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Classic Burma

11 days from £1535pp plus international flights.

This holiday shows you the many faces of Burma, from thriving cities to plains filled with temples, floating markets to scenic hill towns. Burma is an intriguing blend of ancient and modern, tradition and change. For so long inaccessible, now is the perfect time to visit.

Your holiday begins in the country's largest city and former capital, Yangon. Here you'll see your first golden pagodas and colonial mansions, a glimpse into Burma's rich and varied past. In Bagan you'll marvel at the sight of thousands of temples, rising, mist-shrouded in the early morning, from the valley floor. Mandalay, the last royal capital and long-time colonial city, is filled with pagodas and monasteries, testament to the country's strong Buddhist faith. In the hill town of Pyin Oo Lwin you'll have time to relax, take in the fine views and enjoy the fresh mountain air, while at Inle Lake you'll see the famous leg rowers and wooden houses on stilts. 

All along the way you'll be greeted by smiling faces and the people you meet will make a deep and abiding impression, just as great as that of the scenery and culture. You'll come away with an understanding of this multi-faceted country and a prized collection of photos to share with family and friends. 

Itinerary
Yangon centre

DAY 1: ARRIVE YANGON

You'll be met by an English-speaking guide at Yangon airport and driven to your hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to relax after your journey.

Swedagon pagoda

DAY 2: YANGON

After breakfast you'll be collected for your guided tour of the city. This starts at the colonial quarter where you'll see several examples of the architecture of the time plus Sule Paya stupa, dating back over 2,000 years and still much used today. Next you'll see the tranquil Kandawgyi Lake, with its glistening, gilded royal barge, in fact a 20th reconstruction which houses a restaurant. On to the lively Bogyoke market, where everything from gemstones to clothes is traded. The day culminates in a visit to the famous hill-top Swedagon pagoda, gleaming gold in the light. Breakfast

Temples at Bagan

DAY 3: YANGON TO BAGAN

Leaving Yangon behind you'll fly to the temple city of Bagan. Your tour will take in several temples including Swezigon stupa, reputed to contain a tooth of the Buddha, the 13th century cave temple of Gubyaukgyi and Htilominlo where you'll learn about the art of Burmese sand painting. You'll also see the 4 standing Buddhas at Ananda temple. Finally you'll be taken to Shwesandaw pagoda to observe the sunset over the Irrawaddy River. Breakfast

Buddhist monks

DAY 4: BAGAN

You'll have more time today to learn about the cultural and historical heritage of the area. At Myingaba village you'll see the production of the lacquerware items that are so popular throughout the country. In a local temple you'll observe some of Bagan's best preserved religious murals. Other temple visits will show you different architectural styles and are all a testament to the importance of the Buddhist religion in Burmese life. Breakfast

Mandalay Hill temple

DAY 5: BAGAN TO MANDALAY

You'll board a domestic flight bound for Mandalay this morning. On arrival you'll have a tour of the city's highlights including Mahamuni pagoda, which has one of the most valued Buddha images in the country which has been much fought over in past centuries between opposing Burmese kingdoms. You'll see the golden palace monastery, the only royal palace building still standing in Mandalay. The tour concludes with panoramic views over the city from Mandalay Hill as the sun sets. Breakfast

Giant bronze bell

DAY 6: MANDALAY TO MINGUN AND PYIN OO LWIN

Today you'll see the sites of some of the ancient kingdoms of Burma and Mandalay. Starting with a one hour cruise on the Irrawaddy River, you'll arrive in Mingun, where there's a huge pagoda which shows a dramatic crack caused by an earthquake in the 19th century. You'll also see the famous bronze bell, believed to the largest, uncracked bell in the world. You'll then cruise back to Mandalay, where you driver will take you the 65kms to the hill station of Pyin Oo Lwin, also known as Maymyo.Breakfast

Visit a local market

DAY 7: PYIN OO LWIN

You'll have a full day in and around this lovely hilltop town. Your first stop is the bustling morning market where local farmers gather to trade their produce. It's fascinating to watch the bartering taking place. There's a change of pace as you take a gentle walk around the botanical gardens, modelled on the famous gardens at Kew. You'll then head out of town to the Peik Chin Myaing cave and the picturesque waterfall at Pwe Kauk, before returning to your hotel. Breakfast

Ubein bridge at sunset

DAY 8: PYIN OO LWIN TO SAGAING AND AMARAPURA

You'll be driven back to Mandalay and over the river to Sagaing, a former kingdom where there are innumerable pagodas. You'll also visit a monastery for an insight into monastic life. The journey continues to Amarapura, another ancient capital these days better for its thriving textile industries. You'll have the chance to witness weaving first hand. Your last destination is the beautiful teak bridge at U Bein, over Taungtaman Lake, where you can opt for a boat ride, and will see the sunset. Breakfast

