Save up to $800 per couple!!!
For a limited time only save up to $800 per couple
on this delightful journey to Burma.
Reserve by June 6, 2013
to qualify for the early booking discount.
Space is limited so please reserve early
Embark on an amazing journey to mystical Myanmar (formerly known as Burma), a land of timeless beauty and fascinating ancient traditions. Being isolated for many years, Burma offers a unique and rare glimpse to a bygone era. Immerse yourself in Burma's steep history, rich Buddhist culture, diverse ethnic groups and breathtaking natural beauty. You'll also savor colorful traditional markets and delight in the warm and gracious hospitality of the Burmese people! Space on this tour is strictly limited!
Day 2: En route. Cross the International Dateline and “lose” one day en route. You’ll “regain” this day when flying back to the USA at the conclusion of your journey!
Day 3: Yangon (Myanmar). Arrive this morning in Yangon (Rangoon), the vibrant capital of Myanmar. You’ll be met by your tour director and transfer to your upscale hotel. This afternoon you’ll be introduced to the charms of the city on a guided orientation tour, strolling through bustling Chinatown, filled with markets selling fresh produce and flowers. Stop at a typical shop to observe the making of flat rice noodles and rice flour pancakes. Proceed to the Indian Quarter, passing Hindu Temples and the Jewish Synagogue. Later, enjoy a trishaw ride and view colonial style buildings including the historic Strand Hotel. This evening join your fellow travelers for a welcome dinner and briefing at your hotel. Chatrium Hotel or similar. (D)
Day 4: Yangon. Yangon lies in the fertile delta of southern Myanmar, on the wide Yangon River. The city is filled with tree-shaded boulevards, while shimmering Buddhist stupas float above the treetops. Yangon became the capital in 1885, when the British completed the conquest of Upper Myanmar and Mandalay's brief period as capital of the last Burmese kingdom ended. Today, a local expert leads you on a full day guided tour of the downtown area, where the British colonial influence is still evident. Begin with a visit to the gleaming Sule Pagoda that marks the center of the city. Next, explore the National Museum to gain further insight into Myanmar’s rich history. Here, view the 25 foot high Sihasana Lion Throne, used by the last Burmese king as well as other fascinating artifacts. Enjoy some free time at the famous Scott Market, containing a vast selection of beautiful Burmese handicrafts. In the afternoon, visit some of Yangon’s renowned pagodas including the vast reclining Buddha at Chaukhtatgyi Pagoda and magnificent Shwedagon Pagoda, the highlight of any visit to Yangon.Towering over the city, this pagoda, believed to have been built some 2,500 years ago, is the most sacred spot in the country. The pagoda is covered with gold plates and its top dome is encrusted with thousands of sparkling diamonds and rubies. The Shwedagon and surrounding shrines are best viewed at sunset when you can admire the amazing sight of the changing colors. (B)
Day 5: Yangon/Bagan. This morning, board a short flight to Bagan, “the city of four million pagodas” that distills the very essence of Myanmar’s Buddhist culture. Bagan is a spectacular plain stretching away from the Irrawaddy River, dotted with numerous 800-year old temple ruins that make up for one of the richest archaeological sites in all of Asia. You’ll visit some of the most significant shrines including Schwezigon, Gubyaukhyi Temple, Htilominlo and the amazingly preserved and most revered Ananda Temple with its golden spires. Later travel to a Phwar Saw, a quaint village just outside Bagan where you may observe how the locals live and then visit a lacquerware workshop and learn about the delicate art of making and decorating lacquerware.
