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Myanmar (Burma): Ayeyarwady Boat

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Ayeyarwady Boat | Myanmar (Burma) | Asia

[Visited: March 2006]

The Ayeyarwady river runs roughly North-South through Myanmar, is an entirely Burmese river, and ends up in a wide delta west of Yangon. In that area, the river splits up in many smaller ones, all leading the water of the mighty river to the Bay of Bengal. Because all buses from Pathein to Yangon were full, the boat was a great alternative, taking less than twenty hours to reach the capital. But the main boat trip on the Ayeyarwady was from Katha to Mandalay. After spending some relaxing time in Katha, the boat was a great way to get back to the former capital of Myanmar.

Picture of Ayeyarwady Boat (Myanmar (Burma)): Burmese men measuring the depth of the Ayeyarwady

While waiting on the riverfront of Katha with other passengers, we saw the boat approaching, getting stuck several times on sandbanks before it docked right under our eyes. We boarded without knowing how long it would take. Surprisingly, we did not get stuck that day, and spent the night on the shores of the Ayeyarwady. Before being able to have a quiet sleep we first had to get rid of a colony of large cockroaches. As always in Myanmar, days on the boat start early, which gave us a great view over the river. People on the shore walking through the light morning fog, the sun rising over the river landscape, and then we came to the rescue of another boat that was stuck on a sand bank.

Picture of Ayeyarwady Boat (Myanmar (Burma)): View from a boat: looking at the Ayeyarwady river

We docked several times, which gave the opportunity to have a glimpse of some of the river villages while foodvendors stormed the boat. Otherwise, it was great spending time on the top deck, where most people were - also because the lower decks were absolutely packed with all kinds of cargo, which is not surprising in Myanmar where all means of transportation are loaded far beyond their maximum. The next morning we had some delay because an old monk on the boat had died, and had to be left behind on the shores of the Ayeyarwady, before we continued sailing to Mandalay, with a good but hazy view of Mingun. After a most enjoyable boatride we arrived at Mandalay after almost two days.

Picture of Ayeyarwady Boat (Myanmar (Burma)): View on a sunset: the boat offered great views of the Burmese landscape slowly passing by
Picture of Ayeyarwady Boat (Myanmar (Burma)): Improvised food stall for boat passengers on the Ayeyarwady river
Picture of Ayeyarwady Boat (Myanmar (Burma)): Village people selling their food to hungry boat passengers
Picture of Ayeyarwady Boat (Myanmar (Burma)): Burmese girls with hats on the Ayeyarwady boat to Mandalay
Picture of Ayeyarwady Boat (Myanmar (Burma)): Burmese girl selling watermelon on the shores of the Ayeyarwady
Picture of Ayeyarwady Boat (Myanmar (Burma)): Burmese girl selling snacks to boat passengers
Picture of Ayeyarwady Boat (Myanmar (Burma)): Ayeyarwady boat approaching Katha
Picture of Ayeyarwady Boat (Myanmar (Burma)): Walking in sunshine: people on the shores of the Ayeyarwady river
Picture of Ayeyarwady Boat (Myanmar (Burma)): Rowing on the Ayeyarwady river around sunset
Picture of Ayeyarwady Boat (Myanmar (Burma)): Measuring depth of the Ayeyarwady to steer clear from sandbanks
Picture of Ayeyarwady Boat (Myanmar (Burma)): Ayeyarwady boats docked together on a stop in a village
Picture of Ayeyarwady Boat (Myanmar (Burma)): Ayeyarwady shores: village appearing from the fog
Picture of Ayeyarwady Boat (Myanmar (Burma)): Kitchen of the Ayeyarwady boat: same food 3 times a day

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