Myanmar

Myanmar is an almost unspoiled jewel in South-East Asia. The country is slowly opening up to tourism after decades of political struggles and the people of Myanmar are eager to welcome you to their beautiful country. In Myanmar you will find incredible natural beauty, amazing temples and the most inviting and friendly people anywhere in Asia.

The pagodas of Bagan are at least as impressive as Angkor Wat: almost 5000 are scattered around a vast area easily explored by e-bike. Cities as Yangon and Mandalay offer a mixture of Buddhist temples and pagodas, British colonial architecture and busy streets. On Inle Lake you will discover entire villages built on stilts in a lake where people make a living weaving silk from lotus stems. Myanmar is an amazing county, with friendly people who desperately need tourism to supplement their income. You have to see and experience it for yourself, but we assure you Myanmar will always have a special place in your heart.

Dates & Prices
Departure Date Arrival Date Duration Price Tour leader
27/10/2019 07/11/2019 12 days € 1.860,- Stefan
10/11/2019 21/11/2019 12 days € 1.860,- Brenda
09/02/2020 26/02/2020 18 days € 2.610,- Stefan
09/02/2020 20/02/2020 12 days € 1.860,- Stefan
05/07/2020 16/07/2020 12 days € 1.860,- Stefan
01/11/2020 18/11/2020 18 days € 2.610,- Stefan
01/11/2020 12/11/2020 12 days € 1.860,- Stefan

Itinerary

Samsara Vegan Travels - Travel Route Central Myanmar - zoomSummary 12 day Travel
On this 12 day Travel we will explore central Myanmar. Our starting point is Mandalay. We will spend a few days exploring the former capital city of Burma. A day trip to Pyin Oo Lwyn and Sagain is included. From Mandalay we take a bus to Bagan, the temple city of the Myanmar. Here, you will have time to explore the many ancient temples and other cultural highlights. After a few wonderful days in Bagan our bus will take us to Kalaw, where you can enjoy a free day. From Kalaw we drive to Inle Lake, where we will explore the beautiful lake by boat. The tour ends back in Mandalay.

Samsara Vegan Travels - Travel Route Myanmar 18dSummary 18 day Travel
We start the 18 day Travel in Mandalay and we will spend a few days exploring the former capital city of Burma. A day trip to Pyin Oo Lwyn and Sagain is included. From Mandalay we take a bus to Bagan, the temple city of the Myanmar. Here, you will have time to explore the many ancient temples and other cultural highlights. After a few wonderful days in Bagan our bus will take us to Kalaw, where you can enjoy a free day. From Kalaw we drive to Inle Lake, where we will explore the beautiful lake by boat. Our tour takes us further down the country to Bago and the beautiful karst mountains of Hpa An. The last 3 days of the tour will take us to the exciting city of Yangon with its beautiful temples, pagoda's, museums and hustle and big city vibe.

Note: In the event of unforeseen circumstances, for example an upcoming typhoon, a broken bus or delayed train, it is possible that the travel program must be adjusted. The final decision will be made by the tour leader.

Day 1 & 2 – Mandalay

Samsara Vegan Travels - Myanmar - Mandalay MarketOur Myanmar Travel will start in the morning of the first day. If you have not spent the night in our hotel in the city center, you are expected to arrive there no later than 09.00 am for an introduction and to meet your fellow travelers.

It is up to you when you want to arrive in Myanmar. If you want to arrive a few days before the tour starts, we will gladly help you to arrange a hotel room for you.

After the introduction in our hotel we will visit the following sites using our private bus: Shwenandaw Palace Monastery, Kuthodaw pagoda and Mandalay Zay Gyo Market. The market is your first chance to find some nice souvenirs. We will pay a visit to Mandalay Hill and the monasteries and pagodas in the surrounding area in the evening before sunset.

On day 2 we start with a visit to the gold leaf shops, then we drive to very sacred Mahamuni Pagoda. You will see many Burmese families coming here to spend the day. We continue with a quick stop at the Marble Street where numerous Buddha statues are being made and will drive to Amarapura to visit some renowned monasteries. After that we visit Inwa, an old capital in the 17th,18th centuries and U Bein bridge over sunset.

 

Day 3 – Pyin Oo Lwin

Samsara Vegan Travels - Myanmar - Pyin Oo LwinBy bus we will make our way east toward Pyin Oo Lwin, the former summer retreat of the British colonialists, who used it get away from the heat of Mandalay. After checking into the hotel you can go for a walk around the town or join the bus for a visit to the botanical gardens, at the other side of town.

Day 4 – Mandalay & Sagaing

Samsara Vegan Travels - Myanmar - Mingun pagodaToday we drive back to Mandalay by bus, where we will arrive around lunch time. After lunch we take time to visit Sagaing on the other side of the river. Sagaing is an important religious and monastic center and houses numerous monasteries, pagodas and temples. If time allows, we will continue our way to visit Mingun Pagoda, an enormous structure built out of brick. The pagoda is damaged by earthquakes, but still standing and very impressive. We will spend the night in our hotel in Mandalay.

