There are a couple of ways to get from Mandalay to Bagan. The easiest one is to take the bus. The fastest one is to fly. The more scenic one is to take a boat. And the most interesting one is to stay overnight on a river cruise.
Let’s get one thing straight before I go on. River cruises in Myanmar are ridiculously expensive. We paid more for that one night on the cruise ship than for all other accommodation combined. Was it worth it? Yes, definitely.
We had booked online a cabine on the Paukan RV 1947. It is a beautiful, old ship that has been redesigned to accommodate cruise passengers. Have you watched “Death on the Nile”? That was exactly what our ship looked like (if you have no idea what I’m talking about, look at the pictures).
We started our trip in the morning at the jetty in Sagaing, near Mandalay. For the first few hours, we just cruised downriver.
Sometimes, we’d see children on the side of the river, screaming and waving at us. We watched fishermen and small passenger ferries go about their daily work. I finished reading my book, made a drawing of the Golden Rock and started drawing a map of Myanmar.
At the price we were paying, all meals were included. Lunch was excellent and afterwards, we docked and visited one of the villages next to the river. By the time we came back, it was almost time for dinner and then bed. The cabins were well equipped and very nicely decorated, especially considering we were on a ship. I just wish there had been more sheets and blankets since it got quite cold at night.
As I’m writing this, I’m still sitting in my cabin, getting ready for the day. We’re going to arrive in Bagan at nine so we’ll have the whole day to explore Bagan. I’ll let you know how that goes.