Exotic Burma and Road to Mandalay 12 Days

Exotic Burma (Myanmar) has been mostly hidden from the outside world for many years. Now that travel to the region, if done responsibly, has become welcome and encouraged, the wonders of this magical land begin to reveal themselves. Diverse in both landscape and culture, discover the winding Irrawaddy River, sandy beaches, pine forests or plains dotted with thousands of stupas. Burma (Myanmar) is home to 135 ethnic groups, yet all the people of Burma (Myanmar) share warmth of heart and a welcoming smile. The colourful culture is strongly influenced by Buddhist beliefs, while past British rule has left the legacy of grand colonial architecture. This unspoilt land offers the adventure of the Asia of old.

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  • Overview
  • Itinerary
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  • What to expect

    A journey into Burma (Myanmar) is a journey into the Asia of days gone by. Visitors to Burma find that their ventures off the well-trodden tourist trail are rewarded with a wonderful, often touching travel experience rich in old-world atmosphere, natural beauty, culture and memorable encounters with its engaging people.

    Burma is a country of great beauty and diversity, dominated by lush mountain slopes covered with alpine forests in the far north and steamy jungles in the south; broad flat plains in central regions like Bagan; the famous Irrawaddy River and over 1,929 km (1199 miles) of coastline boasting some of Asia’s most stunning beaches. The Irrawaddy is the country’s main waterway and the source of much fishing and farming activity, and village life. Your travels in the country will take in some of the gorgeous river and mountain scenery in the country, the extraordinary temple studded plains of Bagan, the tranquil villages around lovely Inle Lake as well as the famous cities of Mandalay and Yangon (Rangoon). While these are the country’s biggest cities, they are relaxed, at times sleepy – a far cry from the huge size and frenetic pace of many other cities in Asia! If you have time to stay a little longer, you may also trek through Pa-O and Intha tribal villages in the hills which rise above Inle Lake, experience one of the country’s charming former British colonial hill stations or relax on glorious Ngapali Beach.

    The Burmese people are disarmingly warm and welcoming. They are both curious to learn about the places from which visitors to Burma have travelled and keen to share their views and the stories of their own country.

    The travel industry is slowly developing in Burma. While the freshness and novelty of tourism in the country is why many people choose to visit Burma, one should keep in mind that facilities and services do not often match Western standards. Electricity cuts (blackouts) are common and travelling through more remote areas will involve bumpy road travel and the use of clean but basic accommodation

  • Day 1: Australia / UK / USA – Yango

    Upon arrival in Yangon you will be met and transferred to your hotel.

    ACCOMMODATION 2 Nights in YANGON

    Day 2 Yangon

    Start your exploration of Yangon with a walking tour taking in some of the best examples of the city’s wonderful colonial architecture, the lovely Mahabandoola Garden and Independence Monument as well as the lively Indian and Chinese Quarters. Stop at a local tea house in time for lunch then continue to Kyaukhtatgyi Pagoda, famous for its 70-metre long reclining Buddha. Later this afternoon, take walk along the promenade of Kandawagyi Lake. Finally, end the day at the magnificent Shwedagon Pagoda, Yangon’s crowning glory.

    Day 3 Yangon – Bagan ( Meals: B )

    Transfer to the airport this morning for your flight to Bagan, located in central Burma. The broad flat plains of Bagan are peppered with thousands of temples and stupas, mostly dating back to the 11th – 13th centuries. Marco Polo described Bagan at ‘one of the finest sites in the world’ and to this day it remains one of the richest archaeological sites in all of Asia. After checking into the hotel and some free time to self explore.

    ACCOMMODATION 1 Night in BAGAN

    Day 4 Depart on Road to Mandalay cruise (Meals: B/L/D)

    This morning transfer to the Road To Mandalay berthed on the Ayeyarwady River. At Bagan over 2,000 temples and pagodas are scattered over an awe-inspiring plain beside the river. After lunch, join the guide and visit the inside of some of the more significant pagodas. Late afternoon your guide takes you to watch the sun setting over a field of glowing pagodas. Dinner and local entertainment on board.

