Mandalay: an ancient capital
and home to many Buddhist monasteries
Yangon’s Shwedagon temple,
where devotees collectively sweep
on the weekday of their birth
Exploring on foot near Inle Lake
Sightseeing by boat at Inle Lake
Addressing health care and
educational needs in Burma
- An English speaking Burmese tour guide
- 12 nights in guesthouses /4-star or boutique hotels on twin sharing bed basis with breakfast in Burma
- All transfers and travel in a private air-con vehicle (and boats) as per the itinerary
- Welcome Dinner
- Guided sight seeing tours, with entrance fees and zone fees as per the itinerary
Cost does not include:
- International flight airfare
- Domestic airfare
- Tax deductible donation to a chosen non-profit
- Meals not mentioned in the itinerary, and all beverages
- Visa fees (approximately US$ 50 per person, subject to government regulation)
- Tips for meals and services, hotel staff and airport porters
- Expenses of personal nature including phone calls, laundry, excess baggage
- Trip cancellation insurance (highly recommended)
- Medical and emergency evacuation travel insurance (mandatory)
- Temple and social service donations, and any other services not mentioned above
Sandwiched between historical centers of Asian civilization and astride the north-south travel corridor, the Irrawaddy River, Burma has long been coveted by the region’s rulers for its natural wealth and strategic location. The influences of centuries of conquest and trade can be seen in Burma’s unique architecture, languages, dress, food, and in the diversity of its ethnic groups.
KarmaQuest invites you to travel with us through Burma’s stunning cultural landscape, visiting world-class heritage sites such as Bagan, with its 2,500 stupas spread like jewels on the banks of the Irrawaddy River; Yangon, with its magnificent, gold-embossed Shwedagon Pagoda; the fascinating water world of Inle Lake,where you’ll glide in dug-out wooden boats amidst floating gardens and villages; and Mandalay, with its ancient monastic traditions and social service projects that are addressing today’s health and welfare needs.
We’ll also take you beyond the deservingly popular visitor sights to villages where ethnic peoples carry on centuries-old handicraft and weaving traditions. We’ll travel by foot, boat, jeep, bus and plane; stroll through colorful markets and trek through farm fields to meet village families. Along with these insightful travels, we will visit and learn about health care and educational programs that are making a difference. We will see how our donations can help.
We’d be happy to assist you in planning your travels to and from Burma, or extending your stay in Southeast Asia or the region. Please inquire about our Extension Trips.
Day 1: Arrive in Yangon: Visit Shwedagon Pagoda, the most revered Buddhist temple in Burma: 90 meters tall and gilded with gold leaf. We’ll remove our shoes and join pilgrims on a stroll on the well-swept marble arcade.
Day 2: Yangon: We’ll spend the day seeing the sites, including Botataung Pagoda, Pansodan Street with its colonial buildings and sidewalk markets, Wahdan jetty, a lively shipping dock, the National Museum, and China town.
Day 3: Travel to Inle Lake, land of floating gardens:
Set amidst a ring of hills, at 2,950 feet elevation, Inle Lake supports a unique way of life on the water. Ethnic peoples build their homes on stilts, and farm these waters on strips of land held in place by water hyacinths and mud, anchored by bamboo poles. Travel by boat to your hotel overlooking the lake and hills.
Day 4: Inle Lake: Trekking to ethnic villages: Today we’ll hike to ethnic tribal villages. We’ll take lunch in a private home and have a chance to talk to our hosts about their daily life and yours. This is the Burma that few other visitors encounter
Day 5: Inle Lake – Indein village and monastery: We’ll follow a narrow canal to Indein, a fascinating collection of original and re-furbished 12-13th century stupas. We’ll stop at a weaving village and visit a weekly floating market.
Day 6: Mandalay: On arrival by flight from Inle, we’ll visit the holiest sites in Mandalay including a millennia-old image of Buddha; and Shwenandaw Monastery, noted for its exquisite wood carvings.
Day 7: Mandalay: A morning outing takes us to the ancient royal capital of Amarapura, a school for young monks and the famous U Bein Bridge, built more than two centuries ago and still today the longest teakwood span in the world. Later, we’ll visit Inwa, founded in 1364 as the royal capital.
Days 8-9: Mandalay: Social Service sites and village visits: Over these two days we’ll drive to project sites in and around Mandalay to learn how our non-profit partners there are addressing health care and educational needs among disadvantaged and orphaned children. We’ll bring some gifts to share, and no doubt will take away much more than we bring.
Day 10: Fly to Bagan: Thousands of clay and stone pagodas built during the 11th to 13th centuries by Hindu and Buddhist rulers stretch across the vast plains. We’ll visit a select handful of them. Some contain magnificent golden statues and frescoes, others impressive stone arch ways and intricate sandstone carvings.
Day 11:   Bagan: Temples, crafts, villages, and a cart ride: We’ll travel to nearby villages to see how people use traditional hand-looms and live a farming life. We’ll visit a lacquer workshop, take a horse cart ride and climb one of the taller pagodas for a panoramic sunset view. If that isn't high enough: take to the sky in a hot air balloon, in early morning (optional)!
Day 12: Yangon: After a short flight to Yangon, transfer to your hotel and spend the rest of the day at your leisure. Don’t miss the famous Scott Market, a sprawling shopping complex housing myriad crafts, souvenirs and household items.
Day 13: Depart Yangon: End of Services. Onward light and hotel arrangements can be made upon request.
Social Service Project
In keeping with KarmaQuest’s commitment to responsible tourism – tourism that benefits local communities and supports conservation of the natural and cultural environment in the places we visit – we welcome your donation to our non-profit partners to benefit the disadvantaged women and children of Burma. Please inquire about this and to learn about other ways that you can help.
Trip Cost: From US$3,390 to $3,990 per person
For more information and a detailed itinerary... please contact
KarmaQuest Ecotourism and Adventure Travel
Tel: (650) 560-0101/
699 Spindrift Way, Half Moon Bay,
California 94019 USA