Luxury Small Group Journeys - Myanmar & the Irrawaddy 2016

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Best time to go: January to April, September to December

9 Nights | from £3,755pp

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Holiday type: Group departure

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Luxury Small Group Journeys - Myanmar & the Irrawaddy


  • Explore the sacred Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, gilded with gold leaf stupas and clusters of jewels
  • Cruise on the legendary Irrawaddy River in luxury on the all-balcony Sanctuary ‘Ananda’
  • Spend two nights on Inle Lake and enjoy a private viewing of a traditional Intha boat race
  • Take a magical hot air balloon ride, soaring above the 2,000 pagodas and temples of Bagan’s plain
  • Travel off the beaten path on a tour of Musmeah Yeshua, the only remaining Jewish synagogue in Myanmar

Day 1 Arrive Yangon, Myanmar
Arrive in Yangon where a member of the A&K team will meet and accompany you to your hotel.
Sule Shangri-La, Yangon

Day 2 Yangon
Savour your first taste of Myanmar, a profoundly Buddhist country where many ancient traditions still flourish. Start the day with a tour of the magnificent gilded Shwedagon Pagoda, the most sacred Buddhist site in Myanmar; it stood for 2,600 years, making it the oldest historical pagoda in the world. Then visit the Reclining Buddha at Chauk Htat Gyi Pagoda, a 213-foot-long statue with an expressive enamel face; the story of the Buddha’s life is embossed on the soles of the statue’s feet. After a traditional Burmese lunch, take a stroll through Scott Market (Bogyoke Market) home to myriad stalls displaying antiques, old coins, Burmese jade and handicrafts. Enjoy afternoon tea with a Burmese writer who is a former colleague of Aung San Suu Kyi. In the evening there is a special welcome dinner hosted by A&K.
Sule Shangri-La, Yangon | MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 3 Heho / Inle Lake

Fly to Heho and drive to Nyaung Shwe to explore the 19th-century Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery. The structure is built entirely from teak and is still fully functional today. After lunch explore the ingenious floating gardens of Lake Inle and Nga Phe Kyaung monastery (also known as the Jumping Cat Monastery) by boat before arriving at your lakeside hotel.
Inle Lake View Resort | MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 4 Inle Lake
After breakfast visit the bustling nearby market where you’ll see hilltribe people in traditional dress bartering for goods and produce. Stop at a blacksmith’s workshop before trying your hand at rolling a traditional Burmese cheroot. Lunch is at the Intha Heritage House, which serves authentic Intha dishes from recipes handed down through generations. Then head back to the lake to watch a private Intha boat race; the coordinated effort required by the 20 participants per boat is a real spectacle as each uses using the traditional single-leg rowing technique that some local fishermen still employ when working on the lake. Return to the hotel for dinner.
Inle Lake View Resort | MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 5 Mandalay
Fly to Mandalay and drive to Ava, the ancient imperial capital of Burma from the 14th to 19th centuries, which was destroyed and ultimately abandoned after a series of earthquakes in 1839. Explore the ruins by in a horse drawn cart, including Maha Aungmye Bonzan Monastery, Bagaya Monastery and the Watch Tower. Return to Mandalay to witness evening prayers at Shwe Kyin Monastery, followed by dinner at the hotel.
Rupar Mandalar Resort | MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 6 Mandalay
Visit Kuthodaw Pagoda, where you’ll see more than 700 marble tablets inscribed with Buddhist texts, sometimes referred to as ‘the biggest book in the world’. Then it’s time to board the Sanctuary ‘Ananda’, a luxurious river cruiser which will be your home during the four day river cruise on the Irrawaddy. After lunch on board, disembark for a visit to Sagaing, renowned for its monasteries and pagodas, then on to Amarpura, known for its silver workshops, where you will board a small boat which ferries you to U Bein Bridge, the oldest and longest teak bridge in the world. Enjoy an atmospheric sundowner as the setting sun silhouettes the bridge and the people crossing it on their way home. Return to the Sanctuary ‘Ananda’ for dinner.
Sanctuary Ananda | MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 7 The Irrawaddy River
Take a morning meditation or yoga session on deck before a leisurely breakfast. Enjoy relaxing on deck as the Sanctuary Ananda moves along the river towards Bagan, taking in the scenery and absorbing everyday life on the banks. There will be an on-board talk later, on Myanmar’s history and vision for the future.
Sanctuary Ananda | MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 8 Pakokku / Bagan
Learn the art of Burmese cuisine during an on board cooking class from the Ananda’s chef. Disembark to visit Pakokku village, exploring its market and seeing how the thanaka paste is made – the characteristic paste used by Burmese women for make-up and by children as a sunscreen. Visit another of Bagan’s many temples before returning to the ship for dinner and a traditional Burmese musical performance.
Sanctuary Ananda | MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 9 Bagan
Rise early today for a spectacular balloon ride over Bagan as the rising sun illuminates the gold-and sand-coloured stupas. Back on the ground, visit Nyaung Oo Market then Ananda Temple, the best preserved temple in Bagan, dating from 1060. In the evening, the Ananda moors up against a sand bank in the middle of the Irrawaddy, where you’ll enjoy an atmospheric candlelit dinner.

Day 10 Yangon

Disembark Sanctuary Ananda for the final time, to fly from Bagan to Yangon, where you’ll visit Musmeah Yeshua, the only remaining Jewish synagogue in Myanmar, built during the colonial era in the heart of the city centre. After a convivial farewell lunch, spend the afternoon relaxing or doing some last-minute shopping. Depending on your flight time, you’ll be driven to the airport to fly home, or stay for a final night at the hotel.
Sule Shangri-La, Yangon | MEALS: Breakfast

Back to Myanmar


Departure Dates & Pricing

Departure Dates Per Person from
11th, 16th, 18th Jan, 6th, 22nd, 29th Feb, 5th, 7th,14th, 26th Mar£4,755Book now
28th Mar, 4th, 11th Apr, 25th Sep£3,755Book now
2nd, 9th, 14th, 28th, 30th Oct, 6th,13th Nov, 4th, 9th,16th Dec£4,885Book now
18th, 23rd, 25th Dec£5,535Book now

28th Mar, 4th, 11th Apr departures do not have balloon flights operating on these dates.
The above prices include all accommodation, guiding and meals as specified. Subject to availability. Excludes international flights. Single Supplement on request
Itinerary may operate with some slight routing changes due to low water levels.
Price based on Classic Cabin Bagan Deck, supplements apply for other cabins.
Luang Prabang Pre Tour Extension. 4 days from £1,749 per person. Available on 11, 18 Jan; 29 Feb; 14 Mar; 4 Apr; 25 Sep; 9 Oct; 6 Nov; 4 and 18 Dec departures.
Angkor Wat Post Tour Extension. 4 days from £1,975 per person. Available on 11 Jan; 22 Feb; 14 Mar; 4, 11 Apr; 2, 9 Oct; 6 Nov; 4 Dec departures.

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A&K Offices

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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Useful info

Myanmar (Burma) Map

Best time to be there

Myanmar (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.

Fly to

Yangon (Thai Airways via Bangkok)

flying time

12 hours 55 minutes via Bangkok

time difference

GMT +6 1/2 hours


Required for UK passport holders

Health Requirements

Yellow Fever certificate if arriving from an endemic area

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