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Trip Extensions

There are currently no suggested extensions for this itinerary. Please ask the Destination Specialist if you'd like to customize one.

Anticipated itinerary; actual route may vary.

Day 1: arrive yangon

Welcome to Yangon!Welcome to Yangon!

Mingalabar—welcome to Yangon, Myanmar! This former capital, also known as Rangoon, is Myanmar's largest city as well as the country's most important commercial hub and gateway for most of its international visitors. Its colonial background and religious legacy make it one of the most mesmerizing and genuine places in all of Southeast Asia.

Upon arrival at the airport, you will be warmly welcomed and transferred to your hotel for check in.

Meals
None
Lodging
Rose Garden Hotel

Day 2: yangon

Visit the whale-sized reclining BuddhaVisit the whale-sized reclining Buddha

After breakfast, your guide will take you downtown to begin your tour on Mahanbandola Road, home of the Immanuel Baptist Church, originally built in 1830. Continue east, passing alleyways crammed with food stalls and markets. Turn right onto Pansodan Street with its many stalls selling second-hand and photocopied books. You’ll pass the High Court Building, the grand Inland Water Transport offices and even grander Myanmar Port Authority building. 

Stop for lunch at a local restaurant, then continue your tour with a trip to Chaukhtatgyi Buddha Temple to see a reclining Buddha statue that is 70-meters long—around the size of a blue whale! Continue uptown to make a quick stop at the Royal Lake, located in Kandawgyi Park, a very popular spot for local residents, especially in the early morning and around sunset. Catch a view of Karaweik Hall, a reproduction of a royal barge, and enjoy a spectacular view of the Golden Shwedagon Pagoda, a must-see destination for any trip to Myanmar. 

After a day full of excitement head back to your hotel for comfort and relaxation.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch
Lodging
Rose Garden Hotel

Day 3: yangon / mandalay

Stunning views from Mandalay HillStunning views from Mandalay Hill

After an early breakfast at the hotel, transfer to the airport for your domestic flight to Mandalay. Upon arrival at Mandalay airport, you will depart directly to Mandalay jetty and embark on a private boat for a relaxing one-hour journey on the Irrawaddy River to Mingun. Experience the sights and sounds of Mingun, starting with the celebrated Mingun Paya, which would have been the world’s largest pagoda had it been completed. Afterwards, hop over to the Mingun Bell, an uncracked bell that weighs in at 90 tons and is still capable of ringing. From the bell's location, enjoy a fine view of the Hsinbyume Paya, Mingun village and the river. 

Once back in Mandalay, check into your hotel, freshen up, and head out for an afternoon of touring beginning with a visit to the Mahamuni Pagoda. This pagoda houses one of the country’s most honored Buddha images, completely covered in gold leaves that are continuously applied everyday by male devotees.

Proceed to Kuthodaw Pagoda, frequently dubbed as “The World’s Biggest Book” for its collection of 729 marble slabs inscribed with Buddhist teachings. Then it’s off to the Shwenandaw Monastery, a golden monastery that is the only enduring structure from the Royal Palace of the 19th century. This impressive structure is celebrated for its remarkable woodcarvings.

Finish up your day on the summit of Mandalay Hill, rising 240 meters above the city, where you'll enjoy a spectacular sunset experience.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch
Lodging
Hotel Magic Mandalay

Day 4: amarapura, sagaing, & ava

U Min Thone Sae pagoda always impressesU Min Thone Sae pagoda always impresses

Today begins with an expedition to explore the past capitals of Amarapura, Ava and Sagaing.

First, visit Amarapura’s Mahagandayon, a renowned Buddhist monastery home to more than a thousand monks. All the monks will assemble around 11am and walk in procession to receive their last meal of the day, which is donated by devotees from all over the world. The procession is a wonderful example of Myanmar's monastic life, but it can be very crowded with tourists. If you’d like to avoid the crowds, we can schedule a visit to Amarapura in the late afternoon without the alms collection ritual.

Afterwards you’ll move on to a silk workshop known for exquisite merchandise. Then, cross the bridge over the Irrawaddy River to Sagaing. With 600 ivory colored pagodas and monasteries, Sagaing Hill is generally seen as the spiritual hub of Myanmar and claims residence to around 3,000 monks and nearly 100 meditation shrines. You’ll visit pagodas such as Swan Oo Pon Nya Shin or U Min Thone Sae. 

The afternoon’s activities start with a visit to Ava, which was the capital from the 14th through the 18th centuries. Travel in a traditional horse and carriage to the wooden Bagaya Monastery renowned for its extraordinarily elaborate woodcarvings. Be sure to check out the Nanmyint Watch Tower—also called “the leaning tower of Ava“—which is what’s left from the remnants of the ancient palace and Maha Aungmye Bonzan Monastery.

