Blue Water Holidays
Blue Water Holidays - ABTA - ATOL - CLIA
Experts in River and Small Ship Cruising Holidays since 2002
01756 706500 +44 1756 706500
Blue Water Holidays - ABTA - ATOL - CLIA
01756 706500
+44 1756 706500

Chindwin River Expedition

Explore untouched and remote regions of northern Burma on this unique Chindwin river cruise and discover spectacular temples, ancient monasteries and traditional village life

Cruise Only
7 nights from £3287pp

River Adventures Holiday
  • Pagoda, Mandalay
  • Monywa
  • Mingkin
  • Sitthaung

Call us now on 01756 706500 to secure your cabin!

PD

Sail the Upper Chindwin and discover a Burma of time gone by, where the local people hold fast to old traditions and iconic sites wait to be explored. The Chindwin flows down from the Burma-Assam border at the foothills of the Himalayas, past mountains, forests and remote unspoilt villages. It is the main tributary of the Irrawaddy and is only navigable in vessels with the shallowest drafts.

Embark ship in Monywa and discover the town's temples, statues and night market. Travel to the unique Phowin Taung Caves and cruise past forested hills, traditional villages and farmland to the famous monasteries of Mingun.

Take a step back in time in Mawlaik which can only be reached by boat then discover the unique culture and history of the ancient Shan enclave of Toungdoot. This river expedition cruise ends in Homalin, the capital of Nagaland and close to the India border.

PD252 Operated by Pandaw River Adventures

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Upstream Mar - Nov Itinerary

Day 1 - Mandalay - Monywa (Burma)

Transfer to Monywa and embark ship. Afternoon excursion to see Thandboodi Temple, Bawdhi Tahaung statue and the night market in the evening.

Day 2 - Phowin Taung

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

Day 3 - Cruising the River Chindwin

The river narrows and the landscape changes from forested hills to farmland. There are several traditional villages such as Kanee where the ship might stop to allow guests to explore.

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.

Day 5 - Mawlaik

Mawlaik was once the home of the Scottish-owned Bombay Burmah Trading Corporation in the 1920s and 1930s, and there are still many fine colonial Dak bungalows set around a verdant golf course. Mawlaik can only be reached by boat so cars are few and it really feels like you are taking a step back in time.

Day 6 - Sithaung

Sithaung was the final resting place of several Irrawaddy Flotilla Company steamers scuppered there in 1942 in an ‘act of denial’ from the advancing Japanese.

Day 7 - Toungdoot

Discover the unique culture and history of Toungdoot, an ancient Shan enclave, which during British rule still had a ruling Burmese prince, also known as a sawbwa, with a palace and court.

Day 8 - Homalin - Mandalay or Yangon

Disembark ship and transfer to Homalin airport for the internal flight to Mandalay or Yangon.

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.

Upstream Dec - Feb Itinerary

Day 1 - Mandalay (Burma) - Monya

Transfer to Monywa and embark ship. Afternoon excursion to see Thandboodi Temple, Bawdhi Tahaung statue and the night market in the evening.

Day 2 - Phowin Taung

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

Day 3 - Cruising the River Chindwin

The river narrows and the landscape changes from forested hills to farmland. There are several traditional villages such as Kanee where the ship might stop to allow guests to explore.

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.

Day 5 - Kalewa

Morning walking tour of Minkin followed by cruise to Kalewa located at the confluence of the Chindwin and the Myittha Rivers, where we enjoy a walking tour.

Day 6 - Mawalik

Morning visit to Masein Village and then sail to Mawlaik, the town that 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!

Day 7 - Mawalaik Elephant Camp

Morning excursion by Tuk Tuk or coach to Bus to view the Teak wood Forest outside Mawlaik. Continue to the Pyar Swe Elephant Camp, a working camp where the elephants are protected in natural surroundings. We then sail to Kalewa where we overnight.

Day 8 - Kalewa - Yangon or Mandalay

Disembark ship in Kalewa for the onward flight 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.

Downstream Mar - Nov Itinerary

Day 1 - Mandalay or Yangon (Burma) - Homalin

Transfer to Homalin, the furthest navigable point on the Chindwin for vessels of our size.

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).

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.

Day 4 - Mawlaik

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.

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. Pass a number of attractive villages like Kanee where we can stretch our legs.

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.

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.

Day 8 - Monywa - Mandalay

Disembark at Monywa and transfer to 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.

