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Magical Myanmar

Duration
14 Days
Prices From:
US$ 4,045

The glories of an ancient land are revealed to travelers in Myanmar. We start in Yangon, a city crowned by the magnificent Shwedagon Pagoda, then fly to Mandalay, before journeying on the Ayeyarwady River down to the fabled 11th century capital, Bagan. The Inle Lake region exudes tranquility and enables us to sample the hospitality of the local people.


This 14-day trip invites you to explore Southeast Asia’s most mysterious country. Take a round trip from Yangon to Inle Lake, the ruins of Bagan, and Mandalay.

After an evening briefing and a night in Yangon to shake off any jetlag, head to the Golden Rock via Bago, a 13th century settlement famed for the Shwemawdaw Pagoda, one of the largest in Myanmar. Then it’s time for the open air ascent to the Golden Rock, an important pilgrimage site for Buddhists, said to be held in place by a strand of Buddha’s hair. Return to Yangon the following day.

After a morning tour, it’s time for the 1-hour flight to Mandalay. The city is Myanmar’s shining star, where its traditions, art, culture, and architecture come alive. Take a river cruise to the archaeological site of Mingun, home to the world’s largest (unfinished) pagoda. In the evening, visit the ruined city of Amarapura, near Mandalay. Spend the next day exploring the city, visiting the spectacular Mandalay Palace, and the intricate Swenadaw Monastery. Visit a 2,000 year old Buddha statue, and a stone carving workshop that serves as a centre for Mandalay’s artisans. A highlight of the day is the Kuthodaw Pagoda, which houses supposedly the world’s largest book.

Drive on to Bagan, one of Asia’s most impressive ancient wonders, where thousands of ruined temples and monasteries reach into the sky. The former capital of the Pagan kingdom, the city was the cultural and architectural crown jewel of this region for four centuries. Over 4000 structures remain today, creating an unearthly valley landscape that comes ablaze with colour each sunrise and sunset. Your tour takes you to explore the most important structures in detail, and visit some of the local communities to learn about how sustainable tourism is helping the region.

Inle Lake is your next destination, and one of Myanmar’s natural treasures. Staying in the township of Khaungdaing, you’ll visit local villages and learn about life around Myanmar’s most important waterway. Visit the local Intha fishermen, known for their unique ‘leg rowing.’ On your second day, board a longtail boat and follow the canal to Indein ruins dating back to the 8th century. Then set out on foot to visit some of the more remote villages (don’t worry, the walk is accessible to most fitness levels) before returning to your boat for a traditional dinner. In the morning, fly back to Yangon, with a chance to pick up some souvenirs at the Bogyoke Market. Finally, explore the famed pagoda of Shwedagon, the symbol of Myanmar and the centre of Buddhist life in the country.


 

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Duration
14 Days
Prices From:
US$ 4,045

Itinerary View Trip Map

Day 1

Arrival in Yangon

Welcome to Myanmar and Yangon. You will be met on arrival and transferred to your hotel. Feel free to explore Yangon - maybe by taking a walk to Sule Pagoda or the Victorian Strand Hotel - then join your welcome meeting at 6pm. Please check with the hotel reception where and when it will take place, or check the reception notice boards. Your insurance details and next of kin information will be collected at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader. If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception or your booking agent in advance.

Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Rose Garden Hotel

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    Rose Garden Hotel



    This unique luxury property offers authentic Myanmar style along with cutting-edge technologies and the latest international standard facilities and services. The Rose Garden Hotel in Yangon features an elegant lobby, a gourmet restaurant, a stylish bar, and five floors of exceptionally well equipped, beautifully decorated ...

    This unique luxury property offers authentic Myanmar style along with cutting-edge technologies and the latest international standard facilities and services. The Rose Garden Hotel in Yangon features an elegant lobby, a gourmet restaurant, a stylish bar, and five floors of exceptionally well equipped, beautifully decorated guestrooms. Our new meeting rooms and ballrooms can accommodate private events of any size, from just a few up to a thousand participants. The Rose Garden Hotel in Yangon is just a 30 minute drive from Yangon International airport close to the heart of downtown Yangon and within walking distance of the magnificent golden Shwedagon Pagoda.

