We often travel to discover the world. But sometimes, it is necessary to discover what we are inside, align the external with the internal for inner peace and well-being. So here is your chance to detox and pursue inner fulfilment, on a mindfulness cruise down the Ayeyarwady(Irrawaddy) river, while you glide past golden-topped temples, monasteries and hidden pagodas, where meditation is a way of life.
Belmond Road to Mandalay is offering two expert-led mindfulness cruises through Myanmar, along the Ayeyarwady River. A seven-night round trip cruise will depart Bagan on October 7 and a three-night ‘taster’ cruise will depart Mandalay on Oct 11, 2017.
Brian Hilliard and Shannon van Staden of Mindfulness Journeys have over 40 years of experience studying, practising and teaching mindfulness to all ages and levels of ability, will lead the cruises. There will be one-to-one coaching and group Tibetan yoga and meditation sessions.
The indoor Observation Lounge of the Belmond Road to Mandalay cruise ships provide a scenic space for evening meditation and the open-air deck makes for an inspiring outdoor classroom, where morning sessions at sunrise will take place against a backdrop of changing light and landscapes. Some meditation sessions will take place on land in pagodas, a botanical garden and under mango trees in Ava. With less than 100 guests aboard, the organisers wish to ensure that social interactions and private reflections complement each other.
The early morning juice bar and freshly prepared healthy spa cuisine, including a mix of pan-Asian and western dishes, will help guests make healthy food and drink choices that are conducive with mindfulness. The ship’s dedicated well-being area, complete with spa treatment rooms and state-of-the-art fitness equipment provide additional opportunities for relaxation and exercise.
There will also be complimentary extra sessions that guests can join at leisure. Cultural highlights of the cruise include a visit to one of the most significant pagodas of Bagan, the Ananda Temple, which contains four 30-feet gilded Buddha statues, a horse-drawn cart tour of Old Bagan’s archaeological zone, a monastery visit to participate in a traditional alms giving to monks, and an arts & crafts tour of Mandalay to watch local artisans and craftsmen at work. There are daily land excursions and guests can also enjoy the sights by biking through Bagan or joining a morning run with Brian.
Prices start from $2,656 per person for the three-night departure on October 11 from Mandalay and $4,632 for the seven-night departures on October 7 2017 from Bagan. Prices are fully inclusive of all mindfulness sessions, meals, international house wines and local beers and excursions as per the itinerary. Domestic flights and transfers from Yangon to the ship are excluded but can be booked through Belmond at a supplement. Guests also have the option to stay at the Belmond Governor’s Residence inYangon before and after the cruise.