12 or 23 days Myanmar

Myanmar is an almost unspoiled jewel in South-East Asia. Slowly opening up to tourism after decades of political struggles, the people of Myanmar welcome you to their 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, with almost 5000 scattered around a vast area, easily to explore with an e-bike. Cities as Yangon and Mandalay offer a landscape of Buddhist temples and pagodas, British colonial architecture and busy streets. The west coast harbors beautiful beach resorts with white sandy beaches and palm trees. Inle Lake will offer you a view of entire villages built on stilt in a lake where people make a living weaving silk from lotus stems. Myanmar is an amazing county, you have to see and experience it yourself to believe it.

This 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 h for an introduction and to meet your fellow travelers. It is your choice to arrive in Myanmar early in the morning or one or more days before the start of the Travel. We will gladly help you to arrange a hotel room for you.

Travel Route MyanmarDay 1 & 2 – Mandalay

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

Day 3 – Mandalay to Pyin Oo Lwin

By 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 Hsipaw

Samsara Vegan Travels - Myanmar - Gokteik viaductEarly in the morning we take the train to Hsipaw. This is a local train with lots of charm and plenty of things to see along the way, including the spectacular Gokhteik Viaduct. The ride can be a bit shaky and maybe lacking in comfort but interesting and enjoyable nevertheless, not in the least because you get to enjoy the scenery at a leisurely pace. This train will take is further into Shan state, to our final destination of Hsipaw, a charming mountain town. Our bus will drive to Hsipaw with the luggage and pick us up from the train station and take us to the hotel.

Day 5 – Hsipaw to Mandalay, Sagaing & Mingun

Samsara Vegan Travels Myanmar Mingun Temple BuddhasBy 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 6 & 7 & 8 – Bagan

Bagan Temples at Sun SetLeaving 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 9 & 10 – 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.

Boats at Inle LakeDay 11 & 12 – Inle Lake

From 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 12 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 13 – Nyaung Shwe to Naypyitaw

From Nyaung Shwe we will use our bus to drive to the capital Naypyitaw where we will spend the night. This will be a day of mostly relaxing in the bus and enjoying the surrounding scenery.

Day 14 – Naypyidaw to Kyaiktiyo (Golden Rock pagoda)

Samsara Vegan Travels Myanmar Golden Rock KyaiktiyoWe will continue on our way south and drive to Kinmun where we climb on the pick-up trucks that will take us to the amazing Kyaiktiyo Pagoda (Golden Rock pagoda). The road toward the pagoda is not accessible for public vehicles, the only alternative for walking is taking one of the pick-up trucks that will speed you up the hill. Kyaiktiyo is frequented by Buddhist pilgrims and many other visitors from Myanmar. The atmosphere is amazing and so are the views! We will spend the night in a hotel in Kinmun, which is where the pick-up trucks depart from.

Day 15 & 16 – Hpa An

Samsara Vegan Travels - Myanmar - Kyauk Kalap Pagoda Hpa-AnFrom Kinmun it is only a few hours drive to to Hpa An, a relaxing town with beautiful surroundings with a waterfall, monastery and cave, the rest of the day is for sightseeing. The next day is free to enjoy the town and the surroundings. The town has plenty of tea houses and restaurants to enjoy a few hours of your day. But also very interesting sites such as the Kyauk Kalap Pagoda and the stunning Sadan Cave, filled with Buddha statues.

Day 17 & 18 – Yangon

Samsara Vegan Travels Myanmar Yangon Animal Shelter logoFrom Hpa-An we drive to Yangon with our bus with plenty of interesting landscapes to see. Our hotel in Yangon is in the downtown area, within walking distance of many restaurants and tourist attractions. The next day we will start with a visit to the Yangon Animal Shelter, where they are taking care of over 500 stray dogs. Here we can do some volunteer work by helping out with whatever needs to be done that day. In the afternoon we will organize a walking tour through the center of Yangon. Yangon served as the capital of Myanmar till 2006 and is the largest city and commercial center. The legacy of the British colonialist is still visible on the beautiful architecture of numerous buildings. If you are still looking for some souvenirs, Scotts Market is the place to visit. Another you cannot miss is the impressive Swedagon pagoda.

Day 19 & 20 & 21 – Ngwe Saung Beach

Samsara Vegan Travels Myanmar Ngwe Saung BeachA few hours west of Yangon is beautiful Ngwe Saung Beach, the only beach in Myanmar that can be reached by bus. This is the place to enjoin the beach life. Swim, read, walk, eat, etc. It's a long drive but it is most certainly worth it. The beaches are pristine, the water is warm, the waves are gentle and the drinks are cold. A perfect place to hang out for a few days. There are plenty of restaurants at walking distance from the hotel. You can even participate in vegan cooking lessons, making local Burmese dishes.

