PDI

Burma - The Golden Land (Myanmar)

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

What's Included

  • The services of an expert English-speaking local tour leader throughout the tour.
  • Local flights by private airline: Rangoon to Mandalay, Pagan to Heho (for Inle Lake), and Heho to Rangoon.
  • Sightseeing (including entrance fees where applicable): Rangoon - Shwedagon Pagoda and Karaweik Hall; Mandalay - Kuthodaw Pagoda and Mandalay Hill
  • Sightseeing (including entrance fees where applicable): Amarapura; Maymyo hill station; archaeological site at Pagan; Mount Popa - home to 'nats' (local deities)
  • Sightseeing (including entrance fees where applicable): Ancient centre of the Mon kingdom – Pegu; Shwemawdaw Pagoda; Shwethalyaung Buddha; and port city of Bassein.
  • Boat trip to Mingun - the site of the world's largest pagoda and unbroken bell.
  • Day ferry boat cruise down the Irrawaddy River (subject to water levels) from Mandalay to Pagan to discover rural Burma.
  • A full day discovering Inle Lake on a traditional long-tail boat.
  • Trek to ethnic minority villages on Shan Plateau.
  • Traditional Shan dinner.
  • Free time to explore Rangoon, Mandalay and Pagan.
  • Arrival transfer.
  • Accommodation: 16 nights comfortable hotel
  • Meals: 16 breakfasts, 1 dinner.

Not Included

  • International flights
  • Departure taxes (if required)
  • Visas
  • Other meals
  • Insurance
  • Tips
  • Any additional optional tours or activities
  • Spending of a personal nature, including drinks, laundry, souvenirs
  • Departure transfer
  • Daily budget

Optional Extras

  • Inle - Shan Palace Museum
    US$2
  • Mandalay - Puppet Show
    US$13 (approx)
  • Maymyo (Pyin Oo Lwin) - National Kandawgyi Garden
    US$5
  • Pagan (Bagan) - Archaeological Museum 
    US$5
  • 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

Please note that visa requirements can and do change. It is essential that you confirm requirements with the nearest relevant embassy or check with your travel agent before you travel. At the time of writing, a visa is required by most travellers visiting Burma (Myanmar) including Australians, New Zealanders, Americans, British and Canadians. All other nationalities should check with the Myanmar Embassy or Consulate in their country for up-to-date visa information. Tourist visas CANNOT be obtained on arrival in Yangon and Mandalay International Airport. The visa must be obtained in advance of travel from your nearest Myanmar Embassy prior to arriving in Burma. A letter of invitation is required when applying for your visa and this is supplied by our local operator. In order for us to arrange this letter you must provide your full passport details at time of booking. Please note that it will often take some days for your visa application to be processed, so your application should therefore be lodged well before you travel.

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

Passport

Please ensure that you have a current passport well before travelling. It also needs an accurate photo and should be valid for at least six months after you are scheduled to return home. Also check that your airline tickets are in exactly the same name as your passport.

Insurance

Every Peregrine traveller is required to have comprehensive travel insurance. This covers you for medical costs associated with hospitalisation, emergency travel and repatriation back to your home country. You can arrange your own insurance or we can recommend a policy for you. Remember to bring a copy of your insurance policy with you so your tour leader can record the details at the pre-tour briefing. If you arrive at your destination without travel insurance, you'll need to organise this before you can continue on your Peregrine journey.

Medical---prep

Apart from having travel insurance and being in generally good health, some pre-holiday health preparation is advised. We strongly recommend you visit your doctor to discuss health requirements for your trip. They will advise you regarding the appropriate inoculations and in some places anti-malarial medication may also be required. Some vaccines need to be administered a few weeks before departure so allow plenty of time. Obtain a certificate of vaccination and carry this with you on this trip. A dental checkup is also highly recommended before departure.

Vaccinations

Vaccinations may be required or recommended for this trip so you should consult with your travel doctor to obtain the latest up-to-date information. 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.

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.

Malaria: There is no vaccination against malaria, which is transmitted by mosquito bites and is a risk in many less-developed tropical areas in Africa, Latin America and South East Asia. 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. Where malaria is considered prevalent in mountainous regions 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.

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 Burma are not over-endowed with lifts (elevators) and there will be occasions when you need to carry your luggage up stairs or over rough roads and paths.

