Burma: The Golden Land

A JOURNEY RICH WITH CULTURAL INTEREST

Code: MYWHW

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Activity types:

  • Culture
  • History
  • Value

Level

  • 2
More information

Difficulty indicator

Difficulty is measured on many factors such as distance, ascent/descent, terrain, weather and more. There's no magic formula, but from our experience we use yellow for easy, orange for medium and red for hard. Challenger holidays require a high level of fitness and stamina.

More about difficulty levels

Holiday overview

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“Quite unlike any land you know about”, was Rudyard Kipling’s description of Myanmar, formerly the British colony of Burma. This Golden Land has fascinated travellers for many years and, since the release of Aung San Suu Kyi, has been on the top 10 ‘to do’ list for many travellers. Its popularity is understandable as this stunning country invites you to experience cultures and traditions little changed by the modern world as well as a plethora of landscapes from the stunning shores of Inle Lake, to the lush hills of Kalaw and the breathtaking ancient temples of Bagan.

Our itinerary introduces you to highlights of this Golden Land, using the expertise of local leaders accompanied by an HF Holidays’ leader to ensure that you experience the best of this charming country.

Holiday highlights:

  • Witness the breathtaking beauty of the ancient temples of Bagan
  • Step back in time to witness traditions and cultures little changed for decades
  • Enjoy trails through hill tribe villages from the highland hill station of Kalaw
  • Soak up the relaxed ambience of Inle Lake and watch the leg rowing fishermen

Prices include:

  • 10 nights’ accommodation in en-suite rooms 
  • Full Board from dinner on arrival to breakfast on departure
  • A full holiday programme with an HF Holidays’ leader and specialist local leaders
  • Internal flights, entrance fees and travel by air conditioned minibus or coach
  • Tips

In pictures...

Accommodation

Stay in comfortable 3 to 5-star hotels, all with en-suite rooms. Most of the hotels have swimming pools where you can relax and cool down after your day’s walk. In the hill station of Kalaw we stay in a simple but clean and comfortable guesthouse. Services in-country can be relaxed but the welcome, warmth and the charm of this Golden Land will win you over. 

Yadanarpon-Dynasty in Mandalay, Burma Yadanarpon Dynasty (2 nights) Mandalay
Comfortable, air-conditioned, en-suite rooms make the Yadanarpon Dynasty a good place where we can relax after our flight. The hotel is centrally located, but on one of the quieter streets, and has a rooftop café with fantastic views out over Mandalay and the surrounding mountains. 
Tharabar-Gate-Hotel in Bagan, Burma Tharabar Gate Hotel (3 nights) Bagan
The 4-star Tharabar Gate Hotel is located in Old Bagan, and offers air-conditioned comfortable rooms, all with telephone, TV, and in-room safe.
Pine-Hill-Resort in Kalaw, Burma Pine Hill Resort (2 nights) Kalaw
A short walk away from the centre and the hubbub of Kalaw, the Pine Hill Resort provides us with an oasis of calm in the pine-cloaked hillside. The clean, comfortable rooms are simply furnished. The architecture reflects the history of the area as a colonial hill station.  
Ann-Heritage-Lodge in Inle Lake, Burma Ann Heritage Lodge (2 nights) Inle Lake
Set right on the lake shore, with comfortable en-suite rooms, this hotel has been lovingly built with attention to even the finest detail. The architecture is the traditional style of the local area and there are stunning views from the restaurant here as you overlook the lake at sunset.
Sedona-Hotel in Yangon, Burma
Sedona Hotel (1 night) Yangon
The 5-star newly renovated Sedona Hotel is situated within 8 acres of beautiful landscaped gardens, and just 20 minutes from the city centre. It is close to the Shwedagon Pagoda and Inya Lake and, with comfortable bedrooms, is an excellent place to relax before our return flight home. The hotel has a swimming pool too.

On occasion we may need to change the accommodation listed above. If this happens, your replacement accommodation will be of the equivalent standard or higher. In the rare instance this is not possible, we will contact you in advance.

Itinerary

An earthquake struck Burma on 24 August 2016, the epicentre was 120km from the ancient city of Bagan. 181 temples were affected, but any closures are likely to be short term. UNESCO officials were quickly at the site to establish the damage, and the clean up is already underway. Our tours to this wonderful country will take place as normal.

Download trip notes

A good blend of walking and sightseeing. Walks in some areas can be rough underfoot. Walks are 2-8 miles (3-13km) with a maximum ascent of 1,200ft (360m).

Day 1: depart UK.

Days 2-3: arrive in Mandalay (2 nights) to explore its surrounding ancient cities and to enjoy a cruise along the Irrawaddy for walks at Mingun and the monasteries of the Sagaing hills. We visit the Golden Palace monastery, Kuthaw pagoda, U Bein bridge, and climb above Mandalay to appreciate sunset scenes. 

