Holidays for Couples

the road to MANDALAY

According to the people who know about these sorts of things, when Rudyard Kipling famously wrote about ‘the road to Mandalay’ he was actually referring to the Irrawaddy.

This mighty river in Myanmar (formerly Burma) rises among glaciers in the Himalayas and flows for 2,100km into the Andaman Sea. Its non-Anglicised name, Ayerawaddy Myit, can be translated as ‘river that brings blessings to the people’. It’s certainly a blessing for me, as I’m here to experience the romance of this timeless stretch of water on the luxury, custombuilt Sanctuary Ananda, on a five-day cruise that will take us from Mandalay to Bagan, the ancient temple site that’s home to a thousand spires.

We check in to our floating home – and then immediately disembark to hit the streets of Mandalay. It may not be in-your-face pretty, but it’s a photographer’s dream, with something to catch the eye at every turn: women riding sidesaddle on motorbikes, brightly coloured open-air buses crammed with locals going who-knows-where, and shaved-headed monks and nuns collecting alms, wearing saffron-red and

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