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Myanmar & the Irrawaddy 2020

11 days with Abercrombie & Kent  Rating: Deluxe

River Cruise Itinerary
DAY 1 ARRIVE YANGON, MYANMAR
Arrive in Yangon, where you are met and transferred to your hotel.
 
DAY 2 YANGON | QUEEN OF THE EAST
Today, enjoy your first taste of Myanmar, a profoundly Buddhist country, where many ancient traditions still flourish. Visit Bogyoke Aung San Market (Scott Market) to see where locals gather, socialize and shop. After lunch, see the Reclining Buddha at Chauk Htat Gyi Pagoda, a 213-foot-long statue with an expressive enamel face. This evening, transfer to Shwedagon Pagoda, the most sacred Buddhist site in Myanmar, for a sunset oil-lamp lighting ceremony. Standing nearly 330 feet tall, the venerated stupa is covered in gold leaf and topped by a finial encrusted with thousands of precious gems. View this mesmerizing wonder firsthand, as your local guide explains the history behind the holy relics it enshrines, which include strands of hair from the head of Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha. Tonight, gather for a special welcome dinner. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
 
DAY 3 BAGAN | TEMPLES & PAGODAS
Fly to Bagan, a city with more than 2,000 Buddhist pagodas and temples, the first of which was built by King Anawrahta in 1044. Upon arrival, you are taken to a local restaurant for lunch before continuing to your hotel. After a short rest, visit a local lacquerware workshop. This evening, enjoy a Scenic Sundowner from a special viewing platform overlooking Bagan’s temple-dotted landscape. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
 
DAY 4 BAGAN | YOUNG NOVITIATES & TIMELESS TEMPLES
This morning, witness a shinbyu (novitiation ceremony), a coming-of-age ritual celebrating an aspiring young monk’s first entry to the monastery. Enjoy privileged access to this time-honored tradition and the village festivities. Visit the well-preserved Ananda Temple, built in 1090. Next, travel to the village of Wetkyi-In to see the wonderful Kubyaukgyi Temple, renowned for its ancient murals. Board luxurious all-balcony ‘Sanctuary Ananda,’ your home for a three-night cruise on the timeless Irrawaddy River. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
 
DAY 5 CRUISING THE IRRAWADDY | A HOT AIR BALLOON RIDE
Rise early for an exhilarating hot air balloon ride (weather permitting) over Bagan, as dawn illuminates the gold- and sand-colored stupas. After breakfast on board, explore Nyaung Oo Market and observe locals selling and bartering for goods. Return to the ship for lunch, and listen to a special onboard talk about Myanmar’s history and vision for the future, followed by demonstrations of the longyi (traditional Burmese cloth worn by men and women) and thanakha (a white cosmetic paste made from ground bark). (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
 
DAY 6 CRUISING THE IRRAWADDY | U BEIN BRIDGE
Today, learn the secrets of Burmese cuisine during a cooking demonstration at a delightful Chef ’s Table experience. After lunch, disembark to visit Sagaing, a former royal city renowned for its monasteries, pagodas and stupas. Proceed to Amarapura, where you embark by boat to view the picturesque U Bein Bridge — the oldest and longest teakwood bridge in the world. Watch locals riding bikes, carrying crops and commuting from work cross this tall, iconic landmark for an insight into everyday life here as well as an ideal sunset photo opportunity. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
 
DAY 7 MANDALAY | ICONS & EVENING PRAYERS
After breakfast on board, explore a gold-leaf workshop, where the metal is hammered paper-thin and prepared for use in some of Myanmar’s holiest sites. This afternoon, visit the Shwenandaw Monastery and view the more than 700 marble slabs inscribed with Buddhist religious texts at Kuthodaw Pagoda, referred to as the biggest book in the world. Later, witness evening prayers at Shwe Kyin Monastery. (Breakfast, Lunch)
 
DAY 8 INLE LAKE | FLOATING GARDENS
Fly to Heho and drive to Nyaung Shwe to visit a Shan paper workshop. Enjoy a firsthand look at the artisans who produce this distinctive paper, using fibers from the mulberry tree, and craft a wide range of items from it, most notably Burmese parasols. This afternoon, board a boat and explore the ingenious floating gardens of Inle Lake. To create these gardens, used for growing fruit and vegetables, fishermen gather together lake plants such as water hyacinths and seagrass and anchor them with bamboo poles embedded in the lake bottom. Layers of mud, ash and more vegetation are then applied to form a farmable surface strong enough to stand upon. Transfer to your lakeside boutique hotel for the evening. (Breakfast, Dinner)
 
DAY 9 INLE LAKE | DESIGN YOUR DAY
This morning, enjoy one of these Design Your Day activities:
 
Enjoy an Artisan Visit, to see cigar-like cheroots hand made at a local workshop, and tour a weaving factory.
 
Bicycle Through the Countryside in the company of a local guide, taking in the lush surroundings and local life.
 
Attend a Cooking Class led by a local chef, for the hands-on opportunity to prepare traditional Burmese dishes.
 
