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Splendid Myanmar Waterways Tour Package by Explorient

A Private Cruise Tour – Bangkok, Mandalay, Irrawaddy River Cruise, Bagan, Inle Lake, Yangon

18 Days / 16 Nights – Tour Code (MYW)

Set Departure


Myanmar_InleLake_L
For the discerning traveler looking for that one-of-a-kind, extraordinary vacation experience of a lifetime, the destination is Myanmar and the time is now. Having just re-emerged from half a century of self-imposed isolation, this former Burmese Kingdom did not so much open its doors, but has removed them altogether, inviting the world in and offering a window to one of the most intriguing and undiscovered destinations the world over.  Traveling in the lap of luxury, this incredible tour combines eleven unforgettable days along the Irrawaddy on board AMA Waterway’s AmaPura and Explorient’s exclusive private land arrangements before and after your cruise so you can explore the wonders of Myanmar – YOUR WAY.

Starting with Bangkok, we spend the first part of our trip in the bright lights and big city. Renowned for its dazzling landmarks, sensational cuisine and electric nightlife, this Thai capital appears to every whim and everyone. In a flash, we transcend our body and mind to the enchanting land of Myanmar touching down Mandalay, the country’s spiritual centre that boasts wooden monasteries and shimmering pagodas reminiscent of life under the reign of the last Burmese King. Once aboard the luxurious AmaPura, journey along the great Irrawaddy, where all former royal capitals were once set along its banks, to trace the footsteps of the Burmese Kingdom’s storied past. Thousands of temples, stupas and pagodas, along with exotic scenes that have endured for centuries – smiling women in bright sarongs, dark-robed monks gathering alms, rice farmers leading ox carts can be seen along the river. The essence of ancient Burma lingers on.

Upon disembarkation, we journey north from one amazing body of water to another – Inle Lake. A place indescribable by words, with villages of bamboo and wooden dwellings situated in the midst of the lake, perched on stilts, and boats being the sole means of transport, Inle boasts an overload of the senses like no other.  Here, we explore the lake’s floating communities – visiting floating gardens, local markets monasteries, and a chance to interact with the fascinating Intha people indigenous to Inle. From there we return to the 21st century (almost) ending this incredible journey in Yangon, Myanmar’s charming capital also known as the Garden City of the East. Its unmistakably colonial style buildings, open markets and wide tree-lined avenues endow Yangon with a strange mix of old world charm and modern vitality seemingly bursting at the seams as it tries to catch up with the outside world.

From Bangkok’s glittering skyscrapers to Bagan’s ancient temple ruins, Inle’s primitive floating villages to royal capitals along the great Irrawaddy, Mandalay’s haven of spirituality to Yangon’s Colonial Yesteryears, this is a time journey that goes beyond the imagination.


TOUR OVERVIEW


TOUR INCLUDES:

  • Economy Class Air via Cathay Pacific Airways from USA
  • Economy Class Bangkok / Mandalay — Yangon / Heho / Yangon Airfares
  • 16 nights hotel and cruise accommodations of your choice
  • Hotel American Breakfasts daily
  • Meals as specified per itinerary
  • Private pre and post cruise land arrangements in Bangkok, Mandalay, Inle & Yangon
  • Daily Shore excursions during River Cruise (Join basis as operated by AMA Waterways)
  • Private airport / pier transfers upon arrival and departure

BANGKOK (2 nights)

  • 2 nights at Shangri-La Bangkok (Deluxe) OR  The Peninsula Bangkok (Premium)
  • Half day private Bangkok City Tour

IRRAWADY RIVER CRUISE (10 nights)

  • 10 nights “Golden Treasures of Myanmar” Cruise on board The AmaPura
  • Daily Shore Excursions and Activities per itinerary (join basis)
  • All meals on board cruise

INLE LAKE (2 nights)

  • 2 nights at Pristine Lotus Resort & Spa (Deluxe) OR Aureum Inle Resort (Premium)
  • Private boat excursions of Inle Lake

YANGON (2 nights)

  • 2 nights at Sule Shangri-la Yangon (Deluxe) OR  The Strand Hotel (Premium)
  • Full day private Yangon City Tour

Remarks:
AmaPura Cruise Accommodation: Deluxe: Main Deck Cabin with French Balcony (Cat. SE) | Premium: Upper Deck Cabin with Full Balcony (Cat. SC)
Premium option features First Row Villa at Aureum Inle Resort

Bagan, Myanmar Luxury Travel

Sunset over Bagan Temple


Yangon, Private Myanmar Tour

Shwedagon Pagoda, Yangon

 

TOUR ITINERARY

Day 1 Depart North America
Depart USA for Bangkok via Cathay Pacific Airways, connecting in Hong Kong

