Yangon to Mandalay, Bagan to Inle Lake: the must-see sights, rich culture and ancient traditions of Myanmar are revealed on this in-depth trip.
You'll enjoy Insider moments like...watching golden rays reflect off Shwedagon Pagoda, as you join local people at sunset for a traditional lamp lighting ceremony. And getting to know three generations of the same family in Bagan, as you savor a delicious home-cooked meal together.
Board your overnight flight to Asia (not included).
This morning, begin your walking tour of Yangon in the colonial heart of the city. See the City Hall, the former Immigration Department, the High Court and the red brick General Post Office before continuing to the luxurious Strand Hotel, built in 1901, for a well-earned refreshment. Later take the opportunity to try 'Mohinga' for lunch at one of Yangon's latest Tea Houses. It is considered to be Myanmar's National dish, a fish broth with noodles served with various accompaniments. In the afternoon, meet the students and teachers at a local monastic school before visiting the nearby Ngar Htat Gyi Pagoda to see its huge sitting Buddha. Return to the hotel to relax before an evening visit to the Shwedagon Pagoda. Take part in an oil lamp lighting ceremony before enjoying the sunset over the glistening pagoda. Later return to your hotel for an evening at leisure.
This morning, transfer to Yangon Airport for the short domestic flight to Mandalay. Visit Sagaing, a region where the hills are dotted with numerous pagodas and monasteries. Proceed to a nunnery for lunch alongside the nuns who live there, a Cultural Insight. Next drive to Amarapura and take a stroll on the U Bein Bridge, which is believed to be the longest teak bridge in the world. In Mandalay visit the Mahamuni Pagoda and observe local male devotees applying gold leaf to the spectacular Buddha image. Later stop at local workshops to see Kalaga tapestries being made and gold leaf being beaten into paper-thin pieces by Local Specialists. From here, continue to Kuthodaw Pagoda, where the Theravada Buddhist scriptures are inscribed on 729 marble slabs, giving rise to its nickname 'the world's largest book'. Afterwards visit the beautiful, teak-carved Shwenandaw Monastery, the only Royal Palace building to survive the World War II bombing.
Enjoy some free time and in the afternoon board your own private boat to cruise up the Ayeyarwady River to Mingun. Enjoy the peaceful scenery passing by on either shore and observe the small longtail boats, bamboo rafts and ferries going up and down the river. On arrival visit the Mingun Bell, which at 87 tonnes is the world's largest ringing bronze bell. Continue to the beautiful white Hsinbyume Paya, which rises in seven terraces representing the seven mountain ranges around Mt. Meru. See the unfinished but mighty Mingun Pagoda, which was built to be the world's largest but never completed due to local superstition. Later cruise downriver back to Mandalay.
This morning, enjoy a scenic drive along quiet roads to the town of Monywa. After lunch in a local restaurant, cross the Chindwin River to visit the sandstone caves in the Po Win Hills, named after a famous alchemist who once lived there. The numerous caves are richly decorated and full of Buddhist statues and murals that are thought to date from between the 14th and 18th centuries. Nearby visit Shwe Ba Daung, which features many caves and temples carved out from the surrounding volcanic rocks and filled with ancient Buddha images. Later return to your hotel for dinner and a relaxing evening.
This morning visit the Thanboddhay Pagoda, the richly decorated central stupa has no less than 845 smaller stupas around it. Next drive to Pakkoku, a traditional village famous for its tobacco trade and many small family run businesses producing a variety of goods, such as Burmese slippers, checked cotton blankets, paper mâché animals and dolls and wood carvings. Take a stroll around the village, visit several of these workshops and stop off at a cheroot maker's to observe a Local Specialist making cigars. Visit a small market selling Thanaka, a yellowish-white traditional cosmetic made from ground bark, a Cultural Insight. It is seen commonly applied to the face and sometimes the arms of the local people. Later take a private boat and cruise down the Ayeyarwady River to Bagan as the sun sets over the numerous pagodas that dot the landscape.
Today visit the most important of the 2200 pagodas and temples located around Bagan, the golden Shwezigon Pagoda, built by King Anawrahta in the early 11th century. See the 13th century frescoes adorning the corridors and walls of the Gubyaukgyi 'Cave' Temple before visiting Taung Bi village. In the afternoon, continue to the Ananda Temple, a whitewashed masterpiece of Mon architecture with four standing Buddhas. Learn from a Local Specialist how lacquer-ware is produced in one of Bagan's famous workshops. Later see the sunset at Bu Paya Pagoda before enjoying a Be My Guest dining experience with a local family in their home.
This morning fly to Heho. On arrival continue on to Nyaungshwe and board your private long-tail boat for the journey to Inle Lake. Take a scenic trip across the lake to Indein, passing through the busy village of Ywama with its many channels and tall teak houses on stilts. Disembark at the jetty and walk through Indein village to reach the 14th-18th century pagoda ruins of Nyaung Ohak. A covered walkway leads up to Shwe Inn Thein Paya, a complex of weather-beaten 17th-18th century zedi, some of which have been newly reconstructed. Later travel by boat downstream to your hotel for dinner and your overnight stay.