    ACCOMMODATION onboard ROAD TO MANDALAY CRUISE – 4 nights

    Day 5: Bagan – Cruise Road to Mandalay Cruise.(Meals: B/L/D)

    After breakfast join the guide to explore some of Bagan’s local markets selling wood carvings, fabrics, longyis and rattan goods. See Myanmar’s famous lacquerware being made. Alternatively, you can hire a bicycle or horse-drawn cart and explore this enchanting area on your own. Mid-morning the Road To Mandalay begins its cruise north towards Mandalay. Relax on the top deck and watch the fascinating river life glide by. The guide lectures on local places and customs. The ship moors mid-river for the evening. A casual cocktail party is followed by dinner on board. ACCOMMODATION onboard ROAD TO MANDALAY CRUISE

    Day 6: Mandalay – Road to Mandalay Cruise (Meals: B/L/D)

    Arrive at the village of Shwe Kyet Yet after lunch. In the afternoon, enjoy a guided tour of the key sights of Mandalay regarded as the centre of Burmese culture and Buddhist learning. Return to Road To Mandalay stopping enroute to admire sunset over the river. Dinner and local entertainment on board. ACCOMMODATION onboard ROAD TO MANDALAY CRUISE
    DAY 7 MINGUN AND SAGAING – ROAD TO MANDALAY CRUISE (Meals: B/L/D)
    After breakfast, cruise to Mingun to visit the most important sights such as the pretty Hsinbyume Pagoda and the world’s largest uncracked bell. Return by ferry for a late lunch. In the afternoon, visit the Sagaing Hills, considered to be the living centre of the Buddhist faith in Burma. Sagaing is also famous for its silver and silversmiths who still work in much the same way as their ancestors did. Dinner and local entertainment on board. ACCOMMODATION onboard ROAD TO MANDALAY CRUISE

    Day 8: Arrival Mandalay (Meals: B)

    After an early breakfast, transfer to Mandalay hotel. Remaining day in Mandalay at leisure.

    ACCOMMODATION 1 Night in MANDALAY

    Day 9: Mandalay Inle Lake  ( Meals: B )

    This morning catch a flight to Heho airport, then drive to Nyaung Shwe beside glorious Inle Lake. Stop at Shwe Yanghwe Kyaung (Shwe Yan Pyay) – the unique oval windows of its ancient teak ordination hall are the subject of hundreds of photographs – then board a local boat to start your exploration of Inle Lake. Along the way you will gain a fascinating insight into life on the waterways of Inle Lake, passing fishermen famous for their curious ‘leg-rowing’ technique and lush ‘floating gardens’ where local farmers grow a surprising variety of fruit and vegetables. Visit Nga Hpe Kyaung Monastery, also known as ‘Jumping Cat Monastery’, then continue to Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, the lake’s main sanctuary which contains five sacred Buddha images whose shapes have been distorted by the enormous amount of gold leaf applied to them by devotees. You may also have time to stop off at some villages known for their local crafts such as the weaving village of Inpawkhone, a Silversmiths’ village and a community which specialises in the production of hand-made ‘cheroot’ (typical Burmese cigars). This evening you will spend the night at a lovely hotel on the shores of Inle Lake.

    ACCOMMODATION 2 Nights in INLE LAKE

    Day 10 Inle Lake

    Start the day with a visit to the region’s morning market, which rotates its location around the lake’s villages in a 5-day rhythm and is visited by all kinds of people from surrounding villages and hill tribes. The market is not just a place for trade, it is also an important central meeting place for the locals in the region. Later, cruise along foliage cloaked canals to the lakeside village of In Dein. Here you will explore the ancient stupas of Nyaung Ohak and Shwe Inn Thein Paya. The structures date from the 17th and 18th centuries and while some have been restored, many of the intricately carved stupas are crumbling, weather beaten and choked with Banyan tree roots and other thick foliage. These crumbling remains of a glorious past are hauntingly beautiful in their ruined state.

    Day 11 Inle LakeYangon

    Transfer to the airport for flight to Yangon. Arrival transfer to hotel. Rest of day at leisure ACCOMMODATION 1 Night in YANGON

    Day 12 Departure Yangon

    Transfer to the airport for flight home.

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