Check in at 12:30pm and settle into your suite. If you arrive on an earlier flight we can arrange a tour of Mandalay. This will include a visit to Mahamuni Pagoda, Shwenandaw Monastery and lastly a visit to Kuthodaw Pagoda (Maha Lawka Marazein). Kuthodaw is often called the biggest book in the world, for surrounding it are 729 marble slabs inscribed with the Tripitaka texts (Buddhist cannon).
Lunch will be served on board as we cruise towards Sagaing.
In the afternoon visit the pagoda sprinkled Sagaing Hill, an important religious and monastic centre, home to some 554 monasteries and 6,000 monks and nuns.
Next, take in the views from the top of the hill on the terraces of the Soon U Ponya Shin Pagoda, which are truly breathtaking. Below and all around, pagodas of different shapes and sizes dot the landscape.
Amarapura, was once known as ‘The City of Immortals’. Today, the leisurely ‘clack-clack’ from the looms of the cotton and silk weavers has replaced the noisy bustle of this former capital.
Visit the U Bein Bridge, a spectacular place to enjoy the sunset. This long teak bridge snakes across the Taungthaman Lake.
After sunset, return to the Sanctuary Ananda for dinner.
Early this morning Sanctuary Ananda will sail north to the quaint village of Sin Kyun, a village just north of Mandalay which is sponsored by Sanctuary Retreats Philanthropy. It has a population of just under 1,000 inhabitants and specialises in farming and hat making.
Take an optional tour to witness first-hand the way of life in this unspoilt location seldom viewed by outsiders. Following the village Chief’s request for a library and a house for an English teacher, Sanctuary Retreats Philanthropy donated the money necessary to begin this new partnership. We hope that with the support of Sanctuary Ananda guests, we will be able to provide further funds to improve the quality of life of the villagers.
After the village tour we set sail towards Bagan. Enjoy the beautiful sightseeing from the ship while passing Mingun, where you can see the unfinished Mingun Pagoda.
As we continue to sail south, relax as we sail past villages, set against a backdrop of soft browns and rich tamarind trees with white and golden pagodas gracing the distant hills. There is no better way to enjoy this riverine picture than from the Kansi Panorama Lounge.
After lunch, a variety of on board activities will be on offer including a longyi (sarong) and thanaka (cosmetic) demonstration, a back of house tour, and a talk on Myanmar – covering the country’s incredibly rich history, the recent controversial decades and the outlook for the future of The Golden Land.
A delicious dinner will bring this thought-provoking day to an end.
After breakfast, join our Executive Chef for a cooking demonstration to test your knowledge of local delicacies and learn how to create delicious Asian dishes.
We’ll spend the rest of the morning sailing downstream towards Bagan, which means you have ample time to enjoy the luxuries on board Sanctuary Ananda. Maybe have a spa treatment or relax by the pool with a book from our library?
Enjoy lunch as we enter pagoda sprinkled Bagan. After lunch on board, we will visit Kayminga pagoda complex to see the different architecture of the stupas first-hand. This is the perfect starting point to understand how Bagan was built over several centuries and how the architectural style has evolved.
Next, visit Bagan to see the Ananda Temple. Completed in 1091 AD, it is commonly referred to as one of the four great temples in Bagan. The Ananda is regarded by folklore as one of the most beautiful temples in Myanmar.
Enjoy the sunset over the Bagan plains and admire the light change on the pagodas as they exude antiquity and mystery. Finally the sun sets behind the hills on the far side of the Ayeyarwady River, filling the sky with a reddish glow, a truly magic moment.
Take an optional early morning balloon tour* to capture a birds-eye view of the Bagan plain, followed by breakfast on board
If you are departing on a later flight we will arrange for you to take a tour in Bagan. Leaving at 9am we will visit a local village in the heart of the Bagan plain, to see the way of life of the local people.
*Balloon tour is available at an additional cost. Please book in advance. Available 1 October - 30 March. Subject to weather conditions on the day of flight.