Inside Burma

Adventures

Trip Length:  10 days, 9 nights but fully customizable

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DETAILS

Myanmar (Burma) was once a hidden treasure of the East and now it’s yours to explore. Journey through this mystic land as you experience an ancient culture, friendly peoples and surreal sites. Myanmar lets you get the most authentic peek into the traditions of this diverse destination that will inspire you for years to come. Float over the gilded city of Bagan in a hot air balloon, witness sacred traditions in ancient monasteries and soak in the sunset from Mandalay Hill. Each experience delivers the sensation of being transported to a whole new world.

Sample Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival

Upon arrival you’ll be met by your guide and transferred to the Traders Hotel Yangon. Accommodation is in a Traders Club Executive Suite with ensuite facilities, and includes breakfast. Visit the Scott (Bogyoke) Market, the city’s busiest and most colorful bazaar, which offers a huge variety of everyday items and souvenirs, such as lacquer ware, gems, gold and gold leaf, textiles and marionettes. Finish the day with sunset at the Shwedagon Pagoda complex, which is said to house eight hairs of Lord Buddha. This evening, we have secured dinner reservations at Linkage. Round-trip transfers included; dinner is at your own expense.

Day 2: Traders Hotel, Yangon

This morning, meet your guide to continue your exploration of one of Asia’s most charming cities. Start with a visit the Kalaywa Tawya Monastery where over 1,300 monks and novices reside. Afterward, explore downtown’s frenetic markets and fading colonial buildings. Visit Yangon’s Reclining Buddha, the General Post Office and the Indian Market, where vociferous merchants sell sweet-smelling cinnamon bark, tropical fruit, fiery chilies, medicinal herbs and fish of every description.

This afternoon, visit the National Museum where you can admire the glittering Lion Throne of King Thibaw, an extraordinary work of art that stands over 20 feet tall and is covered with carvings depicting scenes from Burmese mythology. This evening, we have secured dinner reservations at Le Planteur, considered the best restaurant in the country. Round trip transfers included; dinner is at your own expense.

Day 3: Aureum Palace Resort, Bagan (Nyaung-U)

This morning you will be transferred to the airport for your 1-hour and 15-minute flight to Bagan, which rivals Angkor Wat in splendor and history. Upon arrival, begin your full-day exploration of the ancient monuments and temples of Bagan. During its golden age in the twelfth century, Bagan was known as “the city of four million pagodas.” While Kublai Khan and several massive earthquakes have reduced that inflated number drastically, what remains is quite incredible. Explore the principal pagodas and temples of the archaeological zone by means of a private vehicle. Later this afternoon transfer to the Aureum Palace Resort, your lovely hotel in the heart of Bagan’s Archaeological Zone. The hotel compounds and villas are constructed of Bagan’s indigenous red brick and stone to harmoniously fit into the landscape of the ancient temple ruins that surround it. Accommodations are in a Jasmine Lake View Villa with ensuite facilities, and include breakfast. Tonight reservations have been made for you for dinner at the Sunset Garden Restaurant. Round trip transfers included; dinner is at your own expense.

Day 4: Aureum Palace Resort, Bagan

This morning at sunrise, you’ll have a special opportunity to view King Anawrahta’s capital from a hot air balloon (in season only). The balloon is guided by gentle winds offering a serene and peaceful bird’s-eye-view of the ancient temples drifting below. Return to the hotel for breakfast before reconvening with your guide and driver for the day. Begin by visiting the village of Myinkaba, with the opportunity to explore the local market. On your way back to Old Bagan, visit the Shwesandaw, a graceful eleventh century temple. Climb the terraces and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding temples, including the fourteenth century Shwegugyi temple. Visit Phwar Saw village before proceeding to the beautiful twelfth century Suliman Pagoda, a classic example of Bagan’s later-sophisticated temple design. Notice the plethora of windows that allowed for improved natural lighting. Also, look for the monastic niches carved into the temple walls, a feature unique among Bagan’s ancient monasteries. Late this afternoon, climb to the summit of a pagoda and watch the sun drop into the distant hills. This evening, we have secured dinner reservations at Starbeam. Round trip transfers included; dinner is at your own expense.

