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

ITINERARY

Main Tour: November 27 – December 6, 2021

Tour overview

These areas were isolated for decades. For the tourist that means unspoiled vistas and little Western influence. This trip is a combination of 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. We walk with monks, meet with merchants, and smile at mothers. Locals are excited that we are visiting. Both countries are set against green tropical foothills feeding lakes and rivers. Laos is also less visited; Laos was a French colony. A legacy is left in food and colonial buildings but not in its many remote villages.

We can promise you an experience like no other in Asia and a trip that is well paced, very inclusive, but not difficult. Meals are local and adjusted to Western palates.

Day 1 November 27, Saturday: Depart your Home

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


Day 2 November 28, Sunday: Arrive Yangon

On arrival in Yangon we will be met at the airport and transferred to our hotel. (D)
For midafternoon arrivals – meet tonight for a light dinner with our guide.

Pullman Yangon Centrepoint (Deluxe room):
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 lobbylounge and Gustave bar offer a relaxed atmosphere, while The Merchant all-day dining boasts an international buffet.


Day 3 November 29 Monday: Yangon

Our guide will give us a full tour briefing following breakfast this morning
Start the day in the colonial heart of Yangon which features an interesting selection of monuments and colonial buildings. We will see the Independent Monument, the High Court, the City Hall, and the Sule Pagoda. If walls could talk, the gleaming octagonal exterior of the Sule Pagoda could write a bestseller. Sitting proudly in the center of the city, it has been the focal point for revolutions and rallies, as well as religious events.
Jet lag sets in during the first afternoon. We will return to the hotel to rest and relax before visiting Shwedagon (B, D)

Visit Shwedagon Pagoda at sunset The Shwedagon Pagoda is Yangon’s show stealer! The golden stupa rises 328 feet (100-metres) into the sky and is covered in gold leaf and rubies and topped with a diamond. This sacred stupa is at its most beautiful during sunset, as the golden stupa reflects the changing colors of twilight.

The highlight of any trip to Yangon is a visit to the spectacular Shwedagon Pagoda, which dates back about 2,500 years and was built to house eight sacred hairs of the Buddha. Its bell-shaped superstructure, resting on a terraced base, is covered in about 60 tons of gold-leaf, which is constantly being replaced. Welcome dinner at Pullman Yangon Hotel with a glass of wine and soft drinks.


Day 4 November 30, Tuesday: Yangon – Bagan (1 h. 20 min)

Explore the Bogyoke Aung San Market, also known as Scott Market, which contains over 2,000 stalls and is the best place in Yangon to browse through the complete range of local handicrafts. Visit Ma Cho Aung: 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 traditional sweets from jaggery made from toddy palm juice.
This afternoon we will be taken to the airport in Yangon and greeted on arrival in Bagan. We are escorted to our Bagan hotel for check-in. (B)

The Hotel @ Tharabar Gate Deluxe Room
Tharabar Gate is located in the most unique Archeological Site of SouthEast Asia: Old Bagan, the Ancient capital of the Burmese Empire. Surrounded by more than 4000 ancient temples and pagodas, you will be enchanted by its breathtaking views. The hotel’s 84 rooms are decorated with teak floors and typical Burmese furniture. Each room has high ceilings and different hand-painted wall copies of original Temple Painting of the Bagan period. Relax poolside or at the Spa, which has a variety of treatments available.The Hotel@Tharabar Gate is within 5 minutes walking distance to the spectacular Ananda Temple known as ‘The Jewel of Bagan’.


Day 5 December 1, Wednesday: 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 do not do this incredible landscape justice so let us get out there and see them for ourselves. We will visit renowned temples, and discover some of the lesser known, but equally impressive pagodas. Each temple has its own story to tell. Today’s Highlights: Shwezigon Paya, Gubyaukhyi Temple at Wetkyi-Inn, Ananda Pahto, Gubyaukhyi Temple at Myinkaba, Manuha Temple, Shwesandaw Paya. Watch the sunset over Bagan. Enjoy a panoramic view of the sun setting over the plain of Bagan from one of the sunset view hills. (B, D)


Day 6 December 2, Thursday: Bagan – Mt. Popa – Bagan

Watch out for the monkeys at Mount Popa!
An iconic sight, Mount Popa is an extinct sheer-sided volcano that rises out of the plain. Topped by golden stupas, it is a famous pilgrimage site for locals who come to worship at the Nat temples.

