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Myanmar Experience 2016

From £945 for 12 days
           (See Reviews)
Trip Overview
Myanmar (Burma) is a country with a deep and fascinating culture. Beginning and ending in Yangon, discover the spiritual heavyweight of Shwedagon Pagoda, bicycle through Bagan and its thousands of pagodas, cross the longest teak bridge in the world near Mandalay and enjoy life lakeside at Inle Lake, where floating markets, leg-rowing fishermen and ethnic minorities make for a unique destination. Mix in delicious food, breathtaking landscapes and people both curious and welcoming, and you have a place that will keep you coming back for more.
Essential Info
Starts: Yangon
Ends: Yangon
Ages: Min 15
Theme: Discovery
Trip Code: ITRRB
Countries visited: Myanmar
What's Included

Meals

10 Breakfasts included
1 Lunches included

Transport

Bicycle,Boat,Bus,Ferry,Longboat,Overnight sleeper train,Plane,Trishaw,Truck

Accommodation

Hotel (10 nts),Overnight sleeper train (1 nt)

Trip Highlights
-Get acquainted with Myanmar on a tour of downtown Yangon. Truly an incredible city, Yangon is packed with beautiful pagodas, astounding giant Buddhas and countless historical sites
-Touring the ancient city of Bagan by bicycle is a magical way to see the place. You'll have convenient and leisurely access to thousands of temples, stupas and pagodas
-The boat trip to Mingun is scenic and pleasurable in itself, but viewing the world's largest uncracked bell when you reach your destination is an awesome experience
-A full day of walking through the hills and villages of Kalaw may require a bit of energy, but it's one of the highlights of the trip. Get up-close and personal with the culture of rural Myanmar
-Take a scenic long-tail boat ride along the waters of Inle Lake. This is a truly authentic Southeast Asian experience
Dates & Availability
Start date
End date
Direction
Price GBP
Availability
30th December 2016
10th January 2017
Yangon - Yangon
£1,170pp 
G
 
Limited
1st January 2017
13th January 2017
Yangon - Yangon
£1,065pp 
G
 
Good
15th January 2017
27th January 2017
Yangon - Yangon
£1,150pp 
G
 
Limited
29th January 2017
10th February 2017
Yangon - Yangon
£1,150pp 
G
 
Limited
5th February 2017
17th February 2017
Yangon - Yangon
£1,150pp 
G
 
Limited
12th February 2017
24th February 2017
Yangon - Yangon
£1,065pp 
G
 
Good
19th February 2017
3rd March 2017
Yangon - Yangon
£1,025pp 
G
 
Good
26th February 2017
10th March 2017
Yangon - Yangon
£1,025pp 
G
 
Good
5th March 2017
17th March 2017
Yangon - Yangon
£1,045pp 
G
 
Good
Show more dates
Itinerary & Notes
 
Day 1 - Yangon
Min Gala Ba! Welcome to Myanmar. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm today. You can arrive at any time during the day as there are no activities planned until this important meeting. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask reception where it will take place. We'll be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you bring these details to provide to your leader. If you have free time to explore before the meeting, we recommend stepping out onto the chaotic streets of Yangon. Once Myanmar’s capital, Yangon is still the country’s major city. See its beautiful skyline studded with the golden Shwedagon Paya temple. If you have the full day free, consider booking an Urban Adventure to see more of the city with an experienced local guide. Note: If you can't arrange a flight that will have you arrive at the hotel in time for the meeting, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).

Additional Activities

Yangon - Let Yangon Take You For a Ride Urban Adventure
41 USD
Yangon - Kandawgyi Lake
300 MMK
Yangon - Shwedagon pagoda candle lighting
8000 MMK
Yangon -Tradition and Culture in Yangon Urban Adventure
55 USD
Day 2 - Yangon
Start the day with an orientation tour of Yangon. Afterwards, enjoy some free time to explore the city at your own pace. You might like to visit some sites that weren’t covered on the tour, such as Bogyoke Market or various temples and pagodas around town. If you run out of ideas, your leader will happily point you towards some interesting spots. In the afternoon, transfer to the railway station and board an overnight train to Bagan. Overnight train travel in Myanmar is a real adventure. Trains are one of the safest travel options around the country, and you’ll get to experience travelling the way the locals do. Cabins are basic four-berth compartments with doors to a corridor. There are no showers but there is a toilet at the end of each carriage. While the trains aren't air conditioned, there is usually a ceiling fan and plenty of airflow. Conditions are basic and the trains may be a little dirtier than what you’re used to, however overnight trains are the best way to brush shoulders with the locals and make the best use of your time travelling overnight.