Day 5: Mandalay Hill Resort, Mandalay

This morning you will be transferred to the airport for your 35 minute flight to Mandalay and commence a full-day exploration of the city. Mandalay is famous for puppetry and a handmade puppet makes a treasured souvenir. Sightseeing today will include visits to iconic sights like the Shwenandaw Kyaung Pagoda and the Kuthodaw Pagoda, notable for its hundreds of marble slabs inscribed with the entire Buddhist canon, the world’s largest book. Continue to a workshop where laborers pound gold with hammers to be placed on the Buddha statue at the venerable Mahamuni Pagoda, which will also be visited today. As dusk falls, you’ll have the option to climb the hundreds of steps (or drive if you’d rather) to the summit of Mandalay Hill for sunset and an amazing view over the city, river and endless plains beyond. You’ll then be transferred to the lovely Mandalay Hill Resort. Accommodation is in a Corner Deluxe Room with ensuite facilities and includes breakfast. The evening is at your leisure.

Day 6: Mandalay Hill Resort, Mandalay

This morning, begin the day with a visit to the monastery at Mahagandayon, home to more than 1,000 Buddhist monks. You’ll have the opportunity to make offerings of food to the monks in order to gain merit. Then it’s off to the lovely countryside around Mandalay. Start in the Sagaing Hills, which sit above the Irrawaddy and are the site of many crumbling pagodas and active shrines. When Mandalay was Burma’s capital, Sagaing was an “annex” town that housed hundreds of Buddhist monks. Next continue to Amarapura’s fine pagodas, ruins of the old palace, a Chinese joss house and shops specializing in cotton and silk longyis (the Burmese-style sarong), as well as wood and marble carvings. You’ll also visit local handicraft villages where paper and terracotta pottery is still made using traditional methods.

Finish the day at the U Bein Bridge, a long meandering structure built of teak, spanning a seasonal lake. At sunset, a stroll here is an absolute delight. As dusk falls you’ll return to Mandalay and the hotel. Reservations have been made for you for dinner at the Green Elephant Restaurant. Round trip transfers are included; dinner is at your own expense.

Day 7: Aureum Inle Resort & Spa, Inle Lake

This morning you will be met and transferred back to the airport in time for your flight to Heho, gateway to Inle Lake. Upon arrival in Heho, you will be met by your chauffeur. Immediately drive through the scenic countryside to Inle Lake, where you will enjoy lunch in the town of Nyuangshwe and a ramble through its large market. Afterward, board your chartered motorboat with your guide and depart for the Aureum Inle Resort & Spa, nestled on the shore of the lake. Accommodation is in a Lake View Villa (Second Row) with ensuite facilities, and includes breakfast. En route to the resort, spend the afternoon exploring the beautiful lake, surrounded on all sides by high hills. Observe the famous Intha fishermen rowing their boats with a swirling move of their leg, and the floating gardens where villagers actually grow tidy rows of vegetables on the lake’s surface. Spend the next three nights at the lake’s edge. Be sure to bring some warm clothes, as nights here tend to get chilly. This evening, we have secured dinner reservations for you at Green Chile. Round trip transfers are included; dinner is at your own expense.

