Myanmar’s peoples have always looked to the Ayeyarwady River for trade, transportation and sustenance – something you’ll find for yourself when you take on these river experiences.
1.1. Sea Cruise – Ports at Yangon
The ports at Yangon have evolved beyond the colonial-era port near the city center. Travelers arriving in Myanmar via cruise ship disembark at Thilawa Port at the mouth of the Yangon River, 16km south of the original Yangon port. Thilawa’s deeper anchorages allow passage of larger ships, at the expense of convenience: travelers need to take an additional hour or so to travel from Thilawa to Yangon by taxi or shuttle.
The old Yangon port is still a working port, servicing smaller container ships, fishing boats and trading vessels coming in from upriver. Its five terminals include the Nanthida terminal, located in front of the Strand Hotel; and the neighboring Bo Aung Kyaw terminal.
1.2. River-based – Ayeyarwady River
The Ayeyarwady River is an important factor in Myanmar’s trade, culture and history. The teak logging trade still relies on shipping its goods down the river, as do ordinary Myanma who commute between cities by boat.
Visitors to Myanmar shouldn’t miss the opportunity to cruise down the Ayeyarwady – short-term sunset-viewing jaunts can easily be booked from Bagan, but longer cruises between Bagan, Mandalay and points further north are even better. The Ayeyarwady is navigable as far north as Bhamo near the Chinese border – perfect for a long two-week cruise!