Additional Activities

Yangon - City Orientation Walk
Included in Price
Yangon - Sule Pagoda
3000 MMK
Day 3 - Bagan
Arrive at Bagan after an overnight train ride. Please note that this train ride usually takes 17 to 20 hours and rarely runs to schedule. Although the scheduled arrive time is 11.00 am, you can expect to arrive closer to midday. The afternoon is yours to explore your new surrounds in Bagan. We’ll go on a guided tour of the archaeological site tomorrow, but feel free to go exploring on your own before then. The archaeological site is where Theravada Buddhism was introduced to the Kingdom of Bagan and was once the site of 10,000 temples, pagodas and monasteries. Today, the ancient city still has over 2,000 brick and gilded ruins and is a stunning sight to behold.

Additional Activities

Bagan - Archaeological Museum
5000 MMK
Bagan - Dandaree Culture Show
50 USD
Day 4 - Bagan
Spend the entire day sightseeing in Bagan. You’ll be given a bicycle and toured through the site by a local guide. You’ll get to see many of the large and impressive temples such as Ananda Pahto, Dhammayangyi Pahto and Shwesandaw Paya, as well as some of the smaller hidden gems. Exploring the temple site by bike is a great way to take in the atmosphere of this amazing place. There are also many opportunities to climb stairs to vantage points and capture some magical views. To fully enjoy the day out, please make sure you wear comfortable clothes and adequate protection from the sun (long sleeves, sunglasses and hat). If you have some free time at the end of the day, you may like to check out the nearby Nyaung U market, which is one of the more interesting markets in the country. Notes: For sunrise today, many travellers like to take an optional hot air balloon ride over the site. On this flight take in breathtaking views above the stupa-studded landscape, followed by a light breakfast and champagne. The entire experience runs for approximately 2.5 hours, with flights times an average 45 minutes (ranging from 1 hour to 20 minutes subject to local conditions). Weather dependent, flights operate between October through to March. Advance bookings are highly recommended as places are limited. Please ask your booking agent for further details of the Premium and Classic service options. The bike ride through Bagan is easy, taken on flat terrain and at a leisurely pace. You don’t have to be a serious cyclist to do the tour, however if for some reason you’re unable to participate in the ride, your leader can arrange a pony cart to take you around the sights (cost not included).

Additional Activities

Bagan - Temple bike tour
2000 MMK
Bagan - Archaeological Museum
5000 MMK
Day 5 - Mandalay
Board a public ferry before dawn and cruise up the Ayeyarwady River to Mandalay. Depending on the daily schedule, the ferry departs at either 5:00 am, 6:30 am or 7:00 am. You'll likely spend most of the day on deck watching riverside life go by, a wonderful way to experience Burmese local life. Some ferries also have a cafe/bar on the upper deck for drinks and simple meals, but you may also like to bring your own food with you. Arrive at Mandalay at 5:30 pm and transfer to a simple hotel where you’ll be staying for the next two nights. Notes: Due to the unpredictable nature of water levels on the Ayeyarwady River between February and May, it’s sometimes possible that your ferry may be cancelled. Although rare, cancellations may take place at the last minute and without warning. If this happens, the group will travel by road from Bagan to Mandalay.
Day 6 - Mandalay
Travel further along the Ayeyarwady River this morning to the archaeological site of Mingun. Here you’ll see the Mingun Pahtodawgyi, an incomplete stupa which would have been the largest in the world. You’ll also see the world’s largest ringing bell and the nearby beautiful white Hsinphymae Pagoda. The rest of the day is a free day to explore the amazing city of Mandalay. Once known as The Golden City, Mandalay was the last capital of the former Kingdom of Myanmar. Perhaps see the city by taking a local van or bus to Mahamuni Buddha Temple, an important pilgrimage site famous for its 2000-year-old golden Buddha statue. You may also like to visit the nearby cottage industries where gold leaf is made or go to Shwe In Bin Kyaung, the intricately carved teak monastery. Alternatively, take a half-day trip up to the hill town of Pyin Oo Lwin. In the evening, perhaps head to Mandalay Hill for a sunset view over the town, or see a puppetry or dance performance at the Mandalay Marionettes or Mintha Theatre.