Days 4-6: fly to Bagan (3 nights) and discover one of the world’s richest archaeological sites. We explore this “city of four million pagodas” and enjoy village walks and a visit to Mount Popa.

Days 7-8: fly to Heho and transfer to the cool, picturesque rolling hillside of Kalaw (2 nights) for an introduction to its unspoilt hill tribe villages. Fascinating walks here take us through tea plantations and the homeland of the Palaung people.

Days 9-10: journey to Inle Lake (2 nights) to relax in this spectacular setting and take in the iconic sights of leg-rowing fisherman and floating gardens as we enjoy our scenic strolls. With its magnificent mountain backdrop this is a dream destination for any photographer.

Day 11: to Yangon (1 night), formerly Rangoon, for a walking tour of its colonial buildings before a sunset visit to the majestic golden Shwedagon pagoda.

Day 12: return flight home.

Day 13: arrive in the UK.

Extend your stay at Ngapali beach

Days 12-14: fly to Thandwe, where you will be met and transferred to your accommodation in Ngapali Beach. Ngapali is a small fishing town set on the white sandy shores of the Bay of Bengal. Its palm fringed beaches, framed by a mountain backdrop, provide the perfect escape. The accommodation we have selected is 4*, offering comfortable ensuite rooms and excellent locations. Your extension is on a B&B basis to allow you the flexibility to choose where you wish to eat in the evenings. We have selected hotels which meet our standards and we check availability with them at the time of your request. Your time in Ngapali is free to relax or to explore some of the local villages in the area. 

Day 15: fly back to Yangon, where you have time to explore more. Your final night will be in the Sedona Hotel Yangon.

Day 16: transfer to the airport for your return flight home.

Day 17: arrive in the UK.

Please note, there will be no HF Holidays' leader nor local leader accompanying you on this extension to Ngapali beach.

General Information

Passport
Passports must be valid for 6 months beyond the intended departure date.

Visas
Visas are required for UK, Australian, Canadian & USA passport holders, and these need to be applied for in advance. E-visas can be obtained in advance of travel. Please check https://evisa.moip.gov.mm. Other nationals should check with their nearest embassy or consulate for details of entry requirements. Current cost for tourist visa from 1 December 2016 is $50.

Health advice
Before booking, you should check with your doctor to see if any health precautions are needed. The following websites provide a wealth of information on travelling and health:

www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk    www.traveldoctor.co.uk

Vaccinations: Diphtheria, Hepatitis A, Typhoid & Tetanus vaccinations are recommended. Malaria and Rabies prevention may be recommended too. 

Climate
Myanmar’s climate can be described as a tropical monsoon climate with three main seasons. The hottest period is between February and May, with little or no rain. Rainy season is generally from May to October, with dry, cooler weather from October to February.

Money
The local currency is the Kyat (K), pronounced ‘chat’. The import and export of local currency is prohibited. ATMs are few and far between but they can be found in Yangon, Mandalay, & Bagan, accepting Visa-, MasterCard-, Maestro- and Cirrus cards. Two of these are situated in Yangon International airport. In rural areas it is unlikely that credit or debit cards will be accepted. Traveller’s cheques are not advised. 

US dollars are the easiest currency to exchange – please ensure that notes are new, clean and with no tears otherwise they won’t be exchanged. 

Time

Time in Myanmar is GMT +6 hrs 30 mins.

For flights information please see the Dates and Prices tab.

Leaders

Dorothy Woodcock

Dorothy has been leading for HF Holidays since 2004, both in the UK and overseas, and is always a favourite of our guests, One guest described her as "the ideal leader, like walking with a friend, but one who was aware of everyone's needs".

She has travelled extensively through Asia, including Vietnam, India, Bhutan and Nepal. Throughout her travels, Dorothy has gained much knowledge and understanding of Buddhism, the main religion and the base of much of the culture of Burma. She last led this wonderful tour in 2015.

Her love of the great outdoors is long established, since a visit to Haiti in 1971, where the exhilaration of reaching a peak, combined with the stunning views from the top, firmly established hiking as a life-long passion.

Dorothy is a language teacher by profession, and looks forward to working alongside our local Burmese leaders, to introduce you to the culture and countryside of the Golden Land.

Dorothy will be leading our 17 November 2017 departure.

Reviews

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Dates & Prices

We're sorry, there are no dates available for this holiday at the moment. Please check out our other tours and breaks or call our team on 0345 470 8558 to be notified of new dates as soon as they become available.

Prices are per person

Information

  • Single room: £600
  • Extension to Ngapali from £579
  • Non-member associate fee: £10 per person

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