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Myanmar

Asia at its purest, with the atmosphere of times past. - Trip for singles

Book From   € 1,499,-
GROUP SIZE: 6-24 | 20 DAYS

Myanmar

During your trip, it is possible to participate in 'single' excursions offered locally by the tour leader. These excursions are optional. To allow you to plan a budget for your trip we have provided you with an idea of the cost of these excursions. The price can change due to currency fluctuations. The amounts are therefore only meant to give you an indication of the cost. Entrance fees will often change and therefore are excluded from the prices displayed (unless explicitly stated). We display the prices in Euros/GB Pounds/US Dollars. When you are in your destination, it is possible to pay for the excursions in local currency.

Single excursions

Below is a list of locally offered excursions. The prices are based on the participation of at least 6 participants. Entry fees are exclusive (unless explicitly stated).

€ 11

Inle Lake - Inle Lake Exploration, including the Thein pagodas

You sail by boat from Nyaungshwe to the Inle Lake. On the lake you'll pass "leg rowers'', fishermen from the Intha tribe, who keep their boat moving in a typical way. Standing with one leg flat on their boat, they move their narrow vessel forward by rowing with their other leg. You also see fishermen fishing with large cone-shaped nets. They look beautiful in the often smooth waters. There is much activity on the water, many boats are sailing in and out. In the villages and the lake are various craftsmen at work, you can optionally visit a silversmith or a cigar factory.

You'll sail through ditches and creeks, past houses on stilts with wooden bridges, you see purple water hyacinths and numerous waterfowl. Then you come to the 1000+ temples in Thein (also written as In Dein). Some of the beautiful monuments are partly covered with vegetation, vines and bamboo. It looks like a bunch of turrets. It is assumed that the pagoda is approximately 500 years old.

In the afternoon you'll explore it further. You will view the floating gardens (kyunpaws), where the population mainly grows flowers and vegetables, like tomatoes and eggplants. These kyunpaws are narrow strips of land, pinned down to the lake by bamboo poles.

The most striking building on the lake is the Phaung Daw U Paya, a pagoda where five small buddha images have become shapless blobs of gold, due to all of the donated gold leaf. These figures are from the 12th century. Only men are allowed to approach and touch these gold nuggets. Women may watch from a respectable distance.

Along the way you undoubtedly stop in Ngahpe Kyaung, a teak monastery on stilts in the middle of the lake and from the 19th century. It is also known as the ''Monastery of jumping cats" because of the multitude of cats that live there. Monks train the animals from an early age to jump through a hoop on command. It seems very difficult to get cats to learn tricks, you would describe this type of task as drudgery! In the monastery there are some beautiful Buddha statues. After the tour you will sail back to Nyaungshwe.

Included: transport by boat
Not included: meals, drinks

€ 14

Mandalay - Amarapura, Sagaing & Ava

In the vicinity of Mandalay lie some 'deserted cities', former capitals of ancient kingdoms: Amarapura, Ava and Sagaing. Since the fall of Bagan, these cities are constantly trading places as the capital of Myanmar. During this full days excursion you will visit some very interesting places.

First you'll go to the Mahamuni Paya in Mandalay, the second most important temple in the country for Burmese buddhists. Every Burmese hopes to have visited this sacred place at least once in his/her life. The four meter high Mahamuni Buddha is made of bronze, but because the countless pilgrims sacrifice gold leaf to the image, the Buddha now has a gold layer of up to 15 inches thick! The Mahamuni Paya is alive with the large number of believers that come here to pray and sacrifice. The temple itself is also beautiful to look at, with gold, purple and brown colouring.

You drive on to the monastery in Amarapura Maha Ganayon Kyaung. In the kitchen of the monastery, huge pots of rice are prepared. You see hundreds of monks sit down for lunch, their last meal of the day. Sometimes you can even take a look in the bedrooms where the monks sleep together on mats. You will also visit a nearby silk workshop.

In Sagaing Division, on the other side of the Ayeyarwady River, you have a beautiful view over the wide water and a British-built bridge. On the hills more than 700 monasteries are scattered. The dome of the Kaungmudaw pagoda is visible from afar. In Sagaing you can visit a silverware place .

