gopackup-travel
gopackup-travel
REVEAL MYANMAR (Burma)
Yangon- Yangon Region- Myanmar
14 Days
20 Persons
English
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Brief

MAJOR highlights of this trip are remarkable train journeys (but locals nickname it buffalo train due to its slowness!) remaining in the world today via steep hills and a breathtaking gorge, passing a 2,260-foot long and 320-foot high GOKHTEIK viaduct across a craggy gorge, and Hsipaw which was once the center of a small Shan state of its own with moderate climate, friendly people and relaxed atmosphere. With the easing of government policies, the country is opening up, and it is becoming a very popular place to visit in southeast Asia. Now is the time to journey with us through a country steeped in history, a mystical, beautiful land of golden temples with a rich and vibrant cultural heritage. Experience the tranquility of Inle Lake and see its intriguing leg rowers, explore the artistic heritage of Mandalay and enjoy the natural environments of the lofty hill stations of Hsipaw and Pyin U Lwin, the famous archeological temple site of Bagan, the faded charm of old Rangoon, and meet the people who make this country so unforgettable.

Tour Detail

Day One:      Arrive YANGON

G' day and welcome to Myanmar! Today you will arrive in Yangon, the commercial capital and the main gateway to Myanmar, meet Yangon guide and transfer to your hotel. It is time for a brief Introduction to holiday and just relax to adjust the time zone. Dinner and stay overnight in Yangon. Taw Win Garden Hotel or Similar Meals: (None)

Day Two:      Touring YANGON – What a Charming City!

This morning we’ll head off for a day of sightseeing in Yangon. Begin your day with walking around Colonial architecture lining Strand Road - A walk along the Strand or Pansodan Street is said like strolling down Pall Mall mixed with all the distressed grandeur of Havana! In fact Yangon has many large colonial buildings including high court, general post office, former secretariat building, St Paul boarding school, and the legendary Strand hotel, built in 1896, once described as the "leading hotel of the East". The tour extended to Central Sule Pagoda, an octagonal golden stupa, dating back over 2,000 years; nearby city hall, a Baptist church and an Islam mosque. If time permits you will have the chance to do some shopping at 85-year old BOGYOKE (Scott) market which is one of the most popular tourist hangouts. It was named after Mr. Jarvin Scott, Yangon Municipal Commissioner during the British colonial government and crown off the day with visit the great Shwedagon Pagoda. Witness the golden dome, covered with 60 tons of pure gold, glistening as the sun sets. Stay overnight in Yangon.  (Meals: Breakfast)

Day Three:   Fly to HEHO – drive to Nyaungshwe and touring LAKE INLE

This morning we depart for the airport and board your flight to Heho, gateway to explore southern Shan State including Lake INLE. On arrival, meet your Inle guide and drive to NYAUNGSHWE, the gateway village to Inle Lake. Make a photo stop at the ancient wooden Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery on the way. We'll then transfer to jetty and board a private long boat to your hotel for check-in. Shortly afterwards, we’ll head out onto Inle Lake, the natural wonder of this magnificent vast waterway and one of Myanmar’s most spectacular sights. We pass villages built on stilts over the lake, inhabited by Intha people, the leg-rowing fishermen of the lake and see their floating gardens built up from strips of water hyacinth and mud and anchored to the bottom with bamboo poles. We’ll stops for visits at the ancient NGA PHE CHAUNG (formerly known as jumping cats) Monastery and its ancient Shan Buddhas and PHAUNG DAW OO PAGODA, the lake’s main sanctuary. Other visits include the weaving village of INPAWKHONE, A SILVERSMITTH WORK SHOP & SHOWROOM, a cheroot cottage where the typical Burmese cigars are made by hand. We’ll Return to the hotel and finish the visits of the lake for the day. The balance of the day can be spent at leisure. Stay overnight at Amata Inle Resort or similar in Inle. (Meals: Breakfast)        

Day Four:     Excursion to INNDEIN – ruins of ancient Stupas

After breakfast, we head to the morning market on the lake. Rotating around villages on and near the lake in a 5 day rhythm, a colorful market visited by lake inhabitants and surrounding hill tribes is held daily (except on new and full moon days). From the middle of the lake, continue down a small canal leading to the Paoh village of Inndein. After a walk around the village, passing a local school, take the covered stairway to the beautiful Alaung Sitthou area where ancient stupas are partly covered by vegetation. From here there is a magnificent view over the lake. Return to the lake and finish the visits of the lake in the afternoon. Return to your hotel and the balance of the day is free. Stay overnight in Inle. (Meals: Breakfast)

