PDI
Feel the Burm

This document contains essential information that you need to prepare for, as well as information you will need during your holiday with us.

We ask that you read it carefully and that you take the document with you on your holiday. It contains information on visas, vaccinations, spending money, etc, as well as a detailed, day by day itinerary of your trip.


your-trip

Nuts and Bolts

  • Expert English-speaking local tour guide throughout the tour.
  • Visit the iconic Shwedagon Pagoda in Rangoon
  • Bicycle tour of the archaeological site of Pagan.
  • Inle Lake boat tour.
  • Drive and walk to the sacred Golden Rock at Kyaiktiyo, with an overnight stay.
  • Free time to explore Rangoon, Mandalay, Pagan and Inle Lake.
  • Public ferry from Pagan to Mandalay.
  • Local flight from Heho to Rangoon.
  • Overnight train from Rangoon to Thazi, en route to Pagan.

Summary of accommodation, transport & meals

Transport

  • Aircon bus
  • Bicycle
  • Boat
  • Ferry
  • Local bus
  • Longboat
  • Plane
  • Train
  • Trishaw
  • Truck

Accommodation

  • 13 nights Hotel
  • 1 night Overnight train

Meals

  • 13 breakfasts

not-included

International flights, arrival and departure transfers, departure and airport taxes, visas, all other meals, all optional tours or activities during free time, transfers outside of the tour program, travel insurance, tips and items of a personal nature.

optional-extras

  • Inle - Shan Palace Museum
    US$2
  • Mandalay - Kuthodaw Paya N/A
    US$10
  • Mandalay - Puppet Show
    US$13 (approx)
  • Mandalay Palace N/A
    US$10
  • Mandalay Zone (includes Mandalay Palace, Kuthodaw Pagoda, Kyauktawgyi Pagoda, Shwenandaw Kyaung, Atumashi, Bagaya Monastery, Mahamuni Temple, Mandalay Hill, Amarapura and Ava)
    10,000 kyats (approx. US$10)
  • Maymyo (Pyin Oo Lwin) - National Kandawgyi Garden
    US$5
  • Mingun - Mingun Zone and Sagaing
    3000 kyats (approx. US$3)
  • Pagan (Bagan) - Archaeological Museum 
    US$5
  • Rangoon (Yangon) - Bogyoke Aung San Museum N/A
    US$2
  • Rangoon (Yangon) - National Museum
    US$5
  • Rangoon (Yangon) - Sule Pagoda
    US$2
  • Rangoon(Yangon) - Gems Museum
    US$5

preparing-to-travel

Visas and Permits

Burma

Visas for Burma should be obtained prior to departure (unless on a Burma sailing trip, in which case please see below information on Burma sailing trips). If your country of residence has a Burma consulate the process of obtaining a visa prior to departure is quite simple. For a select few nationalities you may be required to provide a letter of invitation from a local Burmese ground operator. In such cases please contact your booking agent who should be able to organise one of these letters on your behalf.

Visas on arrival to Burma are currently unavailable. You should obtain your visa prior to departure. In special circumstances, we can help to provide a visa on arrival, and if there is no Burmese Embassy in your home country. We are unable to help with a visa on arrival if you are within a month of departure. If you would like us to help with visa on arrival, please contact us.

The above information has been put together as a guide. We do endeavor to update this information as much as possible but it’s also important that you check for yourself as visas are the responsibility of the traveller.

BURMA SAILING: If you are travelling on our Burma Sailing trip ex Thailand (GTYH), your visa will be issued as a group visa on arrival at the border crossing between Thailand/Myanmar.

Please bring:

2 photocopies of the front page of your passport

2 passport photos

Crisp USD for fees

The cost of a 30 day Tourist Visa is US$30 and all travellers must pay an additional US$20/day Mergui Archipelago park fee. Please allow approximately US$200 (which should cover any unforeseen increases).

government-travel-advice

Many governments publish up-to-date travel advice for countries around the world. Information is gleaned from both local and international sources as well as ‘friendly’ governments, and the notices are often on the cautious side. Sometimes there will be conflicting information. For example, the Australian, UK and Canadian governments may agree on the nature of the advice; however, frequently they do not. And sometimes the views expressed by a particular government can be coloured by political considerations. We will monitor these travel advisories closely and may alter itineraries or cancel trips as a result. However, it is also your responsibility to stay informed and form a balanced view. We recommend that you visit the websites or contact the departments listed below. Unless otherwise stated, it is not normally the intention of the relevant government travel advice to dissuade you from travelling. Rather, it is to inform you of where and when you should exercise caution to avoid problems. Please also note that, as a responsible tour operator, we maintain constant links with our ground operators and your safety - at all times - is our paramount concern. You can check your government's latest travel advice at one of the links below:

Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade 
UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office
Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade
U.S. Department of State New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Medical---prep

We strongly recommend you visit your doctor to discuss health requirements for your trip. They will advise you regarding the appropriate inoculations. In some places anti-malaria medication may also be required. Some vaccines need to be administered a few weeks before departure so allow yourself plenty of time. Obtain a certificate of vaccination and carry this with you on this trip. A dental check up is also highly recommended

Vaccinations

Vaccinations may be required for this trip. Please consult your doctor or a travel health specialist. The choice of vaccinations can depend on a range of issues including the specific destination, the duration of the trip, your personal health and of course what vaccines you have had before.
Routine Background Vaccines: We strongly endorse current public health recommendations that all travellers should be up-to-date with their routine vaccines such as tetanus, diphtheria, measles/mumps/rubella, polio and influenza, and paediatric vaccinations for children.

Vaccinations may be required for this trip. Please consult your doctor or a travel health specialist. The choice of vaccinations can depend on a range of issues including the specific destination, the duration of the trip, your personal health and of course what vaccines you have had before.
Routine Background Vaccines: We strongly endorse current public health recommendations that all travellers should be up-to-date with their routine vaccines such as tetanus, diphtheria, measles/mumps/rubella, polio and influenza, and paediatric vaccinations for children.
Travel Vaccinations: While the food and water-borne diseases such as hepatitis A and typhoid will apply to most of our travellers, other travel vaccines such as hepatitis B, rabies, meningitis, Japanese encephalitis and cholera may apply to select travellers, especially long-term travel. Travel health experts can advise on what is required and also what is not required!
It is your responsibility to ensure that you obtain any vaccinations or preventative medicines for the countries you are visiting – or any which may be required by your home country upon your return. To find out which, if any, vaccinations are mandatory or recommended for your destination contact your local doctor, immunisation centre or medical centre for up-to-date information. If you need to arrange vaccinations or a supply of preventative medicine (e.g. malaria tablets), you should contact your doctor at least two months before you depart. Some inoculations require more than one visit and can take several weeks to administer the full course.

For travellers from Australia and New Zealand, we recommend the Travel Doctor-TMVC clinics (see www.traveldoctor.com.au or phone 1300 658 844 for an appointment in Australia). Travellers from countries other than Australia and New Zealand should contact similar organisations or their travel doctor for advice. General health and vaccination information is available to all travellers at www.traveldoctor.com.au/travelreport. Some vaccines require more than one dose, so arrange for your visit at least 4-6 weeks before you travel.

Carry Your Certificate

You should be issued with an International Certificate of Vaccination booklet that records each vaccination. Always carry this with you on your travels; it could provide essential information for doctors in the event that you fall ill whilst travelling.

Malaria: There is no vaccination against malaria, which is transmitted by mosquito bites and is a risk in the tropical areas. Protection against mosquito bites is essential and where the risk is considered high, anti-malarial medications are recommended. Anti-malarial medications should be discussed with experts as there are different medications available and not all medications suit all people or all destinations. We prefer that trekkers to altitude try to avoid the use of mefloquine (Lariam) if possible.

copies-of-key-docs

We recommend that you photocopy the main pages of your passport, your airline ticket, itinerary, insurance policy, traveller’s cheques and credit card. Keep one set of photocopies with you, separate from the originals. Leave one set of copies at home with family or friends. It is also worth taking some extra passport photos with you in case of additional visas, permits or other unforeseen paperwork.

what-to-take

General Packing List

Remember - the lighter you travel the better! You may be buying things as you go, so you should not bring too much from home. Many people find a backpack the most suitable type of luggage for our holidays. Medium-sized suitcases can also be used; however, you should avoid the large, bulky cases that are difficult to carry. The lockable suitcases on wheels are the best types to use. Be aware that some hotels in Asia are not over-endowed with lifts (elevators) and there may be occasions when you need to carry your luggage up stairs or along railway platforms, etc.

