Spirit of Burma
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Spirit of Burma

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Climb aboard a traditionally designed Burmese river cruiser to embark on an incredible voyage of the upper Irrawaddy over 7 nights, gliding upstream from the breathtaking temple-strewn plains of Old Bagan to the culture rich bustle of Mandalay

tour duration 11 Days from
tour price 3,250pp
tour type Private Tour

Places Visited

UK - Rangoon (1N) - Irrawaddy Cruise (7N) - Rangoon (1N) - UK

Tour Highlights

Explore the fascinating collection of Buddhist sights in Rangoon
Cruise up the Irrawaddy River, the lifeline of Burma
Discover the age old history of Ava and Amarapura
Marvel as red-robed monks cross the U Bein Bridge
Watch local Burmese life along the Irrawaddy River
Get lost in the enchanting Temples of Bagan

Days 1-2 Fly to Rangoon
Fly overnight to Rangoon (Yangon). Depending on your time of arrival the rest of the day is yours to start soaking up the local culture. 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.
Days 1-2 Fly to Rangoon
Day 3 Irrawaddy Cruise
This morning fly to the ancient city of Bagan. On arrival, you will be transferred to your Irrawaddy River cruise ship for a relaxing lunch. Burma’s longest river and commercial waterway, the Irrawaddy River is the bloodline of the country and an ideal way to see Burma’s stunning natural scenery. This afternoon explore the Bagan Archaeological Zone by coach or bicycle. The former seat of the Kingdom of Bagan, this area is famed for its hypnotising assembly of over 2,000 temples and is often compared to Cambodia’s Angkor Temples for its cultural significance and architecture. Watching the sun set over the temples you would be forgiven for thinking you were in another world. (B,L,D)
Day 3 Irrawaddy Cruise
Day 4 Explore Bagan
Discover more of Bagan, visiting a selection of temples renowned for their decorative designs. Later visit a traditional lacquer workshop where you will also have the opportunity to buy intricately lacquer-designed items. (B,L,D)
Day 4 Explore Bagan
Day 5 Salay
Embark upstream this morning to Salay. Once a bustling trading port, Salay is now a sleepy village filled with colonial architectural treasures and timeless teak monasteries. Visit to Pakhannge, a Pagan dynasty city with several period temples and a collection of eighteenth and nineteenth century wood carved monasteries from the Konbaung Period. This was the last Burmese monarchy before British colonial rule. Continue sailing to the foot of Tan-Chi-Taung mountains which we will ascend by WWII jeep to visit a selection of the 3,000 listed monuments here. Later in the afternoon, visit Min-Nan-Thu, where we will visit a clinic supported by the Pandaw Charity. (B,L,D)
Day 5 Salay
Day 6 Sail to Pakkou
Sail upstream on the Irrawaddy River to the lively river town of Pakkoku, where ancient teak wood monasteries are the home to thousands of robe-draped monks. The intricate, wood carvings decorating the monasteries are an unsurpassed architectural art form. Visit the colourful local market which sells exciting home made snacks and wares, then tour the town centre by tuk tuk. (B,L,D)
Day 6 Sail to Pakkou
Day 7 Irrawaddy Countryside
Sail to the village of Yandabo, location of the signing of the Treaty of Yandabo which ended the first Anglo-Burmese War in 1826. See the production of the area’s most famous item, terracotta pottery, which is made from the riverbank’s clay. In the afternoon, return to your boat for a soothing journey as you cruise further north on your boat towards Mandalay. (B,L,D)
Day 7 Irrawaddy Countryside
Day 8 Ava and Amarapura
Sail to Sagaing, home to 1,000 hermitages and sanctuaries, rich in woodcarving and religious art. In the afternoon, drive to Ava and Amarapura, the former capital of Burma and see the U Bein Bridge, the longest wooden teak bridge in the world. The bridge is still used today as an important thoroughfare for local people. Also visit a silk weaver shop before spending the night in Sagaing (B,L,D)
Day 8 Ava and Amarapura
Day 9 Mingun and Mandalay
In the morning, sail to Mingun to explore the world’s largest working bell and the large unfinished Mingun Pagoda. Return to Mandalay in the afternoon where you will spend the day exploring this colonial city. Mandalay was the last royal capital of Burma before the country was annexed by the British. Mandalay is now considered the centre of Burmese culture and its most important economic hub. Take a visit to the Royal Mandalay Palace, the last residence of the Burmese monarch before it was turned into a fort by British troops and explore the surrounding hills and craft workshops. Finally, return to your boat for an overnight stay in Saging. (B,L,D)
Day 9 Mingun and Mandalay
Day 10 Shwedagon Pagoda
Disembark from your ship in Mandalay this morning and transfer to the airport for your flight to Rangoon. This afternoon visit the golden Shwedagon Pagoda. This is Burma’s most sacred Buddhist site and is purported to have four relics of former Buddhas enshrined within. Watch as young monks chant in a circle round the stupa whilst visitors pray towards this delightfully spiritual monument. (B)
Day 10 Shwedagon Pagoda
Day 11 Fly Rangoon to the UK
Fly to the UK, arriving home the same or following day. (B)
Day 11 Fly Rangoon to the UK

