The Irrawaddy flows from north to south through Burma (Myanmar) and is the country's largest river and most important commercial waterway, making it Myanmar's lifeline. The people and economy are dependent on its crucial natural source. Ferries, bamboo rafts, barges and fishing boats, all carry out their trade along these waters, at a gentle pace. Women go about their daily chores, ox carts cultivate fields and excited children run along the riverbanks.
The river reveals natural beauty and the glimmer of a millennium and a half of Burmese Buddhist civilisation, with elegant monasteries rising above canopied trees, ruined ancient temples revealing a wealth of historic treasures, the spectacular temple city of Pagan and the legendary Mandalay.
Burma remains isolated and unchanged by outside influences since the British left in 1962. A river cruise along the Irrawaddy gives a unique sight into Burma's way of life and is one of the best ways to understand its history. With a civilisation that's over 2,500 years old, Burma is a mysterious and magical land with breathtaking temple architecture set in timeless and imposing landscapes. For decades, Burma has remained hidden, but now is opened up to the world, exposing prevailing beauty and unique heritage. Irrawaddy River cruises will be mesmerised by this intriguing country.