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. Shorts which only come down to the knees are often not acceptable for both men and women, and nor are singlets or bare shoulders. 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 at most of our hotels.

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, international air tickets or e-ticket receipts (domestic air tickets will be provided and held by your tour leader), Trip Notes
  • Photocopy of main passport pages, visa , travel insurance and air tickets (It’s wise to scan these and email them to yourself)
  • Spare passport photos
  • Money: US dollars cash (must be in very good condition)
  • Money belt
  • Small padlocks
  • 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 batteries(and charger)
  • A sleeping bag is not required on this trip.

 


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

Refer to 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 any additional meals/drinks not included in your tour cost. Other costs to consider are drinking water, tips, laundry, souvenirs, additional sightseeing 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? You should carry sufficient funds for meals, drinks, optional activities, additional sightseeing, shopping and tips. As a guideline we suggest that you allow US$20 per day in Asia would allow you to eat and drink reasonably well. Optional Tours & Activities We include many sightseeing activities on our trips; however, there are additional optional tours and activities that you may wish to undertake during your free time. These may incur additional expenses. These activities are not a mandatory part of our tours because, from past experience, we have found that our travellers have appreciated some free time whilst on tour.

Spending Money

This will be discussed with your tour leader at your initial briefing at the start of your trip.

Until the start of 2013 the situation was that no credit cards or traveller’s cheques were accepted for payment or for the purchase of any goods and services in Burma, and there were also no ATMs (automatic teller machines) in the country.

This situation is now changing. ATMs are starting to make an appearance in some parts of the country, especially in the larger cities, and some major credit cards are starting to be accepted in some locations, such as larger stores and hotels. However, the process is far from complete and we strongly suggest that you continue to bring US dollar notes in good condition, whilst knowing that it might be possible to use ATMs and credit cards occasionally.

Airport Taxes

Burma

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


while-you-are-travelling

Hotel Check In / Check Out

Generally, your room will be available from around midday. 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. Rooms must generally be vacated by 12 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.

Photo etiquette

If you want to take someone's photograph, please ask first . This is just 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, army barracks, 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.


other-important-information

Travelling During the Monsoon

Please note that the months between May and September constitute the monsoonal wet season. Most of our tour will be generally unaffected, but the range of activities available in the beach area down south (Ngwesaung) will be much more limited. During this time we will arrange visits to local villages where you can see how the villagers go about their daily lives.

Burma's Beach Areas

Burma's attraction lies in the fact that it is much less developed that other countries in South East Asia. Please note that this applies particular to the beach areas in the south. Do not expect the standards and level of infrastructure that you get in places like Thailand and Bali. Expect facilities to be much more basic in Burma, therein lies the charm!

Local Tour Leaders

By employing and training local 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 leader’s friendship, humour, passion and intimate knowledge of the region will be key factors in making your holiday a success.

Tipping

Tipping has become an accepted part of tourism in South East Asia. Your tour leader will be able to advise you in this area; however, as a guideline we would recommend tipping 10% of the total bill in restaurants and a small tip to hotel bellboys for carrying your bags.

At your pre-tour briefing your tour leader will discuss with you the idea of running a tipping kitty, whereby everybody contributes an equal amount and then the tour leader pays the tips and keeps a record of all monies spent (except restaurant tips). The amount for each member for the tipping kitty is around US$40 per person. The record can be checked at any time and any money remaining at the end of the tour is returned to group members. This is often the easiest way to avoid the hassles of endlessly needing small change and knowing what is an appropriate amount to tip.

It is customary to tip your tour leader, at the end of the trip, if you are happy with the service. A minimum tip of US$3 per day, from each member of the group, is the usual amount expected.

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.

On this trip you may link up with passengers on our ‘Burma Unveiled' tour.

 

daily-itin

Burma - The Golden Land (Myanmar)

Trip Length

Trip Code

17 days

PABG

 

Maximum Passengers

16 people

 

Countries Visited

Burma

 

Start City

End City

Rangoon

Rangoon

pabg

 

Day 1: Rangoon (Yangon)

Accommodation: Summit Park View or similar, Yangon

Activities:

  • Upon arrival in Rangoon (Yangon), you will be met and transferred to a centrally located hotel. You will meet your tour leader and the rest of the group. After a pre-trip briefing, you will adjourn for a group dinner in a restaurant nearby (cost not included).

