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Journey to Golden Burma (Myanmar)
Pre Tour: Laos
Post Tour: Inle Lake Extension

ITINERARY

November 29 – December 8, 2020

Tour overview
Myanmar was closed to most tourists until recently. This isolation left the country unspoiled by outsiders, construction, and Western media. In this special trip we combine two of the most ‘original’ SE Asian countries: Myanmar and Laos. It is a perfect region to experience the real SE Asia: its golden temples, candle lit monasteries, and untouched villages with handmade crafts. Whether you walk with monks, merchants, or mothers, you find friendly locals excited that you are here. Both are set against green tropical foothills lakes and rivers. Laos is less visited. A French colonial legacy is left in food and colonial buildings but not in remote villages. We promise a thrilling trip.

Day 1 November 29, Sunday: Depart from Home

Depart for Asia. Cross the International Date Line. We do all possible to coordinate flights with other tour members. Please call us for information, we do it all for your ease and comfort


Day 2 November 30, Monday: Arrive Yangon

On arrival in Yangon we are met at the airport and transferred to our hotel. If your own flight, plan to arrive midafternoon. Subject to final flight schedules we meet tonight for a light dinner with our guide.(D)

Pullman Yangon Centrepoint is in the beautiful downtown Colonial Quarter overlooking Maha Bandoola Park and the unique Sule Pagoda. Bogyoke and the night market are at walking distance. The hotel’s 289 contemporary, spacious rooms offer a mix of home comfort and stylish amenities, including separate shower and bathtub, work desk with connectivity panel and free Wi-Fi. Our hotel impressive dining options. The Junction lobby lounge and Gustave bar offer a relaxed atmosphere, while The Merchant all-day dining boasts an international buffet.


Day 3 December 1, Tuesday: Yangon

Our guide will give us a full tour briefing following breakfast this morning. The Shwedagon Pagoda is Yangon’s show stealer! The golden stupa rises 100 meters and is covered in gold leaf and rubies, topped with a diamond. A stupa is a dome usually containing relics of Buddhist nuns and monks, found on a shrine or beside a prayer hall. This sacred stupa is at its most beautiful at sunset, as the gold reflects the twilight. Sitting in the center of the city, it has been the focal point for revolutions, rallies, and religious events.

Start the day in the colonial heart of Yangon which features an interesting selection of monuments and colonial buildings. We’ll see the Independent Monument, the High Court, the City Hall and the Sule Pagoda. Jet lag sets in during the first afternoon. We return to the hotel to rest and relax before visiting Shwedagon

Visit Shwedagon Pagoda at sunset (2 – 3 hours)
The highlight of any trip to Yangon is a visit to the spectacular Shwedagon Pagoda, which dates
back 2,500 years, built to house eight sacred hairs of the Buddha. Its bell-shaped superstructure, resting on a terraced base, is covered in 60 tons of gold-leaf. Welcome dinner: Sule Shangri-La Hotel with a glass of wine/ soft drinks. Overnight Yangon. (B Welcome Dinner)


Day 4 December 2, Wednesday: Yangon – Bagan

Yangon, former capital of Myanmar, lies in the fertile delta of southern Myanmar, on the wide Yangon River. The city has tree-shaded boulevards, while shimmering stupas float above treetops. The city became the capital in 1885, when the British conquered Upper Myanmar. It was the capital until 2006. We visit Bogyoke Aung San (Scott) Market Explore the Bogyoke Aung San Market, known as Scott Market, with 2000 stalls. It is the best placer the complete range of local handicrafts. Visit Ma Cho Le Aung (Tree Food) expert An aspiring young entrepreneur who taught art in an orphanage before founding the ‘Tree Food Company’. With a passion for food, this young woman produces sweets from jaggery made with palm juice.

Afternoon flight from Yangon to Bagan (I 1h 20 min) Transfer to the airport in Yangon and fly with our guide to Bagan. We are met and escorted to our Bagan hotel. Bagan Thiripyitsaya Sanctuary Resort or similar (B) Bagan Thiripyistaya Sanctuary Resort is on the banks of the Irrawaddy River. The Resort sprawls over 24 acres of landscaped gardens, with tropical trees, flowering plants, native birds and small tame animals. Every morning gorgeous peacocks, the national bird, walk in the garden. Oriented West, the Resort has panoramic river views, glorious sunsets and silver moon glow, in a pervading atmosphere of peace, warmth and comfort.


Day 5 December 3, Thursday: Bagan

Bagan is a true bucket-list destination!

