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17 Day Burma
(Myanmar) & Bangkok with 9 Day World Class River Cruise (Yangon to Mandalay)

17 days with Gate 1  Rating: First Class

River Cruise Itinerary
DAY 1 - Depart for Thailand
Depart for Thailand.

DAY 2 - Arrive in Bangkok
Welcome to Thailand! Arrive in exotic Bangkok, Thailand's capital city. The rest of the day is at leisure to rest, relax and acclimate to the new time zone.

DAY 3 - Tour of Bangkok
Awake this morning in vibrant Bangkok, a captivating mix of ancient and modern. Meet your local host and fellow travelers for a briefing on the exciting journey that awaits you. Begin the tour at Chinatown and then on to the colorful Indian Market. Visit Wat Po, the oldest and largest temple in the city, with its astonishing giant Reclining Buddha, over 150 feet long and almost 40 feet high. Drive via Royal Avenue, where most of the Government offices are located, and the King’s Palace before returning to your hotel. (Breakfast)

DAY 4 - Full Day in Bangkok
A full day at leisure to discover this endlessly fascinating city on your own. Or, join the optional morning tour to Wat Phra Kaew, known as the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, and the elaborate 18th century Grand Palace, symbolic heart of the kingdom - together they form the most impressive sights in Bangkok. This evening, you can see Bangkok at night on the optional Chao Phraya River Cruise that includes an international buffet dinner and "live" music. See the glittering lights as you sail past the Royal Navy Fort, the Grand Palace and many other beautiful temples magnificently illuminated. (Breakfast)

Optional: Half Day Grand Palace & Emerald Buddha (AM)
Optional: Chaophya River Cruise with Dinner (PM)

DAY 5 - Flight to Yangon, Myanmar (Burma)
Transfer to the Bangkok Airport, for your flight to Yangon (formerly Rangoon), the dynamic capital of Myanmar (Burma). Upon arrival, you’ll immediately view the astonishing panorama of some of the most impressive pagodas in the country. Meet your Tour leader, transfer to your hotel. Yangon is a melting pot city of British, Burmese, Chinese and Indian cultures, and where contemporary and colonial Myanmar continues to coexist. The remainder of the day is at leisure. (Breakfast)

