Burma - The Golden Land
16 days from £3850 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. Fly to Bagan where thousands of stupas dot the flood plain of the Irrawaddy to provide 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.
Formerly the capital of Burma, Amarapura is south of Mandalay and next to the Irrawaddy River. U Bein bridge, the longest teak bridge in the world, uses wood from the old palace.
Ancient Bagan lies on the eastern bank of the Ayerarwady River and is known for the Archaeological Area where over 2000 Buddhist monuments tower over the plains.
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.
Day 1 Depart the UK
Today depart the UK on the Thai Airways flight to Bangkok. (N)
Day 2 Arrive Bangkok
Bangkok to Mandalay – by air
Arrive into Bangkok and connect directly onto Mandalay where you will be met and transferred to either the Mandalay Hill Resort or the Hotel by the Red Canal for three nights. 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)
Day 3 Mandalay – visit Amarapura and Inwa
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 Inwa, an ancient city which, for a long time, 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)
Day 4 Mandalay – visit Mingun
Today take a short boat ride upriver to the village of Mingun – site of the world’s largest intact bronze bell. Located north of Mingun Paya, the Mingun Bell was cast in 1808, weighs over 90 tonnes and is about four metres in height and over five metres in diameter at the lip. Also take time to visit the ruin of Mingun Paya before retuning by boat back to Mandalay. (B)
Day 5 Mandalay to Bagan – by air
This morning leave Mandalay and fly to the ancient city of Bagan, one of the most important archaeological sites in Asia and a highlight of any visit. Thousands of temples and pagodas dot the vast flood plain of the Irrawaddy River and, at sunset, end the day with a marvellous panoramic view of these ancient houses of religion. Stay at the Thiripyitsaya Sanctuary Hotel for the next three nights. (B)
Day 6 Bagan
After breakfast leave your hotel for a full day of sightseeing in and around Bagan with your guide. Magnificent pagodas include Ananda Pahto, one of the finest, largest, best-preserved and most revered of the Bagan temples, Thatbyinnyu Pahto which rises 61m and was built in the mid 12th century, Shwezigon Pagoda and Nathlaung Kyaung, the last remaining Hindu temple. (B)
Day 7 Bagan to Mount Popa – 56kms (one way)
Leaving Bagan, travel inland from the Irrawaddy River for a full day visit to fascinating 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. Mount Popa itself said to have risen from the earth in a volcanic eruption dated to 442BC and today is believed to be home to spirit Gods or ‘Nats’ and many pilgrims come here to perform ceremonies at the numerous shrines. Later in the afternoon return to your hotel in Bagan. (B/L)
Day 8 Bagan to Heho – by air
Heho to Inle Lake – 34kms
This morning fly to Heho and continue by car to the shores of Inle Lake where you will board a local long-tail which will be your transport for the duration of your stay at the lake. 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 busy modern world. On your arrival stay for two nights at either the Inle Princess Resort or the Inle Lake View Resort. (B)
Day 9 Inle Lake
Today explore Inle Lake with your guide including a memorable visit to the small village of Indein which is home to some enchanting 17th century pagodas, including 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 gardens of grass and earth that float on the lake surface. (B)
Day 10 Inle Lake to Heho – 34kms
Heho to Thandwe – by air
This morning, after breakfast, return to Heho Airport in good time to catch your onward flight to Thandwe which is the closest airport to Ngapali Beach. Stay for three nights at either the Sandoway Resort, Amazing Ngapali Resort or Bayview Beach Resort. 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)
Day 11 Ngapali Beach
Day 12 Ngapali Beach
At leisure to relax and enjoy Ngapali Beach. (B)
Day 13 Thandwe to Yangon – by air
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 the Governor’s Residence Hotel where you will stay for two nights. 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. (B)
Day 14 Yangon
Today tour this colourful city. Places of interest include the Chaukhtatgyi, a colossal reclining Buddha, the National Museum, beautiful Kandawgyi Lake and the magical 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’. Stay for sunset and admire the view. (B)
Day 15 Yangon to Bangkok – by air
This morning you will have an opportunity to visit the famous, and historic, Scott Market for some last minute shopping. Later in the afternoon you will be transferred back to Yangon Airport in good time to catch your onward flight to Bangkok. On your arrival in Bangkok connect onto the Thai Airways flight to the UK. (B)
Day 16 Arrive UK
Arrive back in the UK early in the morning. (N)
KEY: N = No meals B = Breakfast L = Lunch D = Dinner
- 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 price above is a guide and can vary according to selected airlines, hotels and season. If you wish to travel alone we will be very happy to assist you with your arrangements and will provide a proposal on request
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