Day Five:        Fly to MANDALAY – see AMARAPURA

Today we board our flight to MANDALAY. On arrival at Mandalay International Airport, meet your Mandalay guide and drive to AMARAPURA. In Amarapura, visit one of the biggest monasteries named Maha Gandaryon with more than 1200 Buddhist monks where under the strict tight-scheduled Rules the monks study very hard the Buddhist Canons day and night in order to be able to carry on the Buddha’s teachings verbally like the Noble Theras did after the Buddha’s demise in the 6th Century B.C. Then drive to U Bein Bridge believed to be the longest wooden bridge in the world that spans Taung Thaman Lake. Take a walk on the bridge and enjoy a photo opt!
Then drive to Mandalay, upon arrival check-in at the hotel. In the afternoon, visit MAHA MUNI BUDDHA IMAGE which is the most revered and sacred site of Mandalay, some handicraft cottages such as stone carving, tapestry, and gold-paper making. Then we'll tour onward to SHWE NANDAW MONASTERY where you can marvel the superb example of Myanmar traditional woodcarving, Kuthodaw Pagoda which is known as the world biggest book of the world, Golden Palace Monastery where you can see the best wood-carvings. Finally, go up Mandalay Hill to enjoy the panoramic view of the city with sunset. Stay overnight at Bagan King Hotel or similar in Mandalay. (Meals: Breakfast or Boxed Breakfast)

Day Six:       Drive to HSIPAW-just passing KAUK MÈ

Today after breakfast we'll drive to HSIPAW (approx. 5/6 hrs) twisting and turning drive through Shan mountains. If you like, we'll visit 'Peik Chin Myaung' cave, a considerable large Buddhist shrine cave that was used to be a sacred site of Nepalese devotee of lord Shiva, which is 27km north out of Pyin Oo Lwin. Hsipaw was once the center of a small Shan state of its own with moderate climate, friendly people and relaxed atmosphere. We'll pass Kyaukmè that is a small trading town but there was nothing to do at Kyaukme, and Hsipaw is the far better option with market, temples, river, and hills to trek, etc. Perhaps we make a stop for lunch at Kyaukmè. Before we get Hsipaw (about 8km away) we'll visit the Shan-style 'Bawgyo Paya', probably the most revered Pagoda in northern Shan State. Upon reaching Hsipaw transfer to your resort that is locate on the bank of 'Dokehtawaddy' River. Late afternoon visit the 'Sawbwa Haw' (Shan Palace) at the northern end of the town. The last Sawbwa (Sao Kya Seng) disappeared during the military coup in 1962 and the palace is cared for by his nephew and his nephew's wife since then. 'Mr. Donald' (Sao Oo Kya), the nephew, was in jail, apparently for saying bad things about the military, but was released several years ago during a general amnesty. Since then he has had to be very careful not to give the regime a chance to re-arrest him. For several years after his release he and his wife lived in Taunggyi, the major Shan administrative centre. However, recently his wife, Mrs Fern has returned to the palace in Hsipaw. She is determined to tell the story of the Shan State over the last 50 years, explaining specifically the history of the last Sawbwa and their family and welcomes visitors from overseas. Visiting hours are around 4pm. She makes for a great and very honest host. Also recommended is to look up the memoirs of the last Sabwa's Austrian wife, Inge Sargent, called "Twilight over Burma: My Life as a Shan Princess." It's a moving personal account of her life in Burma up till her husband's disappearance. Stay overnight at Riverside @ Hsipaw Resort in Hsipaw. (Meals: Breakfast)

Day Seven:   River trip – Hsipaw

We'll get up early and walk through the candlelight market filled with people from local villages who gather to trade their wares. Because so few tourists visit Hsipaw, the merchandise is primarily for villagers who go there to shop. The market begins and ends early, starting at 3:30am and pretty much wrapping up by 6am. We will return to resort for breakfast and then take a boat upstream on the Dokehtawaddy River and see how fruits are planted and walk up the hill for about half an hour to visit a 150 year old Shan monastery. Continue your boat trip to a confluence where you may opt for swimming after which we head back to town or your resort for lunch. The afternoon is free at your leisure to explore on your own until we go for sunset watch probably by bicycle at Five Buddha Hill or Nine Buddha Hill. Both hills are about 2km out of town. Stay overnight in Hsipaw. (Meals: Breakfast)

