A trip down the Irrawaddy River – Part 1 – Myitkyina to Sinbo

I arrived in Myitkyina in the morning on February 15th and immediately caught a tuk-tuk to the bank of the Irrawaddy River to catch a boat back downstream toward Mandalay. Why? Because, I had actually come by train for the purpose of travelling down the river. While the train only took 20 hours going north, the boat trip back south would take nearly a week.

At the launching point for the boats, I met some other foreigners intending to do the same as me – two Austrians both named Chris (I forget if one of them was Kris, but at least one was named Chris, like me), a German, and a Kiwi. Nice guys, and I ended up travelling with them for the next few days.

Some boats moored on the riverbank close to where we boarded our small boat to begin the journey.

One of the guys named Chris, boarding the boat in Myitkyina with his bike:

A tuk-tuk driver drove down the beach to wash his vehicle:

The skipper of the boat next to us was cooking his breakfast as we pulled away:

I bought some hard-boiled quail eggs, which are tiny and taste almost the same as chicken eggs – tasty and cheap.

The water pump output:

A couple of Buddhist monks sitting near me:


There are many, many gold miners on the Irrawaddy River. They set up small stations to try and find gold in the silt. Here are some gold miners at their camp on a sandbank:

That day, we ended in Sinbo, a small town on the river bank, where I took a bunch of photos that appear in the next post.