Burma by Rail, Road, Air and River
Burma is blossoming; its extraordinary culture, natural beauty and famously friendly people are more accessible than ever. Embark on a gentle adventure mixing train journeys with comfortable coach connections, a flights and a cruise. This journey offers a rare chance to discovermystic Myanmar from many angles. Our adventure will unearth a bustling modern nation, the deeply spiritual and atmospheric world of Buddhist temples and shrines, the colonial environsof old Burma andwild dramatic scenery ofmountains, lakes, valleys and rivers. The trains are rustic and slow and reveal a special experience of life with the locals; the plane and the coach journeyspersonify a more modern Myanmar, and our unique tour is capped off with numerous serene boat excursions on Burma’s lakes and rivers.
- Accommodation in twin or double rooms with daily breakfast in quality hotels
- All sightseeing tours and transfer services with private air-conditioned coach as detailed in the program
- Meals as specified in the program (B= Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner)
- All entrance fees as mentioned in the program
- English-speaking locally stationed guide throughout the trip
- Train travel as mentioned in the program (upper class seats)
- Domestic flights as mentioned in the program
- Private local boat and horse cart excursions
- Porter fees at the airports
- All tipping
- Return airport to hotel transfers
- International flights to and from Yangon
- International airport tax
- Visa arrangements for Myanmar (we can facilitate these)
- Meals and services not mentioned in itinerary
- All other personal expenses such as drinks, phone calls, laundry services, camera fees where applicable
- Travel insurance – required (cover against all cancellation costs, medical expenses, including repatriation in the event of accident of illness)
- Early check-in and late check-out at hotels, if not mentioned in the program
* If you need charter boat from Mandalay – Bagan , there might be surcharge depends on group size. *
DETAILS SUBJECT TO CHANGE
Please note; we endeavour to have all the details of our tours correct at the time of printing however sometimes outside factors such as movements in foreign exchange rates, the availability of requested hotels or the operation of trains and other services may change. Therefore items mentioned in the brochure such as quoted prices, hotels and inclusions are subject to change. Please check with us at the time of booking.
ADDITIONAL TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS
We can assist you with your international flights, pre- and post-travel including extended stays in Burma, visas, and travel insurance. Call our office on 1300 733 323 if you would like to discuss options.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
For more information regarding your ability to participate in this tour such as fitness level, fees and charges, payment schedules, passport validity and liabilities see the Terms and Conditions that accompany the booking form and can also be requested at any time.
IMPORTANT NOTES FOR MYANMAR
Myanmar is a developing country; travel there can present some challenges. For example, internet services are few and far between, credit cards are not always accepted and medical services are not the same standard as you would expect at home.
There is no standard method of rating hotels, transport services, guides etc across the world. Many countries have differing official and unofficial ways of assessing these services and some do not rate services at all. Railway Adventures and Guidepost Tours use its discretion to rate services and we rely on the local travel operator and our own inspections to choose the services included in this tour.
TRAINS IN MYANMAR
Rail travel is basic, slow and the track is often bumpy, but for those who understand the limitations in comfort, the journey offers great scenery and a chance to see the lives of the ordinary people who depend on the railways for cheap travel.
Many Myanmar trains are slow, rustic and show up late. A 5-hour train trip can take up to 7 hours. We have made provision for this in the itinerary and remain flexible with our scheduled train trips.
Day : 1 Yangon Arrival
Upon arrival at Yangon International Airport you will be met and transferred to your hotel to check in.
Join Scott and your fellow travellers for a welcome reception and dinner at House of Memories Restaurant.
Overnight at Sule Shangri-La, Yangon (D)
Day : 2 Yangon Arrival
Today you will be transferred by bus to lunch and continue with a visit to the National Museum to see an extensive collection of ancient artefacts, ornaments, works of art, inscriptions and historic memorabilia related to the history, culture and civilization of the Burmese people. Lunch at the Green Elephant and then we continue our tour of the city with a ride on the new tram to the dock area at sunset we visit one of the world’s most spectacular monuments, the Shwedagon Pagoda. The largest pagoda in the country it is also towering almost 100m above the city-scapes and believes to have been built over 2500 years ago. Enjoy an evening free.
Overnight at Sule Shangri-La, Yangon (B, L)
Day : 3 Yangon
This morning, transfer to Yangon Railway Station to take a special steam hauled train on the circle line. The slow-train travels through various Yangon neighbourhoods and on the outskirts of the city. Enjoy observing the lively and colourful life of the city and the Burmese people as they go about their business. Our train pulls into the Insein railway workshops and we take time to view the operations and many historic aspects of the vast complex. The afternoon is free to go shopping at the huge ‘Scott Market’ adjacent to the hotel or explore more of the grand old city of Yangon.
