Legendary Burma! — including a luxury 4-night Irrawaddy River cruise
February 28 to March 10, 2018
Gay Group Tour of Myanmar — HIGHLIGHTS
- Myanmar’s greatest temple and one of the world’s most majestic Buddhist monuments — Shwedagon Pagoda, its gilded stupa rising high above Yangon
- Exploring colonial Yangon (Rangoon), one of Asia’s finest showpieces of British colonial urban planning — now in its various states of atmospheric decay
- The last royal capital of Burma — Mandalay, Myanmar’s cultural capital and a fine center for crafts
- The “world’s biggest book,” a series of 729 inscribed marble slabs surrounding Kuthodaw Pagoda
- Visit to a marble carving workshop
- A 4-night luxury river cruise on the mighty Irrawaddy River from Mandalay to Bagan
- Dreamily pretty Inle Lake, a postcard picture come to life, surrounded by a variety of ethnic groups’ villages (some on stilts), colorful markets, and floating gardens
- Sagaing, another former royal capital famous for its stupa-studded hill
- Bagan — truly one of the great wonders of Asia with thousands of majestic temples rising from the Irrawaddy plains
- Visit to a monastic school and orphanage
- The world’s longest teak footbridge, U Bein, one of the country’s most famous sights and enjoyed at sunset
- Tour of a local food market and a cooking class on board our luxury river cruiser
- Mount Popa, like a Burmese Mount Olympus, with its colorful cluster of shrines perched dramatically atop an ancient volcanic outcrop
- A candlelit sandbank dinner with the backdrop of Bagan’s twinkling lights
- Top-end accommodations
From the glittering pagodas and downtown bustle of Yangon to the idyllic waters of Inle Lake; from the temple-strewn plains of Bagan to storied Mandalay . . . we show you the best of Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) on this 11-day tour including a tranquil four-night luxury cruise on the famed Irrawaddy River tossed in for good measure.
One of the least known and least developed countries in Southeast Asia, and perhaps the region’s most enigmatic, Myanmar has taken some steps towards change in the past decade, but the old Burma described by Rudyard Kipling and George Orwell is still very much on display. Winston Churchill referred to Burma as a riddle wrapped in a mystery. It’s a tantalizingly exotic culture with a quirky old-world atmosphere where traditions of the past linger.
Many say that the country is locked in a kind of time warp, and indeed that is part of its appeal. Horse-carts outnumber cars. Steer plow the paddies. Saffron-robed, shaved-headed monks queue for alms in the street. Young women wear a fragrant paste on their faces. All manner of exotic headgear is worn. A beautifully patterned sarong-type garment is worn by nearly all women and most men. There’s a wealth of vibrant arts and crafts traditions. Life for most Burmese centers around the temple and the teahouse. And the warm and gentle nature of the Burmese people impresses visitors every time.
A special highlight of our journey is the luxurious all-suite ship on which we’ll cruise in style down the Irrawaddy River for four nights between Mandalay and Bagan. Launched at the end of 2014 and with just 21 suites this is an intimate affair, custom-built by local craftsmen using traditional materials and melding Burmese design with contemporary chic. It’s the only all-balcony ship on the Irrawaddy, offering excellent cuisine (both local and international options), a high staff-to-guest ratio, and included cultural excursions from the boat (such as a craft workshop, villages, a monastery, pagodas, and a food market).
Onboard activities will include a performance by local dancers, lectures, and a cooking lesson. Relax in the lounge with its panoramic windows, enjoy the plunge pool on deck, indulge in a spa treatment, observe life along the river from the comfort of your room . . . It’s a delightful way to appreciate this corner of the country. You may also wish to enjoy a unique vantage point over the stunning temples of the Bagan plains by taking a magical hot air balloon ride!
Please Note: During this four-night cruise our group will be sharing the boat with other travelers as this is not a private charter.