Myanmar Highlights

Trip Code: TRSH

Why we love it

Spend an afternoon touring the temple town of Bagan by bicycle. This is a fantastic way to see the thousands of spectacular temples, stupas and pagodas., Join a homegrown master of Burmese cuisine as you stock up on market ingredients, cook up a storm in a cooking class, then feast on the results – all the while supporting a community library initiative., Enjoy an action-packed activity schedule in Mandalay. Visit the magnificent Mandalay Palace, tour a local village and monastery, and discover the hill-top pagodas of Sagaing., Explore Inle Lake on a peaceful canoe trip, followed by a boat tour of its floating islands and local village industries., Be dazzled by Shwedagon Pagoda at sunset. Myanmar's religious crown jewel comes alive in the dusk, with thousands of glittering diamonds on its golden stupa.

Is this trip right for me?

This nine-day 'highlights' trip is perfect for travellers seeking a taste of Myanmar over a short period. If you're looking for something more immersive, consider the longer Best of Myanmar trip, or perhaps spend extra time in beautiful Yangon.

There are 2 days of travelling by road in a private minibus, from Mandalay to Bagan (5 hours), and Mandalay to Inle Lake (9.5 hours). It's a great chance to soak up the beautiful scenery.

There's a fair amount of walking involved – sometimes barefoot, and sometimes up steep steps to catch incredible views. Note also that many religious sites require footwear to be removed before entry.

Myanmar can get hot and humid, even in winter. The hottest and driest months are March and April, while there tends to be higher levels of rainfall from May to late October. During this time humidity is typically high. Keep this in mind if planning to travel during summer.

Important information

1. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement applies to all nights of your trip and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
2. Please provide your full name exactly as per passport at the time of booking (including any middle names listed on your passport). Fees may apply for amendments to details within 45 days of departure, and in some cases you will be required to cover the cost of issuing new tickets.
3. Intrepid can book an optional sunrise balloon ride over the Bagan (operating end of October to March). Please refer to the itinerary for more information. Places are limited and we recommend advance booking with your agent.

What to bring/pack

MAIN LUGGAGE
What you need to bring will vary according to when you are travelling. Generally speaking, we recommend you pack as lightly as possible and make sure that you are able to carry and lift your own luggage, and walk with it for short distances including up and down stairs and in busy train stations. Our travellers usually find the smaller their luggage is, the more they enjoy the trip not having to worry about carrying heavy bags! Aim to keep your main luggage under 15kg.
Small, wheeled suitcases that can also easily be picked up and carried are suitable, or if you prefer, a back pack is also a good option. Remember to bring suitable locks for your luggage.

INTERNAL FLIGHT LUGGAGE ALLOWANCE
Checked luggage allowance is a maximum 15kg, with up to 5kg carry on luggage. Any excess luggage charges can be paid directly to the airline at check-in. If your trip is beginning and ending at the same location, excess luggage can usually be stored at your arrival/departure hotel and can be collected after your trip.

ESSENTIALS:
- Day pack: for carrying essentials when exploring destinations.
- Lightweight clothing: A mixture of covering lightweight clothing and some warm layers (depending on the season) are recommended. It is best to check the weather and seasonal information before travelling. Dress standards are conservative in Myanmar, and for visits to religious sites you will also need to wear clothing that covers shoulders and pants/skirts that go past the knee. Laundry facilities may not be available in all destinations, so make sure you have a few cycles of clothes.
- Wind and waterproof jacket
- Comfortable shoes for walking and hiking: Closed-in shoes that are comfortable to walk for an entire day are recommended for city and countryside walks, and are required for cycling activities
- Sandals/flip flops/easy to remove footwear: for visits to religious sites
- Sun protection: hat, sunscreen, sunglasses
- Toiletries

RECOMMENDED:
- Personal medical kit. A larger kit will be on hand with your leader, but we recommend you carry items such as mild pain killers, electrolytes and adhesive bandages.
- Insect repellent
- Water bottle: We recommend a 1.5litre capacity. While drinking tap water is not recommended in Myanmar, some hotels will have filtered drinking water available. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion end up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments.
- Camera with spare batteries/power bank: You will have access to power to recharge your electrical items most days, however these are a good backup.
- Electrical adapter plug
- reusable shopping bag for buying supplies
- torch/flashlight
- travel wipes
- small towel
- ear plugs & eye mask
- A good book, a journal and music player for longer journeys.

VALUABLES
Please try to avoid bringing unnecessary valuables, and use your hotel safe if available. It’s a good idea to purchase a money belt or pouch that is easily hidden. It’s also recommended to bring a copy of all important documents e.g. air tickets, passport, vaccination certificate, etc. and keep the copies separate from the originals. While not valid, a photocopy makes it very much easier to obtain replacements if necessary.

If you need some further tips for packing, you can always check out our ultimate packing list., WATER BOTTLE:
Consider bringing your own water bottle to refill along the way. We recommend at least a 1.5litre capacity. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion end up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments., https://www.intrepidtravel.com/packing-list

Physical rating

 
2

Joining your group

Grand Laurel Hotel, No. 153/159, Bogyoke Aung San Road (corner of 46th street), Botahtaung, Yangon, Yangon, MYANMAR, Phone: 951 398771

Grand Laurel Hotel is well located in downtown Yangon, just 1km from Sule Pagoda, and 3.2 km from the landmark Shwedagon Pagoda. The Yangon International Airport is 14 km away.

