It was known as the "Road to Mandalay" in former days, before the railway and the car. Even though the waterway is passable by large ships to Myitkyina over 1600 km from the sea, it is also full of sand banks and islets, which makes such navigations inconvenient. Over many years, the only viaduct to have been constructed over the Ayeyarwaddy was Inwa.
Ayeyarwaddy " probably comes from the Sanskrit word "airavati", which means "elephant river". Irrawaddy gives its name to a whale, the Irrawaddy Dolfin (Orcaella brevistosus), which is located in the stream. Although sometimes referred to as the Irrawaddy River Dolfin, it is not a real porpoise, as it can also be found at Sea. like that?
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Irrawaddy River Cruise - Review of Ayeyarwaddy River, Mingun, Myanmar
Although there is nothing to see in Mingun (and of course there is a lot to see), the trip from Mandalay to Mingun and back would still be a pleasure. It was still large in January when we went to visit the stream, but only about a third as big as at the height of the wet seasons.
Returning from Mingun we saw some cetaceans - not all the wildlife, of course only their whitish, dome-shaped head protruding over the waterfront. We had an overdeck with a porch and armchairs that were only slightly comfy. One of the hard parts was getting in and out: We had to run on boards and go over several other vessels.