Day 2: Rangoon (Yangon) - Mandalay

Meals included: 1 breakfast

Accommodation: Mandalay City Hotel or similar

Activities:

  • This morning you will set off to see one of the great sites of Rangoon. The extraordinary Shwedagon Pagoda and surrounding temples and edifices attract an eclectic mix of monks, pilgrims, worshippers, and tourists.
  • You will spend some time walking around the complex, learning about the history and the spiritual devotion of the area, and experiencing the ambience of this special place.
  • You will leave for the airport (seeing a little more of Rangoon along the way), where your tour leader will coordinate the check-in for your flight to Mandalay on a private airline.
  • Flight time is usually a little over an hour and after landing it is a 45-minute drive to the city, and your hotel for the next three nights. The rest of the afternoon is free – you could use this time to walk to one of the local markets, enjoy the hustle and bustle, take photos or bargain for local wares.

 

Day 3: Mandalay

Meals included: 1 breakfast

Accommodation: Mandalay City Hotel or similar

Activities:

  • You will make your way down to the city’s lively waterfront today, the perfect backdrop for your boat trip up-river to Mingun - the site of the world's largest pagoda (albeit unfinished), the world’s largest unbroken bell, and temples dating back hundreds, if not thousands of years.
  • The river is effectively a major trading, communication and commuting highway, and a wide range of boats, barges and steamers can be viewed along the way.
  • You will return to Mandalay late morning. This city was the former capital of Burma; though the surrounding countryside contains many towns that lay claim to the same title.
  • Later in the afternoon you will embark on a tour visiting the remnants of one of these once-great cities, Amarapura. Weather permitting; you may also view a spectacular sunset over the 200-year-old, two-kilometre-long, U Bein wooden bridge, either from land or by boat.
  • This evening you may wish to dine at your hotel, or your tour leader can recommend any number of great local restaurants: the selection of excellent dining options throughout this trip is extensive.

 

Day 4: Mandalay

Meals included: 1 breakfast

Accommodation: Mandalay City Hotel or similar

Activities:

  • Drive to one of Burma's most famous hill stations, Maymyo (Pyin U Lwin), will provide a welcome escape from the heat of the plains. Established during the colonial era in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, it is today a crossroad for traders coming over from China. This is reflected in the colourful local market.
  • If time permits, you will have the opportunity to explore the surroundings in a horse-drawn carriage called a 'myin-lay'.
  • English-style country mansions and Chinese temples dot the hillsides in a place accurately referred to as the 'vegetable garden' of Burma.
  • Later, you will return to Mandalay where the rest of the day will be spent visiting various temples, including the Kuthodaw Pagoda that claims to house the world's largest 'book'.
  • If there is time, you will then climb Mandalay Hill (236 metres). In times gone by this was an arduous walk, but these days, if in operation, a series of large escalators will do most of the work for you.
  • If conditions oblige, the sunset views from the summit are impressive and along the way there are many shrines of religious significance.

 

Day 5: Pagan (Bagan)

Meals included: 1 breakfast

Accommodation: Sky Palace Hotel or similar, Bagan

Activities:

  • You will depart early from the hotel today, and head for the waterfront to spend an entire day on a ferryboat as you cruise down the Irrawaddy (Ayeyarwady) River.
  • Along the way, you will witness the idyllic way of life that epitomises these parts of rural Burma, this is especially apparent in the fishing villages that lie along the riverbanks.
  • You will pass dozens of boats of different size and utility, a testament to the role this mighty river plays in the life of so many. There is a restaurant on board the ferry, and meals and drinks are readily available for purchase during the day.
  • In the evening you will arrive in Pagan (Bagan), one of the most impressive archaeological wonders of Asia, where you will be met and driven to the hotel.
  • (Due to the unpredictable nature of water levels and ferry operations on the Irrawaddy River between February and May, it is possible that some services may be cancelled during that period. Some of these cancellations may take place at the last minute and often without warning. If this is the case it may be necessary to fly between Mandalay and Pagan. There will be no extra cost for this flight).