Once the sun starts to set, you’ll want to stroll along the legendary U Bein Bridge, the longest teakwood bridge in the world. Enjoy this very special atmosphere as the late afternoon sun casts long shadows and illuminates the local people heading home. (If there is no sunset visible due to bad weather conditions you’ll visit the bridge after the Amarapura stop in daytime). As a stunning day comes to an end head back to Mandalay for the night.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch
Lodging
Hotel Magic Mandalay

Day 5: flight to bagan & temple tour

Pagodas dot Bagan's landscapePagodas dot Bagan's landscape

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your domestic flight to Bagan, known to be one of the greatest architectural sites in Asia. Today’s fantastic voyage will begin with a visit to the golden stupa of Shwezigon Pagoda for a closer look at Bagan’s affluent past. Continue to Wetkyi-In, Gubyaukgyi, a cave temple with beautiful jataka wall paintings, and the stylish Htilominlo Temple revered for its excellent plaster carvings and glassy sandstone decor.  

The afternoon adventure begins with a trip to a traditional lacquer workshop. You’ll also visit the Gu Byaukgyi Temple with its beautiful frescos, before seeing Manuha Temple. Investigate Nanbaya Temple, one of the oldest temples in the region. Then it’s off to Bupaya Pagoda or Shwe sandaw to catch the sunset by horsecart.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch
Lodging
Thiripyitsaya Sanctuary Resort

Day 6: bagan's market & villages

Explore the market in BaganExplore the market in Bagan

After breakfast, it’s off to the exciting Nyaung Oo Market, where the locals come to trade fresh produce and other goods daily. Learn more about the local culture with a visit to two workshops that produce Bagan's most famous products: lacquer ware and wood crafts. Watch as the skilled craftsmen use techniques passed down through generations to create beautiful items. The lacquer ware shop is run by women. 

In the afternoon, visit Bagan’s countryside and the rustic village of Minnanthu, one of Bagan’s less visited regions; it’s very tranquil and isolated. If time allows, enjoy an unforgettable sunset over the plains from the upper terrace of Tayok Pye temple. 

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch
Lodging
Thiripyitsaya Sanctuary Resort

Day 7: flight to kalaw

See children playing on the way to KalawSee children playing on the way to Kalaw

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your domestic flight to Heho. Upon arrival, drive to Kalaw (approximately one hour), a former British hill station nestled in pine-clad mountains on the perimeter of the Shan Plateau. Kalaw is also famous for its colorful rotating market held every five days when the neighboring Palaung and other hill tribes from the surrounding regions come in their traditional costumes to offer their goods. 

While in Kalaw, also see some of the old buildings, visit a farm house and organic garden to learn about daily activities, and explore the Hnee Paya (Bamboo Buddha Image) before transferring to your hotel.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
The Hotel Kalaw Hill Lodge

Day 8: local villages & train to sintaung

Your comfortable homestayYour comfortable homestay

Enjoy breakfast, then visit a local Buddhist monastery and take a walk to Nanthe (Danu) village. Visit a library donated by the lodge and interact with locals over a cup of green tea. Walk to Nanthe (Nepalese) village where you'll explore and taste rice and plum wine.

From here transfer by minivan to Kalaw, where you hop on the train and travel to Sintaung. Visit Nepalese temples that are 100 years old, an old railway station, and climb the hilltop Pagoda for stunning views of the valley down below. The local homestays are operated by the local women and will be an excellent cross cultural opportunity. 

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Stay in local home

Day 9: hiking around kalaw

Your beautiful lodge in KalawYour beautiful lodge in Kalaw

Today is an active day (about five to six hours of walking*) with a challenging trek up a hill to Hinkha Gone on the way to the View Point ridge. Enjoy a stunning view during your lunch break, then head south through tropical scarf forests to Reservoir, a major source of the town's fresh water that was originally built by the British in 1906. Head back to the lodge through primary forests and open fields. Eat dinner and overnight at Kalaw Hill Lodge. 

*If you are unable to do the walk and uphill trek, you can opt to drive back to the Kalaw Hill Lodge instead.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
The Hotel Kalaw Hill Lodge

Day 10: kalaw and drive to nyaung shwe via pindaya

See inside Pindaya CaveSee inside Pindaya Cave

Early in the morning walk around the lodge’s farm and organic garden. Say hello to friendly cows, curious goats and happy chickens. Return to the lodge for breakfast, then depart for Kalaw and proceed for a two-hour drive to Pindaya.

Visit a quiet town on the banks of the serene Botoloke Lake, home to the local Danu people. Visit the renowned Pindaya Caves, a unique site housing thousands of Buddha images estimated to have been formed more than 200 million years ago. The opening of the cave involves a walk past the Shwe U Min Pagodas, giant white stupas which climb out of the ground. 

