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Myanmar (Burma)

  • Destination: Burma, Myanmar

customTravelRed
Myanmar is the new hot destination! At Coda, we have been going there since the early 1980s. Explore the Myanmar (Burma) with visits to Yangon, Inle Lake, Mandalay and a cruise aboard Belmond’s Road to Mandalay or one of the many new river boats now plying the Irrawady.

Details TBA.

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Overview

Day 1

Fly from Bangkok to Yangon

Day 2

Yangon – Full Day City Tour

Day 3

Fly Yangon to Heho & Transfer to Inle Lake

Day 4

Inle Lake

Day 5

Transfer Inle Lake to Heho & Fly to Mandalay

Day 6

Embark Road to Mandalay Cruise

Day 7

Road to Mandalay Cruise (Mandalay – Bagan)

Day 8

Road to Mandalay Cruise (Bagan)

Day 9

Fly from Bagan to Yangon. Fly Yangon to Bangkok

Itinerary

Myanmar — known formerly as Burma — is an enigma to most Western travelers. Until very recently this relatively large, politically socialist and profoundly Buddhist country had voluntarily shut itself off from the rest of the world. Then slowly, cautiously, the doors began to open. Because entry was restricted for so long, Myanmar is still largely unspoiled by modern influences and retains much of its Old World charm. Buddhist shrines abound everywhere in this country. You will discover a people who are spiritual, compassionate and soft-spoken living in a land of both abundance and poverty. Through its arts, crafts, history, cuisine, and amazing sights, you’ll come to appreciate much about this beautiful and mysterious land. This is a special opportunity to visit an extraordinary place.
The centerpiece of our journey to Myanmar is a 3-night cruise aboard the Orient-Express Road to Mandalay. Setting the standard for today’s excellence in travel, Orient-Express offers an elegant sophisticated way to explore the most remote areas of Myanmar. This is an indispensable part of our journey.

Day 1

Fly from Bangkok to Yangon

Depart Bangkok this morning (TG 303 : 800A / 845A). Arrive Yangon International Airport. You will be met by tour guide/manager and transferred to the hotel. Lunch will be served at Monsoon Restaurant. This afternoon, begin your discovery of Yangon at Bogyoke Market and walk along the Yangon River. Dinner is at The Strand Grill.
Dinner is at The Strand Grill.
Hotel: The Strand Hotel
Room: Deluxe Suite
Meals: Lunch, Dinner

Day 2

Yangon – Full Day City Tour

Breakfast at the hotel. Full day city tour, drive through the colonial style buildings downtown, the Chinatown area and the Indian quarter. Visit Sule Pagoda with its golden chedi, which makes a useful landmark in downtown Yangon. Stop alongside Kandawgyi (Royal) Lake to take photographs over the lake towards Karaweik Hall and Shwedagon. Enjoy the sunset at Shwedagon Pagoda, famous world wide – its golden stupa is the ‘heart’ of Buddhist Myanmar. The Pagoda is believed to be 2,500 years old and the central stupa is surrounded by dozens of intricately decorated buildings and statues. There are always many Myanmar people praying and making offerings at Shwedagon, and it’s a fascinating place to spend time watching the world go by.
Lunch at Monsoon Restaurant. After lunch, Visit Chauk Htat Gyi Pagoda, famous for its huge reclining Buddha image which is 70 meters long The visit the newly renovated National Museum and see the Lion’s Throne. Dinner at la Planteur
Hotel: The Strand Hotel
Room: Deluxe Suite
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3

Fly Yangon to Heho & Transfer to Inle Lake

Breakfast at the hotel. The morning transfer to the Yangon Airport for domestic flight to Heho . Transfer from Heho airport down into the valley to Nyaungshwe on the edge of Inle Lake, stopping on the way to visit Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery. Board your own local boat to take you to your hotel. Lunch & Dinner at the hotel.
Hotel: Inle Lake View Resort
Room: Junior Suite
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4

Inle Lake

Breakfast at the hotel. This morning, explore one of the 5-day markets. By visiting 5-day markets, you will get insight into the life-style of the ethnic Pa-O, Danu and Intha inhabitants who come to these markets to sell their goods. Visit Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, the holiest religious site in southern Shan State. See traditional handicrafts- silk weaving on wooden handlooms and a blacksmith shop. Visit to Inthar heritage house with its Burmese cats which were brought back by Inle Princess family from London to Myanmar. Lunch at Inthar Heritage House.
In the afternoon, by boat, tour to the village of Thele Oo on the edge of Inle Lake by boat. Walk through the village and visit local houses in the village to see the rural lifestyle. If time permits, visit Nga Phe Kyaung Monastery, one of the oldest Monasteries on the lake. One can see ancient Buddha statues which are more than 200 years old. Dinner at hotel.
Hotel: Inle Lake View Resort
Room: Junior Suite
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5

