Land Arrangements per person, double occupancy
14 Day, Private, customized tour with private driver and guide
Breakfast And Lunch Meals Daily
Does Not Include International Airfare, Round-Trip to Bangkok, Thailand
Depart the United States, crossing the International Dateline to arrive the next evening into Bangkok, your gateway to exploring the fascination and wonder that is Myanmar.
Flight arrival into Bangkok, where the gracious and sincere welcome by the Thai people makes the pleasure of your stay so meaningful and experience. Your stay in Bangkok offers a night of rest and relaxation prior to joining your onward flight to Myanmar for the start of a remarkably rewarding journey.
A morning flight wings you above the jungle carpet and the glittering temples of Thailand to the “Land of Pagodas” and one of the world’s least traveled countries. Even today, in this era of global tourism, Myanmar remains cloaked in ancient mysteries. Yangon, the capital is the largest city and until the 18th century was only a small fishing village. The warm welcome given visiting tourists by the Burmese people adds to the enjoyment of your stay. Begin your exploration of Yangon by viewing the 2,000-year-old Sule Pagoda, followed by a visit to the central Bogyoke Market, which brings you past many of the colonial-era architectural sites and a major highlight of your journey to Myanmar with a slow-paced walking tour of the Shwedagon Pagoda. (B, L)
Today’s drive takes you Pegu (Bago) and the opportunity to visit the Thamanay Buddhist Seminary, the home for some 150 monks. Continue your tour with a visit to the Shwemawdaw Pagoda, which spire is the tallest in all of Asia. After enjoying a leisurely lunch, visit the town orphanage and en route back to Yangon; visit the WWII cemetery for fallen soldiers. Upon arrival in Yangon, make an evening visit to the Shwedagon Pagoda, adorned with thousands of precious and semi-precious gems, all surrounded by multi-layers of gold leaf. Buddhist pilgrims the world over visit the site and there is a never-ending flow of Burmese who make it their daily ritual to pass these hallowed grounds. An evening visit presents a magical experience with the flow of lights, steady stream of worshippers and tranquil setting throughout the grounds. Return to your accommodation for an evening of rest and relaxation. (B, L)
A morning flight lands you in He Ho, gateway to Inle Lake. Vast and beautiful, the lake stretches some 9 miles in length and 4 miles in breadth. It is here that you find the unique “leg rowers” who, while standing atop their longboat, wrap the lower leg around the oar and paddle their craft with fishing basket to the likely spot for a successful catch. Your visit will include visits to the local monastery, the marketplace, where given the day of the week, you may find some of the minorities from the surrounding hills within the market with their produce offered in barter and trade for necessities. (B, L)
After a leisurely breakfast, board your private launch, gliding across the waters to the western shore of the lake to discover the beauty of the hidden Indein Pagoda. You will follow a stair path leading to one of the most amazing sights on the shore of the lake, consisting of hundreds of small stupas laced with overgrown moss and vegetation. Continue on an easy pace along one of the many creeks, passing by rice paddies and cropland to the village of Sae Mae. Here you will have a first hand look at village life in one of the more remote regions of Burma. On your boat ride back across the lake, stop by a local monastery to observe some of their daily rituals. Return to your accommodation for the remainder of the day at rest and relaxation. (B, L)
Next morning, board your private watercraft and cross the lake to the beautiful farming village of Tha Le Oo, one of the most successful farming areas at Inle. The Inn Tha and Pa O ethnic minorities are skilled organic farmers, raising rice, sugar cane and a wide variety of vegetables. Your boat will glide along the waters of the agro trail that meanders from the lake through the village and the surrounding farmland, providing a dramatic view of village life untouched by modern development. You will have the opportunity to walk within the village to view the rural lifestyle of this remote environs and thereafter, return by boat to your accommodation for an evening at leisure. (B, L)
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast and relax before your midday flight above the plains and along the meandering Irrawaddy as you make way toward the magnificence of Bagan, one of the richest archaeological sites in Asia. Dating back to 108 A.D., the town was destroyed by Kublai Khan in 1287. Most of the 13,000 pagodas, stupas and temples, which once graced the plains of the town are now long gone; however, the remaining 2,000 or more orate the former elegance and stature once displayed throughout this land. Bagan was known as the capital of Buddhism during its “Golden Age” and knowledge of that historical reality provides the local inhabitants with a measure of pride that reads clearly across their faces and in their strides. To this very day, it remains a tranquil and wondrous town that, once visited, will always be remembered as a special place within your diary of treasured memories. Upon arrival, begin touring the town, ending the day at a vantage point that allows a dramatic view of a setting sun on the Irrawaddy. (B, L)
