Arrival transfer. Tour of Mandalay. Boat trip and tour of Mingun village. Burmese cabaret performance. Visit Sagaing and the ancient city of Amarapura. Visit Kyan Sithar Umin monastery and talk with a monk. Irrawaddy River boat trip. Guided tour of Bagan archaeological zone. Visit Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery. Tour Nyaung Shwe by trishaw. Boat tour of Inle Lake including floating villages and markets. Visit a cheroot factory. Visit Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda and the Nge Phe Chaung Monastery. Tour Shwedagon Pagoda. Interesting articles, helpful tips, and photography advice from National Geographic before you depart. Internal flights. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
Talk with a monk about Buddhism and daily life, visit villages helped by the Rural Development Society, learn the basics of Burmese cuisine with a cooking demonstration from a local chef, travel past floating villages on tranquil Inle Lake, explore the pagodas and monasteries of this ancient land
The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary. VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.
While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission. Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
MONEY Note that it is best to travel with US dollars in cash when visiting Myanmar. There are no ATMs and the use of credit cards and travellers checks is virtually impossible, as very few places are willing to accept them. Please arrive with enough US dollars, in good condition, to last you the length of your stay. Changing money into the local currency, kyat, is a good idea for small transactions and can be done upon arrival at any of the various money changers in town. Please note that if carrying US Dollars, they should be in excellent condition (ie- without any small tears, creases, marks or faded in any way) and printed recently (after the year 2001). LUGGAGE WEIGHT RESTRICTIONS Please note, there may be a weight restriction for the internal flight on this tour. Each passenger is allowed to carry one checked bag with a maximum weight of 15 kg (33lbs). Additional bags or excess weight charges may apply. These charges are the responsibility of the passengers.
All G Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of our Chief Experience Officers (CEO). The aim of the CEO is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting- we think it's the best of both worlds.
Max 16, Avg 10.
Private bus/van, plane, boat, walking.
All local flights are included in the cost of your tour unless otherwise noted. It is important that we have your passport information at the time of booking in order to process these tickets. Internal flight tickets are issued locally and will be given to you prior to the flight departure. Please note, there may be a weight restriction for the internal flight on this tour. Each passenger is allowed to carry one checked bag with a maximum weight of 15 kg (33lbs). Additional bags or excess weight charges may apply. These charges are the responsibility of the passengers.
We believe solo travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and solo travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.
Hotels (11 nts).
Please note that if you have booked the "My Own Room" option for this tour, you will receive your own single room for all night stops
For details of your joining hotel please refer to your tour voucher, G Account, the G Adventures App or contact your travel agent.
**Please note, the arrival transfer included occurs on Day 1 of the tour. If you plan to arrive prior to Day 1, you will be required to arrange pre-tour accommodation through National Geographic Journeys to be eligible for the transport from the airport. Due to customer experience and quality considerations, all services related to the tour must be continuous.
We don't expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier and contact us as soon as possible. If you have a pre-booked transfer, and you have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.
Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call the G Adventures Local Office and then our G Adventures Local Representative (if one is listed below). If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible. AIRPORT TRANSFER If you have purchased an arrival through G Adventures or if an arrival transfer is included in the cost of your tour, please note that: Your arrival transfer has been arranged based on flight information provided to us. If you are advised of a flight schedule change within 48 hours of your scheduled arrival time, we will do our best to rearrange your arrival transfer however we cannot guarantee this. If your arrival transfer does not arrive within 30 minutes after you have exited the arrivals area please take a taxi to your start point hotel. EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS G Adventures Office Bangkok, Thailand During Office hours (Weekdays, 9am-5pm Local Time) From outside Thailand: +66 2 381 5574 From within Thailand: 02 381 5574 After hours emergency number: From outside Thailand: +66 87 049 6074 From within Thailand: 087 049 6074 G Adventures Local Representative (Burma) Emergency Number: +95 1 293 464 If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you. Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100 Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000 Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000 Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618 Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307 Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999
We suggest that you pack as lightly as possible as you are expected to carry your own luggage. As a rule we try not to have to walk more than 15-20 minutes with your bags which is why we recommend keeping the weight of your bags between 10-15kg/22-30lb. Most travellers carry a backpack or rolling bag of small to medium size (no XXL ones please!) as they need to fit with you in buses or on trains. You will also need a day pack/bag to carry water, cameras and other electronics like ipods and mobile phones.
-Passport (with photocopies) -Travel insurance (with photocopies) -Airline tickets (with photocopies) -Debit or credit card (see personal spending money) -Cash in USD -G Adventures vouchers, pre-departure information and - Required visas or vaccination certificates -Day pack for daily personal items -Locks for bags -Antibacterial wipes -Sunblock/Sun hat -Sunglasses -Watch and alarm Clock -Insect Repellent -Flashlight -Toiletries -Reusable water bottle -Ear plugs -Small towel -Money belt -Shirts/T-shirts -Shorts -Sturdy walking shoes/Sport sandals -Clothes that cover knees and shoulders (long pants/sarong) -Hiking pants/track pants -Camera -Waterproof backpack cover -Umbrella -Rain jacket or poncho -Reading/writing material -First-aid kit -Binoculars -Pocketknife -Rehydration powder -Long pants/jeans -Long-sleeved shirts or sweater -Thermal base layer * Note: During the colder months (Oct-Apr) the mountains can be very cold, so please make sure you pack warm clothes.
Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.
Please note that visas for Myanmar/Burma are the responsibility of the individual traveler - most countries must obtain a visa prior to travel. The visa requirements vary depending on nationality, you can find the full details at the Foreign Services website for your country, or at the Myanmar embassy/consulate closest to you. Please visit http://evisa.moip.gov.mm/ for the full details of the E-Visa approval letter process. The cost of the visa is approximately $50 USD. When filling in the form please enter the following: Purpose of Entry: Tourism Address in Myanmar: please use the start hotel for your tour (listed in the Joining Hotel section) Agency Name: SunBird Tours Agency Contact Number: 0095 1 293464/ 294050 The approval process may take up to 5 business days and the letter is valid for 90 days from the date of issue. Once the evisa approval letter is received by email, print out the approval letter and bring it with you to present upon arrival.
Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
During this tour the local currencies you will use are the Burmese Kyat and the US Dollar. As currency exchange rates in South East Asia do fluctuate, we ask that you refer to the following website for the most up to date daily exchange rates: www.xe.com for each of the above mentioned currencies. ATMs are available in every major town in Burma but they are not always accessible, may not be functioning or may be closed. We recommend bringing MINT CONDITION US dollars to Burma and exchanging it on arrival. See "Spending Money" for more information on budgeting. Travellers cheques can be tricky, timely and expensive to exchange. While we do not recommend that you bring them as your primary source of funds, it is great to have one or two cheques in case of emergency. Thomas Cook or American Express travellers' cheques in US currency are the easiest to exchange. Cash advances can also be made with some banks but are time consuming and tend to have high fees attached. Credit cards can be used at some upmarket restaurants, and at some larger stores if shopping for big items. When purchasing US dollars please make sure that the notes are new and in good condition. Notes older than 2003, or with any tears or blemishes may not be accepted. Be fussy with your bank when buying cash!
Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an 'emergency' fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!
You may be required to pay a departure tax of USD10 upon leaving Myanmar.
It is customary in Asia to tip service providers such as waiters, at approximately 10%, depending on the service. Tipping is expected - though not compulsory - and shows an expression of satisfaction with the people who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are several times during the trip where there is opportunity to tip the local guides or drivers we use. You may do this individually, or your CEO will offer to collect the money and tip as a group. Recommendations for tipping drivers and local guides would range from $1.5-$3.5 USD per person per day depending on the quality and length of the service; ask your CEO for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture. Also at the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures CEO did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline $20-25 USD per person, per week can be used.
All prices listed are in US Dollars (USD), per person (unless stated otherwise), and are subject to change as services are provided by third party operators. Bagan Bicycle hire- 5 USD Bagan Archaeology Museum- 5 USD Horse cart- 15 USD Inle Lake Red Mountain Winery- 10 USD
Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure. You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medical requirements. Please be aware that sometimes we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities, and for legal reasons our CEO's are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. In Asia pharmacies tend to stock the same western drugs as you get at home but they are usually produced locally so please bring the full drug name with you when trying to purchase a prescription drug. When selecting your trip please carefully read the brochure and itinerary and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please refer to the Physical and Culture Shock ratings for trip specific information. G Adventures reserves the right to exclude any traveller from all or part of a trip without refund if in the reasonable opinion of our CEO they are unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group.
Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers' cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewelery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your group leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it deemed necessary, due to safety concerns. Your Chief Experience Officer (CEO) will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy and explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions. Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards), have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s). Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk. Read more about travel safety for ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling.
Our small group adventures bring together people of all ages. It is very important you are aware that an average level of fitness and mobility is required to undertake our easiest programs. Travellers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own luggage at a minimum. Travellers with a pre-existing medical condition are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. This is to ensure that travellers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen trip. While our leaders work hard to ensure that all our travellers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day's activities unaided. Please refer to the physical ratings in this Trip Details document for more information. Please note that all passengers traveling to Antarctica are required to fill out this questionnaire. The medical questionnaire can be found online at www.gadventures.com/medical-form.
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your leader, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy we require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency evacuation and repatriation. A minimum coverage of USD200,000 is required. G Adventures can provide you with the appropriate coverage. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.
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Max 16, avg 12
Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides.
Allow USD210-275 for meals not included.