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Day 2

Golden Rock

With an overnight bag packed, embark on the journey to the Golden Rock. Along the way, stop at Bago (about 1.5 hours from Yangon), an ancient settlement of the Mon Kingdom in the 13th century. Here you'll visit the Shwemawdaw Pagoda, which is even larger than the famous Shwedagon Pagoda, and the Shwethalyaung Buddha, one of the largest reclining Buddhas in existence. Then, it's an approximately 2.5 hour drive to the base camp at Kinponsakan. Here you'll transfer to an open air truck with basic wooden bench-style seating. The next hour, towards the summit, will be bumpy. But the views are well worth it. The Golden Rock (Kyaiktiyo Pagoda) is a place of pilgrimage for Buddhists. The small pagoda (7.3 metres high) sits atop a gilded 25-metre boulder, which appears to balance precariously on a tabular rock. Legend has it that the boulder is held in position by a strand of Buddha's hair. Spending a night in Kyaiktiyo is one of Myanmar's most spiritual experiences.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Mountain Top Hotel

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    Mountain Top Hotel


    Mountain Top Hotel is located on the top of the Mt. Kyaikhtiyo and just a 5 minute walk to the pagoda. The hotel is at approximately 3,600 ft. above sea level, 130 miles from Yangon and about 1 mile from the Ya-the-taung bus terminal.

Day 3

Yangon

Enjoy a morning of strolling around Kyaiktiyo (the name means 'pagoda borne on a hermit's head' in Mon language). After descending from the summit, return to Yangon, retracing your path from yesterday (approximately 5 hours). You'll arrive back in Yangon late in the afternoon.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Rose Garden Hotel

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  • starstarstarstarstar

    Rose Garden Hotel



    This unique luxury property offers authentic Myanmar style along with cutting-edge technologies and the latest international standard facilities and services. The Rose Garden Hotel in Yangon features an elegant lobby, a gourmet restaurant, a stylish bar, and five floors of exceptionally well equipped, beautifully decorated ...

    This unique luxury property offers authentic Myanmar style along with cutting-edge technologies and the latest international standard facilities and services. The Rose Garden Hotel in Yangon features an elegant lobby, a gourmet restaurant, a stylish bar, and five floors of exceptionally well equipped, beautifully decorated guestrooms. Our new meeting rooms and ballrooms can accommodate private events of any size, from just a few up to a thousand participants. The Rose Garden Hotel in Yangon is just a 30 minute drive from Yangon International airport close to the heart of downtown Yangon and within walking distance of the magnificent golden Shwedagon Pagoda.

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Day 4

Mandalay

Take a walking tour of downtown Yangon this morning. As you stroll through the streets lined with dilapidated colonial edifices and their restored neighbours, your leader will bring the past to life, as well as explain the present activity. Afterwards, leave for the airport and take a flight to Mandalay - departure time will vary depending on flight availability. The flight takes approximately 1 hour, and after landing it's approximately a 1 hour drive to the city and your hotel for the next three nights. Mandalay is Myanmar's 'Jewel City', and you'll and savour the sights, sounds and flavours of this bustling metropolis. Tonight you might enjoy a walk to one of the markets, where a great time can be had enjoying the hustle and bustle or bargaining for local wares.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration3 Nights
Accommodation

Best Western Eastern Palace Hotel

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    Best Western Eastern Palace Hotel



    Eastern Palace Hotel is located in the heart of the Mandalay's main business and historical district. Delivering Myanmar's unique and courteous hospitality, this elegant upscale hotel will delight both business and leisure travelers with spacious accommodation, a broad array of leisure facilities, extensive meeting space ...

    Eastern Palace Hotel is located in the heart of the Mandalay's main business and historical district. Delivering Myanmar's unique and courteous hospitality, this elegant upscale hotel will delight both business and leisure travelers with spacious accommodation, a broad array of leisure facilities, extensive meeting space and international dinning choices. Eastern Palace Hotel is the ideal choice for all travelers to Mandalay.