The panorama of temples and chortans against a backdrop of distant hillsides and the mighty Irrawaddy is as much an experience of feeling as it is a beautiful sight. Pictures cannot capture the essence of what is found on these plains; words cannot describe the emotions inspired by such beauty. Your guide will walk you along the paths of the important sites with a step and a story, providing a historical and local perspective as you enjoy your days of touring. In the afternoon, enjoy going off the beaten track by Ox cart, which provides you with a completely different perspective on sights from ground level and a first hand experience of how many locals make their way across the landscape. Should you choose, the opportunity of a sunset balloon flight is offered for those who wish to fly above the plains of Bagan, enjoying a bird’s eye view of the temples and chortans scattered over the plains. It is an exciting adventure, which often allows for a magnificent sunset and spectacular photography. Your touring of Bagan now completed, enjoy the remainder of the day and evening at leisure. (B, L)
After a leisurely breakfast, wing your way to the city of Mandalay. This former capital continues to represent the political, cultural, social and spiritual center of Myanmar. Travel some 10 miles outside the city to Amarapura and arriving at the Mahagandayon Monastery, where you will witness some one thousand monks having their one daily meal in total silence. Visit the nearby U Bein teak bridge, enormous in size and standing strong since its construction in 1782. After a leisurely lunch, enjoy a short boat ride across the river to the former royal capital, Inwa, where by horse cart, you will view some of the ancient sites still standing within the former capital city. Return to your accommodation to enjoy the evening at leisure. (B, L)
Begin today’s exploration of Mandalay with a visit to the Golden Palace Monastery, a superb example of a traditional wooden building, interlaced with innumerable passageways and rooms throughout the structure. The teakwood building has a beauty all its own and makes the visit all so worthwhile. Continue on to Mahamuni Pagoda, considered by many to be one of the most revered religious monuments in all of Myanmar. The gold leaf placed on the statuary by pilgrims paying homage, creates mounds of gold around the statue. Visits to the silver-workshop, where handcrafted filigree is one of their main specialties and to the gold leaf pounding site are both fascinating places to observe. The delicate nature of filigree and the sheer strength of the gold leaf pounders will leave a lasting impression upon you. Your day now complete, enjoy the remainder of the day at rest and relaxation. (B, L)
A morning drive brings you dockside to view the unique methods of dragging teakwood out of the river, up the riverbank and to the sawmill with the use of huge water buffalo that pull the logs out for local transport. Thereafter, a river passage by boat takes you along the waterway, which is the lifeline for many Burmese who use this mode of transport as well as its use as a conduit to carry merchandise to the various ports. One of the highlights of your passage will be to observe the unique sightings along the river, with its innumerable flow of boat traffic and the boat pullers along the shoreline, who with large ropes across their shoulders, help pull the boats up-river. Upon arrival at Mingun, disembark for a tour of the town, once was slated to be the site for Myanmar’s largest stupas. Left unfinished, one remnant of the project, the world’s largest bell, is still on site. Continue your tour with a visit to the Sagaing Hills, a Buddhist retreat and an excellent viewing site of the river and outlying hills. Return to your hotel where the remainder of the evening will be at leisure. (B, L)
Today’s flight wings you back to the city of Yangon to join your onward connecting flight to Bangkok, where you will have the remainder of the evening at leisure. (B)
All too soon your passage across Burma has drawn to a close and it is time to make your flight return back to the United States carrying with you those new-found friends and lasting memories to cherish for a lifetime. (B)
Burma, now called Myanmar, is a crossroads between Asian countries: Tibet and China to the north, India and Bangladesh to the west, Laos and Thailand to the east. As a result, it is a blend of several ethnicities and cultures.
Once the wealthiest nation in Southeast Asia under British rule, Myanmar has struggled politically and economically since its independence in 1948.
The present government, run by heads of state with strong military backing and influence, quite openly encourages tourism. They have rebuilt the roads, improved air transportation and safety, and constructed five-star hotels, making Myanmar a haven for those who prefer unique journeys away from crowded, more widely known, destinations.
The traveler who makes the trek to Myanmar is rewarded with many wondrous sites. Chief among them is the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon. A most holy shrine, the local Burmese make offerings to their favorite patron gods or Nats, from sunrise to sunset. In Pagan, the panoramic display of temples and chortans, a symbolic form of Buddhist architecture representing the various earthly elements and enlightenment, is one of the most breathtaking in all Asia.
In Myanmar, you can view well-preserved monuments and sights few outsiders have seen. The residents of Myanmar are gracious and welcome travelers with genuine warmth and hospitality.