Myanmar Adventure 

17 Day Escorted Tour, 7-17 April, 2018  

APRIL 2018

Depart Auckland on Malaysia Airlines midnight flight via Kuala Lumpur. Upon arrival, we will be greeted by the local guide and transferred to our Hotel to settle in. Yangon, formerly known as Rangoon, is a large city with rich colonial and spiritual heritage that makes it one of the most fascinating cities in Southeast Asia. After refreshing at the hotel and a welcome lunch, transfer to Yangon Heritage Trust’s downtown office where their specially-trained guide will give us a briefing about the progress, and challenges in preserving the city’s colonial buildings. We then visit the most prominent pagoda in the city, Shwedagon Pagoda, which was originally built 2600 years ago to enshrine eight hair relics of Buddha. We may see Buddhist devotees there and observe their way of life in Buddhism. Before we go to dinner enjoy the sunset from the 26 century old Most Glorious Buddhist Shrine. Overnight at Tawwin Garden Hotel.
After breakfast we travel to Kyaikhtiyo the ‘Golden Rock’, a huge boulder completely covered in gold leaves and delicately balanced on the edge of a cliff. From Kin Pun we drive 11 km to an intermediate point by local truck and then proceed to the summit by palanquin to check in at the Kyaikhtiyo hotel. Today we will visit the Golden Rock and in the evening watch the beauty of the sunset at this important pilgrimage site. Overnight at Kyaik Hto Hotel. (B)

This morning we return to Yangon. On the way we will sightsee at Bago, the ancient Mon Capital. Highlights here include Kyaik Pun Pagoda and Shwemawdaw Pagoda. Kyaik Pun Pagoda is over a thousand years old with an enormous spire. The 55 meter long reclining Shwethalyaung Buddha image is among the country’s most revered. We will also see the Hanthawadi Palace and Kanbawza Thadi, the famous palace of King Bayinnaung (1551 – 1581 A.D.). These palaces are being extensively excavated and some buildings in the complex are being rebuilt. Return to Yangon through rural landscape of paddy fields and small villages. Overnight at Tawwin Garden Hotel. (B)


After breakfast we transfer to airport for our flight to Bagan. On arrival we are taken to Shwezigon Pagoda, a prototype of later Myanmar stupas. Then on to Wetkyi-in Gubyaukkyi Temple with its fine mural paintings of Jataka scenes. After that transfer to our hotel for check-in and rest. This afternoon’s sightseeing tour starts with a visit to Manuha Temple with its gigantic Buddha images, then a captive king''s impression of life in prison, and on to Nanpaya, an early-style temple with its fine stone carvings. Although it has spot lights installed it would be recommended to bring our own torch as the electricity supply can shut-off from time to time. In the evening we visit the Ananda Temple, an architectural masterpiece resembling a Greek cross. In Bagan there are more than 2000 temples and stupas. Overnight Amazing Bagan Resort. (B)


Our morning sightseeing tour begins with Shwe Gukyi Temple offering panoramic beauty of the old Bagan area. Here we have the chance to study the ruin palace sites of Bagan. We then visit the highest temple of Bagan “Thatbyinnyu”, followed by Dhammayangyi, a massive temple with its famous fine brickwork. Our last temple visit will be Sulamuni Temple where we will see fine frescos from the 18th century Kone Baung era. The afternoon is free at leisure. Just before dusk we will take a view of the sunset from a Bagan Temple on nearby Tayoke Pyay. Overnight at Amazing Hotel Bagan. (B)


After an early breakfast we transfer to the jetty for a full day river cruise on the majestic ‘Ayeyarwaddy’ River from Bagan to Mandalay. Enjoy the extraordinary scenery and interesting sights along the picturesque Irrawaddy River on a Shwe Kein Nayee boat. Arrive at the jetty in the evening and transfer to our hotel and check in. Overnight at Hotel Amazing Mandalay. (B)


This morning we visit the famous Mahamuni Pagoda, one of the most sacred Buddha images in Mandalay. Return back to our hotel for some leisure time. This afternoon’s sightseeing begins with Shwenandaw Monastery, noted for its exquisite wood carvings, and Kuthodaw Pagoda, known as the ‘World’s Biggest Book’ for its stone slabs of Buddhist scriptures. The tour continues to Mandalay Hill, a vantage point for a panoramic view of the city and its spectacular sunsets. We will have the opportunity to stroll up the hill and enjoy the panoramic views from many different locations. Overnight Hotel Amazing Mandalay. (B)


After breakfast transfer to the Mandalay Jetty and board a private local boat for an hour cruise on the Irrawaddy River to Mingun. We visit the main sites of Mingun beginning with the famous Mingun Pahtodawgyi. This huge brick structure was left unfinished after an astrologer predicted the king’s would die should the temple be completed. In the 1800s an earthquake left several large cracks in the structure. We then visit the Mingun Bell which weighs 90 tons and is considered the world’s largest intact ringing bell. Then continue our tour to the beautiful white Hsinbyume Pagoda whose distinctive style is meant to resemble the mythical Mount Meru. Return to Mandalay by boat. After lunch, continue south of the city to Ava, the capital from 14th to 18th centuries, where a short ferry ride will take us across the river to where horses and carts await us to visit the old wooden Bagaya Monastery and the remains of the Royal Palace and Fort. There are many small villages located amid Ava’s ruins so we get a good glimpse of local life in the Burmese countryside. Return toward to City. Overnight in Hotel Amazing Mandalay. (B)