Thousands of crumbling temples, pagodas and stupas rise from the ancient desert plain. These beautiful, other-worldly structures were built by the kings of Bagan in the 11th and 12th centuries. Words don’t do this incredible landscape justice. We visit renowned temples, some of the lesser known, but equally impressive pagodas. Each temple has its own story. Tonight, watch the sunset over pagodas. Today’s highlights: Shwezigon Paya, Gubyaukhyi Temple at Wetkyi-Inn, Ananda Pahto, Gubyaukhyi Temple at Myinkaba, Manuha Temple, Shwesandaw Paya. Spend the night in Bagan (BD)


Day 6 December 4, Friday: Bagan

Watch out for monkeys at Mount Popa! An iconic sight, Mount Popa is an extinct sheer-sided volcano rising out of the plain. Topped by golden stupas, it is a famous pilgrimage site for locals who worship at the Nat temples. We stop at a Mountain Resort for lunch and views. Return to Bagan and continue sightseeing. We visit a lacquerware workshop to learn about the intricate process of lacquerware. Spend the night in Bagan. (B L)


Day 7 December 5, Saturday: Bagan -Mandalay

Flight from Bagan to Mandalay (30 Min.) Our guide accompanies us on the flight to ancient Mandalay. Transfer to our hotel:
Mercure Mandalay Hill Resort – Deluxe room Balance of the day is at leisure (BD)
The 12-acre Mercure Mandalay Hill Resort is set at the foot of Mandalay Hill. It offers panoramic views of pagodas and the distinctive architecture of the Royal Palace and its beautiful moat.


Day 8 December 6, Sunday: Mandalay

Mandalay – the name alone evokes the romance of old colonial Burma.
There’s a lot to be enjoyed here, including ornate temples (Paya) and wooden monasteries as well as panoramic views from Mandalay Hill.

We will visit: the Mahamuni Paya, famous for its seated Buddha covered in gold leaf. Every morning at 4am its gleaming face is washed by the monks in a unique ceremony.

Shwenandaw Kyaung is a fine example of a traditional Burmese wooden monastery. At one time this building was part of the palace complex and was used as an apartment by King Mindon and his chief queen. After Mindon’s death, King Thibaw Min had the building dismantled and reassembled on its present site in 1880 as a monastery.

Kuthodaw Paya was modelled on the Shwezigon Paya near Bagan. The paya has been dubbed ‘the world’s biggest book’, for standing around the central stupa are 729 marble slabs on which are inscribed the entire Tripitaka. (Sanskrit word meaning ‘Three Baskets’
used to describe the various sermons and scriptures of the Buddha)

We also stop at Mandalay Hill and take an easy climb up the sheltered steps to see panoramic views over the palace, Mandalay, and the stupa-studded countryside.
Spend the night in Mandalay (BL)


Day 9 December 7, Monday: Mandalay

Just outside Mandalay, are not one, but three ancient royal capitals! Sagaing is said to be the spiritual center. Also known as a -˜living Bagan’, it is home to hundreds of stupas, monasteries, temples and nunneries. Inwa (Ava) is a rural riverside oasis of crumbling monasteries and artisan workshops and is best explored by horse and cart. And then there’s Amarapura, where, every morning, we see devout monks lining up for daily alms. At sunset we walk alongside the monks across the picturesque U Bein Bridge, the longest teak bridge in the world.
Visit to Aye Yeik Mon Orphanage Girls’ School in Mandalay. The Mandalay Project is an Australia based NGO dedicated to preventing child trafficking by partnering locally. Our Farewell dinner is at Kinsana Restaurant with a cultural show Spend the night in Mandalay. (BD)


Day 10 December 8,Tuesday: Mandalay / Home or continue to Inle Lake

We’re off to the airport today. Continue with our Inle Lake extension (B)

INLE LAKE EXTENSION:

3 days

Day 10 December 8, Tuesday: Mandalay . Heho . Inle Lake

After breakfast, flight from Mandalay to Heho. Upon arrival drive (50 min) to Nyaung Shwe boat jetty. From here a pleasant 50 min boat to Amata Garden Resort Spend the night (B)
Amata Garden Resort is on the eastern banks of Inle Lake,a vast stretch of tranquil backwaters and emerald green Shan Hills. The place is wrapped in a quiet charm. Since the Resort is the only 3 story hotel in the area, guests enjoy unbroken views. Sprawling across 18 acres of lush greenery, Amata Garden Resort offers comfortable 60 deluxe rooms & 2 deluxe Suites with new age amenities; the Lotus Spa Shan, traditionally styled houseboats; multi-cuisine restaurant; sunset lake view bar and countless other attractions.


