AUTHENTIEKE RONDREIS DOOR MYANMAR 21d/20n

inle_lake_legrower__2Het land van Shwedagon en Bagan, van Orwell en Kipling.

Myanmar blijft een van de meest ongerepte, authentieke, cultureel verrijkende en mysterieuze landen van de wereld.

Het heeft een oppervlakte van 676.557 km2 ruim 2 keer de grootte van Groot-Brittannië. Het is het grootste land in Zuidoost-Azië met een bevolking van ongeveer 60 miljoen mensen.

Eeuwenlang hebben Birmese namen een onweerstaanbare romantische invloeden gekend, om enkele te noemen: Mandalay, Rangoon, Inle en de Irrawaddy. Wij nemen u aan de hand in dit nog weinig bezochte en exotische land. Wij gaan fietsen in Shan State, picknicken te midden van de duizenden middeleeuwse tempels in Bagan, en doen een olifant trekking in Kalaw.

ARRANGEMENT_u_bein_bridge_in_amarapura

Day 1:
Intercontinental flight to Yangon International Airport

Day 2: Yangon arrival
Meals: –
Arrival in Yangon.
Your guide will meet you at the airport and transfer to hotel.

Option 1: Overnight at the East Hotel – deluxe
Option 2: Overnight at the Kandawgyi Palace Hotel – sup

Day 3: Yangon
Meals: B, L, drinks

Spiritual Shwedagon Pagoda
So what’s behind the golden façade of the Shwedagon Pagoda? During this interactive half day tour we take you through the back door and show you the full history of the pagoda, the daily life of all people living in the immediate surroundings of the pagoda and a deeper insight in the Buddhist religion and how the spiritual belief is mixed with the belief in nats – the Myanmar spirits. An intriguing half day tour starting from the bottom of the hill and passing the workshops, markets and monasteries which will be useful goats_and_tethered_hot-air_ballonor even essential to understand more of the country during the rest of your journey. The tour includes a traditional Burmese breakfast, offerings to monks and the pagoda, a visit to a fortune teller and a Burmese lunch.

Yangon Heritage walk
Yangon downtown is unique with much of its colonial-era architecture still standing. You find one of Asia’s most impressive collections of late nineteenth and early twentieth- century buildings, religious and secular. Starting after breakfast or lunch this walking tour will take you through downtown Yangon, focusing on its old colonial buildings. Your guide will walk you through the back streets in a relaxed tempo and explain you the history of each building some of them empty, some getting restored and some used for different purposes than when built. This walk along the streets of Yangon will at least architecturally take you a step back in time. The walk ends with a drink at Union Bar & Grill in the old Red Cross building on Strand Roadkengtung_lake

Option 1: Overnight at the East Hotel – deluxe
Option 2: Overnight at the Kandawgyi Palace Hotel – sup

Day 4: Yangon – Bago – Kyaiktiyo
Meals: B, L
Breakfast at the hotel

Leave around 08:30 from your hotel in Yangon by private car and guide and visit (if wanted) after an hour the war cemetery in Taukkyan where thousands of prisoners of war who worked on the death railway in Kayin and Mon State are commemorated.

We continue to Bago (about 1,5 hour drive) where we visit the Kha Khat Wain monastery – one of the biggest in the country. Bago used to be the capital of Mon kingdom in the former days.

On arrival in Kyaiktiyo basecamp (about 2 hours drive from Bago) we leave the maimonk_crossing_u_bein_bridgen luggage behind in the car and take bag for the night to go up the hill by trucks serving mainly local pilgrims. One of the most important pilgrimage sites for Myanmar Buddhist and maybe one of the strangest (or unbelievable) sites for foreign tourist: the Golden Rock (Kyaiktiyo Pagoda). A big rock with a small pagoda built on top of it, is balancing on the edge of a mountain and looks as if it could tumble into the ravine below at any moment (luckily some hairs of Buddha precisely placed in the pagoda prevent the rock from falling). The site can be reached after a short walk (1.5 hours) or a long walk (about 7 hours) and apparently taking the long route for 3 times in a lifetime will bring good luck. Surrounding the Golden Rock are numerous local teashops, rest places and monasteries as well as local souvenir shops (many of them offering traditional Myanmar medicine made off indigenous animals found by Kayin hunters living in the jungle in this region).

We stay overnight in the mountains at a hotel build at walking distance of the monks_at_shwedagon_pagoda.

