Wildlife & Nature
Burma Teenage Adventure
As your family discover Burma together, you will find mythical landscapes, ancient treasures and some of the world's friendliest people. From golden Buddha's and busy markets, magical temples and the tranquillity of Inle Lake - Burma will excite, impress and intrigue those of all ages. Like travelling back in a time-machine, you will experience South East Asia as it was twenty years ago - brimming with rarely seen sights and generations of exciting stories just waiting to be told. Come and uncover a little bit of Burma magic with us on this amazing Family Adventure.
Fly to Yangon (Rangoon)
After your overnight flight to Yangon (Rangoon), you will be transferred (approx 30 mins) to your first night's accommodation to check in.
Your adventure really begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm. You can arrive at any time as there are no activitiesplanned until this important meeting; please ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. Your group leader will be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details. This evening you have the option to go for dinner with the others in your group.East Hotel (AA) – 2 nights
Formerly named Rangoon, Yangon is the country's biggest city and was the capital from 1885, when the British conquered the north and the kingdom of Mandalay, until just a few years ago when the government moved the capital to Naypyidaw.
This morning you will transfer to the boat pier and take a boat trip across the Yangon River. At the other side you take a tuk tuk ride to Twunte village, as you explore the village on foot your guide will tell you about the village. Then it's time to get your hands dirty as you have a go at making some local traditional pottery! Great fun for all the family. After lunch you return to the boat pier and travel back across the river your hotel. (B)
Today you'll head out early to catch your flight to the ancient wonder of Bagan. Here spread out across the horizon are the peaks of 4,500 brick and gilded ancient temples. Dotting the skyline in many shapes and forms some say they compare in splendour to the majestic Angkor kingdom. Theravada Buddhism was introduced by the former kings of Pagan (Bagan) in the mid 11th century, which spurred on the swift building of a swathe of temples to worship their gods, be they Buddhist, Hindu or Nat, over the ensuing 200 or so years.
This afternoon you will take a tour by horse and cart (2 people travel per cart) to visit some of the main temples and go shopping in some of the local markets. Hawkers often surround the most popular temples, selling lacquer ware or handicrafts and there are also stalls offering cool drinks and a welcome touch of shade.
The next day you travel to Ngat Pyit Taung Monastery where you can explore the temple's caves and learn about local traditions and beliefs. Later you visit a Monastic Primary School, seeing the local children here as they go about their lessons will give your kids a totally different perspective on school life! There will certainly be many smiling faces to welcome your visit too. Onwards to the town of Nyaung U where you will visit small neighbouring villages and learn about traditional life here. You will see the process of creating "Poneyay" - pea powder paste and watch as local plum jam is made and packed, if you are lucky they will give you a taste of it too!On your second evening in Bagan you will see a colourful marionette performance which will delight the kids, a tasty dinner of traditional Bamar cuisine is included while you watch.Hotel (AA) - 2 nights - Swimming Pool (Bx2, D on day 5)
This morning you transfer to Bagan Airport (approx 20 mins) and fly to Heho. Then transfer on to Kalaw. Stopping for lunch enroute. As a former British hill station Kalaw make a welcome retreat from the heat of the lower lying areas. While the surrounding hills are the home to various ethnic minority groups, including the Palaung, Danu and Pa-O.
The following day you will spend the whole day at the RDC orphange. You will take a walk to the local market to see local produce on sale and perhaps shop for some bargains for yourself. Later you will join in a classroom activity with the local children, who will no doubt be delighted by your visit! Enjoy a game of badminton with the children and they will also teach you some local games. There is time for some group singing and you will eat lunch with the children. After lunch a traditional show which is interactive will complete a joyous day here. You will no doubt have made many new little friends during the day and take home some great memories of the experience.
Hotel (AAA) - 2 nights (Bx2, L on day 7)
Setting off across the mountains today you cross the plateau which is crammed with farms and make a stop at the caves of Pindaya. As one of the 'Golden Caves' in Shan state, pilgrims flock to worship the 8000 or so Buddha images which adorn the caverns, tunnels and meditation chambers of this huge limestone cave. You'll venture into the labyrinth of tunnels with your guide to gain a better insight into its history.
Pushing on towards Taungyi, you take the turnoff to the resort town of Nyuangshwe, set at the northern end of Inle Lake and your base for the next few days.
The calm waters of Inle Lake are the life-blood for many ethnic minority communities found in stilt houses in lake's shallow fringes and surrounding areas.
The following day you head out in motorised boats and spend the day taking in all the sights from the distinctive leg rowing of local fishermen casting their nets and Nga Hpe Kyaung Monastery with its jumping cats and collection of ancient Buddha images to the floating tomato plantations and plethora of cottage industries such as silversmiths, weavers and cigar makers. You may even come across the floating market which circles the lake each 5 days, where locals sell traditional wares and you can take advantage of shopping opportunities which might come your way.The final day at Inle is free for you to relax or choose your own activities. Perhaps visit the markets, take a wander around the nearby waterfront, cycle off into neighbouring villages or see old payas/temples and the lovely teak monastery.Guesthouse (AA) - 3 nights (Bx3)
You bid farewell to the splendour of Shan state as you make your way to Heho airport for your flight back to the hustle and bustle of Yangon. After checking in to your hotel and freshening up you will make a walking tour of downtown Yangon. Here you will visit markets and perhaps have your fortune told at one of the street stalls. In the afternoon you will visit Shwedagon Pagoda and Karaweik. Then travel on to Kandawgi Lake. See the sunset at Shwedagon and visit its temple. You will be shown how to make a traditional prayer offering.
Hotel (AA) - 1 night (B)
There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart your accommodation at any time. Those on group flights will be transferred to the airport to catch your overnight flight back home. (B)
Temples and Treasures
See Golden Buddhas which gleam in the light. Visit the temples of Bagun which cover a phenomenal area - spanning some 42 sq km and compromising of thousands of brick and gold-gilded stupas - you visit the best of them for a remarkable experience to suit all ages. At Ngat Pyit Taung Monastery discover temples and explore underground caves.
Fun with local children
Spending a day in our supported orphange with Burmese children will give you and your children a fabulous insight into how children in Burma live. They will play, learn and interact together for a whole day, no doubt making lots of new friends and plenty of new discoveries!
Join in local activities
This trip will bring alive the local culture of Burma for your family with plenty of activity and interaction with local people. Get your hands dirty as you try making some traditional pottery, ride a horse and cart to visit local temples and markets, visit a school and join in with their lesson, see how local jam and pea powder paste are made, watch a traditional puppet show and make a prayer offering in a temple. There certainly is plenty to do, and to discover, in Burma for all ages.
Back in Burma
In 2003, there was a call for a boycott on travel to Burma by the then democratically elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi, whose National League for Democracy (NLD) party was denied the right to govern the country by the military dictatorship. After recent positive events within the country including the elections in November 2010, the release of Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest and the subsequent call to end the travel boycott by the NLD, we have been prompted to return to Burma.
By reintroducing our grassroots style of travel, we can contribute to improving the circumstances of the Burmese people by way of initiating a two-way exchange. Firstly, resuming trips will give them a chance to interact with visitors from other countries, thus giving a rare glimpse into life and governance in other parts of the world. Secondly, taking passengers to Burma will help to build awareness of the complex issues this country continues to face, as well as positively contributing to the economy. It is important to note that any of our trips trip to Burma will have been carefully constructed to feature locally owned transport and accommodation wherever possible