17 DAYS ●
Burma is Southeast Asia’s hidden gem, a destination bursting with magnificent monuments, glittering golden stupas and enigmatic ruins. So long closed to the world, Burma cannot help but invoke images of mysterious wonder and raw adventure.
Explore the spiritual and Buddhist architecture of Myanmar's largest city
Cruise on this idyllic river which runs north to south through Myanmar
Venture through the city known as Myanmar's colonial capital
See the Intha People fishing on this magnificent lake
Fly overnight to the vibrant city of Rangoon (Yangon). Depending on your time of arrival, the rest of the day is yours to start soaking up the local culture.
Head downtown to the Central Post Office from where we will begin our tour. Encompassing the colonial highlights and more traditional architecture, stroll Strand Road and Pansodan Street. Visit the National Museum before exploring the magnificent Shwedagon Pagoda whose huge golden stupa dominates the city's skyline. The apex of the stupa is studded with hundreds of priceless gems that glint in the sunshine. This is Burma's most sacred Buddhist site and is alleged to have four relics of former Buddhas enshrined within.
Drive to the lively port town of Prome. Travelling by ox cart, explore the spectacular ruins of the Pyu Kingdom's former capital. Later visit Hmawzar village to get a glimpse of local life.
Visit Prome's colourful central market where you'll be able to see members of several of Burma’s ethnic minorities. Continue to the dazzling Shwe San Taw Pagoda and admire the wonderful views of the surrounding countryside. Drive back to Rangoon.
Fly to Mandalay and transfer to Amarapura to visit Mahagandayon Temple, a place of monastic study and home to several thousand young monks. Continue to the U Bein Bridge, the world's longest teak wood bridge, and make your way across it, walking with the locals. Head to Sagaing, and explore the hills around the town which are dotted with temples and pagodas, before travelling to Inwa to explore the Maha Aungmye Bonzan Monastery.
Mandalay is considered the epicentre of Burmese culture and so there is much to explore. Visit the Mahamuni Pagoda, Shwe Inbin Monastery, the Golden Palace Monastery and Kuthodaw Pagoda, home to the world's largest book; each page inscribed in marble. Visit a traditional handloom silk workshop and a kalaga tapestries craftman's shop before finishing the day on Mandalay Hill.
Set sail up the Irrawaddy River to Mingun to visit one of the world's largest bells, the Mingun Bell; and the Mingun Pagoda – had it been completed it would have been Burma's largest. Though incomplete, it is still a monumental structure – 50 metres tall, 72 metres wide and constructed entirely of brick. Return to Mandalay and spend the afternoon at leisure.
Leave Mandalay for the Thanboddhay Pagoda, said to contain over half a million colourful images of Buddha. Continue to the Bodhi Taung where a thousand Buddha images rest at the feet of beautiful Banyan trees. In the afternoon see the Aung Setkya Pagoda and enjoy the views of the surrounding countryside. Arrive in Monywa.
This morning take a boat trip across the Chindwin River to Hpo Win Taung, a network of sandstone caves full of statues, carvings and murals of Buddha. Drive on to the port city of Pakokku. Visit the lively local market by traditional trishaw and observe the production process of typical Burma cotton blankets. Continue by boat down the Irrawaddy to Bagan, arriving in time to catch the sunset.
Visit Nyaung U Market, Ananda Temple and Shwezigon Pagoda, which is the most important pagoda in Bagan. You’ll also visit Htilominlo Pagoda. This afternoon, head to a lacquer workshop in the village of Myinkaba before enjoying a spectacular sunset over Bagan's temple-strewn plains.
Travel to Mt Popa and visit the temple that sits on top of a unique 'plug'. Return to Bagan and discover more of its wonderful temples and pagodas. In the evening, travel to temples that are further afield on-board a colourful ox cart – a local method of transport.
Fly to Heho and transfer to Pindaya to visit the Shwe U Min limestone caves. The caves are a famous Buddhist pilgrimage site. Continue to a local workshop that manufactures umbrellas from mulberry paper. Arrive in Kalaw.