Option 1: Overnight at the Golden Rock Hotel – standard
Option 2: Overnight at the Mountain Top Hotel – deluxe

Day 5: Kyaiktiyo – Mawlamyine
Meals: B, L

Early morning visit to the golden rock for sunrise (if wanted), breakfast at the hotel and around 08:00 we go downhill to the basecamp where we meet our driver.

Driving through Mon State towards Mawlamyine we pass the area which supposed to be the seat of the last capital of the Mon kingdom: the city called Suvannabhumi. Bumt_popa,_myanmarrmese archaeologists have recently started the search again for the exact location of this ancient city. We also pass the ancient city Thaton which is famous for its durian and betel nut (as is the whole of Mon state).

On arrival in the colonial city Mawlamyine we visit a local house where a home cooked lunch of Mon specialities is served.
In the afternoon we visit the Mon Museum which has some interesting displays to show the rich Mon culture. We walk around the area with impressive buildings from the colonial times when writers like Orwell and Kipling where living in this city and visit the first Baptist church.
We continue to visit the nearby village of Hpa Ouk which is famous for its weaving of the traditional Mon style sarongs for men and women. The cotton is coming for the middle of the country while all kind of herbal plants are used to dye the fabrics in the typical colours for the Mon national dress.

Option 1: Overnight at the Cinderella Hotel – superior
Option 2: Overnight at the Strand Hotel – superior

Day 6: Mawlamyine – cruise over Thanlwin River to Hpa An
Meals: B, L, D

Breakfast at the hotel and visit the Seindon Mibaya Monastery The last king of Myanmar, at the palace in Mandalay, came to power by killing many of the rival heirs to the throne at the end of the 19th century. Queen Seindon escaped and moved to what was called Moulmein in that period and became a Buddhist nun till her death (her tomb is in the compound in one of the nunneries). She built the Seindon Mibaya Monastery in Mawlamyine which is very fine example of architecture in the original Mandalay palace and has magnificent woodcarvings and other decorations. It’s a monastery so beautiful that one could actually call it a museum.

Continue to the Ni Paya to have a view over the city and river before heading to the jetty and board a private motor boat that will bring us to Hpa An. Around 10:00 we take private boat for a cruise over the Thanlwin (Salween) River – one of the longest rivers in Myanmar ending in Mon State. After about an hour we arrive at a small jetty in U Na Auk village from where we take a tuk-tuk to visit the amazing carvings and decorations or the temples and ordination hall donated to the village by Mr Na Auk.

Mr Na Auk was a Mon trader, living in this area in the British period and he was famous for his intelligence to trade and win from the big British companies and has been a symbol of being patriotic, have a good trading sense and be kind to his fellow country man. In modern schoolbooks his story is taught and everybody in the country knows his name and stories how he offered free transportation for the local people in his area, offered food and managed to compete with the British traders.

We continue the boat trip over the Thanlwin River with spectacular sights on Zwekabin and other limestone mountains rising from the rice fields. A highlight of the trip through this part of Myanmar.
A lunch is served on the boat.
We stop on the way in Pa Lin village for a walk around this local community with Kayin, Shan, Mon, Bamar and PaO people.
A
rrive around 17:00 in Hpa An and transfer by car to the hotel which is situated at the bottom of one of the limestone mountains.
In the evening we enjoy dinner in local restaurant with typical Kayin “Talabaw” soup which is made of bamboo shoots, rice and jackfruit.

Option 1: Overnight at the Parami Hotel – superior
Option 2: Overnight at the Zwekabin Hotel – deluxe

Day 7: Hpa An – Yangon
Meals: B, L

Breakfast at the hotel.
In the morning you will enjoy a trip through tranquil rural scenery on a kayak while a Kayin man is peddling from the charming village of Lakkana till Muku village. On the way you will see rice fields, Limestone Mountains in the distance and tranquil traditional Kayin villages. We stop for fresh fruit served in one of the wooden Kayin houses in a local village and arrive after about 2 hours at our end destination.
Attention: as the creeks in this rural part are quite shallow we used small kayaks to travel around which means that you could get wet – slippers, shorts and a t-shirt are recommended.monk_at_top_of_temple
As Kayin state is bordering with Thailand there is some very tasty Thai food available in the local restaurants along the road leading through the jungle towards Thailand.
We return to the hotel for a shower and continue to Kawgun cave on the way to Yangon. The artwork of clay Buddha statues dates back from the 7th century, the period of the Mon kingdom. We continue driving back to Yangon in about 4,5 hours leaving 2 very interesting states in Myanmar behind us. Arrival in Yangon around dinner time.