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Day 5

Mandalay

Make your way down to the city's lively waterfront, which offers an interesting backdrop for a boat trip upriver. The archaeological site of Mingun is your destination, the location of a number of interesting sights, including the world's largest, albeit unfinished, pagoda -- Pahtodawgyi. It's also home to the world's second largest ringable bell, the beautiful white Hsinphymae Pagoda, and temples dating back hundreds of years. The river is effectively a major trading, communication and commuting route and a wide range of different boats, barges and steamers can be viewed along the way. The journey usually takes 1 hour on the way there, and 40 minutes on the way back.

Later in the afternoon, embark on a tour that visits the remnants of one of the once great cities that surround Mandalay -- Amarapura, just 11 kilometres south of the city. Weather permitting, you might also glimpse a breath-taking sunset over the 200-year-old U Bein wooden bridge.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 6

Mandalay

Today you'll enjoy a full day tour of the city. You'll visit the Mandalay Palace, built as the residence for King Mindon and the Burmese aristocracy in the 19th century, it sits inside a walled fort at the bottom of Mandalay Hill. Continue to Shwe In Bin Kyaung, the intricately carved Swenandaw Monastery, then visit the nearby cottage industries where gold leaf is made. This gold leaf is used extensively in the important pilgrimage site of the Mahamuni Buddha Temple. Here local Buddhists climb to an impressively decorated 2,000-year-old central Buddha statue and press gold leaf to its exterior. Get another insight into Mandalay's role as the centre of Myanmar's arts and crafts industry with a visit to a stone-carving workshop. The surrounding mountains are made from quality marble (Sa'kyin) and there are numerous artisans plying their trade along Kyauk Sitt Than, which literally means 'Stone Carving Road'. You'll finish your tour around 2pm, and then have some free time to relax. Later, visit various temples, notably Kuthodaw Pagoda, which claims to house the world's largest 'book' -- 729 slabs contain the complete text of the Tripitaka, Theravada Buddhism's most sacred text. You'll then be transported to the top of Mandalay Hill, where Lord Buddha is said to have left a footprint. A clear day reveals beautiful sunset views from the summit, and a host of religious shrines scattered along the hill.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 7

Bagan

Today you will drive to Bagan (approximately 5 hours), which is one of the most impressive archaeological wonders of Asia. You'll be in a comfortable vehicle and you'll stop along the way in a local village. When you arrive in Bagan you'll transfer to the hotel and have some free time rest up or stretch you legs. Later today you'll take a cruise out on the Ayeyarwady River as the sun begins to set. Stop on the river bank for a sunset drink and admire the changing colours as the sun descends across the stupas that fill the area and great Ayeryarwady River.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration3 Nights
Accommodation

Amazing Bagan Resort

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    Amazing Bagan Resort



    There are outdoor swimming pools, poolside bar, souvenir shops, karaoke bar, pool table, car and chauffeur rental, fax, long-distance calls, satellite TV, 24 hours hot and cold water. Also the possibility of dining outdoors in the hotel garden. Fitness centre with up to date equipment. ...

    There are outdoor swimming pools, poolside bar, souvenir shops, karaoke bar, pool table, car and chauffeur rental, fax, long-distance calls, satellite TV, 24 hours hot and cold water. Also the possibility of dining outdoors in the hotel garden. Fitness centre with up to date equipment. Conference room and function room for up to 50 pax. Room service and laundry service. The hotel is a golf resort which sports an 18 holes international golf course, so golfers are well served and can spend a couple of days combined sightseeing and relaxation with a few rounds of their favourite pastime. The hotel is situated out of town location, just 5 minutes drive from Nyaung U Airport, in a garden setting on the Bagan plain. Rooms are medium sized, with polished wood floors and simple but tasteful decoration. Wood and rattan furnishings and fittings in the local style. Adequate smart bathrooms, satellite T.V., minibar, IDD telephone. Rooms are cooled by aircon (remote control).

