Myanmar Explorer: Burma & the Irrawaddy River - 2017

Yangon • Prome • 9-night Irrawaddy River Cruise • Bagan • Mingun • Mandalay

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Yangon to Mandalay

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DAY 1-2:

Overnight flight / Bangkok / Yangon

Today we fly to Yangon, Burma's bustling cultural and economic capital, where we enjoy three nights in a lush garden hotel overlooking Royal Lake in the heart of the city, the perfect base for exploring. We begin our exploration of this historic capital with a panoramic afternoon excursion that takes in the Sule Pagoda, City Hall, and the High Court.

Included Meals:

Breakfast & Dinner

DAY 3:

Yangon

After breakfast, we head out to see more of colonial-flavored Yangon. We next stop at the city's dazzling centerpiece – the Shwedagon Pagoda, a soaring golden Buddhist stupa that soars above all, attesting to the close connection between the spiritual and the everyday. We stop at the waterfront area; the colonial-style Scott Market brimming with antiques, jewelry and handicrafts; and the National Museum of art, history and culture. After lunch at a local restaurant, the afternoon is free. Enjoy the evening at leisure with dinner on your own.

Included Meals:

Breakfast  & Lunch

DAY 4:

Yangon

We have today to delve more deeply, walking past markets and along streets buzzing with bicycles and rickshaws. Some of Asia’s finest British-colonial architecture is here. If you like, you may join an optional excursion to the ancient capital city of Bago, stopping at the Taukkyan War Cemetery and pausing to admire revered Buddha figures, a small village and the Khat Wain Monastery.

Included Meals:

Breakfast
Optional Tour: Bago Day Trip

Bago Day Trip

  • Approximate Cost: $79 USD per person
  • Approximate Time: 9 hours
  • Location: Bago, Myanmar
  • When: Full day tour, lunch included

Join us for a day discovering the wonders of Bago, the 15th-century capital of the Mon Kingdom. You’ll learn the history and myths of the city while visiting the reclining Shwethalyaung Buddha, the four seated Buddhas at Kyaikpun, and the old palace of Kambozathadi. You’ll also see the stunning Mon-style Shwemawdaw Pagoda, the most outstanding religious monument in Bago. This golden temple stands at 375 feet tall, higher than Yangon’s Shwedagon Pagoda, and can be seen from around 6 miles outside of the city. You’ll stop at Kha Khat Wain Monastery during lunchtime to view locals offering food to the Monks and learn about their daily life in the monastery. A venture to a local weaving village is also included in your tour. On the way back to Yangon, you’ll visit the Allied War Cemetery — the peaceful, beautifully landscaped final resting place of more than 27,000 allied soldiers who perished during World War II.


DAY 5:

Prome, Myanmar / Embark RV Irrawaddy Explorer

This morning, transfer to Prome, an important trading post that clings to its history as part of the prosperous Irrawaddy Flotilla Company in the 1890s. We visit the 5th- to 9th-century archaeological site of Thiri-ya-kittiya, the former center of the Pyu civilization. Later, we head to the river where the luxurious RV Irrawaddy Explorer waits. We embark in time for dinner on board.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 6:

Thayetmyo

This morning, we explore the colonial town of Thayetmyo, which once guarded the border between Royal Myanmar and British Myanmar. While here, we can browse its colorful market and see the stately colonial houses built during the British occupation. For another taste of Old Britannia, we visit the country's oldest golf course and learn about its fascinating history. 

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 7:

Magwe

From our port of Magwe, we head up to hilltop pagoda of Myat Lun Paya, built in 1929. Here, the luster of gold that is central to so many Buddhist monuments takes center stage as this incredible temple was built from solid gold bricks. Our view of the surrounding countryside from here is also priceless. Back on board, we enjoy a lecture: "Burma-from Early Innovators to Closed Society."

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 8:

Salay / Tan Kyi Taung Mountain

We cruise to Salay today to visit teak monasteries and see the spectacular wood carvings of Yout-saun-kyaung. We’ll also witness the British influence here as we explore an area of charming colonial-style houses. Afterward, we ascend Tan Kyi Taung Mountain just in time to watch another glorious sunset over the temples of Bagan.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 9:

Bagan

Spend the day exploring Bagan, currently vying for UNESCO World Heritage Site status, where the spires of more than 3,000 Buddhist temples pierce the sky over an awe-inspiring plain along the Irrawaddy. This could well be the most incredible vista we’ll see during our adventure. Built between 700 and 900 years ago, the Bagan temples attest to the wealth of the once-mighty Bagan Dynasty. A guided tour introduces us to this fascinating area. If you’d like, you can rent a bicycle from a local shop to venture off and explore this spellbinding site on your own. Cultural Discovery: Later today, ride in an oxcart to the top of a temple for a magical sunset view of the monument-dotted plains. In the evening, enjoy an traditional Burmese Puppet Show on board.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 10:

Bagan / Shwe Pyi Thar Village

Cultural Discoveries: You’ll dock in Bagan today, where we head out to visit the local markets selling wood carvings, fabrics, longyis and rattan products, stopping at a workshop to also learn about ancient Burmese lacquerware techniques. After lunch, we transfer to the ancient village of Shwe Pyi Thar for a walking tour, getting an intimate glimpse of daily living along the river. You'll also enjoy an onboard cooking demonstration.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 11:

Yandabo

Cultural Discoveries: All day today, we delve deeply into the culture and daily lives of the people along the Irrawaddy, beginning with a visit to the lively village of Yandabo. Though it is known as the site of the 1826 Treaty of Yandabo that began a long British occupation, this picturesque village today is famous for its pottery. We stroll around and watch some artisans at work. Then, visit a local school (if in session) and meet the children as they go about their daily lessons. After rejoining our ship, we attend an informative lecture, "Myanmar Today."

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 12:

Monywa

Explore the ancient capitals of Ava, including visiting the 200-year-old teak Bagaya Kyaung monastery, the 19th-century brick Me Nu Ok Kyaung monastery, and the Nanmyin watchtower.  You'll also visit Soon U Ponya Shin Pogoda at the top of Sagaing Hill for stunning view of Irrawaddy and discover what life is like at a local nunnery.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 13:

Mingun / Ava / Amarapura

We begin today in Mingun, where we walk through the village to witness daily life. We’ll stop at the large, unfinished pagoda and see the world's largest working bell.
After lunch, cruise to Amarapura, the last Burmese royal capital. Cultural Discoveries: Here, we embark a small sampan on the lake, just in time to catch the sunset as it washes over the famous U-Bein bridge, made of ancient teak from palace ruins.  Later, we arrive in Mandalay, legendary former royal capital of Burma. We visit Mahamuni Pagoda, a major pilgrimage site where it is believed that only one of five likenesses of Buddha presides. We also visit the temple-strewn Mandalay Hill, upon which the city was founded.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 14:

Mandalay / Return home

Today, you'll explore Mandalay, including a visit to Mahamuni Pagoda and Mandalay Hill. Cultural Connection: You'll also get a glimpse of the remarkable art and craft work in this country, as you visit some local workshops, including tapestry-making,  wood- and marble-carving, and bronze-casting workshops. Later, transfer to the airport for your flight home.

Included Meals:

Breakfast

Important Notice: The above day-by-day itineraries are preliminary and therefore subject to change. If changes occur while on tour, you will be notified by your Vantage Adventure Leader or regional expert.

Contact Vantage

CALL 1-800-848-5773

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