Option 1: Overnight at the East Hotel – deluxe
Option 2: Overnight at the Kandawgyi Palace Hotel – sup

Day 8: Yangon – Mandalay
Meals: Bbagan_temple_and_farmer_with_oxen

Breakfast at the hotel.
Transfer to the airport and the flight to Mandalay, meet your guide at the airport and transfer to Paleik for a visit to its temple ruins.
On arrival; visiting the temple ruins of Paleik
This is an ideal excursion in the morning. The snake temple in Paleik is known for the 3 pythons sleeping at the Buddha statue that are being washed and fed daily at 11 AM by local workshippers.
Lesser known are the ancient temple ruins in the same area, many of them over 200 years old and partly overgrown by vegetation. It’s a sort of “mini Bagan” and you probably find yourself alone, feeling like the first foreigner ever to discover this place, surrounded by temples. After visiting Paleik we continue to your end destination.bagan_monks_
Take a short rest at the hotel after check in, in the afternoon your guide will start sightseeing to the monuments around Mandalay hill

Mandalay monuments – the hill, the monastery and the book
It’s not just the former capital cities around Mandalay that are interesting to visit. During this half day tour (morning or afternoon) we will take you to the most famous monuments of Mandalay starting with the top of Mandalay hill for a great view over the Mandalay fort. We continue to Atumashi and the Shwenandaw monasteries which are excellent examples of the architecture and crafts work of this region and we end with a visit to Kuthodaw Pagoda with the white marble slabs.

Option 1: Overnight at the Shwe Taung Tarn Hotel – superior
Option 2: Overnight at the Mandalay Hill Resort – superior

Day 9: Mandalay
Meals: B, L

Breakfast at the hotel.
Today will visit to Mahamunipagoda, Ava and Amarapura by private car

Mandalay Orientation: Mahamuni
This tour is the perfect introduction to Mandalay. We start with the Mahamuni pagoda and have a look at this century’s old Buddha statue originating from Mrauk Oo. It is a very lively temple compound where men are sticking gold leaves to the Buddha statue. The Mahamuni is also an excellent place to shop around for the perfect Buddha statue (bronze or wood). Can’t find what you are looking for? Find a marble statue at the next stop which is the marble carving street.
We continue to Ava, horse carts are ready to take us around this magnificent site with various ancient temple ruins that used to be majestic buildings during the 400 years that Ava was the capital. Lunch will be taken in Ava before continuing to Amarapura by car. The old capital of Amarapura is a very quiet village nowadays where you only hear the sound of the weaving machines. We visit one of the small weaving factories and walk over U-Bein Bridge and take a boat ride before heading back to your hotel. Driving back to Mandalay.

Option 1: Overnight at the Shwe Taung Tarn Hotel – superior
Option 2: Overnight at the Mandalay Hill Resort – superior

Day 10: Mandalay – Bagan
Meals: B

Breakfast at the hotel, transfer to the jetty and take public boat to Bagan for about 06: hours along the Ayarwaddy River. In the late afternoon, you will arrive to the jetty in Bagan, and transfer to hotel in Bagan.

Option 1: Overnight at the Bawgatheiddhi Hotel – deluxe
Option 2: Overnight at the Bagan Lodge Hotel – deluxe

Day 11: Bagan
Meals: B, L

This is Bagan!Bagan-2-300x199
A full day tour by car, with an experienced guide through Bagan will show you the best known temples of the area. We start the day climbing a pagoda to get a first impressive view over the whole area. From here the guide plans his way to some of the other amazing temples that have been here for hundreds of years. Places like the Ananda, Dhammayangyi, Sulamani, and Thatbyinnyu will certainly impress you. Lunch will be taken at a local restaurant and around 4pm we continue the tour by horse cart to Pyathagyi pagoda for sunset with some refreshing drinks served! Oh… we forgot to mention the best part of this tour; whenever you see a temple you like, just ask you guide to stop to have a look at it – simply pick your own favourite temple.

