With the renewal of diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Myanmar (Burma), we’re delighted to return to one of the most enchanting countries of Southeast Asia. The history and culture of ancient Burma, the mystifying remnants of the Burmese empire, and the enduring ethnic traditions of the Burmese people are reason enough to make the visit. But with the recent political and diplomatic changes in Myanmar, we have an excellent opportunity to observe a country returning to the community of nations.
Our tour will begin in Yangon, known to the British as Rangoon, where we’ll view the 2,500-yearold marvel, the Swedagon Pagoda, which Kipling described as a “golden mystery.” The grand architecture and serene parks of Yangon will inform us of the fundamental role that Buddhism has in Burmese culture. The visit to ancient Bagan thereafter, with its 2,000 pagodas, stupas and monasteries set on the eastern bank of the Irrawaddy River, will further illustrate the extraordinary hold that Buddhism has had on the Burmese over the centuries. We’ll also enjoy the first of two cruises on the Irrawaddy before visiting some local markets.
We’ll visit fabled Mandalay for the former royal capital of Amarapura, then cruise to Mingun for the Mingun Paya Pagoda. We’ll also tour Kalaw and the beautiful Inle Lake, homes to several of Myanmar’s many ethnic groups, including the P-O, the Shan, and the Intha people. Our tour ends with a day at leisure in Bangkok, Thailand.
It is good to remember the words of Burmese patriot and Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, “We will surely get to our destination if we join hands.” With superb people-to-people opportunities and roundtrip air included, this generous package is sure to appeal to the culturally adventurous traveler.