On the road to Mandalay – Cruise on Irrawaddy
Myanmar is confused by centuries with Irrawaddy River, which crosses the country from north to south, through dense tropical forests, including old temples hundreds of years until the huge delta from the meeting with the Indian Ocean. For foreigners, the region had always a special fascination.
Since the colonial period, the water was the main route for those who want to discover the country in Southeast Asia. Rudyard Kipling, one of the most important writers of the old British Empire, described in lyrics the journey aboard a paddle steamer from Mandalay to Rangoon. Then, poetry and the idea behind it was adapted to music dozens of times, by artists ranging from Robbie Williams to Lawrence Tibbett. “Road to Mandalay” can be traveled today to a five-star cruise, passing through the same places they have fascinated Kipling.
The story starts right at Bagan, the famous city for the 5,000 temples in order to find the terminus point at Mandalay, the country’s second largest city after the capital of Burma. The trip is made with a boat built in 1964 for a cruise on the Rhine, refurbished and adapted to special conditions on a tropical river. With a capacity of 120 seats for tourists and 45 for other crew members, cruise ship passengers to carry their on calm waters of the Irrawaddy for four days.
The ship’s 58 cabins combine the elegant and traditional Burmese style with the highest international standards of comfort. Moreover, generally located at the aft pool is surrounded by many chairs that offer to viewer a great view on the two sides, and crossed the entire river barges with permanently or local fishermen’s boats.
Passengers can enjoy the variety of local cuisine on board, the meals cooked with fresh ingredients and spectacular spiced, something expected in a region famous for the production of spices. Lunch is served outdoors on one of the four terraces for dinner hosted by the impressive restaurant on board. In addition to these there is a Piano Bar, where guests can socialize in the evening around a cocktail. On board is also found a beauty salon, and a small library containing books on Myanmar history.
The ideal season to make “Road to Mandalay” is between September and February, immediately after the rainy season and before the start of the warm season. In the months suitable for cruising, the average temperature does not exceed 28 degrees.