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Luxury Tour with Sanctuary Ananda Cruise

(10 Days - Departs Daily on a Private Basis)

Yangon, Mandalay, Bagan, Inle Lake

 

Begin your journey in the capital of Yangon at the majestic Shwedagon Pagoda. Take a hot-air balloon flight over the plains of Bagan, where thousands of pagodas dot the plains, reflecting the Burmese people's devotion to Buddhism. Cruise up the Irrawaddy River on a 3-night luxury cruise past remote villages where rural life has remained the same for centuries. Reach the last royal capital of Mandalay and savor the sunset from the summit of famed Mandalay Hill.

 

** All our tours are Exclusive Private Tours, so you will not be put together with other guests **

 

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Day 1: Welcome to Yangon

Fly to Yangon, MYANMAR 

 

Welcome to Myanmar. Upon arrival in Yangon Airport, obtain your Myanmar visa (please refer to your Special Program Note), and then clear Immigration and Customs.  After collecting your baggage, exit the airport to meet outside a local Guide of Global Travel & Tours. He/she will be holding a sign with your names on it. Please note that local guides are not allowed inside the airport.

 

From the airport, you will be privately transferred to your lovely boutique hotel. Yangon, the former capital city of Myanmar once known as Rangoon. This Myanmar travel experience will open your eyes to sights long isolated from the Western world for decades as you view golden pagodas, colonial-era buildings, traditional shop houses and jazz-age mansions stitched together by busy tree-lined streets and a riverfront boulevard. In the words of Rudyard Kipling, “This is Burma and it is unlike any land you know about.”

 

Settle in and enjoy the afternoon and evening at your leisure.

 

Accommodation: Stay 2 nights in Yangon

 

First Class 4 Star Hotels: Chatrium Royal Lake Hotel, Savoy Hotel

 

Luxury 5 Star Hotels: Sule Shangri-La Hotel, Belmond Governor’s Residence, The Strand Hotel

 

Day 2: Discover Yangon, formerly Rangoon

Meals Provided: Breakfast

 

Guide tour of Yangon: After breakfast visit to Chauk Htat Gyi Pagoda to see the giant reclining Buddha, robed in gold and decoratively painted with a white face, red lips, blue eye shadow and red finger nails; its feet depict, in red and gold, the 108 lucky characteristics of the Buddha. Drive to the jetty along Strand Road and walk along Yangon River to see the busy harbour area, from where ferries leave for Pathein in the Delta and for upcountry towns along the Ayeyarwady River. Visit Botathaung Pagoda, located close to Yangon River and said to contain Buddha relics. We wander through the some 2,000 stalls of Bogyoke Aung San Market. Also known by its old British moniker, Scott Market, Bogyoke is a great place to interact with locals while haggling for all manner of Burmese handcraft items.

 

After lunch at a local restaurant, visit the Sule Pagoda, which serves as the heart of the city both geographically and metaphorically. According to legend, this large golden pagoda was built more than 2,500 years ago during the time of the Buddha. Since then, a number of important political events and rallies have unfolded at the base of the pagoda, including the 8888 uprisings and the 2007 Saffron Revolution. A photo stops at the Karaweik Hall royal floating barge. Next, visit the most sacred Buddhist site in all of Burma Shwedagon Pagoda. Also known as the Golden Pagoda, the 2,000-year-old hilltop temple complex covers more than twelve acres and dominates the Rangoon skyline. We’ll view the gold-draped, gem-studded pagoda at sunset, when the fading light shimmers off its 326-foot-high spire. Few places in the world radiate such a palpable sense of beauty and serenity as Shwedagon Pagoda.

 

Day 3: Yangon – Bagan to explore a wonderland of temples & embark your river cruise

Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

 

After breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport in time for the domestic flight to Bagan, where your luxury river cruiser, Sanctuary Ananda Cruise, is docked on the Ayeyarwady River.

 

Fly Yangon to Bagan on Air Bagan W9 141, departing 06:20, arriving 07:40

Economy Class - Issued By Global Travel & Tours

 

Welcome to Bagan. Upon arrival at Bagan Airport. After collecting your baggage, exit the airport to meet outside a local Guide of Global Travel & Tours. He/she will be holding a sign with your names on it. Please note that local guides are not allowed inside the airport.