Day 2 Arrive Bangkok
Upon arrival in Bangkok, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Enjoy the balance of the day at leisure

Day 3  Bangkok
This morning, enjoy a visit to the revered Royal Grand Palace and its Emerald Buddha, Wat Trimit (Golden Buddha), Wat Pho (Reclining Buddha) and Marble Temple. Afternoon at leisure. (B)

Day 4 Bangkok / Mandalay
Transfer to the airport for your morning flight to Mandalay. Upon arrival, commence sightseeing of Mandalay. The last capital of royal Burma, Mandalay is still one of the largest cities in Myanmar, and a cultural and spiritual centre. We begin the tour at Mahamuni Paya, covered in over 15 cm of gold leaf, worshippers flock daily to the shrine to observe the unique face-washing ceremony. Afterwards, head to ShwenanDaw Kyaung, or the Golden Teak Monastery. Built entirely of golden teak, this intricately carved wooden monastery was once part of the Mandalay Palace. Continue to Kyauktawgyi Paya, famous for its monumental seated Buddha carved from a single block of marble. Next, visit Kuthodaw Paya, known also as “the world’s biggest book” where miniature pavilions, all 729 of them, each housing a slab of marble inscribed with Buddhist scriptures. The final stop is at Shwe Kyin Old Monastery, an old monastery at the base of Mandalay Hill which was built during the period of King Mindon. Transfer to the pier and board the AmaPura for your Irrawaddy River Journey. Enjoy a welcome dinner on board. (B,D)

Day 5 Mingun / Mandalay / Sagaing
This morning you’ll tour the village of Mingun, where you will see its famous 12-foot high bronze bell and the massive ruins of Pathodawgyi (the “unfinished pagoda”), originally intended to be 499 feet high. Although only a third of it was ever completed, it remains the world’s largest brick pagoda. Alternatively, take a tuk-tuk ride through Mingun to explore the sights. You’ll also have a chance to visit the Myatheindan Pagoda, built in 1816 and painted white as a representation of the mythological Buddhist mountain, Mount Meru. Another option today in Mingun allows you to visit the Pathodawgyi, the Mingun bronze bell, and also offers you a chance to climb to the top of Myatheindan Pagoda (77 steps). In the afternoon, explore the legendary city of Mandalay. Your tour includes many of the city’s most iconic sights, including the bronze Mahamuni Buddha, covered by the faithful with a thick layer of gold leaf. Visit the workshops of skilled craftsmen making thin sheets of gold, marble carvings and tapestries. Stop at Kuthodaw Pagoda (said to contain the world’s largest book, Buddhist scriptures inscribed on 729 marble slabs), and Shwenandaw Monastery, an architectural masterpiece filled with wood carvings. Before returning the ship, watch an unforgettable sunset at the world’s longest teak wood footbridge, the U-Bein Bridge. (B,L,D)

Day 6 Sagaing / Inwa
The ship stops today at the former royal capital of Sagaing, famous for its hundreds of monasteries and its tranquil atmosphere. Visit a silversmith’s workshop, Soonuponyashin Pagoda and Uminthonese Pagoda, which contains 43 colorful Buddhist statues. Continue on to Inwa, the capital of the Burmese kingdom for more than four centuries, where you will see the sights in a horse-drawn cart: Mahaaungmyebonzan monastery; the “leaning tower of Inwa,” ruins of a 90-foot-high watch tower; and Bargaya monastery, built entirely of teak. (B,L,D)

Day 7 Yandabo / Bagan
Arrive in Yandabo, a peaceful village known for its finely crafted terracotta wares. See a pottery-making demonstration by local artisans as well as glimpses of typical village life. Later, your ship’s Sun Deck offers the perfect vantage point for your first glimpse of the plain of Bagan, one of the world’s most awe-inspiring archeological sites. Upon arrival in Bagan, you will have two tour options: Choose to visit an observation tower where you will enjoy a beautiful sunset while sipping on a refreshing cocktail. Afterwards, transfer to a local temple and participate in a candle lighting ceremony blessed by local monks. Or you may choose to watch the sunset from the top of Guni Temple instead, and then meet with your fellow travelers at the temple for the candle lighting ceremony. (B,L,D

Day 8 Bagan
Your full day in Bagan offers you three sightseeing options.

