Sail Date: October 2018
My wife and I spent an incredible two weeks in Myanmar, and one of the highlights of our visit was our time in Bagan. First, I must share how we got there. We took a four day cruise up the Ayeryewaddy river on the Sanctuary Ananda cruise ... Read More
My wife and I spent an incredible two weeks in Myanmar, and one of the highlights of our visit was our time in Bagan. First, I must share how we got there. We took a four day cruise up the Ayeryewaddy river on the Sanctuary Ananda cruise boat from Yangon to Bagan. The Sanctuary Ananda is a truly five-star experience in every way. The boat itself is small and intimate - a maximum of forty passengers, and with a staff of 43, you are never lacking in friendly and gracious service. The décor is beautiful and evocative, the state rooms are luxurious and spacious, and the food was absolutely amazing. The chef on board was a former head chef at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Bangkok, which was rated the number one hotel in the world for many years. Not only was the food incredible, but you had many opportunities to meet this friendly and dignified gentleman, and even take an intimate cooking class from him on the third day of the cruise. The highlight for me was a torch-lit dinner on the beach of the river- a magical and memorable experience. The final destination of the cruise was Bagan, which should be one of the wonders of the world. Within a relatively small region, there are over 3000 pagodas, stupas and temples, some small, and many grand in scale and breathtaking beauty. These temples were build by the kings of Burma over a period of several centuries, with the oldest ones being nearly one thousand years old. Many of the temples and pagodas are worth a personal visit (cars have access to most of the larger temples, or you can rent a horse-drawn carriage if you don't mind bouncing a lot). However, the best way to see Bagan is by hot air balloon. I recognize that these trips are expensive, but the experience is well worth the cost. We recommend Oriental Balloons, but all three of the operating companies in Bagan offer very modern and professional balloon rides. Well, in closing, Bagan was spectacular, the Sanctuary Ananda was amazing, and we were truly fortunate to have had this chance to visit this wonderful country. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
Took the 7 night river cruise from Yangon to Bagon. I have taken many cruises on larger ships but this was our first river cruise and it was fantastic. The ship was very well done and the crew really tried and could not have been nicer ... Read More
Took the 7 night river cruise from Yangon to Bagon. I have taken many cruises on larger ships but this was our first river cruise and it was fantastic. The ship was very well done and the crew really tried and could not have been nicer or more helpful. The food was some of the best I've had. We almost cancelled because of the issues you read about in the paper and extremely glad we didn't. We also flew to inle lake for 4 nights ( which is another incredible stop) and felt very safe the entire trip. While there you see no evidence of any issues and not going only hurts the local people. Myanmar has only opened to tourism in the last 5 years or so and the people are the most friendly welcoming I have ever met. Do not let the bad press put you off go while it is still un and under developed. Destinations such as this are hard to find. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2017
One of the most amazing experiences I've had in my life! The best way to travel and get into unexpected placer in Myanmar, you cannot imagine the feeling when arriving to the cruise, all luxury, and then disembarking in the most ... Read More
One of the most amazing experiences I've had in my life! The best way to travel and get into unexpected placer in Myanmar, you cannot imagine the feeling when arriving to the cruise, all luxury, and then disembarking in the most mystique places you've ever seen. From the sunrise in the temples to the traditional dinner party, all amazing! Get on board and let yourself be pampered by the best crew, best service ever. No joke we were coming form Peninsula Hotel in another Asian City, and this is way above. The best service in my more than 20 trips I´ve done in Asia, hard to believe but true. The last dinner, the specialty of the chef is the best French meal you can try in all Asia. If it wasn't in the other side of the world from where I live, I would do it very often, just for the pleasure to indulge myself and meet great people. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
If you think you've seen it all on your many travels around the world, you clearly haven't experienced the luxury, professionalism, high-end service and tourist savvyness of Amawaterways' AmaPura river cruise along ... Read More
If you think you've seen it all on your many travels around the world, you clearly haven't experienced the luxury, professionalism, high-end service and tourist savvyness of Amawaterways' AmaPura river cruise along Myanmar's sleepy Irawaddy. Just like our seasoned fellow travellers, including geography professors, we were profoundly impressed by the unique combination of must-see tourist sites, such as Yangon's Shwedagon Pagoda or Mandalay, and visits to forlorn villages visibly frozen in time along the river banks. It was this carefully selected juxtapposition of visits to tourism hotspots on one day and strolls through breathtaking colonial villages or fishing hamlets along the river on the next day, which made this trip so unique. Amawaterways clearly knows about the unparalled advantage it can offer its passengers compared to land travellers: it can anchor anywhere along the river banks, quickly hew a few steps into the pristine slope, and within no less than 20 minutes passengers young and old can disembark to riverbank places no backpacker can reach for lack of land infrastructure. Add to this charming suite-size rooms with great bed and shower, an attentive and tirelessly friendly crew, and, most of all, unparalleled, de-luxe gourmet meals three times a day, plus in between, and you will not want to ever leave this small boutique cruise ship, which soon feels like your own private home. Chapeau, Amawaterways, you teach widely travelled folks like me that there are still adventures out there definitely worth discovering. And you make responsible and wise use of ever dollar you charge. Read Less

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