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.
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.
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.
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Ayeyarwady Boat (). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Ayeyarwady Boat.
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