Day 10 of our 12 Days in Myanmar (Burma) trip.
The slow, peaceful Irrawaddy River boat trip from Bagan to Mandalay was the most relaxing day of our Myanmar trip!
Day 10 – Bagan – Mandalay by boat
Our driver was right on time, and the 30 minute taxi ride to Nyaung Oo jetty was right on schedule. We arrived 15 minutes before everyone else, boarded the Myanmar Golden River Group (MGRG) ferry, and chose prime comfortable seats in the cabin.
The limited comfy chairs filled quickly and late-comers had to sit at tables in the cabin or on the back deck.
Since the Bagan to Mandalay route is much less popular, the boat was not even close to full. It was nice to be able to easily switch from indoor seats to outdoor seats once the day warmed up.
The Mandalay to Bagan boat that we passed en-route was very crowded. It looked like every seat was filled. One of the reasons that the Mandalay to Bagan route is more popular is that the trip is two hours shorter on the way downstream (10 hours vs 12 hours). We love boat trips and looked forward to two extra hours on the river! In addition, the Bagan to Mandalay route is 10 USD less per person.
It was fun to watch as the crew constantly tested the depth. The captain invited us into the cabin and explained all of the instruments and their functions. We were fascinated when he told us that the large boat had only a 1 meter draft!
It was relaxing and fascinating to watch daily life on shore as we slowly made our way to Mandalay.
The river between Bagan and Mandalay is sparsely populated – it is like stepping back in time. At times, it feels like you have stepped into a Mark Twain novel.
Mark Twain, Samuel Clemens’ pen name, is a riverboat term measuring two fathoms in depth: mark (measure) twain (two).
All too soon, you will notice that it is starting to become more densely populated and that you are arriving in Mandalay.
The sun started to set just as we approached the jetty.
Taxi drivers eagerly wait at the MGRG Jetty for passengers to disembark.
After a fabulous day on the river, we got one final look at our riverboat before heading to our hotel!
Since we have very little luggage, we simply took a motorized version of a trishaw to our hotel (5000 MMK / 4 USD).
Bagan King Hotel (MMK / 88 USD per night) was our fancy, 4-star hotel for the trip. We chose it because of its close proximity to Mandalay Palace, and we were very happy with our choice. The hotel has free tea and snack from 2-4 PM, free happy hour from 6-7 PM, and a free traditional puppet show from 6:30-8:30 PM.
Up Next: Read about Mandalay, Myanmar!
Nyaung Oo Jetty @ 21.208302,94.916201
Bagan King Hotel @ 21.979593,96.0959
MGRG Jetty (Mandalay) @ 21.981158,96.058492
You can copy and paste the latitude and longitude into Google Earth, your browser, or into your GPS.
*Disclaimer- ALWAYS verify locations, transportation routes, GPS coordinates, etc. Errors are made, routes changed, sometimes we are just plain wrong. No one knows what you like more than you. If the trip is worth doing, it is worth doing right! Do your homework.