Burma & Bhutan

Burma & Bhutan

18 Days
DEPARTS 23 March 2017

Price from$13,355

"This is Burma", wrote Rudyard Kipling, "it is unlike any land you know about" . Decades later it still rings true, with the power to amaze even the most seasoned traveller. In Myanmar (formerly Burma) step in to an extraordinary land where monks shuffle silently through a city sprawling with golden domes of pagodas. Also deeply rooted in Buddhist principles is the Kingdom of Bhutan, which boasts a truly unique and carefully preserved history with people whose culture and traditions are treasured and protected. The scenery, architecture and customs are a delight but most of all the people - generous, kind, happy and peaceful - some of which is sure to rub off. Explore these two lesser visited countries before everyone else does!

On this journey you will enjoy the following special experiences: •Take part in a Burmese blessing Visit a monastery to present monks with alms and see a blessing ceremony. As a memento of this special occasion receive holy bracelets which bring health, peace and safe-keeping.

•Dinner with an expert on Bhutan's GNH (Gross National Happiness) Bhutan's unique measure of its country's progress and performance, GNH, was adopted by the fourth Dragon King in 1972. Enjoy dinner with a local expert on the topic who will provide insight into this fascinating measure.

•Join a Prayer Flag Tying Ceremony The prayer flag is a colourful cloth often strung along mountain ridges and peaks high in the Himalayas. They are used to bless the surrounding countryside and its people. Join a prayer flag tying ceremony where our guide will explain the meaning. Receive a special personalised mini flag to remember this day.

If you have travelled on one of our Journeys before, we would like to offer you a saving of $400 per couple (or $200 per person) if you book this journey.

Burma & Bhutan map

Day 1: Yangon (D) Arrive in Yangon. Transfer to our hotel and enjoy a welcome dinner.

Day 2: Yangon (B,L) Explore Myanmar's largest city with visits to the Shwedagon Paya, a dazzling Buddhist temple that attracts pilgrims from all over the world to see the temple made from tonnes of gold leaf, diamonds and other gems. See Sule Pagoda, the National Museum, the Bogyoke market. Finish with a stroll through downtown Yangon to see the impressive colonial heritage buildings.

Day 3: Yangon > Pindaya (B,L,D) Fly to Heho then drive to Pindaya - renowned for its limestone caves. Visit the famous Shwe Oo Min Natural Cave pagoda, a massive limestone cavern filled with thousands of gilded Buddha statues. We then visit a Shan umbrella and mulberry paper workshop before arriving at our hotel.

Day 4: Pindaya > Kalaw > Lake Inle (B,L,D) Travel to the former British hill station of Kalaw where we visit the Pinmagon monastery and have lunch. Continue to Lake Inle where we stay at a hotel with lovely views out over the lake.

Day 5: Lake Inle (B,L,D) Cruise Lake Inle today observing the beautiful surroundings and the unique leg-rowers - something Inle is famous for! Arrive at the floating gardens. After lunch we visit the Pa O tribal village and the nearby impressive ruins of hundreds of ancient pagodas, some hidden under vegetation.

Day 6: Lake Inle > Mandalay (B) Drive to Heho and fly to Mandalay for an afternoon at leisure. Perhaps visit hidden pagodas, striking churches, Indian temples or the notable mosques.

Day 7: Mandalay (B,L,D) This morning explore the fabled city of Mandalay. We then drive to the Sagaing Hills en route to Shwe Kyet Yet jetty where we board our river ship, Belmond Road to Mandalay.

Day 8: Ayeyarwady River Cruise (B,L,D) After an early morning visit to Shwe Kyet Yet which will include alms giving to the local monks, our ship will set sail for the ancient capital of Inwa. Enjoy a tour which takes you on a fascinating trip back in time to explore the remains of an ancient city full of old watchtowers, city walls, monasteries, and temples that feel a world away from the hustle and bustle of Mandalay. Spend the afternoon cruising the Ayeyarwady River.

Day 9: Ayeyarwady River Cruise (B,L,D) Our ship arrives in Bagan this morning. Visit some of the most important temples on morning and afternoon tours. Bagan has more than 2,000 temples and pagodas scattered on an awe-inspiring plain beside the river.

Day 10: Bagan > Yangon > Bangkok (B) We fly to Yangon and take a connecting flight to Bangkok where we overnight at an airport hotel.

Day 11: Bangkok > Paro > Thimpu (D) Fly to Paro then drive to Thimpu, the capital of Bhutan. In the afternoon visit Tashichho Dzong, a Buddhist monastery and fortress which houses the King's throne room.

Day 12: Thimpu (B,L,D) Visit the Chorten National Memorial then continue to the gigantic Buddha Dordernma. After lunch visit the Institute for Zorig Chusum, known as 'the painting school' which teaches the 13 traditional arts and crafts of the country to Bhutan's youth. End the day with a visit to the Folk Heritage Museum.

Day 13: Thimpu > Punakha (B,L,D) Drive through scenic cedar forests to the Dochula Pass, which offers panoramic views of the Himalayas, before we descend into the fertile Punakha Valley. After lunch visit the impressive Punakha Dzong which was the seat of Government for many years. We continue to our hotel in this majestic valley.

Day 14: Punakha (B,L,D) Visit a nunnery which is perched high on a ridge amidst pine trees. Then travel to Tato for a glimpse of local village life. Afternoon at leisure.

Day 15: Punakha > Paro (B,L,D) After breakfast drive to Paro for lunch. Visit the National Museum before we check into our hotel.

Day 16: Paro (B,L,D) Today after breakfast take a short drive to Ramthankha where we start the hike to the Taktsang Monastery - more commonly known as the Tiger's Nest. The monastery is a sight to behold as it clings to a sheer cliff face high above Paro Valley. The trail climbs through beautiful pine forest, many of these trees festooned with Spanish moss and an occasional grove of fluttering prayer flags. This is one of the most venerated and sacred of all Buddhist sights around the world. For a large part of the track you can travel by horse or opt to walk 3 - 4 hours to the top to see a breathtaking view.

Day 17: Paro > Bangkok (B) We bid farewell to the mountain Kingdom of Bhutan and fly to Bangkok where we overnight at an airport hotel.

Day 18: Bangkok The tour ends this morning after check out from the airport hotel.

• A World Journeys host • Accommodation in 4 Star hotels • Transfers, sightseeing and entrance fees as per the itinerary • River cruise (deluxe cabin) on Belmond Road to Mandalay • Meals as indicated • Bhutan visa • Gratuities • Flights within the itinerary

Pricing (per person) $AUD

Type TWIN SINGLE

Burma & Bhutan

Burma Only

Bhutan Only

$13,355

$6,250

$7,420

$16,500

$7,275

$9,715

Departs

23 March 2017

Join the tour in Burma or Bhutan only If you would like to travel to Burma only, you follow the same itinerary until Day 11 where the tour ends after you check out from your Bangkok airport hotel. If you would like to travel to Bhutan only, meet the group at the Bangkok hotel on Day 10 and then continue as per the rest of the itinerary ending after check out from your Bangkok airport hotel on Day 18.

Booking conditions

A non-refundable deposit of $1,500 per person is required, with the balance due 20 January 2017. As cancellation fees apply, travel insurance is mandatory.

Please refer to World Journeys terms & conditions.

Not included

• Items of a personal nature • Myanmar visa • Travel insurance (mandatory) • Optional activities • International flights from Australia

Gratuity

In the countries we are visiting, tipping is customary. For a hassle-free journey, tipping is included and will be handled by the World Journeys host.