This morning make an early start to visit a local market for a Cultural Insight into the life of the ethnic Pa-O, Danu and Intha people, who visit the market to sell and buy goods. Travel by boat across the lake, its calm waters dotted with floating vegetation and fishing boats, to Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, the holiest religious site in the area. See the lake's unique leg rowers, Intha fishermen, who row standing up with one leg wrapped around a single oar to leave their hands free to manipulate the conical fishing net. Then participate in a hands-on cooking class with a Local Specialist. Select your own vegetables from the organic herb garden and prepare various traditional dishes that you'll later enjoy for lunch. This afternoon your choice of activities gives you two Cultural Insight opportunities: to visit a vineyard for wine-tasting or take a guided village walk to see local people making rice crackers and fishing nets.
In the morning transfer by boat to Nyaung Shwe and proceed to Heho Airport for your flight to Yangon. Enjoy some free time at the hotel and later perhaps take a stroll around Bogyoke Aung San Market to buy some last minute souvenirs. The market was named in honor of Myanmar's national leader who was assassinated in 1947, but many people still refer to it by its original name,Scott's Market. For your last evening in Myanmar, enjoy a Farewell Dinner in a local restaurant with your fellow travelers.
|Depart Date||Return Date||Price||Discount||Availability||Price|
|26 Sep 17||7 Oct 17||$3,475pp||Call 1-877-622-9109|
|28 Nov 17||9 Dec 17||$3,475pp||Request Quote Book Now|
|19 Dec 17||30 Dec 17||$3,475pp||Call 1-877-622-9109|
Price is per person and is based on two people sharing a twin bedded room. Single rooms are available at a supplement.
Single Room Supplement: from $630.
Room Share: Guaranteed Room Share is not available on this trip.
All inter-trip air related charges in economy class for Yangon to Mandalay, Bagan to Heho, and Heho to Yangon are included in the Land Only price shown.
Visas are generally required for Myanmar, please call for details.
Early Payment Discount: Pay in full to save the amount listed above. For details, click here.
AARP Members are entitled to an exclusive Member Benefit Discount on all Grand European Travel vacations. Plus receive a free travel gift! Call Toll Free: 1-866-847-3858 for details.
Past Travelers: Save an additional 5% off the price of the vacation.
Special Discounts: At times we offer discounted departures. These discounts are valid for new bookings only and are not combinable with any other discounts other than our Past Traveler Discount and $100 AARP Member Discount. Other restrictions may apply, please call for details
10 nights' accommodations, 10 buffet breakfasts, 5 lunches, 6 dinners.
U.S. citizens traveling to Myanmar must have a current passport that is valid for six months beyond the conclusion of their trip. You can find information on how to apply for a passport here, and how to renew a passport here. Travelers visiting Myanmar will also need an entry visa. We will send you application forms to complete to obtain your visa prior to departure. Visa costs and entry requirements can change at any time. Please visit travel.state.gov to learn more.
The currency in Myanmar is the Kyat. The most convenient way to obtain cash is to use your ATM or debit card at local banks. We recommend you also bring a valid credit card for purchases while you are traveling. It is important that you inform your financial institutions of your travel plans before you leave home so they don’t flag your purchases as potentially fraudulent charges.
One of the most enjoyable parts of traveling is sampling the local cuisine. Burmese food is a diverse mix of Chinese, Mon, Indian and Thai influences. Like other South East Asian cuisines, meals are served with rice and mainly vegetable and seafood based.
We suggest bringing comfortable, loose-fitting clothing that can be layered for your trip. Sturdy walking shoes are important for sightseeing excursions; a hat, lightweight jacket, and shawl or scarf could also come in handy. Keep in mind that your shoulders and knees should be covered while visiting religious sites. For more helpful information please refer to our Packing Tips & Packing List.
Tipping in Myanmar is not expected but always appreciated. It is common to leave extra change at most bars and restaurants. At nicer restaurants it is appropriate to tip your waiter 5-10 percent.
At the end of your guided vacation, it’s customary to offer your motor coach driver and Travel Director a gratuity. We recommend the equivalent of $4 per person/per day for your driver and $6 per person/per day for your Travel Director. Recommended gratuity for a Local Host and Local Specialist is the equivalent of 1-2 dollars per person, paid at the conclusion of each guided visit. A convenient option is to prepay your tips before your departure.
Baggage on our trips is restricted to one large suitcase per person with dimensions not exceeding 30x19x10 inches and a maximum weight of 50 pounds. You are also permitted one piece of hand luggage, which should be small enough to fit under your coach seat or on the small overhead shelf compartment. Please note that luggage with an adjustable handle and wheels will not fit in the overhead compartment of the coach. Hotel porterage is included in your vacation.
You will need to be comfortable on your feet, walking and standing for up to three hours in various weather conditions. All of our vacations involve walking, often on cobblestone and uneven surfaces in historic city centers. In order to get the most out of your vacation you need to be able to comfortably walk 1-3 miles unassisted in one day, be in good condition and be able to keep pace with the group.
If you need any medications, it is important that you bring enough to last you the whole trip and keep them in your carry-on bag while you travel.
We highly recommend our optional Travel Protection Plan, which allows you to cancel for any reason up to 48 hours before departure. The plan also includes trip interruption, baggage loss or delay, and medical and emergency assistance. Click here for a summary of coverage details, terms and conditions.
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