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This was a radical new design, based on the old K class used in Burma from the 1880s on. This ship is the third Katha to run on the Irrawaddy. The first was built at Dalla in 1887 but lost on the Chindwin in 1889. The second was built by Denny of Dumbarton in 1904 and decommissioned in 1937 and the third was built by us in Vietnam in 2012.
We ran her a year on the Mekong before sending to Burma. With only two decks these smaller K class ships have lower air draft so can get under bridges and supposedly a shallower draft, though in fact the Vietnam ship yards were not as successful in achieving this as the Burmese yards and later Burmese-built K class ships achieved remarkable reductions in draft.
The Katha general arrangement was radical in that we eliminated the formal indoor dining room. This led to great protests from regular passengers and indeed our staff. In the end all agree it is far more pleasant to eat outside than in a stuffy, noisy enclosed dining room and the bugs are really not that bad. Up river in Burma it can be a little cold in winter but currently we deploy this ship in Middle Burma where the cold is less of an issue.
We reach Prome by the afternoon and travel by coach to the 5th-8th century archaeological site of Thiri-ya-kittiya, the former centre of the Pyu civilization with a fascinating museum of early Buddhist artifacts and sculptures.
This pleasant colonial town once guarded the border between Royal Myanmar and British Myanmar following the 2nd Anglo Myanmar War of 1855. Many of the buildings including the covered market date from this period. Thayet also boasts the oldest golf course in Myanmar (1885). We visit the market, see the colonial houses and ride out by horse cart to the golf course, passing through the former British botanical garden.
Minhla – We visit the two Italian built forts constructed to keep the British at bay from Royal Myanmar. The fight for the Minhla redoubt was the only serious action in the war and the death of a young subaltern inspired Kipling to write a poem.We ride Trishaws to reach the magnificent Magwe Myat-thalon Pagoda, constructed with solid gold bricks. Of interest are the many nat shrines and hermitages within the temple precincts.
Here we visit the Yout-saun-kyaung monastery with its spectacular wood carvings; we also explore an area of splendid colonial-style houses and continue sailing upstream.
In the morning, moor at the Tan-Chi-Taung mountain and ascend by 4×4 and enjoy a tour of a selection of the 3,000 listed monuments at this World Heritage Site, Pagan.
Further exploration by coach of the monuments follow by a lacquer ware workshop and visit to the local markets. Sail in the noon to upstream. Evening walk at Oh Ne Kyaung village to see the local life in this typical river side community.
This small rural village is specialized in pot making. We visit the Pandaw School, built with past donations from Pandaw passengers.
Guests will take a tour of central Mandalay visiting the Mahamuni Pagoda and Shwe Nan Daw Kyaung teak carved monastery.
In the afternoon we visit Sagaing. The true delight of Sagaing lies in its 1000 hermitages and sanctuaries, rich in woodcarving and religious art.
Next we explore the ancient capital of Amarapura by coach, take a boat ride along Taungthaman lake and watch the tranquillity and serenity of this beautiful lake and its famous U-Bein Bridge at sunset.
Prices are in USD, per person.
|Hotel / Group||2 guests||3~4 guests||5~6 guests||7~8 guests||9~12 guests||Single surcharge|
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