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Splendors of Myanmar

  • Destination: Asia & India, Myanmar, Myanmar/Bhutan
  • Duration: 10 days
  • Start: 10/18/2017
  • End: 10/27/2017
  • Price: $4395

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SAVE $150 IF BOOKED BY JUNE 15
See mysterious Myanmar (Burma) on a 10-day visit to the cities of Mandalay, the lost temple city of Bagan, the colonial outpost Yangon and the beautiful
region of Inle Lake. Seemingly untouched by time, Myanmar is a land of golden pagodas and saffron-robed monks. Myanmar is one of the last must-see
places on earth. Golden temples, saffron-robed monks, ancient legends and gracious people – Myanmar holds endless wonders, waiting to be revealed.
Start & End in Yangon.

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Please click ( + ) signs by each day for detailed information.

Day 1

Wed, Oct 18, 2017 • Depart The USA

travelForward
Depart the USA on any regularly scheduled flight to Yangon (RGN.) There are flight options into Yangon through an Asian gateway (Seoul, Beijing, Hong Kong) or the Middle Eastern gateway of Doha. Otherwise, you may wish to book round-trip Bangkok and plan to overnight in Bangkok before flying into Yangon.
Day 2

Thu, Oct 19 • Arrive Yangon

mbday2Arrive Yangon International Airport where you are met by your Burmese tour guide after clearing immigration and customs control (A VISA IS REQUIRED FOR ENTRY INTO MYANMAR. IT MUST BE OBTAINED PRIOR TO DEPARTURE FROM THE USA.) and transfer to your hotel, The Strand Hotel. Renovated in 2016, this iconic hotel was built in 1901 by the famous Persian brothers, Sarkies, who also built the Singapore Raffles. Gather this evening in the hotel for a Welcome Dinner with fellow travelers.

Hotel: The Strand Hotel – 5☆
Room: Deluxe Suite
Meals: Dinner

Day 3

Fri, Oct 20 • Yangon

mbday3This morning drive to China town and walk through 17th and 18th streets to see the vegetable and fish & meat markets. Walk up one of the small side streets to see the older Chinese buildings. Discover here how Chinese noodles and Dim Sum are produced. Continue walking to Indian town and visit the Indian market. Here all kinds of spices are sold. Drive to Botathaung Pagoda, located close to Yangon River. It is said to contain Buddha relics.

Make a photo stop at the gilded Sule Pagoda, dating back over 2,000 years, and a landmark in central Yangon. Afterwards, stop at Bogyoke (Scott) Market for an opportunity to see Myanmar’s wide range of handicrafts. Stop alongside Kandawgyi (Royal) Lake to take photographs of Shwedagon Pagoda. Finally stop for sunset at the world famous Shwedagon Pagoda. Its golden stupa is the ‘heart’ of Buddhist Myanmar. The Pagoda is believed to be 2,500 years old and the central stupa is surrounded by dozens of intricately decorated buildings and statues. There are always many Burmese people praying and making offerings at Shwedagon. It is a fascinating place to people watch.

Hotel: The Strand Hotel – 5☆
Room: Deluxe Suite
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4

Sat, Oct 21 • Bagan

schEarly this morning, transfer to Yangon Airport for the flight to Bagan. Scattered on a large plain beside the Ayeyarwady River are the magnificent red brick temples and pagodas that are the great legacy of the kings of Bagan. Built from 1057 to 1287 AD in honor of the royal Buddhist faith, the pagodas display impressive architecture and interiors of colorful murals and exquisite Buddha statues. From the top, one can enjoy awesome views of the immense, temple-dotted plain.

We start our sightseeing from the airport with the busy local market, continuing with visits to a diverse selection of the most important pagodas and temples in Bagan. These include the Shwezigon Pagoda, a huge gilded temple built by King Anawrahta in the early 11th century. Continue to the eminent Ananda Temple; one of the finest and largest pagodas, with a 170-foot shimmering gold tip plus four huge standing-Buddha images and numerous seated figures arranged around the interior gallery.
Later, visit a lacquer craftsman’s workshop in nearby Myingaba village. Sightseeing continues with visits to Manuha Temple, built in Mon style in 1059; Nanpaya Temple, a unique sandstone monument that is said to have been the palace of King Manuha; and Gubyaukgyi (Myingaba) under the protection of UNESCO because of its ancient mural paintings.

Hotel: Aureum Palace Resort – 4☆
Room: Jasmine or Orchid Lake View
Meals: Breakfastl, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5

Sun, Oct 22 • Bagan

mbday5OPTIONAL: There is no better or more spectacular view of the ancient kingdom of Bagan than from a hot air balloon. This world-famous archaeological site of more than a thousand Buddhist temples scattered over a plain is at its best when seen from a bird’s eye vantage, as the sun comes up gently over the Ayeyarwady River.