Additional Activities

Mandalay - Boat trip to Mingun
Included in Price
Mandalay - Mahamuni Buddha Temple
10000 ALL
Mandalay - Mandalay Marionettes
10000 MMK
Mandalay - Shwenandaw Monastery
10000 MMK
Mandalay - Mandalay Palace
10000 MMK
Day 7 - Kalaw
Rise early this morning, and travel to Kalaw by private bus along the Great Road of China – the new superhighway built by the Chinese (approx. 8 hours). On the way we stop in at the impressive U Bein Bridge. At 1.2km long it is the world’s longest teak bridge. Kalaw is located in the mountains of Shan state and features stunning scenery.

Additional Activities

Mandalay - U Bein Bridge
Included in Price
Day 8 - Kalaw
Today head to the hills and explore the villages, farms and forests in the area near Kalaw. Kalaw provides welcome relief from the heat of Myanmar's low-lying areas and is home to various ethnic minority groups, including the Palaung, Danu and Pa-O, as well as Indians and Nepalese who moved here during the British rule. We stop for a simple lunch at one of these local villages.

Additional Activities

Kalaw - Full day trek
Included in Price
Day 9 - Inle Lake
Enjoy some free time this morning to see some more of the sights of Kalaw, including more beautiful Buddhist pagodas and the local market. In the afternoon, travel by bus for about three hours to Inle Lake. The calm waters of Inle Lake are the life-blood for many ethnic minority communities. They live in stilt houses along the lake's shallow fringes and surrounding areas.
Day 10 - Inle Lake
Start the day by heading out in a motorised boat. You’ll see local life on the lake including fisherman who use a distinctive leg-rowing technique on their boats, floating tomato plantations and cottage industries such as silversmiths, weavers and cigar makers. If you’re lucky, you might even see the floating market which circles the lake every five days. Here you can buy traditional wares produced by the locals. Later in the day, you’ll visit some villages where locals greet you with a smile and you can browse the various handicraft items. At the end if the day, make your way back to the base in Nyaungshwe.

Additional Activities

Inle Lake - Boat trip & village tour
Included in Price
Day 11 - Inle Lake
Enjoy a free day at Inle Lake. Perhaps you’d like to visit the morning market at Mingala and later in the day, head to Nyuangshwe's oldest Buddhist monastery, Yadana Man Aung Paya. There's also a traditional puppet show held in town every evening.

Additional Activities

Inle Lake - Aung Puppet Show
5000 MMK
Inle Lake - Red Mountain Estate Winery Tasting
3000 MMK
Inle Lake - Bicycle hire
3000 MMK
Day 12 - Yangon
Bid farewell to the splendour of Shan state and make your way to the airport in Heho. From here, take a one-hour flight back to the hustle and bustle of Yangon. Your trip ends upon arrival at Yangon airport and you’re free to leave at any time. If you’d like to stay on for a few extra days and have booked additional accommodation, your leader can help you get to your hotel. We can also assist in booking post-tour accommodation at our Basix Yangon hotel when you first book your trip. Notes: If you are planning to fly out today, we advise you not to book a flight out before 4 pm. This is because domestic flights in Burma are often delayed and there’s a chance you could arrive late from Heho and miss your flight out. If you have some free time in Yangon before leaving, your leader can suggest some things for you to do.
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Reviews
       
The tour was very good. The guide was excellent. Unfortunately some members of the group thought they were on a 19 to 30 holiday and their only query was on when the next beer was coming (without exaggeration). I wonder how Intrepid had advertised the trip. The train from Yangon to Bagan was horrendous but an experience. I wonder whether we could have experienced it for a shorter time and then got a bus? It is surely an accident waiting to happen and I don't think we were fully prepared for it -but I'm glad I did it.