Best time to visit Myanmar

River Cruising in Myanmar

Explore this breathtaking exotic country by cruising along the famous rivers of Myanmar

Best time: November–February

River Cruising

The Burma River cruise experience is very diverse. They use big and small, ultra-luxury, and traditional Burmese vessels. When choosing a cruise down the rivers of Burma, consider differentials in the river levels between the dry and the wet season. The water level of the Irrawaddy River changes dramatically. That's why the season for cruises between Mandalay and Bagan (Yangon-Bagan-Mandalay) runs from September to April. In-depth journeys to Bhamo are held in August and September.

The Chindwin River Cruises will take you to places visitors rarely see—through the jungles of the north, forgotten villages, and ancient towns almost to the Indian border. Voyages on the Chindwin River are undertaken in July, August, and September (visiting Mingin, Pakkoku, Pakhan-Gyi, Monywa, Kani, Kalewa). Generally, the best time to take a cruise is during the cool, dry season between November and February. The monsoon rains start in late May and last to October.

Practical info

What are the most famous rivers for cruising in Myanmar?

Myanmar's well-known rivers for cruising are Irrawaddy and Chindwin. The Irrawaddy River, the country's largest and most famous, flows north to south through the center of Myanmar. The Chindwin River, a tributary of Irrawaddy River, flows through Northwestern Myanmar. Both rivers offer delightful views of the Burmese countryside and allow access to distant towns and villages. Show more

When is the best time to take a river cruise in Myanmar?

River cruising in Myanmar is best between November and February, the cool and dry season. The weather is pleasant, and the risk of rainfall and flooding is low. Monsoon season, on the other hand, lasts from late May to October, when the rivers can be dangerous and difficult to navigate. Chindwin River cruises are held during July, August, and September, while Bhamo cruises are held in August and September. Show more

What are the differences between Burmese and luxury vessels for cruising in Myanmar?

Burmese vessels are traditional and inexpensive with limited amenities while providing an authentic experience. Luxury vessels are modern and provide a range of amenities aiming to provide a comfortable and upscale experience. These amenities comprise spacious cabins, private bathrooms, air conditioning, and gourmet dining. The luxury vessels are much expensive than Burmese vessels. Show more

Which places does the Chindwin River cruise take you to, and during which months is it available?

The Chindwin River cruise takes you to little-explored places, through northern jungles, forgotten villages, and ancient towns almost to the Indian boundary. The journey starts from Mandalay, with visits to Mingun, Kani, Kalewa, Homalin, and other towns, ending at Homalin. The Chindwin River cruise is available for July, August, and September, providing the best water levels and navigational conditions for the river trip. Show more

How do monsoon rains affect Myanmar river cruises?

In Myanmar, the monsoon rains impact river cruises in several ways, including rising water levels, unpredictable currents, and dangerous boats. The Irrawaddy River becomes a sea with strong waves and rapid currents during the monsoon season, and the river transportation may experience delays and cancellations. In case of planning a cruise during monsoon season, the Burmese vessels are the best option as they are designed for shallow waters and to tolerate harsh conditions. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin