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Myanmar Famous Sites Photography and Hidden Secrets 19days

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Myanmar Famous Sites Photography and Hidden Secrets

A 3 week Burma tour of both the famous, and the off the beaten track, destinations of this fascinating, beautiful and still very traditional country. From the crumbling Victoriana and glittering pagodas of Rangoon to the dramatic Golden Rock and spectacular sites and dramatic scenery of little visited Mon and Karen States in the South; we’ll travel via historic Mandalay and the awe-inspiring temples of Bagan to the hill-tribes and mountains of Shan State and Lake Inle. Hill-tribe villages, floating gardens, bustling markets, remote temples, ruined cities; travel up the Salween and down the Irrawaddy, by local train, public boat and even horse and cart and of course on the way discover the unique Burmese cuisine and meet plenty of the very friendly locals.

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  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
      Photography
    • Activity Level Challenging
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    • Group Size Small Group
      16
    All about the Myanmar Famous Sites Photography and Hidden Secrets 19days.

    Myanmar Famous Sites Photography and Hidden Secrets 19days

    Burma tour, (Myanmar) – Famous Sites and Hidden Secrets (19 days)
    A 3 week Burma tour of both the famous, and the off the beaten track, destinations of this fascinating, beautiful and still very traditional country. From the crumbling Victoriana and glittering pagodas of Rangoon to the dramatic Golden Rock and spectacular sites and dramatic scenery of little visited Mon and Karen States in the South; we’ll travel via historic Mandalay and the awe-inspiring temples of Bagan to the hill-tribes and mountains of Shan State and Lake Inle. Hill-tribe villages, floating gardens, bustling markets, remote temples, ruined cities; travel up the Salween and down the Irrawaddy, by local train, public boat and even horse and cart and of course on the way discover the unique Burmese cuisine and meet plenty of the very friendly locals.

    Tour length: 19D/18N Yangon (Rangoon) to Yangon
    Group Size: 4 to 12 persons
    Availability period: all year round
    Accommodation: hotel, guesthouse
    Single Supplement: Not applicable if you are happy to share with a fellow traveller of the same sex. To ensure a room to yourself, the supplement.
    Transport: train, boat, minibus, domestic flight
    Meals: full board except except lunch on days 2, 13, 19 & 20 & dinner on days 3, 6, 13, 15 & 19
    Fitness: easy to moderate – c 1 hour uphill hiking at the Golden Rock on day 3 and 3 to 4 hours hiking on day 15 though all activities can be tailored to suit any fitness levels
    Visa requirements: A Myanmar visa is required to be obtained in advance from your nearest embassy. A visa is valid for 3 months from the date of issue so do not apply for your visa until three months before your return date.

    Highlights
    Rangoon: noisy, bustling, dirty, terrible roads, little street lighting – wonderful!!! A Southeast Asian city as they used to be.
    Take a the local train from Rangoon to the ancient Mon city of Pegu
    The Golden Rock – join the pilgrims on an ascent of the mountain
    Explore the old port of Moulmein – to our mind one of the friendliest, scenic and most charming of Burmese towns
    Spectacular Kyaikkami Monastery, defying the waves of the Bay of Bengal
    A boat trip up the Salween River from Moulmein to Hpa-An
    Scenic Hpa-An Town – capital of Karen State – nestled between the river and dramatic limestone rock formations
    The spectacular karst scenery, caves, temples and of course cave-temples of the sacred Mount Zwegabin
    A dusk visit to the breathtaking, (and it really is), Shwedagon Pagoda. Incredible sights and sounds at Burma’s most iconic temple.
    Mandalay – the name says it all really doesn’t it!?
    Dusk trip to the iconic and picturesque U Bein Bridge, the world’s longest wooden bridge and not for nothing the cover image of many Burma guides you’ll come across.
    Take a day cruise down the Irrawaddy by boat from Mandalay to Bagan. Sunrise departure from Mandalay and bucolic riverside views all the way.
    Tour the ruins of world famous Bagan where hundreds of ancient temples spread across a plain make this one of Southeast Asia’s most spectacular destinations. Sunset and sunrise visits and plenty of time to explore at your own pace.
    2 day stay in the small, picturesque town of Kalaw on the Shan Plateau. Explore the local market and hike through the nearby hills to minority villages
    Pindaya cave temple – we’ve visited a lot of cave temples in Southeast Asia but this one is simply incredible!
    2 day boating around the stunning Lake Inle; local markets, lakeside villages, floating gardens, temples. Make sure your camera battery’s well charged!
    Local food. An ultimately unique cuisine though influenced by their neighbours. If you like Thai and Indian food you’ll love Burmese!
    Add on our optional 3 day beach extension to serene Ngapali on Burma’s Andaman Sea coast

