Thursday, November 16, 2017

Irrawady Boat Cruise – The Road to Mandalay

BY THE old Moulmein Pagoda, lookin' lazy at the sea,
There's a Burma girl a-settin', and I know she thinks o' me;
For the wind is in the palm-trees, and the temple-bells they say:
"Come you back, you silly tourist; come you back to Mandalay! "
Come you back to Mandalay,
Where the old Flotilla lay:
Can't you 'ear their paddles chunkin' from Rangoon to Mandalay ?
On the road to Mandalay,
Where the flyin'-fishes play,
An' the dawn comes up like thunder outer China 'crost the Bay! 
Rudyard Kipling
After much gnashing of teeth and considerable discussion, it is decided to take the 12-hour boat ride up the Irrawady River to Mandalay. There is a Rudyard Kipling poem that speaks of the Road to Mandalay, which in fact is the river. Unfortunately, one must get on the boat at 530am, which means waking up at 4am. Ouch. This better be worth it!
Another boat takes off for the trip up river at dawn
We spent the prior day making sure we were on the nice boat, the fast boat. The boat with at least one air-conditioned compartment.
We arrive and it is still dark. Most tourist’s take the boat from Mandalay to Bagan not Bagan to Mandalay. There are exactly 8 passengers on a boat that can carry 150. There were 4 in our party, a couple from Israel, a woman from Germany and a woman from Santa Fe. We all bonded. Ha!
I will let the pictures speak for the trip. It was languid and a stunning tour of a countryside I can barely fathom. Exactly what I wanted.
 There were fishermen everywhere along the river

Taking cows to market

Bath time and Laundry day

The Irrawaddy is life

Where is that boat going?

Fancy boat rides are available too!

Everybody and your motorcycles too.

Closer to Mandalay

A crew member in the setting sun

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