Explore Burma’s extraordinary array of ancient monuments that are virtually untouched, their golden roofs glittering up to the heavens. Contemplate the gently crumbling grandeur of the British Empire in Rangoon, the evocative ruins of the once-fabled kingdom of the Lion Throne, and ponder the future for the Golden Land. This tour travels from Rangoon to the beautiful area around Inle Lake, then onwards to Mandalay with its religious relics and craft centres, and culminating in a stay in Pagan with its breath-taking vistas of endless pagodas dotted on the plains. With CTS Horizons, your tour of Burma will be an unforgettable holiday to one of the world’s most dramatic countries!
• Discover the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Pagan
• See the famous leg-rowers of Inle Lake
• Visit the former capital of Mandalay
• Explore dazzling temples and pagodas
• Enjoy a High Tea at the Strand Hotel in Rangoon
• Explore local markets and see local life
The architecture that remains in this once-splendid
colonial centre is a curious, evocative blend of faded Victorian grandeur, Art Deco ritziness and exotic orientalism. See the Sule Pagoda, and watch the sunset from the dazzling Shwedagon Pagoda, encrusted with gold, topped by a 76 carat diamond, the spiritual symbol of the nation. Explore this ramshackle, chaotic and utterly captivating city, once the wealthiest in South East Asia with its valuable exports of teak, rubies and rice. Visit the National museum, home to the crown jewels and the 34ft high Lion Throne of the last king of Burma. Also don’t miss a visit to Botataung Pagoda, Chaukhtatgyi Buddha, and one of the many bustling markets.
Inle Lake is located in the Shan hills; the lake itself is fringed by villages inhabited by the Intha people, mostly farmers and fishermen who have adapted their way of life perfectly to their unique environment. The Lake is long, narrow and shallow, covering around 45 square miles, its banks lined with floating gardens that produce a huge proportion of Burma’s fruit and vegetables. Reeds from the lake are woven into anchored floating mats, mud from the lake bed and hyacinth weed is piled onto them, slowly creating fertile reclaimed land. Take a boat trip to explore the lake and watch the fishermen with their ingenious way of rowing their boats with one leg.
Mandalay, a former capital and the country’s cultural centre, renowned for its skilled artisans producing tapestries, fine stone carvings and gold leaf. There are many working craft centres producing these items. Highlights around Mandalay include the Mahamuni Buddha whose body is covered in gold leaf by worshippers, the Shwe In Bin Monastery, and the former royal capitals of Ava and Amarapura, home to the curious U Bein Bridge.
Pagan lies on a vast, dusty plain and is one of the richest archaeological sites in Asia, and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In its golden age of the First Burmese Empire between the 11th and 13th centuries over 13,000 temples, pagodas and stupas were built, no two the same, but Pagan was ravaged by Kublai Khan, looters, earthquakes, floods and time, now only 2,200 out of 13,000 buildings remain, most are ruins.
|Time Zone:||GMT + 6 hours 30|
|Flying time:||Approx 15 hours|
|Visa:||Visa required (obtained in advance) for UK passport holders|
|Vaccinations:||Recommended, seek advice from GP|
KEY PUBLIC HOLIDAYS 2015
1 Jan – New Year’s Day, 4 Jan – Independence Day, 12 Feb – Union Day, 2 Mar – Peasants Day, 5 Mar – Full Moon of Tabaung, 27 Mar – Armed Forces Day, 13-16 Apr – Water Festival, 17 Apr – Myanmar New Year, 1 May – May Day, 1 Jun – Buddha’s Birthday, 1 Jul – Full Moon of Waso, 19 Jul – Martyr’s Day, 27 Oct – Full Moon of Thadingyut, 26 Nov – Full Moon of Tazaungmone, 8 Dec – National Day, 25 Dec – Christmas Day
Tropical monsoon; cloudy, rainy, hot, humid summers (southwest monsoon, June to September); less cloudy, scant rainfall, mild temperatures, lower humidity during winter (northeast monsoon, December to April).
The best time to visit Myanmar is between early October and late March. During these months it rains least and it is not so hot. March to May brings intense heat. At this time, the daily temperatures in Rangoon (Yangon) often reach 40ºC (104ºF), while areas around Pagan and Mandalay go a few digits higher. The cool hill towns of Shan State offer relief from the heat.
The southwest monsoon starts between mid-May and mid-June, bringing frequent rains through till October, peaking from July to September. The dry zone (between Mandalay and Pyay) gets the least rain, though roads anywhere (and particularly in the delta region) can become impassable. Rakhaing State bears the full force of the rains – often exceeding 195 in (495cm) of rain annually.