You will cross again on the Ayeyarwady and continue to a parking lot on a tributary. From here little flat boats leave to Ava (now known under the name INWA). In five minutes you cross the river (you pay the nominal cost for the ferry on the spot). Ava was the capital of Burma for over 400 years. Again and again the city was besieged by hostile nations, but eventually a severe earthquake in 1838 led to the destruction of the city. Ava is an artificial island where time seems to have stopped. After the rainy season you can enjoy an optional tour by horse of the beautiful landscape and temples that sparkle in flooded fields. The driver stops during the trip several times. You stop in Bagaya Kyaung, a monastery from 1834 that is made entirely of teak. The Maha Aungmye Bon is also lovely, a monastery that is special because it is built with bricks and decorated with traditional plaster. This was unusual for the time in which it was built (1812). Nanmyin is a 27 meter high tower, which originally belonged to the palace of Bagyidaw. During the earthquake of 1838, the tower suffered severe damage. It is often called the "Leaning Tower of INWA'' and you can climb up for a nice view over the surroundings.

On the way back to Mandalay you stop again in Amarapura, now at the impressive U Bein's bridge. The 1200 meter long teak walkway connects the shores of Lake Taungthaman. This is an ideal place to watch the sun set together with a drink on one of the many terraces. You can also choose an optional boat trip on the lake.

Included: transport by air conditioned car / bus
Not included: truck to Sagaing Hill, ferry to INWA (Ava), trips by horse and cart, meals, drinks

€ 23

Mandalay - Mingun & Sightseeing Mandalay

This excursion takes a full day to complete. You sail in an hour to Mingun, which lies on the opposite side of the Ayeyarwady River. During the cruise you will experience everyday life on and around the water and look out over the flat landscape with mountains on the horizon. Upon arrival you see the white Settawya Paya immediately. It is a hollow stupa built in 1811 that houses a marble footprint of Buddha. On the river side at this pagoda are images of a chinthe and other mythical animals.

The most impressive are the remnants of the Mingun Pagoda. In 1790, the construction began on what was once proposed to be the largest pagoda in the world. Mutual quarrels and a devastating earthquake have ensured that the planned altitude of 150 meters was never achieved. Now there remains but the still very impressive brick pedestal of the pagoda. The Hsinbyume Paya from 1816, consists of seven whitewashed wavy terraces which lie around the stupa. The whole thing resembles a colossal meringue pie.

Mingun has beautiful pagodas next to the largest remaining intact clock in the world. (There is apparently a larger one in Moscow, but there's a crack in). The clock is four meters high and weighs 9000 pounds. Opposite this is the hospital cum shelter for the elderly. Here people from all over Myanmar visit those who have no family who can care for them. The head nurse, Mrs. Thwe Thwe (also known as J-Lo), receives visitors in a friendly manor and speaks good English. The hospital seems to run entirely on donations from tourists (both donations and medicines).

You'll sail back to Mandalay. Here you'll visit some of the traditional workshops, where for example the paper-thin sheets of gold leaf are being beaten. You'll visit the Kuthodaw Paya, where you the fifteen books of the Tripitaka (Buddhist sacred writings) can be admired. These books are in 729 carved marble tablets, each in its own elegant white stupa standing. More than 200 engravers would have been necessary to manufacture these panels. It is said that if you spend eight hours a day reading (the books are written in the ancient Pali language), you need 450 days to complete the book.

Originally part of the royal palace at Amarapura, the temple was later moved to Mandalay. This is one of the few royal buildings that survived the bombings of World War II on Mandalay. King Thibaw used the building as a meditation room, the couch that he used is still present. Take time to explore this traditional Burmese wooden monastery with its' carved posts. The numerous works of art on the outside have become quite weathered over the years, but inside the carvings are still in excellent condition.

Mandalay's cityscape is dominated by the Mandalay Hill (230 meters). In the east, from the hill you have a view overlooking the Shan mountains. To the south is Mandalay Palace and the centre of Mandalay. In the west you look out over the Ayeyarwady.

Included: transport by air conditioned car / bus, boat to and from Mingun

Not included: truck to Mandalay Hill, meals, drinks

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