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Myanmar & the Irrawaddy (2016)

Luxury Small Group Journeys: The finest small-group travel experience

Limited to 18 guests
Days: 11  |  From: $6,995


Myanmar & the Irrawaddy

Day 1: Arrive Yangon, Myanmar

Arrive in Yangon, where you are met and transferred to your hotel.

Sule Shangri-La Hotel, Yangon

Day 2: Yangon | Queen of the East

Today, enjoy your first taste of Myanmar, a profoundly Buddhist country, where many ancient traditions still flourish. Its artisans are accomplished craftsmen and the atmosphere here is uncrowded and authentic. Begin with a tour of Shwedagon Pagoda, the most sacred Buddhist site in Myanmar. Tradition holds that it has stood for 2,600 years, making it the oldest historical pagoda in the world. Continue to the Reclining Buddha at Chauk Htat Gyi Pagoda, a 213-foot-long statue with an expressive enamel face. View the story of the Buddha’s life embossed on the soles of the statue’s staggered feet. Enjoy a traditional Burmese lunch at a local restaurant followed by a stroll through Scott Market (Bogyoke Market) amid shops filled with antiques, old coins, Burmese jade and handicrafts. Savor afternoon tea with a local writer and former colleague of Nobel Peace Laureate, Aung San Suu Kyi. This evening, gather with your fellow guests for a special welcome dinner hosted by Abercrombie & Kent.

Sule Shangri-La Hotel, Yangon   |   Meals: B L D

Day 3: Heho/Inle Lake | Tranquil and Traditional

Fly to Heho and drive to Nyaung Shwe to explore the 19th-century Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery. The structure is built entirely out of teak wood and is fully functional until this day. Also stop at a local Shan paper workshop. After lunch, board a boat and explore the ingenious floating gardens of Inle Lake, Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, a local shrine that houses five small gilded images of the Buddha, as well as Nga Phe Kyaung monastery. Then, transfer to your lakeside boutique hotel.

Inle Lake View Resort   |   Meals: B L D

Day 4: Inle Lake | Five-Day Market & Private Boat Race

After breakfast, enjoy a Market Visit to the Five-Day Market to see regional hill tribe people in traditional dress bartering for goods and produce. Stop at a blacksmith’s workshop and a weaving factory before trying your hand at making a cheroot (Burmese cigar) on authentic Artisan Visits. Stop for lunch at the Intha Heritage House, serving authentic Intha dishes from recipes handed down through generations. Afterward, witness a private Intha boat race with afternoon tea. Marvel at the coordinated effort required by the 20 participants per boat, each using the traditional single-leg rowing technique that some local fishermen still employ. Return to your hotel for dinner.

Inle Lake View Resort   |   Meals: B L D

Day 5: Mandalay | Ancient Capital

Fly to Mandalay and drive to Ava. An ancient imperial capital of Burma from the 14th to the 19th centuries, Ava was destroyed, and ultimately abandoned, after a series of earthquakes in 1839. Explore the ruins by horsecart, including Maha Aungmye Bonzan Monastery, Bagaya Monastery and the Watch Tower. Return to Mandalay to witness evening prayers at Shwe Kyin Monastery, followed by dinner at your hotel.

Rupar Mandalar Resort   |   Meals: B L D

Day 6: Mandalay | Boarding 'Sanctuary Ananda’

View the more than 700 marble slabs inscribed with Buddhist religious texts, referred to by some as the biggest book in the world, at Kuthodaw Pagoda. Stop at a gold leaf workshop and visit the Mahamuni Pagoda, a major Buddhist pilgrimage site. Then, board luxurious all-balcony ‘Sanctuary Ananda,’ your home for a four-night cruise upon the timeless Irrawaddy River. After lunch, disembark to visit Sagaing, renowned for its monasteries and pagodas. Proceed to Amarapura, with its silver workshops, where you embark on a local boat to the U Bein Bridge — the oldest and longest teakwood bridge in the world — for a spectacular Scenic Sundowner. Then, return to the ship for dinner.

Sanctuary 'Ananda'   |   Meals: B L D

Day 7: The Irrawaddy River | A Timeless Journey

Enjoy early morning meditation on deck before breakfast. After a visit to Sinjun village, return to the ship where you relax on deck or receive a spa treatment. Later, listen to a special talk on Myanmar’s history and vision for the future on board, followed by a longgi (traditional Burmese cloth worn by men and women) demonstration.

Sanctuary 'Ananda'   |   Meals: B L D

Day 8: Pakokku/Bagan | Temples & Pagodas

After breakfast at leisure, disembark to discover Pakokku Village. Visit its local market to see daily life and locals bargaining for goods. Next, learn the secrets of Burmese cuisine during a cooking class at a delightful Chef’s Table experience. Then, proceed by horse cart to Buupaya Temple to enjoy the sunset before returning to the ship for dinner and a traditional Burmese musical performance.

Sanctuary 'Ananda'   |   Meals: B L D

Day 9: Bagan | Ballooning Over Bagan

Rise early for a wondrous hot air balloon ride (seasonally and weather permitting) over Bagan as the dawning sun illuminates the gold- and sand-colored stupas. Next, visit Nyaung Oo Market and explore Ananda Temple. Built in 1090, it is the best preserved temple in Bagan. Your morning of sightseeing includes a visit to Phwa Saw Village where you have a chance to interact with the locals. After returning to ‘Ananda’ for lunch, your afternoon begins with a visit to Thatbyinnyu Temple, also known as the “Temple of Omniscience” because of its impressive stature overlooking the city. End your sightseeing at Shwezigon Pagoda, Bagan’s greatest reliquary, built to house the Buddha’s collarbone, frontal bone and tooth gathered from various countries. Tonight, enjoy a special candlelit dinner on Bagan’s sandbank.

Sanctuary 'Ananda'   |   Meals: B L D

Day 10: Yangon | Musmeah Yeshua and a Farewell Lunch

Disembark and fly to Yangon. Discover Musmeah Yeshua, the last remaining Jewish synagogue in Myanmar, built during Burma’s colonial era in the heart of the city center. Toast your journey at a farewell lunch. Your afternoon is at leisure, perhaps for some last-minute shopping. Tonight, transfer to the airport to depart or stay the night for no added cost.

Sule Shangri-La Hotel, Yangon   |   Meals: B L

Day 11: Depart Yangon

After breakfast, transfer to the airport and depart.

Meals: B

Suite Upgrade Package | Upgrade to suites at all hotels throughout your journey from $415.

Extend Your Journey | Enhance your journey with a pre-tour extension to Luang Prabang (4 days, from $1,495) and a post-tour extension to Angkor Wat (5 days, from $1,995).

Customize This Journey | If you would like to customize this itinerary and create a Tailor Made Journey just for you and your companions, click here to inquire, or speak to your travel professional.

Related Brochures

Luxury Small Group Journeys 2016 Brochure

Luxury Small Group Journeys 2016

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