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 Price Tour leader
27/10/2019 07/11/2019 € 1.860,- Stefan
10/11/2019 21/11/2019 € 1.860,- Stefan
09/02/2020 20/02/2020 € 1.860,- Brenda
05/07/2020 16/07/2020 € 1.860,- Stefan

Itinerary

Samsara Vegan Travels - Travel Route Central Myanmar - zoomSummary
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.

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 renounced monasteries. After that we visit Inwa, an old capital in the 17th,18th centuries and U Bein bridge over sunset.

 

Day 3 – Mandalay to 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 – Pyin Oo Lwin to Mandalay & Sagaing

Samsara Vegan Travels - Myanmar - Mingun pagodaBy bus we drive back toward Mandalay where we will arrive around lunch time. After lunch we will 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

Leaving Mandalay behind us, we will 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 will 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 be spending the next two full days in Bagan for sightseeing. You can get around here on foot, bicycle or rent an e-scooter. At sunset you have to try and find the best spot for your photos.

Day 8 & 9 – Bagan to Kalaw

Samsara Vegan Travels - Myanmar - KalawFrom Bagan we will leave for Kalaw by bus, en route we make a stop at the spectacular Mount Popa and its iconic Buddhist monastery. After climbing all the steps to the top, the views you will find are spectacular. 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 again so everyone is free to do what he/she wants. Maybe do a day-trekking, cooking class, whatever you feel like.

Day 10 & 11 – 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. But on our way there we will first 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 stilt in the lake.

Day 12 – Inle Lake to Mandalay

Samsara Vegan Travels - Myanmar - Egg ManFrom Nyaung Shwe we will use our bus to drive 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.

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.

What is included in the price?

  • 11 Overnight stays
  • Transportation according to program
  • All breakfasts (not in hotel)
  • Boat trip on Inle Lake
  • A visit to the Royal Heart Shelter and Animal Rescue
  • 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

Transport

Samsara Vegan Travels Driving times Myanmar

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.

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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 € 450,- for the 23 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.

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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 has a lot of experience with traveling and gladly answers all your questions, but s/he is not a walking encyclopedia. It is always a good idea to bring your own travel guide for additional information.
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.

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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,- Stefan
09 February 2020 20 February 2020 12 days € 1.860,- Brenda
05 July 2020 16 July 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.)