Day 5 & 6 & 7 – Bagan

Samsara Vegan Travels - Myanmar - Bagan #2

Today we leave Mandalay behind us and make our first stop in Mongywa to visit the giant Laykyun Setkyar Buddha statue, the second highest Buddha statue in the world with a height of 129 m (31 floors). We then continue on our way to Bagan, certainly one of the highlights of this travel. The Bagan Archaeological Zone is equally as impressive as Angkor Wat in Cambodia, with over 2.200 temples and pagodas still standing of over 10.000 that were constructed in this area. Many of them were destroyed in earth quakes. We will have two full days in Bagan to explore the magnificent sites. You can get around on foot, bicycle or rent an e-scooter. Don't forget to get that magical sunset photograph!

Day 8 & 9 – Kalaw

Samsara Vegan Travels - Myanmar - Kalaw Elephant CampFrom Bagan we will leave for Kalaw by bus, en route we stop at the spectacular Mount Popa and its iconic Buddhist monastery for a quick photo opportunity from the valley below. At the end of the day, and after long climb uphill we will arrive in the charming mountain town of Kalaw, another popular place for the former British colonialists. The next day is a free day. There are many exciting things to do in and around Kalaw. Perhaps you want to do a day-trekking, try some cooking classes or visit the Green Hill Valley Elephant camp, winner of the tourism awareness project award 2018. There you can visit retired logging elephants and learn about preserving Myanmar's ecosystem. You can even help plant trees and wash elephants!

Day 10 & 11 – Nyaung Shwe (Inle Lake)

Samsara Vegan Travels - Myanmar - Boats at Inle LakeFrom Kalaw we will take our bus and drive to Nyaung Shwe, which is the main town a little north of the lake, where we move into our centrally located hotel. On our way there we will visit Pindaya Caves, an astonishing collection of Buddha statues inside a cave. The rest of the day is free to explore the town and local market. Another option is to take a bicycle and discover the surrounding area of the lake.

On day 11 we will organize a boat trip on the lake for all our travelers. On this boat trip we will see life as it happens in the towns that are literally built on stilts in the lake.

Day 12 – Nyaung Shwe (to Mandalay)

Samsara Vegan Travels - Myanmar - Egg ManFor our 12 day Travel we will use this day to drive from Nyaung Shwe back to Mandalay. Depending on when your flight is, you can enjoy the rest of the day in Mandalay for those last minute souvenirs or you can make your way to the airport.

Our 18 day Travel will have an extra day in Nyaung Shwe (Inle Lake) to do some more exploring or visit a spa and enjoy a massage.

Day 13 – Bago

Samsara Vegan Travels - Myanmar - Bago Palace

From Nyaung Shwe we will use our bus to drive to former capital city of Bago where we will spend the night. This will be a long day of travel. Relax in the bus and enjoy the scenery. We will arrive in Bago in the early hours of the evening.

Day 14 & 15 – Hpa An

Samsara Vegan Travels - Beautiful Buddhist Kyauk Kalap Pagoda in Hpa-An, Myanmar. After breakfast there is an opportunity to visit some of Bago's landmark sites, such as Kanbawzathadi Palace, Shewmamdaw Paya or Kyaik Pon Pagoda. We will then continue on our to Kyaikto where pick-up trucks will take us to Kyaiktiyo Pagoda (Golden Rock pagoda). This is an exicting adventure you will not soon forget. When we return from the pagoda we arrive in Hpa An about two hours later, where you can settle into your hotel and have some time to explore this relaxed town and its beautiful surroundings.

Hpa An is surrounded by amazing karst rock formations and caves. In the morning of day 15, we will visit a number of these highlights such as: Yathapyan Cave, Kawgun Cave, Kyauk Ka Lat Pagoda & Lumbini Garden. The rest of the day you can enjoy some free time.

Day 16, 17 & 18 – Yangon

Samsara Vegan Travels - Myanmar - Swedagon pagoda YangonFrom Hpa An it will take us about 6 hours to drive to Yangon, the former capital of Myanmar, where everyone is free to fill the rest of the day as they please.

The last two days of this tour are for you to visit the city center sites in Yangon. On the must-see list are of course the overwhelmingly stunning Shwedagon Pagoda, the Sule pagoda, Kandawgyi Lake & the National Museum of Myanmar Enjoying a coffee in the luxurious The Strand Hotel, overlooking the harbor, visit the historic Aung San Bogyoke Market (also known as Scott's Market) for some last minute souvenir shopping or one of the many local stalls all over the city. Enjoy a cocktail in the Sky Bistro at Sakura Tower or visit the newly developed Junction City Shopping Mall with all the modern comforts and shops.
Depending on when your flight is, you can make your way to the airport on day 18. The airport is conveniently located near the city center.