Day 8: Aureum Inle Resort & Spa, Inle Lake

At sunrise the glassy waters of the lake reflect the surrounding hills and serene skies, and there are birds everywhere. Head south to Sagar village, accessed via a delightful three-hour boat ride from Nyaungshwe. This journey affords a mesmerizing immersion in the tranquil natural habitat of the lake, which teems with migratory birds. The hazy Blue Mountain range encircles the lake, which is ringed by traditional thatched huts of the local Intha. The impressive ruins of Sagar lie on the banks of the Beluo Chaung River. This collection of ancient Buddhist stupas and nat shrines dates to the 1600s, and this hidden village rarely sees a foreign visitor. This region is also home to the Pa-O tribe, whose beautiful women wrap their heads in distinctive towel-like scarves. Exploring their villages and interacting with the graceful, welcoming locals will afford a glimpse into a way of life that has existed for hundreds of years on the Shan Plateau. It is a rare privilege to experience their traditional way of life, as if one were allowed to go back in time. Tonight reservations have been made for you at the View Point-Le Planteur on Inle Lake Restaurant. Round trip transfers are included; dinner is at your own expense.

Day 9: Aureum Inle Resort & Spa, Inle Lake

This morning, venture by boat to explore smaller canals and villages where the locals weave lovely silks and cottons. Local markets here are held on a rotating basis in which a particular town or village hosts a market every fifth day. It is a wonderful opportunity to see various ethnic minority people as they trade, sell and barter items in a manner that has remained unchanged for generations. You will have an opportunity to purchase unique items such as baskets, textiles, shoulder bags and traditional medicines. Be sure to stop and absorb this fascinating hodgepodge of bright flowers, flopping fish and exotic spices. There will be photo opportunities galore. Later, you will have the opportunity to visit Indein, home to an interesting collection of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century temples. Getting there will be half the fun, as you motor across the lake before entering a village and a series of canals and waterways. These will require your boat to speed up in order to breech and cross levies built to irrigate the surrounding fields.

Day 11: Depart from Heho

You will fly to Yangon in the morning and enjoy lunch and a bit of sightseeing. Then your guide and private chauffeur will escort you to the airport and assist you with check in for your onward flight.
Myanmar (Burma) was once a hidden treasure of the East and now it’s yours to explore. Journey through this mystic land as you experience an ancient culture, friendly peoples and surreal sites. Myanmar lets you get the most authentic peek into the traditions of this diverse destination that will inspire you for years to come. Float over the gilded city of Bagan in a hot air balloon, witness sacred traditions in ancient monasteries and soak in the sunset from Mandalay Hill. Each experience delivers the sensation of being transported to a whole new world.

Sample Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival

Upon arrival you’ll be met by your guide and transferred to the Traders Hotel Yangon. Accommodation is in a Traders Club Executive Suite with ensuite facilities, and includes breakfast. Visit the Scott (Bogyoke) Market, the city’s busiest and most colorful bazaar, which offers a huge variety of everyday items and souvenirs, such as lacquer ware, gems, gold and gold leaf, textiles and marionettes. Finish the day with sunset at the Shwedagon Pagoda complex, which is said to house eight hairs of Lord Buddha. This evening, we have secured dinner reservations at Linkage. Round-trip transfers included; dinner is at your own expense.

Day 2: Traders Hotel, Yangon

This morning, meet your guide to continue your exploration of one of Asia’s most charming cities. Start with a visit the Kalaywa Tawya Monastery where over 1,300 monks and novices reside. Afterward, explore downtown’s frenetic markets and fading colonial buildings. Visit Yangon’s Reclining Buddha, the General Post Office and the Indian Market, where vociferous merchants sell sweet-smelling cinnamon bark, tropical fruit, fiery chilies, medicinal herbs and fish of every description.

This afternoon, visit the National Museum where you can admire the glittering Lion Throne of King Thibaw, an extraordinary work of art that stands over 20 feet tall and is covered with carvings depicting scenes from Burmese mythology. This evening, we have secured dinner reservations at Le Planteur, considered the best restaurant in the country. Round trip transfers included; dinner is at your own expense.

