalay. The Belmond Road to Mandalay regularly plies this route, accommodating up to 82 guests in either “State” or slightly smaller “Deluxe” cabins, both with en suite baths. Amenities include a fine-dining restaurant, a more casual bar/grill, a small swimming pool and a fitness center and spa.

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