Luxury Myanmar River Journey (The Strand)
- Private transportation
- Private English speaking guide throughout
- 8 full days fully escorted private tour, including land and cruise
- 9 buffet breakfasts, 4 lunches, 3 dinners (soft drink, beer, local wine during meal only onboard)
- Domestic air ticket Yangon – Mandalay, Bagan – Heho, Heho – Yangon
- 2 Nights Yangon – The Strand
- 3 Nights Irrawaddy River Cruise Mandalay – Bagan – The Strand Cruise/Deluxe Cabin
- 2 Night Bagan – Aureum Palace Hotel
- 2 Nights Inle Lake – Aureum Inle Resort
- Travel insurance
- Tips and gratuities
- Personal expenses
- Hotel room services & extra amenities
next 4 days
Day 1 Arrival in Yangon
Upon arrival, warm welcome from our guide and transfer to your hotel and the rest of your day is at leisure.
Day 2 Yangon (B,D)
Today, we will visit the Chaukhtat Gyi Pagoda, an impressive 216ft-long reclining Buddha image, Karaweik Royal Barge (A royal floating Barge on a lake for the fantastic photo view). Then continue to Sule Pagoda, located in the heart of Yangon and dates back to over 2,500 years ago. Take a walk to Yangon Colonial city center. We stop at the Bogyoke Market (Scotts market) with hundreds of food , clothes , handicrafts and gems store. Afternoon, we continue visit one of the world's most spectacular monuments, the Shwedagon Pagoda, its golden stupa is the 'heart' of Myanmar. The pagoda is believed 2,500 years old and the central stupa in surrounded by dozens of intricately decorated buildings and statues. There are always many Myanmar people praying and making offering at Pagoda. Enjoy sunset at Pagoda before we have special dinner at famous restaurant in town.
Day 3 Yangon – Mandalay – Ayeyarwady River Cruise (B,L,D)
Early morning, transfer to Yangon airport for a flight to Mandalay. Arrive in Mandalay transfer to jetty to embark The Strand Cruise. Our day in Mandalay begins with a welcome breakfast in a private area overlooking the illustrious U-Bein Bridge, a crossing that spans the Taungthaman Lake near Amarapura. It is also believed to be the oldest and longest teakwood bridge in the world. After breakfast, we have private tour of the U-Bein Bridge and forward to discover the Mahamuni Pagoda and the Shwe In Bin monastery, a beautifully carved teak monastery known as the perfect spot for meditation in the heart of Mandalay. Back to ship, the crew will be waiting to greet you on board, and welcome you with a generous buffet lunch of international and Asian cuisine. After lunch, cruise stop in Mingun, one of the country’s former capitals, at the foot of the unfinished pagoda, one of the largest pagodas ever constructed in the history of Myanmar. We will visit the pagoda by a popular local transportation, the Tuk Tuk. The pagoda is home to the magnificent Mingun Bell, claimed to be the largest uncracked hanging bell in the world. We will also visit Paya Hsinbyume, an impressive pagoda that rises in seven curved whitewashed terraces representing the seven mountain ranges around Mt Meru, the mountain at the center of the Buddhist universe.As the sun sets, admire the magnificent sights over the Ayeyarwady river from the ship’s sundeck, sipping one of the Strand Hotel’s signature cocktails, before joining your fellow travellers at the long tables of our fine dining restaurant for a dinner of sharing tapas, followed by a menu of gourmet cuisine and fine wines. Additional optional activities today include a guided visit by private car transportation.
Day 4 Sagaing – Ava (B,L,D)
Today we begin with a visit to Sagaing, the most important religious center in Myanmar, famous for its many hundreds of white, silver and gold pagodas and monasteries. A traditional local truck will transport passengers from the ship to the top terraced of the Soon U Ponya Shin pagoda to enjoy a stunning vista of Mandalay surrounded by its ancient royal capitals linked by the golden thread of the Ayeyarwady River. Once back on board, relax as the ship cruises from Sagaing to Ava, the ancient imperial capital of successive Burmese kingdoms from the 14th to 19th centuries. Horse carts await to transport guests for a delightful ride through the naturally preserved Ava landscape and key landmarks - a once upon a time prominent city and today, all that is left are the ruins and remains of an abandoned kingdom forever imprinted in history. Once back on board, a buffet lunch of international and Asian cuisine is served either in the indoor restaurant or Al Fresco at the more informal sundeck lounge while enjoying the beautiful landscape passing by as the ship cruises to the ancient city of Bagan. Throughout the afternoon, relax, meditate, or just lie by the pool, enjoy activities and workshops arranged by the crew as well as a number of performances by talented local artists and entertainers before enjoying a traditional Strand afternoon tea. As night falls, our ship will moor on a remote and wild section of the river. Surrounded only by the soft whispering of nature, our Captain invites you to a cocktail and dinner, followed by a traditional cultural performance on board. Night owls can linger in the bar over a glass of fine wine or single malt whiskey and recreate the golden age of the Strand as a meeting place for explorers and raconteurs.