Proceed to Popa Mountain Resort by passing Popa Mountain and enjoy lunch and the view from the resort. Return to Bagan and continue sightseeing. Visit a small lacquerware workshop. The small villages around Bagan are known for producing the finest lacquerware in Myanmar. (B, L)
Meals included: Lunch at Popa Mountain Resort Restaurant


Day 7 December 3, Friday: Bagan – Mandalay (30 min)

Our guide accompanies us on the flight to ancient Bagan.
Transfer to our hotel. Balance of the day at leisure. (B, D)

Mercure Mandalay Hill Resort (Deluxe Room)
The 12-acre Mercure Mandalay Hill Resort is set at the foot of Mandalay Hill. It offers panoramic views of pagodas as well as the distinctive architecture of the Royal Palace and its beautiful moat.


Day 8 December 4, Saturday: Mandalay

Mandalay – the name alone evokes the romance of old colonial Burma. It is home to ornate temples, wooden monasteries, traditional artisans, and over sixty per cent of the country’s monks.
We visit the Mahamuni Paya, famous for its seated Buddha covered in gold leaf.
Shwenandaw Kyaung is a monastery of great interest, not only as a fine example of a traditional Burmese wooden monastery, but as a fragile reminder of the old Mandalay Fort. At one time this building was part of the palace complex and was used as an apartment by King Mindon and his chief queen, and it was here that he died. After Mindon’s death, King Thibaw Min had the building dismantled and reassembled on its present site in 1880 as a monastery.
Visit Mandalay Hill and take an easy climb up the sheltered steps to see panoramic views over the palace, Mandalay, and the Paya-studded countryside. (B, L)


Day 9 December 5, Sunday: Mandalay

Just outside Mandalay, are not one, but three ancient royal capitals!
Sagaing is said to be the spiritual center of Myanmar. 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 can see devout monks lining up for their daily alms. At sunset we will take a walk alongside the monks across the picturesque U Bein Bridge, the longest teak bridge in the world.
We will see loads of incredible sights and learn tons of history about the old kings of Myanmar.

Visit to Aye Yeik Mon Orphanage Girls’ School in Mandalay. The Mandalay Projects is an Australia based NGO (Non-government organization) dedicated to preventing child trafficking by partnering locally to provide training. (B, D)
Meals included: Dinner at Kinsana Restaurant with cultural show Mercure Mandalay Hill Resort


Day 10 December 6, Monday: Mandalay / Home or continue to Inle Lake

We are off to the airport today. Where will you go? Continue the adventure with our Inle Lake extension. (B)

 

 

LAOS PRE-TOUR VIENTIANE – LUANG PRABANG
DEPARTURE – NOVEMBER 22 – 28, 2021

 

Pre Day 1 – November 22 Wednesday: Depart your Hometown

Board our jet bound for Asia. Cross the International Date Line Enroute.


Day 2 – November 23, Thursday: Arrive Vientiane

Most flights will arrive late this evening. We will be 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
The centrally located Salana Boutique hotel has a Lao contemporary style. The 41 rooms and suites are beautifully decorated. Free Wi-Fi. Take time to unwind in the Sarila Spa. Kitchen Vibe Bistro serves Western food using the freshest Lao ingredients.
Guests can take pleasure in experiencing the hotel’s perfect blend of an outstanding level of service and the attention to detail that ensures your stay is memorable.


Day 3 – November 24, Wednesday: Vientiane

We awaken early this morning due to the time difference. After breakfast we start our Vientiane
adventure. First, we visit the morning market Talat Sao, which gives us a taste of
daily life and an introduction to fabrics and crafts of the area. Visit the House of the Emerald Buddha, Haw Phra, so named because for 200 years it housed the Emerald Buddha that is
Thailand’s most revered Buddha image. Continue to Wat Si Saket built in the 19th century.
It has over 10,000 Buddha images. Visit the Great Sacred Stupa (Pha That Luang), a national symbol of Laos. A stupa is a rounded dome usually containing relics of Buddhist nuns and monks found on a shrine or beside a prayer hall. We enjoy lunch at a local restaurant.
After lunch we will visit Cultural Park and Friendship Bridge. Return to the hotel to rest before our Welcome dinner. (B, L, D)


Day 4 – November 25, Thursday: Vientiane / Luang Prabang

Transfer to the airport for our 50 min. flight to Luang Prabang.
We will be met on arrival by our local English-speaking guide and taken to our hotel for check- in. Then we are out for lunch and a walking tour of the town. Later this afternoon we visit Wat Xieng Thong, the Royal Temple. We may not have turkey, but we have much to be thankful for and we will celebrate Thanksgiving tonight at dinner. Tonight’s dinner features a Baci ceremony, Laotian dance, and delicious food! The Baci Ceremony involves the tying of white cotton strings
around a person’s wrists to balance our spirits, bringing harmony, good luck, and prosperity. (B, L, D)