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Day 8

Bagan

You can explore the incredible sights of Bagan today, travelling by private vehicle between temples sites. This archaeological site is where Theravada Buddhism was introduced to the Kingdom of Bagan, and was once the site of 10,000 temples, pagodas and monasteries. Today, the ancient city still has over 4,000 brick and gilded ruins, and is a remarkable sight. Nyaung U's lively market contrasts with the eerie silence of the plains littered with temples, pagodas, stupas and ruins, including Gawdawpalin, Thatbyinnyu, Ananda and Shwezigon - all names of temples and pagodas that bear testament to a glorious past. The graceful ageing of the temples, the stucco peeled off by the dusty winds, has revealed beautifully rusty red bricks that glow golden brown in the sun. Marvel at the spire-lined skyline, the lion-guarded doors, the wood carvings inside, and the foliage-covered ruins. After visiting a local lacquerware workshop to gain insight into a craft this place is famous for, you might catch a glorious sunset from one of the ruins.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 9

Bagan

Today you will drive about 45 minutes to reach Pakkoku. Here, you'll spend roughly an hour at the biggest thanakha market in Myanmar, as well as a local wet market. Thanakha is a cosmetic paste made from ground bark and is an ancient beauty treatment in Myanmar, said to treat wrinkles, sun damage, and acne, and even believed to help with fevers and headaches. From the markets, you'll head to a local tea shop and sample some tea and local street foods. Try some treats and get a literal taste for local life here! We'll then drive another 45 minutes to reach a small village, called Kyunkalay. This is a tiny place that you won't find in any guidebooks or on Wikipedia - entirely undeveloped with no electricity, no school for the local children, and not even a monastery. The main form of transportation is by oxen cart and bicycle.

You've partnered with ActionAid Myanmar, an organisation working to bring human rights and social justice to neglected communities. ActionAid doesn't believe in handouts, instead helping communities to find their own sustainable solutions. You have formed a partnership to help introduce tourism to the community of Kyunkalay in a way that is responsible, sustainable, and won't negatively impact their culture and heritage.

You'll get to walk around the village and learn about important tasks locals do, such as harvesting beans and vegetables, or growing flowers. You'll then join a local family for lunch in their home, where you'll be able to learn more about what life is like in this part of Myanmar.

You'll finish off the tour with a ride on an ox-driven cart to reach the nearest jetty, where you'll cross the Ayeyarwady River, the largest and most important waterway in Myanmar. You'll reach Nyaung U jetty on the other side, and from here will travel back to Bagan.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Lunch
Day 10

Inle Lake

Today drive approximately 25 minutes to the nearest airport in Nyuang U, and then hop on a plane to Heho (approximately 40 minutes), the gateway for Inle Lake. The calm waters of Inle Lake are the life-blood for local communities. They live in stilt houses along the lake's shallow fringes and surrounding areas. You'll drive through picturesque countryside and rolling hills to your final destination, Khaungdaing, situated on Inle Lake not far from the main township, Nyaungshwe. (approximately 1 hour). This afternoon, feel free to rent a canoe and paddle to Lin Kin village, with its famous floating garden. There is also the optional extra of visiting local village houses for an insight into how traditional snacks are made.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration3 Nights
Accommodation

Khaung Daing Village Resort

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    Khaung Daing Village Resort



    Hu Pin Khaung Daing Resort is situated on the west bank of Inle lake and near Khaung Daing village. The resort is one-hour drive from Heho airport, the only gateway by air to the Southern Shan State. Perched on the hill over Inle Lake with ...

    Hu Pin Khaung Daing Resort is situated on the west bank of Inle lake and near Khaung Daing village. The resort is one-hour drive from Heho airport, the only gateway by air to the Southern Shan State. Perched on the hill over Inle Lake with an area of 28.5 acres precinct.

    Hu Pin Resort offers the best scenic lake view in Inle.