 

Sanctuary Ananda Cruise: From the airport, you will be privately transferred to Sanctuary Ananda Cruise, named for the beautiful Ananda Temple in Bagan; newly launched Sanctuary ‘Ananda’ transports you into a world of luxury and comfort with all the modern hotel-style amenities. Her warm and dedicated staff welcomes you aboard to experience the beauty of life “on the road to Mandalay” – Myanmar’s timeless Irrawaddy River. Welcome onboard the ship to check in at 12:30 and settle into your suite. Lunch will be served on board. After lunch, depart at 15:00 hours to see the Ananda Temple. Completed in 1091 AD, it is commonly referred to as one of the four great temples in Bagan, and one of the most beautiful in Myanmar. The temple is shaped like a Greek cross and rises in graduated terraces to a height of some 51 metres (170 ft). Inside stand four magnificent golden Buddha statues. Within the temple grounds are the well-preserved remains of a monastery complex with murals depicting Burmese life from the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries.
A traditional horse cart will then take you to Htilominlo Temple, a two-storey red-brick temple built around 1211 AD, and the last Bamar style temple built in Bagan. It is a magnificent structure, standing 45.72 metres (151 feet) high and 42.67 metres (140 feet) wide at its base. Inside four Buddha images face the cardinal points on both levels of the building. Some of the old murals and friezes can still be seen, including several old horoscopes, painted to protect the building from damage.


The day’s finale is a quiet moment on the terraces of the Pyathatgyi Temple. Admire the light change on the pagodas as they exude antiquity and mystery. Finally the sun sets behind the hills on the far side of the Ayeyarwady, filling the sky with a reddish glow, a truly magic moment. 

 

Accommodation: Spend 3 nights on board the Sanctuary Ananda Cruise (Suite Cabin)

 

Day 4: Bagan to Sagaing

Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

 

Sanctuary Ananda Cruise: Begin your day by watching the sun rise from amidst the plain on a temple terrace in the company of a meditation expert. Alternatively, at 05:30 hours you can take an optional balloon tour (an additional charge applies) to capture a birds-eye view of the Bagan plain. As you rise through the sky, you will be able to admire the magnificent pagodas through the morning mist. When the light dawns and the sun illuminates the landscape, the scene becomes alive. After breakfast, at 08:30 hours visit the bustling daily Nyaung Oo local market. Here locals meet to buy and sell a variety of goods, from fruit and vegetables to china and lacquerware.


The day continues with a visit to the great golden Shwezigon Pagoda, begun by King Anawrahta and finished by his son, King Kyansittha in 1087 AD. The Shwezigon holds a special place among Burmese pagodas for two reasons: it was the first major monument built in the Bamar (Burmese) style (as distinct from Mon style) following the country’s conversion to Theravada Buddhism, and was the first to have ‘nat’ (spirit) images installed within the precinct. The Shwezigon is said to contain important relics of the Gautama Buddha - two bones and a copy of a tooth. Return to the ship at 11:00 hours and start sailing upstream towards Sagaing. Visually this region is unique; the eye is constantly delighted by scenes of casual, almost unintended beauty. Women chat at the river’s edge as they wash their laundry. An ox-cart waits on the banks for a boat to arrive and unload its goods. These scenes are set against a backdrop of soft browns, rich tamarind trees with white and golden pagodas gracing the distant hills. There is no better way to enjoy this riverine picture than from the Kansi panorama lounge on board.


After lunch at 12:30 hours a variety of on board activities will be offered, including a Longyi (sarong) and Thanaka (cosmetic) demonstration, a cooking class with the chef, cheroot and betel nut tasting, and a talk on Myanmar – covering the country’s incredibly rich history, more recent and controversial events and prospects for the future. At the end of an exciting day, enjoy sunset cocktails on a river sandbank, whilst making and releasing traditional Burmese lanterns into the sky. A delicious dinner will then follow.

 

Day 5: Sagaing to Amarapura

Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

 

Sanctuary Ananda Cruise:

A meditation and yoga session will be offered before breakfast. Today, the morning will be spent sailing and enjoying the passing countryside. At approximately 13:00 hours the ship moors beside the pagoda-sprinkled Sagaing Hills, an important religious and monastic centre which is home to some 554 monasteries and 6,000 monks and nuns. Sagaing was the capital of a Shan Kingdom for 19 years, but in 1364 the founder’s grandson moved the capital across the river to Innwa (Ava). Some 400 years later, King Alaungpaya, the founder of the third and last Burmese dynasty again made Sagaing the capital for a brief period. We will take a short stop at several of the monasteries and pagodas, but it is the view from the top of the hill on the terraces of the Soon U Ponya Shin Pagoda which is truly breathtaking. Below and all around, pagodas of different shapes and sizes dot the landscape. Through the middle of this picture ripples the Ayeyarwady River, and beyond the spires of Mandalay Hill gleam. Before returning to the ship we will visit a silversmith workshop in Ywataung village, where the craftsmen are renowned for their engraving skills. The ship will depart for overnight mooring near Mingun at 16:00 hours, at which time guests have a choice of activities. Amarapura, once known as ‘The City of Immortals’, held some 200,000 inhabitants in its heyday. Today, the leisurely ‘clack-clack’ from the looms of the cotton and silk weavers has replaced the noisy bustle of this former capital. We will visit one of the textile workshops, followed by a walk on U Bein Bridge at 17:30 hours, which at over a kilometre is believed to be the longest teak bridge in the world.  It was reportedly built by local headman U Bein of teak salvaged from the former royal palace after the capital moved to Mandalay in 1859. Whilst the bridge has been repaired from time to time, the pillars are still original.  After sunset, catch a boat up the Ayeyarwady River and return to the RV Ananda.

