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Posts from the ‘River Cruising’ Category

The Rivers Less Travelled – New Journeys in Myanmar

 

The intriguing Southeast Asian country of Myanmar, flanked by Thailand, Laos, China and India, has opened up to tourism in recent years and one of the best ways to see the country is by boat. As many of the roads in Myanmar are in poor condition, some villages and areas can only been accessed via the waterways. Belmond Orcaella, a boutique sized river cruiser, is designed to reach remote, less travelled areas of Myanmar between July and March, avoiding the hottest and rainiest months of the year.

As a passenger you may choose to start your journey in the bucolic central region of Myanmar at Bagan or Mandalay, or alternatively at Yangon in the south of the country near the Bay of Bengal. Yangon, the former capital, is home to the stunning Shwedagon Pagoda, fascinating markets and historic colonial buildings as well as Southeast Asia’s largest reclining Buddha. Waterways connect Yangon to the great Ayeyerwady River which runs north to south through the centre of Myanmar. So for guests staying at Belmond’s Governor’s Residence hotel in Yangon (below) it’s possible to begin your trip here.

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Magnificence on the Mekong

Aqua Mekong

Aqua Mekong

When we pull up alongside the river I don’t notice the Aqua Mekong at first. What I see is a sleek, luxurious condo all matt grey and dark slatted wood. Then the penny drops: this is the boat. Aqua Mekong is the new, boutique (just 20 cabins) river cruiser from the exclusive Aqua Expeditions owned by Francesco Galli Zugaro.
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Me oh Myanmar

The Governor’s Residence, Yangon/Rangoon

 

As we enter The Governor’s Residence in Yangon we are heralded in by the “welcome gong”. Turns out that Yangon/Rangoon in Myanmar/Burma, is a very hospitable place; I spotted three welcome signs in the first five minutes of leaving the airport. And everyone we meet is friendly and curious about the tourists now visiting their country.

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