Myanmar highlights holiday
Description of Myanmar highlights holiday
This Myanmar highlights holiday is a two week, tailor made trip that is a perfect introduction to the country for a first time visitor. It is a relatively speedy way around the country, but we do use internal flights to help make the most of your time.
Starting in Mandalay and finishing in Yangon, these are the two main urban stops on your itinerary. As this is tailor made we can, however, tweak this itinerary to ensure that you see everything that interests you, and spend longer in certain places if that appeals.
In Mandalay, explore its colonial heritage by horse and cart, visit the jade market and famous railway bazaar, or just sip tea and watch daily life happen in front of you. Another fine place to watch the world go by is from the top of the city’s Mandalay Hill, and we will arrange a driver to take you up there. Or of course you can walk if you prefer. Another highlight of Mandalay is a boat trip out to the famous U Bein's Bridge at sunset, the world’s longest teak bridge.
Your next stop is the biggie for many of our guests: Bagan, where thousands of temples and pagodas stretch out to the horizon. You journey there by boat from Mandalay, a wonderfully relaxing way to arrive in such a spectacular cultural landscape.
The cultural landscape at Lake Inle is one that also stays with our guests for a long time, as you take in array of waterside life, the stilt house villages, floating markets and vegetable gardens as well as the famous leg rowing fishermen. You can canoe on the lake or cycle around it, take a Shan cookery lesson and spend a night in an ecolodge on the north side of the Lake at Nyaung Shwe.
Finally you fly back to Yangon, formerly known as Rangoon which, although it is no longer the capital of the country, is considered by many to be the cultural and historical heart. Visit the markets, the stupendous Shwedagon Pagoda, or just get on board the city’s circular railway that takes you through some of the traditional suburbs where you can see real life going on.
PlanetOne of the best ways to see the iconic U Bein’s Bridge at Amarapura near Mandalay is by boat – not only are you away from the crowds but not walking on this ancient structure is helping to preserve it. We also encourage bicycle rides around Inle lake to explore the local villages.
In Bagan bicycles are a good way to explore and see some of the lesser visited temples, which also reduces the need for a vehicle. It is possible to hire electronic bikes to make cycling a little easier in the heat and to cover greater ground.
Travelling by bicycle or on foot for many of the excursions means that environmental impact has been kept to a minimum for this trip, whilst offering the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful countryside in a relaxing manner and the famous temples of Myanmar from a unique and personal perspective.
Our suppliers are focused on improving sustainability and reducing plastic waste. We are working together with them and the local guides to offer refillable water bottles and reduce offers of other single-use items such as wet wipes or straws on a more widespread basis.
PeopleMyanmar is a country that is slowly opening up to tourism and sustainable tourism practices and therefore initiatives that are culturally, environmentally and socially sound are still in their infancy.
For over 15 years we have been working with a family-owned partner in Myanmar who demonstrates care for the environment, preservation of their culture and commitment to the community as well as providing employment opportunities for many local people throughout the country.
Some countries still have sanctions against former government officials and entities and as such we prefer to use non-government owned accommodation and local drivers and guides. We recommend eating in local restaurants as well as purchasing locally-made souvenirs from small shops and street vendors so you can ensure that money goes directly into the hands of the local people. On this trip for example, you will visit the Jade market in Mandalay, cookery classes near Inle Lake and pottery workshops at Twante pottery village.
After the devastating effects of Cyclone Nargis in May 2008, we wanted to raise funds to help a community affected by one of the worst natural disasters of all time. Our local partner in Burma helped us to identify a small primary school in Paya Ngoto village which had been virtually destroyed and was in desperate need of a donor to help rebuild the school and move the 55 students out of temporary bamboo classrooms back into the main schoolhouse.
After months of fundraising and the hard work of a local contractor and workforce, the school was completed and the children moved back into their brighter, larger and better equipped schoolhouse.
This is a project that we are immensely proud of and we encourage visits in small controlled numbers, particularly as so many generously donated and supported our fundraising efforts. A visit to this school is included in your itinerary.