You will be collected from your hotel in Balloons Over Bagan’s vintage Renault bus, and provided with a light breakfast and safety briefing while the balloons inflate, before enjoying a dawn flight lasting just under one hour.
Balloons Over Bagan is operated by qualified pilots and technicians who are all registered in the United Kingdom. Cameron Balloons Ltd., the world’s largest manufacturer of high quality balloons, manufactures the equipment. Eleven balloons carrying a total capacity of 140 passengers are available for pre-booking.

This morning visit Minnanthu village by horse cart. Visit Tayoke Pyay, Payathonzu and Nandamanya Temples (noted for exquisite 13th century murals) and Kyat Kan Cave Monastery, a famous meditation centre in Bagan. Visit farming houses around Bagan.
In the afternoon, enjoy an excursion to the beautiful Nat Htaung Kyaung, a monastery famous for wood carvings, built in 1781 by a group of monks. Admire the monastery’s collection of ancient Buddha statues and lacquer boxes.

Hotel: Aureum Palace Resort – 4☆
Room: Jasmine or Orchid Lake View
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6

Mon, Oct 23 • Bagan | Mandalay | Amarapura | Mandalay

mbday6Transfer to Bagan Airport for a flight to Mandalay. From the airport drive to Amarapura and take a stroll on U Bein Bridge, which at over a kilometre is believed to be the longest teak bridge in the world.

In the afternoon, drive along the busy Ayeyarwady River where you see many boats loading goods as well as women washing laundry. The visit Mahamuni Pagoda, home to a spectacular Buddha image covered with thick layers of gold leaves. Stop at local workshops to see Kalaga tapestries being made, gold leaf being beaten into paper-thin pieces. From here, we go 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. Atop Mandalay Hill lie glittering glass-studded temple walls which reflect the evening glow as you watch the sunset.

Hotel: Mandalay Hill Resort – 4☆
Room: Deluxe Mandalay Hill View
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7

Tue, Oct 24 • Mandalay | Pyin Oo Lwin (Maymo) | Mandalay

mbday7Drive up into the hills from Mandalay (80 Km, about 2 hours) for a full day visit of Pyin Oo Lwin (Maymyo), a former British hill station. Visit the local market and drive through the charming town in a horse-drawn ‘stage coach’, giving you the chance to admire the red brick and half-timbered houses, complete with English-style gables, turrets and chimneys.

In the afternoon, visit the tiny Forestry Museum (if open) and the National Botanical Kandawgyi Gardens, which were laid out by Sir Harcourt Butler, a former Governor of Burma – the flower beds are similar to those you would find in an English country garden! Proceed to Peik Chin Myaung Caves, since ancient times a Buddhist shrine. Return to Mandalay in the early evening.

Hotel: Mandalay Hill Resort – 4☆
Room: Deluxe Mandalay Hill View
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8

Wed, Oct 25 • Mandalay | Heho | Inle Lake

mbday8After an early breakfast you are transferred to Mandalay airport for a domestic flight to Heho. Transfer from Heho airport down into the valley to Nyaungshwe on the edge of Inle Lake (approx. 1hour). Stop along the way to visit Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery. Board a private local boat to take you to your hotel, the Inle Princess Resort.

In 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, and photograph the many channels and tall teak houses on stilts. Enter a long tree-lined canal towards Indaing Jetty where farmers cultivate the land on either side under the backdrop of the Shan Hills. After disembarking we will take a brief 15 minute walk through Indaing village to reach the 14th-18th century pagoda ruins of Nyaung Ohak. Many pagodas here remain charmingly unrenovated with plants and even small trees growing out of them making them very eerily atmospheric. A covered walkway, popular with souvenir stalls leads up to Shwe Inn Thein Paya, a complex of weather beaten zedi (stupas). Returning to the river jetty we take our long-tailed boat back along the canal to the Lake.

Hotel: Inle Princess Resort
Room: Lake House
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9

Thu, Oct 26 • Inle Lake

mbday9Explore one of the 5-day markets (on market day only). By visiting 5-day markets, you will get insight into the life style of the ethnic Pa-O, Danu and Intha inhabitants who come to these markets to sell their goods. During today’s excursion by boat on picturesque Inle Lake, you will see the famous leg rowers, the typical floating gardens where fruit and vegetables are grown, local methods of fishing and the colorful village life. A highlight is often the visit to 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. Also 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, one of the oldest monasteries on the lake and where inside its large wooden meditation hall there are over 200 year old ancient Buddha statues. Returning back to the hotel the beauty of sunset over Inle Lake enchants all visitors.

Hotel: Inle Princess Resort
Room: Lake View Room
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10

Fri, Oct 27 • Heho | Yangon

mbday10Transfer to the airport for your flight to Yangon. Connect with international flights to USA, Bangkok or elsewhere. Transportation and our guide will be available if we need to spend some time touring before our flights.

Meals: Breakfast

Hotels

The Strand Hotel – 5☆

5star

Built in 1901, The Strand quickly became one of Asia’s most prestigious hotels, hosting such guests as Prince Edward, George Orwell and Noël Coward. Today the white-washed façade, teak-framed windows and elegant interiors are newly splendid, and transport to the bygone era when Rudyard Kipling and Somerset Maugham were in residence.

