Explore the exotic land of Burma on this superb 11-day adventure, and experience the highlights of this intriguing country as it begins to open up to international visitors. You’ll begin in the former capital, Yangon, better known as Rangoon, filled with glittering Buddhist temples and evocative architectural reminders of the days of the Raj, before heading to Mandalay, Bagan and Inle Lake. You’ll discover picture-postcard pagodas and stupas, monasteries adorned with colourful murals, carvings and golden Buddhas and rural villages seemingly unchanged by time. You will also see the ‘world’s largest book’, walk on the world’s longest teak bridge and enjoy cruises along the Irrawaddy River and across beautiful Lake Inle.
9 nights in hotels and 2 in flight (accommodation as specified or similar)
Make your own way to London Gatwick Airport for a scheduled Emirates flight to Yangon via Dubai.
Day 2 Yangon
On arrival in Yangon, we transfer to our hotel for the next two nights, the Sedona Hotel Yangon (4T). This evening we will have dinner at the House of Memories, an historic colonial era building.
Day 3 Yangon
Today we will explore Yangon, also known as Rangoon, on a walking tour. The city is noted for its abundance of British Raj-era architecture and one of the best preserved buildings from this period is the Strand Hotel, dating from 1901. Once declared ‘the finest hostelry east of Suez’, today, it is once again operating as a luxury hotel. We will also visit the colourful neighbourhoods of Little India and Chinatown and Bogyoke Market, where there is time to browse through the dozens of stalls and shops selling handcrafts and souvenirs. After lunch we head to Kandawagyi Park, and the 99-metre high Shwedagon Pagoda, covered with gold and adorned with thousands of diamonds. The pagoda holds a number of sacred treasures, including strands of the Buddha’s hair.
Day 6 Mandalay - Bagan
Early this morning, we transfer to the Mandalay jetty to take a leisurely cruise on the Irrawaddy towards Bagan. The vessel is privately chartered for our group and along the way we will stop to explore a local village, and lunch will be served on board, before we reach Bagan in the late afternoon. Our hotel for the next two nights will be the Shwe Yee Pwint Hotel (3T), while we will dine in a Bagan restaurant this evening.
Day 7 Bagan
Today’s journey begins with a visit to an elevated temple which offers spectacular views over the surrounding plains, before we continue to the 900-year old Ananda Temple, one of the most revered temples in Bagan, which houses four standing Buddha statues, covered in gold leaf. Later we visit the village of Myinkaba, known for its traditional lacquer workshops and the 12th century Gubyaukgyi Temple, adorned with well-preserved murals. Before lunch at a local restaurant, we enjoy a traditional Burmese tea party. The remainder of the day is free.
Day 8 Bagan - Heho - Nyaung Shwe - Inle Lake
We transfer to the airport this morning for a flight to Heho and from there, a scenic one-hour drive leads to Nyaung Shwe, the gateway village to Inle Lake. On the way, we visit the wooden Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery, which features ornate carvings and a collection of Buddha images. We will also stop in Nyaung Shwe for a short walk around town and lunch at a restaurant. In the afternoon we call at Red Mountain Estate Vineyards to sample the local wine and enjoy the spectacular views over Inle Lake before we cross the lake by motorboat to check in to our hotel, the Pristine Lotus Spa Resort (4T).
Day 9 Inle Lake - Indein
We embark on a tour of Inle Lake today aboard our private motorboat, passing villages with stilted houses and floating gardens anchored to the bottom with bamboo poles. You will also see the leg‐rowing fishermen who steer their boats with incredible balance. In the village of Inpawkhone we will observe the traditional silk weaving techniques of the Inthar people and we also visit a cheroot factory where cigars are rolled by hand. Lunch today is in a local family’s workshop, where they will demonstrate how to create the delicious Inn Thar dishes that are popular throughout this region. Later we travel to Indein, on the south-western shore of the lake. Wander through the village and discover the beautiful temple complex in the Alaung Sitthou area, filled with picturesque stupas.
Day 10 Inle Lake - Heho - Yangon
You are free to relax or make your own discoveries this morning before we transfer to Heho this afternoon for a flight to Yangon. Upon arrival in Yangon, we transfer to the Sedona Hotel Yangon (4T), where we will be staying for our final night in Burma. Dinner is included this evening at Le Planteur - a fine-dining restaurant set within a mansion.
Day 11 Yangon - In flight
After most of the day at leisure, we transfer to Yangon Airport for a scheduled Emirates flight to London via Dubai.
Day 12 London
Upon arrival at London Gatwick Airport, you are free to make your own way home.
Visa is not included, please call for details
• Due to low water levels, the 8 May 2017 departure will travel by road from Bagan to Mandalay instead of by boat.
• This tour covers many must-see and memorable included visits. You should expect typical days to be early starts and early evening arrivals at hotels, and there is a significant amount of walking involved which includes areas of steep gradient and steps.