 

Day 6: Pagan (Bagan)

Meals included: 1 breakfast

Accommodation: Sky Palace Hotel or similar, Bagan

Activities:

  • The sights of Pagan will be explored from dawn to dusk. Nyaung U's lively market contrasts with the eerie silence of the plains beyond, which are littered with over 4000 structures, including Gawdawpalin, Thatbyinnyu, Ananda and Shwezigon. The names of the temples and pagodas here are a testament to the glorious past of the region.
  • The area is also famous for producing lacquer-ware and sand paintings that are available in the stalls amidst the ruins.
  • You may be able to do some of today’s exploration by horse and cart, and weather permitting; you will also enjoy a breathtaking sunset view from one of the ruins.

 

Day 7: Pagan (Bagan)

Meals included: 1 breakfast

Accommodation: Sky Palace Hotel or similar, Bagan

Activities:

  • You will drive for an hour before arriving at Mount Popa today, an extinct volcano that is home to local spirits or deities known as nats.
  • For the energetic, you will have the chance to climb the 777 steps to the shrine at the top of the hill.
  • Returning to Pagan, you will visit a local village to observe the lifestyle of the people and talk with some of the villagers.
  • The afternoon is free for further exploration of this amazing area. You may like to hire a bicycle or take a horse and carriage and enjoy your own adventure around the archaeological sites.

 

Day 8: Inle Lake

Meals included: 1 breakfast

Accommodation: Khuang Daing Resort or similar, Inle Lake

Activities:

  • You will board a plane and fly to Heho today, which is situated in the Shan Plateau. From here, you will drive through picturesque countryside and rolling hills to your final destination, Khaungdaing, situated on Inle Lake not far from the main township, Nyaungshwe.
  • This afternoon you may like to rent a canoe (for about an hour) and row to Lin Kin village, famous for its floating garden in the lake.
  • On your way back you could stop at some of the village houses to see the process of making traditional snacks (optional and at extra cost).
  • You will notice that the weather is much cooler here due to the high altitude. At certain times of the year, some of our tours will stay in a different hotel, located up in the hills in Taunggyi.

 

Day 9: Inle Lake

Meals included: 1 breakfast

Accommodation: Khuang Daing Resort or similar, Inle Lake

Activities:

  • A full day will be spent on the lake exploring the floating gardens and catching a glimpse of the local Intha fishermen who are famous for their unique 'leg-rowing' technique. These people are different from the Shans; they originate from the south of the country.
  • The lake is also home to a wide array of bird-life including egrets, cranes, ducks, storks and birds of prey.
  • Visits may be made to some of the local villages and your stay may coincide with one of the market days: always exciting with much of the commuting being done by local people using the ubiquitous long-tail boats.

 

Day 10: Trekking - Inle Lake

Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 dinner

Accommodation: Khuang Daing Resort or similar, Inle Lake

Activities:

  • After breakfast at your hotel, you will transfer to the Indein ruins complex (about 45 minutes by long-tail boat).
  • On disembarking, you will discover a pagoda and stupas that were built in the 8th century. You can also browse through the rows of shops along the corridor uphill, or just marvel at the surroundings.
  • After spending some time here, you will embark on a walk towards Yankin, Pa O, and the Taung Yoe tribe village (1.5 km, approx 45 minutes). Along the way you will explore the mystery of more than 300 ancient stupas around the village, and then continue towards a Buddhist monastery (1 km, approx 30 minutes).
  • You will then head north through farmland and bamboo forest to Naydaw (1.5 km, approx 45 minutes) to visit the Taung Yoe ethnic tribe village.
  • From here you will turn south-west (5 km, approx 3 hours) through the valley, to reach west Taung Mauk, Pa O village.
  • Another 20 minutes will take you to east Taung Mauk village. Finally, you will turn east through the valley to Indein (3 km, approx 45 minutes) where you will meet a boat and return back to the hotel.
  • This evening you will enjoy a traditional Shan dinner and get to sample some of the local style culinary specialties.
  • Note: the amount of walking today will depend on individual and group fitness and wishes, and also the time of year. In the hotter months, from March to October, reduced distances are advisable, and arrangements can be discussed with your tour leader the day before.