Transfer Inle Lake to Heho & Fly to Mandalay

Breakfast at the hotel. Enjoy a boat trip on Inle Lake – a photographer’s dream. Its calm waters are dotted with floating vegetation and fishing canoes, to which scenic high hills provide a perfect backdrop. See the lake’s unique “leg rowers” – the Intha people row standing up with one leg wrapped around an oar. Pass endless floating gardens, where fruit and vegetables are grown. Enjoy a boat tour to Indaing, at the western end of the Lake. The boat takes you through a long channel where you watch the farmers cultivate their produce. This ride is one of the most scenic boat tours on Lake Inle. Lunch at Nampan Restaurant, located in the middle of lake.
In the afternoon leave your hotel by boat/car and transfer to Heho Airport for domestic flight to Mandalay. Upon arrival, transfer to the hotel. Dinner at hotel.
Hotel: Mandalay Hill Resort
Room: Corner Deluxe Room
Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6

Embark Road to Mandalay Cruise

EARLY MORNING: After an early wake up, drive downtown where you can watch the beautiful scene of Monk’s procession along the road accepting alms offering. You can also see the local life and take tea or a light breakfast in a typical tea shop. A unique Mandalay scene hiding behind the early morning light.
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to the Road To Mandalay berthed on the Ayeyarwady River at Shwe Kyet Yet. Settle into your comfortable private cabin. After lunch, enjoy a guided tour of the key sights of Mandalay regarded as the centre of Burmese culture and Buddhist learning. Return to Road To Mandalay stopping en route to admire the sunset over the river. Dinner and local entertainment.
Aboard Road to Mandalay
Room: Per Choice
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7

Road to Mandalay Cruise (Mandalay – Bagan)

After an early breakfast, visit the Sagaing Hills, the living centre of the Buddhist faith in Burma and famous for its silver and silversmiths who still work in much the same way as their ancestors did. The ship gets underway mid-morning, and begins its journey south. The rest of the day is spent relaxing on board observing the local river life from the top deck. An on-board guide lectures on local places and customs. Dinner and local entertainment.
Aboard Road to Mandalay
Room: Per Choice
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8

Road to Mandalay Cruise (Bagan)

The ship arrives at Bagan where over 2,000 temples and pagodas remain on this awe-inspiring plain. A guided orientation tour introduces you to the most important temples. After lunch you have the opportunity to rejoin the guide and visit the inside of some of the more significant pagodas. Alternatively, you can hire a bicycle or horse-drawn cart and explore this fascinating area on your own. Late afternoon your guide takes you to watch the breathtaking vista of the sun setting over the plain. Dinner and local entertainment. Overnight on board.
Aboard Road to Mandalay
Room: Per Choice
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9

Fly from Bagan to Yangon. Fly Yangon to Bangkok

After an early breakfast, disembarkation and fly to Yangon. Set lunch at Padonmar restaurant. Transfer to Yangon airport for your onward flight to Bangkok (TG 302 : 255P/ 450P).
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Rates & Facts

Rates

Cabin Land Price Intra-Tour Air (2 Flights**) Total Per Person
State Cabin $ approx. $600 $
Deluxe Cabin $ approx. $600 $
Superior Cabin $ approx. $600 $
Single Cabin $ approx. $600 $

** Internal flights in Myanmar are included in the tour rate. Additional flights are Bangkok/Yangon/Bangkok. These flights are in economy class.

