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Special Tours to Burma (Myanmar)
 
 
The amazing temple ruins at Bagan, the photogenic leg rowers on Inle Lake, colonial era hill stations, life on the Ayeyarwady (Irrawaddy) River and the fascinating cities of Yangon (Rangoon) and Mandalay - these are just a few of the many reasons to visit. Burma/Myanmar has a population of 55 million from a number of different ethnicities. Low economic growth has acted to preserve much of the country's environment and ecosystems. People are incredibly friendly and you will be warmly welcomed throughout the country. 
With its rich history, fascinating cultures and stunning landscapes Burma/Myanmar is an incredible place and would be an immensely popular travel destination. 
 
  burma myanmarSpecial tours highlights of Burma : 

2000 year old golden Shwedagon Pagoda
Inle Lake - infamous leg rowers, floating gardens, silk weaving villages
Day walk to a Pa-O village and Kakku, a hidden treasure of Buddhist stupas
Sunrise over Mandalay’s U Bein wooden footbridge
Explore the ancient city of Amarapura on foot and bicycle
The lofty resort of Pyin U Lwin and the 400 acre National Kandawgyi Gardens
Visiting a local orphanage who have invited us to spend time with them
Mingun village and the world’s largest ringing bell
Ayeyarwady River boat trip and fascinating insight into local river life
Bagan - World Heritage archaeological site of ancient temples and pagodas
Mt Popa - lush volcanic forest environment and wildlife
 
 
Sample Itinerary 1: 
 
  Highlights of Myanmar :

 
 
myanmar travel toursDay 01   Yangon
A mid-morning arrival in Yangon. Check into our lovely traditionally styled hotel, on the edge of the Royal Lake in the heart of Yangon.  
Morning sights of Yangon, including the huge reclining Buddha at Chaukhtatgyi Pagoda, Sule Pagoda, a walk through the city centre’s busy streets to give you a feel for local life, and Bogyoke Aung San Market where an extensive selection of Burmese handicrafts can be found. Late afternoon visit to Shwedagon Pagoda, Burma’s most famous landmark. Over 2,000 years old, Shwedagon is plated with 42 tons of solid gold slabs. Its tip is inset with thousands of diamonds, rubies, sapphires and topaz. Shwedagon is symbolic of the importance of Buddhism to Burma and legend has it that the pagoda houses eight of the Buddha's hairs. Enjoy sunset city views from the hilltop.
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Day 2. Nyaung Shwe & Inle Lake
Morning flight to Heho. From Heho we drive one hour to Nyaung Shwe, a small gateway town to Inle Lake. After checking into our boutique hotel, we explore the town and enjoy a short canoe ride to watch a spectacular sunset on the lake.

 

 

 
Day 3. Inle Lake
Today’s excursion by boat on Inle Lake gives us an insider’s view of life in this unique community where villages, farms and a monastery perch over the water on stilts and float on pads of reeds and earth. We will see the famous leg rowers, floating gardens, fascinating local fishing and village life, and a floating market. We also visit Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, the silk weaving village of In Paw Khon, and Nga Hpe Chaung Monastery, known for its jumping cats. 
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Day 4. Inle Lake & Kakku
We take a 4 hour walk crossing the small mountain range that borders Inle Lake, to a Pa -O village where we have a simple lunch. The Pa-O, also known as Black Karen, are one of Burma’s many ethnic minorities. Historically enslaved and forced to wear indigo-dyed clothing to signify their status, many still do so today. Most Pa-O are Buddhist but their written language was created by Christian missionaries. After lunch we continue by van to Kakku to walk among magnificent collections of late 19th century style Buddhist stupas. We return to Nyaung Shwe for dinner.
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Day 5. Mandalay
A morning flight to Mandalay, the spiritual, cultural and traditional capital. Exploring Mandalay today we visit Shwe Nandaw Kyaung (the Golden Palace), one of the few intact buildings of the royal palace and which was donated by King Thibaw for use as a monastery. At Kuthodaw Pagoda we see the world’s largest book, comprising 729 marble slabs of Buddhist scriptures. We also visit Mandalay Palace and some of the many local handicraft workshops that make Mandalay the arts and cultural heart of Burma, specialising in woodcarving, marble masonry, kalaga tapestries and gold leaf hammering.
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Day 6. Mandalay & Amarapura
An early start today enables us to enjoy a tranquil sunrise over picturesque U Bein Bridge, a 1.2 kilometre long teak footbridge, and to observe the colourful bustle as local daily life begins. From the ancient city of Amarapura we explore, by foot and bicycle, the legendary monasteries where thousands of monks study Buddhist scriptures. We return to Mandalay for the afternoon where you can explore more of the city’s sights or take a relaxing break by the pool. 
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Days 7-8. Pyin U Lwin
We travel 2 hours by private van to the scenic hill resort of Pyin U Lwin (Maymyo), situated over 3600 ft above sea level, and famous for its lovely lake, National Kandawgyi Garden and colonial era buildings. Visit Pwe Kauk waterfall, nearby Shan villages and walk in the 400 acre National Kandawgyi gardens. We will also spend time at a local orphanage and school, whose Director was one of the many people who inspired this tour to Burma.
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Day 9. Mandalay, Mingun & Sagaing
We return to Mandalay and then travel by boat for one hour to Mingun village on the western bank of the Ayeyarwady River. We’ll explore Mingun village, see the world’s largest intact working bell, and visit Shinbume Pagoda built in 1816. In the afternoon we visit Sagaing, with its 600 white painted pagodas and monasteries it is widely regarded as the religious center of Burma, being home to 3,000 monks and 100 meditation centers. 
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Day 10. Ayeyarwady River to Bagan
An early breakfast then transfer to Kyawzun Jetty and board our ferry for the downriver trip to Bagan. The Ayeyarwady River is the main trading artery, particularly between Mandalay and Yangon, and this is a great opportunity to observe Burmese life along the way, such as local people using bamboo rafts to carry supplies. We arrive in Bagan late afternoon.
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bagan myanmarDay 11. Bagan