When packing, consider cultural differences which may mean that some attire that we wear at home is not appropriate in Asia and may be offensive to the local people. Beachwear in towns is not appropriate, nor is 'short' shorts, particularly for women. Light cotton pants are a better option. When visiting sites of religious significance, modest clothing should be worn. Sandals, thongs, flip-flops or jandals are appropriate footwear in the tropics.

When you pack your clothing, consider the climate at the time of year you are travelling and any specific requirements for your trip as at certain times of the year some of the items suggested in the list that follow may not be necessary. Bear in mind that the weather will vary significantly from place to place. The majority of time the weather is warm in South East Asia; however, it may be distinctly cold up in the highlands. If there are specific requirements for a trip, these will be noted in the separate country section, or in the Trip Notes relating to that trip. Please note that in the last few years, the world’s weather pattern has gone somewhat awry. The effects of ‘El Nino’ and ‘La Nina’ are very real and this has resulted in unseasonable droughts followed by unseasonable deluges. Be prepared for the unexpected! Laundry facilities are available in some destinations.
 
Below is a list of equipment and documentation that we suggest you take with you. Please use this checklist as a guide when packing for your holiday.

  • Travel documents: passport, visa (if required), travel insurance, air tickets or e-ticket receipts, Trip Notes
  • Photocopy of main passport pages, visa (if required), travel insurance and air tickets
  • Spare passport photos
  • Money: cash/credit card/EFTPOS card
  • Money belt
  • Small padlocks
  • Metal chain and padlock to secure luggage on overnight trains – additional precaution
  • Small first-aid kit
  • Daypack for use on day or overnight excursions
  • Watch/alarm clock and torch/flashlight (and spare batteries)
  • Electrical adapter plug
  • Toiletries/roll of toilet paper/travel wipes
  • Insect repellent
  • Sunscreen, lip balm, sunhat and sunglasses
  • Earplugs and eye mask (for light sleepers)
  • Extra pair of prescription glasses (if required)
  • 2 strong plastic garbage bags (for laundry and in case of rain)
  • Refillable water bottle
  • Phrase book
  • Warm clothes - when travelling in cooler climates
  • Wind and waterproof jacket
  • Comfortable and sturdy walking shoes with good walking socks
  • Camera and spare film (or recharge for digital cameras)
  • Binoculars

Medical Kit

It is a good idea to take a small medical kit with you, and you should consider packing the following items:

Antibiotics, Lip-balm, moisturiser, sunscreen, headache tablets, antiseptic (e.g. Betadine), anti-diarrhoea tablets (for changes in diet and water), laxatives, band-aids/moleskin/dressing strips for blisters, small scissors/tweezers. Note that moleskin is particularly good for blisters and can be obtained from any pharmacy.

It is also recommended to carry a letter from your doctor explaining any less common prescribed medications that you may be carrying.

Diarrhoea

Stomach upsets are not uncommon when travelling through new destinations (usually a 24 - 48 hour 'bug') and this may cause diarrhoea, leading to dehydration. Should you develop a stomach upset you should eat only in moderation and drink plenty of fluids. It is a good idea to carry a couple of sachets of rehydrants with you (such as Gastrolite). We also suggest that you carry one of the common anti-diarrhoea tablets such as Imodium.

Sunstroke

It can be quite easy to get sun burnt when you are not accustomed to the sun in new climates. You should take sensible precautions such as wearing a hat and using a good UV sunscreen. Finally, drink plenty of fluids - preferably water.

Water

In general, water is not safe to drink in the areas through which we travel. Bottled Water is widely available and most travellers prefer to drink this. Your guide can assist you in regards to the relative safety of tap water and the availability of bottled water on each tour. When walking, or in hot conditions, you must make a conscious effort to maintain your hydration, drinking as much water/tea as possible to offset fluid loss.


money

Currency

Burma

The unit of currency is the kyat (pronounced 'chat'). One kyat is divided into 100 pyas, which are coins and not used any longer as the kyat has devalued quite significantly in recent times. The following kyat notes are used: 100, 200, 500, 1000 and 5000. Smaller notes may be encountered, but are now generally worthless.

Exchange rates

Check out www.xe.com for current exchange rates.