House on stilts at Inle Lake

DAY 9: MANDALAY TO INLE LAKE

You'll fly to Heho and be driven on to the lovely lake at Inle, passing photogenic rice paddies and views of the Shan mountains. Having checked in to the hotel, you'll be collected for a tour of the lake, taking in Phaungdaw Oo pagoda with a beautiful golden Buddha, and on to a weaving village to see gorgeous linens and silks. At Nampan village you'll see the packing and rolling of Burmese cheerots, and will then return to your hotel. Breakfast

Indain pagodas

DAY 10: INDAIN

This morning you'll take to the water with a boat ride along a narrow river to the impressive pagoda complex at Indain. It's like stepping back in time as you follow a trail though bamboo groves which suddenly give way opening onto a stunning vista of countless pagodas, stretching out before you. Many of these date back over 1,000 years. You'll then board the boat back to your hotel at Inle Lake. Breakfast

White elephants

DAY 11: INLE LAKE TO YANGON

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before your driver collects you for the one hour ride to Heho airport, where you'll board a flight to Yangon. On arrival you'll visit White Elephant Park and Kyauk Taw Gyi pagoda. The white elephants symbolise peace and prosperity and were brought to this park to be protected. You'll then be transferred to the airport for your onward flight. Breakfast

Price & Dates

Guide price from (pp sharing): £1535 (ex. international flights)

Price notes: October 2016 - 30 March 2017: £1535 pp sharing based on roughly 3* hotels. For a higher grade of hotel this would be about another £400 pp.

Includes: 

Twin-share accommodation; private transfers in an air-conditioned vehicle; domestic flights as per the itinerary; tours as per the itinerary; entrance fees to sites mentioned in the itinerary; English-speaking local guides; boat ride on Inle Lake; 2 bottles of water and 2 refreshing towels per person per day; breakfast on days 2-11 

Excludes: 

International flights and taxes; visas; vaccinations; travel insurance; meals not specified; drinks; tips; laundry; items of a personal nature

Getting there: This holiday starts and ends in Yangon. Return flights from the UK will cost from around £700 per person, depending on season and availability. We will be happy to book flights for you. 

Departure dates: This is a tailor-made holiday and can depart on the day of your choice, subject to availability.

places you will see

places you will see

Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon
Yangon
Although Yangon is no longer the capital it remains the largest city in the country. It has fine examples of architecture from various eras of its history and is the point of entry for most visitors to Burma.  
Bagan
Bagan
Bagan is a must-see on a visit to Burma. A vast, 26 square-mile plain filled with pagodas. In the early morning the site is often shrouded in atmospheric mist, and watching the sunset from one of the temples will leave a lasting impression. 
Temple at Mandalay
Mandalay
Mandalay, the very name evokes an air of mystery. In fact, it's Burma's second largest city and considered the capital of Burmese culture, having been the last royal capital. 
Pyinn Oo Lwin is a hill town
Pyin Oo Lwin
Also known as Maymyo, Pyin Oo Lwin was a summer capital during British rule, favoured for its relatively cool climate. This history is shown in the various architecture styles.
Buddha statues in Sagaing
Sagaing
Sagiang, capital of the state of the same name, is an important religious and monastic centre with many striking stupas and pagodas. It's on the west bank of the Irrawaddy River, opposite Amarapura.
Taungthaman Lake near Amarapura
Amarapura
A small hill town with an illustrious history, nowadays known for its busy workshops which produce high quality, handmade goods. It is also the base for visits to Taungthaman Lake.
Inle Lake
Inle Lake
Taking a boat trip on Inle Lake is a great way to observe local life, gaining access to floating gardens and markets and watching the unique leg-poling technique used by the local boatmen. 
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WHEN TO VISIT

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facts and information

Time: GMT + 6hrs 30mins

Flight time: There are no direct flights from the UK to Yangon (Rangoon). The flight time is at least 14 hours.

Language: The official language is Myanmar (Burmese). English is widely spoken in major tourist destinations.

Visas: At least 6 months from the end of your trip, and with plenty of room for entry and exit stamps. A visa is required for British travellers and most nationalities.

Health: Yellow fever vaccination is compulsory. Recommended vaccinations include diptheria, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, rabies, tetanus, cholera & typhoid. Malaria prophylactics recommended for some parts of Burma.

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