15 May The Road to Mandalay
Long known as Burma, the official name Myanmar has been subject to a long period of inaccessibility which in turn, has left it as a relatively untouched destination. As a consequence, its landscapes and colourful culture remains refreshingly unspoiled and whilst a beautiful country, it is also the genuine delight, wonder, and hospitality which travelers are greeted that makes for an incredible experience. To explore this stunning country in all its glory, we’ve put together our ideal itinerary for a 4 night/5 day incentive, including a chartered takeover of the incredible Belmond Road to Mandalay river cruise boat. With 43 cabins on board, the boat is the perfect size either for couples looking for a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience to share, or a smaller singles trip for those who are looking to get off the beaten track.
Day 1 – Yangon
Even though it is no longer the nation’s official capital, Yangon remains Myanmar’s largest and most important city, with its downtown skyline dominated by the ‘winking wonder’ of Shwedagon Paya; a dazzling Buddhist temple that attracts pilgrims from all over the world. Team a visit to this sacred pagoda along with an evening of indulging in the local exotic cuisine and sipping on cocktails in the Kipling Bar at the Belmond Governor’s Residence Hotel long into the evening, and your group are sure to have the perfect start to their trip.
Day 2 – Mandalay
After a relaxing morning of yoga and mindfulness in the hotel’s exquisite gardens, take a short flight to Mandalay, where you will be transferred to U Bein Bridge and take a traditional sampan boat to admire the spectacular Mandalay sunset, before boarding the epic Belmond Road to Mandalay that will have been chartered especially for your group. Once aboard you can enjoy a toast on the observation deck before setting sail and enjoying dinner under the stars on the boats open-air Grill restaurant.
Day 3 – Myanmar
Today the ship continues to make its way across Myanmar’s most fabled river, gliding past ancient pagodas and charming local villages where you have the chance to disembark and experience authentic Myanmar culture and rural life, from rolling cigars with locals to a Burmese dance lesson. Dinner is enjoyed aboard (again) this evening with a Longyi cocktail party and tasting menu with paired wines, before heading up to the observation deck to make a wish whilst releasing a Shan balloon.
Day 4 – Bagan
The Belmond Road to Mandalay, arriving into the temple town of Bagan, one of Myanmar’s main attractions. Upon disembarking you will enjoy an unforgettable hot air balloon ride over Bagan at sunrise, before then exploring this incredible town with the chance to climb to the top of a temple for incredible panoramic views over the plains. For a magical final evening, you will be treated to a gala dinner in a secret location in this mesmerising town that promises to be a night they will never forget, before spending your final night onboard and catching that flight home.