Friendly Planet Travel, a leading group tour operator, is pleased to announce it is resuming tours to Myanmar (also known as Burma), a country known for its lush, exotic beauty; unspoiled, authentic culture; warm and welcoming people; and rich history, deeply rooted in tradition.
(TRAVPR.COM) UNITED STATES - October 11th, 2012 - Friendly Planet Travel, a leading group tour operator, is pleased to announce it is resuming tours to Myanmar (also known as Burma), a country known for its lush, exotic beauty; unspoiled, authentic culture; warm and welcoming people; and rich history, deeply rooted in tradition. The 13-day Mystical Myanmar tour starts at $3,299 and explores the country’s most impressive sites including Yangon (also known as Rangoon), the Temples of Bagan, Mandalay, Inle Lake, and more.
“We are thrilled to reintroduce our tour to Myanmar, which was a favorite among travelers,” says Peggy Goldman, President of Friendly Planet Travel. “After being one of the first tour operators to create a package to Myanmar, we made the hard decision to stop selling our remaining 2012 departures due to the astronomical prices and absurd rules and fees the hotels began to implement once demand for space increased. We did not feel that we were doing justice to our travelers by subjecting them to these rules and very high prices. Thankfully, now that some of these rules have been rolled back to continue promoting a healthy tourism industry again, we are very excited to resume our improved tour to this truly authentic destination.”
The Mystical Myanmar tour includes round-trip airfare from Los Angeles via China Airlines; fuel surcharges, airline taxes, and fees; all intra-Myanmar flights and ground transportation; accommodations in deluxe and superior first-class hotels; day use room in Taipei, Taiwan on the return flight; a daily breakfast buffet, three lunches, and six dinners; and comprehensive sightseeing with an English-speaking tour guide.
Travelers begin their exotic journey through Myanmar in Yangon, the capital city, with a welcome dinner, before setting off for Bagan, one of Asia’s richest archaeological sites, famous for its over two thousand pagodas. Visit the well-preserved Shwezigon Pagoda and the amazing Ananda Temple, followed by a visit to a local village school to donate lunch to the approximately 300 children who attend. After lunch, enjoy a pony cart ride to see the more remote temples that are unreachable by cars and buses, and a panoramic view of the Bagan plains during sunset atop a pagoda. The tour of Bagan concludes with a visit to the Phwar Saw Village to experience how the locals live, followed by a relaxing sunset cruise along the Ayeyarwady River.
Next, travelers fly to Mandalay, the largest city after Yangon, and a repository of ancient culture. Visit the Mahagandayone Monastery to learn how monks live, and explore the Mahamuni Pagoda, home to one of the most sacred statues of Buddha in the country. Proceed to the Golden Palace Monastery, famous for its intricate woodcarvings, and the Kuthodaw Pagoda, known as the world’s largest book due to the Buddhist scripture carved on over seven hundred massive marble slabs.
From there, travelers enjoy a morning boat excursion to Mingun, known for its many Buddhist shrines, monasteries, and meditation centers. Explore one of the most famous buildings in the world, the unfinished Mingun Pagoda, and then continue to the ancient village of Ava to visit picturesque ruins by pony cart through the peaceful countryside. Then proceed to Sagaing Hills, considered the living center of the Buddhist faith and home to hundreds of monasteries, by crossing one of the only bridges that span the mighty Ayeyarwady River.
After a short flight to Heho, drive to the gateway of Inle Lake, located in the Shan State, famous for its native lake-dwellers. Travelers enjoy a trishaw ride, stopping at the five Buddha images of Phaung Daw U Pagoda, which have been covered in so much gold they resemble balls of solid gold. Proceed to Nampan Village, where locals make the boats seen traveling on the lake, and Inn Paw Khone silk-weaving village. The next morning, visit one of the most interesting markets in the country, the Shan ‘5-Day Markets’, where the Shan people rotate between five different locations over a five day period. Also, explore the beautiful temples of Inndein, which have been left in their natural state, and overlook the lake.
Travelers then fly to Yangon for their remaining days in Myanmar. Enjoy a city tour that includes the magnificent Shwedagon Pagoda, covered in hundreds of gold plates, with over four thousand diamonds encrusted in the top stupa. Stop for a photo-opportunity at Kandawgyi Park and the Karaweik Royal Barge, followed by a visit to the Chaukhtatgyi Reclining Buddha, one of the largest statues of its kind in the world. Learn about Myanmar’s history at the National Museum, and then enjoy some time to shop at the Scott Market, which has a large selection of Burmese handicrafts. Lastly, enjoy a farewell dinner with your fellow travelers.
An optional post-tour extension to Bangkok, Thailand is available for travelers interested in taking advantage of the already-included international airfare. Spend three days of leisure in the bustling capital city exploring the vibrant shopping, dining, and attractions including the Grand Palace, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, and more.
Friendly Planet’s 13-day Mystical Myanmar tour is available for $3,299 on the departure dates of Feb. 23, Mar. 9, Mar. 23, April 13, April 27, and May 11, 2013 if booked by Dec. 12.
For more information about Friendly Planet Travel, please visit the company’s website at www.FriendlyPlanet.com or its blog at blog.FriendlyPlanet.com.
ABOUT FRIENDLY PLANET TRAVEL
Friendly Planet Travel makes high-quality exotic travel affordable for everyone. Since 1981, Friendly Planet Travel has been arranging all-inclusive escorted discount vacation packages and cruises to the most exciting destinations in the world at the lowest possible prices. Each year, Friendly Planet Travel offers more than 30 different group travel packages to Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, and South America—at discounts of hundreds of dollars off similar vacations. With no hidden charges, add-ons, or surprises, Friendly Planet Travel vacations include convenient flights and airfare; carefully selected, first-class and superior hotels; knowledgeable, English-speaking guides; many meals; planned itineraries; as well as friendships and memories that last a lifetime. Friendly Planet Travel offers its extensive, economical travel services to private groups, including universities, religious institutions, alumni associations, and families. Groups who wish to travel together can count on Friendly Planet Travel’s three decades of experience to operate their group travel program expertly and always at the very best possible prices. Visit it at www.FriendlyPlanetTravel.com. You can also follow Friendly Planet Travel on Twitter and Facebook.