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Feel the Burm

Trip Length

Trip Code

15 days GTBU

Countries Visited

Burma

Start City

End City

Rangoon (Yangon) Rangoon (Yangon)
Feel the Burm

Burma’s where it’s at. Check out Shwedagon Pagoda in Rangoon and some pretty awesome archaeological sites in Pagan, hang in pretty Mandalay, lap up some mountain time in Kalaw en route to the ridiculously beautiful Inle Lake, trek to see one of the holiest sites in Burma, see more giant Buddha’s… 

 

When we talk about getting off the beaten track, we’re talking about Burma: hill tribes who’ve never seen foreigners, one-legged rowing fisherman, 2000 temples in one valley and a balancing rock held in place by Buddha’s hair. Did someone say bragging rights?

 

2015 Itinerary changes

 

Please note that for 2015 this trip will be 12 days in length and will no longer visit Bago and Kyaiktiyo (Golden Rock) - it will still finish in Yangon.

The 2015 itinerary will be avaialble online on the 1st October 2014.

Feel the Burm


Day to Day Itinerary

Day 1-2: Rangoon (Yangon) - overnight train

Meals included: 1 breakfast

Accommodation: Yuzana Garden or similar, Yangon

Shwedagon Pagoda is made from 8688 sheets of gold and encrusted with 5448 diamonds and 2317 rubies. That’s more bling than a bunch of rappers at a Mr T convention.

Day 1

Arrive in Rangoon and explore the city

Attend a Welcome Meeting at 6pm

Day 2

Go on an orientation tour around the busy streets of Rangoon (now officially known as Yangon)

See Rangoon's most famous structure Shwedagon Pagoda - resplendent with a golden spire that dominates the skyline

Optional visit to Sule Pagoda, located in the centre of the city

Enjoy some free time, perhaps visit some other important temples and pagodas or shop at the centrally located Bogyoke Market

Transfer to central railway station for a train to Pagan (Bagan)

Day 3-4: Pagan (Bagan)

Meals included: 1 breakfast

After an overnight train, discover the magnificent archaeological site of Pagan (Bagan). Riding a bike, explore many of the temples, stupas and pagodas that litter the lush plains.

Arrive into Pagan (Bagan) after an overnight train journey and a road transfer - once the capital of a great civilisation dating from 849 AD to 1287

Over 2000 monuments dot the plains by the banks of the river, a testament to the city's glorious past

Spend a whole day exploring these wonderful temples on bicycle - some still contain frescoes from historic times

The spires of many of them form a dramatic skyline and provide excellent vantage points to view the other temples and pagodas

Nyaung U itself has one of the more interesting markets to be found in the country

If you are keen to take a hot air balloon ride over Pagan this can be booked on the morning of day 4 only. Please see the "Other Important Information" heading in your trip notes for further details on how to pre book these rides as they sell out in advance.

Day 5-7: Mandalay

Meals included: 3 breakfasts

Perhaps see the Buddhist monk procession over U-bien Bridge at sunset, take a optional boat ride on the Irrawaddy River and witness daily rural life unfolding and, in nearby Mingun, see the big bell and the foundations for what would have been the world’s biggest stupa.

Board a public ferry before dawn and cruise up the Irrawaddy (Ayeyarwady) River to Mandalay

Arrive at our inner-city hotel

Take the chance to go an optional trip to Mandalay Hill, for a sunset view over town

Go on another optional excursion, this time by boat on the Irrawaddy River up to the village of Mingun, home to the world’s largest unfinished pagoda, as well as a gigantic bell

In your free time, perhaps visit some of the surrounding elaborate pagodas or temples around town - Kyauktawgyi Paya, Kuthodaw Paya (home to the 'world’s biggest book') and Shwenandaw Kyaung

Maybe take a half-day trip up to the hill town of Maymyo (Pyin-u-Lwin)

Day 8: Kalaw

Meals included: 1 breakfast

En route to Inle Lake we stay in Kalaw, this town is nestled in rugged mountain scenery and has a backpacker vibe with many options for hikes.

