Mandalay, Myanmar
Built along side the Ayeyarwady River, Mandalay combines Myanmar's royal history and the preservation of spiritual traditions. The royal heritage can be found at the Golden Palace Monastery with its exquisite wood carvings. The spiritual heart is enshrined at Mahamuni pagoda, housing the most venerated Buddha statue in Mandalay.

The large seated image is so greatly revered that layer upon layer of gold leaf, placed as a mark of homage by a ceaseless flow of worshippers, have distorted the true shape of the statue. Only the highly polished face, gazing serenely is untouched.

With its wood-carving, stone sculpting, gold-leaf-making and cheroot rolling, Mandalay comes across as a kind of huge oriental bazaar. The shopping hub of upper Myanmar, this is where the colourful hill tribes come together and mingle with the townspeople.

The nearby Sagaing Hill provides stunning panoramic views. The pagoda-studded hill at Sagaing ranks as one of the most imposing sights in the whole of Myanmar, with the view also taking in the Ayeyarwady River itself - a reminder of how the river serves as the very lifeline connecting all the major sights Myanmar has to offer.

General information

Cruise Season – Jan - Dec
Currency - Kyat (MMK)
Language – Burmese
Electricity – 2 vertical Square pins and one perpendicular below British style
Time - GMT plus six and a half hours
International Country Telephone Code +95

Transport Links – The usual way to get into Myanmar would be to fly into Yangon from either Bangkok or Singapore, both which have good connections from around the world and have several flights into Yangon daily.