Myanmar & the Ayeyarwady (2014)
Luxury Small Group Journeys: The finest small-group travel experience
This itinerary is available as an independent journey led by local guides.
- Day 1: Arrive Yangon, Myanmar
Arrive in Yangon, where you are met by your A&K representative and transferred to your hotel.The Strand
- Day 2: Yangon | Queen of the East
Embark on a full day tour of Yangon, for your first taste of Myanmar, a profoundly Buddhist country that has kept many of its ancient traditions. Visit Botataung Pagoda and the Reclining Buddha, one of the largest icons in Myanmar at 230 feet long. After lunch, explore the colorful Chinatown and shop for Burmese handicrafts at Scott Market. In the evening, gather with fellow guests for cocktails and a multi-course welcome dinner at the elegant restaurant Le Planteur.The Strand | Meals: B L D
- Day 3: Heho to Inle Lake | Tranquil and Traditional
This morning, board your flight to Heho. On arrival, you continue to Inle Lake, the second-largest in Myanmar and one of its highest. Travel by private boat to your resort.Aureum Resort & Spa Inle | Meals: B L D
- Day 4: Inle Lake | The Five-Day Market
After breakfast, head out onto the lake — as the locals do — where life remains unchanged and residents still make their living from the land and water. Visit the five-day market, a mobile market where regional hill tribespeople dressed in traditional outfits barter for goods and produce. Later, watch the masterful skills of local artisans at the Mya Set Kyar Ikat silk weaving workshop. Visit a blacksmith before trying your hand at making a cheroot (Burmese cigar) alongside a cigar maker. After lunch, admire the ingenious floating gardens that are typical of Inle Lake en route to Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda and Nga Phe Kyaung Monastery.Aureum Resort & Spa Inle | Meals: B L D
- Day 5: Mandalay | Shwe Kyin Kyaung Monastery
After breakfast, fly to Mandalay, the former royal Burmese capital and still the spiritual artery of a devoutly religious nation. Upon arrival, journey to the ancient capital city of Inwa on the Ayeyarwady River, visiting the beautiful brick Maha Aung Myay Bon Zan Monastery and the ancient 90-foot Watch Tower (Nan Myint), known as the Leaning Tower of Inwa. Tonight, attend evening prayers at Shwe Kyin Kyaung Monastery.Sedona Hotel, Mandalay | Meals: B L D
- Day 6: Mandalay | Artisan Workshops
After breakfast, discover Mandalay’s treasures when you visit Shwenandaw Monastery and Kuthodaw Pagoda. After a riverside lunch, explore the Jade and Flower market. Conclude your day with a visit to a marble and bronze casting workshop.Sedona Hotel, Mandalay | Meals: B L D
- Days 7-9: Cruising the Ayeyarwady | ‘Road To Mandalay’
Visit Sagaing, the living center of the Buddhist faith in Myanmar and home to the majority of the country’s monks and nuns. Board the luxury vessel ‘Road To Mandalay’ in time for lunch. In the afternoon, visit the wooden U Bein Bridge that crosses Taungthaman Lake and capture photos of this iconic image at sunset. On your second day aboard ‘Road To Mandalay,’ rise early to witness alms giving. Afterward, set sail downstream, admiring the beauty of life along the river. You may also enjoy a talk with a local; your own dynamic onboard Chef Ban. On day three, see the sunrise as ‘Road To Mandalay’ approaches Bagan, the 11th-century capital of the country and one of Asia’s most extraordinary destinations. More than 4,000 temples, pagodas and stupas (Buddhist memorials) cover Bagan, a treasure trove of Buddhist art history. Discover one of the city’s less-visited monasteries where you have the unique opportunity to sponsor a meal for the resident monks; you also join the abbot and novices for lunch. Later visit the Manuha and Nanpaya temples.'Road to Mandalay' | Meals: B L D
- Day 10: Bagan | Horse Carts & Nyaung U Market
Take an early morning hot air balloon ride over Bagan as the rising sun illuminates the gold- and sand-colored stupas. After breakfast, disembark ‘Road To Mandalay’ and enjoy the thrill of a local horse and carriage ride to the 11th-century Ananda Temple, the city’s best-preserved temple. Explore Nyaung U market, visit a traditional brick factory and catch the sunset at Shwezigon Pagoda. Gather tonight for a farewell dinner on Bagan’s sandbank.Aureum Palace Hotel | Meals: B L D
- Day 11: Yangon | Awe-inspiring Shwedagon Pagoda
Fly to Yangon, where contemporary and colonial Myanmar still coexist decades after British departure. Travel off the beaten path on a tour of Musmeah Yeshua, the last remaining Jewish synagogue in Myanmar. After lunch, visit the iconic Shwedagon Pagoda — a fantasy of golden stupas, serene Buddhas and mythical beasts — which you get to experience in the magical moments just before sunset. Observe the devout praying before images of the buddha, the evocative fragrance of incense enveloping you. Later, transfer to the airport to depart or begin the Golden Rock Post-Tour Extension.The Strand (Dayroom) | Meals: B L
- Angkor Wat Pre-Tour Extension
4 days; priced from $1,200; internal air priced from $1550.
Available on the Jan 28, Feb 6, Mar 13, Sep 25, Oct 2, Oct 28, Nov 11 and Dec 4 departures.
DAY 1: Fly to Bangkok and transfer to your hotel. Novotel Hotel
DAY 2: Fly to Siem Reap and enjoy VIP assistance before transferring to your hotel. Park Hyatt, Siem Reap | Meals: B
DAY 3: Enjoy the morning sunrise with a tuk-tuk ride and then explore Ta Prohm, entangled in the surrounding jungle foliage. Then, visit Angkor Thom and Bayon Temples. Discover Banteay Srei, famous for its pink sandstone with intricate carvings. Park Hyatt, Siem Reap | Meals: B L
DAY 4: After a blessing ceremony, enjoy a cruise on Tonle Sap Lake, the biggest freshwater river in Asia and a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Transfer to the airport to fly to Yangon through Bangkok to begin your main program. Meals: B
- Golden Rock Post-Tour Extension
2 days; priced from $835.
Available on the Jan 16, Jan 28, Feb 6, Sep 25, Oct 2 and Nov 11 departures.
DAY 1: Arrive in Yangon, where you begin your journey to Mon State’s remote Golden Rock atop Mount Kyaikhtiyo. A revered Buddhist pilgrimage site, the legendary gold-encased boulder is precariously situated 3,615 feet above sea level. Arrive in time to see a glorious sunset. You also visit the Allied War Memorial Cemetery at Htauk Kyant and lunch at a local restaurant earlier in the day. Mountain Top Hotel | Meals: L
DAY 2: Greet the pagoda at sunrise and then descend the mountain. Return to Yangon, visiting the ancient capital city of Bago, its temples and iconic Buddhas en route. Later, board your international flight home. Meals: B L