MYANMAR (BURMA) - THE
Group Tour Dossier. BA14
country formerly known as Burma, is one of the few truly original
travel experiences remaining in this much travelled world. Decades
of social and economic isolation have preserved here many of the
traditional features, physical and cultural, which have been lost
in other Asian countries. Myanmar
is a captivating travel destination - for its diversity of sightseeing,
for the wealth of cultural and scenic attractions it can offer and,
above all, for the warmth and friendliness of its charming people.
With a land
area of 677,000 sq.km., Myanmar is the largest country in Southeast
Asia. It shares borders with Bangladesh, India, China, Laos and
Thailand. Approximately the size of France and Great Britain combined,
it stretches over 2,000 km. North to south, and varying from the
vast central agricultural plains, to snow capped mountains in the
far north./ The Shan States feature cool and verdant hills, while
the long coastline offers endless golden beaches still to be opened
up for tourism. From north to south flows the majestic Ayeyarwaddy
(Irrawaddy), one of the world's greatest rivers and source of agricultural
wealth to millions. Potentially, Myanmar is one of the region's
richest economies, with every type of natural resource. Tourism
is seen as being one of the greatest opportunities for development,
but, for now, the numbers of tourist are few. There will never be
a better time to visit.
Much of the
country's attraction is in its history and artistic culture. Myanmar
lies at the meeting point of two of the world's great civilisations,
China and India, but it blends both of these influences with its
own very special local characteristics. The people have preserved
traditional values, and are deeply devout in their religion, with
a close-knit family system and respect for elders still powerfully
observed. Myanmar people are fun loving and festivals from the centre
of Myanmar social life, with each month having its own festive occasion.
Myanmar people are also known for their sense of hospitality and
friendliness to visitors.
MEKONG TRAVEL - SIGHTSEEING TOUR POLICY
Major sightseeing highlights of Indochina include a huge variety
of religious and historic monuments; a rich cultural and artistic
heritage; museums and beautiful scenery. Such key elements are naturally
include in sightseeing tour itineraries, but Mekong Travel also
seeks out the less obvious attractions - interesting local markets,
festivals, wherever these coincide with travel plans, traditional
handicrafts and industries, plus the opportunity to meet local people
in their own environments. Also include are opportunities to try
regional cuisine and to see typical or traditional forms of entertainment.
includes such extra dimensions to make any visit to Thailand, Vietnam,
Myanmar, Cambodia or Laos a richer, more rewarding and more memorable
ON TRAVELLING IN INDOCHINA
tap water - purified, bottled water is available everywhere.
Use an insect
repellent against mosquitoes, especially in upcountry and forested
areas. A hat and high factor block cream is advisable as protection
against the hot tropical sun when sightseeing.
Casual and light
clothing is required, preferable natural fibre, year-round, but
a sweater or jacket may be useful in hill areas, particularly during
winter months, when evenings can be quite cool. An umbrella or raincoat
is essential if visiting during the monsoon months (May-September).
take adequate supplies of any prescription medicines they may need,
as supplies may not be available locally. A spare pair of eyeglasses,
if worn, is also advisable. Useful too, is a flashlight, for exploring
caves or details of temple interiors, which are often not properly
of film, as locally available supplies are not always reliable.
Photography in airports, railway stations and near any military
installation is forbidden. Please use discretion when photographing
people, especially with tribal people, who may have superstitions
against this. For close-up shots always ask first.
required to dress decently within the precincts of religious buildings.
Ladies should not wear shorts or bra-less T-shirts in such places.
Shoes and socks/stockings must always be removed at pagodas and
monasteries. Shoulders and knees should be covered. Disregard of
these rules causes serious cultural and religious offence to the
devout Asian people. Visitors are advised to ignore touts who may
approach them to exchange foreign currency, or to sell gems of dubious
quality. Such offers, although apparently attractive, are breaking
Begging is widespread
in some parts of Indochina but not in others and visitors are requested
not to encourage development of this practice by giving money, sweets
etc. to children. If travellers wish to contribute to say, a village
community, gifts should be directed to the local schoolteacher or
headman. Contributions can also be arranged to recognise local charities
two of which we support.
In spite of
the building boom that is creating new hotels up to international
standards for the first time in key tourist centres, accommodations
in Indochina still varies widely in quality and, during high seasons,
availability can be limited. Mekong Travel clients will generally
receive hotel reservation priority, but Mekong Travel cannot guarantee
specific hotel requests and reserves the right to substitute accommodation
of the best available alternative standard when a first-choice hotel
is not available. Clients are advised that accommodations, especially
outside the main locations, may not always be up to international
ACCOMMODATION. The accommodation on this trip is a mixture
of good quality private hotels (mostly 2 to 3- star). The hotels
have air conditioning and we will normally have twin rooms with
private facilities. In general, the hotels we use are of a good
standard, and will be clean and comfortable with air-conditioning,
private bathrooms , minibar and TV.