Continue on to your Nyaung Shwe hotel near Inle Lake for your overnight.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch
Lodging
Golden Island Cottage

Day 11: inle lake / indein

See villages on Inle LakeSee villages on Inle Lake

After breakfast, visit the lake’s morning market before heading out on a one-hour boat ride down a small canal to the Pa-Oh village of Indein. Once you’ve arrived at the summit, you will be greeted by an iconic Buddha image which sits enshrined among hundreds of stupa ruins and overgrown shrubbery. The Indein Pagoda complex is undoubtedly one of the most amazing sites around the shore of the lake, and it consists of hundreds of small stupas which are overrun by moss and greenery.

For lunch, visit a local home where you'll have a cooking lesson. Spend time talking with the family about their lives and traditions, and enjoy the food you cooked as your lunch.
 
Later, board boats for a leisurely return trip through the villages and vegetable gardens. 

Head to Red Mountain Winery for a two-hour excursion. Here, see fields full of dragon fruit, sugar cane, and sunflower; visit the Pleasant Garden Shan, a traditional house where you can relax while gazing at the plantation farm; and try Myanmar Wine. After, return to Nyaung Shwe by vehicle.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch
Lodging
Golden Island Cottage

Day 12: inle lake / phaung daw oo pagoda festival

Witness the unique leg-rowing fishermenWitness the unique leg-rowing fishermen

After a lovely breakfast, board your wooden motorized boat and head out onto Inle Lake to observe the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda festival, where four Buddha Images from Phaung-daw-oo Pagoda are carried on royal barges and convoyed around 14 villages on the Lake. 

The barge is towed by the boats of leg-rowers, and hundreds of boats follow the procession. Large crowds of people gather on the lake's shores to celebrate the occasion.  

Among the dance shows and fun-fairs, the most interesting event of the festival is the boat race, due to the unique leg rowing. The leg rowing is how locals cast nets or tend their crops, with the men standing at one end of their skiff, rowing in a circular motion on one leg and balancing on the other. At the annual Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival, this skill is celebrated with a huge regatta where hundreds of men and women compete against each other in long boats accommodating lines of rowers.

While in this region, you will also visit Nga Hpe Chaung Monastery, which houses loads of early Shan Buddha Images. You'll have a chance to explore the local crafts of Inle Lake with a stop at the weaving village of Inpawkhone, renowned for its weaving from the stems of lotus flowers. The day will come to a close with a return trip by boat back to your hotel.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch
Lodging
Golden Island Cottage

Day 13: yangon

The Shwedagon pagoda in YangonThe Shwedagon pagoda in Yangon

After breakfast you’ll transfer to the airport for a short flight back to Yangon. Enjoy lunch, then head to Yangon’s bustling and vibrant city center to embark on your walking expedition. You’ll reach Bogyoke Market, where you can glance through the extensive collection of Myanmar crafts and merchandise (the market is usually closed on Mondays as well as public holidays). The rest of the day is at your leisure.  

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch
Lodging
Rose Garden Hotel

Day 14: yangon / depart

Say good-bye to the people of MyanmarSay good-bye to the people of Myanmar

Enjoy breakfast at your hotel, then free time until you head to the airport for your flight home.

Meals
Breakfast
Lodging
None

Price and Date Details

Land Cost:
$3,750
- $3,995
Group size 6-7: $3995 Group size 8+: $3795 Domestic flights within Myanmar: $465 (estimated) Optional Balloon Ridge Over Bagan: $300 (standard service, book in advance) The cost quoted is the Land Cost and is subject to change. This covers accommodations, transfers, activities, touring, guide services and meals as described in Journeys' Trip Notes. The quoted Land Cost will apply when group size falls in the specified range and when travel is on the indicated dates.
Single Supplement:
$695
The single supplement is applicable if a roommate is not available or if single accommodation is specifically requested. While single accommodation is not available on all trips, we will try and honor this request whenever possible.
Oct 16-29, 2018 • Women's & staff-led departure

Need to Know

Duration:
14 days
The number of days, or duration, in a destination corresponds with the itinerary as published. This is the time period covered by the land cost. The total number of days includes the time required to travel between the USA and the destination country.
Comfort Level:
●●●○○
(see full descriptions)
Activity Level:
●●○○○
(see full descriptions)
Group Size:
6-12
The stated range indicates minimum required for guaranteed departure and maximum accepted on the scheduled dates. Exceptions can often be made for private departures.
Terms & Conditions: 

Standard

Below is a summary of our complete Trip Terms & Conditions, which explains each of the items below in more detail. 

Expenses covered

Normally, our stated land costs include the cost of all guides, leaders, permits obtained after arrival, lodging accommodations, food and entry fees as specified, and all surface transportation associated with the planned itinerary. We do our best to avoid increasing prices after receipt of your deposit, but, rarely, factors beyond our control might require us to change our prices without prior notice, even after you have signed up. 

