If you want to enjoy the most fabulous 2 days sailing on the Irawaddy in Myanmar (Burma) then the MV Mingun is for you.
This beautiful boat, with only 4 cabins, is run by a company called Ancient Cities Flotilla – here’s the link to their website. The boat departs from Mandalay for a leisurely 2 days on the river, visiting sites that yes, you can absolutely reach by land. But oh the joy and the elegance of waking up at dawn to a view of the massive 18th century ruined stupa of Mingun outside you cabin, followed by breakfast on deck overlooking the monument, before disembarking for a visit long before the crowds arrive…the journey is part of the experience.
The distances covered in the 2 day cruise are not great, but you cover them in such elegance and such style, with wonderful service and charming staff, that the whole experience is magical.
We embarked in Mandalay around tea time, and set sail soon, sailing slowly down the river to our night mooring near Mingun.
Dinner on board (more on that anon).
Wake up to Mingun at dawn – too, too special.
Visit Mingun and lunch on board, whilst sailing to Ava.
Visit these amazing monasteries in a horse drawn carriage.
Back on board, drop anchor close to Sagaing Hill and have a BBQ dinner on the beach – too magical.
Next morning, breakfast as you cruise slowly back to Mandalay.
Disembark, slowly and with regret at leaving such a lovely boat.
The cabins are small but perfectly well appointed with absolutely everything you need, and the truth of the matter is that you only sleep there. The rest of the time is spent on deck, reading, lounging, watching the wondrous sights go by. But with a bathroom, mosquito nets, comfortable beds, a fan – yes, everything you need, and when you open your door and see the Irawaddy…
The service could not be faulted in any way whatsover. Charming, polite, helpful – gosh, think of any adjective you wish, and it fits the bill for the delightful crew.
The door knob of our cabin got jammed, so I asked for help to unlock it. Within a matter of seconds I had 3 young men trying to fix it, roaring wit laughter whn the handle came off in their hands, and within 5 minuted I had a new door knob.
Ancient Cities Flotilla operates 3 boats. We travelled on the MV Mingun, and enjoyed every second of our time.
We paid our own bills, and I did not tell the staff that I blog and review.