11 breakfasts, 2 lunches
Today is arrival day so there are no activities planned. You are free to relax and explore the city. Following a group meeting, we have an optional group dinner where you can sample some of the local cuisine. Additional Notes: Please note that most nationalities requires a visa to enter Myanmar (Burma); please double check this with your travel agent or local Myanmar Embassy prior to your arrival. Included Activities: Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting Transport: Arrival transfer included. Private Vehicle
Fly to Mandalay and explore this ancient city, including the Golden Palace Monastery, Kuyuk Taw Gyi Pagoda, Kuthodaw Pagoda, and Mahamuni Temple. Climb Mandalay Hill for magnificent views of the surrounding countryside. This evening, visit a local home and enjoy a local comedy cabaret performance by the infamous Moustache Brothers. Included Activities: Mandalay Hill Climb Shwenandaw Kyaung (Golden Palace Monastery) Visit Kyauk Taw Gyi Pagoda Visit Kuthodaw Pagoda Visit Mahamuni Pagoda (Buddha Temple) Visit Burmese Political Satire Performance Transport: Plane (1.50 hour(s)) Private Vehicle
Embark on a boat trip up the Irrawaddy River from Mandalay to the riverside village of Mingun, enjoying the picturesque scenery of this river and the lifestyles of the local people who live and work on these waters. We continue by road to Sagaing. After lunch we visit Amarapura, a former capital whose name means "city of immortality." Included Activities: Mingun Village Boat Trip and Visit Sagaing Hill Visit Amarapura Visit Transport: Private Vehicle
After breakfast at the hotel, transfer to the jetty for the boat to Bagan (Nyaung Oo). The journey takes 7-11 hours depending on the time of year and water level. On board there is a small café selling drinks and light meals (sandwiches, snacks and instant noodles usually). Additional Notes: When water levels are insufficient for the boat, we will use the bus for that part of the journey. Boat cancellations typically happen between April and September. Included Activities: Ayeyarwady River Cruise Transport: Private Vehicle (0.25 hour(s))
Enjoy two days exploring Bagan, the first (and very beautiful) capital of the Burmese and founded in the 11th century. This is one the most important temples and pagoda complexes in Asia. We'll wander local markets, historical pagodas, a handicraft workshop, a local monastery, and ancient temples. Enjoy an unforgettable sunset over the plains from the upper terrace of one of the temples. Included Activities: Bagan Guided Tour Kyan Sithar Umin Monastery Visit Transport: Private Vehicle
You have the option to take a hot-air balloon flight over the plains of Bagan. Included Activities: Toddy Palm Farm Visit Transport: Private Vehicle
This morning, fly from Bagan to Heho and then travel by road to Nyaung Shwe, the gateway village to Inle Lake. Along the way, stop at the wooden Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery, which features beautiful carvings and a collection of Buddha images. Also visit around Nyaung Shwe by cycle rickshaw, passing the many monasteries and cruising along quiet residential streets. We then board a boat and set off down the canal toward the main part of the lake, passing villages built on stilts over the lake, inhabited by the local Intha people. Included Activities: Nyaung Shwe Visit Transport: Plane (1.75 hour(s)) Private Vehicle (0.75-1.00 hours) Board a boat and set off down the canal toward the main part of Inle lake. Pass villages built on stilts over the lake, inhabited by the local Intha people. Observe the leg-rowing fishermen and see their floating gardens built up from strips of water hyacinth and mud and anchored to the bottom with bamboo poles. Boat (1.00 hour(s))
Depending on its location, we start with a visit to the morning market, which rotates locations on a five-day basis. (Note: there are no markets on full-moon or dark-moon days.) Our boat then takes us down a winding river to Inthien, with its one thousand stupas dotting the hillside. Back out onto the lake we visit Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, the lake’s main pagoda and monastery, which contains five sacred Buddha images covered in gold leaf. Explore the local crafts of Inle Lake with a stop at the weaving village of Inpawkhone and a cheroot factory, where typical Burmese cigars are made by hand. Mid-day, we are welcomed into a local chef's home and enjoy a home cooked meal of traditional Burmese dishes. This is a memorable demonstration and meal and a chance to learn more about family life and traditions in Myanmar. Included Activities: Morning Market Visit Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Visit Nga Phe Chaung Monastery Visit Cheroot Factory Visit Burmese Cooking Class Transport: Boat
Travel by boat and bus to the cooler air of this former British hill station. Take a half-day hike and enjoy lunch in the hills around Kalaw. Visit villages that have been helped by the Rural Development Society, a community-based organization that provides water, builds schools and libraries, and finances small-scale community projects. Included Activities: Local Burmese Village Trek Transport: Boat (1.00 hour(s)) Private Vehicle (1.50-2.00 hours)
Fly back to Yangon and visit the Shwedagon Pagoda. Enjoy free time to explore and shop in the old capital. Included Activities: Shwedagon Pagoda Visit Transport: Private Vehicle (0.75 hour(s)) Plane (1.00 hour(s)) Transfer to hotel. Private Vehicle
Depart any time today. Included Activities: Departure Day
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