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Belmond Road to Mandalay
Bagan

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).

 

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My favourite thing is to go where I've never been.
Diane Arbus

So many highlights to choose from! The hotels were amazing but Maya Villa was a highlight… I loved just hanging out in the hammock reading my book and watching the peacocks chase the cows!
- Krista Weir, Sri Lanka
I thought the Ampersand team was outstanding. We couldn’t have hoped for anything more.
- Mr Geoffrey Johnson, India
Ampersand’s preparation, attention to detail and interaction before and during our trip show exactly why good travel agents have a role in today’s internet booking age. They were a delight to deal with!
- Mr David Wallace, North India
Difficult to articulate just how good the service from you and your team really was. We know you will continue to do well and hope we have the chance to seek your assistance again before long.
- Mr & Mrs Manson, North India
I had a very lovely time and was looked after splendidly. My first visit to India could not have been better, save for being longer! But I shall return at some point and I shall look to you to make the arrangements.
- Matthew Nicklin, North India
We had a wonderful holiday - everything was perfect. Thank you for helping us to make a thoughtful plan to enjoy and make most out of our trip. The places we visited, the guides, the transportation and driver, the hotels selected... Everything was great!
- Jaime Benitez, South India
Everything you did for us whilst we were away was hugely appreciated, and Ampersand has been exemplary in every way. I'll always recommend you!
- Mr Richard Stoughton, Sri Lanka
Without question, you put together the best trip I have ever taken. We were shown around like visiting dignitaries, the hotels were fantastic and the itinerary was just right. Everybody I know will hear about how amazing Ampersand is!
- Leslie Siben, India

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