- October through February with average temperatures 20-24 C
Hot Season -
March through May with average temperatures 30-35 C
Wet Season -
June through September with average temperatures 25-30 C
The ideal time
to visit Myanmar is during the cool season. However, even during
the wet seasons, Yangon normally received morning and afternoon
showers while rainfall in Bagan and Mandalay is very low.
VACCINATIONS. No vaccinations are compulsory unless arriving
from and infected area, but we recommend vaccination against hepatitis
A and typhoid. Malaria prophylaxis is strongly recommended and there
has been some chloroquine resistance reported, so please see your
Doctor for advice.
All breakfasts (e.g. bread, eggs or fruit and tea or coffee) are
included as are all Dinners which are taken as a group and arranged
in good local restaurants were a variety of dishes can be tried.
Lunches are on a daily kitty of £4 per person per day.
EXTRA EXPENSES. Food (see above): Visa £40. Departure
tax: currently US$7. There are also a number of entry fees not included
in the price: as it is hard to say what people would like to visit
. There will also be a kitty to cover soft drinks, mineral water
and snacks for consumption whilst travelling , though this is unlikely
to cost more than about £20.
& SUPPORT. The group size will be between 8 and 16. All
groups will be accompanied by an experienced English guide, plus
a Vietnamese guide and where applicable a local driver. All your
luggage and personal belongings will be carried with the vehicle.
Our trip takes us from the capital Yangon in the South to the
floating villages on Inle lake and hill station at Taunggyi. Continuing
to the ancient city of Mandaly and the old hill station at Maymyo
before cruising down the Irrawady to the ruins of Bagan. We use
a combination of different types of transport including aircraft,
mini-bus and boat.
IN THE PRICE
class return flights with Thai International airlines (will be booked
separately if required, see main box).
· UK Air Passenger Duty Tax
· Accommodation as specified (tax and service charges are
also included as is breakfast)
· Services of a Western tour leader throughout
· Local guide throughout
· Private air-conditioned vehicles in each location
· Private (group) transfers to and from airports and train
· Entrance fees to museums, etc., permits, etc.
· Breakfasts & Dinners
· Private boat trips on Inle Lake and along the Irrawady
· The services of our local staff in Burma
NOT INCLUDED IN THE PRICE
· All meals other than breakfast (meals on some days- see
· Items of a personal nature such as laundry, drinks, tips,
· Airport transfers on arrival and departure if you are not
arriving on our standard flights (supplement payable).
· Airport taxes payable locally on each departure
with Thai International Airways from London, Heathrow.
Arrive at Bangkok
airport and transfer to the
connecting flight to Yangon ( Rangoon ) and transfer to hotel. Dinner
at local restaurant.
Rangoon) is the Capital City and gateway to Myanmar (formerly Burma).
Perhaps the last remaining authentic example of an Asian tropical
city still true to its former colonial origins. Most famous for
the unique and glittering Shwedagon Pagoda, but a wealth of other
sights await visitors, including diverse temples, markets and impressive
colonial-era buildings. Always green with lush tropical trees, shady
parks and beautiful lakes. Yangon is known as the "Garden City
of the east" was founded by King Alaungpaya on the site of
a small settlement called Dagon when he conquered Lower Myanmar
in 1755. The name Yangon means "End of Strife".
tour to include the old colonial-style city centre. Karaweik Hall,
Royal floating barge and extended visit to Shwedagon Pagoda, one
of the world's most spectacular religious monuments. The golden
dome rises 98 meters above its base and is covered with 60 tons
of pure gold. The tour continues to chauk htat gyi, a huge reclining
Buddha image and the gilded Sule Pagoda, dating back over 2,000
years; Bogyoke (Scotts) Market with hundreds of stores and visit
a gem shop.
take the early morning flight to Hedo and then proceed to Inle Lake
by road. Transfer to hotel and after lunch take a boat trip around
the lake visiting the floating gardens and villages. Here the emphasis
is on lovely lake scenery, hazy distant mountains and the interesting
local society. The vast lake is studded with floating islands and
is renowned for its unique leg-rowers and local markets.
to the old British hill station at Taunggyi, capital of the Shan
State, a cool hill town set at 1,400 m. Famous for its colourful
local markets you will visit a ruby market, cheroot work shop and
near by pagodas. After lunch drive to the airport at Hedo and fly
The second largest city and former Royal capital of Myanmar. Many
historical buildings and interesting sights temples and pagodas.
