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Despite the factually incorrect name, this river cruiser operated by Belmond is arguably the best boat plying the waters of the Irrawaddy River.
The Belmond Road to Mandalay features all the trappings of a comfortable hotel and the 56 cabins are air-conditioned with en suite shower facilities. That said, most passengers spend time on-deck as the boat meanders along the Irrawaddy River, lounging in comfortable chairs on the ship's canopied observation deck, or enjoying a swim in the on-deck pool.
There are daily tours to small villages and temple complexes along the river, and aside from the watching the scenery and enjoying the excursions, the ship also offers evening marionette and dance shows by local performers, and demonstrations and lectures for anyone wanting to enhance their understanding of the local culture.
As the sun sets, the teak-decked Piano Bar serves a range of cocktails before the on-board chefs serve regional cuisines such as Shan, Thai and Indonesian as well as Western dishes.
Belmond Road to Mandalay embarks and disembarks at the towns of Bagan and Mandalay, and ports of call include Bhamo, Katha, Mingun, Mogok, Tigyaung and New Nyein, depending on the length of the cruise.
Why we love it
The cruise takes you to visit historic towns immortalised by George Orwell in 'Burmese Days'.