Day Eight:    Adventurous train back to PYIN OO LWIN

Today we'll board around 9am for a remarkable train journeys (but locals nickname it buffalo train due to its’ slowness!) remaining in the world today via steep hills and a breathtaking gorge, to Pyin Oo Lwin (while your driver drives back alone and wait you at Pyin Oo Lwin station). We travel (approx. 8 hours) alongside local people through productive countryside stopping at small stations, as they embark and disembark with their goods. It is said one of the 'must do' railway journeys of the world, probably because it passes over the GOKHTEIK viaduct (a 2,260-foot long and 320-foot high bridge across a craggy gorge) which is said to be the world's second largest steel bridge of more than a hundred years old. It is a masterpiece of British engineering, designed primarily to bring trade (and thus control) to the Northern Shan State, an importantly of the British after the conquest of Upper Burma. This was considered to be the greatest railway viaduct in the world at the time.  The final leg of our journey takes us to the scenic hill resort of Pyin U Lwin (Maymyo), situated over 1000m (3600 ft) above sea level probably around 4pm where we meet our driver and transfer to your hotel. Stay overnight at Aureum Resort or similar in Pyin Oo Lwin. (Meals: Breakfast)

Day Nine:      See PYIN OO LWIN and back to MANDALAY

PYIN OO LWIN (formerly called Maymyo) is the one of the most famous hill station cities of Myanmar. Its fine, pleasant weather and fresh cool air makes it a popular summer resort. It was a British hill station where, during the hot season, the servants of the Raj went to escape the heat and dust of the plains, say, from Mandalay. It enjoys another name given affectionately by the local – "PAN MYO DAW", literally meaning Royal Flower City due to its variety of colorful flowers growing in abundance all over the town. The morning will be spent walking through the famous Botanical Garden, and explore this charming town with colonial-era buildings along the main streets and circular road. Since the place is full of visitors all year round several of these cottages have now been converted into hotels. Later visit Pwe Kauk Waterfalls, called Hampshire Falls in British times. We'll then return to Mandalay – the drive take about 1 ½and on arrival Mandalay, we'll transfer to your hotel. The balance of the day is free at your leisure. Stay overnight in Mandalay. (Meals: Breakfast)

Day Ten:      Fly to BAGAN

Today we board our flight to BAGAN. Bagan was ancient capital of the first Myanmar Empire and it still preserves 2217 well-renovated Stupas (Buddhist religious monuments). Upon arrival at Nyaung U Airport meet your Bagan guide and we'll move straight on to see some of the amazing sights - over 2,200 temples in a space the size of Manhattan, the biggest problem you face is deciding where to start.

First stop is the thriving Nyaung U market - soak it up in one of the small tea houses is also high on the agenda. Pagodas and Temples represent the diversity of ancient Myanmar architectural styles in the 11th to13th centuries. We’ll visit the golden stupa of Shwezigon Pagoda, which is Bagan’s most important reliquary shrine – look out for images of the 37 ‘nats’ housed in a small hall. Continue to Gubyaukgyi (Wetkyi In village), another ‘cave’ temple with fine frescoes of the ‘Jataka Tales’. Next stop is Htilominlo, the last Myanmar style temple built in Bagan, with old murals and friezes. We’ll then check into hotel. By late afternoon, we’ll visit continues to Ananda Temple, a whitewashed masterpiece of Mon architecture with four standing Buddhas, and the adjacent brick monastery from the early Bagan era with well-preserved murals. Make a photo stop at the tallest temple measuring 61 meters – Thatbyinnyu known as ‘temple of omniscience’ and we will then visit a local lacquerware workshop, where we can watch craftsmen skillfully making this most famous of Bagan’s renowned handicrafts. Continue to Dhammayangyi, a massive-looking temple dating from 1170 that is famous for its interlocking mortar less brickwork. We’ll crown off the day by enjoying the lovely sunset from a perfectly situated temple or pagoda. Stay overnight at My Bagan Residence or similar in Bagan. (Meals: Breakfast or Boxed Breakfast)

Day Eleven:  Journey to SALAY & MT POPA

Today we head off to SALAY. On the way, we’ll visit Chauk market. Salay is an old colonial town with ancient ruins from the late Bagan era. The major places of interest are MANN PAYA (also known as Nan Paya), perhaps the largest lacquer Buddha image in Myanmar dating back to the 13th century, and YOKE-SONE-KYAUNG, the oldest surviving wooden monastery bearing more than 120-year-old original sculptures of 19th century court life, Jatakas (stories from the Buddha's life) and Ramayana tales (one of Asia's best know legends), and the collections of antique religious objects from the area. We continue on to the Mt. Popa. It is the core of an extinct volcano and it rises abruptly from the surrounding hills. Mount Popa and its environs are the only lush green place amidst the desert area of Middle Myanmar. We'll climb up the 730 meters high conic flattop (Named as Popa Taung Kalat) by 777 steep steps. It's the sacred home of what is known as NATS - spirits. We'll enjoy the panoramic view of the surrounding landscapes atop Popa Taung Kalat. Return to Bagan and on the way we’ll stop at the JAGGERY making cottages and toddy-palm grooves to sample a piece of jaggery or a sip of palm sap or spirit. Stay overnight in Bagan. (Meals: Breakfast)