Downstream Dec - Feb Itinerary

Day 1 - Yangon or Mandalay (Burma) - Kalewa

Fly from Rangoon or Mandalay to Kalay Airport for your onward transfer to your Pandaw vessel at Kalewa, where we overnight.

Day 2 - Mawlaik

Morning visit to Masein Village and then sail to Mawlaik, the town that 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!

Day 3 - Mawlaik Elephant Camp

Morning excursion by Tuk Tuk or coach to Bus to view the Teak wood Forest outside Mawlaik. Continue to the Pyar Swe Elephant Camp, a working camp where the elephants are protected in natural surroundings.

Day 4 - Mingkin

We visit Mingkin in the morning. 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. Afternoon cruising on the Chindwin, including a stop at a local village where we are the main attraction!

Day 5 - Kanee

Delightful morning cruising the Chindwin downstream towards Kanee village, where we explore on a late morning walking tour. Afternoon enjoy a culinary demonstration on board as we cruise to Monywa where we overnight.

Day 6 - Phowin Taung - Kyauk Ka Village

Morning Excursion by coach to Phowin Taung Hill where we visit the Phowin Taung Caves with beautiful mural paintings and Buddha statues dating back to the 14th and 18th centuries. In the afternoon, we visit the Kyauk Ka Village famous for the making of black Lacquer.

Day 7 - Monywa

Morning excursion by coach exploring Monywa, where we visit Moe Hnyin Than Boaddai Temple with over five hundred thousand Buddha statues and probably the longest (over 330 ft / 100 m) reclining and the tallest (412 ft / 125 m) standing Buddha in Myanmar. After lunch, enjoy a walking tour of Monywa.

Day 8 - Monywa - Mandalay

Disembark and travel by road to 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.

Price Includes

  • 7-night river cruise
  • Transfer from Mandalay to Monywa and flight from Homalin to Mandalay/Yangon or vice versa
  • Local mineral water, jugged coffee, teas and tisanes on board
  • All sightseeing, tours and entrance fees as outlined in itinerary
  • On board gratuities

Price Does Not Include

  • Flights and transfers - we can arrange these for you
  • Travel insurance
  • Visa required for Burma
  • All beverages except local mineral water jugged coffee, teas & tisanes
  • Tips to tour guides, bus, boat and cycle operators
  • Port taxes
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2021 Departures £ price per person based on 2 people sharing

  • November
    • Nov 6th - Homalin to Monywa - Sailing on: Zawgyi Pandaw From: £3287
      Main Deck Upper Deck
      Blue Water Price from: £3287 Blue Water Price from: £4176
    • Nov 20th - Homalin to Monywa - Sailing on: Zawgyi Pandaw From: £3287
      Main Deck Upper Deck
      Blue Water Price from: £3287 Blue Water Price from: £4176
    • Nov 27th - Monywa to Homalin - Sailing on: Zawgyi Pandaw From: £3287
      Main Deck Upper Deck
      Blue Water Price from: £3287 Blue Water Price from: £4176
  • December
    • Dec 19th - Homalin to Monywa - Sailing on: Zawgyi Pandaw From: £3287
      Main Deck Upper Deck
      Blue Water Price from: £3287 Blue Water Price from: £4176
    • Dec 25th - Monywa to Homalin - Sailing on: Zawgyi Pandaw From: £3287
      Main Deck Upper Deck
      Blue Water Price from: £3287 Blue Water Price from: £4176

2022 Departures £ price per person based on 2 people sharing

  • January
    • Jan 1st - Homalin to Monywa - Sailing on: Zawgyi Pandaw From: £3287
      Main Deck Upper Deck
      Blue Water Price from: £3287 Blue Water Price from: £4176
    • Jan 8th - Monywa to Homalin - Sailing on: Zawgyi Pandaw From: £3287
      Main Deck Upper Deck
      Blue Water Price from: £3287 Blue Water Price from: £4176
    • Jan 15th - Homalin to Monywa - Sailing on: Zawgyi Pandaw From: £3287
      Main Deck Upper Deck
      Blue Water Price from: £3287 Blue Water Price from: £4176
    • Jan 22nd - Monywa to Homalin - Sailing on: Zawgyi Pandaw From: £3287
      Main Deck Upper Deck
      Blue Water Price from: £3287 Blue Water Price from: £4176
    • Jan 29th - Homalin to Monywa - Sailing on: Zawgyi Pandaw From: £3287
      Main Deck Upper Deck
      Blue Water Price from: £3287 Blue Water Price from: £4176

Price Information

  • Prices shown are a guide price
Map for Chindwin River Expedition