Asia Cruise Yearbook : ASEAN Yearbook 2018
MYANMAR cruise facilities at MacLeod Island in Myanmar. Kent Zhu, the president of Genting Hong Kong, said building infrastructure on Macleod Island is key to turning the destination into a private paradise. Both Star Cruises and Dream Cruises have itineraries which visit MacLeod Island – the SuperStar Libra first visited in November last year. Luxury line Silversea revealed a new collection of land programmes in nine new destinations, departing from September 2018. Pandaw has also announced a new river and ocean voyage commencing February 2019. The 18-night expedition of southern Burma starts with a river cruise around the Irrawaddy Delta followed by an ocean cruise in the Mergui Archipelago. / Things to do and see If you’re visiting the pagodas and stupas of Bagan, check out the stunning Ananda Temple, which was built in 1105 during the reign of King Kyanzittha of the Bagan Dynasty and is only one of four surviving temples in the city. Mandalay also has lovely temples including the Golden Palace Monastery and the Maha Myat Muni Pagoda. Visit the Jade Market for dozens of stalls selling everything from the precious stone, gold and jewellery, as well as local street food. If you enjoy the great outdoors, climb Mount Popa, a volcano 1,518 metres above sea level. It’s best known as a Buddhist pilgrimage site with a number of Nat temples and relic sites atop the mountain. Take a stroll through the National Kandawgyi Botanical Gardens, located in the Alpine town of Pyin Oo Lwin and modelled after the Kew Gardens of England with the help of amateur gardener Lady Cuffe. Bhamo is another must-visit destination, especially for river cruisers. Highlights include the Shwekyinar Pagoda and the Bamboo Bridge, which is rebuilt every year after heavy rains during the wet season. Be sure to try the traditional Burmese cuisine! / Top places to stay The five-star Strand Hotel in Yangon is set in a British colonial building and the all-suite hotel dates way back to 1901. The ritzy suites have high ceilings and lovely hand-carved wooden beds. The hotel is also just a short walk from the river, where you can step aboard your Strand cruise. MYANMAR: PORTS The Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon (left) the sun setting over Mandalay (below) ASEAN CRUISE DIRECTORY 2018/2019 39 Best for: Adventurers, photographers, couples. Getting around: Taxis are the best option – genuine ones have red licence plates and driver identification on the dashboard. BAGAN Who goes there: APT, Avalon Waterways, Belmond, Noble Caledonia, Pandaw, Sanctuary, Scenic. Cruisers like: Bagan once had more than 10,000 Buddhist pagodas and stupas, of which 2,200 survive, dotted ethereally on the plains. Ananda is one of YANGON Who goes there: APT, Avalon Waterways, Azamara Club Cruises, Coral Expeditions, Holland America Line, Noble Caledonia, Oceania Cruises, Pandaw, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Scenic, Seabourn, Silversea. Cruisers like: Called the Garden City of the East, Yangon’s downtown area features a web of historic streets and British colonial architecture. The golden stupa Shwedagon Pagoda, the oldest pagoda in the world, can be sighted from almost anywhere in town. the most famous temples, built in the 12th century with four gilded Buddhas. The three-storey Bagan Archaeological Museum houses rare objects including the original Myazedi inscriptions. Don’t miss: The Bagan Archaeological Zone and museum, the main drawcard for the country’s growing tourism industry, said to equal Angkor Wat for a culture hit. Best for: Adventurers, photographers, couples. MAJOR PORTS 1 BUSIEST PORT Yangon NUMBER OF PORT CALLS 12 ANNUAL GROWTH minus 54 per cent Visit the Chauk Htat Gyi Buddha, carved from a single block of marble, and Taukkyan War Cemetery, where victims of the Burma (Death) Railway are buried. Don’t miss: The Myanmar Gems Museum is home to priceless rubies, sapphires, and jade, as well as the world’s largest pearl. There are more gems at the Cultural Museum including the regalia of the last Myanmar King and his imperial throne. For affordable shopping head to Strand or Pansodan Street.
ASEAN Yearbook 2015