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A Road Less Traveled

(11 Days - Departs Daily on a Private Basis)

Yangon, Mandalay, Bagan, Inle Lake, Yangon

 

Take the road less traveled as you venture into a country long isolated from the western world but inviting with treasures untold... on this amazing 11-day journey to Myanmar, a place like no other on Earth. Now is the perfect time to explore this enigmatic Southeast Asian nation once known as Burma – while it still retains the ambiance of old Asia, and its welcoming people are most curious about visitors from foreign lands. Let your imagination soar as you fly to Yangon to begin a Myanmar travel experience that resounds with what Marco Polo called “a golden land” of spired pagodas. Embark your river cruiser, Belmond Road to Mandalay, and cruise the Ayeyarwady River to places steeped in ancient wonders. Included excursions showcase Kuthodaw Pagoda, referred to as the World’s Biggest Book for the stone tablet Buddhist scriptures that surround it; Shwenandaw Monastery, famous for its intricate woodcarvings; the holiest pagoda in Mandalay, the sacred living Mahamuni Pagoda and more. Explore an archaeological treasure trove dating between the 7th and 13th centuries and one of the most significant sites in the world, home to some 3,000 temples and stupas – and soar above the wonders of Bagan on an included hot air balloon ride at sunrise, an unforgettable experience! Two nights in Inle Lake, a freshwater highland gem, entice with scenic views, sacred pagodas with golden statues, an umbrella workshop, monasteries, floating gardens, stilt houses and leg rowing races!

 

** 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 – Mandalay, see Sagaing, embark ship and explore Mandalay

Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

 

After breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport in time for the domestic flight to Mandalay, where your luxury river cruiser, Belmond Road to Mandalay, is docked on the Ayeyarwady River.

 

Fly Yangon to Mandalay on Air Bagan W9 201, departing 07:00, arriving 08:25

Economy Class - Issued By Global Travel & Tours

 

Welcome to Mandalay. Upon arrival at Mandalay 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.

 

Belmond Road To Mandalay Cruise: From the airport, meet your guide and begin a busy day of sightseeing on your Myanmar travel itinerary begins with a visit to Sagaing, a city considered by many to be the living center of Buddhist faith in Myanmar – and one that's also famous for its silversmiths; see artisans crafting silver in much the same way as their ancestors did centuries ago. Next, board Belmond Road to Mandalay and have lunch onboard. Continue your explorations in Mandalay with the “Big Book” at Kuthodaw Pagoda, where 729 marble stone slabs are inscribed with ancient Buddhist scriptures. Drive next to the wooden 19th-century Shwenandaw Monastery, made of teak and famous for its intricate woodcarvings, inside and out. One of the local crafts found specifically in Mandalay is the making of gold leaf. Watch artisans beat gold by hand with a large sledge hammer as it becomes the gold leaf that is used to decorate monasteries and temples in Myanmar at one of the area’s workshops, then see how this golden decoration is put to use at temples like Mahamuni Pagoda. To pay respect to the Buddha image that is housed inside the pagoda, male devotees regularly apply gold leaf to the image, which is called shwe cha in Burmese. As a result, the Mahamuni Buddha is covered with a thick layer of gold leaf, which has distorted the original shape of the Buddha. Return early evening to your luxury ship for fine dining and onboard entertainment after dinner.

 

Accommodation: Spend 3 nights on board the Belmond Road To Mandalay (State Cabin)

 

Day 4: Ancient Ava and a day of cruising to Bagan

Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

 

Belmond Road To Mandalay Cruise: After breakfast aboard your ship docked in Mandalay, you may join us if you wish on a visit to a nearby village to witness the Belmond Road to Mandalay staff donating food to a procession of monks from the local monastery, in accordance with the Burmese custom of alms-giving; walk back to the ship through the village, observing the early-morning activity of daily life in the village market and tea shops. The ship gets underway this morning and begins its journey south, cruising to the site of the ancient Burmese city of Ava (also known as Inwa), the capital of several successive Burmese kingdoms from the 14th to 19th centuries. A traditional horse cart takes you to explore the site, which contains the remains of palaces, pagodas and stupas of this once-mighty city, destroyed and rebuilt several times during nearly five centuries of conflict; Ava was finally abandoned and never rebuilt after a devastating earthquake in 1839.  Spend the rest of the day relaxing aboard ship as you observe local river life from the top deck and hear a local expert share personal insights on the time-honored customs of Myanmar.  Join us for a casual cocktail party followed by dinner onboard.