  1. The first is a journey to the 4,980 foot tall Mount Popa, legendary home of animist nat spirits. You will have the opportunity to climb to the top—777 steps take you to the very top, or take 250 steps to reach the observation terrace (shoes must be removed). Afterwards, stop for lunch and enjoy a tasting of Jaggery, palm sugar that is made from the Totty Palm Tree.
  2. Your second option today provides a less strenuous visit of Mount Popa. Instead of climbing to the top, you may enjoy free time to shop and explore other attractions at the Mount Popa Resort. After lunch you will also enjoy a sampling of Jaggery before returning your ship.
  3. Your third tour option today offers you an excursion to some of the most distinctive pagodas in the Bagan Archaelogical Zone. Begin with a visit to the Shwezigan Pagoda, the oldest and most impressive of all. Afterwards, you will spend some time at the lively Nyaungoo market, where you can search for local handicrafts, colorful textiles, as well as other unique souvenirs and gifts. Later, visit the 13th century Gubyaulgyi Temple, which is situated near the Wetkyi-inn Village.

Your Bagan tour continues with a stop at the Pyathada Paya temple where you can snap a picture-postcard photo of Bagan. (B,L,D)

Day 9 Tant Kyi Taung / Salay
Join your fellow passengers for an excursion up Tant Kyi Taung Mountain to visit its famous pagoda, built in the year 1059 by King Anawrahta and known to house a sacred Buddha relic. The ship then cruises on to Salay, a small community that boasts more than 50 monasteries. Visit Yokesonekyaung, built in 1882 and the region’s oldest surviving wooden monastery, famous for its wood carvings and collection of religious artifacts. You will also see a splendid colonial-era house and the Man Pagoda, which contains the largest lacquer Buddha in Myanmar. (B,L,D)

Day 10 Magwe
Today you will visit Magwe and take a panoramic coach tour to see the Mud Volcano in Minbu, the mythical home of fire breathing dragons living deep beneath the earth. You’ll also see the General Aung San “Bogyoke” Statue and the Myathalon Pagoda, situated on the banks of the river. (B,L,D)

Day 11 Minhla
Your day begins in Minhla, site of a great battle during the Second Anglo-Burmese War. Today’s walking tour will take on a visit of a Colonial-era Fort, constructed by two Italian brothers in 1860 to keep the British forces at bay. After a series of conflicts, the fort ultimately fell to the British in 1885. (B,L,D)

Day 12 Tha Yet Myo / Kama
Tha Yet Myo is a pleasant town that once guarded the border between Royal Burma and British Burma after the Second Anglo-Burmese War of 1855. It has a number of well-preserved colonial-style houses and buildings dating from the mid-1800s, as well as one of the oldest golf courses in all of Myanmar. Take a walk through the greens of this historic golf course and enjoy a visit to one of the oldest post offices in the region. In the afternoon you’ll enjoy a glimpse of rural village life in the small town of Kama. Meet the locals and visit a nearby bamboo mat weaving workshop where you will learn about this traditional craft. (B,L,D)

Day 13 Pyay
After the ship arrives in Pyay, take a walking tour of this former capital that once served as an important junction between Lower and Upper Burma. Pyay is home to more than 80 gilded pagodas, including the Payagi Pagoda. During your city tour you will also see the ancient Sri Kestra City Gate and enjoy a visit to the Sri Kestra Museum. (B,L,D)

Day 14 Pyay / Inle Lake
Upon disembarkation, transfer to Yangon Airport by private car for your afternoon flight to Heho. Proceed to Inle Lake by car and by boat for your next 2 nights accommodations. (B)

Day 15 Inle Lake
Today, enjoy a private excursion by boat on Inle Lake that radiates the calm serenity of the Shan state, with persuasive still waters and colourful brush strokes of floating vegetation and slow moving fishing canoes. Rolling high hills hug the lake on all sides as the lake’s shore and islands host 17 villages on stilts, mostly inhabited by the Intha people. Enjoy the awe inspiring scenery and meditate on the one of a kind skill of the local fisherman who make use of their legs in this unique rowing technique to glide themselves peacefully around the lake. Visit the enchanting floating gardens, a teeming market and a peaceful Intha village around the lake. The day also includes a visit to the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, Inn Paw Khon Village (Lotus and silk weaving villages) and the Nga Phe Kyaung Monastery. Include lunch at a local restaurant. (B,L)

Day 16 Inle  / Yangon
This morning, travel by boat to the western shore of Inle to a stairway leading to the hidden Indein temple complex. Considered one of Inle’s highlights, this site consists of hundreds of small stupas overgrown by moss and greens set on the shore of the lake. Afterwards, transfer to Heho for your flight to Yangon for your next 2 nights’ accommodations. (B)