Day 11-December 9, Wednesday: Inle Lake

Today see the famous one-legged rowers on Inle Lake! Inle is an enchanting world of villages on stilts and gardens that float on the surface. One of the most photographed sights is the skilled Intha fishermen who balance on one leg, using the other to maneuver the oar. We take a relaxing boat ride across Inle Lake, stopping to see sights and villages.Today’s Highlights: Boat trip on Inle Lake, local market, villages, Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, Nga Phe Kyaung Monastery Spend the night in Inle Lake. (B)


Day 12, December 10, Thursday: Inle Lake . Heho . Yangon

Thousands of mysterious temples await at the end of the ride. The Indein complex is a collection of 1,000 densely packed Shan- style stupas. This is scheduled to be Market Day. Later drive to Heho Airport for flights to Yangon. Flight envisioned: Heho-Yangon 7Y151 (17:30-18:40)Spend the night in Yangoont Pullman Yangon Centrepoint (B)


Day 13, December 11, Friday: Yangon – Home

Today head for the airport. Cross the International Date Line and gain a day. (B)

LAOS PRE-TOUR VIENTIANE – LUANG PRABANG

 

DEPARTURE – NOVEMBER 23 – November 29, 2020

5 Days

Pre Day 1 – November 23, Monday: Depart your Hometown

Board planes bound for Asia. Cross the International Date Line en route.


Pre Day 2 – November 24, Tuesday: Arrive Vientiane, Laos

Most flights arrive late PM. We are met at the airport and escorted to our hotel. Should you require a private transfer there will be an additional charge.

SALANA Boutique Hotel Deluxe room
Probably the most centrally located hotel in Vientiane, the SALANA Boutique Hotel home is a wonderful authentic hotel inspired by leading boutique hotels around the world. The hotel offers world class accommodation in the heart of the city, sure to impress even the most discerning traveler with its 12 superior, 24 deluxe, 2 suites, 3 Salana suites. The central location together with various facilities will ensure that we have the perfect base to explore this city.


Pre Day 3 – November 25, Wednesday: Vientiane

We awaken early this AM due to the time difference. After breakfast we start our Vientiane adventure. First, we visit the morning market Talat Sao, giving us a taste of daily life. Visit the House of the Emerald Buddha, Haw Phra, named because it housed the Emerald Buddha (Thailand’s revered Buddha image.) Wat Si Saket was built in the 19th century. It is the oldest monastery in original form. It has 10,000 Buddha images. Continue to Great Sacred Stupa (Pha That Luang), a national symbol. A stupa is a rounded dome usually containing relics of Buddhist nuns and monks found on a shrine or beside a prayer hall. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant.
After lunch drive south to visit Cultural Park and Friendship Bridge. Return to the hotel to rest before our Welcome dinner. (BLD)


Pre Day 4 – November 26, Thursday: Vientiane / Luang Prabang

Our 50 min. flight departs at 09:10 and arrives Luang Prabang at 10:00 am. We are met on arrival by our local English-speaking guide and taken to our hotel for check- in. Then we’re out for lunch and a walking tour of the town. Later we visit Wat Xieng Thong, the Royal Temple. We may not have turkey, but much to be thankful for as we celebrate Thanksgiving. Tonight’s dinner features a ceremony, Laotian dance and delicious food! The Baci Ceremony involves the tying of cotton strings around wrists to balance spirits, bring harmony, good luck, and prosperity. (BLD)

Victoria Xiengthong Palace

Located in the heart of Luang Prabang, surrounded by the golden spires of the town’s famous Buddhist temples is Victoria Xiengthong Palace, last residence of the Laos Royal Family.
This beautiful boutique property has been lovingly restored to former glory, and sits proudly on the banks of the Mekong River. The 26 elegantly appointed rooms and suites capture the essence of Laos’ culture and style, with local materials and fabrics. Look upon the majestic Wat Xiengthong – the town’s most famous temple, or simply sit and soak up the ambience of this UNESCO protected palace, a perfect place to discover the wonders of Luang Prabang.