Bagan is considered one of the most amazing sites in Asia, and whilst remaining virtually unknown, its significance is comparable to sites such as Rome and Jerusalem. Of the 13,000 temples that once stood, 2,200 remain. Travelling by horse cart today, we visit some of the famous Bagan temples and pagodas to gain insight to their history, different architectural styles, and to see their incredible wall paintings. Finish off a fantastic day soaking up a beautiful Bagan sunset from the summit of a pagoda.


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Day 12. Bagan & Mt Popa
This morning we continue exploring the ancient pagodas, Nyaung U market, and some of the workshops producing lacquare ware, for which Bagan is famed. Late afternoon we depart Bagan for the one hour journey to Mt Popa, travelling by private van through villages and fertile volcanic plains verdant with peanut and sesame plantations.
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DDay 13. Mt Popa
A relaxing start to the day with a leisurely breakfast overlooking a stunning view of Taunglakat – a tower-like volcanic plug believed to have blown out during an eruption over 250,000 years ago. Options today include a short walk to the summit of Taungkalat, visits to a sandalwood forest and Popa village, forest walks to spot colourful birds and butterflies, and a reviving swim in the natural spring pool at our lodge.
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Day 14. Bagan & Yangon
This morning we return to Bagan and transfer to the airport for our flight to Yangon. Our final afternoon in Yangon we have time to visit markets, craft workshops, enjoy a coffee at the historic Strand Hotel, or return to some of your favourite haunts from our first stop in Yangon.
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Day 15. Yangon & flight home
After breakfast we transfer to the airport for our departing international flights, and a poignant farewell to Burma’s heartwarming people. 
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  SAMPLE ITINERARY 2: 
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  Glimpse of Myanmar:
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Day 01. Arrival and Yangon Sightseeing
Arriving Yangon at 09:05
, our counterpart Travel Myanmar agent will be at the airport to welcome you & transfer to hotel. After check-in. Afternoon, city tour starts to Chaukhtatgyi reclining Buddha image, the centre of town, at The Sule Pagoda, Not a very significant pagoda but it is the at the centre of the town with Mahabandoola Garden on one side & the surrounding interesting historical buildings of government, law courts & post office on the other side. You will walk around the square, the garden & the colonial building along the street full of people & traffic. Next we will take you to China Town for a walk along the street market. China Town is also full of old Chinese houses that date back the 1940's period. We also visit Karaweik Hall, the famous Schwedagon Pagoda & stay there until after sunset to see the spectacular colours. Dinner at outside local restaurant and overnight at Yuzana Hotel.
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Day 02. Yangon / Bagan ( by flight )
After breakfast at the hotel, you will transfer to airport for flight to Bagan. On arrival you'll be taken to Nyaung U Market, Shwezigon Pagoda a prototype of later Myanmar stupa. Then to Wetkyi-in Gubyaukkyi Temple with fine mural paintings of Jataka scenes. After that transfer to Hotel for check-in. Lunch at outside local restaurant.
Afternoon sightseeing tour continues with visits to lacquerware industry where you can study traditional Myanmar lacquerware making, Manuha Temple with gigantic Buddha images, a captive king's impression of life in prison; Nanpaya, an Early-style temple with the finest stone carvings. Although it has spots lights installed, it would be safer to bring your own touch as electricity supply can be shut-off from time to time. In the evening you will be visiting the Ananda Temple, an architectural masterpiece resembling a Greek Cross, Dhamayangyi temple.. Dinner at outside local restaurants. Then return to Arthawka hotel and overnight.
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Day 03. Bagan - Salay - Popa - Bagan