Day 17 Yangon
Yangon lies in the fertile delta of Yangon River in southern Myanmar. The city is filled with tree-shaded boulevards and shimmering stupas. The city became the capital only in 1885, when the British completed the conquest of Upper Myanmar and Mandalay’s brief period as capital of the last Burmese kingdom ended. Start the day at the Sule Pagoda, a gleaming octagonal pagoda that stands squarely at the centre point of the city. Afterwards, visit the National Museum (closed on Mondays and Public Holidays) to gain an insight into Myanmar. See the eight meter high Sihasana Lion Throne, used by the last Burmese king, and other fascinating artifacts from Burmese history and culture. Enjoy a break at Bogyoke (Scott) Market, a pleasant covered market containing crafts from all corners of Myanmar, gems, fabrics and more. (closed on Mondays and public holidays). In the afternoon, visit some of the more well-known pagodas, including Botataung Pagoda, named after the 1000 military leaders who escorted relics of the Buddha from India over 2000 years ago. Visit Chaukhtatgyi Pagoda, the reclining Buddha in Yangon which is almost as large as the enormous figure of Shwethalyaung Buddha in Bago. It’s housed in a large metal-roofed shed on Shwegondaing Lan, only a short distance north-east beyond the Shwedagon Paya. Finally, continue to the Shwedagon Pagoda. Towering over the city, this pagoda is the most sacred spot in the country, built to house eight hair relics of the Buddha. The Shwedagon and surrounding shrines are at their most beautiful during the sunset hour, as the golden stupa reflects the changing colours of twilight. Lunch is served at a local restaurant. (B,L)

Day 18 Return Home
Transfer to the airport for your departure flight home. (B)

 

****END OF PROGRAM****

 

PRICE CHART

2016/17 Price Chart (Prices valid through March 31, 2017)
Set Departures Cruise Only Land & Cruise SFO/LAX NYC/CHI/BOS Single Supplement
January – March ’16 D 5,395 8,485 9,775 9,875 3,805
P 5,495 9,535 10,825 10,925 4,575
April – August D
P
September D 4,595 7,625 8,895 8,995 3,295
P 5,495 8,975 10,245 10,345 4,195
October D 4,895 8,075 9,325 9,425 3,575
P 5,795 9,575 10,825 10,925 4,625
November – March ’17 D 4,895 8,425 9,375 9,475 3,625
P 5,795 9,625 10,895 10,995 4,685
Single Traveler Supplement (for land services): 1,350
D = Deluxe | P = Premium


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

  • Prices are per person, based on double occupancy
  • Prices includes all entrance fees, domestic air taxes, hotels taxes & service charges
  • Price excludes personal expenses, beverages and gratuities to guides and drivers.
  • Price excludes port fees of $190 per person (subject to change by government authorities) applicable to all packages
  • For Air & Land Option:
    • When Trans-Pacific travel takes place on a weekend (Friday-Sunday), add $50 per person each direction.
    • U.S. & Foreign departure taxes, fees and fuel surcharge are not included (Approx. $150 – subject to change).
    • For add-on fares from eligible connecting U.S. domestic cities, please refer to Connecting City Chart
  • Land-only price includes all Intra-Asia Airfares per itinerary
  • Cruise-only price includes river cruise portion of the trip only. Excludes all airfares, hotels and land arrangements
  • A visa is required for Myanmar. Not included in package.
  • For additional details of this trip, please refer to our Tour Itinerary
  • All flights, cruise, hotels and land services are subject to availability at time of reservation
  • Tour may be operated in reverse. Please refer to the Tour Schedulefor departure dates

     


ACCOMMODATIONS

Bangkok - Shangri-La Hotel

Bangkok – Shangri-La Hotel

Bangkok - The Peninsula

Bangkok – The Peninsula Hotel

AmaPura Cruise

AmaPura Cruise

Inle Lake - Novotel Hotel

Inle Lake – Novotel Hotel

Inle Lake - Pristine Lotus Resort

Inle Lake – Pristine Lotus Resort

Inle Lake - Aureum Palace Resort

Inle Lake – Aureum Palace Resort

Yangon - Sule Shangri-La Hotel

Yangon – Sule Shangri-La Hotel

Yangon - Strand Hotel

Yangon – Strand Hotel

 


HIGHLIGHTS

  • Private pre and post cruise transfers and sightseeing
  • 10 night cruise along the Irrawaddy on board the Luxurious AmaPura with daily shore excursions
  • Private Bangkok city tour with visits to Royal Grand Palace, Wat Trimit & Wat Pho
  • Private sightseeing of Mandalay with vitis to Mahamuni Paya, Shwenandaw Kyaung, Kyauktawgyi Paya, Kuthodaw Paya and Shew Kyin Old Monastery
  • Boat trip on Inle Lake including visits to floating gardens, Intha villages & markets & Nga Phe Kyaung Monastery
  • Private Yangon City Tour including Shwedagon Pagoda

Price Starting From: $7,995


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TESTIMONIALS

“We would like to tell you that the Myanmar Tour was excelent. The organization almost perfert… We are very happy to travel with Explorient and very grateful for your personal assistance on this trip.”

Gustavo Daumen-- Venezuela

April 2014(Myanmar)