Accessing Money

Burma

The US dollar is now widely used in Burma and it is suggested that you carry US cash in various denominations for use as spending money. Few if any other major currencies can be readily exchanged or used. However - very important - do not bring in any US dollar bank notes that are in any way torn, nicked, stained, significantly creased or even folded, as these will not be accepted. The best place to change your money is upon arrival at the airport, as the exchange rate is now locked to the US dollar. It is also possible to change money readily at your joining hotel. Bring some high denomination bank notes because you get a higher rate of exchange when changing into local currency. The best exchange rates are in Rangoon, so it's best to exchange most of your money there.

Personal Expenses

South East Asia

You will need to take money with you to cover sightseeing, entrance fees, meals and drinks. Other costs to consider are drinking water, tips, laundry, souvenirs, additional activities during free time and possible delays. It is much better to come with more than you would expect to spend and to end the trip with a surplus, rather than being caught short! It is always useful to carry an additional amount for emergencies that could happen en route. If there is a medical emergency you are sometimes required to pay at the source and be reimbursed later by your insurance company.

How Much Money? In our trip notes we have suggested an appropriate allowance for additional meals. This does not include alcoholic drinks, e.g. beer. In addition to this you should carry sufficient funds for optional activities, additional sightseeing, shopping and tips. As a guideline we suggest that you allow $US15-20 per day (or maybe less!) in Asia would allow you to eat and drink reasonably well. Emergency Funds In the unlikely event of an emergency of a personal nature or unforseen changes to the Gecko's schedule, we recommend you have access to an additional US$300 to cover any costs that may arise as a result of these events.

Spending Money

You will need to take money (US dollar cash) with you to cover all additional expenses not included in your tour cost. These include food, drinks, optional sightseeing, tips, laundry, souvenirs and possible delays. If in doubt, bring more than you think you will need. It is always useful to carry an additional amount for emergencies. If there is a medical emergency you are sometimes required to pay at the time; providing your claim falls within the scope of your policy, your insurance company will make reimbursement later. Please note: You cannot use credit cards or traveller’s cheques in Burma. Only US dollar cash will be accepted.

In our brochure we have suggested an appropriate allowance for additional meals (US$180). This is for FOOD ONLY and does not include drinks and snacks. As a result of customer feedback we recommend you allow a figure of between US$80 and $120 for your DRINK and SNACK requirements, additional to the amount suggested in the brochure for meals. Use a higher figure particularly if you are travelling during the hot season when you will require more fluids.

In addition you should carry sufficient funds for extra sightseeing and optional activities. We suggest that you allow approximately US$50- $80 for additional sightseeing tours.

Shopping is a personal thing that, again, varies enormously. On average, people spend anywhere between US$50 and US$200 on souvenirs, art, tailor-made clothes etc.

Airport Taxes

Burma

Departure taxes for international and domestic flights are now generally included in your ticket price.

Tipping

If you're happy with the services provided a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it's of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many of our destinations. Although can be difficult to source we advise you to carry small notes of local currency each day to make tipping easier.

The following amounts are per person suggestions based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers: Restaurants: Local markets and basic restaurants - round your bill up to the nearest US$1. More up-market restaurants we suggest 10% to 15% of your bill.

Local guides: Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your tour leader. We suggest US$2-US$3 per day for local guides.

Drivers: You may have a range of drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while others may be with you for several days. We would suggest a higher tip for those more involved with the group, however we suggest US$1-US$2 per day for drivers.

Your Tour Leader: You may also consider tipping your tour leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline US$2-US$4 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.

In total, we recommend you budget approx US$5-US$10 per day of your trip to cover tipping. At your group meeting on Day 1 your tour leader will discuss with you the idea of running a group tipping kitty, whereby everybody contributes an equal amount and then your tour leader pays the tips while keeping a running record of all monies spent (except restaurant tips). The record can be checked at any time and any money remaining at the end of the tour returned to group members. This is often the easiest way to avoid the hassles of needing small change and knowing when and what is an appropriate amount to tip.

Please don't tip with coins, very small denomination notes, or dirty and ripped notes. This is regarded culturally as an insult.

 

 


while-you-are-travelling

On arrival

Please refer to your tour itinerary for the name and address of the joining hotel. There will be a pre-tour briefing in the foyer of the hotel in the evening, after which your tour leader will suggest a restaurant for dinner. If you arrive late at the hotel, and are unable to attend this meeting, please ensure that you attend the briefing to be held tomorrow morning.