 

Day 5: Bagan to explore a wonderland of temples

Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

 

Belmond Road To Mandalay Cruise: Your ship arrives this morning in Bagan, Myanmar's city of temples; more than 2,000 temples and pagodas dot the plains beside the river. Upon arrival, morning sightseeing includes Shwe Gu Gyi (Golden Big Cave) Pagoda; according to a contemporary inscription found at the temple, this pagoda was once left in ruins by King Narapati Sithu (circa AD 1174), and later restored by the Crown Prince. You'll also visit Hti-Lo-Min-Lo Temple, built around AD 1211 by King Nantaungmya, and considered one of Bagan's greatest temples. A double-storied structure rising 150 feet above the ground, the temple is home to four Buddha figures, terraces decorated with pieces of green-glazed sandstone, and weathered mural paintings within its interior; parts of original plaster carvings still survive on some of its surfaces. Travel to a nearby local village distinctive for the huge stacks of bamboo the villagers use as walls for their homes and for its traditional Mon-style lacquerware, manufactured here for more than 900 years. After lunch aboard Belmond Road to Mandalay, sightseeing continues at Ananda Temple and Pyat That Gyi Temple. Dinner is onboard ship tonight.

 

Day 6: Balloons at sunrise and the treasures of Bagan

Meals Provided: Breakfast

 

You may wish to rise early this morning to experience the magic of Bagan and a thousand years of history from the enchanting platform of a hot air balloon, for the first time ever. ‘Balloons over Bagan' will take you on a sunrise champagne flight over the ancient pagodas of Bagan (please note this will be a shared trip with other passengers).

 

After a full buffet breakfast this morning, say goodbye to the staff and disembark. After disembarking the Road To Mandalay Cruise at Bagan port, meet your personal guide and driver and start your tour to Dhammayazaka, built in 1196 and the largest pentagonal-based stupa in Bagan. Continue to Lemyethna Temple, topped by an Indian-style apex. Visit Tayoke Pyay and the Payathonzu Complex, a set of three interconnected shrines linked by passages and adorned with Mahayana-style or Tantric mural paintings.  Nearby is Nandamannya Temple with fine frescoes and an unexpectedly erotic mural. Wander through the village of Minnanthu to see how local people live. 

 

Accommodation: Stay 2 nights in Bagan

 

First Class 4 Star Hotels: Amazing Bagan Resort, Areindmar Hotel

 

Luxury 5 Star Hotels: Bagan Lodge, Aureum Palace Hotel & Resort

 

Day 7: Bagan – Mount Popa – Bagan

Meals Provided: Breakfast

 

Morning tour of Mount Popa: After breakfast you will drive for around 2 hours to visit Mount Popa which is an extinct volcano offering spectacular views over the surrounding countryside from its summit. Its shrine is dedicated to animist spirits known as "nats" and you will have time to climb the 777 steps to the shrine at the top of the peak. After time to explore you will have lunch in a local restaurant and then drive back to Bagan and head to the city of Nyaung U in the northeastern section of the Bagan complex to explore the Nyaung U Tropical Market; the main shopping spot for locals in the region, this open-air market offers fresh meats, fruits, vegetables and other foodstuffs from nearby villages, along with various other goods including the distinctive Bagan lacquerware. Fashioned from bamboo, wood and horsehair, sealed with sap from a lacquer tree, then decorated with designs etched in the lacquer with an iron stylus, lacquerware items such as plates, bowls, boxes, trays, urns, canisters and other vessels have been locally produced in this manner for about 300 years, and are popular as gifts and souvenirs throughout the area. Continue on to the Bagan Archaeological Museum for a guided tour of this institution, originally founded over a century ago to display and interpret artifacts from Bagan's archaeological sites. The modern museum complex, opened in 1998, features galleries dedicated to various aspects of the Bagan Period, including its pagodas, monuments and other architecture, arts and crafts, Buddhist art and imagery, literature and social life. Return to your hotel for a free evening and dinner at leisure.

 

Day 8: 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 9: 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 10: 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 11: 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 $2,688*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