There are few better ways to escape the hectic milieu of modern life and bring your blood pressure down a few points than to take a sedate luxury break on the Road to Mandalay, a Belmond Boat – a river cruiser that graces the rivers of rural Myanmar.
This majestic, elegant, floating five-star floating hotel is something of a celebrity in its own right and draws attention and admiration from people as it passes as it cruises down the fabled Irrawady – or Ayeyarwady – River in Myanmar, between Bagan and Mandalay (and vice versa). We even spotted a group of young Buddhist monks on a motorboat taking photos of the boat (and us) on their camera phones.
It effortlessly traverses miles of unspoilt countryside and villages stopping for some very special and spellbinding excursions along the way: from the dazzling, white “Taj Mahal” of Myanmar, the Hsinbyume Pagoda, to the epic Shwezigon Pagoda and cathedral-like Ananda temple, plus every spellbinding edifice that just teems with rich history and culture in between. This journey was truly memory-making, not that we wanted to give you any spoilers. But take it from us, it was one of the most spellbinding adventures we have ever made, in Southeast Asia, or perhaps anywhere in the world.
The magic of the stopovers is perfectly matched by that of the level of service and luxury on the Road to Mandalay, a Belmond Boat. After three days onboard sampling the healthy and delicious offerings from the talented chef’s kitchen, lounging in the on-deck pool and soaking up the sun while watching a whole other world go by, occasionally disembarking to visit some of the many delights of the region’s rich cultural history, we emerged fully recharged and ready to face the world again, albeit with a brand new perspective on life and full of wonder and awe of the amazing country that is Myanmar and its people.
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|While you’re Out There|
|Do consider giving back to the community – the crew welcomes donations for local medical relief, but when you’re stopping at each sight, consider buying something from the local markets or traders. They may be hustling hard, but it keeps the local economy going in otherwise rural Myanmar.|
Photography courtesy of Belmond