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  • Irrawaddy Experience Touring Holiday

    RV Paukan Irrawaddy River Cruiser

    Mount Popa

    Boatman on Inle Lake

    Mingun Pagoda

    Irrawaddy Experience touring holiday

    13 nights/14 days

    This magical 13-night touring itinerary with private guide includes Rangoon, Mandalay, an unforgettable two-night cruise on the Irrawaddy River on board the RV Paukan, Bagan, Mount Popa, Kalaw and Inle. The tour then winds down with two days on the shores of the Bay of Bengal at Ngapali Beach before finishing in Rangoon.

    Day 1 Rangoon (Yangon)
    On arrival in Rangoon you will be met at the airport and driven to the Savoy Hotel. Check-in, relax and enjoy the courtyard swimming pool. Then spend the afternoon ambling around Scott’s market with its array of local handicrafts. Finish the day with a sunset visit to the Shwedagon Pagoda, one of the world’s most spectacular monuments. The pagoda is believed to be 2,500 years old, with its central stupa surrounded by dozens of intricately decorated buildings and statues - a fascinating place to watch the world go by.

    Day 2 Yangon to Mandalay
    Spend the morning sightseeing. After visiting the Botataung Pagoda, a walk along Pansoden Street will take you into the heart of old Rangoon where many of the large colonial buildings are still in use. It is also interesting to visit the sidewalk markets including those selling old books and magazines, some dating back to the 1960s. From there, visit Wahdan jetty to see boats arriving from the Delta being loaded and unloaded for a touch of local colour. After lunch at your hotel, take the early afternoon flight to Mandalay, arriving late afternoon where you will be driven to the Red Canal Hotel. A late afternoon visit to Mandalay Hill provides a wonderful view at sunset over the city and Irrawaddy River. Spend the next two nights in Mandalay.

    Day 3 Mandalay and Amarapura

    In the morning, visit the ancient royal capital of Amarapura, stopping off to see silk weavers, marble stone carvers and Kalaga tapestries on the way. Then visit the 1.2km long teakwood U Bein Bridge, one of the most photographed sights in Burma. From there you will continue on to the Mahagandayon monastery, a school for young monks, before returning to Mandalay for an included lunch.
    Afternoon sightseeing will include the highly revered Mahamuni Pagoda, a gold leaf hammering workshop, 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.

    Day 4 Irrawaddy Cruise – Bagan to Mingun

    Board the elegant RV Paukan at 12 noon at the Gawein jetty in Mandalay for a pre-lunch cocktail, casting off just before lunch. The luxury river cruise commences by journeying upstream for about two hours to Mingun where you will disembark and be taken by your private guide to the Mingun Pagoda. Overnight, the Paukan will moor at a sandbank midstream. Dinner will be followed by a performance of dance and drama on board by the Mandalay Arts School. NB This two-night cruise runs on Sundays to Tuesdays.

    Day 5 Irrawaddy Cruise – Mingun to ShweNann Tint
    Early morning the boat will cruise downstream towards the former capital Sagaing. Enjoy sunrise over Sagaing Hill, the natural beauty of the river and life on the Irrawaddy from the deck of the boat. After breakfast, you will go ashore to visit Sagaing, home to 500 stupas and even more monasteries. The boat will then cast off again mid-morning continuing its cruise downstream. Lunch is served at 1pm. Late afternoon the boat stops at Yandabo. The boat will moor for the second night near the river village of ShweNann Tint. Enjoy dinner onboard.

    Day 6 Arrival in Bagan
    Early morning the boat continues its journey on to Bagan with a visit to a typical river village after breakfast. The boat will reach Bagan at around 9.30am when you will be taken to the Thande Hotel to check-in. Enjoy a delicious lunch of Burmese specialties in a beautiful setting on the banks of the Irrawaddy at the Green Elephant Restaurant. During the afternoon, explore some of the most impressive of Bagan’s many pagodas by horse and cart, culminating in extraordinary sunset views over the plains of Bagan from the Pyanthetgyi Temple. Spend the night in Bagan.