Day 3: Aureum Palace Resort, Bagan (Nyaung-U)

This morning you will be transferred to the airport for your 1-hour and 15-minute flight to Bagan, which rivals Angkor Wat in splendor and history. Upon arrival, begin your full-day exploration of the ancient monuments and temples of Bagan. During its golden age in the twelfth century, Bagan was known as “the city of four million pagodas.” While Kublai Khan and several massive earthquakes have reduced that inflated number drastically, what remains is quite incredible. Explore the principal pagodas and temples of the archaeological zone by means of a private vehicle. Later this afternoon transfer to the Aureum Palace Resort, your lovely hotel in the heart of Bagan’s Archaeological Zone. The hotel compounds and villas are constructed of Bagan’s indigenous red brick and stone to harmoniously fit into the landscape of the ancient temple ruins that surround it. Accommodations are in a Jasmine Lake View Villa with ensuite facilities, and include breakfast. Tonight reservations have been made for you for dinner at the Sunset Garden Restaurant. Round trip transfers included; dinner is at your own expense.

Day 4: Aureum Palace Resort, Bagan

This morning at sunrise, you’ll have a special opportunity to view King Anawrahta’s capital from a hot air balloon (in season only). The balloon is guided by gentle winds offering a serene and peaceful bird’s-eye-view of the ancient temples drifting below. Return to the hotel for breakfast before reconvening with your guide and driver for the day. Begin by visiting the village of Myinkaba, with the opportunity to explore the local market. On your way back to Old Bagan, visit the Shwesandaw, a graceful eleventh century temple. Climb the terraces and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding temples, including the fourteenth century Shwegugyi temple. Visit Phwar Saw village before proceeding to the beautiful twelfth century Suliman Pagoda, a classic example of Bagan’s later-sophisticated temple design. Notice the plethora of windows that allowed for improved natural lighting. Also, look for the monastic niches carved into the temple walls, a feature unique among Bagan’s ancient monasteries. Late this afternoon, climb to the summit of a pagoda and watch the sun drop into the distant hills. This evening, we have secured dinner reservations at Starbeam. Round trip transfers included; dinner is at your own expense.

Day 5: Mandalay Hill Resort, Mandalay

This morning you will be transferred to the airport for your 35 minute flight to Mandalay and commence a full-day exploration of the city. Mandalay is famous for puppetry and a handmade puppet makes a treasured souvenir. Sightseeing today will include visits to iconic sights like the Shwenandaw Kyaung Pagoda and the Kuthodaw Pagoda, notable for its hundreds of marble slabs inscribed with the entire Buddhist canon, the world’s largest book. Continue to a workshop where laborers pound gold with hammers to be placed on the Buddha statue at the venerable Mahamuni Pagoda, which will also be visited today. As dusk falls, you’ll have the option to climb the hundreds of steps (or drive if you’d rather) to the summit of Mandalay Hill for sunset and an amazing view over the city, river and endless plains beyond. You’ll then be transferred to the lovely Mandalay Hill Resort. Accommodation is in a Corner Deluxe Room with ensuite facilities and includes breakfast. The evening is at your leisure.

Day 6: Mandalay Hill Resort, Mandalay

This morning, begin the day with a visit to the monastery at Mahagandayon, home to more than 1,000 Buddhist monks. You’ll have the opportunity to make offerings of food to the monks in order to gain merit. Then it’s off to the lovely countryside around Mandalay. Start in the Sagaing Hills, which sit above the Irrawaddy and are the site of many crumbling pagodas and active shrines. When Mandalay was Burma’s capital, Sagaing was an “annex” town that housed hundreds of Buddhist monks. Next continue to Amarapura’s fine pagodas, ruins of the old palace, a Chinese joss house and shops specializing in cotton and silk longyis (the Burmese-style sarong), as well as wood and marble carvings. You’ll also visit local handicraft villages where paper and terracotta pottery is still made using traditional methods.

Finish the day at the U Bein Bridge, a long meandering structure built of teak, spanning a seasonal lake. At sunset, a stroll here is an absolute delight. As dusk falls you’ll return to Mandalay and the hotel. Reservations have been made for you for dinner at the Green Elephant Restaurant. Round trip transfers are included; dinner is at your own expense.