 

Day 6: Mandalay

Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

 

For those who wish, an early morning visit to the Sanctuary-adopted village of Sin Kyun is offered. This wonderful community will show you the typical life of the villagers and see a way of life seldom viewed by outsiders.  At 08:30 hours the RV Ananda will sail for Mandalay, arriving at approximately 09:45 hours. 

 

After a full buffet breakfast this morning, say goodbye to the staff and disembark. After disembarking the Sanctuary Ananda Cruise at Bagan port, meet your personal guide and driver and enjoy a comprehensive tour of Mandalay, a highlight of which is the Mahamuni Pagoda, home to a spectacular Buddha image covered with thick layers of gold leaves. Near the river lies visit Shwe-im-bin, a wooden monastery over 100 years old which is known for its lovely carving.  Stop at local workshops to see kalaga tapestries being made, gold leaf being beaten into paper-thin pieces, and Burmese sweets being made.


Mid-afternoon, you’ll take a trishaw ride to Kuthodaw Pagoda, where the Theravada Buddhist scriptures are inscribed on 729 marble slabs, giving rise to its nickname 'the world’s largest book'.  Next visit beautiful teak-carved Shwenandaw Monastery, the only Royal Palace building to survive World War II bombing. At Kyaukdawgyi Pagoda you’ll see a large Buddha statue carved out of a single block of local marble. Atop Mandalay Hill lie glittering glass-studded temple walls which reflect the evening glow as you watch the sunset. Afterwards, visit Shwe Kyin Monastery to observe student monks start their evening prayers.

 

Accommodation: Stay 1 night in Mandalay

 

First Class 4 Star Hotels: Triumph Hotel, Hotel by the Red Canal Hotel

 

Luxury 5 Star Hotels: Mandalay Hill Resort, Rupar Mandalar

 

Day 7: Bagan – Heho – The high life on Inle Lake

Meals Provided: Breakfast

 

After breakfast you will be transferred to the airport in time for the domestic flight to Heho.

 

Fly Bagan to Heho on Air Bagan W9 141, departing 07:55, arriving 08:35

Economy Class - Issued By Global Travel & Tours

 

Welcome to Inle Lake. Upon arrival at Heho Airport. After collecting your baggage, exit the airport to meet outside a local Guide of Global Travel & Tours. He/she will be holding a sign with your names on it. Please note that local guides are not allowed inside the airport.

 

From the airport, meet your personal guide and driver, and transfer by boat to your lovely hotel. Located in Shan State, Inle Lake is the second largest lake in Burma with an estimated surface area of 116 square kilometers. It is also one of the highest at an altitude of 880 meters. Inle Lake is situated just a short distance from Yangon, nestled within the cool green highlands and mountains of Shan State and is the place to witness the one-legged rowing technique of its fishermen. Another of its many outstanding features is the floating market gardens that produce flowers and vegetables grown directly on the surface of the water.

 

After getting settled, you'll head out with your guide and spend the afternoon take a long-tailed boat across the lake to Indaing at the western end of Inle for one of the most scenic trips on the Lake. Passing through the busy village of Yawama, the largest on the Lake with its many channels and tall teak houses on stilts, enter a long often tree lined canal towards Indaing Jetty with farmers cultivating their land on either side under the backdrop of the Shan Hills. After disembarking it is a 15 minute walk through Indaing village to reach the 14-18th century pagoda ruins of Nyaung Ohak; many pagodas here remain charmingly unrenovated with plants and even small trees growing out of them making it very atmospheric. A covered walkway, popular with souvenir stalls leads up to Shwe Inn Thein Paya, a complex of weather beaten zedi; some sadly reconstructed although the views from the top make it worth the ascent. Returning to the river jetty we take our long-tailed boat back along the canal to the Lake.

