Belmond Road to Mandalay
The Belmond Road to Mandalay is arguably the most luxurious and romantic way to explore the tranquil Irrawaddy (Ayeyarwady) River. Setting sail from October to March when the water levels are at their peak, this boat glides between Bagan and Mandalay; stopping off at key historic sites and timeless rural villages en route.
After being damaged in the 2008 Nargis cyclone, Belmond took a year to completely renovate and update the vessel taking care to blend traditional Burmese influences with modern luxuries in a tasteful manner. This combination is especially well executed within the 43 en-suite cabins, which are fully air-conditioned and furnished with beautiful local fabrics, gleaming teak wood and jade tiles.
The communal spaces are also thoughtfully designed, from the stylish restaurant to the indulgent spa; not to mention the rooftop observation deck, which makes for the perfect place to sit back and enjoy uninterrupted views of the daily goings-on along the riverbank, as well as to take a refreshing dip in the open-air swimming pool. Enjoy the sunset from up here too, before heading to the Piano Bar for a drink and the candlelit restaurant for dinner. A wide array of both Western and Asian cuisine is served here so you are bound to feel spoilt for choice!
As the voyage unfolds, guests can experience this timeless part of the world to its full effect by joining excursions to pagodas, monasteries and peaceful stilted villages with the help of informative guides. Some of these are truly special tours (our favourites have to be the visit to Mt Popa and the hot air balloon ride over Bagan’s mighty sprawling plains). Back on board, cultural performances are offered regularly in the evenings, as are lectures by local and international experts about the Irrawaddy river and its traditional way of life. Plus, the particularly friendly staff are always at hand to provide attentive yet discreet service. In our opinion, it is touches like these that really make the experience.
We highly recommend meandering downstream on Belmond Road to Mandalay if you are seeking a relaxing, yet rewarding, journey along the backbone of Burma (Myanmar).
- Krista Weir, Sri Lanka
- Leslie Siben, India
- Mr David Wallace, North India
- Mr & Mrs Manson, North India
- Mr Geoffrey Johnson, India
- Jaime Benitez, South India
- Matthew Nicklin, North India
- Matthew Annable, Rajasthan, India
- Mr Richard Stoughton, Sri Lanka