DAY 6 - Pyay (Prome), Embarkation on the Irrawaddy Explorer, Sri Ksetra
As your journey on the Irrawaddy River begins, a morning scenic drive takes you to Pyay, (formerly Prome), controlled by the Mon Tribe during the Bagan Era and then conquered by Burmese King Alaungpaya in 1754. En route, an informative lecture introduces you to Pyay and The Banks of the Irrawaddy. After embarkation on the deluxe RV Irrawaddy Explorer, you’ll be warmly welcomed by the friendly crew before sharing a buffet lunch of local favorites. Time to relax before the afternoon excursion to Thayekhittaya (Sri-Ksetra), the "Fabulous City", designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Later, visit the impressive 2500-year-old Shwesandaw Pagoda, an incredible array of golden stupas, serene Buddhas and intricate mythical beasts - its spires are the heart of the city and the smaller gold stupa of Wunchataung Paya (Apology Mountain Pagoda), where people can say sorry for their misdeeds. On board tonight, a Welcome Reception and Dinner. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 7 - Colonial Thayetmyo
A horse cart transports you this morning to the charming colonial town of Thayetmyo that once guarded the border between Royal Myanmar and British Myanmar. Outside the town is the oldest golf course in Myanmar used by the British – you can try your swing at the first hole! Then, continue to the bustling local covered market and drive past colonial homes that were constructed during the British colonization of Burma. Return to the ship in time for lunch and an afternoon of relaxation and panoramic scenery on board. Highlights of the activities on board today include demonstrations of longyi and thanaka (traditional clothing and make-up) and a timely lecture and discussion on The Origins of Buddhism, its Teachings, and its Cultural Influence. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 8 - Minbu and the Mud Volcanoes
In the morning, the ship crosses the river to the Set Kein De Pagoda, set on a hilltop with magnificent views of the river. Then, arrive to the small town of Minbu, with its legendary Mud Volcanoes, locally known as Naga Bwet Taung (Dragon's breath), home to two dragons with mystical powers. Upon entering, it's customary to perform some offerings to the stone dragons, meant to tame the mythical beast. In reality, the volcanoes are formed by trapped methane gas trying to escape from deep below the surface. These gases then force their way through mud vents in this spectacular landscape that looks extremely lunar. After lunch on board, the afternoon lecture and conversation focuses on Burma - from Early Innovators to Closed Society. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 9 - Salay, Tan Kyi Mountain
Arrive downstream today in the Bagan-era village of Salay, an active religious center founded in the 13th century with its over 50 impressive teak monasteries and untouched British colonial buildings. Visit the huge Youqson Kyaung wooden monastery designed as a replica of the Crown Prince House in Mandalay with its intricate exterior carvings depicting 19th century court life and scenes from Buddha's past lives. Continue to an area of colonial buildings and the interesting monuments of Payathonzu and the Shinpinsarkyo Paya. Return to the ship for lunch on board. In the afternoon, ascend by van to the top of Tan Kyi Mountain where you visit one of the four stupas that marked the original edges of the city. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 10 - Astonishing Bagan
A truly extraordinary day as you arrive in Bagan, the country's spiritual center and one of the largest and most unforgettable archaeological sites in the world. Over 2,000 pagodas, stupas and temples dot the golden plains of the city. Visit the magnificent Ananda temple, a whitewashed masterpiece that houses four standing Buddhas. Continue to Dhammayangyi, Bagan's largest temple, built during the reign of King Narathu. Next, visit a traditional lacquerware workshop to see the time-consuming process of handmade lacquer products. After leisure time and lunch on board, travel this afternoon to the Temple of Upali Thein, with its well-preserved paintings and a stop at Htilominlo, to see a demonstration of sand art. End the day with a ceremonial oxcart ride along the scenic trails of Bagan, continuing by coach to Phya That Gyi Pagoda, the most significant temple in Bagan. Ascend to the top for extraordinary sunset views over the Bagan plains before returning to the ship for dinner. Entertainment on board this evening is a special performance of the celebrated Myanmar Puppets. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 11 - Nyaung-U Market, Cooking Demonstration, Shwe Pyi Thar Village
Today's exploration of Bagan begins at the bustling Nyaung-U morning market; see the daily life of the country, as people shop and bargain for food and wares at the colorful stalls. Next, explore the 13th century cave temple of Gubyaukgyi with its Indian-style spire, beautiful murals and carvings. Continue to the red-brick Sulamani Temple, decorated with magnificent interior murals accented by the soft glow of the sun's rays. Time for a cooking demonstration and lunch on board; learn the art of preparing Burmese specialties taught by an accomplished chef. Afterwards, arrive at Shwe Pyi Thar village; a leisurely walk takes you through this typical nomadic village where you watch the collection and processing of palm sap into palm sugar, sweets and liquor. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 12 - Yandabo and its Pottery Workshops
Arrive in Yandabo, a picturesque village famous for its terracotta pots made from the clay of the riverbank. Here, the historic peace treaty was signed that ended the first Anglo-Burmese war in 1826. A walking tour of this small village of less than 350 houses takes you to the workshops. Watch the pairs of women creating, decorating and firing the pottery. If school is in session, you'll have the opportunity to meet local children and tour the school. On board this afternoon, relax over lunch, sojourn in the lounge and then participate in an afternoon lecture about Myanmar Today. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 13 - Monywa's Hpowindaung and Shwebadaung Caves
A full day excursion to the city of Monywa, on the eastern bank of the Chindwin River, a major trade center for agricultural products from the surrounding valley. Here visit the amazing 12th century Hpowindaung and Shwebadaung Caves, adorned with hundreds of Buddha statues placed inside niches decorated with wonderful mural paintings. After a box lunch, continue on to the splendid Sambuddhai Kat Kyaw pagoda with its more than 500,000 colorful Buddha images. Return to the ship after a very interesting day, with time to relax at the ship's spa before tonight's dinner on board. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 14 - Ancient Mingun, Excursion to Ava, Magnificent Amarapura
Morning visit to the ancient city of Mingun. On the leisurely walking tour, visit the monumental "unfinished" Mingun Temple, started by King Bodawphaya in 1790 and the 90 ton ringing bell, the world's largest. Nearby, view the beautiful white Myatheindan Pagoda modeled after mythical Mount Meru, dedicated to his Princess who died in childbirth. After lunch, horse carts transport you to Ava, a former capital city; visit the 200-year-old teak Bagaya Kyaung Monastery, the Nanmyin watchtower and Me Nu Ok Kyaung monastery. End the day at magnificent Amarapura, a more recent Burmese royal capital. Walk across the famous teak U-Bein Bridge before boarding a sampan that takes you on a memorable sunset ride on the river. Tonight, a festive Farewell Dinner with a dance and theatre performance. On your last night together on the Irrawaddy River, bid a fond farewell to your newfound friends and share wonderful memories of a great journey. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 15 - Disembarkation, Mandalay
Morning disembarkation followed by a tour of bustling Mandalay. Stop at a gold leaf workshop before continuing to the Mahamuni Pagoda to observe a demonstration of how gold leaf is used on many of the Buddha statues. Ascend Mandalay Hill to visit the gilded Kuthodaw Pagoda, called "the world's largest book," named after its 729 marble slabs inscribed with Buddhist teachings. At the Shwenandaw Monastery, originally part of the Royal Palace in Amarapura, view one of the best examples of traditional Myanmar-style intricate woodcarvings in the country. The rest of the day is at leisure to independently discover Mandalay. (Breakfast)