This is also a centre for silk and cotton weaving, marble carving,
bronze and silver crafts and kalaga tapestries. Mandalay was founded
in 1857 as the Capital by King Mindon and remained the capital city
of the Konbaung, Myanmar's last dynasty. The Mandalay Palace still
boasts finely built palace walls and a beautiful moat surrounding
this fortress. Moreover, Mandalay is not only an important city
for Burmese culture, but the principle centre for Buddhism studies
in Myanmar. Mandalay's monasteries and pagodas are of great religious
significance to all Myanmars.
All day tour
of Mandalay visiting Mahagandayon, a famous Buddhist monastery,
where more than a thousand monks live and study; continue to the
200 year old U Bein teak bridge, built in 1782 at the time when
Amarapura was a Royal capital. Visit Bagaya Monastery, with a superb
collection of Buddha statues, before returning to Mandalay, stopping
at a traditional hand-woven silk workshop en-route.
After lunch, proceed on a comprehensive sightseeing tour including
Mahamuni Pagoda, with its spectacular Buddha image covered in thick
layers of gold leaf; Shwe Inbin, one of the most outstanding monasteries
in the country; Shwe Nan Daw Kyaung or Golden Palace Monastery,
a superb example of a traditional wooden building; Kuthodaw Pagoda,
known as the world's largest book from its 729 marble slabs engraved
with Buddhist scriptures and the Royal Palace. Watch sunset from
Mandalay Hill. Dinner on the moat that surrounds the Royal Palace.
to PYIN OO LWIN (Maymyo) A cool hill station, over 1,000m above
sea level founded during colonial times and a worthwhile 64km side
trip from Mandalay. Here we enjoy beautiful scenery, a cool climate
and a nostalgic atmosphere with its old buildings and botanical
to the Candacraig Hotel for dinner and over night stay. This hotel
was the old chummery of the Bombay Burma Trading Company constructed
in 1906 in the style of an English country manor house. Although
a little run down it has a lot of atmosphere right down to the menu
of roast beef or chicken.
of the town before descending back down the hill into the central
plains back to Mandalay. Transfer to the hotel.
start, board the boat for a river journey down the mighty Ayeyarwaddy
(Irrawaddy) River, to Bagan. The trip takes approximately eight
hours. On arrival transfer to the hotel. Evening dinner on the banks
of the Areyarwaddy while watching a local display of Burmese puppetry.
Bagan the ancient
capital of the 15th Century Mon Kingdom, Bagan is one of the richest
archaeological sites in Asia. A huge area containing literally thousands
of pagodas, stupas and temples, all set in a vast dusty plain beside
the Ayeyarwaddy River. Memorable for its tranquillity, as well as
for its majesty.
a full day of sightseeing, starting with a busy local market and
continuing with visits to a diverse selection from the most important
pagodas and temples. Includes visits to Shwezigon Pagoda, Ku Byanuk
Gyi, Khay Min Ga Temple, Ananda Temple,
After lunch, visit lacquer craftmen's workshop in nearby Myinkaba
village. Continue sightseeing to Manuha Temple, Nanbaya Temple,
Myingaba Gu Byaukgyi Temple and the Archaeological Museum.
for Mount Popa. We will pass through tranquil villages and stop
at a toddy distillery where sap from the toddy tree is fermented
into a favourite drink.
Mount Popa is
a steep sided volcanic peak rising 1,520 meters above the plain
- 48km from the ancient city of Bagan.
to the summit of this legendary mountain, overlooking the Popa Taungkalat,
is the ECO-Friendly Popa Mountain Resort where we will spend a night.
The Resort comprise
of 9 tastefully designed villas (18 rooms) all lavishly furnished
and fully equipped with modern facilities. Outdoor activities include
horse riding, mountain-trekking, nature walks, bird / butterfly
watching, and a 9 hole golf course.
mountain slops are now a National Park and after lunch we will visit
the parks information centre. We also visit the herbal medical centre
and walk some of the forest trails in search of the recently introduced
the morning is free to relax by the pool, play a round of golf or
go horse riding or trek in the forest.
we drive back to Bagan to catch the late afternoon flight to Yagon.
Transfer to hotel.
airport for the flight home or alternatively extend your stay with
a beach trip or a short trip to other designations in our brochure.
DEPARTURE DATES AND PRICES
6th Oct - Friday 19th Oct 2007
3rd Nov - Friday 16th Nov 2007
5th Jan - Friday 18th Jan 2008
conversions, click here: XE.com
Personal Currency Assistant
We will arrange
twin share accommodation for single travellers, the supplement is
for those requesting their own rooms.
in this dossier has been given in good faith and covers the average
range of conditions to be found on the trip. Burma is a poor country
were services are not up to international standards consequently
unexpected changes sometime occur.