    Day 7 Bagan to Mount Popa
    Drive to the busy NyaungOo Market and further explore Bagan’s distinctive pagodas before an included lunch. After lunch, drive to Mount Popa, which is said have risen from the ground in a massive earthquake in 42BC. Mount Popa is famous as the spiritual home of the ‘nats’ (Burmese Spirit Gods) and for its wonderful views of the tropical region in which it is situated. You will overnight at the Popa Mountain Resort. This hotel, nestled amidst abundant trees and flowers on the hillside of this extinct volcano, has wonderful views over the surrounding plains.

    Day 8 Mount Popa to Kalaw
    After an early breakfast you will depart for Kalaw, a mountain resort in the Southern Shan State. The journey takes approximately six hours by car passing breath-taking scenery en route. Lunch is included. Kalaw sits high on the western edge of the Shan Plateau and was formerly a popular British hill station. Enjoy Kalaw’s tranquil atmosphere and colonial heritage. Overnight in Kalaw at the Amara Resort Hotel.

    Day 9 Kalaw to Inle

    This morning you will make the three hour journey by car to Inle Lake which is located at an altitude of 900m above sea level. The remainder of the day will be spent exploring the lake by long tailed boat with visits to Innpawkhane Village and Nanpan where local handicrafts such as lotus and silk weaving, boat building and Cheroot (cigar) making can be seen. Lunch is included. Spend the next two nights at the Inle Princess Resort.

    Day 10 Inle
    A chance to visit the local floating market which moves between the area’s villages on a five-day rota as well as seeing the colourful local tribes. You will also visit the Phaungdaw U Pagoda and Leshoe Village. Lunch is included. Continuing on to the beautiful Kay La village you will then visit the Jumping Cat Monastery on the eastern side of the lake. The floating gardens and the unique fishing style of the Intha fishermen with their ‘one-legged’ rowing style are also joys to behold.

    Day 11 Inle to Ngapali via Heho
    Drive to Heho airport for the early morning flight to Ngapali. Check in to the wonderful Italian-run Sandoway Resort and enjoy a chance to relax at one of the most heavenly spots in Asia.

    Days 12 and 13 Ngapali
    Days spent at leisure.

    Day 14 Ngapali to Rangoon Departure
    After breakfast, transfer to the airport for a flight to Rangoon. Arrive at the Savoy Hotel at midday. Enjoy a last afternoon of relaxation or exploring Rangoon before transferring to the airport for your international departure.

    Price from £4250 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
    •Two-night cruise on RV Paukan (Main Deck/Twin Cabin) on a full board basis
    •Seven lunches (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 itinerary

    OUR PRICES DO NOT INCLUDE
    •Visas
    •Meals, except as specified above
    •Drinks, gratuities and personal expenses
    •Day use room charge at the Savoy on Day 14
    •Camera fees where applicable
    •Insurance

    HOTEL LIST FOR THE ABOVE ITINERARY

    Rangoon, Savoy Hotel boutique, a charming colonial style boutique hotel combining traditional European/Burmese interiors and antiques – Deluxe Room
    Mandalay, Red Canal boutique, a small boutique hotel with a beautiful garden and intimate atmosphere – Chin or Kachin Room
    Irrawaddy 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
    Mount Popa, Mount Popa Resort boutique, a luxurious hotel situated part-way up the mountain with a beautiful view over this extinct volcano and the temple at its summit. Surrounded by breathtaking scenery and tropical landscapes, it also boasts a very nice swimming pool – Superior Room
    Kalaw, Amara Resort boutique, the deluxe rooms at this colonial style house offer a taste of a bygone life in this former colonial hill station. A newly built extension has extended the hotel in a tasteful way – Deluxe Room
    Inle, Inle Princess Resort luxury, the most luxurious of the Inle Lake hotels and located on the eastern shore. The beautiful chalets are built from local woods and blend well with the lake scenery – Private Lake View
    Ngapali, Sandoway Resort luxury, set in a beautiful location on this magical beach, the cottages offer a relaxing haven in which to unwind and enjoy your surroundings. The luxury bungalows along the beach are idyllic as is the excellent outdoor dining offered by the hotel which overlooks the sea – Deluxe Room 

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