Inspections in Burma
I spent three weeks making inspections in Burma to ensure the charter I am working on with CAZENOVE+LOYD of the new ORIENT-EXPRESS boat ‘Orcaella’ will be tailored for our clients. In January 2014 and 2015 we shall travel from Mandalay to the Chinese Border and I was thrilled to return to this fascinating, rapidly changing country with its charming people. I spent time in Yangon, which I still think of as Rangoon and inspected many crumbling colonial buildings to choose the most interesting to visit during our walking tour when we explore the town. Then I moved up country to Mandalay to embark on ‘Orcaella’ for a ten day voyage up the Chindwin River towards the high hills of the Indian-Burmese border. In spite of the torrential monsoon rain the scenery was fascinating and we sloshed our way through villages, buzzing markets and golden temples and I was relieved to reflect it would be dry season when I return with friends and clients. I was pleased to find the modernity of ‘Orcaella’ includes proper bathrooms rather than the plastic units that many river boats call a bathroom. The delightful cabins have huge opening windows and top-deck viewing with glass in hand became an evening fixture. So, I am much looking forward to our adventures in Burma with Robert Gordon, CMG OBE who will join me as speaker in January 2014 and 2015.