Myanmar

MYANMAR

IN SHORT

  • Day 1, Yangon
  • Day 2 & 3, Inle Lake
  • Day 4 & 5, Mandalay
  • Day 6 & 7, Irrawaddy River Cruise
  • Day 8 & 9, Bagan
  • Day 10, Yangon

AN OVERVIEW

Time has forgotten Myanmar. We stand on a temple terrace overseeing more than 1217 other temples of all size, as far as the eye can see, some shimmer in gold leaf, others reflect the white paint of their stupas and we truly believe this is the most amazing sight in Asia. And yet, where are the millions of visitors who now rush to see Angkor Wat or the Forbidden City? Our Myanmar Si Fang experience is done carefully, very slowly, where we see the sun rise and set over different landscapes, gliding down lakes and rivers, meeting Burmese and trying to understand how this country which has experienced so much hardship, retains an amazing sense of dignity and beauty. Myanmar is a country where we still feel like explorers, where we expect to meet Kipling or Orwell at a street corner or sailing along the Irrawaddy River. Myanmar is what Asia was like 40 years ago.

COST

Depending on guide services, group size and room type on the ship. Our itinerary includes all domestic airfares within Myanmar but not international airfares. Please be aware that flights in Myanmar are on turbo prop ATR planes seating 50 and there are no business class seats. Due to economic sanctions, we cannot provide the latest limousines or SUV model, but the vans and cars we use are clean and comfortable. Your accommodations are in exclusive resorts or comfortable 4 star hotels and include buffet breakfasts and taxes. Optional events and exclusive tours are discussed at time of trip booking.

DAY 1, YANGON (1 night)

Your morning flight from Bangkok lands in the capital Yangon and by lunchtime we will have you checked in at one of our two favourite luxury properties. Depending on how tired you are, we will suggest some options like local markets and a look at the old colonial buildings in the downtown area followed by a visit to the amazing Shwedagon Pagoda at sunset, one of the most amazing sights in Myanmar.

DAY 2 & 3, INLE LAKE (2 nights)

This morning we have an early departure from Yangon and head north. Our flight lasts two hours and leads us to a mountain range surrounding Inle Lake, where men row their teak boat standing up, with one leg wrapped around the oar, where gardens actually float and where every village is built on stilts. Imagine boat races where over 100 villagers compete in each boat, a luxury boutique resort where you wake up at dawn with the sound of monks praying and where you sip a Mandalay rum sour watching sunset from your lakefront balcony. Meet school children, farmers and monks and have an exclusive dinner in a wine cellar filled with candles. We explore the lake in our private boat and go from village to village, visiting silk weaving factories and ancient temples.

DAY 4 & 5, MANDALAY (2 nights)

We leave Inle Lake for a very short flight to Mandalay, once the capital of Myanmar. Here, we spend two days learning about the Buddhist faith and visit monasteries. Reflecting a past where areas of the city gathered specialists of the same trade to supply the royal palace, we also look at silk weaving, coppersmith, gold leaf making and meet woodcarvers and marble cutters. We also walk along the Irrawaddy River looking at the incredible river trade where hundreds of ships are moored along the riverbank. We also take a walking tour of the old city looking at some of the ghost mansions of the British era and walk through villages in the countryside.  Your hotel suites face the ancient royal palace moat and the famous Mandalay Hill.

DAY 6 & 7, IRRAWADDY RIVER CRUISE (2 nights)

Drift down for 2 days on Kippling's Irrawaddy River on board a newly refurbished 20-cabin teak cruise ship. This is a different way to transfer from Mandalay to Bagan and allows you to experience the interior of Myanmar where few venture. Our small vessel has a very shallow draft allowing it to stop and moor alongside the river where you can visit some villages. We visit a convent where nuns will bless you in a very emotional ceremony. Look at the surprisingly busy river traffic during the day and life along the river.  Your cabin suites have their own balcony and the upper deck has gorgeous "chaises-longues", perfect to read Kipling as you drift down river, sipping tea.

DAY 8 & 9, BAGAN (2 nights)

Nobody is prepared for the first views of Bagan.  Very few have heard or read about this city, once the biggest in the world in the 11th century. Imagine a vast plain occupied by hundreds of temples, most still intact after 900 years. The city has now become a small village and the remaining temples host stunning Buddhist frescoes and statues 900 years old. Our Japanese owned resort faces the Irrawaddy River and has a perfect location to explore by foot or car some of the pagodas and temples each day. Looking at the stunning sunset from the infinity pool is a magic experience, rivalled only by your sunrise hot air balloon flight over the temples.

DAY 10, YANGON/BANGKOK

On your final morning, we fly back from Bagan to Yangon and depending on your flight connections back to Bangkok or to Singapore, we will assist you with last minute shopping and transfers.

SOME COUTURE TRIP IDEAS:

  • One of our special Haute Couture trips in 2008 included South East Asia's most incredible archaeological sites, escorted by staff an archaeologist and history professor, our private group flew from Cambodia to Thailand to Myanmar looking at 11th century ancient cities.
  • The whole Myanmar Boutique itinerary can be done using private jet, all runways can accommodate Gulfstream V size planes and we can also arrange for a charter jet from one of our suppliers based in Bangkok or Singapore.
MYANMAR TRAVEL DIARY01 Nov 2010

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24 Matariki St, Dunedin 9014, New Zealand
Fax: (+0064) 3-4478-0085
Cell: (0064) 27-223-0364

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