What is included in the price?

18 day Travel

  • 17 Overnight stays
  • Transportation according to program
  • All breakfasts
  • Boat trip on Inle Lake
  • Dutch+English+German speaking tour leader

 

12 day Travel

  • 11 Overnight stays
  • Transportation according to program
  • All breakfasts
  • Boat trip on Inle Lake
  • Dutch+English+German speaking tour leader

Not included:

  • International flights
  • Meals (unless mentioned)(we WILL take you to vegan restaurants)
  • Entrance fees (unless specifically mentioned)
  • Visa for Myanmar (if applicable)
  • Travel insurance (mandatory)
  • Cancellation insurance (optional)
  • Spending money*
  • Tips**

*For spending money you should count on an average of € 125,- per person per week. In this amount are included costs for food and drinks, entrance fees, additional excursions and personal tips. Souvenirs are not included in this amount as this very much depends on the person.

**Tipping in Myanmar is common and often a necessary part of peoples income. For common expenses such as tipping in hotels and our bus driver and guide, a joint pot will be used for which a contribution is requested from all participants. For the 12 day travel to Myanmar this is € 25,-.

Country Information

Climate

In the period from November till February temperatures in Myanmar are moderate and precipitation is minimal. From February on temperatures will start to climb, for cooling off, mountainous areas around Pyin Oo Lwin and Kalaw are excellent as the British colonialists had already discovered. The wet season starts in May, with a daily decent shower in the afternoon.
Mandalay Climate  Yangon Climate

Transport

Myanmar Distances

Most local transport is done by a private bus. Keep in mind that this is Myanmar and levels of comfort can deviate from what you are used to in your country, caused by factors such as road conditions, weather and local customs.
On Inle Lake we will make use of local boats that will transport us around the lake and villages.
To give you an impression of the distances we will be covering, have a look at the table. Driving times do not include stops.

Luggage

From a practical point of view, it is best not to bring a hard suitcase, these do not fit well in the luggage compartments of the bus. The best is to bring a backpack or flexible holdall. Take a careful look at what you want to bring with you, experience shows that you usually have too much with you. You do have to carry your own bag from the bus to the hotel, so do not make it too heavy.

Dress

In Buddhist temples you must cover your shoulder and knees. Dress appropriately in places of worship or cultural significance.

Money

The Burmese currency is the Kyat. Money can be obtained by exchanging Euros or US dollars at banks, exchange offices or in the hotel. For exchanging Euro or US dollar bills it is required to bring crisp bills (unfolded). If bills are in any way damaged (tears, creases, folds) they might be rejected or will at least influence the exchange rate.
Credit cards are becoming more accepted, especially in hotels and cities. Taking money from cash machines is also possible, especially in larges cities, with a debit card with Maestro or Cirrus symbol.

We recommend to bring with you an amount of cash in Euros or US dollars for emergency purposes and to take out most of the money on arrival. You can best do this immediately after arrival at the airport or near the hotel. If possible bring an additional credit and/or debit card for unexpected expenses or emergencies.

Safety and travel advice

For up-to-date information about the security situation in Myanmar, please visit the website of your national government. Travelers who reside in The Netherlands can find relevant information on Nederland Wereldwijd.

Practical Information

Level of fitness

For this Travel you need medium level of health. Long walks and bike rides are all optional. If you are in good health you can easily participate in this journey. To cover longer distances we use our own bus. Most of the hotels are within walking distance of the city center and restaurants. Taxis are readily available.
Due to the active nature of the trip this journey is not suitable for people with reduced mobility.

Travel documents

You are required to have a passport that is valid for the duration of your stay in Myanmar.

Passport holders from 100 countries are eligible to apply using eVisa for Tourist Visa. You can apply for your visa using the following link from Myanmar Immigration. A standard tourist visa will allow you to stay in Myanmar for a maximum of 28 days. The approval letter from Myanmar Immigration, which is the document you need to print to be able to enter the country, has a validity of 90 days. So don't start to early with the application process. Please ensure yourself of the through time for this application, we recommend to submit your request at least 4 weeks before departure. You are responsible for having the right travel documents.

For emergency purposes make a scan of your passport, visa, and other important documents and mail them to yourself, or put them online in the cloud. So, in case of theft or loss during the journey, you always have copies of your important papers on hand.

Insurance

The costs of health care abroad or an unexpected repatriation can be huge, even in a country like Myanmar. To prevent these high costs, you require travel insurance. Samsara Vegan Travels obligates its travelers to obtain adequate a travel insurance for the full coverage of medical assistance and repatriation and can ask for proof of this insurance. Failure to comply with this requirement can be cause for cancellation in accordance with our Terms and Conditions.