Day 6: Bagan. This morning, visit the colorful and bustling Nyaung Oo Market and enjoy the unique atmosphere. Later, continue your guided exploration of Bagan’s temple complex. After lunch at a local restaurant explore Bagan from a different perspective, by horse-drawn cart. The cart ride takes you off the beaten track to areas not reachable by car and give you unique close up access to some of the most remote and fascinating temples. Finish off a thrilling day admiring the beautiful sunset from the summit of a pagoda. (B,L)
Day 7: Bagan/Mandalay. Today fly to fabled Mandalay, Myanmar’s second largest city and at once the center of commerce and a repository of ancient culture. Enjoy a guided visit to the Mahamuni Pagoda, housing one of the most sacred statues of Buddha. En route to the pagoda, stop to observe the laborious process of gold-leaf beating, where gold is painstakingly hammered into tissue-thin squares and see some other handicraft workshops, specializing in woodcarving, marble masonry and tapestry making that Mandalay is renowned for. Proceed to the Shwe Kyaung, the Golden Teak Monastery that was once part of the Mandalay Palace, famous for its intricate woodcarvings. Later, visit the Kuthodaw Pagoda, housing the Buddhist scripture that is carved on hundreds of massive marble slabs. Conclude your day by savoring the panoramic views from atop Mandalay Hill. Mandalay Hill Resort or similar. (B,D)
Day 8: Mandalay. On today’s included tour visit three former royal capitals, each with its own unique atmosphere. In the morning, drive to Amrapura where you’ll visit Mahagandayon Monastery where every day at mid-morning, monks and novices line up to receive their daily offering of alms and food from faithful Buddhists. Next, head to Sagaing, the spiritual center of Myanmar. Numerous stupas, monasteries, temples and nunneries are to be found in Sagaing Hill, where thousands of monks and nuns retreat for meditation and contemplation. Later, cross the river by ferry to Inwa (Ava), situated on the banks of the Irrawaddy River. Once a royal capital, Inwa is now a quiet rural oasis. Enjoy a leisurely horse-drawn carriage ride around the peaceful countryside, briefly visiting Bagaya Kyaung, a beautiful teak wood monastery. On the way, stop and observe how local artisans make the famous alms bowls out of iron. Finally, return to Amarapura to view the renowned U Bein Bridge, the longest teak bridge in the world extending over picturesque Taungthaman Lake. At dusk, the bridge teems with monks and locals as they stroll along and linger to enjoy the colors of the sunset. (B,L)
Day 9: Mingun Excursion/Mandalay. This morning cruise upriver by motor boat to nearby Mingun, enjoying along the route the views of exotic fishing villages, market boats, women attending to their washing, and children playing in the water. Upon arrival, explore the ruins of the vast Mingun Pagoda, a monument to human ambition that was never finished, its size would have dwarfed all contemporary pagodas. Return to Mandalay by boat and enjoy some free time in the afternoon to explore independently or relax at your hotel’s poolside. (B)
Day 10: Mandalay/Heho/ Inle Lake. Board this morning a short flight to Heho. Upon arrival, embark on a scenic drive through the countryside to the small town of Nyaung Shwe, the gateway to splendid Inle Lake where you’ll take a private boat transfer to your lakeside hotel. Inle Lake is a vast, picturesque lake surrounded by hazy blue mountains. The lake’s shore and islands are home to 17 villages built on stilts and inhabited by the native Intha people, mostly farmers and fishermen that are renowned for their unique way of rowing. The balance of the day is at leisure to relax and soak the views and the unique atmosphere of this magical region. Enjoy an included dinner at your hotel tonight. Inle Resort or similar. (B,D)
Day 12: Inle Lake/Heho/Yangon. In the morning return to Nyaung Shwe by boat, then drive to Heho for your return flight to Yangon. Spend your final afternoon in Myanmar at leisure exploring at your own pace. Wander the winding alleys of Chinatown and Scott Market and browse for some last minute souvenirs. This evening join your fellow travelers for a farewell dinner at a famous local restaurant. Chatrium Hotel or similar. (B,D)
Day 13: Yangon/USA. After breakfast bid farewell to the Mystical lands of Burma as you board your return flight to Los Angeles. Your journey comes to an end as you arrive in the USA later today. (B)
YOUR TOUR INCLUDES:
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