Expenses not covered

Costs not included in the price may include: meals not indicated as included in itineraries; meals prior to arrival in starting cities; transfers, if not arriving or departing on the scheduled group flights; soft drinks, bottled water, and alcoholic beverages; medical expenses, costs of hospitalization, or evacuation from remote areas; laundry; airport departure taxes not included on your airline ticket; accommodations en route to starting cities; visas; airfares; gratuities; and insurance. 

Pricing and Payment

For most group departures, the booking deposit is $500 per person per trip, though for some trips it may be more, as noted in the trip description. The minimum booking deposit requirement for custom trips is $800 per person, and this deposit is non-refundable. A trip-planning fee of $250 per itinerary is also charged to cover costs of preparing itinerary proposals for custom trips. This fee is credited to the cost of the trip, but is nonrefundable if you do not take the trip. Custom travel during holiday seasons may require a deposit prior to trip confirmation.

For both group departures and custom trips, a second deposit of $1,000 per person is due 120 days prior to departure or at the time of booking for reservations made fewer than 120 days before departure. The balance as shown on your invoice is due 60 days prior to departure regardless of whether extensions or other arrangements are pending. Late payments may jeopardize confirmation of your itinerary and in some cases may result in additional fees. If we have not received final payment 30 days prior to departure your reservation may be canceled and subject to our Cancellation & Refund Policy stated in the complete Terms & Conditions.

We accept payments by Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or check drawn on a U.S. bank account. Payment for airfare is required at the time of ticketing. Discounts that may be available for some trips are not available toward bookings made through travel agencies.​

Airfare

We can help you secure air travel arrangements to correspond with land travel booked through Journeys International. We work with an airfare consolidator to assist in booking the flights that suit your needs. If you decide to make your own flight arrangements, you must provide Journeys International with a complete copy of your itinerary showing departure and arrival flights and times. You should plan to arrange your own air travel if you are using mileage credit or originating outside North America, but please be in touch with our office before you finalize ticketing so that we can help you to coordinate the correct arrival and departure dates and times.

Insurance

When you make your application, we strongly recommend the purchase of comprehensive travel insurance in case of emergency situations. Please contact us for a recommended policy.

Itinerary Change Fee

There will be a $40 fee for changes once an itinerary has been confirmed and approved. Additional cancellation penalties or change fees may apply as per our terms and conditions. The passenger is responsible for such fees.

From the Bird's Word Blog

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Captivating pagodas throughout Bagan
Captivating pagodas throughout Bagan
Think you could carry water like this?
Think you could carry water like this?
Meet the beautiful people of Myanmar
Meet the beautiful people of Myanmar
A typical farmer in Mandalay
A typical farmer in Mandalay
Fishermen at work in Irrawady
Fishermen at work in Irrawady
Homes along the Irrawaddy river in Mandalay
Homes along the Irrawaddy river in Mandalay
Local children near Inle Lake
Local children near Inle Lake
Hail a taxi, Myanmar style
Hail a taxi, Myanmar style
See the giant reclining Buddha statue
See the giant reclining Buddha statue
Your guide, Ngu Wah Hlaing
Your guide, Ngu Wah Hlaing
See the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda festival (photo: Mr.Than Zaw)
See the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda festival (photo: Mr.Than Zaw)

Magnificent Myanmar for Women

Yangon, Bagan, Kalaw, and the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival

overview

This women's-only adventure in Myanmar provides the opportunity to proceed at a more contemplative pace, with time for in-depth exploration and opportunity for cross-cultural interaction.

Feel a strong Buddhist character and tradition through participation in active pilgrimages and observation of temples and festivals. Your trip will reveal friendly people emerging from a history of totalitarian domination that has not affected their hospitality toward foreigners or their delight in making friends.

Visit sacred sites and sanctuaries, plus Yangon, Heho, Kalaw, and Inle Lake. Witness the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival at Inle Lake. (The Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda houses five small golden Buddha images. The Buddha images have been covered with so many gold leaves that it is impossible to see their original structure.) During the festival, four of the Buddha images are ferried on a replica of a royal barge throughout Inle Lake visiting 14 villages. The barge is towed by the boats of leg rowers, and hundreds of boats follow the procession. 

This trip features our own fluent English-speaking Journeys Burmese guide, Ngu Wah Hlaing. She will lead you to encounters with local places and people from all walks of life, including some arranged especially for this women's group, such as meeting with women's organizations, village groups, and fabric and lacquerware artists.  

Join Florine Herendeen for this special one-time women's departure. 

itinerary

See Trip Extensions
View Map

overview

This women's-only adventure in Myanmar provides the opportunity to proceed at a more contemplative pace, with time for in-depth exploration and opportunity for cross-cultural interaction.