 

Day 11: Kyaiktiyo

Meals included: 1 breakfast

Accommodation: Mountain top Hotel or similar, Kyaikhtiyo

Activities:

  • In the morning you will be transferred to Heho Airport for the flight back to Rangoon. Upon arrival you will be met by a private vehicle and travel by road to Kyaiktiyo.
  • It is suggested that you pack an overnight bag for the one-night stop in Kyaiktiyo. The remainder of your luggage can be stored on the bus which will be waiting at the base camp while you're visiting the pagoda.
  • It is approximately a five-hour drive to the base camp at Kinponsakan, where you will transfer to an open air truck with basic wooden bench style seating, and take a bumpy drive for 45 minutes up a steep hill to Rathedaung.
  • After disembarking, you will walk 45 minutes to the summit (1180 metres above sea level). Porters with sedan chairs are available (at an extra cost) to carry those who are unable to walk.
  • The Golden Rock (Kyaiktiyo Pagoda) is a place of pilgrimage for Buddhists. There is a small pagoda (7.3 metres high) built on a gold-gilded boulder, 25 metres in circumference, and balanced in what appears to be a very precarious position on a tabular rock, jutting out from a ridge in the Eastern Yoma Mountains.
  • Legend has it that the boulder is held in position by a strand of Buddha's hair. You will spend the evening walking around Kyaiktiyo (the name means 'pagoda borne on a hermit's head', in Mon language). Spending a night in Kyaiktiyo is one of Burma's most spiritual experiences.

 

Day 12: Pegu (Bago) - Rangoon (Yangon)

Meals included: 1 breakfast

Accommodation: Summit Park View or similar, Yangon

Activities:

  • If you are lucky you might have the chance to visit the pagoda early in the morning again before descending.
  • After descending from the summit, you will continue on the road that you travelled on yesterday, back to Rangoon.
  • Along the way you will stop at Pegu (Bago), the ancient centre of the Mon kingdom in the 13th century. Here you will 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.
  • After exploring Pegu, you will continue back to Rangoon for the night.

 

Day 13: Bassein (Pathein) - Ngwesaung

Meals included: 1 breakfast

Accommodation: Sunny Paradise Resort or similar, Ngwesaung beach

Activities:

  • Turning your attention towards the delta region, you will head west and drive for three-and-a-half hours to the port city of Bassein (Pathein), which is famous for its colourful hand-painted umbrellas (sometimes this stop will be made on Day 16, on the way back to Rangoon). You will see how these parasols are made on a visit to a local factory, before continuing on to the a little tropical paradise on the coast.

 

Day 14 - 15: Ngwesaung

Meals included: 2 breakfasts

Accommodation: Sunny Paradise Resort or similar, Ngwesaung beach

Activities:

  • Burma’s little-known secret is its beautiful coastline fronting the Indian Ocean. At Ngwesaung (pronounced ‘neway-song’) lies an un-spoilt white sand beach, 15 kilometres long and bordered by tall swaying palms.
  • You will have the chance to relax for a couple of days, staying in a hotel that has the lush settings of a resort.
  • You will have the chance to swim in the waters of the warm, blue tropical sea, visit small fishing villages and local markets, explore the countryside by bicycle, and enjoy optional boat trips to the beautiful off-shore islands (cost not included).
  • Please note that during the rainy season (May-September), some facilities may be closed and some activities may not be available due to inclement weather.

 

Day 16: Rangoon (Yangon)

Meals included: 1 breakfast

Accommodation: Summit Park View or similar, Yangon

Activities:

  • You will depart after breakfast and drive for approximately four hours back to the capital today. Along the way stop in Bassein (Pathein) to visit the local cottage industries and pay homage to those who gave their lives during World War II at the Htawk Kyant Commonwealth War Cemetery.
  • Depending on what time you arrive back in Rangoon, you may have free time to visit Sule Pagoda, which marks the centre of town (this is an optional excursions and at your own expense).
  • You can spend your last evening together enjoying a meal (optional) and wandering around town.

 

Day 17: Rangoon

Meals included: 1 breakfast

Activities:

  • The tour will come to an end today after breakfast. A transfer to the airport is not included; however, your tour leader will be on hand to advise you as to the options available.

 

about-this-re-departure-inf

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 keep this in mind when you read it and check with us if you want to be sure about something. The document was correct at time of printing, but you can check online for the most up to date version.  If you have any queries, please contact us. We are here to help you!

Last Updated

16 April 2014

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