If you have not pre-booked an arrival transfer, you will find taxis available on arrival at Mingaladon Airport, but you will need to negotiate a price with the driver beforehand (approximately US$6). The drivers can be very opportunistic, so be aware! Opportunistic black marketeers may also tell you that you are required by law to exchange money. Please note that this is no longer required. You will find that neither the bank at the airport nor the taxi driver will offer you a favourable rate. Please check with your tour leader upon arrival where to exchange money.

On arrival at your hotel please check the notice board in the lobby for any messages from your tour leader regarding your pre-departure meeting. Please bring your passport and travel insurance documents to the briefing.

Hotel Check In / Check Out

Generally, your room will be available from around midday as Check In and Out times are midday according to hotel policy. Sometimes it may be available mid-morning but this is in no way guaranteed. If your flight is scheduled to arrive in the early morning you may have to wait until a room becomes available. Alternatively you can book one night's 'pre-tour accommodation' which will ensure that your room is ready whenever you arrive. Please refer to the 'Additional Services' panel in the pricing page of our brochure. When arriving early after an overnight rail journey, it is not always possible to check into your hotel immediately. Please be patient and wait for your tour guide’s instructions. Normally the leader will arrange a day room for guests to share if it is not possible for all rooms to be ready at once. Rooms must generally be vacated by 12.00 noon unless you have made prior arrangements with the hotel reception. If you want to keep your room for longer you may have to pay an additional charge. Please ensure that you settle all bills (eg mini-bar, phone calls) when you check out. If you are sharing a room with someone who is checking out before you make sure they pay their bills at reception or you collect some money to cover their bills as you will be asked to pay upon check out.

Photo etiquette

Please ask first if you want to take someone's photograph. This is just a normal courtesy and if you are refused permission please abide by that person's wishes. At certain ancient sites, and in most museums, photography (video or still) may be forbidden, or may incur an extra charge for camera-use. Do not take photos of buildings, structures and personnel of potential military significance (including airports, bridges, and police stations).

Flexibility and patience

Travelling with us can provide you with some really rewarding travel experiences. Our tours visit countries where travel modes and lifestyles are often not as sophisticated as our own. There is also a laid-back attitude amongst workers and there will often seem to be huge amounts of red tape and bureaucracy when doing the simplest things. You will enjoy your trip much more if you slip into the rhythm of local life and are prepared to take things as they come.

A word on drugs

In most countries even the smallest quantity of an illegal substance is considered a very serious offence and can carry lengthy jail terms. Avoid any contact with illegal drugs. Don’t put yourself and others at risk and never carry bags or luggage for other people. Any person found to be carrying or using illegal drugs will be asked to leave the trip immediately without the right to any refund.

Local Prices

Burma

Burma is a very inexpensive country. A cheap meal should cost you between US$2-US$4 and a beer will set you back approximately US$1.


other-important-information

Burma Flights

Although all attempts are made to secure air tickets for our groups, due to the way in which airlines in Burma manage their seat allocations, last-minute changes to internal flights are common and our groups may be re-booked on to an earlier or later flight times than originally scheduled. There may also be instances where the group has to be split over different flights throughout the day. In the event that this happens, group members could be unaccompanied on the flight, but will be assisted by additional tour escorts on departure and arrival at both ends. We appreciate your patience with this unavoidable situation.

Local Tour Guides

By employing and training local site guides to lead our group holidays, there is a two-fold benefit. Firstly, we provide employment opportunities for the local community. Just as importantly is the benefit to you, the traveller. Your tour guide’s friendship, humour, passion and intimate knowledge of the region will be key factors in making your holiday a success.

Mobile Phone and Internet Coverage

Until recently there was little or no mobile phone coverage or internet access coverage in Burma, but this is also now changing rapidly. Both are now widely available, most of the time and in most locations.

Hot-air Ballooning in Pagan 

There is a company which operates hot air ballooning flights in Pagan. Such flights only take place around sunrise for about an hour and are entirely subject to suitable weather conditions, especially low wind conditions and good visibility. In the hotter times of the year, the number of passengers who can be carried within required safety parameters reduces considerably. It is not possible for us to make bookings for hot-air ballooning in advance of our arrival in Pagan. If any clients wish to make a booking at that time, we can then provide contact details for the ballooning company who can then advise if they have any vacancies for the following day. As at March 2013 the cost of such flights was about US$300. Such flights are not a part of any service offered by Peregrine and any participants will be required to sign indemnity releases provided by the ballooning company.

