River Cruise Extension for Burma's Undiscovered South Pre Tour - The Strand | Pandaw.com
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BURMA'S UNDISCOVERED SOUTH PRE TOUR - THE STRAND

The mighty Salween River and Burma’s Southern Land is a region of stunning natural beauty, but decades of restrictions on travel have meant few foreigners have had a chance to see its charms with their own eyes. We are pleased to present this opportunity to explore the many areas of interest around of Hpa An, the Salween River, Moulmein and Pegu before flying to Kawthaung to join the Andaman Explorer on your voyage of discovery to the beautiful undiscovered Mergui archipelago.

 

DAY 1

YANGON - HPA AN

Depart Yangon at 7am this morning for a journey by road to Hpa An, the capital of Kayin state.

Along the way, we’ll visit Bayin Nyi cave. There is a beautiful monastery here set in front of a sheer rock wall and surrounded by a large natural spring. It’s not uncommon to see young monks going for a swim, still clothed in full monk attire.

We will arrive in Hpa An in the late afternoon. As we approach the city, the mountains surrounding Hpa An will slowly come into view. There should be time to drop off your bags at the hotel before heading into town to visit Shwe Yin Myaw pagoda. This pagoda is the perfect spot to watch the sun set across the Thanlwin River.

Overnight in Hpa An, lunch included.

DAY 2

HPA AN

Our guide will meet you at our hotel after breakfast. Today’s first stop will be Sadan Cave. This cave will bring out your inner Indiana Jones. Sadan starts off as a typical Myanmar cave, full of Buddah images and even a reclining Buddah. As we make our way to the back of the cave, a natural tunnel comes into view. Follow the row of lights through the tunnel for about 15 minutes to get to the other side. As we reach the end, a magnificent view of a hidden lake and meadow come into sight.

As an optional activity, we can stop and have tea or coffee at the tea shop at the edge of the lake. From here, you’ll hire one of the local boat men to take us on a tour around the lake (client’s sit on the bamboo floor of the boat as there are no seats) and through another cave accessible only by boat. (the boat is valid from Oct to Apr)

After returning to our car, you’ll head toward Lumbini Gardens, were you’ll see thousands (1150 to be exact) of identical Budda statues before going to Kyauk Ka Lat. This natural rock sculpture, surrounded by a manmade lake, offers spectacular views of Mt Zwekabin and the surrounding area.

The next stop on our tour will be Kawgun cave. Every conceivable inch of this cave is covered in Buddah images, many dating back to the 7th century. There is also an option to climb to the top of a large rock formation for great views.

The last stop will be a sunset visit to Bat Cave. Living up to its name, Bat Cave is home to tens of thousands of bats and located along the bank of the Thanlwin River. As the sun dips in the background, the bats come out in droves and is quite a sight.

Just before dark, head back to our hotel.

Overnight in Hpa An, breakfast included.

DAY 3

HPA AN - MAWLAMYINE (MOULMEIN)

After breakfast, we’ll begin take a hour drive to the city of Mawlamyine (Moulmein). Before it was established in Rangoon, Mawlamyine was the British capital of Burma. The British influence can be seen in the buildings, churches, and the beautiful Strand road along the river.

Along the way, we’ll stop at Kawdoe Kawnat village to visit Kawnat Monastery. This magnificent monastery with beautiful woodcarving was built a century ago by a villager named U Nar Ouat, who was famed in those days for his wealth and generosity. It was because of his donation that this religious site was built nearby his village.

From here, it is a short drive to Mawlamyine. We’ll start our tour at Kyaik Than Lan Pagoda, the city’s landmark. Built in 875 AD, it enshrines the Tripitaka Buddhist manuscripts as well as a hair relic from the Buddha. The 40 meter high stupa is located on a hill surrounded by 34 smaller Zediyan pagodas. From up here one can enjoy panoramic views over the city and harbor. It is also thought to be the site where Rudyard Kipling wrote his famous poem, Mandalay.

Next you will visit the ancient Queen Sein Don Monastery (locally known as Yada Bonmyint Monastery). This Monastery is more as 100 years old and is famous for its intricate woodcarving and Burmese crafts inside. It was founded by Queen Sein Tone who had to flee Mandalay at the time that Myanmar’s last monarch, King Thibaw Min, took power. She became home sick and asked the local carpenters to build a monastery in the replica style of her former palace.

Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant.

After lunch, we’ll visit some of the building remaining from Mawlamyine’s Colonial period. Included will be a stop at Holy Family Cathedral. Built during the colonial era, this church has a beautiful interior rarely seen by tourists. We’ll also stop at nearby Judson’s Church, built in 1827 by Dr. Judson who translated the Bible into Burmese.

