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Burma - The Golden Land

16 days from £4240 per person

Burma is one of the most charming countries in the world. Full to the brim with historic treasures, a distinct culture and incredibly diverse natural beauty, this itinerary focuses on the classic cultural and scenic highlights of this 'Golden Land'. Begin in capital Yangon, home to the splendid Shwedagon Pagoda before visiting the ancient royal cities outside of Mandalay. Enjoy a memorable two-night cruise on the Irrawaddy River between Mandalay and Bagan – the latter the location of thousands of stupas that dot the flood plain of the Irrawaddy providing one of the finest views in Asia. End your journey relaxing alongside the floating villages of Inle Lake and the white-sand beaches of Ngapali.

Route: Yangon – Mandalay – Irrawaddy River – Bagan – Inle Lake – Ngapali Beach – Yangon

Itinerary Highlights

Despite modern appearances, Mandalay was the last royal capital of the Burmese kingdom. Highlights include Amarapura, U Bein Bridge and Mingun – site of the world’s largest intact bronze bell.

The Irrawaddy River is the life-blood of the country. Stretching from the mountains of the far north to the flood plains of the delta, there is no better way to experience Burmese life than on a river cruise.

A freshwater lake set amongst the Shan Hills, Inle Lake has many local villages. Local fishermen have a distinct rowing style using a leg to control the oar through the reed-covered water.