    Facilities

    • Restaurant
    • Restaurant

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Day 11

Inle Lake

A full day is spent on the lake seeing local life, exploring the floating gardens, and catching a glimpse of the local Intha fishermen who are famous for their unique 'leg-rowing' technique. The Intha leg-rowers navigate their long, narrow craft by standing on the stern with one leg and wrapping the other around the oar. This unique style evolved because the reeds that cover the lake and the floating plants make it difficult to see above them while sitting. The lake is also home to a wide array of bird-life including egrets, cranes, ducks, storks and various birds of prey. Visits may be made to some of the local villages, home to cottage industries such as silversmiths, weavers and cigar makers. If you're lucky, you might even see the floating market which circles the lake every five days. Here you can buy traditional wares produced by the locals.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 12

Inle Lake

After breakfast, take a longtail boat along a narrow canal to the Indein ruins complex (approximately 45 minutes). Disembark and discover a pagoda and stupas built in the 8th century. Explore the atmospheric ruins; crumbling stupas being reclaimed by greenery, and up a hill over 1000 zedi from the 17th and 18th centuries. Enjoy views across the valley and lake from the pagoda, browsing through the rows of shops along the corridor uphill, or just marvel at the surroundings. Hike to some of the smaller local villages, through farming land and forested areas. The hike is approximately 7km (4.5mi) in total, through some uneven and sloping terrain, but within the capabilities of most fitness levels. Return to Indein, where you'll meet your boat and return back to the hotel this afternoon. This evening, reward all your efforts today with a traditional Shan dinner, where you'll get to sample some of the local-style culinary specialties

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Day 13

Yangon

Take a morning flight back to Yangon (approximately 1 hour - departure time will depend on flight availability) and discover more of this beguiling city in some free time. Acquire some local handicrafts at the nearby Bogyoke Market, a major bazaar known for its colonial architecture and winding cobblestone alleys. In the afternoon, you will discover one of Yangon's grandest sites, Shwedagon Pagoda. On the way, with your leader's assistance, you can buy some food and staple items at the nearby market to offer to the monk's at a monastery - the cost is included in your trip. Visit one of the local monasteries, where you can make the offering to the monks. Have a discussion about their way of life, and perhaps help them practice their English. Then explore Shwedagon, the legendary gold-gilded pagoda is studded with diamonds and gems, and is said to contain eight hairs of the Buddha. Some time will be spent exploring the complex and learning of its history and spiritual devotions. The mix of people it attracts - monks, pilgrims, worshippers, tourists - is almost as striking as the tower itself.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Rose Garden Hotel

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  • starstarstarstarstar

    Rose Garden Hotel



    This unique luxury property offers authentic Myanmar style along with cutting-edge technologies and the latest international standard facilities and services. The Rose Garden Hotel in Yangon features an elegant lobby, a gourmet restaurant, a stylish bar, and five floors of exceptionally well equipped, beautifully decorated ...

    This unique luxury property offers authentic Myanmar style along with cutting-edge technologies and the latest international standard facilities and services. The Rose Garden Hotel in Yangon features an elegant lobby, a gourmet restaurant, a stylish bar, and five floors of exceptionally well equipped, beautifully decorated guestrooms. Our new meeting rooms and ballrooms can accommodate private events of any size, from just a few up to a thousand participants. The Rose Garden Hotel in Yangon is just a 30 minute drive from Yangon International airport close to the heart of downtown Yangon and within walking distance of the magnificent golden Shwedagon Pagoda.

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Day 14

Depart in Yangon

This trip comes to an end today after breakfast. A transfer to the airport is not included but can be pre-booked with our reservations team. Your leader will be on hand to advise you on onward travel arrangements should you require.

Meal Plan Breakfast

Other Information

DEPARTURES:

2019: Feb 18; Mar 25; Sep 23; Oct 7, 21; Nov 4, 25; Dec 9, 23

PRICE INCLUDES;

  • Arrival transfer
  • 10 nights hotel
  • 3 nights Lakeside cottage
  • Group touring with English speaking guide
  • Transportation in boat, plane, private vehicle and truck
  • Meals as specified

PRICE EXLUDES:

  • Travel insurance
  • International and domestic airfare & airfare taxes
  • Visa fees if applicable
  • Meals and beverages not mentioned
  • Gratuities
  • Items of a personal nature

TERMS AND CONDITIONS:

Prices are "from" per person based on twin/double share accommodation and for travel in low season. Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply. Limited seat/spaces and all pricing is subject to change and availability. Rates for single or triple travellers are available on request - please inquire.

 

TB INTREPIYAN19CS: MM
23 Dec 2019
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