Drive to Nyaung Shwe and take a boat trip to Inle lake. The lake is best known for the extraordinary 'Intha' people, who live on and around the water, and are renowned for their unique rowing technique. Visit a local market and see the floating gardens, village life and magnificent scenery. See Phaungdaw Oo Pagoda, Nga Phe Chaung Monastery and the weaving village of Inpawkhon.
Cruise on Inle Lake to the crumbling Indein Pagoda complex. Built in the 17th century, it is home to nearly one thousand stupas and pagodas. Walk through the rice paddies to Sae Ma village, where you can visit a local primary school.
Fly to Rangoon. Upon arrival browse the famous Bogyoke market, perfect for souvenirs. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure before a late afternoon visit to Botataung Pagoda. This evening, stroll around Chinatown, visiting a temple as you go.
Fly to the UK, arriving home the same or following day.
All of our tour departures include international flights and taxes in the price. 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 Tour would be more ideal.
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.
To call the UK the international access code is 0044 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. 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.Some hotels may have Wi-Fi which usually comes at an additional cost.
Tipping is an expected element in the tourism industry today and Burma is no exception. 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 is calculated for each tour. 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, but you’ll witness first-hand how these local products are made, their history and how they support the economy. We are aware that people like to take home souvenirs, so we ensure the shops you visit have a reputation for quality, honesty, and authenticity.
The cost of all meals is included in your group tour cost. Breakfast is served in the hotel and usually includes western dishes. We aim to cater to the tastes of the majority of people and so the food is not too spicy or unusual in taste. Any food/diet requests MUST be specified at the time of booking and you should mention it again to the National Escort/ Local Guides when you meet them – they will do their utmost to cater for any special requests, such as vegetarian meals or food to be avoided in case of allergies.
We draw from a wide range of hotels on our holidays, each one is chosen to suit the tour you are travelling on meaning your accommodation can range from a smart business hotel in one city to a family run guesthouse in a smaller town. Here are some examples of the type of hotel you can expect to find on this tour.
In a quiet spot between the airport and city centre, the Inya Lake Hotel sits in gardens on the edge of a lake. Rooms are spacious with a balcony and ensuite bathroom with bath/shower and a range of toiletries. The swimming pool is a welcome respite after a day of touring and there is also a fitness centre, restaurant and lounge. The hotel’s foyer exudes the glamour of the orient and has a café serving snacks, cakes and drinks. ...Read more
The Mingalar Garden Resort offers enchanting bungalows which are built around a natural spring lake and are surrounded by tropical trees. All of the en-suite rooms are fully furnished with modern facilities including a mini-bar and satellite television, some offering lake views. Wifi is also available. ...Read more
The Win Unity Hotel is surrounded by lush greenery and the serene Kan Thar Yar Lake. Decorated with Myanmar paintings and handmade lotus furniture, the hotel offers comfortable, en-suite rooms and bungalows with air conditioning, flat screen satellite tv, Wifi and a refrigerator. There is also a traditional Burmese onsite restaurant. ...Read more
Well-located in New Bagan for Bagan’s temples and the airport, the Thazin Garden Hotel sits in lovely gardens and even has an old pagoda in its grounds. There is a lovely outdoor pool, spa treatments and massage, a bar and a restaurant serving local cuisine. Rooms are spacious and full of Burmese character. They also have garden of pagoda views, an en suite bathroom with bath, Wi-Fi, a seating area, air-conditioning and a minibar. ...Read more
Located in a quiet spot on the edge of Mandalay, just 10 minutes from the city centre, the Shwe Pyi Thar offers comfortable accommodation in the traditional style. Full of tastefully furnishings and modern amenities, there is a swimming pool, spa and fitness centre and a restaurant serving Asian and European dishes. There is also free Wi-Fi. Rooms are bright and spacious, and have a television, kettle, safe and stylish, modern bathroom with bathtub. ...Read more
At Wendy Wu Tours we are all avid adventurers, constantly seeking out the best ways for you to experience Asia. That's why we are Asia experts and the UK's leading Asia tour operator - our customer reviews and numerous awards say it all. This website is all about showcasing both Asia's top sights and its magnificent hidden gems; about the plethora of different types of authentic and exciting experiences that we can offer you; and about giving you the very best holiday, whether it's your first visit or your 10th. Wendy Wu and the team look forward to welcoming you to Asia soon!
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