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


Day 5 – November 26, Friday: Luang Prabang

Do you wish to join local people in the daily morning ritual of almsgiving? The saffron-robed monks with their black bowls come by in lines to collect the morning’s offerings. It is an unforgettable experience to walk with them. Remember not to touch the monk as you place
your gift in the bowl We will also not look straight into his face per local customs. We’ll provide bowls of hot sticky rice and you can also give local currency, but it must be new.
Later we will visit a museum to get an idea of the ethnic groups found in Laos, before continuing to a Hmong hill village. This ethnic group practices animism and follows shamans; their villages are fascinating and welcoming. Our walk through the village gives us a chance to stop and meet local families. Our visit is also a means of income for the residents.
We will visit a local family for lunch, which gives us insight into Hmong life. (B, L, D)
Victoria Xiengthong Palace


Day 6 – November 27, Saturday: Luang Prabang

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


Day 7 – November 28, Sunday: Luang Prabang / Yangon, Burma (Myanmar)

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

 

INLE LAKE EXTENSION

 

Day 10 December 6, Monday: Mandalay . Heho . Inle Lake

After breakfast, we take a flight from Mandalay to Heho. Upon arrival we drive (50 min ) to Nyaung Shwe boat jetty. From here it is a pleasant 50 min boat ride to Amata Garden Resort. Spend the night in Inle Lake. (B)

Amata Garden Resort
Amata Garden Resort is surrounded on the eastern banks of the Inle Lake by the vast stretch of tranquil and soothing backwaters and the emerald green Shan Hills. The place itself is wrapped in a quiet charm of its own. Since Amata Garden Resort is the only high rise 3 story hotel in this area, guests can enjoy an unbroken view of Inle Lake and the mountains.
Sprawling across 18 acres of lush greenery, Amata Garden Resort offers a comfortably 60 deluxe rooms & 2 deluxe Suites with a complete range of a new age amenities; the Lotus Spa; Shan traditionally styled houseboats; multi-cuisine restaurant; indoor & outdoor sunset lake view bar and countless other attractions around the resort in Inle Lake..


Day 11 December 7, Tuesday: Inle Lake

Today we get to see the famous one-legged rowers on Inle Lake!
This is no ordinary lake though. Inle is an enchanting world of villages on stilts and gardens that float on the surface of the lake (seriously!). One of the most photographed sights is the skilled Intha fishermen who balance on one leg, while using the other to maneuver the oar. We will take a relaxing boat ride across Inle Lake, stopping to see these sights along with some pagodas and lakeside 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 8, Wednesday: Inle Lake . Heho . Yangon

Thousands of mysterious temples and stupas await at the end of a boat ride along a narrow creek cloaked in foliage. The Indein complex is a collection of over 1,000 densely packed Shan- style stupas in varying states of decay. Part of its charm is that it has escaped restoration and the air of neglect just adds to the ethereal atmosphere. This is also scheduled to be Market Day. Do not forget your camera as this place is otherworldly.
Later we will drive from Inle Lake to Heho Airport to board our flight to Yangon. Flight envisioned: Heho – Yangon by 7Y151 (17:30-18:40) (B)
Spend the night in Yangon at Pullman Yangon Centrepoint (Deluxe Room)


Day 13, December 9, Thursday: Yangon – Home

Today we are headed for the airport. Pack up your bags and treasure your memories as we head home. Cross the International Date Line Enroute and gain a day. (B)

 

TERMS & CONDITIONS

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DATES/PRICING/ACCOMMODATIONS

Main Tour
Based on minimum 6 persons traveling $2,650 per person (twin occupancy)
Single room supplement $685
PRE-TOUR : Laos- Vientiane and Luang Prabang:
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
POST-TOUR Extension to Inle Lake
Land Arrangements include internal air
Based on minimum 4 persons $1,035 per person twin occupancy
Single room supplement $310

TERMS & CONDITIONS

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INCLUSIONS

Main Tour 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
  • Drinking water and cold towels during sightseeing
  • Multilingual 24-hour customer support hotline
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

 

Pre-Tour to Laos (Vientiane & Luang Prabang) inclusions
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 –inclusions
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

 

TERMS & CONDITIONS

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