Burma and the Irrawaddy


As well as taking you through the best of Burma, from charming Rangoon and cultural Mandalay, to the temples of Bagan, you’ll also embark on a two-day cruise of the Irrawaddy River, where you’ll be able to catch a glimpse of everyday life in rural Burma.

tour duration 14 Days from
tour price 3,790pp
tour type Group Tour

Places Visited

UK - Rangoon (3N) - Mandalay (2N) - Irrawaddy Cruise (2N) - Bagan (3N) - Inle Lake (2N) - UK

Tour Highlights

Be dazzled by the golden Shwedagon Pagoda in Rangoon
Cruise on the Irrawaddy River on a Pandaw Cruise
Ascend to the top of Mt Popa for a stunning view
Meet the locals at Inle Lake as they go about their daily lives
Discover Bagan's ancient temples - there's over 2000 of them!

Days 1-2 Fly to Rangoon
Fly overnight to the vibrant city of Rangoon. Depending on your time of arrival the rest of the day is yours to start soaking up the local culture.
Days 1-2 Fly to Rangoon
Day 3 Explore Rangoon
Rangoon, Burma’s capital until its relocation to Naypyidaw in 2006, is the heart of Burma’s spiritual life and a bustling city full of crumbling colonial charm. Stroll past the colonial buildings of Rangoon’s downtown, see the Independence Monument and the artefacts of the National Museum before browsing the wares of Bogyoke Market. Finally, explore Shwedagon Pagoda. Purported to have four relics of former Buddhas enshrined within, the pagoda is Burma’s most sacred Buddhist site. The complex’s huge golden stupa dominates the city’s skyline.
Day 3 Explore Rangoon
Day 4 Fly to Mandalay
Fly to Mandalay. Take a boat trip to Mingun, visit the monumental Mingun Pagoda. See Mya Thein Tan Pagoda and explore Sagaing, where the surrounding hills are full of pagodas, temples and monasteries. Travel to the U Bein Bridge, the world’s longest teak wood bridge, which stretches across the Taungthaman Lake. Watch the local people coming and going across the bridge as the sun goes down.
Day 4 Fly to Mandalay
Day 5 Explore Mandalay
Spend a full day soaking in the sights of Burma’s cultural capital, visiting the Mahamuni Pagoda, Shwenandaw Monastery and a gold hammering workshop before travelling to the old city of Amarapura and Mahagandayon Monastery, a place of monastic study and home to several thousand young monks.
Day 5 Explore Mandalay
Day 6 Irrawaddy River Cruise
Board your Pandaw river cruise vessel, on which you will spend the next two nights. Set sail downriver, welcome cocktail in hand and watch the Irrawaddy panorama unfold before you.
Day 6 Irrawaddy River Cruise
Day 7 Yandabo
The cruise continues at a leisurely pace, passing through quintessentially Burmese landscapes. Visit the village of Yandabo. The people here specialise in pot-making and you’ll be able to see the villagers at work before browsing the local, handcrafted wares. You'll also explore Pakokku by trishaw.
Day 7 Yandabo
Day 8 Arrive in Bagan
Rise early to enjoy the sunrise over the river. Disembark in Bagan and begin your explorations. Around Bagan, Burma’s central plains are scattered with around 2,000 old structures, left from the golden age of kingdoms long passed. Visit some of these numerous temples including Htilominlo and Dhammayangyi, before enjoying a spectacular sunset from the summit of Aureum Watch Tower
Day 8 Arrive in Bagan
Day 9 Mt Popa
Begin the day browsing the wares of Nyaung Oo Market then travel to Mt Popa. An extinct volcano, ascend to its peak to explore the breathtaking Taung Kalat monastery that is perched there. Return to Bagan.
Day 9 Mt Popa
Day 10 Kyun Thiri River Village
This morning, climb aboard a boat for a short sail to Kyun Thiri river village where you can visit a local monastery and partake in some local tea and snacks. Return to Bagan by boat. The afternoon is free.
Day 10 Kyun Thiri River Village
Day 11 Inle Lake
Fly to Heho and travel on to Inle Lake. The lake is best known for the extraordinary ‘Intha’ people, who live on and around the water, and their unique rowing technique. Head out on the lake by boat to visit Nanpan, a traditional Inle village built on stilts. See traditional boat making and visit a cheroot making factory before continuing on to Phaungdaw U Pagoda, Nga Phae Chaung Monastery and the ingenious floating gardens.
Day 11 Inle Lake
Day 12 Indein Pagodas
Browse the local produce at a morning market before transferring by boat to the western shore of the lake to explore the crumbling Indein Pagoda complex.
Day 12 Indein Pagodas
Day 13 Return to Rangoon
Bid farewell to Inle Lake and return to Heho airport to fly to Rangoon. The rest of the day is at leisure.
Day 13 Return to Rangoon
Day 14 Fly Rangoon to UK
Fly to the UK, arriving home the same or following day.
Day 14 Fly Rangoon to UK

Also Available

Private Departures for this tour

If the dates we have available for this tour don't suit your needs, or you are not sure travelling as part of a group is for you, maybe a Private Departure would be more ideal. Based on exactly the same itinerary as the group tour, our Private Departures give you the freedom to choose your own departure date and simply enjoy your holiday with your family, your partner, or your friends. On Private Departures your tour will be led by an English speaking local guides in each destination

Tailor Your Tour

If you like most of the itinerary which we have suggested but you'd like to change the route and the accommodation, speak to our specialist Tailormade team, who can build your perfect itinerary based around where you would like to go, what you would like to see and how much you'd like to spend. Just call us on 0800 9884 888 and we'll help plan your dream holiday.