Pre Day 5 – November 27, Friday: Luang Prabang

Do you wish to join locals in the ritual of almsgiving? Saffron-robed monks with black bowls come in lines to collect the morning’s offerings. Do not look straight into faces. We provide bowls of hot sticky rice. You can also give local currency, but it must be new. Later we visit a museum to review ethnic groups in Laos, before continuing to a Hmong hill village. Our walk through the village allows us to meet local families. Our visit is also a means of income for residents. We visit a family for lunch, which gives us insight into Hmong life. (BLD)


Pre Day 6 – November 29, Saturday: Luang Prabang

Full-day boat trip on the mighty Mekong River to visit the Pak Ou Caves, housing thousands of gilded wooden Buddha statues. After lunch in a local restaurant, we drive back and visit the riverside village of Ban Phanom, where rice wine is distilled, and traditional textiles are woven on ancient looms. Dinner in a local restaurant. (BLD)


Day 7 – Nov 30, Sunday: Luang Prabang / Yangon, Burma (Myanmar)

Transfer to the airport for our flight to Yangon, Burma (Myanmar) (B)

TERMS & CONDITIONS

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DATES/PRICING/ACCOMMODATIONS

2020
Special deposit and cancellation policy when you book before September 1, 2020
Book Main Tour with a Pre-Tour or Post Tour for a $100 discount
Main Tour double occupancy
6 persons minimum traveling
Land price based on double occupancy $2,650 per person
Single room supplement $925 per person
PRE TOUR : Laos- Vientiane and Luang Prabang:
Land Arrangements not including internal air
Based on minimum 2 persons traveling $1,875 per person(twin occupancy)
Based on minimum 6 persons traveling $1,760 per person(twin occupancy)
Single room supplement $685 per person
POST TOUR Extension to Inle Lake
Land Arrangements including internal air
Based on minimum 4 persons traveling $1,028 per person(twin occupancy)
Based on minimum 6 persons traveling $1,035 per person(twin occupancy)
Single room supplement $310 per person

TERMS & CONDITIONS

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INCLUSIONS

Included:

  • All accommodations & Breakfasts (including meals where mentioned)
  • Transportation on tours
  • Entrance fees & boat trips
  • English Speaking Guide
  • International ticket reconfirmation
  • Portage at airports and hotels
  • All service charges, Taxes & VAT

Not included:

  • Entry Visa to Laos and Myanmar
  • Gratuities to drivers Guide, Hotel and other staff
  • Any beverages with the meals
  • Any additional personal expenses
  • Domestic FlightsPre Tour to Laos (Vientiane & Luang Prabang) – Minimum 2 Travelers

Pre Tour to Laos (Vientiane & Luang Prabang) – Minimum 2 Travelers

 

Included:

  • Transportation on tours
  • Entrance fees & boat trips
  • English Speaking Guide
  • Portage at airports and hotels
  • All service charges, Taxes & VAT

 Not included:

  • Entry Visa to Laos and Myanmar
  • Gratuities to drivers Guide, Hotel and other staff
  • Any beverages with the meals
  • Any additional personal expenses
  • Domestic Flights
  • Extension to Inle Lake, Myanmar – Minimum 2 Travelers

Extension to Inle Lake, Myanmar – Minimum 2 Travelers

 

Included:

  • Transportation on tours
  • Entrance fees & boat trips
  • English Speaking Guide
  • Portage at airports and hotels
  • All service charges, Taxes & VAT

 Not included:

  • Gratuities to drivers Guide, Hotel and other staff
  • Any beverages with the meals
  • Any additional personal expenses
  • Domestic Flights

WTG Cancellations:

Due to the special nature of the WTG programs featured , suppliers impose rigid cancellation fees; please be aware that SITA has no control over such fees and cannot make any exceptions to these charges. Note: All cancellations must be received by SITA in writing; cancellation/s will be effective when the written notice is received at SITA’s offices in Encino, CA.

If a cancellation is received after SITA is in possession of the initial deposit, but more than 90 days prior to departure , the cancellation fee incurred will be $350 per person (a higher cancellation fee may apply to some tours). If cancellation is received between 89 and 61 days prior to departure the fee incurred will be 75% of the entire tour price. No refunds whatsoever will be made for cancellations received within the last 60 days prior to departure.

NOTE: If you book as a share and request a change to a Single room or you request a share, are paired with a roommate and later cancel, the penalty is $225. Should we find a suitable match for your former roommate, the penalty will be credited back to you.  

Airfares are subject to different rules and cancellation fees; some may be non-refundable. Details will be provided at the time of booking and are subject to change by the airline.To protect against cancellation charges, we strongly recommend purchasing Cancellation Protection and Travel Interruption Insurance

TERMS & CONDITIONS

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