Aureum Palace Resort – 4☆

4star

Set within Bagan Archaeological Preservation Zone amongst the ancient temples of The Kingdom of Bagan this expansive resort and luxury spa set amidst 27 acres of tropical landscaped gardens offers the ultimate in relaxation for guests seeking a unique experience for the historical traveler.

Mandalay Hill Resort – 4☆

4star

Handily placed in a beautifully manicured jungle at the base of Mandalay Hill, the city’s best resort hotel has a lovely outdoor pool and a breathtaking spa area that feels like an Indiana Jones treasure trove. At Mandalay Hill Resort Hotel, each room has a garden view.

Inle Princess Resort – 5☆

5star

Lapped by the eastern fringe of Inle Lake and backed by the blue peaks of the Shan Hills in northern Burma, this is one of the few up-country hotels that combines five-star service with a real commitment to local cultures. It’s also one of the few not connected to the old regime.

Rates & Facts

Rates Double Occupancy Single Occupancy
Per Person $4395 $5895

Inclusions
  • Accommodation in sharing twin as listed in the Itinerary
  • All meals from Day 2 through Breakfast on Day 10
  • All transfers and sightseeing as required per the itinerary
  • Intra-tour flights within Myanmar as needed
  • English speaking accompanying guide throughout in Myanmar
  • Coda Tour Manager based on minimum participation
  • Government and Taxes
  • Entrance Fees for sites listed in the itinerary
  • Pre-departure assistance & final document packet
Not included

 
International and Intra-tour airfares and airport taxes. (These are sold separately.); Insurance of any kind / medical expenses; Beverages with meals; Expenses of personal nature (laundry, telephone/fax calls, camera/video fees etc.); Gratuities to guides, drivers, hotels, porters; All the extras mentioned above as ‘Supplements’ if any.

Myanmar Visa

The Myanmar visa must be obtained prior to departure from the USA. Information about obtaining your visa on line will be sent to you approximately 60 days prior to departure.

Weather

Elevation: 95 feet | Latitude: 16 54N | Longitude: 096 11E

Yangon Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
High 89 94 99 99 86 85 86 88 89 88 85 87
Low 65 67 71 78 76 77 76 76 76 79 73 67
Rainfall 0.2 0.1 0.3 0.6 11.9 21.6 22.0 23.7 14.5 8.1 2.4 0.3

Elevation: 252 feet | Latitude: 21 56N | Longitude: 096 05E

Mandalay Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
High 82 88 96 100 98 93 93 92 91 89 85 81
Low 56 60 68 77 79 79 79 79 79 78 65 59
Rainfall 0.2 0.1 0.3 0.6 11.9 21.6 22.0 23.7 14.5 8.1 2.4 0.3

Visas & Passports

The Government of Burma strictly controls travel to, from, and within Burma. You must have a valid passport with at least six months remaining validity and a visa to enter Burma. You should apply for your visa at a Burmese embassy or consulate abroad before you arrive in Burma.

Currency Exchange

The Burmese Kyat is the currency of Myanmar (Burma). The currency code for Kyats is MMK
EXCHANGE AS OF OCTOBER 29, 2013
K974 MMK=$1.00

Time Zone

Myanmar’s time zone is UTC+06:30
New York 12:00PM= Yangon 10:30 PM

Shopping

There are lots of things to buy in Myanmar including antiques, but be aware that there are strict regulations regarding their export. The same restrictions apply to archaeological artifacts. There are some wonderful items made from bamboo available. Coconut masks make for interesting decorations and come in all shapes and sizes and are popular gifts to take home. The most sought-after embroidery is the Kalaga, a traditionally crafted tapestry depicting Buddhist scenes.

Language

The Burmese language is the official language of Burma. Burmese is the native language of the Bamar and related sub-ethnic groups of the Bamar, as well as that of some ethnic minorities in Burma like the Mon.

Health

Make sure you are up-to-date on routine vaccines before every trip. These vaccines include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, polio vaccine, and your yearly flu shot.

Gratuities

Tips are very common in Asia, but not generally in Myanmar. For waiters, luggage porters, maids, bus drivers, taxi drivers and tour guide gratuities are a nice addition to their meager wages.

Airport Taxes

International and domestic airport taxes are charged. Most of the time, these taxes are already in your air ticket.

Clothing

Do not wear shorts. No locals wear them, and the less skin/hairiness showing, the better. Please exercise some modesty in this country, likewise, women should forget skimpy camisole tops and cleavage-baring blouses.

Electricity

Myanmar uses AC220~250V and 50Hz. The electricity is mainly powered by the hydropower plants and some small-scale gas & diesel turbines. The blackouts are common from December to June every year, and this is the time where the people use electricity on quota basis. However, most tourist class hotels have backup generators to provide at least 12-hour per day electricity. This may also be varying to the prevailing fuel costs.



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