Day Twelve:  Free day in BAGAN

Today is free day on your own. Perhaps you can take an early balloon ride and simply kill your time by simply relaxing by the pool at your hotel. Alternately, you can rent an e-bike to explore the lesser temples and stupas on your own. Stay overnight in Bagan. (Meals: Breakfast)

(Optional Balloon flight: This is an optional if you would like to get a unique opportunity to see the ancient city of Bagan from a different perspective. Balloon agent will pick you up at hotel between 05h30 and 06h00. The whole experience including light champagne breakfast, balloon flight, and rescue at the end upon landing will take about 2 ½ to 3 hrs and you’ll get back to hotel about 08h30.)

Day Thirteen:         Fly back to YANGON

Today we depart for the airport and our flight back to Yangon. Upon arrival in this former capital city, we transfer to our hotel. We may do some last minute shopping at 85-year-old BOGYOKE (Scott) market (close on every Monday and public holidays) which is one of the most popular tourist hangouts dominated by antique, Burmese handicraft and jewelery shops, art galleries, fabrics and clothing stores. It was named after Mr. Jarvin Scott, Yangon Municipal Commissioner during the British colonial government. The balance of the day is free on your own. Stay overnight in Yangon. (Meals: Breakfast or Boxed Breakfast)

 Day Fourteen:         Depart MYANMAR

Today is at leisure until at appropriate time, you’ll be transferred to Mandalay Airport for outward flight back home. (Meals: Breakfast)

---END OF SERVICE---

 IMPORTANT NOTE: Every effort will be made to ensure that the above stated itinerary is followed as closely as possible. However, given uncertain weather, flight time changes and other local conditions, all schedules and itinerary is subject to alterations and delays at short notice.

Price Detail
Inclusions

* 13-night Accommodations in cherry-picked hotels (all tried and trusted) in Twin or Double room shared basis including applicable hotel taxes (Those who want to stay singly, single surcharge is to be added)

* All Domestic Flights: Yangon ~ Inle/ Inle ~ Mandalay/ Mandalay ~ Bagan/ Bagan  ~ Yangon - on Air Kanbawza, Asian Wings, Yangon Airways including insurance surcharge and airport tax

* Train fare from Hsipaw or Naung Pein (the nearest station to the GOKHTEIK viaduct) to Pyin Oo Lwin

* Meals as indicated in itinerary

* All transfers and land tours including long drive to Hsipaw and return with private Air-conditioned vehicles

* 4 different stationed English-speaking guides in Yangon, Inle Lake, Mandalay, Bagan and (Stationed guides do not accompany guests on flight /cruise, etc.)

* Local trekking guide in Hsipaw

* Entry / zone fees for the visits of tour sites as indicated in the itinerary

* All transfers and sightseeing in private long boat in INLE

* Drinking bottled water and refreshment tissues during the sightseeing

* Porter fees at airports

Exclusions

 - Travel insurance

 - International air-ticket to/from Yangon

 - Visa fee and arrangements for Myanmar

 - Early check-in/ Late check out (check-in:2pm/check-out:12noon)

 - Meals (Lunch/Dinner)

 - Optional Balloon flight

 - Entry fees for the visits of

   Yangon: National Museum + 5 USD, Gem Museum + 5 USD

   Bagan: Archeological Museum + 5 USD, Viewing Tower+ 5 USD

 - Drinks and personal expenses

 - Excess Baggage / Camera or Video Camera Fees / Local or International Telephone calls

 - International airport tax when departure at Yangon (USD 10 at present)

 - Tips and gratitude to guides/drivers/hotel porters, etc.

 - Any other items not mentioned above

 - Bank Transfer Charge (OR) Western Union Service

Cancellation Policy

You will get

100% refund if cancel 47 days before tour starts.

80% refund if cancel within 46 days before tour starts.

50% refund if cancel within 31 days before tour starts.

NO refund if cancel within 15 days before tour starts.

You will be refunded for all costs EXCEPT Processing Fees.

Guests can get full refunds at any time of cancellation prior to the actual date of the tour if that cancellation is due to a Force Major reason. Force Major reasons include but are not limited to war, civil insurrection, strikes, volcanoes, extreme weather, earthquake, and natural disasters.