Overnight at Sule Shangri-La, Yangon (B,L)
Day : 4 Yangon –Nay Pyi Taw
After breakfast at the hotel, join the morning transfer to Yangon airport for the short flight to Nay PyiTaw, the capital city of Burma. It is Burma’s third largest city after Yangon and Mandalay, home to over one million and boasts one of the shortest histories of any city in the world having been created from scratch in 2002. It is also one of the world’s fastest growing!
Upon arrival, transfer to the hotel. In the afternoon take an excursion around the pristine, manufactured city to the Water Fountain Garden, the national museum and Uppatasanti Pagoda also called the ‘Peace Pagoda’, a massive structure completed in 2009. At the base of the pagoda see the royal white elephants. Transfer back to our hotel where we have time to enjoy the facilities and settle in for dinner in the hotels signature restaurant.
Overnight at Lake Garden M Gallery Hotel, Nay Pyi Taw (B, D)
Day : 5 Nay Pyi Taw – Thazi – Meiktila
Breakfast is at the hotel followed by a morning at leisure to explore the city. Alternatively take advantage of the hotel’s extensive spa and wellness centre. The late check out allows time to have lunch before we depart by coach for the 3 hour trip to Meiktila.
Set on a charming lake the bustling city of Meiktila is a popular stop and after a short town tour we check into the hotel we enjoy a short tour of the lake and dinner. where we will also enjoy dinner.
Overnight at Hotel Htila , Meiktila (B, D)
Day : 6 Meiktila – Thazi – Kalaw – Inle Lake
Today is a big day of travel utilizing various modes of transportation. Departing from the hotel by coach, we meet the train at Thazi station at 7.00am and settle back to take in the sweeping vistas as the train climbs and zigzags up the ranges toward the hill station of Kalaw. This is one of the most scenic lines in the country. The train is rustic and well patronised by the locals heading to and from markets and communities up and down the line. The sedate progress allows ample opportunity to take in the countryside and enjoy the parade of life, trackside and on board.
We pull into the old British Hill Station of Kalaw and have a short town tour before taking lunch at the harming Pine Hill Resort. We then travel by coach through the hills to NyaungShwe where we connect with a boat for the transfer across the wonderful Inle Lake to our hotel.
Overnight: Inle Resort, Mine Tauk Village, Taunggyi, Inle Lake (B, L, D)
Day : 7 NyaungShwe – Inle Lake
After a leisurely breakfast join the excursion by boat on Inle Lake to explore the famous leg-rowing fishermen, typical floating gardens, local methods of fishing, village life and the magnificent scenery. Visit the weaving village of Inn PawKhon, Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, andone of the local markets in the Inle Lake region. Continue by boat to NgaPheKyaung Monastery which houses dozens of Shan Buddha images, which is famous for its ‘jumping cats’.
Thenwe continue to Indein, one of the small villages of Inle Lake, located on the western bank. The scenic boat ride continues and takes us through a long channel where we can watch the farmers cultivate their produce. Explore the ancient ruined pagodas and take a short ramble around the Pa-Oh village at Indein. The boat then transfers usback to the hotel in the mid afternoon for some free time to relax and soak up the hotel’s great vantage point for sunset over the lake.
Overnight at Shwe Inn Tha Floating Resort,Inle Lake (B, L, D)
Day : 8 NyaungShwe – Heho – Mandalay
Enjoy an early breakfast at the hotel, before transfering by boat and coach toHehoAirport for our flight to Mandalay. Mandalay is the second-largest city and the last royal capital of Burma. Located 716 kilometres north of Yangon on the east bank of the Irrawaddy River, the city has a population of just on one million and is a bustling hub and administrative centre for the region. Upon arrival, we will transfer to our hotel, check in and enjoy some free time.Later in the afternoon we tour the Mandalay Palace, the last royal city of the Burmese Kings and traverse the prominent Mandalay Hill to enjoy the spectacular vantage point at sunset.
In the eveningwe enjoy a buffet dinner and cultural show in the sprawling gardens of the hotel.
Overnight at Mandalay Hill Resort, Mandalay (B, D)
Day : 9 Mandalay – Amarapura – Mandalay
Enjoy a morning tour of the sights of Mandalay visiting the Mahamuni Pagoda, Shwenandaw Monastery and Kuthodaw Pagoda taking time along the way to visit markets and shops, including the interesting Gold Pounders market.