Breakfasts 

The standard of hotel breakfasts provided in Burma often does not meet the expectations of many of our travellers. It is certainly not up to the high standards encountered elsewhere in Asia. The food provided in Burma is often basic and plain. Tourism is still in its infancy and much of the country's tourism industry is still learning how to cater for the needs of foreign tourists. We ask you for your patience and understanding with regard to this. 

Burma is a Developing Country

Please note that Burma is a developing country whose infrastructure, values, customs and standards may differ from what you expect in your homeland. Expect poor road conditions and be prepared for some inconveniences such as restaurants and tourist sites being closed from time to time. Sometimes the transportation may be altered or the itinerary may be changed due to circumstances beyond our control. It is also presently experiencing an unprecedented rapid increase in tourism. Burma does not have the infrastructure to deal with this sudden influx and demand for hotels are outstripping supply, therefore resulting in overbooking and hotels not honouring established contracts. As a result some tour groups may be moved from original hotels to other hotels that can accommodate our groups. We will always endeavour to secure alternative hotels of similar standards, but this may sometimes result in our groups having to stay away from the centre of town.

This is an adventure trip and we hope to expose you to all aspects of the local culture. Please be open-minded. 

Local Emergency Contact 

In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, please call the Geckos Burma (Myanmar) emergency contact number: +95 1 420254468.

Grassroots Adventures

Please note that the accommodation facilities here are basic, but provide you with an authentic experience of how these people live. You may wish to bring an inner sleeping sheet for the train journeys, but please note that this is not a necessity. For light sleepers, we recommend that you bring ear-plugs and eye-patches.

For certain departures, this itinerary may be operated in the reverse direction to that shown here. Occasionally it may be necessary to amend this itinerary for reasons beyond our control such as weather and road conditions. Changes to domestic train schedules occur frequently and with little notice: any such changes may necessitate some alterations to this itinerary.

Begging

At some of the tourist sites and in the cities it is possible you will come across beggars. This can prove an uncomfortable encounter especially for inexperienced travellers. There are many genuine beggars, however there are also those who find the lifestyle easier than working and these people often see tourists as easy prey. As a general rule, if you feel the impulse to give, you should be discreet in the giving. Never make a show of it, as you will attract a crowd, which brings with it its own set of problems. There are often charities that take care of the needy and it may be wise to give to them rather than to individuals begging.

Dress standards

In places you should dress conservatively to avoid attracting unwanted attention and so as not to offend the local population. This is especially applicable to women travellers. Dress rules also apply at many of the religious sites.


daily-itin

Feel the Burm

Trip Length

Trip Code

15 days

GTBU

 

Countries Visited

Burma

 

Start City

End City

Rangoon

Rangoon

gtbu

 

Day 1-2: Rangoon (YANGON) - OVERNIGHT TRAIN

Meals included: 1 breakfast

Accommodation: Yuzana Garden or similar, Yangon

Shwedagon Pagoda is made from 8688 sheets of gold and encrusted with 5448 diamonds and 2317 rubies. That’s more bling than a bunch of rappers at a Mr T convention.

Day 1

  • Arrive in Rangoon and spend time getting acquainted with this unique destination
  • Attend a Welcome Meeting at 6pm

Day 2

  • Go on an orientation tour around the busy streets of Rangoon (now officially known as Yangon)
  • See Rangoon's most famous structure Shwedagon Pagoda - resplendent with a golden spire that dominates the skyline
  • Optional visit to Sule Pagoda, located in the centre of the city
  • Enjoy some free time, perhaps visit some other important temples and pagodas or shop at the centrally located Bogyoke Market
  • Transfer to central railway station for a train to Pagan (Bagan)

Day 3-4: Pagan (Bagan)

Meals included: 1 breakfast

After an overnight train, discover the magnificent archaeological site of Pagan (Bagan). Riding a bike, explore many of the temples, stupas and pagodas that litter the lush plains.

  • Arrive into Pagan (Bagan) after an overnight train journey and a road transfer - once the capital of a great civilisation dating from 849 AD to 1287
  • Over 2000 monuments dot the plains by the banks of the river, a testament to the city's glorious past
  • Spend a whole day exploring these wonderful temples on bicycle - some still contain frescoes from historic times
  • The spires of many of them form a dramatic skyline and provide excellent vantage points to view the other temples and pagodas
  • Nyaung U itself has one of the more interesting markets to be found in the country

 

Day 5-7: Mandalay

Meals included: 3 breakfasts

Perhaps see the Buddhist monk procession over U-bien Bridge at sunset, take a optional boat ride on the Irrawaddy River and witness daily rural life unfolding and, in nearby Mingun, see the big bell and the foundations for what would have been the world’s biggest stupa.

