UK - In flight
Titan’s VIP door-to-door travel service collects you from home for your flight to Bangkok.
On arrival we transfer to the centrally-located Rembrandt Hotel & Towers (4T), where we stay for the next three nights. The remainder of the day is spent at leisure.
A city tour of Bangkok this morning, introduces us to its highlights including the spectacular Grand Palace. Built in 1782 and home of the Thai King for 150 years, it is a stunning display of beautiful architecture and intricate detail. Here we also see the Temple of the Emerald Buddha - Wat Phra Kaew - home to the astonishing 24-inch Emerald Buddha, carved from one large piece of jade, that sits under a canopy on a gilded pedestal. The afternoon is at leisure to explore this fascinating city.
Today we visit the famous bridge over the River Kwai, in Kanchanaburi. We visit the Cemetery of Allied Prisoners, containing the graves of 9,000 Allied soldiers who lost their lives while building the bridge and constructing the notorious ‘Death Railway’, which the Japanese had hoped to stretch all the way to the Burmese border. Our visit includes the Thailand-Burma Railway Museum and a train ride over the original Death Railway. After lunch we visit Hell Fire Pass. Historically important, it was part of the ‘Death Railway’ and was one of the most difficult sections of railway cutting. Later this afternoon we return to Bangkok.
Bangkok - Mandalay
Transfer to the airport for our flight to Mandalay. Our hotel is the Mandalay Hill Resort (4T) - our base for three nights.
We visit Amarapura, a former capital of Myanmar, situated by the Irrawaddy River where we take a local boat to the iconic 200-year-old U Bein Bridge which, at 1.2km long, is the world’s longest teak span. After lunch we continue to the ruined city of Ava (or Inwa); here we travel traditionally by horse and carriage through the old city to see the old wooden Bagaya Monastery and gain a glimpse of local life in the Burmese countryside. We return to our hotel in Mandalay and enjoy the afternoon at leisure. This evening’s dinner has been arranged for us in a local restaurant.
Today we visit the Jewellery Market, one of the few Southeast Asian markets where an authentic experience can still be found. Then travel to the hill town of Pyin Oo Lwin located on a plateau over 1,000m above sea level and renowned for its cooler temperatures and lush foliage. Many reminders of the colonial era are still present here, including brick and timber houses with British names. After lunch we enjoy a horse and carriage ride to explore the local surroundings and historical houses, stopping at the 175-hectare, beautifully-landscaped Botanical Gardens. We return to Mandalay for an included dinner at a local restaurant.
Mandalay - Monywa
Visit the Mahamuni Pagoda with its large, detailed Buddha images, covered in inches of gold-leaf which has been applied by male devotees through the centuries. We cross the Irrawaddy River to Sagaing. Widely regarded as the religious centre of Myanmar, it is covered with 600 pagodas and monasteries and is home to 3,000 monks. We stop at a small pottery village before driving to Monywa. View the largest reclining Buddha image in Myanmar, and Laykyun Setkyar, the largest standing Buddha in the world. Our hotel for the night is the Win Unity Hotel (3T) where dinner is included.
Monywa - Bagan
We visit fascinating cave complexes, containing some of the richest collections of mural paintings and Buddhist statues in Southeast Asia. Observe local farmers climbing palm trees to extract juice for the production of palm tree sugar as we continue on our drive to Pakokku, where we board a local boat for our cruise down river to New Bagan. We stay here at the Areindmar Hotel (3T) for three nights.
After visiting the colourful Nyaung-U market, we visit further impressive pagodas - the Shwezigon Pagoda, the hilltop TuYin Taung Pagoda, and the Lawka Nandar Pagoda, set in its golden splendour next to the Irrawaddy River. We have lunch at a local restaurant. The afternoon is spent at leisure.
In the small village of Myinkaba we enjoy a time-honoured Burmese tea party with traditional snacks, tea and coffee under the shade of trees. Late afternoon we board a cruise along the Irrawaddy River for spectacular views of Bagan, accompanied by a performance of Chinlone (a fascinating combination of sport and dance), before dinner back at our hotel.
Bagan - Inle Lake
Transfer to the airport for our short flight to Heho. On arrival we transfer to the town of Nyaungshwe, visiting the colourful market. In the afternoon we visit the superb Red Mountain Estate Vineyards and Winery to enjoy some wine tasting and the spectacular views over Inle Lake and the valley. Then cruise along Inle Lake, one of Burma’s most spectacular locations, to see stilted houses, floating gardens and fishermen demonstrating their unique leg-rowing technique. The Sanctum Inle Lake Resort (4T+) is our hotel for the next three nights.
This morning we take a relaxing boat trip to Sagar to see the ‘sunken’ stupas and visit a local monastery. We continue to the village of Thaya Gone, home to Pa-O, Shan and Inthar people and known for its rice wine production.
An early start this morning to visit Inle Lake’s morning market, which rotates its position around the lake’s villages. Lunch today is taken at the home of an Inthar family in a stilted house on the lake, in traditional style of sitting on the floor.
Inle Lake - Yangon
We transfer back to Heho for our flight to Yangon, where we stay for two nights in the excellent Chatrium Hotel Royal Lake (4T). On arrival, we take a short drive to Insein to visit the morning market, before boarding the lively circular train for a colourful ride through the neighbourhood. We have a short walking tour of downtown, visiting Mahabandoola Park and Sule Pagoda. After lunch we explore Bogyoke Market.
Today we gain a view of the past, present and future of Myanmar. We visit Bogyoke Aung San’s Old House - the father of Myanmar’s independence movement, liberating the country from colonial rule, before lunch at the House of Memories. We continue to Aung San Suu Kyi’s house, and the National League of Democracy headquarters. An early evening visit to the magnificent Shwedagon Pagoda Complex - home to the most revered temple in Burma - at sunset there are breathtaking views of the illuminated Pagoda and surrounding skyline - a truly fitting end to a memorable journey. Enjoy a farewell dinner this evening.
Yangon - Bangkok - In flight
Transfer to the airport for your overnight return flight to the UK.
Day 18 UK
Upon arrival, your Titan vehicle will be waiting for the journey home.