Returning to the hotel after lunch, the rest of your day is at leisure to enjoy the facilities and atmosphere of the hotel and surrounding city. Later you can join Scott for an optional dinner at a local restaurant.
Overnight at Mandalay Hill Resort, Mandalay (B, L)
Day : 10 Mandalay – PyinOoLwin
Our coach departs at 9.00am for the two-hour scenic journey by road to PyinOoLwin (formerly known as Maymyo), an atmospheric hill town located at the refreshing altitude of 1070 metres above sea level. On the way to PyinOoLwin, stop at the view point 21-Mile Station for the panoramic view and fresh air.
Upon arrival at PyinOoLwin, visit the local market and explore downtown filled with colonial era buildings. Climb aboardhistoric horse-drawn carriages, and continue with a visit to PweKauk Waterfall and the National Kandawgyi Gardens formerly known as the Botanical Gardens. Described as a dynamic, living monument in Myanmar the gardens cover 176.8 hectares of hard woods, bamboos, seasonal flowers, rare animal species and beautiful fountains and lakes.
After lunch at a local restaurant check into the hotel and enjoy some leisure time before enjoying dinner at the hotel.
Overnight at Kandawgyi Hill Resort, PyinOoLwin (B, D)
Day : 11 PyinOoLwin – Naung Pain – Mandalay
Our epic full-day adventure by rail and road up the mountain to Naung Pain Village begins after breakfast with a transfer to the railway station for the 8.00am departure of the Express.
We can enjoy the serene beauty of the northern Shan State along the way. One of the great features of this journey is crossing the world-famous Gokteikviaduct. The bridge was built in the British period and was the largest railway trestle in the world when it was opened on the 1st of the 1st 1900.
We return to Naung Pain Villlageat 11:00am for lunch. After lunch, transfer by car to PyinOoLwin via Goak Twin Valley. Arrive back at PyinOoLwin at 3.30pm and after a short break we continue onto Mandalay. The rest of the day is at leisure.
Overnight at Mandalay Hill Resort,Mandalay (B, D)
Day : 12 Mandalay – Bagan
After breakfast at the hotel, we board our private riverboat for a full day cruise down the iconic Ayeyarwady River to Bagan. Floating along in our teak vessel is a lovely way to view the life of the river and along the way we will have an opportunity to visit local villages in order to learn about Myanmar culture, tradition and lifestyles of the local people. Lunch will be provided on board and later in the day many of the thousands of Pagoda’s that litter the vally around Bagan come into view. After disembarking in Bagan’s busy and dusty port we transfer to our hotel for the next two nights. We relax over a lavish dinner on the hotels spacious deck overlooking the expansive gardens, pools and the river beyond.
Overnight at Thiripyitsaya Sanctuary Resort, Bagan(B,L, D)
Day : 13 Bagan – Mt Popa – Bagan
Today we embark on an adventure by freshly restored steam train to some of the interesting sights outside the city. Our train complete with newly restored passenger coaches takes us via a traditional Palm Sugar manufacturing village, lunch at a local restaurant and a visit to the sacred and impressive peak of Mt Popa. An extinct volcano 1,500 high, the mountain is the spiritual home of the colourful ‘Nat’ (pre-Buddhist) people and it rises above the surrounding plain like a Burmese version of My Olympus. The train steams leisurely back to Bagan in the late afternoon.
Day : 14 Bagan
This morning presents an ideal opportunity to take a hot air balloon ride over the wonders of the valley. From the 11th to 13thcenturies, when Bagan was the capital of Myanmar, the rulers constructed thousands of huge stupas and temples, many of which are still standing today on the banks of the Irrawaddy River.
Later in the morning we visit the colourful Nyaung Oo Market where every day the locals come to buy and sell fresh produce and other goods before visiting the golden stupa of Shwezigon Pagoda. The Dhammayangyi Temple is famous for its massive structure and SulamaniTemple has the best stuccos in Bagan. After lunch we will visit a traditional lacquerware workshop where we can observe the production of one of Myanmar’s best-known handicrafts. The rest of the afternoon is free for shopping or to enjoy the lovely surrounds of the resort.
At the end of the day we head out to the most impressive archaeological site – the Ananda. From here we can soak up an unforgettable sunset over the plains from the upper terrace of one of the temples.
Join Scott and your fellow travellers for a sumptuous farewell dinner in the hotels dining hall.
Overnight at Thiripyitsaya Sanctuary Resort, Bagan(B, L, D)