10 Nights: Mandalay Adventure

Mandalay is rich in history and traditional culture and is also known as the economic and religious hub of upper Myanmar, centred around the Royal Palace, perched up on a high pagoda-topped hill.  See for yourself why Myanmar is considered to be one of the most mysterious and undiscovered destinations in the world. Myanmar is a land of beauty, charm, history and wonder.  With world-class tourist attractions making Myanmar one of the world's top places to visit, Myanmar is one of the largest and most diverse countries in South East Asia bridging historical elegance with a modern flare.

 

PRICE:

From CAD $2830 per person, based on double occupancy

 

VALIDITY:

Please speak with one of our Destination Specialists.

 

Package Includes:

  • 10 nights’ accommodation, including remote Village Stay
  • Experienced tour leader
  • All transport, including private air-conditioned mini-coach and slow boat journey
  • Meals as per itinerary: 9 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 5 dinners

 

Activities included:

  • Horse drawn carriage tour to Governor’s residence and British colonial gardens
  • Coffee plantation tour
  • Mandalay city tour, including Royal Palace, gold pounders workshop, pagodas and sunset on the hill.
  • Scenic slow boat journey from Mandalay to Bagan
  • Bagan sunrise horse and cart ride
  • Spiritual session with a Buddhist monk at Bagan
  • Half day guided temple tour of Bagan monuments
  • Betel Nut preparation lesson and tasting
  • Overnight village stay and trek to hill-tribes near Kalaw
  • Basket balancing lesson in local village
  • Boat trip on Inle Lake including floating farm visit, lotus weaving and fishing lesson
  • Traditional Burmese make-up lesson

 

TRAVEL ITINERARY

Day 1 - Mandalay

  • Upon arrival, you’ll have free time to get a feel for   this northern city by wandering through the local fish and flower markets adjacent to your hotel
  • You're invited to an early evening gathering on the rooftop bar of the Ayarwaddy River View Hotel to witness the sun setting behind the rolling Sagaging Hills. This is where you’ll meet your tour leader and the rest of your group

Day 2 - Mandalay to Pyin Oo Lwin     

  • After breakfast, enjoy the cool mountain air and travel by private mini-coach to the old British hill station of Pyin Oo Lwin. You’ll stop en route at an impressive waterfall, where a 45 minute trek will give you your first taste of the Myanmar jungle
  • Discover the old Governor’s residence, colonial clock tower, numerous pagodas and finish at the lush British botanical gardens

Day 3 - Pyin Oo Lwin to Mandalay

  • Begin your day with a trip to the bustling town markets straight after breakfast. Colourful flowers and tantalising fresh foods are just some of the delights to discover here and you’ll also visit a nearby coffee plantation for a tour and chance to taste the finished product
  • This tour will take you to the former Royal Palace, a gold pounders workshop, the intricate teak wood Shewnandaw Kyuang monastery and to see the ‘big book’ at the Kuthodaw Pagoda.
  • Discover how the old ways of life still manage to exist in today’s modern world.

Day 4 - Mandalay to Bagan    

  • Take a stunning slow boat journey down one of the world’s great rivers, the Irrawaddy. Floating down stream on glacial water melted from the Himalayas you will see local river life in abundance.
  • We arrive into Bagan just before sunset, where you'll enjoy your first sight of this enchanting town

Day 5 - Bagan

  • Enjoy a traditional horse and cart ride out of town to witness the first rays of light illuminating more than 3,000 temples.
  • Head back in the mini-coach for a half day tour of the Bagan temple complex to learn more about the intriguing history and architecture of this sprawling site.
  • Afternoon at leisure

Day 6 - Bagan to Kalaw

  • Seize the day with a climb up Mt Popa for one final look over the mystical Bagan Archaeological Zone. 
  • After descending and a well-earned packed lunch in the jungle shade, we’ll board our coach and drive from east to west across Myanmar towards Kalaw. Along the way we will make a stop at Meiktila, well known for its thriving Muslim University.
  • Arrive early evening in Kalaw and get our first chance to try the fine 'Shan cuisine' at a local restaurant. Remember to pack a small overnight bag and get a good night’s rest for tomorrow when we will trek to a remote community for a truly immersive overnight stay.