Feel a strong Buddhist character and tradition through participation in active pilgrimages and observation of temples and festivals. Your trip will reveal friendly people emerging from a history of totalitarian domination that has not affected their hospitality toward foreigners or their delight in making friends.

Visit sacred sites and sanctuaries, plus Yangon, Heho, Kalaw, and Inle Lake. Witness the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival at Inle Lake. (The Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda houses five small golden Buddha images. The Buddha images have been covered with so many gold leaves that it is impossible to see their original structure.) During the festival, four of the Buddha images are ferried on a replica of a royal barge throughout Inle Lake visiting 14 villages. The barge is towed by the boats of leg rowers, and hundreds of boats follow the procession. 

This trip features our own fluent English-speaking Journeys Burmese guide, Ngu Wah Hlaing. She will lead you to encounters with local places and people from all walks of life, including some arranged especially for this women's group, such as meeting with women's organizations, village groups, and fabric and lacquerware artists.  

Join Florine Herendeen for this special one-time women's departure. 

Continue to detailed itinerary...

itinerary

Anticipated itinerary; actual route may vary.
  • Day 1: arrive yangon
    Welcome to Yangon!Welcome to Yangon!

    Mingalabar—welcome to Yangon, Myanmar! This former capital, also known as Rangoon, is Myanmar's largest city as well as the country's most important commercial hub and gateway for most of its international visitors. Its colonial background and religious legacy make it one of the most mesmerizing and genuine places in all of Southeast Asia.

    Upon arrival at the airport, you will be warmly welcomed and transferred to your hotel for check in.

    Meals
    None
    Lodging
    Rose Garden Hotel
    Show on a map
  • Day 2: yangon
    Visit the whale-sized reclining BuddhaVisit the whale-sized reclining Buddha

    After breakfast, your guide will take you downtown to begin your tour on Mahanbandola Road, home of the Immanuel Baptist Church, originally built in 1830. Continue east, passing alleyways crammed with food stalls and markets. Turn right onto Pansodan Street with its many stalls selling second-hand and photocopied books. You’ll pass the High Court Building, the grand Inland Water Transport offices and even grander Myanmar Port Authority building. 

    Stop for lunch at a local restaurant, then continue your tour with a trip to Chaukhtatgyi Buddha Temple to see a reclining Buddha statue that is 70-meters long—around the size of a blue whale! Continue uptown to make a quick stop at the Royal Lake, located in Kandawgyi Park, a very popular spot for local residents, especially in the early morning and around sunset. Catch a view of Karaweik Hall, a reproduction of a royal barge, and enjoy a spectacular view of the Golden Shwedagon Pagoda, a must-see destination for any trip to Myanmar. 

    After a day full of excitement head back to your hotel for comfort and relaxation.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging
    Rose Garden Hotel
    Show on a map
  • Day 3: yangon / mandalay
    Stunning views from Mandalay HillStunning views from Mandalay Hill

    After an early breakfast at the hotel, transfer to the airport for your domestic flight to Mandalay. Upon arrival at Mandalay airport, you will depart directly to Mandalay jetty and embark on a private boat for a relaxing one-hour journey on the Irrawaddy River to Mingun. Experience the sights and sounds of Mingun, starting with the celebrated Mingun Paya, which would have been the world’s largest pagoda had it been completed. Afterwards, hop over to the Mingun Bell, an uncracked bell that weighs in at 90 tons and is still capable of ringing. From the bell's location, enjoy a fine view of the Hsinbyume Paya, Mingun village and the river. 

    Once back in Mandalay, check into your hotel, freshen up, and head out for an afternoon of touring beginning with a visit to the Mahamuni Pagoda. This pagoda houses one of the country’s most honored Buddha images, completely covered in gold leaves that are continuously applied everyday by male devotees.

    Proceed to Kuthodaw Pagoda, frequently dubbed as “The World’s Biggest Book” for its collection of 729 marble slabs inscribed with Buddhist teachings. Then it’s off to the Shwenandaw Monastery, a golden monastery that is the only enduring structure from the Royal Palace of the 19th century. This impressive structure is celebrated for its remarkable woodcarvings.

    Finish up your day on the summit of Mandalay Hill, rising 240 meters above the city, where you'll enjoy a spectacular sunset experience.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging
    Hotel Magic Mandalay
    Show on a map
  • Day 4: amarapura, sagaing, & ava
    U Min Thone Sae pagoda always impressesU Min Thone Sae pagoda always impresses

    Today begins with an expedition to explore the past capitals of Amarapura, Ava and Sagaing.

    First, visit Amarapura’s Mahagandayon, a renowned Buddhist monastery home to more than a thousand monks. All the monks will assemble around 11am and walk in procession to receive their last meal of the day, which is donated by devotees from all over the world. The procession is a wonderful example of Myanmar's monastic life, but it can be very crowded with tourists. If you’d like to avoid the crowds, we can schedule a visit to Amarapura in the late afternoon without the alms collection ritual.