Day 7: Aureum Inle Resort & Spa, Inle Lake

This morning you will be met and transferred back to the airport in time for your flight to Heho, gateway to Inle Lake. Upon arrival in Heho, you will be met by your chauffeur. Immediately drive through the scenic countryside to Inle Lake, where you will enjoy lunch in the town of Nyuangshwe and a ramble through its large market. Afterward, board your chartered motorboat with your guide and depart for the Aureum Inle Resort & Spa, nestled on the shore of the lake. Accommodation is in a Lake View Villa (Second Row) with ensuite facilities, and includes breakfast. En route to the resort, spend the afternoon exploring the beautiful lake, surrounded on all sides by high hills. Observe the famous Intha fishermen rowing their boats with a swirling move of their leg, and the floating gardens where villagers actually grow tidy rows of vegetables on the lake’s surface. Spend the next three nights at the lake’s edge. Be sure to bring some warm clothes, as nights here tend to get chilly. This evening, we have secured dinner reservations for you at Green Chile. Round trip transfers are included; dinner is at your own expense.

Day 8: Aureum Inle Resort & Spa, Inle Lake

At sunrise the glassy waters of the lake reflect the surrounding hills and serene skies, and there are birds everywhere. Head south to Sagar village, accessed via a delightful three-hour boat ride from Nyaungshwe. This journey affords a mesmerizing immersion in the tranquil natural habitat of the lake, which teems with migratory birds. The hazy Blue Mountain range encircles the lake, which is ringed by traditional thatched huts of the local Intha. The impressive ruins of Sagar lie on the banks of the Beluo Chaung River. This collection of ancient Buddhist stupas and nat shrines dates to the 1600s, and this hidden village rarely sees a foreign visitor. This region is also home to the Pa-O tribe, whose beautiful women wrap their heads in distinctive towel-like scarves. Exploring their villages and interacting with the graceful, welcoming locals will afford a glimpse into a way of life that has existed for hundreds of years on the Shan Plateau. It is a rare privilege to experience their traditional way of life, as if one were allowed to go back in time. Tonight reservations have been made for you at the View Point-Le Planteur on Inle Lake Restaurant. Round trip transfers are included; dinner is at your own expense.

Day 9: Aureum Inle Resort & Spa, Inle Lake

This morning, venture by boat to explore smaller canals and villages where the locals weave lovely silks and cottons. Local markets here are held on a rotating basis in which a particular town or village hosts a market every fifth day. It is a wonderful opportunity to see various ethnic minority people as they trade, sell and barter items in a manner that has remained unchanged for generations. You will have an opportunity to purchase unique items such as baskets, textiles, shoulder bags and traditional medicines. Be sure to stop and absorb this fascinating hodgepodge of bright flowers, flopping fish and exotic spices. There will be photo opportunities galore. Later, you will have the opportunity to visit Indein, home to an interesting collection of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century temples. Getting there will be half the fun, as you motor across the lake before entering a village and a series of canals and waterways. These will require your boat to speed up in order to breech and cross levies built to irrigate the surrounding fields.

Day 11: Depart from Heho

You will fly to Yangon in the morning and enjoy lunch and a bit of sightseeing. Then your guide and private chauffeur will escort you to the airport and assist you with check in for your onward flight.

A surreal glimpse into the traditions of a diverse land that has inspired poets and writers for centuries

• Flexibility to customize your itinerary daily, with a minimum of a 7-night stay required
• Bogyoke Market tour
• Schwedagon Pagoda and Kalaywa Yawya Monastery tours
• Hot air balloon tour over Bagan, “the city of four million pagodas” (in season)
• Boat tours on Inle Lake
• Luxurious accommodations in each destination
• Knowledgeable English-speaking guide who will accompany you for the entire trip
• Internal commercial flights (economy class)
• Chauffeured airport transfers
• Breakfast each day; other meals as specified in itinerary
• Reservations and transfers to fine dining destinations (dinners at own expense)

Starting at $8,945 per person

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