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REVEAL MYANMAR (Burma)
Yangon, Yangon Region, Myanmar
14 Days
20 Persons
English
{{ goConfig.showPrice(currency + lowestPrice, lang)}}
Brief

MAJOR highlights of this trip are remarkable train journeys (but locals nickname it buffalo train due to its slowness!) remaining in the world today via steep hills and a breathtaking gorge, passing a 2,260-foot long and 320-foot high GOKHTEIK viaduct across a craggy gorge, and Hsipaw which was once the center of a small Shan state of its own with moderate climate, friendly people and relaxed atmosphere. With the easing of government policies, the country is opening up, and it is becoming a very popular place to visit in southeast Asia. Now is the time to journey with us through a country steeped in history, a mystical, beautiful land of golden temples with a rich and vibrant cultural heritage. Experience the tranquility of Inle Lake and see its intriguing leg rowers, explore the artistic heritage of Mandalay and enjoy the natural environments of the lofty hill stations of Hsipaw and Pyin U Lwin, the famous archeological temple site of Bagan, the faded charm of old Rangoon, and meet the people who make this country so unforgettable.

Tour Detail

Day One:      Arrive YANGON

G' day and welcome to Myanmar! Today you will arrive in Yangon, the commercial capital and the main gateway to Myanmar, meet Yangon guide and transfer to your hotel. It is time for a brief Introduction to holiday and just relax to adjust the time zone. Dinner and stay overnight in Yangon. Taw Win Garden Hotel or Similar Meals: (None)

Day Two:      Touring YANGON – What a Charming City!

This morning we’ll head off for a day of sightseeing in Yangon. Begin your day with walking around Colonial architecture lining Strand Road - A walk along the Strand or Pansodan Street is said like strolling down Pall Mall mixed with all the distressed grandeur of Havana! In fact Yangon has many large colonial buildings including high court, general post office, former secretariat building, St Paul boarding school, and the legendary Strand hotel, built in 1896, once described as the "leading hotel of the East". The tour extended to Central Sule Pagoda, an octagonal golden stupa, dating back over 2,000 years; nearby city hall, a Baptist church and an Islam mosque. If time permits you will have the chance to do some shopping at 85-year old BOGYOKE (Scott) market which is one of the most popular tourist hangouts. It was named after Mr. Jarvin Scott, Yangon Municipal Commissioner during the British colonial government and crown off the day with visit the great Shwedagon Pagoda. Witness the golden dome, covered with 60 tons of pure gold, glistening as the sun sets. Stay overnight in Yangon.  (Meals: Breakfast)

Day Three:   Fly to HEHO – drive to Nyaungshwe and touring LAKE INLE

This morning we depart for the airport and board your flight to Heho, gateway to explore southern Shan State including Lake INLE. On arrival, meet your Inle guide and drive to NYAUNGSHWE, the gateway village to Inle Lake. Make a photo stop at the ancient wooden Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery on the way. We'll then transfer to jetty and board a private long boat to your hotel for check-in. Shortly afterwards, we’ll head out onto Inle Lake, the natural wonder of this magnificent vast waterway and one of Myanmar’s most spectacular sights. We pass villages built on stilts over the lake, inhabited by Intha people, the leg-rowing fishermen of the lake and see their floating gardens built up from strips of water hyacinth and mud and anchored to the bottom with bamboo poles. We’ll stops for visits at the ancient NGA PHE CHAUNG (formerly known as jumping cats) Monastery and its ancient Shan Buddhas and PHAUNG DAW OO PAGODA, the lake’s main sanctuary. Other visits include the weaving village of INPAWKHONE, A SILVERSMITTH WORK SHOP & SHOWROOM, a cheroot cottage where the typical Burmese cigars are made by hand. We’ll Return to the hotel and finish the visits of the lake for the day. The balance of the day can be spent at leisure. Stay overnight at Amata Inle Resort or similar in Inle. (Meals: Breakfast)        

Day Four:     Excursion to INNDEIN – ruins of ancient Stupas

After breakfast, we head to the morning market on the lake. Rotating around villages on and near the lake in a 5 day rhythm, a colorful market visited by lake inhabitants and surrounding hill tribes is held daily (except on new and full moon days). From the middle of the lake, continue down a small canal leading to the Paoh village of Inndein. After a walk around the village, passing a local school, take the covered stairway to the beautiful Alaung Sitthou area where ancient stupas are partly covered by vegetation. From here there is a magnificent view over the lake. Return to the lake and finish the visits of the lake in the afternoon. Return to your hotel and the balance of the day is free. Stay overnight in Inle. (Meals: Breakfast)