Option 1: Overnight at the Bawgatheiddhi Hotel – deluxe
Option 2: Overnight at the Bagan Lodge Hotel – deluxe

Day 12: Bagan
Meals: B

Breakfast at the hotel,
Day free at leisure, sightseeing will be on your own account.
(For today, we suggest you to visit Minnanthu area by bike or by horse cart)

Option 1: Overnight at the Bawgatheiddhi Hotel – deluxe
Option 2: Overnight at the Bagan Lodge Hotel – deluxe

Day 13: Bagan – Kalaw by private car
Meals: B

Breakfast at the hotel.
We start driving to Kalaw by private car, for about 07 hours, In the late afternoon, you will arrive to Kalaw town and take a good rest at the hotel

Option 1: Overnight at the Dream Villa Hotel – superior
Option 2: Overnight at the Amara Mountain Resort – deluxe

Day 14: Kalaw elephant conservation camp
Meals: B, L

Breakfast at the hotel, drive to elephant conservation camp

Trekking in forest and visit Elephant conservation project
Your guide specialized in Elephant conservation will take you for a rewarding day in the forest surrounding Kalaw encountering elephants, their mahouts and people living in the surrounding.
Very recently some young tourism professionals originating from Kalaw decided to set-up a project in Kalaw that is focused on protecting the nature, elephants and traditions of local people living in an area close to Kalaw. In a big part of this private protected forest the nature can grow undisturbed creating a natural habitat for animals that could otherwise be easily hunted down and killed. The project includes creating a natural environment for some Myanmar elephants from this part of the world and helping the local population to grow out of the vicious circle of poverty through education and micro finance.
Depending on your arrival time and how long you want to walk through the forest (walks from 30 min up to 4-5 hours are possible – simply let us know what you prefer) you will find yourself in the natural surroundings of Asian jungle.
A delicious lunch with local specialities (often from Nepalese origin) will be served in a traditional village, in the jungle or in the camp. After lunch it is time to help the mahout washing and feeding the elephant. Walk back in the afternoon to the main road and continue by car back to Kalaw town.

Option 1: Overnight at the Dream Villa Hotel – superior
Option 2: Overnight at the Amara Mountain Resort – deluxeinle_lake_legrower__2

Day 15: Kalaw – Inle Lake
Meals: B, L

Breakfast at the hotel, transfer to Inle Lake by private car.

The ruins of Indein & home cooked food with a local family & canoe trip floating
In the south of the lake the ruins of Indein are certainly worth a visit. Partly covered by vegetation the area looks like a “pagoda forest”. We will walk about 1 hour to enjoy a fantastic view over the lake and visit a school in Tha Ley village. A home-made cooked lunch is served in a local house. We continue towards the Nam Pan village for a very interesting trip going local with a small canoe. Whenever you are tired peddling yourself we continue by motor boat back to your hotel.

Option 1: Overnight at the La Maison Birmane – bungalows
Option 2: Overnight at the View Point Lodge – cottages

Day 16: Inle Lake
Meals: B, L

A Day on the Lake!
Inle Lake in southern Shan State is a vast natural lake surrounded by traditional Shan villages. On the lake itself the Intha people have been living for many centuries in villages built entirely on stilts. Today you ride a private motorboat around the lake. Discover its natural beauty, visit the floating gardens, see some of the famous leg rowers, and have a cup of tea at a local family’s house. On and around the lake, traditional markets are held in different villages according to a 5-day rotating schedule. Today we take you to visit one of these colourful markets frequented by Shan and PaO people. We certainly also visit a local cheroot factory (where the Burmese cigars are made), floating tomato gardens, Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, Intha Heritage house – where the Burmese cats are bred – and if wanted, we visit a weaving factory.

Option 1: Overnight at the La Maison Birmane – bungalows
Option 2: Overnight at the View Point Lodge – cottages

Day 17: Inle Lake – Heho – Ngapali Beach
Meals: B

Breakfast at the hotel.
Transfer to Heho airport and take the flight to Thandwe for Ngapali beach
Day free at leisure at the beach.

Option 1: Overnight at the Yoma Cherry Lodge – sea viewngapali_beach
Option 2: Overnight at the Sandoway Resort – Village cottages

Day 18 and 19 : Ngapali Beach
Meals: B

Breakfast at the hotel.
Day free at leisure at the beach.

Option 1: Overnight at the Yoma Cherry Lodge – sea view
Option 2: Overnight at the Sandoway Resort – Village cottages

Day 20: Ngapali Beach – Thandwe – Yangonngapali_sunset
Meals: B

Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to airport and take the flight to Yangon.
Car and guide will be available in Yangon until your flight time for international check departure.

***END SERVICES***

INCLUDING AND NOT INCLUDING

Services included:
English speaking stationed guide for airport transfer in / out and during sightseeing, accommodation including breakfast at the hotels mentioned, meals as mentioned in the program, all the transfer as mention in the program, private boat for Inle Lake, Bagan – Kalaw by private A / C car, all domestic and intercontinental flights, all entrance fees for the places mentioned above

Services not included:
Meals and drinks not indicated, tips, visa handling and costs, balloons over Bagan

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