Day 7 - Kalaw – Village stay (Trek 4 hours)     

  • Soak up the beauty of Kalaw as we begin our trek through the enchanting Shan hills 
  • Your guide will give you an introduction to the regional ethnic groups as well as point out the diverse native plant and animal life along the way 
  • On arrival into the village you will partake in preparing some traditional Shan dishes for lunch, with a helping hand from your friendly hosts and guide (This afternoon's activities depend on the time of year and what the villagers are doing on the day)
  • Your stay will be in a nearby ethnic-style house with your guide.  You are free to interact with the villagers, just not sleep in the same house

Day 8 - Village stay – Kalaw    

  • Start your day early and enjoy a final traditional meal with your hosts.  As we trek back to Kalaw your guide will take you by a different route to expose you to even more of this fascinating rural area and its villages
  • Back at the hotel by afternoon, take some time to relax after the hike and reflect on your incredible time with the Shan villagers

Day 9 - Kalaw – Inle Lake – Kalaw

  • Depending on the season, it will be possible for you to rise early with your guide and check out the local market which rotates neighbouring villages on a 5 day cycle. If it’s market day the town centre will be bustling with traders. 
  • After breakfast we drive out of the hills for a day trip to the tranquil Inle Lake. At Nyaung Shwe, a small town at the top of the lake, we exchange our coach for private long tail boats to power through the towering reeds of the upper lake delta.
  • Inle Lake is a protected wetland sanctuary, so keep watch for a variety of native birds

Day 10 - Kalaw to Mandalay

  • This morning we leave the crisp mountain air of Kalaw behind, bound for Mandalay.  We revisit Meiktila for lunch and a lesson in how to apply ‘Thanaka.’  You may have seen this distinctive make-up on Burmese faces throughout your trip and today you get the chance to learn from the experts about how it is traditionally prepared and applied. We arrive in Mandalay by early evening so you have enough time to spruce up for a farewell rooftop party on our last night together

Day 11 - Mandalay

  • Your departure day is a day at leisure.
  • We recommend going on excursions to Mingun, Amarapura and Sagaging Hill

*Open-aged, although ideally suited for travellers between the ages of 18-40

*Valid for travel: 01 Apr 2015 - 31 Mar 2016

 

We recommend you bring:

  • Light clothes for the wet season (May – Oct) and something warm for the dry season (Nov – Mar)
  • A good travel medical kit supplied by a doctor (for any inconveniences, dietary or otherwise)
  • Your travel insurance details
  • Sunscreen and bug repellent (at least 30% deet content)
  • A sarong for swimming in remote areas for women, local culture requires modesty
  • A poncho or light raincoat (it can rain even in the dry season in the north), shoes/trainers for walking, a roll of toilet paper and hand sanitizer

 

Terms & Conditions:

This trip is a locally operated accommodation / activities package. Our Destination Specialists can help you with onward travel, including organizing transfers.  Prices does not include the cost of travel Visas.  Subject to availability and itinerary timeframe; please speak with one of our Destination Specialists regarding your specific travel times.  Price is per person, based on double occupancy.  Package is land only and does not include international flights or transfers.  Must book by 30 November 2015.  All bookings are subject to availability at time of booking. Downunder Travel Ltd. is the agent/broker in this equation and for that reason is not responsible for any issues or incidents which result in clients expenditure outside of the package booked paid for and agreed upon.  Downunder Travel Ltd recommends all passengers purchase cancellation/interruption insurance for protection against any non pre-existing medical conditions which may cause you cancellation penalties or change fees. Your Downunder Travel Specialist can assist with both Cancellation/Interruption Insurance and Medical Insurance.