The Grand Laurel Hotel offers guest a 24-hour front desk, luggage storage, on-site laundry and ironing service and restaurant. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the hotel. Each room is complete with air-conditioning, a minibar, a fridge, a flat-screen satellite TV and a private bathroom with a shower and hairdryer.

Joining instructions

A pre-booked airport arrival transfer is available if arranged at the time of booking. Please advise your flight arrival details at least 15 days prior to your departure. If you plan to arrive earlier, this arrival transfer can only be offered in conjunction with pre-tour accommodation booked through Intrepid.

There are 2 exits at Yangon Airport Terminal 1: Exit 6 & 8. Your transfer driver will be waiting for you at Exit 6.

Alternatively, taxis are readily available from the airport, and drivers will often approach you before you have left the airport. From the airport to the Grand Laurel Hotel you can expect the drive to take approximately 20 minutes (depending on traffic) and cost around USD$18.

Finishing your trip

Grand Laurel Hotel, No. 153/159, Bogyoke Aung San Road (corner of 46th street), Botahtaung, Yangon, Yangon, MYANMAR, Phone: 951 398771

A departure transfer from our hotel to the airport is available if arranged at the time of booking. Please advise your flight arrival details at least 15 days prior to your trip start date. If you plan to stay longer, this departure transfer can only be offered in conjunction with post-tour accommodation booked through Intrepid.

A taxi from the hotel to the airport should cost around $18USD, and can take anywhere from 20 minutes - 1 hour depending on traffic. Please ask your tour leader for their advice on departure time to ensure you allow sufficient time to reach your flight. You can ask your leader the hotel reception if you would like help arranging a taxi.

Meals & dietary information

Breakfasts included: 8

Lunches included: 2

Dinners included: 

While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. If you have dietary requirements and/or food allergies, please let your booking agent know prior to departure.

FOOD IN MYANMAR:
The food in Myanmar is described as more mild, and oily than it's neighbouring countries. We will try and give you a taste of traditional cuisine in each region, and the blend of influences including Chinese, Mon and Indian. Breakfasts are often simple (eggs, bread, jam and coffee/tea would be most common), or there may only be local breakfast available.

Many dishes in Myanmar contain peanuts, or are made with peanut oil. Please let your leader know if you have any allergies.

In addition, as tourism is developing, many restaurants are still learning to cater for foreign tourists. Your leader will assist with suggesting restaurants that follow expected food hygiene practices.

Climate & seasonal information

WATER FESTIVAL (THINGYAN) - 13-16 April 2020 & 2022

This Buddhist Water Festival typically falls in mid-April each year, and usually involves water throwing to wash away the previous year before the New Year commences. During this important national holiday many businesses close or only offer limited services, or will impose additional public holiday service charges. This includes the closure of some attractions, restaurants, banks and currency exchange providers. Additionally, it is common ATMs to run out of cash, so it is recommended to have sufficient cash in advance to last you through the holiday period.  Although we do our best to run trips during this time as outlined in the scheduled itinerary, it is likely that there will be some changes to transport, accommodation or the time spent in each destination due to the limited services operating at this time. We will aim to communicate any known changes prior to your departure. Regardless of the challenges, most travellers have really enjoyed visiting Myanmar during Water Festival and being involved in water throwing celebrations with locals that occur across the country.

MYANMAR WEATHER & CLIMATE:
Myanmar has a tropical monsoon climate which can vary significantly across the country. The dry season runs from November to February, and during this time it can be cool, particularly in the central areas including Bagan, Kalaw and Inle Lake. If travelling during this season is advised to bring trousers, a warm jacket and layers, especially for the evenings. The hottest and driest months are March and April, which experience high temperatures and high humidity. The Southwest Monsoon typically commences mid-May and continues until October, however September and October generally experience less rainfall and more sunshine.

In case of emergency

While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.

We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.

You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. Please do be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is completed, so informing us while still travelling will give us the opportunity to resolve the issue in real-time.

For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/

In case of a genuine crisis or emergency, you can reach our local office on the number below.

Intrepid’s Local Operator: +95 9 420254468

Accommodations

The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline only and may change. On some occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our preferred accommodation. In these cases, we will use a similar standard of accommodation.

Throughout the trip, we request that our properties prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However, this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination or on some trips, have use of shared day rooms until all rooms are available.

Transportation

FLIGHTS:
Please provide your name as per passport 45 days prior to the departure date for flight tickets to be issued. For internal flights we fly the following safety audited airlines: Golden Myanmar Airlines, Yangon Airways, Air Kan Baw Za (KBZ) and Mann Yadanarpon Airlines. It is common for airlines to make last-minute changes to our confirmed group bookings on internal flights, and to re-book the group on earlier or later flight times than originally scheduled. In rare instances the group may be split over different flights throughout the day, and you may be unaccompanied on the internal flight. In this case you will be assisted by additional tour escorts on departure and arrival. Some flight routes are indirect, and may involve a stopover enroute to pick up additional passengers. Depending on demand, some flight routes are operated with smaller aircraft.

Checked luggage allowance on domestic flights is a maximum 20kg, with up to 5kg carry on luggage. Any excess luggage charges can be paid directly to the airline at check-in.

TAXIS:
Registered taxis have red licence plates and are readily available Make sure that the fare is agreed with the driver before you depart. Take particular care if using taxis late at night. Registered ride-sharing services operate in Yangon.

LIGHT TRUCK:
A common form of transport in Myanmar, these small trucks generally have two bench seats fixed along either side of the back of the truck facing inwards with a covered roof.

TUK TUK:
These are small three wheeled vehicles and a very common form of transport across South East Asia.


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