The Ayeyarwaddy River starts from Kachin State, at the confluence of the Mali Hka and Mai Hka rivers
It is known as the Irrawaddy River flows through the centre of Myanmar. It is one of the most important commercial waterways in Myanmar country. Its total drainage area is about 411,000 square km. It is about 1,550 km long.
The name “Ayeyarwaddy” is believed to have derived from the Sanskrit term “airavati”, it means “Elephant River”.
Nowadays, The Irrawaddy River gives its name to a dolphin, the Irrawaddy Dolphin (Orcaella brevistosus) which is found in the river. Although, people sometimes called the Irrawaddy River Dolphin, it is not a true river dolphin, since it is also found at sea.
In colonial times, before railways and land road, this river was known as the “Road to Mandalay”. Although navigable by large vessels to Myitkyina for a distance over 1600 km from the ocean, the river is also full of sandbanks and islands, making such navigation difficult. For many years, the Inwa Bridge Is the only bridge built to cross the Ayeyarwaddy River.
We can enjoy an Ayeyarwaddy River trip by some cruises from Bagan to Mandalay or vice versa. Or simply some hours trip on the river. This is the highlight of Burma Tours