Also Available

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.

26-Jan > 05-Feb - £3,440 BOOK NOW
02-Feb > 12-Feb - £3,440 BOOK NOW
09-Feb > 19-Feb - £3,440 BOOK NOW
16-Feb > 26-Feb - £3,440 BOOK NOW
23-Feb > 05-Mar - £3,440 BOOK NOW
02-Mar > 12-Mar - £3,440 BOOK NOW
09-Mar > 19-Mar - £3,440 BOOK NOW
16-Mar > 26-Mar - £3,250 BOOK NOW
14-Sep > 24-Sep - £3,250 BOOK NOW
28-Sep > 08-Oct - £3,250 BOOK NOW
05-Oct > 15-Oct - £3,250 BOOK NOW
12-Oct > 22-Oct - £3,490 BOOK NOW
19-Oct > 29-Oct - £3,490 BOOK NOW
26-Oct > 05-Nov - £3,490 BOOK NOW
02-Nov > 12-Nov - £3,490 BOOK NOW
09-Nov > 19-Nov - £3,490 BOOK NOW
16-Nov > 26-Nov - £3,490 BOOK NOW
23-Nov > 03-Dec - £3,490 BOOK NOW
21-Dec > 31-Dec - £3,790 BOOK NOW
28-Dec > 07-Jan - £3,690 BOOK NOW

Additional Price Information:

Based on London Heathrow departures
Subject to availability
Single supplement from £440
Sole traveller supplement from £690
Land only from £2,380 (Rangoon - Rangoon)
Includes crew gratuities
Excludes tips to tour guides & driver

Wendy Wu Tours, inspect all of our hotels to ensure they meet the high levels of service which we require for our guests. If the hotels details below for your tour are not available, hotels of a similar standard will be used.

Summit Parkview Hotel
Summit Parkview Hotel - Yangon, Burma (2 Nights)
hotel star rating

Summit Parkview Yangon offers modern designed rooms with complimentary Wifi. The en-suite rooms are fitted with air conditioning, flat screen satellite television and tea making facilities. As well as a 24 hour reception desk, there is an outdoor pool, an onsite restaurant, a bar with evening entertainment and a fitness centre.



Bangkok Extension

Bangkok Extension

tour duration 4 Days from tour price 380pp
Doha Extension 4D/3N

Doha Extension 4D/3N

tour duration 4 Days from tour price 340pp

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.

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What's Included

International flights & current taxes
Domestic transportation
Accommodation
Touring with guides & entrance fees
Visa fees for UK & EU passport holders
Meals as stated
Local soft drinks, local beer andlocal spirits on the cruise
All excursions
Crew gratuities
Use of bikes on board

Why Book This Tour?

This tour is suited for those with a reasonable amount of time to travel and who are interested in travelling to some of the main sights of Burma via the Irrawaddy River, which runs through the country. This tour incorporates a seven night cruise on the Irrawaddy River and touring is at a comfortable and relaxed pace, giving you ample time to explore each destination.

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