Day 5 Bagan (B,L,D)
This morning we arrive in Bagan and the start of the much-anticipated Bagan Heritage Trail. Bagan is remarkable for the magnificent architecture of its buildings and the contribution they have made to Burmese temple designs. Marvel at Bagan’s wonders including the Ananda Temple, one of the most exquisite temples of the country, the Shwezigon Pagoda, and Gubyaukgyi Temple. After a delicious lunch on board, we visit the beautiful Sulamani Temple, followed by a journey back into Myanmar’s artistic past at the oldest lacquer warehouse in Bagan. Lacquer ware is a traditional art that began when the Pagodas of Bagan were first being built in the 11th century and is still practiced today. Here you can see the artisan’s authentic process of production resulting in fascinating products such as the Bagan house umbrella, lampshades, coaster and bowls, all on show and available for purchase. As twilight sets in, admire the sunset from the sundeck before a festive evening and farewell dinner on a sand bank (weather permitting) accompanied by extraordinary performances from local entertainers.Additional optional activities today include a guided visit by private car transportation.
Day 6 Bagan (B)
Another exhilarating option at sunrise is a hot air balloon ride, where you can gently float above the 2,000 pagodas of Bagan. Balllon over Bagan is optional surcharge.
This morning the monks of Bagan will join us for a very special farewell. After a last breakfast, guests disembark in Old Bagan. We continue private tour visit Thatbinnyu Temple know as “temples of omniscience” and dating from 1144, then Damayangyi Temple, the massive temple in Bagan. We have tour local villages near around Bagan. Transfer to hotel check in and the rest of the day is leisure.
Day 7 Bagan – Heho – Nyaung Shwe – Inle Lake (B)
Transfer to Nyaung Oo airport departure for Heho. Arrive Heho airport and drive to Nyaung Shwe Jetty by passing through Shan Plateau and green fields which are ringed by the cool green hills of the highlands of the Shan State. At 1300 meters above sea level, Inle Lake is seemingly a world apart from the rest of Myanmar. Explore the lake by boat to see “one-legged rowing” fishermen, floating markets, and villages and temples which sit on floating islands. Visit the “Ancient monastery – Ngaphachaung”, the cottage industries, and the colorful hill tribes in the mountains for their special handwoven silk fabrics. Transfer to hotel check in. The rest of the day is free on your own activities.
Day 8 Inle Lake – Inthar Village Discovery (B)
Today we start tour visiting the morning market, which rotates locations on a 5-day basis (note: there are no markets on full moon or dark moon days). This daily market attracts people from all over the lake’s shores who gather to buy and sell their wares. Wander amid the stalls where your guide will explain the local produce and goods for sale. We will stop at Inthar Heritage House to learn more about the history and culture of the lake’s indigenous people. Lunch will be served at local restaurants in the area . Proceed to the village of Inpawkhone to observe the traditional silk weaving techniques of Inthar people. Inpawkhone is also known for its weaving from the stems of lotus flowers, a time consuming process that results in high quality materials famous throughout the country. We also visit a cheroot factory where local Burmese cigars are rolled by hand. Also visit silversmiths and blacksmiths, using ancient techniques to create their wares. Transfer back to hotel and free on your own activities.
Day 9 Inle Lake – Indein (B)
Breakfast at Hotel . Travel to Indein, on the southwestern shores of the lake. The boat will travel down a small canal leading to the Pa-oh village of Indein. Explore the area on foot, strolling around the village, stopping to chat to the locals and observe their traditional lifestyles. Then wander through the beautiful Alaung Sitthou area, filled with picturesque stupas and has magnificent views of the lake. Transfer back to hotel and the rest of evening is free at leisure.
Day 10 Inle Lake – Heho – Yangon Departure (B)
Morning breakfast at hotel. Check out by noon and transfer to airport for flight home via Yangon. Have a safe trip!
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