After lunch, privately witness an Intha boat race with afternoon tea. Marvel at the coordinated effort required by the 20 participants per boat, each using the traditional single-leg rowing technique that local fishermen still employ. (Breakfast, Lunch)
 
DAY 10 YANGON | FAREWELL DINNER
Fly to Yangon and transfer to your hotel. Later, savor afternoon tea with a local writer, artist and intellectual who shares her insight into contemporary Burmese culture and politics. Tonight, toast your time in Myanmar at a special farewell dinner. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
 
DAY 11 DEPART YANGON
After breakfast, transfer to the airport and depart. (Breakfast)
Tour Map
River Cruise Highlights
  • Cruise in luxury for three nights on the legendary Irrawaddy River aboard all-balcony ‘Sanctuary Ananda’
  • Experience floating gardens and a private viewing of a traditional Intha boat race on tranquil Inle Lake
  • Soar above thousands of pagodas and capture the photographs of a lifetime on a magical hot air balloon ride
  • Experience the ceremonial lighting of a thousand oil lamps at the gilded Shwedagon Pagoda
  • Enjoy privileged access to a local celebration of a young monk’s first entry to the monastery
All This Included
Journey to spiritually rich Myanmar to experience the serenity of Inle Lake, observe life along the banks of the Irrawaddy River from aboard ‘Sanctuary Ananda’ and watch the rising sun illuminate thousands of temples in timeless Bagan.
  • English-Speaking Resident Tour Director® and Local Guides
  • Hand-Selected Luxury Accommodations
  • Travelling Bell Boy® Luggage Handling
  • Airport Meet and Greet with Private Transfers
  • Breakfast in Bed on Select Days
  • Full Breakfast Daily; Select Lunches and Dinners
  • New! Your Choice of Activity on Design Your Day® 
  • Traveller’s Valet® Laundry Service
  • Internet Access (Where Available) 
  • Entrance Fees, Taxes and All Gratuities Except Resident Tour Director
  • 24/7 A&K On-Call Support
  • Guaranteed Departures with Just Two Guests
Accommodations on this Tour
Yangon: Belmond Governor's Residence
Bagan: Aureum Palace Hotel & Resort, Bagan
Cruising: Cabin onboard Sanctuary Ananda
Mandalay: Rupar Mandalar Resort
Inle Lake: Aureum Palace Hotel & Resort, Inle
Yangon: Belmond Governor's Residence
Pre and Post Add-ons
Post-Tour Extension: Bangkok
3 days from $1,395 / Single Supplement from $595
 
Internal air from $525: Bangkok/Yangon
 
Explore the Grand Palace, behold the spectacular Reclining Buddha at Wat Pho and glide on the klongs (canals) by boat. Available to add to select departure dates. 
 
DAY 1
Arrive in Bangkok, Thailand, and transfer to your luxurious hotel.
The Peninsula Bangkok
 
DAY 2
Depart the hotel and explore the Royal Grounds of the Grand Palace by tuk-tuk, and then tour the palace. Next, behold the spectacular Reclining Buddha at Wat Pho. Later, glide along the Chao Phraya River and klongs (canals) by boat. Tonight, gather with your fellow guests for dinner. (Breakfast, Dinner)
The Peninsula Bangkok
 
DAY 3
After breakfast, fly to Yangon to begin your main journey. (Breakfast)
 
Explore Hong Kong: Stopover Package
3 days from $2,395 / Single Supplement from $1,395
 
Take advantage of an incredible opportunity to spend two nights in Hong Kong before or after your journey.
 
International air not included.
 
3 DAYS
Experience Hong Kong Island by land, air and sea, beginning with a look at the city’s bustling market culture with stops at the Sheung Wan Dried Food and Herbal Market, street-side antique shops, and an open-air curio market. Ride the Peak Tram funicular up to Victoria Peak for a stunning view of Victoria Harbour and finish with a traditional sampan (wooden boat) ride through the local floating villages. (Breakfast, Lunch (Day 2); Breakfast (Day 3))
The Peninsula Hong Kong
 
Explore Dubai: Stopover Package
3 days from $1,795 / Single Supplement from $1,195
 
Take advantage of an incredible opportunity to spend two nights in Dubai before or after your journey.
 
International air not included.
 
3 DAYS
Fly to Dubai and check in to your luxury hotel. Discover the best of this dazzling city, viewing its remarkable architecture, visiting the Spice Market and colorful shops at the Deira Gold Souk, and ascending the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest skyscraper. On the last day, continue on to your journey or board your flight home. (Breakfast, Lunch (Day 2) Breakfast (Day 3))
Notes
  • Itineraries and prices are subject to change.
  • Internal Air: Economy class from $475: Yangon/Bagan; Mandalay/Heho/Yangon
  • Minimum age is 10 years.
  • First group event: welcome briefing at 9:00 a.m. on Day 2.
  • Last group event: farewell dinner at 7:30 p.m. on Day 10.
  • Departures are guaranteed to operate with a minimum of 2 guests.
  • Itinerary will operate with routing changes in the case of low water levels.
  • This journey contains some active elements.
  • Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions

* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines. Sorry, we are unable to offer air from countries other than the U.S. However, for those international customers who are able to arrange their own transportation to the trip origination city, we are able to offer the land/cruise portion of the package at the price quoted.



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