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A beautiful way to see Myanmar
This was our second visit to Myanmar and cruising down the Irrawaddy on the Explorer was magic. The shore excursions with our wonderful guide Zaw were excellent and very informative even with the completely unexpected rain and cool weather. The rooms are very spacious with their own private balcony so always a beautiful view to wake up to. The food exceeded expectations and the staff were all excellent and couldn't do enough to assist. This was also because there were only 7 passengers.

Please don't let events in parts of Myanmar affect your decision to travel as this will have a big impact on the local economy and this situation is completely out of the control of the beautiful local people.
Date of Posting: 15 February 2018
Posted By: Foxy042
Sydney, Australia
I just got back to San Diego from my trip and I wanted to thank you again for such a wonderful experience. All the crew were so nice to me, the chef is fantastic, and I learned so much from Aaron. Every place we visited had so many special things to see that I could never come up with a favorite. And every time I hear someone say "Slowly, slowly" I will remember my journey up and down the embankments! I enjoyed Cambodia and Bangkok, but my best memories are of Myanmar. Thank you for sailing - even if I was the only passenger - and I will remember this trip for ever.
Thanks again, Carol Schenke
Date of Posting: 08 February 2018
Posted By: Carol Schenke
Fabulous Avalon Waterways Irrawaddy trip
We just returned from a wonderful Myanmar, Irrawaddy river cruise with Avalon. This was top notch, first class, and beyond expectations. We did the Southern trip flying to Bhamo from Yangon and ending in Yangon. Incredible crew, tours of villages (some very primative), lovely rooms with wall if windows. Great food. The boat was made for Irrawaddy, so could handle the low water levels etc. Burmese people are wonderful. The political situation is difficult, but having said that the people in the villages we visited were from many minorities. There was not a military presence in that area.
Date of Posting: 03 January 2018
Posted By: PalmSpringsReb
RV Paukan 2012 - Surpassed my expectations
Whilst the exact mooring point, in Mandalay, seemed unclear my guide found it pretty quickly and my bags were whisked away as I was ushered on board.
The ship immediately struck me as being beautifully constructed and I settled in, with welcome drink in hand, and looked forward to the 2 day/night trip ahead, to Bagan.
I was delighted by my spacious cabin. It was comfortable and very pleasantly decorated. The bathroom, too, was very nice and the shower cubicle made mine, at home, look very plain! I was also pleased to see that the toiletries were in dispensers rather than little plastic bottles.
The staff were extremely friendly and helpful, quickly referring to me by name. I was impressed by the food, both in terms of variety and quality, with dinner being a highlight.
The excursions and on-board entertainment were diverse and very professionally organised.
I left the ship feeling that the trip had been all too brief and I pondered whether to seek out a longer trip with them in the future.
Date of Posting: 20 December 2017
Posted By: rthomp4435
London, United Kingdom
Loved the Paukan 2012!
Amazing! We had hoped to get on the Orient Express (Belmond) boat but the dates didn’t work for us so we chose the Paukan instead. 3 days from Mandalay to Bagan.
We were so delighted with the boat and the trip and really pleased with our choice. It’s not the luxury level of Belmond but is every bit of the experience we were after.
Fabulous boat. Rooms are lovely and extremely comfortable. Bar area a lovely place to hang out outdoors with shade. Top deck a lovely place to get sun and/or full 360 views.
Surprisingly good wine selection - 3 sparkling, 6-8 whites and the same reds. Tried most of them and nearly all were excellent and well priced.
Amazing food (except the bread). Best local salads of the trip. Overall everything great choice and variety.
Thaw is a great host and tour guide. All staff super friendly and helpful.
We were lucky as there were 13 guests and more than double the staff on board.
Great excursions including Mingun and Sagaing.
Would highly recommend this to anyone!!!
Date of Posting: 20 December 2017
Posted By: il1ke2travel
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
We enjoyed a 10-day cruise from Mandalay to Prome/Pyay (followed by a drive to Yangon). It is one of the most fascinating and unforgettable experiences we have had. The boat takes you to parts of Myanmar you otherwise wouldn't see. Of course the cruise includes amazing Bagan - but equally memorable are the pot-making and weaving villages, the off-the-beaten-track Buddhist sites - and the people - everywhere we met we were met with smiles and waves and offers of snacks in people's homes - how heartening this was when compared to our busy, bustling, glued-to-mobile-phone Western existence. (We were unfortunately disappointed by the actual boat experience - the Irrawaddy Explorer - way below par - but that's another story)
Date of Posting: 16 April 2017
Posted By: IntrepidHector
Granada, Spain
1 Night cruise from Mandalay to Bagan with Paukan Boats
We enjoyed our 24 hours on Paukan.
Boarding and disembarking was a bit of an adventure, given that the rise and fall of the river over a year, precludes permanent jetties. But it was like being transported back in time, to tramp across an expanse of river sand, then enter the boat via a rickety gangplank.
The boat is very comfortable and the cabins, though small, are perfectly agreeable for the night.
There is plenty of public space to relax in during the day, or you can just sit on your bedroom balcony and watch the scenery drift by . I should say that the scenery is "bland" as the river is just winding across a very wide plain.
The one criticism I had was that there was only 1 table for two people, the rest were all larger shared tables. A little planning could have yielded up 4 or 5 tables for 2, which would have been much more acceptable to the passengers.
There was one stop at a village where they made pots for water.That was interesting
And after dinner we watch the film "The Lady" about the life of Aung San Su Kyi. I enjoyed this, but only about 10% of the passengers watched it.
This cruise was a good way to enter Bagan and made a change from road trips across Myanmar. I have no idea how this company compares with other river cruise boat operators, but I happily recommend Paukan
Date of Posting: 02 April 2017
Posted By: moraira
RV Paukan 2012 - Mandalay to Bagan
We spent two nights on the boat cruising down from Mandalay to Bagan with various stops in between. The boat is lovely and the staff were extremely helpful. The food on board was exceptional at all meals with a wide range of choices.

This is a great way to see Burma and how life goes on around the River. With several interesting stops and excursions this was a real highlight of the trip.
Date of Posting: 29 March 2017
Posted By: Derek D
Lechlade, United Kingdom
Rv Paukan 2007
We cruised from Mandalay to Bagan along the Irrawaddy river. This boutique hotel on the river is beautifully furnished. We had one night aboard the vessel which included all meals and complimentary cocktails before dinner. the maximum number of passengers is 55 and these are looked after by 30 crew. After lunch we disembarked at Yandabo village to see pot making in progress
Date of Posting: 25 March 2017
Posted By: ioan_wilson
Newtown, United Kingdom
RV Paukan 2012 :- Wonderful cruise boat from Mandalay to Bagan
This is a beautiful boat belonging to the Ayravata Cruise Company with only 18 cabins and a crew who could not have been more friendly. We cruised from Mandalay to Bagan and were sadly only on the boat for one night. This cruise ship has a delightful old fashioned flair to it but has every possible amenity. The cabins were spacious and the bathroom a masterpiece of maximum comfort in minimal room. The food served in the old fashioned dining room, was divine, some of the best I have had in Myanmar. In the evening the film The Lady was shown about Aung San Suu Kyi which was an excellent way to bring to those, who did not know much about Myanmar's history, a basic idea of what this country has been through. During the night the boat was moored and the following morning we arrived in Bagan. I could easily ahve spent several more days on this boat and on the Irrawaddy River
Date of Posting: 23 March 2017
Posted By: Hitchcock2

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