After breakfast, you will be driving down to Salay and a short stop on the way will be made to study Toddy farmer's life like collecting toddy wine, making molasses, and making hand made oil. Your Salay visit will include Yoke-son Monastery decorated with wood-carvings depicting scenes for moral lessons. Then a short walk through the ruined old monastery to Laquerware Buddha Image and the ancient monastery. Then tour continue to Mount Popa ( by coach ), an extinct volcano, which is the abode of Nats ( Spirits ). On top of the mountain, there are monasteries, pagodas and shrines in different style. Return by coach to Bagan. Lunch and dinner at outside local restaurants. Overnight in Arthawka Hotel
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myanmar southeast asiaDay 04. Bagan / Mandalay ( by flight )
After breakfast at the hotel, you will be transfer to airport for flight to Mandalay. On arrival to Tada-Oo International Airport, you will be proceeding to famous Mahamuni Pagoda, one of the most sacret Buddha Image in Mandalay. Then a short visit to Gold foil making cottage industry. Check-in at hotel and followed by lunch at outside local restaurant. After lunch you will be enjoying Mandalay afternoon sightseeing that begins with Shwenandaw Monastery, noted for its exquisite wood carvings; Kuthodaw Pagoda, known as the World's Biggest Book for its stone slabs of Buddhist scriptures. Tour continues to Mandalay Hill, a vantage point for a panoramic view of the city and a spectacular sunset view.It is worthy to have a stroll up the hill enjoying panoramic views from different location. Return can be made by car as there is also a car track by the base of elevator just before the platform. Dinner at outside local restaurant. Overnight at Silver Star Hotel.
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Day 05. Mandalay - Mingun - Inwa - Sagaing - Mandalay
After breakfast at hotel, proceed to jetty for 45 minutes boat trip to Mingun. Sightseeing around Mingun includes: Mingun pagoda known as the biggest brick pile, biggest ringing Mingun bell and Myatheintan Pagoda.After visit back to Mandalay.
Then drive to Innwa ( Ava ), a historical capital founded by King Thado Minbya in 1364. Extended visit will be made to Maha Aungmye Bonzan Monastery which is a fine example of Myanmar masonry art and architecture, Mainu Brick Monastery and old watch tower.
Tour continues to picturesque Sagaing Hills, 21 km south-east of Mandalay and west bank of Ayeyarwaddy River. Sagaing Hills is a retreat for Buddhist devotees with numerous pagodas and monasteries.
Lunch & dinner at outside local restaurants. Overnight at Silver Star Hotel.
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inle lake myanmarDay 06. Mandalay / Heho ( by flight ) - Inle Lake
After breakfast you will be transfer to airport for flight to Heho. Then drive to Nyaung Shwe where Inle Lake is situated. Excursion in Inle Lake ( by boat ) visiting to the following places like unique leg-rowers and scenic beauty, fishing canoes using special methods for fishing and  collecting seaweed, lakebed mud etc to make floating gardens. Then you will visit well known Nga Pe Chaung ( Jumping Cat ) monastery and Silver smith factory. Lunch at outside local restaurant. After lunch visit to Cheroot making factory, Boat making carpentry workshop, Silk weaving factory. In the late afternoon, visit the most famous Phaungdaw Oo Pagoda. On the way back to Nyaung Shwe you will pass through some villages to enjoy life on the lake. Dinner and overnight at Hu-Pin Hotel ( Nyaung Shwe ).

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Day 07. Indein -Inle - Heho / Yangon ( by flight )
After breakfast, visit to Indein, the hidden treasure of Pa-O  ethnic tribes to see the ruin pagodas in the forest, and back to hotel, on the way you can visit Myaynigone village and Lotus fiber weaving factory ( Ann's ). Lunch at outside local restaurant, then transfer to Heho airport for flight to Yangon. Dinner at outside local restaurants. Overnight at Yuzana Hotel.
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Day 08. Departure from Yangon
After breakfast, sightseeing in Yangon includes visits to some major highlights like Gaba Aye ( World Peace ) pagoda and Mahapasana Cave, Naga glass factory, Lunch at outside local restaurant. After lunch, transfer to airport for international departure.
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