    Afterwards you’ll move on to a silk workshop known for exquisite merchandise. Then, cross the bridge over the Irrawaddy River to Sagaing. With 600 ivory colored pagodas and monasteries, Sagaing Hill is generally seen as the spiritual hub of Myanmar and claims residence to around 3,000 monks and nearly 100 meditation shrines. You’ll visit pagodas such as Swan Oo Pon Nya Shin or U Min Thone Sae. 

    The afternoon’s activities start with a visit to Ava, which was the capital from the 14th through the 18th centuries. Travel in a traditional horse and carriage to the wooden Bagaya Monastery renowned for its extraordinarily elaborate woodcarvings. Be sure to check out the Nanmyint Watch Tower—also called “the leaning tower of Ava“—which is what’s left from the remnants of the ancient palace and Maha Aungmye Bonzan Monastery.

    Once the sun starts to set, you’ll want to stroll along the legendary U Bein Bridge, the longest teakwood bridge in the world. Enjoy this very special atmosphere as the late afternoon sun casts long shadows and illuminates the local people heading home. (If there is no sunset visible due to bad weather conditions you’ll visit the bridge after the Amarapura stop in daytime). As a stunning day comes to an end head back to Mandalay for the night.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging
    Hotel Magic Mandalay
    Show on a map
  • Day 5: flight to bagan & temple tour
    Pagodas dot Bagan's landscapePagodas dot Bagan's landscape

    After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your domestic flight to Bagan, known to be one of the greatest architectural sites in Asia. Today’s fantastic voyage will begin with a visit to the golden stupa of Shwezigon Pagoda for a closer look at Bagan’s affluent past. Continue to Wetkyi-In, Gubyaukgyi, a cave temple with beautiful jataka wall paintings, and the stylish Htilominlo Temple revered for its excellent plaster carvings and glassy sandstone decor.  

    The afternoon adventure begins with a trip to a traditional lacquer workshop. You’ll also visit the Gu Byaukgyi Temple with its beautiful frescos, before seeing Manuha Temple. Investigate Nanbaya Temple, one of the oldest temples in the region. Then it’s off to Bupaya Pagoda or Shwe sandaw to catch the sunset by horsecart.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging
    Thiripyitsaya Sanctuary Resort
    Show on a map
  • Day 6: bagan's market & villages
    Explore the market in BaganExplore the market in Bagan

    After breakfast, it’s off to the exciting Nyaung Oo Market, where the locals come to trade fresh produce and other goods daily. Learn more about the local culture with a visit to two workshops that produce Bagan's most famous products: lacquer ware and wood crafts. Watch as the skilled craftsmen use techniques passed down through generations to create beautiful items. The lacquer ware shop is run by women. 

    In the afternoon, visit Bagan’s countryside and the rustic village of Minnanthu, one of Bagan’s less visited regions; it’s very tranquil and isolated. If time allows, enjoy an unforgettable sunset over the plains from the upper terrace of Tayok Pye temple. 

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging
    Thiripyitsaya Sanctuary Resort
    Show on a map
  • Day 7: flight to kalaw
    See children playing on the way to KalawSee children playing on the way to Kalaw

    After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your domestic flight to Heho. Upon arrival, drive to Kalaw (approximately one hour), a former British hill station nestled in pine-clad mountains on the perimeter of the Shan Plateau. Kalaw is also famous for its colorful rotating market held every five days when the neighboring Palaung and other hill tribes from the surrounding regions come in their traditional costumes to offer their goods. 

    While in Kalaw, also see some of the old buildings, visit a farm house and organic garden to learn about daily activities, and explore the Hnee Paya (Bamboo Buddha Image) before transferring to your hotel.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    The Hotel Kalaw Hill Lodge
    Show on a map
  • Day 8: local villages & train to sintaung
    Your comfortable homestayYour comfortable homestay

    Enjoy breakfast, then visit a local Buddhist monastery and take a walk to Nanthe (Danu) village. Visit a library donated by the lodge and interact with locals over a cup of green tea. Walk to Nanthe (Nepalese) village where you'll explore and taste rice and plum wine.

    From here transfer by minivan to Kalaw, where you hop on the train and travel to Sintaung. Visit Nepalese temples that are 100 years old, an old railway station, and climb the hilltop Pagoda for stunning views of the valley down below. The local homestays are operated by the local women and will be an excellent cross cultural opportunity. 

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Stay in local home
    Show on a map
  • Day 9: hiking around kalaw
    Your beautiful lodge in KalawYour beautiful lodge in Kalaw

    Today is an active day (about five to six hours of walking*) with a challenging trek up a hill to Hinkha Gone on the way to the View Point ridge. Enjoy a stunning view during your lunch break, then head south through tropical scarf forests to Reservoir, a major source of the town's fresh water that was originally built by the British in 1906. Head back to the lodge through primary forests and open fields. Eat dinner and overnight at Kalaw Hill Lodge. 