View Deck Plan

Inclusions
  • Tour rates are per person in U.S. dollars. Most major credit cards are accepted for Tour Deposit. Final payment is payable by personal check. Final payment by credit card is assessed a $100 processing charge.
  • Tour Rates include accommodations as listed in the itinerary, intra-tours flights (a $600 value), entertainment, special meals, air conditioned, motor coach, van or sedan transportation, sightseeing, luggage handling, admissions, local guides and drivers. Mineral water on busses and at meals.Arrival and departure transfers are included for those who purchase international air through Coda International Tours. Separate transfer costs will be charged to those who are not ticketed by Coda International Tours. Participants are required to provide Coda Tours with complete international flight details at least 2 weeks prior to the schedule tour departure date.
  • Most meals are included as indicated in the itinerary. The meal codes are: B=Breakfast; L=Lunch; D=Dinner; R=Cocktail Reception. Participants with specific dietary requirements must inform Coda Tours at least 2 weeks prior to departure. Every effort will be made to accommodate special dietary needs where possible. Most meals taken as a group are pre-ordered. Local cuisine is given preference over Western choices.
Exclusions
  • International airfare is not included. Coda Tour will be happy to assist with business, first or coach class airfares. If you are planning to use Frequent Flyer Miles for an upgrade or free ticket, we highly recommend booking your tour at least 7 months prior to departure.
  • Passport and visa expenses for Myanmar. Always double check that your passport will remain valid for at least 6 months past your return to the U.S.and that you have sufficient empty pages in your passport to accommodate visa and entry/exit stamps. Always carry a copy of your passport packed separately from your travel documents and leave a copy with someone at home.
  • Trip Cancellation & Interruption Insurance which is highly recommended to protect your travel investment in the unlikelihood you would need to cancel or return home early. We recommend Travel Guard and will send you an application form or quote with confirmation of your trip. You may check the rates for insurance on their website at www.travelguard.com. We also recommend insuring any expense for airline tickets issued prior to the determination if a tour is guaranteed to operate. We cannot assume responsibility for losses incurred due to the cancellation of a tour.
  • Gratuities to porters, waiters and hotel staff are included. Gratuities to local guides & drivers are not included.
  • Personal Expenses such as phone calls, room service, alcoholic and bar beverages, laundry, airline excess luggage charges, vaccinations, visa fees (if applicable) and other optional incidental extras are not included and may be significant.
Travel Documents

A visa is required for entry into Myanmar for American and Canadian passport holders. Your visa can be obtained upon arrival at the airport in Myanmar or obtained in advance of travel. To obtain your visa at upon arrival, Coda must submit your personal and passport information and a digitized copy of your passport to our local handling agent. Please let us know if this is how you wish to handle your visa. If you prefer to obtain your visas prior to departure, we recommend using Zierer Visa Service. To Speak directly to ZVS Customer Service, call 866-788-1100 (toll-free in the U.S.). Please note that visas cannot be processed more than 90 days prior to departure and processing may take several weeks to complete.

Shots

None required or recommended. It is recommended you have your regular vaccinations up-to-date before traveling. For further information, visit the Center For Disease Control website.

Minimums

All departures are guaranteed on a minimum of 2 participants. A Coda Tour Manager accompanies the tour on a minimum of 12 participants.

Airlines

You will need round trip flights to BANGKOK. United Airlines, Korean Airlines, Japan Airlines, Thai Airways are among airlines that can be used for this trip. We recommend booking at least 7 months in advance if you want to try to use Frequent Flyer Miles for free tickets or upgrades or the American Express Platinum card 2-4-1 program.

Guide/Tour Manager

A Burmese guide/tour manager will accompany the group throughout the tour. He will not travel aboard the ship, which has its own guides, but will rejoin the group upon disembarkation.

After You Arrive

Wearing

Light cotton fabrics are best. T-shirts, khakis, shorts, jeans and similar casual wear will be best for daytime touring. Our hotels and cruise ship (Road to Mandalay) are among of the highest international standards, so in the evening you will want to dress casual/chic for dining in the hotel & ship restaurants. A jacket is not required but is commonly seen on gentlemen aboard the ship.

Weather

The weather in Southeast Asia is generally hot and humid year round with little fluctuation. Average high temperatures in Southeast Asia generally range from 85 to 95°F (29 to 35°C) in Yangon , with high humidity throughout the year.

Average Temperatures / Average Rainfall

March Bangkok Yangon
High 92 96
Low 78 70
Inches 0.3 0.3

Spending

The official currencies for the countries visited on this tour are:

  • Kyat (K)

The local currency in Myanmar is Kyat. US Dollar bills are widely used in Myanmar and accepted almost everywhere. FEC’s (Foreign Exchange Certificates) used to be compulsory but this is no longer the case and they are not really used by visitors anymore.  We recommend that you carry US dollars in small denominations for miscellaneous spending.  Please note CREDIT CARDS ARE NOT ACCEPTED IN MYANMAR (including aboard the Road to Mandalay), likewise travelers checks and other currencies.The traveler must be prepared with cash upon entering. Exchanging money on the black market is illegal.

Recharging

The electrical current in the hotels in Asia is 230V 50HzHz AC. If you plan on bringing electrical devices with you, it is suggested that you bring an electrical converter with an adapter plug set, although it may not be necessary as all hotels have pre-adapted outlets for razors, as well as hairdryers/. The following adapter plugs are used on this trip. Aboard Road to Mandalay, every cabin is equipped with sockets that are suitable for 2-pin round plugs (220 volts).

