UPDATE ON CORONAVIRUS

Overview

Explore the southern and central areas of the Irrawaddy River Dolphin Protected Area in search of the famous but critically-endangered grey dolphin. Learn about cooperative fishing from local fishermen and try throwing a cast-net. Spend time with families from several local communities and stay overnight on the cruise boat or in a luxury tent.

Trip Highlights

Cruising with Communities & Dolphins

Venture on a local fishing boat

Venture out on a local fisherman’s boat and observe traditional fishing techniques and search for dolphins in the Irrawaddy River

Learn about cooperative fishing

Find out all about cooperative fishing between fishermen and dolphins where this centuries-old practice still exists

Interact with the locals

Visit 3 or 4 communities along the Irrawaddy River and interact with the help of an English-speaking guide from the boat.

Itinerary

1

Mandalay – Sin Kyun – Myit Kyan Gyi

This morning the tour starts at 07:30 from the hotel. From there it is a short drive (from most hotels) to Mandalay Jetty where a small cruise boat will be waiting for the two-day adventure. After a short safety and itinerary briefing depart Mandalay.

About one hour later arrive in Sin Kyun village to learn about bamboo hat making.

Later, depart for Sein Pa Kone village for an introduction to the Irrawaddy Dolphins by the guide and local fishermen. These are one of only five species of dolphins in the world that live in rivers. The dolphins are critically endangered with less than 70 left in Myanmar’s Irrawaddy River.

The tour takes place in the Irrawaddy River Dolphin Protected Area which is the only place to see both Irrawaddy Dolphins and the cooperative fishing tradition. Cooperative fishing is a unique phenomenon found in only two other places in the world (Brazil and Mauritania) whereby dolphins and fishermen communicate via calls and signals to catch fish. Dolphins rear schools of fish towards the cast-net fishing boats and signal to the fishermen to cast their nets when the fish are close to the boat. As the fisherman casts their nets the dolphins take advantage by swimming close to the net and catching those fish that manage to escape.

Have a community lunch in Sein Pa Kone Village.

After lunch depart for Myit Kyan Gyi Village and look for dolphins along the way. Upon arrival, take a guided tour around the village before spending some down time swimming in the river and enjoying the sunset.

Community dinner in Myit Kyan Gyi Village followed by story-telling by village elders.

Overnight on cruise boat or luxury bell tent. 

ENVIRONMENTALLY RESPONSIBLE TOURISM: This tour creates incentives for dolphin protection and raises awareness about mutually beneficial traditional cooperative fishing. 

2

Myit Kyan Gyi – She Ma Ga - Mandalay

Today the journey continues bright and early at 06:30. Enjoy the sunrise and transfer into small fishing boats to look for dolphins nearby. After 1-2 hours return to the boat for breakfast and learn to throw a cast net under the instruction of local fishermen.

Afterwards, depart the village and head towards She Ma Ga village.

Lunch in She Ma Ga village.

After lunch set off on a walk to the Sacred Forest along with a local conity guide to search for wildlife tracks. Make the most of it as this is the last bit of adventure before returning to the boat and heading back to Mandalay.

Depending on time and interest, an optional visit to Mingun Stupa can be included during the return boat journey at a small surcharge.

Arrive in Mandalay around 17:30 and say goodbye to the boat crew before continuing on the onward journey. 

SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE TOURISM: This tour generates income for cooperative fishermen and their families. 5% of the proceeds from the project’s revenue are contributed to community development.

Important Information

Our services include:

  • 1 night’s accommodation in a shared twin or shared double room or tent with daily breakfast
  • Meals as mentioned in the program (B=Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner)
  • English-speaking cruise boat guide
  • Transfer from hotel to jetty on departure day
  • Transfer from jetty to hotel on return day
  • $10 Dolphin Conservation Fund contribution
  • Entrance to Mingun Stupa
  • Unlimited water, tea, coffee and fruit

Our services do not include:

  • Meals other than mentioned (B= breakfast, L= lunch, D = dinner)  
  • EXO guide
  • Drinks (soda, beer, wine) and personal expenses
  • Tips and porters at the hotels
  • Mandalay Zone Entrance Fees
  • Credit card fees (2-3%) or bank transfer fees for non-cash payments
  • Any other items not mentioned

Customize this tour

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Fusce rutrum tincidunt lacus. Phasellus eget est elit. Nullam placerat et lacus quis malesuada. Vestibulum ipsum tortor

Similar Tours

Not quite right or still need some more inspiration? Take a look at the journeys below and discover what other people who liked this tour also looked at!

3 Days / 2 Nights

Back to Nature – Ulu Muda Escape

  • Discover untouched rainforests of Ulu Muda
  • Up close & personal with wildlife
  • Explore newly discovered limestone caves & saltlicks
  • Cruise down Lake Muda
  • Earth Lodge stay in the middle of dense rainforests
  • 9 Days / 8 Nights

    East Coast Boutique Island Hopping

  • Relax on Thailand’s best islands
  • Stay in charming seaside hotels
  • Cruise the Gulf of Thailand
  • Seek out quieter beaches
  • Swim in tropical seas
  • 11 Days / 10 Nights

    Family Fun in Malaysia

    • Explore Malacca and Penang on trishaw
    • Leisurely train travel from KL to Ipoh
    • Hands-on activities to keep old traditions alive
    • Fun-filled scavenger hunt at Tropical Spice Garden
    • Traditional Gondola cruise in Putrajaya
    3 Days / 2 Nights

    Taman Negara Rainforest Explorer

  • Traditional wooden longboat ride
  • Scenic countryside and riverside views
  • Taman Negara rainforest in night & day
  • Stay in riverside lodge
  • Spot wildlife & native flora & fauna
  • 5 Days / 4 Nights

    Glamping in the Mergui Islands

  • Glamping under the stars
  • Beautiful island Nyaung Oo Phee
  • White sand beach and crystal clear waters
  • Snorkel to neighbouring islands
  • Enjoy dinner on a private beach
  • 8 Days / 7 Nights

    The North Loop

  • Cruise along the Golden Triangle
  • Learn to cook Akha cuisine
  • Explore Tham Lod Caves
  • Summit Thailand’s highest peak
  • See Chiang Rai by rickshaw
  • @ 2000-20 EXO TRAVEL ALL RIGHTS RESERVED | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy

    Please login to access the full Agent Hub.

    Contact Us

    We’re experts who take pride in tailor-made itineraries that suit any need. Please fill in the form below and a member of our team will be in touch shortly.

    Please fill in the appropriate information below regarding any travel plans or enquiries. Our team of travel experts will get back to you shortly.

    Contact Us

    We’re experts who take pride in tailor-made itineraries that suit any need. Please fill in the form below and a member of our team will be in touch shortly.

    Please fill in the appropriate information below regarding any travel plans or enquiries. Our team of travel experts will get back to you shortly.

    Contact Us

    We’re experts who take pride in tailor-made itineraries that suit any need. Please fill in the form below and a member of our team will be in touch shortly.

    Please fill in the appropriate information below regarding any travel plans or enquiries. Our team of travel experts will get back to you shortly.

    Copy link