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The Irrawaddy River

Road to Mandalay

To travel on the Irrawaddy River in Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) is to travel on a river “that brings blessings to the people.” It is the central source of life for many residents of Myanmar, providing transportation and nourishment for those who live alongside the river’s mystical banks. From the moment you step onto the Scenic Aura ship and witness your first glimpse of the soft blue waters, you’ll feel yourself become immersed in a culture and land the likes of which you’ve never seen before.

The Irrawaddy River is a tranquil gateway into Myanmar, providing Scenic travellers a peek behind the veil of a country ripe with history, culture and spiritualism. Our Irrawaddy river cruises take you through the most sought-after sites of Myanmar.

You’ll experience your first taste of Burmese culture in Yangon, the nation’s capital city, where you’ll get the opportunity to explore the blossoming art scene and food markets.  As you float down the Irrawaddy River, you’ll get a chance to see ancient history in Sri Ksetra, the ancient Pyu Kingdom’s capital.  Visit your first monastery in Salay and explore the city of Magwe by trishaw, a common mode of transport in Myanmar.

As the Irrawaddy River guides your cruise onwards towards Bagan, you’ll have further chances to take in the country’s historic sites. Bagan hosts the most ancient temples in Myanmar, and Scenic guests will get a first-hand look at the beauty and history that encompasses these temples, including the iconic Ananda Temple, often referred to as the “Westminster Abbey of Burma.”  With its gleaming golden ornaments, the Ananda Temple is one of four surviving Buddhist temples in Bagan and also one of the oldest, having been built in 1105 AD.  89% of Myanmar residents are Buddhist and Scenic travelers have an exclusive opportunity to not only explore old Bagan and all of its breathtaking temples, but to develop a further understanding of the deep spiritualism that resides in this beautiful country as well.

The river cruise continues north past Bagan and into majestic Mandalay, a former royal city situated right on the banks of the Irrawaddy River. This city features many world-renowned sites, including the stunning Mandalay Palace, Mandalay Hill with its sweeping panoramic city views, the Kuthodaw Pagoda at the foot of Mandalay Hill that houses the “world’s largest book”, and the wooden Shwenandaw Monastery.

Discover the Irrawaddy River

Discover the Irrawaddy River


With an 11-day Luxury Irrawaddy tour, a 14-day Mystical Irrawaddy tour and the extended 18-day Mystical Myanmar tour, Scenic guests can travel through Myanmar, and the Irrawaddy River that ties all the cultural cities together, 100% their way and of their choosing. No matter which cruise you choose, the Irrawaddy River will make sure to take you on a decadent spiritual journey of a lifetime, filled with old-world sites and breathtaking natural wonders.

Irrawaddy River Cruises