Itinerary: Burma - The Golden Land

Today depart the UK on the Emirates flight to Dubai. (N)
Arrive into Dubai and connect to Yangon where you will stay for the next two nights. Located in fertile delta close to the Andaman Sea, Yangon is a relaxed city of charming tree-lined streets, crumbling colonial architecture and glistening pagodas. In the afternoon travel into the city with your guide for a brief walk through the colonial centre and welcome cup of tea from one of the many street cafes. (N)
Accommodation in Yangon: Savoy Hotel (or similar)
Upgrade option: The Strand Hotel
Alternative upgrade option: Belmond Governor’s Residence Hotel
Today tour Yangon with your guide. Places of interest include Chaukhtatgyi Paya, a colossal reclining Buddha, the National Museum, beautiful Kandawgyi Lake and the mesmerising Shwedagon Pagoda. This 2,500 year old Buddhist temple is resplendent in over 60 tonnes of gold leaf, is the most sacred of all Buddhist sites in Myanmar and was described by Kipling as ‘a golden mystery’. Explore the many shrines and stay for sunset to admire the view. (B)
Accommodation in Yangon: Savoy Hotel (or similar)
Upgrade option: The Strand Hotel
Alternative upgrade option: Belmond Governor’s Residence Hotel
After breakfast you will be met and taken to Yangon Airport in good time to catch your onward flight to Mandalay. On arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel for a two night stay. Alternatively upgrade to the Mandalay Hill Resort. In the afternoon visit Mahamuni Paya which houses the highly venerated Mahamuni Buddha image and then the Shewenandaw Kyaung before climbing Mandalay Hill to enjoy the sunset. (N)
Accommodation in Mandalay: Hotel by the Red Canal (or similar)
Upgrade option: Mandalay Hill Resort
After breakfast visit the 18th century capital of Amarapura located 11kms south of the city. Founded in 1783, Amarapura lost its status as capital city in 1857 to Mandalay, however, pagodas such as Pahtodawgyi Paya and Kyauktawgyi Paya still remain as do numerous palace ruins and U Bein’s Bridge – a 1.2km long footbridge made entirely of 984 teak posts. Later continue to the ancient city of Inwa. For a long time Inwa was capital of northern Myanmar and subsequently the Burmese Kingdom from the 14th century to the 18th century. Return to Mandalay in the late afternoon. (B)
Accommodation in Mandalay: Hotel by the Red Canal (or similar)
Upgrade option: Mandalay Hill Resort
After a morning at leisure you will be taken to Saggai Lay Kyun Man Aung Jetty by 1130 hours to board the RV Katha Pandaw or RV Zawgyi Pandaw for the two night Irrawaddy River cruise between Mandalay and Bagan. The river between these two ancient cities defines the country and the small port towns, such as Pakokku, and tiny villages that line the riverbank epitomise Burmese life. The remainder of the day will be spent cruising the Irrawaddy. (B/L/D)
Accommodation on the Irrawaddy River: RV Katha Pandaw or RV Zawgyi Pandaw
This morning cruise downstream and disembark at the rural village of Yandabo, which is well known for its production of terracotta pottery from the riverbank clay. There will also be an opportunity to take time to visit the Pandaw School which was built with past donations from Pandaw passengers. Re-boarding the vessel and continue on, passing the confluence with the Chindwin River, and in the evening enjoy a tour of the small riverside town of Pakokku by trishaw. (B/L/D)
Accommodation on the Irrawaddy River: RV Katha Pandaw or RV Zawgyi Pandaw
Following breakfast, arrive in Bagan by 0900 hours and disembark at Ayer Jetty. Here you will be met and taken to your hotel for a two night stay. The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Bagan is one of the most important archaeological sites in Asia. Here thousands of temples and pagodas dot the vast flood plain of the Irrawaddy River and later enjoy a full day of sightseeing in and around this remarkable place with your guide. (B)
Accommodation in Bagan: Bagan Thande Hotel (or similar)
Upgrade option: Hotel at Tharabar Gate
Alternative upgrade option: Thiripyitsaya Sanctuary Hotel
Leaving Bagan, travel inland for a full day visit to Mount Popa. This scenic drive through the rural heartland of central Burma provides a wonderful opportunity to see, and visit, some of the small villages that line the route. Formed by an ancient volcanic eruption, Mt Popa towers over the surrounding landscape. Believed to be home to spirit Gods known as ‘Nats’, the hill-top temple and shrines that surround the main complex attract pilgrims from far and wide. Undertake the steep climb to the summit and later in the afternoon return to Bagan. (B/L)
Accommodation in Bagan: Bagan Thande Hotel (or similar)
Upgrade option: Hotel at Tharabar Gate
Alternative upgrade option: Thiripyitsaya Sanctuary Hotel
This morning fly to Heho. On arrival continue by car to the shores of Inle Lake and board a local long-tail boat which will be your transport for the duration of your stay here. Home to the local Intha people, Inle Lake is famous for its stilt villages, floating crops and local fisherman that row in a unique ‘one-legged’ style. Stunningly beautiful, this hidden gem highlights the diversity of Burma and is far removed from the country’s increasingly busy cities. (B)
Accommodation at Inle Lake: Inle Princess Resort
Alternative accommodation: Inle Lake View Resort
Today explore Inle Lake with your guide including a memorable visit to the small village of Indein which is home to enchanting 17th century pagodas, the Nyaung Ohak Monastery and numerous local craftsmen. After lunch visit further villages to witness silk and lotus weaving and cheroot making before winding your way back to the hotel through unique vegetable gardens of grass and earth that float on the lake surface. (B)
Accommodation at Inle Lake: Inle Princess Resort
Alternative accommodation: Inle Lake View Resort
This morning, after breakfast, return to Heho Airport in good time to catch your onward flight to Thandwe and Ngapali Beach. You will be met on arrival and taken to your hotel for a three night stay. Here, golden sand beaches, palm trees and the clear green waters of the Bay of Bengal create an idyllic setting in which to relax before departing the country. (B)
Accommodation at Ngapali Beach: Amata Resort & Spa (or similar)
Upgrade option: Bayview Beach Resort
Alternative upgrade option: Sandoway Resort
At leisure to relax and enjoy Ngapali Beach. (B)
Accommodation at Ngapali Beach: Amata Resort & Spa (or similar)
Upgrade option: Bayview Beach Resort
Alternative upgrade option: Sandoway Resort
After breakfast return to Thandwe Airport in good time to catch your onward flight to Yangon. On your arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel for an overnight stay. Later you will have an opportunity to visit the famous, and historic, Scott Market for some last minute shopping. (B)
Accommodation in Yangon: Savoy Hotel (or similar)
Upgrade option: The Strand Hotel
Alternation upgrade option: Belmond Governor’s Residence Hotel
In the early hours of the morning you will be met and transferred back to Yangon Airport in good time to catch your onward Emirates flight to Dubai. On your arrival in Dubai connect onto the Emirates flight to the UK. (N)
**KEY: N = No meals, B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner

What To Do Next?

We design unique, tailor-made holiday itineraries to suit you, by combining your ideas with our knowledge and experience. Once you have an idea of what you’re looking for, or if you require some advice, please call us or complete the enquiry form online for a quotation.

What's included

  • International flights from the UK
  • Domestic flights
  • Private car and driver
  • Sightseeing with an accompanying English speaking guide
  • Hotel accommodation and taxes

What's not included

  • Cost of visas
  • Travel Insurance
  • Expenses of a personal nature

Guide to Price

The above price is based on two people travelling together and sharing accommodation in low season. The price is only a guide and can vary according to selected airlines, hotels and date of travel. If you wish to travel with your family, friends or on your own we will be very happy to assist you with your arrangements.

Experts in Tailor-Made Holidays

For over 30 years, Pettitts Travel have led the way in creating authentic, tailor-made holidays. Our knowledgeable team have first-hand knowledge of our destinations and no two itineraries we prepare are the same.

Please call us for more information or complete the online enquiry form to request a quotation.

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