Day Five:        Fly to MANDALAY – see AMARAPURA

Today we board our flight to MANDALAY. On arrival at Mandalay International Airport, meet your Mandalay guide and drive to AMARAPURA. In Amarapura, visit one of the biggest monasteries named Maha Gandaryon with more than 1200 Buddhist monks where under the strict tight-scheduled Rules the monks study very hard the Buddhist Canons day and night in order to be able to carry on the Buddha’s teachings verbally like the Noble Theras did after the Buddha’s demise in the 6th Century B.C. Then drive to U Bein Bridge believed to be the longest wooden bridge in the world that spans Taung Thaman Lake. Take a walk on the bridge and enjoy a photo opt!
Then drive to Mandalay, upon arrival check-in at the hotel. In the afternoon, visit MAHA MUNI BUDDHA IMAGE which is the most revered and sacred site of Mandalay, some handicraft cottages such as stone carving, tapestry, and gold-paper making. Then we'll tour onward to SHWE NANDAW MONASTERY where you can marvel the superb example of Myanmar traditional woodcarving, Kuthodaw Pagoda which is known as the world biggest book of the world, Golden Palace Monastery where you can see the best wood-carvings. Finally, go up Mandalay Hill to enjoy the panoramic view of the city with sunset. Stay overnight at Bagan King Hotel or similar in Mandalay. (Meals: Breakfast or Boxed Breakfast)

Day Six:       Drive to HSIPAW-just passing KAUK MÈ

Today after breakfast we'll drive to HSIPAW (approx. 5/6 hrs) twisting and turning drive through Shan mountains. If you like, we'll visit 'Peik Chin Myaung' cave, a considerable large Buddhist shrine cave that was used to be a sacred site of Nepalese devotee of lord Shiva, which is 27km north out of Pyin Oo Lwin. Hsipaw was once the center of a small Shan state of its own with moderate climate, friendly people and relaxed atmosphere. We'll pass Kyaukmè that is a small trading town but there was nothing to do at Kyaukme, and Hsipaw is the far better option with market, temples, river, and hills to trek, etc. Perhaps we make a stop for lunch at Kyaukmè. Before we get Hsipaw (about 8km away) we'll visit the Shan-style 'Bawgyo Paya', probably the most revered Pagoda in northern Shan State. Upon reaching Hsipaw transfer to your resort that is locate on the bank of 'Dokehtawaddy' River. Late afternoon visit the 'Sawbwa Haw' (Shan Palace) at the northern end of the town. The last Sawbwa (Sao Kya Seng) disappeared during the military coup in 1962 and the palace is cared for by his nephew and his nephew's wife since then. 'Mr. Donald' (Sao Oo Kya), the nephew, was in jail, apparently for saying bad things about the military, but was released several years ago during a general amnesty. Since then he has had to be very careful not to give the regime a chance to re-arrest him. For several years after his release he and his wife lived in Taunggyi, the major Shan administrative centre. However, recently his wife, Mrs Fern has returned to the palace in Hsipaw. She is determined to tell the story of the Shan State over the last 50 years, explaining specifically the history of the last Sawbwa and their family and welcomes visitors from overseas. Visiting hours are around 4pm. She makes for a great and very honest host. Also recommended is to look up the memoirs of the last Sabwa's Austrian wife, Inge Sargent, called "Twilight over Burma: My Life as a Shan Princess." It's a moving personal account of her life in Burma up till her husband's disappearance. Stay overnight at Riverside @ Hsipaw Resort in Hsipaw. (Meals: Breakfast)

Day Seven:   River trip – Hsipaw

We'll get up early and walk through the candlelight market filled with people from local villages who gather to trade their wares. Because so few tourists visit Hsipaw, the merchandise is primarily for villagers who go there to shop. The market begins and ends early, starting at 3:30am and pretty much wrapping up by 6am. We will return to resort for breakfast and then take a boat upstream on the Dokehtawaddy River and see how fruits are planted and walk up the hill for about half an hour to visit a 150 year old Shan monastery. Continue your boat trip to a confluence where you may opt for swimming after which we head back to town or your resort for lunch. The afternoon is free at your leisure to explore on your own until we go for sunset watch probably by bicycle at Five Buddha Hill or Nine Buddha Hill. Both hills are about 2km out of town. Stay overnight in Hsipaw. (Meals: Breakfast)