    The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance
    What is included in this tour?Items that are included in the cost of tour price.
    • Transfers and tours with local English or French speaking guides. (Guides in other languages are on request and may be subject to supplements).
    • Entrance fees, boat fees,
    • Meals as specified in the program (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner),
    • Accommodation in twin shared rooms with private bathroom,
    • Service charges, room tax and baggage handling
    Whats not included in this tour.Items that are not included in the cost of tour price.
    • International airfare;
    • Airport taxes,
    • Visa,
    • Meals not indicated,
    • Personal expenses
    • Peak season surcharge and Christmas and New Year’s Eve Dinners.
    1. Detail Itinerary Myanmar Famous Sites Photography and Hidden Secrets

      Day 1 Arrival in Yangon (Rangoon), and check-in to a comfortable, downtown hotel close to the famous Scott Market. In the afternoon we’ll take a stroll through the picturesque Kandawgyi Lake Gardens before a sunset visit to the incredible Shwedagon Temple – Burma’s most sacred and certainly one of it’s most awe inspiring sites.

      Day 2 Morning departure by local train for the ancient Mon capital of Pegu, now Bago. From here we’ll continue to Kyaiktiyo and the foot of the mountains, the departure point for our Golden Rock visit. Yes, the gold leaf covered boulder balanced precariously on a mountain top is spectacular for 5 minutes or so, but it’s the whole experience that’s so wonderful. Ride half way up the mountain on an open topped truck crammed with locals, climb with the pilgrims the rest of the way. Truly awesome views and overnight in a ridge-top hotel almost as absurdly situated as the rock itself. You’ll probably curse, scream, sweat, laugh, meet plenty of people and you certainly won’t forget it!

      Day 3 Down the mountain and off south to Moulmein, now Mawlamlyine, contemporary capital of Mon State. Formerly home for several years to George Orwell and immortalized by Kipling, and we reckon one of the country’s friendliest and most scenic towns. We’ll visit the lively fruit and vegetable market before heading up for sunset at one of the hill-top pagodas overlooking the town and estuary.

      Day 4 We’ll begin with a visit to the town’s lively morning market before heading south to visit some of the region’s attractions: Kyauktalon Taung Pagoda perched Mount Popa style atop a sheer limestone outcrop; the incredible sight of the world’s largest reclining Buddha – Win Sein Taw Ya; a stop at Thanbyuzaya which was the terminus of the infamous WW2 ‘Death Railway’ from Kanchanaburi, where you can still see the old Japanese train plus the cemetery for the Allied POWs who lost their lives building the railway, and last but not least, the iconic Kyaikkami Monastery situated on a rock outcrop jutting into the sea. The temple’s located in the old colonial period town of Amherst where we can stroll along the beach before our return drive to Moulmein.

      Day 5 Off by local boat for a day trip to nearby Bilu Kyun (Ogre Island!), where we’ll visit the very traditional Mon villages and discover some of the local handicrafts. They don’t see many tourists yet, but the villagers will be happy to show you how they make cane walking sticks, typical Burmese style bamboo hats, slate blackboards and even back-garden rubber band making! (Sounds odd but it is absolutely fascinating). Afternoon return to Moulmein for perhaps some sundowners at a waterfront café?

      Day 6 Early morning departure, again by boat, for a journey up the scenic Salween River to Hpa-An Town – capital of Karen State. We’ll stop at a riverside fishing village on the way, with time in the afternoon to explore the bustling and friendly town itself before a sunset visit to a riverside pagoda.