Accommodations

The Strand Hotel, Yangon — 5*

Back when this place was called Rangoon, Burma, and specifically at the turn of the twentieth century, when Burma was still a part of British-run India, the Strand was the finest hotel in town. Built by the brothers responsible for Singapore’s Raffles, the Strand was an elegant colonial palace hotel, a favorite of the British contingent and a symbol of Rangoon’s now long-faded wealth. Today, after decades of decrepitude followed by a Herculean refurbishment, the Strand is back, the hotel bar providing the natural gathering place for the city’s burgeoning entrepreneurial class, and the guest rooms serving as a security blanket of Western luxury for foreign travelers on expeditions to what may be one of the last vestiges of a historically authentic and pre-industrial Southeast Asia.

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Inle Princess Resort, Inle Lake — 5*

Inle Princess Resort rests on the eastern shore of Inle Lake within the blue treetop ranges of the Shan Hills. Just a 20 minutes boat ride from the town of Nyaung Shwe and near the village of Magyisin, the Resort is a perfect base from which to explore the wonders of Inle Lake and the surrounding region.
The lake’s top resort offers guests a secluded retreat with 46 traditional wooden chalets, built upon stilts along the shallow waters of the shoreline. The spacious rooms were built by local craftsmen using native woods and bamboo and are decorated with Burmese silk textiles. The rooms also feature private balconies with impressive views of fields, mountains and Inle Lake.

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Mandalay Hill Resort, Mandalay — 5*

Set at the foot of Mandalay Hill and facing the Royal Palace, each and every one of the 208 rooms and suites commands stunning views of a myriad of pagodas. The Mandalay Hill Resort Hotel is situated within easy reach of many ancient monuments and historical sights.

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Orient-Express Road To Mandalay


State Cabin

The largest of all cabins on the ship, the State cabins are located on A Deck and comprise twin beds, sofa and a writing desk with two panoramic windows. Dimensions 4.5m x 4.8m / 22 m2. Large window overlooking the river. Beds are two twins pushed together.

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Superior Cabin

Located on decks A and B. Superior cabins on A deck have twin beds and a panoramic window. Superior cabins on B deck have twin beds and two smaller windows. Dimensions 2.25x 4.8m / 11 m2. On A deck – large window overlooking the river or on B deck – two windows (20 cm above water). Beds are two twins pushed together.

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Single Cabin

Located on B deck, each cabin has a single berth and two small windows. Dimensions 2.25m x 4.2m / 11m2. Two windows (20 cm above water).

Orient-Express Road To Mandalay • 5-star deluxe, 140-guest capacity

View Deck Plan

A journey along the Ayeyarwady River with the Road To Mandalay is a voyage of a lifetime. From this mighty river, which runs the length of the country, treasures can be admired which have for so long been hidden from the world’s gaze.



Life On Board

The Road To Mandalay incorporates elegant Burmese materials and unique styles with high standards in decor and modern comfort. Air-conditioned throughout, the ship has 4 decks and accommodates 108 passengers. All of the 56 spacious cabins are sympathetically decorated using Burmese style fabrics.
Facilities on board include a Restaurant, Piano Bar, Boutique, Beauty Room, small Library and a spacious Lounge, where local entertainment and cultural lectures take place during the cruise.
The Observation Deck has a swimming pool, bar and sun deck area and provides, quite simply, the best views in Myanmar.
The reception area on board the Road To Mandalay contains a small Library with a variety of books in different languages, games and magazines as well as a small seating area.

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Dining On Board

No journey to Asia would be complete without sampling the regional cuisine and on board you can enjoy an acclaimed menu of Eastern and Western delicacies, which are served with natural Burmese courtesy and charm. Buffet-style lunch is served on the Observation Deck or in the Restaurant in seven different themes: Burmese, Shan, Thai, Indonesian, Chinese, Indian and European.
Dinners are served in the Restaurant, at a time to suit you, and offer a choice of dishes to suit all tastes from the flavours of asia and A la carte menus. A selection of European and Australian wines are available to compliment your meal.
The buffet breakfast is augmented by an a la carte selection of hot items cooked to order.
Early morning coffee and afternoon tea is served in the Lounge, on the Observation Deck or in your cabin on request.

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Cabins

Inside this graceful river cruiser the emphasis rests on traditional comfort. The spacious en suite cabins are air-conditioned and furnished with beautiful fabrics, fine linens and soft towels.
Three types of cabin are available, Single, Superior and State all with en suite shower and WC facilities. Each cabin has a personal safe, telephone, satellite TV with in-house video and hairdryers. Sockets are suitable for 2-pin round plugs (220 volts).

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Boutique

As a finishing touch, the exclusive on-board boutique, situated on the main deck, offers luxury gifts and mementoes to take home – a lasting reminder of your cruise on the Road To Mandalay. You will find a range of lacquerware as well as traditional Burmese cloth, silver and gold jewellery and objets d’art. There is also a range of international gifts exclusively designed for the Road To Mandalay. Camera batteries are also stocked.

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