  • Board a public ferry before dawn and cruise up the Irrawaddy (Ayeyarwady) River to Mandalay
  • Arrive at our inner-city hotel
  • Take the chance to go an optional trip to Mandalay Hill, for a sunset view over town
  • Go on another optional excursion, this time by boat on the Irrawaddy River up to the village of Mingun, home to the world’s largest unfinished pagoda, as well as a gigantic bell
  • In your free time, perhaps visit some of the surrounding elaborate pagodas or temples around town - Kyauktawgyi Paya, Kuthodaw Paya (home to the 'world’s biggest book') and Shwenandaw Kyaung
  • Maybe take a half-day trip up to the hill town of Maymyo (Pyin-u-Lwin)

 

Day 8: Kalaw

Meals included: 1 breakfast

En route to Inle Lake we stay in Kalaw, this town is nestled in rugged mountain scenery and has a backpacker vibe with many options for hikes.

  • En route to Inle Lake, stay in the chilled town of Kalaw - sitting high on the western edge of the Shan Plateau and once a popular hill station in British colonial days, now a backpacker mecca
  • Perhaps go on a hike in the area
  • If you prefer to chill there's plenty of 'teashops' serving chai (Indian-style tea), where you can enjoy great interaction with the locals

 

Day 9-11: Inle Lake

Meals included: 3 breakfasts

Encircled by towering mountains deep in the highlands, Inle Lake is absolutely stunning. From our base in the township of Nyaungshwe, enjoy a full day boat tour of the lake, see the floating gardens and markets, and the artistry of the leg-rowing Intha fishermen. We have a free day to explore Inle Lake.

  • Journey to the highlands of the Shan State, spend a couple of nights at the township of Nyaungshwe, next to Inle Lake (the road condition is pretty poor here, prepare for some long and arduous travelling on this stretch)
  • Enjoy a full-day lake tour by long-boat, visit some local villages, explore unique temples and monasteries, and meet the famous local leg-rowing fishermen from the Intha tribe
  • Perhaps enjoy walks in the beautiful surrounding countryside, or simply appreciate the cool climate - a welcome respite from the heat of the plains

 

Day 12-13: Kyaikhtiyo - Bago - Rangoon (Yangon)

Meals included: 2 breakfasts

We travel to Heho and catch a flight to Rangoon. We then head to Kyaiktiyo and spend the night on the hilltop alongside the incredible balancing rock - one of the country’s most holy and moving sites. Afterwards, drop in to Bago to see the reclining, 55 metre-high Shwethalyaung Buddha, before returning to Rangoon.

  • Transfer to Heho and join a flight to Rangoon,
  • Drive out of town to Kyaiktiyo, where we spent a night near the Golden Rock
  • It is a five-hour drive to the base camp at Kinponsakan, where we transfer to an open truck and drive for 45 minutes up a steep hill to Rathedaung
  • Trek up a path following groups of Buddhist pilgrims - this is one of the holiest sites in Burma
  • Accommodation standards here are quite basic - it is a place of pilgrimage rather than a resort
  • Return to the lowlands. Bago, formerly known as Pegu, is a small town with some of the most famous structures in the country
  • Visit the reclining 55 metre-high Shwethalyaung Buddha, before returning to Rangoon

 

Day 14-15: Rangoon (Yangon)

Meals included: 2 breakfasts

We have a free day to explore Rangoon so there will be time to visit some of Rangoon's other sights or shop for souvenirs in Bogyoke Market. Our tour finishes after breakfast on Day 15.

Day 14

  • Enjoy a free day
  • Perhaps find your way to the monastery of the Reclining Buddha (Chaukhtatgyi Paya), visit the National Museum or shop at Bogyoke Market

Day 15
The trips end after breakfast on Day 15.

 

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The information provided here is given in good faith and has been compiled with all reasonable care. However, things change and some of the information may become out of date. Please ensure that you have the most up-to-date information for your trip. We recommend that you check the trip notes for your tour around one month before departure. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff in Australia. We are here to help you!

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Last Updated

4 April 2014

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