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Sanctuary Ananda 4 Nights Mandalay – Bagan
Best time to go: January to April, November to December
4 Nights | from £795pp
Holiday type: Tailor-made
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Day 1 - Mandalay
Early afternoon check in and settle into your suite, upon the Sanctuary Ananda. Depending on your arrival time you can take an optional tour of Mandalay visiting Mahamuni and Kathodaw pagoda, Shwenandaw monastery and Kuthodaw Pagoda. Lunch will be served on board as we cruise towards the pagoda sprinkled hills of Sagaing.
This afternoon you will visit the holy Sagaing hills, the important religious and monastic centre, home to some 554 monasteries and 6,000 monks and nuns. Here we will visit a Monastic school and orphanage, before continuing on to the terraces of the Soon U Ponya Shin Pagoda. After, visit Amarapura, once known as 'The City of Immortals', before heading to the U Bein Bridge, the longest and oldest teakwood bridge in the world, for sunset. Return to the ship for a welcome dinner followed by a local performance in the panorama lounge.
Day 2 - Sail to Pakokku
This morning sail to the village of Sin Kyun before continuing on towards Pakokku. Enjoy the beautiful sightseeing from the ship while passing Mingun, where you can see the unfinished Mingun Pagoda. As we continue to sail south, relax as we sail past villages, set against a backdrop of soft browns, rich tamarind trees with white and golden pagodas gracing the distant hills. Admire the beauty of the passing scenery by the pool or through the large windows in the panorama lounge.
After lunch a variety of on-board activities will be offered including a longyi and tanaka demonstration, a cooking school with the chef, cigars and betel nut testing among others. A delicious dinner on board will bring this exciting day to an end.
Day 3 - Pakokku
After breakfast, join our back of house tour and take a cooking class with our Executive Chef.One of our chefs will take you to the local market in Pakokku where mouth-watering fruit and vegetables are laid out with consummate style. We will return to the Sanctuary Ananda for lunch as we sail on to Bagan. After lunch on board, we will visit a small pagoda complex to see the different architecture of the stupas first-hand. Next, visit the great golden Shwezigon Pagoda. This holds a special place among Burmese pagodas for two reasons: it was the first major monument built in the Burmese style (as distinct from Mon style) following the country's conversion to Theravada Buddhism, and was the first pagoda to have nat (spirit) images allowed within the precinct. Finally, enjoy the sunset over the Bagan plains. A local performance will be followed by dinner on board.
Day 4 - Bagan
This morning before breakfast, you can take an optional balloon tour (extra charge) to get a magnificent "bird's-eye" view of the thousand year-old pagodas, temples and the mighty Ayeyarwady River, the best way to fully appreciate the scale and historical importance of this magical place. If you don't have a head for heights then simply watch the sun rise from a temple with a meditation expert. Explore the temples of Bagan by horse cart, stopping at the Ananda Temple and Sulamani Pagoda.
Later en route to Mount Popa, visit a jaggery workshop which produces unrefined sugar. Lunch will be served at Popa Mountain Resort with spectacular views of the site. Mount Popa is best known as a pilgrimage site, with numerous Nat temples and relics. Choose to climb the 777 steps where pilgrims give offerings and pray to carved figures;it's a climb to take slowly, relishing the views. Tonight, a candlelit sandbank dinner is served with the backdrop of the twinkling lights of Bagan.
Day 5 - Bagan
Enjoy an early morning breakfast before continuing on with your tour in Myanmar.
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Our office in Yangon is managed by a local team of experienced and passionate travel professionals with an intimate knowledge of Myanmar, enabling them to provide clients with great insight into this fascinating destination, and ensuring a seamless experience every step of the A&K journey. With their long standing personal connections and networks they're also there to help you uncover local secrets and experiences, and to open doors to people and places normally beyond the reach of the ordinary traveller.
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Meet the Orient & Indian Subcontinent Team
Annie, Brandon, Debbie, Margaret, Vicky Smith, Lynne and Rachel - are experts in designing travel experiences across the region to suit your personal needs, interests and budget.
Best time to be thereMyanmar (Burma) has three clear seasons: from March to May are the very hot summer months, the wet and humid monsoon runs from May to October and the cold dry winter lasts from November to February. The best time of year to visit is late November early December when the rains have gone, the landscape is lush and green and the skies are crystal clear. However any time from late November to March is a good time to travel.
Yangon (Thai Airways via Bangkok)
12 hours 55 minutes via Bangkok
GMT +6 1/2 hours
Required for UK passport holders
Yellow Fever certificate if arriving from an endemic area