We advise you to take out cancellation insurance, but this is not mandatory.

Vaccinations

When you travel to other countries, it is important to prepare yourself well. For thorough advice on required vaccinations and malaria prophylaxis, contact your family doctor or a clinic specialized in vaccinations. Travelers who reside in The Netherlands can find relevant information on thuisvaccinatie. Starting well on time with a vaccination program is essential as some vaccinations have to be repeated one or more times to be sufficiently effective. Make your 1st appointment at least 6 weeks before departure.

For Myanmar, in general, you are advised to protect yourself against the following diseases:

  • Hepatitis A
  • DTP (diphtheria, tetanus, polio)
  • Typhoid
  • Rabies
  • Malaria (advice on malaria prophylaxes for Myanmar varies, depending on itinerary but also country of residence, please show you doctor your travel itinerary)
  • Dengue (no vaccination possible, protection from mosquitoes is advised)

Check with your health and/or travel insurance if costs for travel vaccinations will be reimbursed.

Travel medication

We advise you to bring a modest travel pharmacy containing painkillers, diarrhea tablets, ORS (Oral Re-hydration Salts), disinfectants, anti-histamine tablets and motion sickness tablets of your sensitive for that.
If you are bringing other medication into the country, make sure these medications are permitted and ask your pharmacy to provide you with a list of subscribed medication.

Accommodation

Samsara Vegan Travels Twin room MyanmarThe hotels are comfortable and all have private bathrooms and usually air conditioning. Because the exact accommodation can vary depending on the date and group size, we do not send a list. As a general example, rooms will look something like this:

Our advertised prices are based on double occupancy. If you travel alone and would like to have your own room, we will charge you the single's supplement as specified below. If you would like to share a room we will try to find another traveler of the same sex to share your room with. At the time of booking we will charge you the single's supplement, this will be reimbursed if we find a roommate for you.The single's supplement for this travel is € 295,- for the 18 day tour. For the 12 day tour, the supplement is € 195,-.

Rooms are generally fitted with two single beds, unless otherwise requested.

If you would like to arrive 1 or more days early, or would like to extend you stay after the tour has ended we can arrange a room for you in the hotel we are using for the tour. The daily rate for this is € 38,- for Mandalay and € 40,- for Yangon. This rate includes the occupancy for 1 or 2 people, and breakfast. For booking extra nights, you can use the section 'extra nights' in our booking form.

Booking process

The first step to book a Travel is to fill out the booking form as shown on our website. After we have received your application we will send you a confirmation by e-mail as soon as possible, but no later than within 72 hours. The booking is agreed with the submission of the booking form, cancellation is no longer possible without incurring cancellation costs.

All details regarding payment of deposit and the remainder of the travel sum are giving on the booking page.

The Travel is confirmed to depart if at least the minimum number of travelers have made a booking.
Do not book your international flights before you have received a message from us that the departure of the tour is confirmed.

The Group

Your tour leaders

All travels to Myanmar will be accompanied by a Dutch+English+German speaking tour leader. The tour leader is the first point of contact during the journey. The tour leader is an excellent organiser and will be there to answer any questions you might have and help you with any issues that might arrive. Because we value freedom and choice during our travels, our tour leaders operate mostly in the background. They have a lot of knowledge about our destination countries, but they will not shower you with facts and figures all day long. We advise you to bring your own travel guide to get the most out of this trip.
In some Myanmar we will have a local guides to assist our tour leaders during our travels. These guides have extensive knowledge of the country and its practices.
For more information on our tour leaders, click here.

See the Dates & Prices for which guide is accompanying you on your tour.

Your travel companions

We travel in small groups, for Myanmar there is a minimum of 6 and maximum of 12 travelers. The Travel is confirmed to depart if at least the minimum number of travelers have made a booking. In some cases Samsara Vegan Travels can decide to confirm the departure, even if the required minimum number of travelers has not been reached.

Dates & Prices

Departure Date Arrival Date Duration Price Tour leader*
27 October 2019 07 November 2019 12 days € 1.860,- Stefan
10 November 2019 21 November 2019 12 days € 1.860,- Brenda
09 February 2020 26 February 2020 18 days € 2.610,- Stefan
09 February 2020 20 February 2020 12 days € 1.860,- Stefan
05 July 2020 16 July 2020 12 days € 1.860,- Stefan
1 November 2020 18 November 2020 18 days € 2.610,- Stefan
1 November 2020 12 November 2020 12 days € 1.860,- Stefan

*Tour leader may change up until the last minute, due to unforeseen circumstances.

For EU residents, all our Travels are covered by STO Garant (Foundation Take Over - Travel Guarantee). (The information on this website is in Dutch only, for a detailed description in English of the Travel Guarantee, refer to the Terms and Conditions.)