DAY 16 - Flight to Bangkok
Today, return to Bangkok by flight for a final day of leisure in the country's capital. Enjoy the day revisiting some of the famous sites and be sure to shop to your heart's content for gifts to bring back home. (Breakfast)

DAY 17 - Depart Thailand
Your vacation ends after breakfast today. (Breakfast)

Tour Map
River Cruise Highlights
  • Visit serene Wat Po, home of the astonishing giant Reclining Buddha, over 150 feet long
  • Stroll along Mandalay’s 200 year old U-Bein Bridge
  • Tour the amazing Hpowindaung and Shwebadaung Caves
  • Visit a local school to interact with children
  • Visit Bagan, one of the most unforgettable archaeological sites in the world
  • Tour the Bagan-era village of Salay, an active religious center founded in the 13th century
  • Horse cart ride to the charming colonial town of Thayetmyo
  • Visit Pyay, (formerly Prome), a stupa studded Irrawaddy riverside town
  • Excursion to Thayekhittaya (Sri Ksetra), a UNESCO World Heritage Site
All This Included
  • All intra-flights: Bangkok-Yangon, Mandalay-Bangkok
  • 15 nights accommodations
  • Hotel taxes, fees & service charges
  • Hotel & cruise porterage
  • 33 meals: 15 breakfasts, 9 lunches, 9 dinners
  • Services of English-speaking tour manager (Days 5-13)
  • Services of local guide in Bangkok
  • Shore excursions per itinerary
  • Entrance fees per itinerary
  • Complimentary bottled water, coffee, tea, soft drinks, local beer, and wine with dinner
  • Welcome & Farewell receptions
  • Locally inspired dinners
  • Series of cultural performances, educational talks, cooking classes, and ship tour
  • Spacious air conditioned lounge with nightly entertainment
  • Fitness center & spa
  • Non-smoking ship interior
Accommodations on this Tour
Bangkok: Ramada Plaza Bangkok Menam Riverside
Yangon: Kandawgyi Palace Hotel
Cruising: Categroy D Cabin onboard Irrawaddy Explorer
Mandalay: Mandalay Hill Resort
Bangkok: Ramada Plaza Bangkok Menam Riverside
Notes
  • Land only price does not include arrival/departure transfers, but does include intra-flights Bangkok-Mandalay and Yangon-Bangkok. Cruise itineraries are subject to change. Alternative sights may be visited depending upon water levels
  • The Irrawaddy Explorer cabins cannot accommodate 3 passengers; therefore, triple rooms will be accommodated in a twin and single cabin.
  • This moderately active trip covers a fair amount of ground each day. Expect from three to four hours walking every touring day. The pace is moderate, however you will encounter some uneven surfaces, stairs, steps and significant slopes. Low water levels may require walking additional steps or slopes to reach the bank. The Irrawaddy cruise will end in Prome. Transfer from Prome to Yangon requires 5 to 7 hours driving.
  • Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions

* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines. Sorry, we are unable to offer air from countries other than the U.S. However, for those international customers who are able to arrange their own transportation to the trip origination city, we are able to offer the land/cruise portion of the package at the price quoted.



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