Burma highlights tour

“Compact yet comprehensive, with nine days in Burma this tour covers all the key highlights, from the shimmering Shwedagon Pagoda to the culture-ringed Inle Lake.”

Highlights

Yangon | Shwedagon Pagoda | Bagan | Mandalay | U Bein Bridge | Boat tour of Mingun and Sagaing villages | Inle Lake cruise | Leg rowing fishermen | Visits to artisan workshops

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20 Dec 2016
US $ 1985
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Full
 
05 Jan 2017
US $ 2015
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19 Jan 2017
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09 Feb 2017
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09 Mar 2017
US $ 1965
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05 Oct 2017
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21 Dec 2017
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04 Jan 2018
US $ 2095
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25 Jan 2018
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15 Mar 2018
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18 Oct 2018
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15 Nov 2018
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29 Nov 2018
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20 Dec 2018
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Our top tip:
Travel light - there is lots of traveling, and laundry facilities are available en route.
Trip type:
Small group, min age 16. Max. group size 16.
Activity level:
Leisurely - moderate.
Accomm:
Standard hotels, en suite rooms.
Solos:
Solo travelers welcome. Single rooms available with surcharge.
Included:
Accomm., breakfasts, transport by private bus and internal flights, listed activities, tour leader, international flights if booked.
Meals:
Breakfasts only.
Vouchers
Accepted
Vacation type

Small group vacation

Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, traveling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week vacation, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travelers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.

What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Simplicity
Make the most of your vacation time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travelers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your vacation.

Solo travelers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those traveling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travelers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
Mythbuster
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travelers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travelers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
No.
Valerie Parkinson
Meet a group Leader
Name: Valerie Parkinson

Story: The first British woman to climb Manaslu, Valerie climbed Everest for her 50th birthday. She’s spent fourteen Christmas Days trekking to Everest Base Camp, and is involved insetting up Responsible Tourism initiatives in the Himalayas.
Roshan Fernando
Meet a local guide
Name: Roshan Fernando

Story: Roshan has led over 130 trips – he adores showing travelers around Sri Lanka. He won the company Leader Award in 2010, but his career highlight was working on their Tsunami Project – which earned him a responsible tourism award.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Burma highlights tour

Environment

Activity:
We do believe in leaving no more than footprints and encourage the disposal of litter and even the collecting of existing litter on this tour. However, this tour also actively encourages guests to talk to local people, visit local cafes and restaurants, use markets to purchase traditional gifts and crafts and get a real impression of Myanmar. We hope, therefore, what is left behind is a positive cultural exchange and the feeling that the tourism industry can grow in this country.

UK Office:
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK Offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.

Community

Community:
We are conscious of the economic welfare of local communities and take as much opportunity as possible to buy local crafts and produce (on at least 4 days of the tour). One of our clients’ favourite locations to do this is the famous floating market on Inle Lake where locals gather with their colourful boats to sell fresh produce and traditional wares. There is a five day cycle for the floating market that literally circles the lake; here people come to sell their traditional wares early in the morning and return to their village for the afternoon. Depending on its current location we will be able to visit it, but if not, there are plenty other places to support cottage industries along the way e.g. learning about traditional cigar rolling at Myin Chan.

Act Local:
We are keen to adhere to the National League for Democracy’s call in 2011 for responsible tourism in Myanmar. On this trip we ensure all hotels used are non-regime and we spend each evening in a small restaurant. The advantage of paying locally for meals ensures the money goes directly to those who are working hard to make our visits welcome. All of our tour leaders are local and they are given regular training on responsible tourism issues so they can help preserve the way of life in their area. By using local leaders, we also hope they educate their own communities to help them maximise from our visit. Clients also gain a more genuine, passionate insight into the country.

Group Size:
This small group tour has a maximum of 16 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.

Reviews of Burma highlights tour

You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the vacations.

I am reborn! Simply the best vacation I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed on 18 Jan 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


I can honestly say it was one of the best trips I have been on. Our guide Joseph was the perfect guide: he was kind, gentle, patient, was able to answer every question any of us asked him, had a great sense of humour and was a real pleasure to be with.

The country is incredible – it’s beautiful, the people are friendly, the history is
astounding…. We did and saw so much – I cannot pick my best highlight as it’s
impossible to choose just one. I was also very fortunate to have a wonderful group to share the experience with.


2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Some days start very early so don't expect many lie-ins. If you're a lady traveler, pack long trousers or long skirts as you'll visit temples or pagodas on most days.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?




4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Reviewed on 27 Feb 2014 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


The visit to Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon on the final day - the culmination of a
feast of sights and experiences packed into a fairly hectic schedule.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Limit your luggage. Laundry offered half way through. No need for 'smart'
clothes. Wifi much more widely available than guidebooks or trip notes suggest.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


It benefited local people to the extent that we stayed in small private hotels,
ate in local restauranats and bought souvenirs from local craftsmen and hawkers.
We also visited a local orphanage and donated rice and money. Our guide handed out tips on our behalf to porters and other helpers (and gave us a printed record of what he had distributed.)

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Excellent. We got on very well as a group of 12, had a full and varied programme
and a first class guide - knowledgeable with a sense of humour and extremely
efficient on the organisational side of things. Made it a very memorable vacation
we have already recommended to friends.

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