Pandaw to Launch New Voyage to Southern Burma

RV Kalay Pandaw

Pandaw has announced a new river and ocean voyage that will explore the many sights of southern Burma, offered on a one-time-only basis, setting sail on 28 February 2019.

The 18-night “Delta and Coast - All Southern Burma” expedition will start with a river cruise around the Irrawaddy Delta, followed by an ocean-going cruise in the Mergui Archipelago, from the southern tip of Burma to Yangon. Passengers will travel both by shallow draft wooden ship and refurbished 1960s motor yacht.

Passengers will depart from Yangon, on RV Katha Pandaw, and travel through the Irrawaddy Delta’s waterways, where they will get a glimpse of indigenous village life and the region’s wildlife. The ports of call include Pyapon, a delta town with busy docks and markets; the former Mon capital of Bogale and the nearby Mein Ma Hla Kyun Wildlife Reserve, home of the saltwater crocodile; Myaungmya, a small township where George Orwell once served as assistant superintendent of police; and Bassein, originally a colonial rice town, now a seaport and the capital of the delta, with riverfront teahouses and restaurants.

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The voyage then joins the upper delta route used by the old Irrawaddy Flotilla Company, stopping overnight at the river port of Wakema. The next day brings riverbanks teaming with activity and a sunset walk along the boulevard of Maubin. On day eight, the ship will cross the Twante Canal, heading for Pandaw’s downtown base near Yangon, for time at leisure and a final night onboard Katha Pandaw.

On day nine, passengers will fly from Yangon to Kawthaung, a culturally varied town with Indian and Muslim influences, located on the country’s southernmost tip. Guests will embark the MY Andaman Explorer, a classic 1960's motor yacht refurbished by Pandaw founders, Paul and Roser Strachan. The ship includes 10 suites, all with sitting room and private bathroom, a saloon, dining room, two teak observation decks and floors of Carrara marble throughout.

From Kawthaung, Andaman Explorer will set sail on the morning tide for Coxcombe Island to explore a secret lagoon, and the next day sail the Loughborough Passage to visit a Mokkein sea gypsy village on Phi Lar Island. The cruise continues with a stop at Tann Shey Island (Lampi Island Marine National Park) to explore the mangroves and spot wild monkeys. On day 13, passengers will spend the day at sea, stopping to swim and snorkel.

The next ports of calls are Bailey Island and Port Maria in Lun Lun Island, populated by the Karen people. This day also brings the chance to explore the system of bays and creeks reaching inland from Port Maria.

On day 15, the ship will anchor off Mergui (Myeik) for a full day exploring the architectural marvels of this old British port town. The next day at anchor is to explore Tavoy (Dawei), a little-known but once important town, followed by a day at sea with an island stop to swim and explore ashore.

Arriving into the estuary at Kaikkame, the ship will moor for the day while guests visit the war graves at Thanbyuzayat and explore the colonial outpost of Moulmein, visiting old colonial churches and a wood-carved royal monastery. This final night, Andaman Explorer will cruise back to Yangon for disembarkation by noon on day 19.

Prices for the “Delta and Coast - All Southern Burma” itinerary start from $6,095 per person, based on twin share. This includes eight nights on RV Katha Pandaw, ten nights on MY Andaman Explorer, domestic flight from Yangon to Kawthaung, transfers, all excursions as stated, entrance fees, guide services (English language), main meals, jugged coffee, selection of teas and tisanes, local soft drinks, local beer, local spirits, mineral water, crew gratuities, kayaks & snorkeling equipment. International flights are additional.

This story originally appeared on www.travelagentcentral.com.

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