Day 22 & 23 – Yangon

Samsara Vegan Travels - Myanmar - Swedagon pagoda YangonFrom Ngwe Saung Beach we will drive back to Yangon where everyone is free to fill the rest of the day as they please. The last day of the trip is for you to visit all the sites in Yangon you did not get to visit earlier, such as the Sule pagoda, Kandawgyi Lake, the National Museum of Myanmar or for enjoying a coffee in luxurious The Strand Hotel, overlooking the harbor.

Depending on when your flight is, 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.

This 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 h for an introduction and to meet your fellow travelers. It is your choice to arrive in Myanmar early in the morning or one or more days before the start of the Travel. We will gladly help you to arrange a hotel room for you.

Travel route central myanmarDay 1 & 2 – Mandalay

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

By 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 Temple BuddhasBy 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

Bagan Temples at Sun SetLeaving 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.

Boats at Inle LakeDay 10 & 11 – Inle Lake

From 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

From 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?

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

What is not included?

  • International flights
  • Meals, unless mentioned otherwise (but we will direct you to vegan restaurants)
  • Entrance fees (unless mentioned otherwise)
  • Visa for Myanmar
  • 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 this 12 day journey to Myanmar this will be € 25,-. When you are satisfied with your tour leader, a tip will be very much appreciated.

Personal health

On a Travel to an exotic country like Myanmar it is important to prepare yourself well. For a 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.

Necessary protection

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 Vietnam 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 and malaria prophylaxes will be reimbursed.

Travel medication

You are also advised 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, ask your pharmacy to provide you with a list of subscribed medication.

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, a travel insurance will be required. Samsara Vegan Travels obligates its travelers to obtain an 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.

For your benefit you may choose to have a cancellation insurance.

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.

Intensity of the journey

With good health you can easily participate in this journey. Long walks and bike rides are all optional. In the locations where we spend the night we are within walking distance of the town/city center and restaurants, but taxis are also available everywhere. Due to the active nature of the trip this journey is not suitable for people with reduced mobility.

Travel guidance

All travels to Myanmar will be accompanied by a Dutch+English+German speaking tour leader and a local, English speaking guide. 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 he is not a walking encyclopaedia. Also bring your own travel guide for additional information.

Your tour leader

StefanMy name is Stefan van de Wetering, 46 years of age and I am of Dutch origin. I have traveled around the globe extensively and have visited 57 countries so far (see image below for countries I have visited). I have a strong preference to travel in South-East Asia, Japan and New Zealand.

+46 70 597 5950
Samsara Vegan Travels
+31 636 515 427
stefan@samsaravegantravels.com

Countries visited by Stefan

Travel companions

We always travel in small groups, minimum 6 and maximum 16 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.

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.

Travel documents

You are required to have a passport that is valid for at least six months after departure from 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.

As a traveler you are responsible for having the right travel documents.

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 ClimateYangon Climate

Transport

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.

In Buddhist temples, access is not permitted with bare shoulders and knees, dress appropriately.

Accommodation

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:

Prices for this journey are based on shared rooms. If you are a single traveler we will put you in room with another traveler of the same sex, if available. If no other traveler of the same sex is available at the time of booking, we will put you on a waiting list till another single traveler is available. Rooms are generally fitted with two single beds, unless otherwise requested. If you would like to have your own room, this is possible for an additional fee of € 450,- for the 23 day travel. For the 12 day travel, the additional fee is € 195,-.

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.

Emergencies

In case of an emergency, both travelers and those who stay at home can reach the tour leader of Samsara Vegan Travels using any of the following media:

+46 705 975 950
Samsara Vegan Travels
+31 636 515 427
stefan@samsaravegantravels.com

If the tour leader is not available or responding, please use these emergency numbers:

+31 640 999 410
SOS@samsaravegantravels.com

We will respond to your call as soon as possible.

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.

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 journey is confirmed.

12 or 23 Days Myanmar

Departure Date Arrival Date Duration Price
02 February 2019 24 February 2019 23 d € 2.645,-
03 March 2019 14 March 2019 12 d € 1.320,-
21 July 2019 01 August 2019 12 d € 1.320,-
04 August 2019 15 August 2019 12 d € 1.320,-
18 August 2019 29 August 2019 12 d € 1.320,-
27 October 2019 07 November 2019 12 d € 1.320,-
10 November 2019 21 November 2019 12 d € 1.320,-

 

These travels are covered by STO Garant (Foundation Take Over - Travel Guarantee). This information is in Dutch only, for a detailed description in English of the Travel Guarantee, refer to Terms and Conditions.