 

Accommodation: Stay 2 nights in Inle Lake

 

First Class 4 Star Hotels: Inle Resort & Spa, Myanmar Treasure Resort Inle Lake

 

Luxury 5 Star Hotels: Inle Princess Resort, Inle Lake View Resort & Spa, Aureum Palace Resort

 

Day 8: Gems of Inle Lake

Meals Provided: Breakfast

 

Guide tour of Inle Lake: After breakfast you will enjoy a day's excursion by boat on Inle Lake which will include visit one of the 5-day markets. By visiting 5-day markets, clients will get insight into the life-style of the ethnic Pa-O, Danu and Intha inhabitants who came to these markets to sell their goods. During today's excursion by boat on picturesque Inle Lake we see the famous leg rowers, the typical floating gardens where fruit and vegetables are grown, local methods of fishing and village life.  A highlight is often visiting the traditional village of Paukpar, with its neat rows of bamboo houses and where we may be able to stop and visit a family for Shan tea. In the afternoon we visit Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, the holiest religious site in southern Shan State and the boat construction workshop at Nampan village as well stopping to see some traditional handicrafts - silk weaving on wooden handlooms in Inpawkon village, a cheroot workshop and a blacksmith shop. Continue by boat to visit Nga Phe Kyaung Monastery (Jumping cats), one of the oldest monasteries on the lake and where inside its large wooden meditation hall and are over 200 year old ancient Buddha statues. Returning back to the hotel the beauty of sunset over Inle Lake enchants all visitors.

 

Day 9: Inle Lake – Yangon

Meals Provided: Breakfast

 

Say goodbye to Inle Lake this morning and travel to Heho Airport for a flight to Yangon

 

Fly Heho to Yangon on Air Bagan W9 201, departing 09:25, arriving 10:35

Economy Class - Issued By Global Travel & Tours

 

Welcome to Yangon. Upon arrival at Yangon Airport. After collecting your baggage, exit the airport to meet outside a local Guide of Global Travel & Tours. He/she will be holding a sign with your names on it. Please note that local guides are not allowed inside the airport.

 

From the airport, you will be privately transferred to your lovely boutique hotel. Yangon, the former capital city of Myanmar once known as Rangoon. This Myanmar travel experience will open your eyes to sights long isolated from the Western world for decades as you view golden pagodas, colonial-era buildings, traditional shop houses and jazz-age mansions stitched together by busy tree-lined streets and a riverfront boulevard. In the words of Rudyard Kipling, “This is Burma and it is unlike any land you know about.”

 

Settle in and enjoy the afternoon and evening at your leisure. Relax and enjoy the amenities at your hotel, or explore more of Yangon.

 

Accommodation: Stay 1 night in Yangon

 

First Class 4 Star Hotels: Chatrium Royal Lake Hotel, Savoy Hotel

 

Luxury 5 Star Hotels: Sule Shangri-La Hotel, Belmond Governor’s Residence, The Strand Hotel

 

Day 10: Depart Yangon

Meals Provided: Breakfast

 

Today free at leisure until your guide and driver transfer to the Yangon airport in time for your flight to next destination. We wish you a safe and pleasant journey.

 

 

Price guideline:

 

The above tour costs from $2,995*per person, based on 2 people sharing a double or twin room.

 

*Please note this price is subject to change at the time of booking, and depends on the date of travel and the availability of accommodation.

 

Our price includes (Private tour): 

• Accommodation base in a shared double or twin room throughout

Daily buffet breakfast at hotel and all hotels taxes and service charges.

Pick-ups and transfers by private air-conditioned vehicle as specified in the itinerary.

Travel by private, air-conditioned vehicle with an experienced, safe driver.

Private sightseeing with local, English-speaking guides as indicated in the itinerary.

Meals included as indicated as in program: B: breakfast, L: lunch & D: dinner.

Domestic flight tickets: Yangon – Mandalay / Bagan – Heho – Yangon on Economy Class.

Boat cruise as specified in the programmed.

Entrance fees according the above program.

Local bottled water while sightseeing and transfers.

VAT and all taxes and service charge.

 

The price does not include

International flight tickets and Visas

Any items of purely personal nature such as laundry and telephone calls

Personal, travel and health insurance

Early check in and late check out

Drinks during meals

Meals that are not specified

Gratuities/tipping to tour guide, driver and hotel staff and restaurant’s staff

 

 

All of our itineraries can customized as you wish, add extra days, change a hotel, and see different sights. For information on this or our other tours please email us at: info@globaltravel-asia.com