    *If you are unable to do the walk and uphill trek, you can opt to drive back to the Kalaw Hill Lodge instead.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    The Hotel Kalaw Hill Lodge
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  • Day 10: kalaw and drive to nyaung shwe via pindaya
    See inside Pindaya CaveSee inside Pindaya Cave

    Early in the morning walk around the lodge’s farm and organic garden. Say hello to friendly cows, curious goats and happy chickens. Return to the lodge for breakfast, then depart for Kalaw and proceed for a two-hour drive to Pindaya.

    Visit a quiet town on the banks of the serene Botoloke Lake, home to the local Danu people. Visit the renowned Pindaya Caves, a unique site housing thousands of Buddha images estimated to have been formed more than 200 million years ago. The opening of the cave involves a walk past the Shwe U Min Pagodas, giant white stupas which climb out of the ground. 

    Continue on to your Nyaung Shwe hotel near Inle Lake for your overnight.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging
    Golden Island Cottage
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  • Day 11: inle lake / indein
    See villages on Inle LakeSee villages on Inle Lake

    After breakfast, visit the lake’s morning market before heading out on a one-hour boat ride down a small canal to the Pa-Oh village of Indein. Once you’ve arrived at the summit, you will be greeted by an iconic Buddha image which sits enshrined among hundreds of stupa ruins and overgrown shrubbery. The Indein Pagoda complex is undoubtedly one of the most amazing sites around the shore of the lake, and it consists of hundreds of small stupas which are overrun by moss and greenery.

    For lunch, visit a local home where you'll have a cooking lesson. Spend time talking with the family about their lives and traditions, and enjoy the food you cooked as your lunch.
     
    Later, board boats for a leisurely return trip through the villages and vegetable gardens. 

    Head to Red Mountain Winery for a two-hour excursion. Here, see fields full of dragon fruit, sugar cane, and sunflower; visit the Pleasant Garden Shan, a traditional house where you can relax while gazing at the plantation farm; and try Myanmar Wine. After, return to Nyaung Shwe by vehicle.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging
    Golden Island Cottage
    Show on a map
  • Day 12: inle lake / phaung daw oo pagoda festival
    Witness the unique leg-rowing fishermenWitness the unique leg-rowing fishermen

    After a lovely breakfast, board your wooden motorized boat and head out onto Inle Lake to observe the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda festival, where four Buddha Images from Phaung-daw-oo Pagoda are carried on royal barges and convoyed around 14 villages on the Lake. 

    The barge is towed by the boats of leg-rowers, and hundreds of boats follow the procession. Large crowds of people gather on the lake's shores to celebrate the occasion.  

    Among the dance shows and fun-fairs, the most interesting event of the festival is the boat race, due to the unique leg rowing. The leg rowing is how locals cast nets or tend their crops, with the men standing at one end of their skiff, rowing in a circular motion on one leg and balancing on the other. At the annual Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival, this skill is celebrated with a huge regatta where hundreds of men and women compete against each other in long boats accommodating lines of rowers.

    While in this region, you will also visit Nga Hpe Chaung Monastery, which houses loads of early Shan Buddha Images. You'll have a chance to explore the local crafts of Inle Lake with a stop at the weaving village of Inpawkhone, renowned for its weaving from the stems of lotus flowers. The day will come to a close with a return trip by boat back to your hotel.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging
    Golden Island Cottage
    Show on a map
  • Day 13: yangon
    The Shwedagon pagoda in YangonThe Shwedagon pagoda in Yangon

    After breakfast you’ll transfer to the airport for a short flight back to Yangon. Enjoy lunch, then head to Yangon’s bustling and vibrant city center to embark on your walking expedition. You’ll reach Bogyoke Market, where you can glance through the extensive collection of Myanmar crafts and merchandise (the market is usually closed on Mondays as well as public holidays). The rest of the day is at your leisure.  

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging
    Rose Garden Hotel
    Show on a map
  • Day 14: yangon / depart
    Say good-bye to the people of MyanmarSay good-bye to the people of Myanmar

    Enjoy breakfast at your hotel, then free time until you head to the airport for your flight home.

