14 nights/15 daysThis 14-night touring itinerary reaches parts of Burma that few have visited for decades. In addition to visiting the main highlights of the country, you will also travel south into Mon State to visit the magnificent Golden Rock monument, the former British capital of Mawlaymine and the nearby WWII war cemetery for allied solders - lying close to the infamous ‘death railway’. You will also enjoy the cooler temperatures and charm of the former British Hill Station of Maymyo, as well as taking a fascinating train ride through the Shan state, passing over the breathtaking Goitek Viaduct. Day 1 Rangoon (Yangon) Arrive in Rangoon and transfer to the colonial style Savoy Hotel. Relax after your flight before visiting the magnificent golden Shwedagon Pagoda late afternoon to enjoy a view of Rangoon at sunset.Day 2 Kyiakhtiyo (Golden Rock)Drive to the base camp for the famous Golden Rock (Kyiakhtiyo) monument in Mon state. One of the most sacred Buddhist sites in Burma, the rock seems to balance precariously on the edge of a cliff. On the way, visit Bago and lunch at one of the best restaurants for local food in Burma. On arrival at the base camp, there is a 45 minute truck journey to Kyiakhtiyo followed by a 45-minute hike up the mountain path to the Mountain Top Hotel for your overnight stay, located near the Golden Rock. The sunset and sunrise views from this location are magnificent. Day 3 MawlaymineLeave Golden Rock and travel further south into the Mon State to the tropical town of Mawlaymine which was the capital of British Burma from 1827 to 1852. Author George Orwell served here in the 1920s with the Indian Imperial Police. The route continues to the south of Mawlaymine to the town of Thanbyuzayat which, in WWII, was the western terminus of the infamous ‘Burma death railway’. The cemetery here contains graves of 3,771 Allied POWs who died during the building of the railway. Check-in to the Mawlaymine Strand Hotel for two nights.Day 4 Ogre Island Today you will take a short local ferry to Ogre Island, situated about a 45 minute boat ride from Mawlaymine. The day will be spent visiting villages on this charming island, each specialising in different crafts from pipe-making, making slate boards for schools or manufacturing rubber bands. Return by ferry and visit the old colonial buildings and Kyaikthanlan Pagoda in Mawlaymine and enjoy the view at sunset over the city.Day 5 Mawlaymine to Rangoon Today, leave the Mon State and travel by car back to Rangoon (about 6 hours). En route you will stop to visit the Kyauk Kalat Pagoda, a scaled down Shwedagon with stupendous views from its hilltop location. You will also visit the 7th century artwork of the Kawtgoon Cave where thousands of tiny clay Buddhas and old inscriptions adorn the walls of this cave which forms part of a chain of sharp limestone mountains. Lunch at a local restaurant near Thaton. You will spend the night at the Savoy Hotel in Rangoon.Day 6 InleTransfer to the airport for a morning flight to Heho airport and transfer to the magical Inle Lake, located in Shan state, at an elevation of 900m. The lake is home to the Intha people with its fishermen noted for their unique one-legged rowing style. PaO and Shan ethnic groups also inhabit the area. The day will be spent taking in the sights of life on the lake from the comfort of a long-tailed boat. These include the floating gardens, the fishermen and local crafts such as lotus and silk weaving on handlooms. Check-in for two nights at the Inle Lakeview Resort. Day 7 InleDuring the morning you will visit the five day rotating market and then take a short trek up into the hills to a small overgrown graveyard where the graves of two murdered colonial officers from 1891 are situated. The scenic walk continues on to a monastery further up into the hills. Enjoy the panoramic views back to the lake as you walk. Later, travel by boat up a beautiful creek to Indain, with its many pagodas semi-hidden in a fascinating ‘Indiana Jones’ type setting. Day 8 MaymyoTransfer to Heho airport for the short flight to Mandalay. From the airport you will be driven (for about 1.5 hours) up into the hills to the former British Hill Station of Maymyo. The town is small, but charming, with a clock tower in the town centre which was donated by Queen Victoria. The town has a huge 237 acre botanical garden (constructed by Colonel May with Turkish POWs during WWI) and many horse drawn carriages for hire. Enjoy the ambiance and local sights. Check-in to the Governor’s House Hotel.Day 9 Maymyo to Naungpaing and Mandalay During the morning, you will enjoy the local colour and scenery of the train journey from Maymyo to Naungpaing station which crosses over the stunning Goitek viaduct (constructed across a deep gorge by the Pennsylvania Steel company for Burma Railways in the early 1900s). Disembark the train at Naungpaing and return by car to Mandalay. Check-in to the Red Canal Hotel. Day 10 MandalayToday’s