03-Oct > 16-Oct - £3,790 BOOK NOW
31-Oct > 13-Nov - £3,890 BOOK NOW

Additional Price Information:

Based on London Heathrow departures
Flight upgrades available on request
Land only from £3190 (Rangoon - Rangoon)
Single Supplement from £750
Tipping paid locally US$51

30-Jan > 12-Feb - £4,090 BOOK NOW
20-Feb > 05-Mar - £3,990 BOOK NOW

Additional Price Information:

Based on London Heathrow departures
Flight upgrades available on request
Land only from £3190 (Rangoon - Rangoon)
Single Supplement from £750
Tipping paid locally US$51

A visa is required by all nationalities. A single entry visa should be arranged in advance of travel.
Unlike many other tour operators, we include your entry visas in the price of our tour. We handle the entire visa process – all you need to do is fill out the form and send your passport to us. We are always on hand to help you with any questions or queries you might have when completing the form. 

Phone Calls
International and domestic calls can be made from your hotel room. To call the UK the international access code is 00, followed by the country code 44, then the local area code (omitting the first 0), then the number. To call Wendy Wu Tours it is 00 44 207 403 7860. Emergency 24 hour telephone (out of office hours) is 00 44 7984 041 625.
 
Mobile Phones
Mobile phones are growing in popularity and you will find high quality coverage. There are active roaming agreements with all phone carriers; however SMS and call rates can be expensive. We recommend that you contact your mobile supplier if you intend to use international roaming during your holiday and ensure you investigate all associated costs before you leave the UK.
 
Internet & Email
Internet cafes can be found in all major cities and even in some small towns. This is often the easiest and cheapest way to stay in touch. Most hotels have a business centre with internet access, but at a slightly higher rate. Some hotels may have Wi-Fi which usually comes at an additional cost and may only be available in hotel lobbies. 

Tipping is an expected element in the tourism industry today and Burma is no exception. Many passengers are often uncertain of how much to tip so we have established a tipping system whereby every passenger gives a set amount to the National Escort who will distribute the amount appropriately. On multi-country tips, this amount will be paid in stages on arrival in each country. If there is no National Escort, you will need to give your money to your Local Guides and tipping amounts for each city will be shown in your final itinerary. The amount for the kitty is calculated for each tour depending on the length, group size, and services used during the trip.
 
We will indicate the tipping amounts in your final documents for guidance.

Shopping can be a fun and entertaining component to any travel adventure. In keeping with most people’s interests whilst on holiday, your tour will include a reasonable number of opportunities to shop for local goods and souvenirs.
 
We have included visits to establishments that not only provide an opportunity to purchase a locally produced, great-value souvenir; but you’ll witness first-hand how these local products are made, their history and how they support the local economy. We are aware that people like to take home souvenirs, so we endeavour to ensure the shops you visit have a reputation for quality, honesty, and authenticity – we do our best to ensure that you don’t get ripped off. 

The cost of all meals is included in your group tour cost. Breakfast is a combination of local and western food, usually served buffet style at the hotel you are staying in. Lunches and dinners consist of traditional cuisine and are served at reputable local restaurants. As is traditional in this region, lunch and dinner consists of small dishes of local cuisine which is then placed on the table for everyone to share so you can experience the variety of speciality dishes. The amount served is more than ample for the whole group. We aim to cater to the tastes of the majority of people and so the food is not too spicy or unusual in taste.
 
Drinks will be at each tour members’ own expense and paid for at the end of each meal. Beer is widely available and cheap. Western style wine is very expensive to import and is not widely available except at upmarket restaurants. Bottled drinking water, soft drinks, and fruit juices are also widely available – remember that you should only have ice or fruit juices from a trusted restaurant, where they will use boiled or bottled water.
Due to the French colonial influence in some Southeast Asian countries, black tea (commonly referred to as ‘lip-ton’ by the locals), coffee, and baguettes are available in most places. However, the local style is to have sweet condensed milk with their tea and coffee. Fresh dairy milk is not usually served but many restaurants will provide this if requested. ‘Cafe Sua-da’ (or iced coffee with milk) is a favourite choice amongst the locals.

What's Included

All meals
International flights and current taxes
Domestic transportation
Accommodation
Touring with guides and entrance fees
Visa fees for UK & EU passport holders

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