Day Eight:    Adventurous train back to PYIN OO LWIN

Today we'll board around 9am for a remarkable train journeys (but locals nickname it buffalo train due to its’ slowness!) remaining in the world today via steep hills and a breathtaking gorge, to Pyin Oo Lwin (while your driver drives back alone and wait you at Pyin Oo Lwin station). We travel (approx. 8 hours) alongside local people through productive countryside stopping at small stations, as they embark and disembark with their goods. It is said one of the 'must do' railway journeys of the world, probably because it passes over the GOKHTEIK viaduct (a 2,260-foot long and 320-foot high bridge across a craggy gorge) which is said to be the world's second largest steel bridge of more than a hundred years old. It is a masterpiece of British engineering, designed primarily to bring trade (and thus control) to the Northern Shan State, an importantly of the British after the conquest of Upper Burma. This was considered to be the greatest railway viaduct in the world at the time.  The final leg of our journey takes us to the scenic hill resort of Pyin U Lwin (Maymyo), situated over 1000m (3600 ft) above sea level probably around 4pm where we meet our driver and transfer to your hotel. Stay overnight at Aureum Resort or similar in Pyin Oo Lwin. (Meals: Breakfast)

Day Nine:      See PYIN OO LWIN and back to MANDALAY

PYIN OO LWIN (formerly called Maymyo) is the one of the most famous hill station cities of Myanmar. Its fine, pleasant weather and fresh cool air makes it a popular summer resort. It was a British hill station where, during the hot season, the servants of the Raj went to escape the heat and dust of the plains, say, from Mandalay. It enjoys another name given affectionately by the local – "PAN MYO DAW", literally meaning Royal Flower City due to its variety of colorful flowers growing in abundance all over the town. The morning will be spent walking through the famous Botanical Garden, and explore this charming town with colonial-era buildings along the main streets and circular road. Since the place is full of visitors all year round several of these cottages have now been converted into hotels. Later visit Pwe Kauk Waterfalls, called Hampshire Falls in British times. We'll then return to Mandalay – the drive take about 1 ½and on arrival Mandalay, we'll transfer to your hotel. The balance of the day is free at your leisure. Stay overnight in Mandalay. (Meals: Breakfast)

Day Ten:      Fly to BAGAN

Today we board our flight to BAGAN. Bagan was ancient capital of the first Myanmar Empire and it still preserves 2217 well-renovated Stupas (Buddhist religious monuments). Upon arrival at Nyaung U Airport meet your Bagan guide and we'll move straight on to see some of the amazing sights - over 2,200 temples in a space the size of Manhattan, the biggest problem you face is deciding where to start.

First stop is the thriving Nyaung U market - soak it up in one of the small tea houses is also high on the agenda. Pagodas and Temples represent the diversity of ancient Myanmar architectural styles in the 11th to13th centuries. We’ll visit the golden stupa of Shwezigon Pagoda, which is Bagan’s most important reliquary shrine – look out for images of the 37 ‘nats’ housed in a small hall. Continue to Gubyaukgyi (Wetkyi In village), another ‘cave’ temple with fine frescoes of the ‘Jataka Tales’. Next stop is Htilominlo, the last Myanmar style temple built in Bagan, with old murals and friezes. We’ll then check into hotel. By late afternoon, we’ll visit continues to Ananda Temple, a whitewashed masterpiece of Mon architecture with four standing Buddhas, and the adjacent brick monastery from the early Bagan era with well-preserved murals. Make a photo stop at the tallest temple measuring 61 meters – Thatbyinnyu known as ‘temple of omniscience’ and we will then visit a local lacquerware workshop, where we can watch craftsmen skillfully making this most famous of Bagan’s renowned handicrafts. Continue to Dhammayangyi, a massive-looking temple dating from 1170 that is famous for its interlocking mortar less brickwork. We’ll crown off the day by enjoying the lovely sunset from a perfectly situated temple or pagoda. Stay overnight at My Bagan Residence or similar in Bagan. (Meals: Breakfast or Boxed Breakfast)

Day Eleven:  Journey to SALAY & MT POPA

Today we head off to SALAY. On the way, we’ll visit Chauk market. Salay is an old colonial town with ancient ruins from the late Bagan era. The major places of interest are MANN PAYA (also known as Nan Paya), perhaps the largest lacquer Buddha image in Myanmar dating back to the 13th century, and YOKE-SONE-KYAUNG, the oldest surviving wooden monastery bearing more than 120-year-old original sculptures of 19th century court life, Jatakas (stories from the Buddha's life) and Ramayana tales (one of Asia's best know legends), and the collections of antique religious objects from the area. We continue on to the Mt. Popa. It is the core of an extinct volcano and it rises abruptly from the surrounding hills. Mount Popa and its environs are the only lush green place amidst the desert area of Middle Myanmar. We'll climb up the 730 meters high conic flattop (Named as Popa Taung Kalat) by 777 steep steps. It's the sacred home of what is known as NATS - spirits. We'll enjoy the panoramic view of the surrounding landscapes atop Popa Taung Kalat. Return to Bagan and on the way we’ll stop at the JAGGERY making cottages and toddy-palm grooves to sample a piece of jaggery or a sip of palm sap or spirit. Stay overnight in Bagan. (Meals: Breakfast)