Afterwards, we head to the jetty for a short boat ride to Shampoo Island, known in the Mon language as Ta Kaw Pon Za Lai. The island sits at the confluence of five rivers meet and it was here where the Mon Kings used to hold ritualistic shampooing ceremonies during the local water festival, Thingyan. Spend 30-45 minutes on the island exploring the monastery, nunnery and pagoda.

Finally, return to Mawlamyine and have a chance to stroll down the beautiful Strand road as the sun sets along the river. Tonight, we’ll dine at one of the many restaurants along the river. The Burmese consider Mawlamyine the foodie capital of Myanmar. In fact there is an old Burmese saying “Mandalay is for eloquence, Mawlamyaing is for food, and Yangon is for boasting”.

Overnight in Mawlamyine, breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

DAY 4

MAWLAMYINE - GOLDEN ROCK - YANGON

Early this morning, depart Mawlamyine and drive to Kyaikhtiyo, the Golden Rock. In late morning, arrive at Kyaikhtiyo base camp (approximately 4 hrs). Travel by local, open-air truck along a winding road (45 minutes) where you will be dropped off a short 5 minutes walk from Golden Rock.

A huge boulder covered by gold leaf and delicately balanced on the edge of a cliff, Golden Rock is one of Myanmar's main pilgrimage sites. The pagoda here is said to hold a hair of the Buddha and Buddhists from across the country come here to pay homage.

Continue the journey to Yangon.

Overnight in Yangon, breakfast and lunch included.

DAY 5

YANGON - KAWTHAUNG

This morning transfer to the domestic airport for your flight to Kawthaung. On arrival, transfer to the Andaman Explorer for your cruise to the Mergui Archipelago.

Breakfast included.

Keinnara Hpa An Lodge

Hpa-an Lodge is the most beautiful boutique hotel in Karen state. 18 Individual Wooden Cottages are set in the valley at the foot of Mt. Zwe Kabin. The cottages are spacious and offer privacy. They are furnished with both modern & traditional facilities. Hpa An Lodge’s Restaurant serves International and Local Traditional Cuisine.The swimming pool and poolside terrace facing Mt. Zwe Kabin are an ideal place to relax with chilled drinks after a long day of visits. Two experienced European Managers run the property.

By the foot range of Mt.Zwe Kabin, Lone-Ma Taung, Hpa-An & Zwe Kabin Main Road, Hpa-An, Karen State, Burma.

Tel: + 95 (0) 1 860 4945

Visit Hotel Website

Moulmein Strand

Also called the Mawlamyaing Strand, this hotel is situated on the banks of the Thanlwin River with beautiful views of the sunset at Lower Main Road and Strand Road. The hotel is the best option in Moulmein. Facilities include satellite TV, hot and cold showers, air conditioning and wifi.

No.73, Shwe Bon Tha Street (Low block), Pabaedan Township, Yangon.

Tel: Tel: 01-385467
09-73156162

Visit Hotel Website

Sule Shangri-La Hotel, Yangon

Well located in the center of Yangon and yet only 10 minutes drive from Shwedagon Pagoda, the elegant Sule Shangri-La Hotel is the perfect base for your pre or post stay in Yangon.

Public facilities include

2 restaurants, a lounge, bar, pool, free and fast WI-FI and gift shop. The spacious, air-conditioned and comfortable deluxe rooms include private bathroom with bathtub, satellite TV, mini-bar, hair dryer, iron, safe, writing desk and tea/coffee making facilities.

223 Sule Pagoda Road, GPO Box 888, Yangon, Myanmar

Tel: +95 1 242 828

Visit Hotel Website

Rates include

Accommodation in a shared twin or shared double room with daily breakfast, meals as mentioned in itinerary, English-speaking throughout guide (no guide for cruising extension to Kawthaung), porter fees at Yangon airport, all transfers and excursions with private air-conditioned vehicles, boat in Hpa An and Mawlamyine, entrance fees for the visits as mentioned in the program, water and refreshing towel, flight from Yangoon to Kawthaung included.

Rates exclude

International ticket to/from Yangon, meals other than mentioned, Visa arrangements for Myanmar, visits not mentioned in the program, drinks and personal expenses, tips and porters at the hotels, credit card fees (4%) or bank transfer fees for non-cash payments, any other items not mentioned.

Price per traveller in USD

Accommodation Type Price per Traveller
Sharing (2 Pax) US$1495.00
Single (1 Pax) US$2450.00

Note

  • Surcharges or compulsory meals may apply for holiday periods like Christmas, New Year, Water Festival, etc.
  • All itineraries are subject to change due to circumstances beyond our control including, weather, road or trail conditions, tour attractions, tours and flight schedules.

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