En route to Inle Lake, stay in the chilled town of Kalaw - sitting high on the western edge of the Shan Plateau and once a popular hill station in British colonial days, now a backpacker mecca

Perhaps go on a hike in the area

If you prefer to chill there's plenty of 'teashops' serving chai (Indian-style tea), where you can enjoy great interaction with the locals

Day 9-11: Inle Lake

Meals included: 3 breakfasts

Encircled by towering mountains deep in the highlands, Inle Lake is absolutely stunning. From our base in the township of Nyaungshwe, enjoy a full day boat tour of the lake, see the floating gardens and markets, and the artistry of the leg-rowing Intha fishermen. We have a free day to explore Inle Lake.

Journey to the highlands of the Shan State, spend a couple of nights at the township of Nyaungshwe, next to Inle Lake (the road condition is pretty poor here, prepare for some long and arduous travelling on this stretch)

Enjoy a full-day lake tour by long-boat, visit some local villages, explore unique temples and monasteries, and meet the famous local leg-rowing fishermen from the Intha tribe

Perhaps enjoy walks in the beautiful surrounding countryside, or simply appreciate the cool climate - a welcome respite from the heat of the plains

Day 12-13: Kyaiktiyo-Bago-Rangoon (Yangon)

Meals included: 2 breakfasts

We travel to Heho and catch a flight to Rangoon. We then head to Kyaiktiyo and spend the night on the hilltop alongside the incredible balancing rock - one of the country’s most holy and moving sites. Afterwards, drop in to Bago to see the reclining, 55 metre-high Shwethalyaung Buddha, before returning to Rangoon.

Transfer to Heho and join a flight to Rangoon,

Drive out of town to Kyaiktiyo, where we spent a night near the Golden Rock

It is a five-hour drive to the base camp at Kinponsakan, where we transfer to an open truck and drive for 45 minutes up a steep hill to Rathedaung

Trek up a path following groups of Buddhist pilgrims - this is one of the holiest sites in Burma

Accommodation standards here are quite basic - it is a place of pilgrimage rather than a resort

Return to the lowlands. Bago, formerly known as Pegu, is a small town with some of the most famous structures in the country

Visit the reclining 55 metre-high Shwethalyaung Buddha, before returning to Rangoon

Day 14-15: Rangoon (Yangon)

Meals included: 2 breakfasts

We have a free day to explore Rangoon so there will be time to visit some of Rangoon's other sights or shop for souvenirs in Bogyoke Market. Our tour finishes after breakfast on Day 15.

Day 14

Enjoy a free day

Perhaps find your way to the monastery of the Reclining Buddha (Chaukhtatgyi Paya), visit the National Museum or shop at Bogyoke Market

Day 15

The trips end after breakfast on Day 15.

 

2015 Itinerary changes

Please note that for 2015 this trip will be 12 days in length and will no longer visit Bago and Kyaiktiyo (Golden Rock) - it will still finish in Yangon.
The 2015 itinerary will be avaialble online on the 1st October 2014.


Your Trip

Nuts and Bolts

• Gecko’s expert English-speaking local tour guide throughout the tour.

• Visit the iconic Shwedagon Pagoda in Rangoon

• Bicycle tour of the archaeological site of Pagan.

• Inle Lake boat tour.

• Drive and walk to the sacred Golden Rock at Kyaiktiyo, with an overnight stay.

• Free time to explore Rangoon, Mandalay, Pagan and Inle Lake.

• Public ferry from Pagan to Mandalay.

• Local flight from Heho to Rangoon.

• Overnight train from Rangoon to Thazi, en route to Pagan.

Summary of accommodation, transport & meals

Transport

Accommodation

Meals

Not Included

International flights, arrival and departure transfers, departure and airport taxes, visas, all other meals, all optional tours or activities during free time, transfers outside of the tour program, travel insurance, tips and items of a personal nature.

