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The Irrawaddy
Gerold Grotelueschen / 123RF
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The Irrawaddy Burma
Amy Adejokun
Amy Adejokun Section editor

Discover The Irrawaddy

Here's an inspiring name: Irrawaddy! This legendary river flows from north to south, from the foothills of the Himalayas and across Burma before flowing into the Irrawaddy Delta and emptying into the Indian Ocean. Known as the 'Mother River' by the Burmese, there are several different types of boat you can travel on to discover this majestic river, the best-known of which is the prestigious 'Road to Mandalay' operated by the Orient Express. 100m long and with 43 cabins, the operators of this ship propose cruises that range from 3 to 11 days. Starting from Mandalay, the last capital city of the independent kingdom of Burma and a cultural and religious centre of Buddhism, with its many monasteries and 700 pagodas, it travels 150 miles to the mysterious city of Bagan, which alone has nearly 2,200 temples and pagodas. The Irrawaddy serves as a link between some seventy ethnic groups whose lands it passes through. Travelling down it is the best way to discover the lesser-known parts of Burma, from the jade and ruby mines to plantations and teak forests full of wild animals, such as elephants.

The Irrawaddy

L'Irrawaddy , Myanmar
The site of Bagan

The Irrawaddy runs alongside the mysterious city of Bagan, located 150 miles from Mandalay and home to 2,200 temples and pagodas.

Geoff Hopkins / 123 RF
L'Irrawaddy , Myanmar
A legendary river

Along the river you can admire jade and ruby mines, plantations and teak forests inhabited by wild animals such as elephants.

Rustycarr / 123RF
L'Irrawaddy , Myanmar
Burma's largest river

The Irrawaddy serves as a link between some seventy ethnic groups whose lands it passes through. Travelling down it is the best way to discover the lesser-known parts of Burma.

Vladislav Lebedinski / 123RF
L'Irrawaddy , Myanmar
The Road to Mandalay

It leads to Bagan from Mandalay, the last capital city of the independent kingdom of Burma and the cultural and religious centre of Buddhism, with its numerous monasteries and 700 pagodas.

Geoff Hopkins / 123 RF
L'Irrawaddy , Myanmar
A river cruise at sunset

Known as the 'Mother River' by the Burmese, there are several different types of boat you can travel on to discover this majestic river, the best-known of which is the prestigious 'Road to Mandalay' operated by the Orient Express.

Young Soo Ryu / 123RF
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Burma : Discover our cities Bagan
  • Bagan Bagan
  • Mandalay Mandalay
  • Yangon Yangon