VIDEO: Sailing the Irrawaddy River in Myanmar

Sailing the Irrawaddy River, beginning near Mandalay, the shallowest part of the river during the dry season

During monsoon season, sailing the Irrawaddy River in Myanmar is easy, as the river is high and wide. In the dry season, however, the river shrinks and sailing becomes much more difficult. The captain on my Viking River Mandalay Explorer cruise explained that the portion of the river between Mandalay and Bagan is the shallowest, … Read more

PHOTO: Drum Making Family in Ohn Ne Kyaung Village, Myanmar

Girl from Ohn Ne Kyaung fishing village near Bagan, Myanmar, sits next to a drum made by her family, which specializes in making percussion instruments from locally available materials

Girl from Ohn Ne Kyaung village near Bagan, Myanmar, sits next to a handmade drum. The main occupations in this tiny village are farming and fishing, with the main crops being peanuts and palm sugar, however this family has taken a departure from the traditional occupations. They specialize in making and repairing percussion instruments from … Read more

Viking River Myanmar Explorer Cruise – A Perfect Sampler for the First-Time Visitor

Viking River Mandalay Explorer boat on the Irrawaddy River near Mandalay

The sprite of a girl stood half hidden behind the bamboo gate leading to her family home. “Bye bye,” she said, waving and giggling. “Mingalaba,” I replied, using one of only two Burmese words I learned during my tour of Myanmar. This was not the first time I had felt welcomed during my two week … Read more

PHOTO: Shwenandaw Monastery in Mandalay, Myanmar

Interior of Shwenandaw Monastery Palace in Mandalay, Myanmar is covered in real gold foil

Interior of Shwenandaw Monastery, also known as Golden Palace Monastery, in Mandalay, Myanmar. The structure was originally part of the royal palace at Amarapura, before it was moved to Mandalay, where it became part of the king’s royal apartments. Both the exterior and the interior were once heavily gilded. Although the interior is still covered … Read more