      Day 7 Hpa-An is surrounded by dramatic limestone karst scenery, including the sacred Zwegabin Mountain – symbol of Karen State – and we’ll spend the day exploring the area’s caves, tunnels, temples and mountains by road, boat and on foot, as well as visiting some of the area’s traditional Karen villages.

      Day 8 Return drive through rubber plantations and past more limestone crags to Rangoon with a stop on the way to visit the prestigious Zhotoke Pagoda, and the ancient carvings of the ruins of the early Mon city of Savarnaphum. Late lunch and afternoon at leisure in Rangoon.

      Day 9 Morning flight to Mandalay and time to relax or explore the area before an afternoon trip to the nearby ancient city and former 14th to 19th century capital of Ava (Inwa). Discover the ruined city, temples and villages by horse and cart before a sunset visit to the iconic U Bein Bridge – reputed to be the longest wooden bridge in the world.

      Day 10 Day tour and scenic drive to the old British hill-station of Pyin U Lwin located on the edge of the Shan Plateau. The small town’s 1,200m altitude meant it was a popular and cool retreat for the former British colonists and many historic buildings remain as well as its famous botanical gardens. We’ll time our return journey for sunset (and sundowners), on the Mandalay riverside with spectacular views over the Irrawaddy River.

      Day 11 Early morning departure by boat down the Irrawaddy to Bagan; bucolic river scenes, country views and a great way to arrive in the historic ancient city. Late afternoon orientation visit and sunset at the site of the ruined 11th to 13th century capital – still containing over 2,000 chedis, stupas, pagodas scattered across a riverside plain and certainly one of the most incredible sites of Southeast Asia!*

      Day 12 Morning guided tour with the afternoon free to visit Bagan at your leisure. Armed with a map, hat and torch (to discover temples’ hidden stairways), roam the country lanes by bicycle, hire a pony and trap, visit the best known temples or find some hidden chedis of your own. Your guide will be on-hand to advise and recommend but we’d like to let you spend some time at this phenomenal site at your own leisure and pace.

      Day 13 Departure by road, heading eastwards to the distant Shan Plateau. Our first stop will be Mount Popa; – one of the country’s most sacred sites located on the cone of an extinct volcano which rises dramatically and near vertically from the plains below. Local style lunch in the town of Meiktila before a scenic climb up the Plateau itself to our destination, the charming little town and old hill-station of Kalaw.

      Day 14 Morning hike through the surrounding hills to visit one of the local Palaung hill-tribe villages; a scenic walk, mountain views, visit to the village and chance to meet some of it’s friendly inhabitants. Afternoon return to Kalaw and some time to wander around the small town, and perhaps explore the market or sit in a local tea shop and watch the world go by?

      Day 15 Day trip through the picturesque countryside of the Shan Plateau taking in, firstly, one of the local farmers’ markets before heading to the town of Pindaya to visit the spectacular Shwe Umin cave temples. Lunch by the lake and a chance to check out the traditional umbrella making which Pindaya is famous for. In the afternoon we’ll continue our scenic route to Nyuangshwe – gateway town to the famous Inle Lake.

      Day 16 Day boat trip around the picturesque lake including visits to a lakeside village market, a traditional hand rolling cheroot factory, a fascinating lotus weaving project and the unusual floating gardens.

      Day 17 Morning departure across the lake and up river to the small lakeside village of Indein from where we’ll hike through the picturesque landscape to visit the site of a ruined Shan city – known as the Shan Bagan – where myriad ruined stupas dot the lush vegetation. Return to Nyaungshwe for lunch and an afternoon at leisure.

      Day 18 Free morning at Lake Inle to do your own thing: cycle to the extraordinary Red Mountain Winery, check out the local market, visit a local village by canoe or just relax in a tea shop before an afternoon return flight to Yangon?

      Day 19 Free time to perhaps do some last–minute shopping or souvenir hunting at the famous Scott Market and a late afternoon departure

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