Myanmar is rightly called the land of light, gold, and flowers. Nowhere is the light more beautiful than in Bagan, at sunrise and even more, when the setting sun basks the pagodas and temples in a glow of warm red. Like Kipling, One never forgets their first glimpse of the golden glow of the massive stupa of Shwedagon Pagoda, gleaming over Yangon. There are also the flowers, dense emerald-colored jungle, and lush forests that lie on the banks of the Irrawaddy. And how could this magical world better experience than a river cruise on the luxurious Road to Mandalay, floating at a leisurely pace past the wonders of this picturesque land.
River cruises in Myanmar are certainly a sublime experience, but quintessential Myanmar lies far removed from the decks offering admiring views. As in much of the region, personal encounters and village life as it has existed for hundreds of years, as well as the country’s deep spiritualism much be experienced on land. Let us organize our unique take on activities and sightseeing we’re known for, such as private artist encounters, photography escorts, discussions with monks in the spiritual capital, Mandalay, and our always diligent focus on cuisine.
Day 1 | Fly to Bangkok
International flight options include Thai Airways or Cathay Pacific from North America to Bangkok (flight time approximately 15.5 hours), from the U.K. (about 11.5 hours from London), or from Australia (about 9.5 hours flight time). Alternatively, flights are offered in the evenings on Lufthansa from Frankfurt, Vienna with Austrian or Swiss from Zurich to Bangkok (flight time each approximately 10.5 hours). Contact us to begin your airline trip arrangements. p
Day 2 | Bangkok to Yangon
Layover for a day in Siamese City of Angels or connect with regional flight to Yangon (flight time approx one hour). Arrival in the morning or in the evening and transfer by private car to the teak oasis of the Governors Residence.
Day 3 | Yangon
Rise before dawn to visit the magnificent Shwedagon Pagoda as monks arrive, watching the morning sun bathe the stupa into a golden shimmer. After, return for breakfast at the Governors and embark to explore the former capital city rich in dilapidated colonial ruins, and where gleaming towers are now rising next to ghettos. In the evening, dining in the pleasant courtyard of Le Planteur.
Day 4 | Yangon to Bagan
Morning flight to Bagan spying the massive plain of red temples as we land. After arrival, transfer to your cabin on the Road To Mandalay. After refreshments, exploring Bagan, visiting Shwedagon Pagoda, the Gubyaukgyi, Ananda Temple and the 16-story viewing platform to savor the 360 degree views. Above the plain, the sunset is unforgettable.
Day 5 | Bagan & Irrawaddy
Marvel Bagan from a very different perspective: the hot air balloon (optional, reservation recommended). Later, the Road To Mandalay begins its cruise on the Irrawaddy. Slowly pulls the shore over to you as you listen to interesting lectures about the habits and customs of the country.
Day 6 | Irrawaddy to Mandalay
Upstream is your ride. Farmers irrigate their fields on the shore, waving villagers the passing ship. In the afternoon you have reached Mandalay and visit the gold teak monastery Shwenandaw. You will also see the Kuthodaw Pagoda and the Mahamuni Temple with the famous Buddha made of solid gold. A walk on the longest teak bridge in the world decides the day.
Day 7 | Mandalay
A boat trip will take you to Mingun, where once failed the construction of the largest pagoda in the Buddhist world. The cast of the world’s biggest-sounding bell, however successful, and the Settawya Pagoda houses a Buddha footprint. In the afternoon excursion to the hills countless pagodas of the Buddhist meditation center Sagaing, where white stupas like precious porcelain bells shimmer across the dark hills. In the evening farewell dinner on board the Road To Mandalay.
Day 8 | Mandalay to Inle Lake
In the morning, flying to Heho (flight time approx 30 minutes), driving into the scenic Inle Lake basin to lakefront resort (Aureum Inle).
Day 9 | Inle Lake
In the heart of the southern Shan mountains extends the picturesque Inle Lake. Here the Intha, the “sons of the lake”, live in villages built on stilts, including homes and pagodas, and farm “floating isands” primarily of tomatoes. Here are the famous fishermen who row with only one leg and a small presence of the “long-necks” or A boat trip will take you also to Indein Pagoda, which is surrounded by over 1,000 stupas.
Day 10 | Inle Lake to Yangon
Enjoy again the view of the picturesque Inle Lake before flying back to Yangon from Heho (flight time approx 1 hour).
Day 11 | Yangon to Bangkok
Make use of the free time for last minute shopping. Transfer to the airport and regional flights to Bangkok (flight time approx one hour). shortly before midnight starts from there your long-haul flight with Thai Airways to Europe or across the Pacific to Nort America (flight time approx 12 hours).
Day 12 | Arrive Home
Arrival in the morning.Landcost from US$12,300 (£8,145) including regional airlines
International Airline from $4,800 Business Class (£3,180)
Private Aircraft Bangkok to Yangon from $2,300 (£1,520) one-way, per person
Balloons over Bagan from $285 (£188)
Cycling Inle Lake from $140 (£99)
Every Wednesday from Mandalay to Bagan for 3 nights
Every Saturady from Bagan to Mandalay for 4 nights
Ngapali Beach from $1,200 (£790)
Bangkok Stopover from $1,300 (£860)
Thailand’s Golden Triangle from $2,300 (£2,280)
Angkor : Treasures of the Khmer Empire from $3,450 (£1,520)
Luang Prabang : The Jewel of Northern Laos from $3,280 (£2,170)
Ready to plan your trip to Myanmar? Fill out a short contact form by clicking below or calling us in San Francisco at (415) 680-3788 .