sightseeing includes a visit to the highly revered Mahamuni Pagoda, the Shwenandaw Monastery, noted for its exquisite wood carvings and the Kuthodaw Pagoda, which is surrounded by 729 marble slabs denoting the entire Buddhist scriptures and often called the world’s largest book. You will also visit gold leaf making and bronze casting craft shops in the heart of Mandalay. Later enjoy the panoramic sunset view over the city and the Irrawaddy River from Mandalay Hill. If you are feeling energetic we suggest a walk up the hill to enjoy the local sights on the way.Day 11 Amarapura and Inwa Visit the former royal capital of Amarapura and walk on the U Bein Bridge, the world’s longest teakwood bridge. From there you will visit the Mahagondayon Monastery to see the monks line up for their last meal of the day in the late morning. Then visit Inwa, another former royal capital and travel by horse and cart down tree-lined paths taking in old palace walls, a wooden monastery and the ‘leaning tower of Ava’. In the afternoon, drive to the jetty for the 7-mile journey by boat up the Irrawaddy River to Mingun. Here you will visit the massive 50m high ruins of the Mingun Pagoda – a truly impressive sight affording spectacular views over the river and back to Mandalay. Enjoy the atmosphere of village life in Mingun as well as visiting the MaharThein Pagoda and the gigantic bronze Mingun Bell. Return to Mandalay by boat as the sun goes down.Day 12 Irrawaddy Cruise (Mandalay to Bagan) An early start offers a visit to Sagaing before boarding the elegant colonial steamer, the RV Paukan, for a relaxing overnight cruise on the Irrawaddy River. The boat will stop en route to visit a rarely visited traditional village which is renowned for its pottery. All meals are included onboard.Day 13 BaganDisembark the RV Paukan in Bagan after breakfast. After checking-in to the Thande Hotel, spend the day visiting Bagan’s fascinating temples. In the evening, enjoy a relaxing horse and cart ride to a perfect viewing spot from one of the pagodas to watch the sunset. The view over the Bagan plains remains one of the most striking on earth. Day 14 Rangoon (Yangon) Transfer to the airport for a morning flight to Rangoon. After checking in to the Savoy Hotel, visit the sprawling Scott Market, built in 1928, which is filled with traditional Burmese artifacts and handicrafts and is ideal for a last shopping spree. Enjoy a tour of downtown Rangoon. Your final dinner in Burma is served in the beautiful lantern-lit garden of the Governor’s Residence Hotel. Day 15 Rangoon DepartureTransfer to Yangon International Airport for international flight departure.Price from £4350 per person OUR PRICE INCLUDES•Return scheduled flights from London to Rangoon in economy class•Domestic flights as specified•Breakfast and accommodation sharing a twin or double room•Overnight cruise on RV Paukan (Main Deck/Twin Cabin) on a full board basis•One lunch and one dinner (as specified in the itinerary)•Private transfers and sightseeing tours in a chauffeur-driven air-conditioned car•Services of an English-speaking guide•Entry fees for all visits included on the itineraryOUR PRICES DO NOT INCLUDE•Visas•Meals, except as specified above •Drinks, gratuities and personal expenses•Day use room charge at the Savoy on Day 15•Camera fees where applicable•InsuranceHOTEL LIST FOR THE ABOVE ITINERARYRangoon, Savoy Hotel (boutique), a charming colonial style boutique hotel combining traditional European/Burmese interiors and antiques – Deluxe RoomKyiakhtiyo (Golden Rock),Mountain Top Hotel (comfortable), chosen for its proximity to the Golden Rock and its beautiful views at sunrise and sunset – Deluxe Room Mawlaymine, Strand Hotel (comfortable), newly opened in 2012, the hotel is located on the Strand Road right on the Bay of Martaban - Royal Deluxe RoomInle, Inle Lakeview Resort (boutique), located on the western edge of the lake and built in a colonial Burmese style, Lakeview offers luxury and elegance throughout whether from its deluxe rooms, junior suites or villas – Junior Suite Upper FloorMaymyo, Governor's House (boutique), the central building is a replica of the original Governor’s Residence which was destroyed in WWII. The rest of the hotel comprises detached chalets of generous size – Deluxe BungalowMandalay, Red Canal (boutique), a small boutique hotel with a beautiful garden and intimate atmosphere – Chin or Kachin RoomIrrawaddy Cruise, RV Paukan (boutique), a beautiful replica of an early Irrawaddy River steamer, akin to a boutique hotel on the river. The boat is equipped with massage rooms, a sun deck and a bar and lounge for relaxation. Dining on board includes both eastern and western cuisine – Main Deck Twin Cabin Bagan, Thande Hotel (comfortable), the deluxe riverfront rooms offer the best views of the Irrawaddy River in this quaint mid-range hotel chosen for its location – Deluxe River View
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