Optional Extras

We have chosen a selection of some great optional activities to enhance your travel experience. You will need to cover any additional costs yourself. The below list is not exhaustive and should be used as a guide only. Prices are approximate and are for entrance only and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability and it may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination.
Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. This means that it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, however we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Activities not listed below have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with booking these activities. The decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.


Important Information

2015 Itinerary changes

Please note that for 2015 this trip will be 12 days in length and will no longer visit Bago and Kyaiktiyo (Golden Rock) - it will still finish in Yangon.

The 2015 itinerary will be avaialble online on the 1st October 2014.

Local Emergency Contact
In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, please call the Geckos Burma (Myanmar) emergency contact number: +95 1 420254468.

Burma Flights
Although all attempts are made to secure air tickets for our groups, due to the way in which airlines in Burma manage their seat allocations, last-minute changes to internal flights are common and our groups may be re-booked on to an earlier or later flight times than originally scheduled. There may also be instances where the group has to be split over different flights throughout the day. In the event that this happens, group members could be unaccompanied on the flight, but will be assisted by additional tour escorts on departure and arrival at both ends. We appreciate your patience with this unavoidable situation.

Local Tour Leaders
By employing and training local guides to lead our group holidays, there is a two-fold benefit. Firstly, we provide employment opportunities for the local community. Just as importantly is the benefit to you, the traveller. Your tour leader’s friendship, humour, passion and intimate knowledge of the region will be key factors in making your holiday a success.

Mobile Phone and Internet Coverage
Until recently there was little or no mobile phone coverage or internet access coverage in Burma, but this is also now changing rapidly. Both are now widely available, most of the time and in most locations.

Hot-air Ballooning in Pagan

Hot air ballooning can be booked only on the morning of day 4.

There is a company which operates hot air ballooning flights in Pagan. Such flights only take place around sunrise for about an hour and are entirely subject to suitable weather conditions, especially low wind conditions and good visibility. In the hotter times of the year, the number of passengers who can be carried within required safety parameters reduces considerably. Peregrine do not organise or book these balloon flights, and we recommend that you book well in advance to travelling, due to the popularity of this activity. The one company running these flights is called 'Balloons over Bagan': http://www.easternsafaris.com/balloonsoverbagan_home.html

As of January 2014 the cost of these flights were about US$320. Such flights are not part of any service offered by Peregrine and any participants will be required to sign indemnity releases provided by the balloonung company.

Breakfasts
The standard of hotel breakfasts provided in Burma often does not meet the expectations of many of our travellers. It is certainly not up to the high standards encountered elsewhere in Asia. The food provided in Burma is often basic and plain. Tourism is still in its infancy and much of the country's tourism industry is still learning how to cater for the needs of foreign tourists. We ask you for your patience and understanding with regard to this.

Burma is a Developing Country
Please note that Burma is a developing country whose infrastructure, values, customs and standards may differ from what you expect in your homeland. Expect poor road conditions and be prepared for some inconveniences such as restaurants and tourist sites being closed from time to time. Sometimes the transportation may be altered or the itinerary may be changed due to circumstances beyond our control. It is also presently experiencing an unprecedented rapid increase in tourism. Burma does not have the infrastructure to deal with this sudden influx and demand for hotels are outstripping supply, therefore resulting in overbooking and hotels not honouring established contracts. As a result some tour groups may be moved from original hotels to other hotels that can accommodate our groups. We will always endeavour to secure alternative hotels of similar standards, but this may sometimes result in our groups having to stay away from the centre of town.

This is an adventure trip and we hope to expose you to all aspects of the local culture. Please be open-minded.

About this Information

The information provided here is given in good faith and has been compiled with all reasonable care. However, things change and some of the information may become out of date. Please ensure that you have the most up-to-date information for your trip. We recommend that you check the trip notes for your tour around one month before departure. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff in Australia. We are here to help you!

Last Updated

2 September 2014


General Contact Details

Geckos AdventuresPhone: 1-877-285-0655
E-mail: sales@geckosadventures.com
Web: Visit Geckos