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    None

Price and Date Details

Land Cost:
$3,750
- $3,995
Group size 6-7: $3995 Group size 8+: $3795 Domestic flights within Myanmar: $465 (estimated) Optional Balloon Ridge Over Bagan: $300 (standard service, book in advance) The cost quoted is the Land Cost and is subject to change. This covers accommodations, transfers, activities, touring, guide services and meals as described in Journeys' Trip Notes. The quoted Land Cost will apply when group size falls in the specified range and when travel is on the indicated dates.
Single Supplement:
$695
The single supplement is applicable if a roommate is not available or if single accommodation is specifically requested. While single accommodation is not available on all trips, we will try and honor this request whenever possible.
Oct 16-29, 2018 • Women's & staff-led departure

Need to Know

Duration:
14 days
The number of days, or duration, in a destination corresponds with the itinerary as published. This is the time period covered by the land cost. The total number of days includes the time required to travel between the USA and the destination country.
Comfort Level:
●●●○○
(see full descriptions)
Activity Level:
●●○○○
(see full descriptions)
Group Size:
6-12
The stated range indicates minimum required for guaranteed departure and maximum accepted on the scheduled dates. Exceptions can often be made for private departures.
Terms & Conditions: 

Standard

Below is a summary of our complete Trip Terms & Conditions, which explains each of the items below in more detail. 

Expenses covered

Normally, our stated land costs include the cost of all guides, leaders, permits obtained after arrival, lodging accommodations, food and entry fees as specified, and all surface transportation associated with the planned itinerary. We do our best to avoid increasing prices after receipt of your deposit, but, rarely, factors beyond our control might require us to change our prices without prior notice, even after you have signed up. 

Expenses not covered

Costs not included in the price may include: meals not indicated as included in itineraries; meals prior to arrival in starting cities; transfers, if not arriving or departing on the scheduled group flights; soft drinks, bottled water, and alcoholic beverages; medical expenses, costs of hospitalization, or evacuation from remote areas; laundry; airport departure taxes not included on your airline ticket; accommodations en route to starting cities; visas; airfares; gratuities; and insurance. 

Pricing and Payment

For most group departures, the booking deposit is $500 per person per trip, though for some trips it may be more, as noted in the trip description. The minimum booking deposit requirement for custom trips is $800 per person, and this deposit is non-refundable. A trip-planning fee of $250 per itinerary is also charged to cover costs of preparing itinerary proposals for custom trips. This fee is credited to the cost of the trip, but is nonrefundable if you do not take the trip. Custom travel during holiday seasons may require a deposit prior to trip confirmation.

For both group departures and custom trips, a second deposit of $1,000 per person is due 120 days prior to departure or at the time of booking for reservations made fewer than 120 days before departure. The balance as shown on your invoice is due 60 days prior to departure regardless of whether extensions or other arrangements are pending. Late payments may jeopardize confirmation of your itinerary and in some cases may result in additional fees. If we have not received final payment 30 days prior to departure your reservation may be canceled and subject to our Cancellation & Refund Policy stated in the complete Terms & Conditions.

We accept payments by Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or check drawn on a U.S. bank account. Payment for airfare is required at the time of ticketing. Discounts that may be available for some trips are not available toward bookings made through travel agencies.​

Airfare

We can help you secure air travel arrangements to correspond with land travel booked through Journeys International. We work with an airfare consolidator to assist in booking the flights that suit your needs. If you decide to make your own flight arrangements, you must provide Journeys International with a complete copy of your itinerary showing departure and arrival flights and times. You should plan to arrange your own air travel if you are using mileage credit or originating outside North America, but please be in touch with our office before you finalize ticketing so that we can help you to coordinate the correct arrival and departure dates and times.

Insurance

When you make your application, we strongly recommend the purchase of comprehensive travel insurance in case of emergency situations. Please contact us for a recommended policy.

Itinerary Change Fee

There will be a $40 fee for changes once an itinerary has been confirmed and approved. Additional cancellation penalties or change fees may apply as per our terms and conditions. The passenger is responsible for such fees.

Trip Extensions

There are currently no suggested extensions for this itinerary. Please ask the Destination Specialist if you'd like to customize one.

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× comfort level
Choose accommodations and amenities that fit your personal style
●○○○○ Simple
Our most natural accommodations. Bath facilities often shared, sometimes rustic.
●●○○○ Delightful
Comfortable and especially personal. Small to mid-sized lodges, typically with private bath.
●●●○○ Superior
Lodges and hotels with additional amenities, refined artistry, or extra-special settings.
●●●●○ Deluxe
Exclusive or luxury lodges, hotels, or safari camps with fine dining options.
●●●●● Uncommon
The most indulgent accommodations arranged specially for private trips.
× activity level
Match the trip’s intensity to your ability and motivation.
●○○○○ Gentle
Easy walking, with opportunities for low-key physical activity.
●●○○○ Active
Energetic exploration with optional day hikes, leisurely cycling, or light canoeing.
●●●○○ Vigorous
Day-long active excursions and options for demanding activity in varied environments.
●●●●○ Challenging
Strenuous hiking or other intense activity that may be at high altitude or over rough terrain.
●●●●● Demanding
Multi-day trekking and other activities requiring endurance or strength. Steep trails. No technical expertise necessary.
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