The Irrawaddy River stretches for 1,300 miles (2,100 kilometres) through Myanmar and has long been an important commercial and spiritual lifeline for the people of this enchanting country.

From its source in the Himalayas, the Irrawaddy – or Ayeyarwady River – meanders through Burmese jungle and open plains, past the ancient city of temples, Bagan, and the royal former-capital Mandalay, before it fans out in the Irrawaddy Delta before emptying out into the Andaman Sea. The city of Yangon and its river can be reached on the connecting Twante Canal.

Cruising down this river is a timeless way to explore Myanmar at a relaxed pace, passing golden temples tucked into the rainforest and little riverside villages still very much attached to traditional life. Cruises range from two-night journeys between Mandalay and Bagan, to longer expeditions venturing as far south as Yangon and up to the remote northern stretches of the river and its branching tributaries.

What to do

  • Cruises
  • Village trips
  • Temple visits