After breakfast, transfer to Mandalay International Airport for the flight to Heho in Shan State. Upon arrival at Heho Airport we drive to Kalaw, with a stop on the way at a local market in Aung Ban that sell typical local foods, wines, and traditional handcrafts. Here we can try the famous Shan Noodles at one of Myanmar’s traditional teashops. The small street market also has Myanmar Orchid stalls and a great variety of fruit. Shan dried tea there is the best of Myanmar. We then continue to Kalaw, a British Hill Station and charming small town with ethnic minorities, such as the Pa-O, Palaung and Shan peoples. In the town we will experience the colonial atmosphere with its lovely historic buildings, and houses with chimneys that are indicative of the weather in this region which is over 1300 meters above sea-level. The slightly higher elevation means that the air temperature is usually much cooler than much of the country. We suggest to pack a small jacket for the evening. Overnight Pine Hill Resort Motel. (B)


Today we drive to Pindaya, a small peaceful town situated at the base of Shan Mountains at the end of the fertile plains. It is very picturesque on the way to Pindaya so we will make many stops for photography and to meet the local farmers working in their fields cultivating a variety of crops such as sesame, cabbage, cauliflower, mustard oil, wheat etc as well as the perennial orchards of mandarin oranges. Upon arrival we visit the Paper Cottage industry for its Shan Paper production and the process of making umbrellas by hand. We then drive up to Pindaya Limestone Natural Caves with more than 8000 Shan Buddha Images. In the afternoon we continue to Nyaung Shwe, another Shan town, bordering famous Inle Lake at the northern end. On the way visit Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery, built mainly of teak wood in 1882 with its pagoda of colourful mosaics decorated on the interior walls. Then continue to Nyaung Shwe where we embark on a longboat to reach our hotel at Inle Lake. Overnight at Hotel in Inle Lake. (B)


After breakfast, we start with a visit to a traditional market in a village on the lake shores. Here the market operates 5 days a week and we will see some of the tribal women such as Pa-O and Pua Laung selling their farm produce. This offers great photo opportunities. Continue by boat along a small river that flows into Inle Lake to the Indein Ruined Pagoda Complex, passing large green Myanmar bamboo forests on the way. The Indein pagodas stand on a slope of a hill and provides a panoramic view of the lake. In the afternoon proceed to Nyaung Shwe and visit Red Mountain Estate Vineyards and Winery which is located at the north eastern part of Inle Lake. Here we enjoy the magnificent views of Inle Lake and its stilt villages while we taste their wines and learn about the grape varieties grown in the estate. Overnight at Pine Hill Resort Motel. (B)


After breakfast transfer by boat to Nyaung Shwe and then by coach to Heho Airport for our flight to Thandwe and on to Ngapali Beach, the most beautiful beach in Myanmar. White sand and clear water are the attributes of Ngapali plus the wonderful fresh sea-food and little tourists. Ngapali Beach is believed to be first discovered by the Italians, who worked for the British Government during the colonial era. The beach so enchanted them that they gave it the name ‘Napoli’ however now it’s called ‘Ngapali’. This evening enjoy our first sunset at the beach. Overnight at Amazing Ngapali Beach Resort. (B)


Full day to relax at the beach and enjoy the great variety of sea-food dishes on offer. Overnight at Amazing Ngapali Beach Resort. (B)


This morning is free until our afternoon flight back to Yangon. Upon arrival we return to our hotel and check in. After refreshments we visit Scott Market which sells many Myanmar traditional handicrafts, gold and copper items, stone carvings, wood carvings, lacquer ware, and so on. Visit also the colonial British built train station and enjoy a ride on one of city circle routes. Overnight Tawwin Garden Hotel. (B)


After breakfast begin with a stroll along the downtown area of colonial buildings, taking in the old town hall and ending at the old Strand Hotel. We will see the old Australian Embassy, British Embassy, and the red-bricked General Post Office. At Mawtin Jetty enjoy the riverside activities. We stop and relax in Kandawgyi Park before moving on to Chaukhtetgyi Reclining Buddha which is the largest in Yangon. The final stop is at the Mary Chapman School for the Deaf to learn about their activities, history and on-going projects that support the local deaf community. If time permits we can enjoy a therapeutic massage by one of the school’s trained masseurs, a perfect way to wind down after a day of touring. Overnight Tawwin Garden Hotel Yangon. (B)


Check out from the hotel and if time permits a visit to the Kuauk Taw Gyi Pagoda and the nearby Elephant House where rare white elephants are kept. Early afternoon transfer to Yangon International airport for our departure on Malaysia Airlines via Kuala Lumpur and our overnight flight to Auckland. (B)


Arrive Auckland midday.


$4998.00 per person share twin/double,
$5765.00 per person single

  • International economy class flights ex Auckland
  • 15 Nights’ accommodations bed and Breakfast in twin or double sharing room
  • Domestic flights for all sectors mentioned in the program
  • Private good air-conditioned private car for transfers and sightseeing
  • Entrance fees to all sites mentioned in the itinerary
  • Horse Cart Fees and boats in Bagan
  • Boat fees for Bagan to Mandalay, Pakkokku to Bagan, Sunset in Bagan, Mingun, Inle Lake
  • English Speaking Local Station Tour Guides
  • Water & Towels Daily
  • Breakfasts daily (B)
  • Welcome lunch on arrival day
  • Meals other than breakfast daily & special lunch
  • Visa arrangement for Myanmar – done online and fee is about USD50 per person
  • Tips - allow USD5.00 per person per day collected in advance by the escort
  • Porter fees at the airport, jetty and hotel (not included above)
  • Drinks and personal expenses
  • Travel insurance (compulsory)

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