Day Twelve:  Free day in BAGAN

Today is free day on your own. Perhaps you can take an early balloon ride and simply kill your time by simply relaxing by the pool at your hotel. Alternately, you can rent an e-bike to explore the lesser temples and stupas on your own. Stay overnight in Bagan. (Meals: Breakfast)

(Optional Balloon flight: This is an optional if you would like to get a unique opportunity to see the ancient city of Bagan from a different perspective. Balloon agent will pick you up at hotel between 05h30 and 06h00. The whole experience including light champagne breakfast, balloon flight, and rescue at the end upon landing will take about 2 ½ to 3 hrs and you’ll get back to hotel about 08h30.)

Day Thirteen:         Fly back to YANGON

Today we depart for the airport and our flight back to Yangon. Upon arrival in this former capital city, we transfer to our hotel. We may do some last minute shopping at 85-year-old BOGYOKE (Scott) market (close on every Monday and public holidays) which is one of the most popular tourist hangouts dominated by antique, Burmese handicraft and jewelery shops, art galleries, fabrics and clothing stores. It was named after Mr. Jarvin Scott, Yangon Municipal Commissioner during the British colonial government. The balance of the day is free on your own. Stay overnight in Yangon. (Meals: Breakfast or Boxed Breakfast)

 Day Fourteen:         Depart MYANMAR

Today is at leisure until at appropriate time, you’ll be transferred to Mandalay Airport for outward flight back home. (Meals: Breakfast)

---END OF SERVICE---

 IMPORTANT NOTE: Every effort will be made to ensure that the above stated itinerary is followed as closely as possible. However, given uncertain weather, flight time changes and other local conditions, all schedules and itinerary is subject to alterations and delays at short notice.

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Price Detail

* 13-night Accommodations in cherry-picked hotels (all tried and trusted) in Twin or Double room shared basis including applicable hotel taxes (Those who want to stay singly, single surcharge is to be added)

* All Domestic Flights: Yangon ~ Inle/ Inle ~ Mandalay/ Mandalay ~ Bagan/ Bagan  ~ Yangon - on Air Kanbawza, Asian Wings, Yangon Airways including insurance surcharge and airport tax

* Train fare from Hsipaw or Naung Pein (the nearest station to the GOKHTEIK viaduct) to Pyin Oo Lwin

* Meals as indicated in itinerary

* All transfers and land tours including long drive to Hsipaw and return with private Air-conditioned vehicles

* 4 different stationed English-speaking guides in Yangon, Inle Lake, Mandalay, Bagan and (Stationed guides do not accompany guests on flight /cruise, etc.)

* Local trekking guide in Hsipaw

* Entry / zone fees for the visits of tour sites as indicated in the itinerary

* All transfers and sightseeing in private long boat in INLE

* Drinking bottled water and refreshment tissues during the sightseeing

* Porter fees at airports

 - Travel insurance

 - International air-ticket to/from Yangon

 - Visa fee and arrangements for Myanmar

 - Early check-in/ Late check out (check-in:2pm/check-out:12noon)

 - Meals (Lunch/Dinner)

 - Optional Balloon flight

 - Entry fees for the visits of

   Yangon: National Museum + 5 USD, Gem Museum + 5 USD

   Bagan: Archeological Museum + 5 USD, Viewing Tower+ 5 USD

 - Drinks and personal expenses

 - Excess Baggage / Camera or Video Camera Fees / Local or International Telephone calls

 - International airport tax when departure at Yangon (USD 10 at present)

 - Tips and gratitude to guides/drivers/hotel porters, etc.

 - Any other items not mentioned above

 - Bank Transfer Charge (OR) Western Union Service

Cancellation Policy

100% refund if cancel 47 days before tour starts.

80% refund if cancel within 46 days before tour starts.

50% refund if cancel within 31 days before tour starts.

NO refund if cancel within 15 days before tour starts.

You will be refunded for all costs EXCEPT Processing Fees.

Guests can get full refunds at any time of cancellation prior to the actual date of the tour if that cancellation is due to a Force Major reason. Force Major reasons include but are not limited to war, civil insurrection, strikes, volcanoes, extreme weather, earthquake, and natural disasters.

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*Final price, no additional charge by Gopackup

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