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					Authentic, friendly and diverse is how most travellers to Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, describe
one of the least known countries in Asia. The fact that the country has been inaccessible for so long
has meant that Myanmar has been relatively untainted by the excesses of modern life and retains an
aura of a bygone age.

Myanmar is the largest country in the South-East Asian peninsula stretching 2,000km from north to
south and over 900km from east to west covering an area the size of Great Britain and France
combined. Three quarters of Myanmar is covered by mountains and jungle and there are no less than
135 ethnic groups living in the country. Flat plains and wide rivers characterise the geography of the
centre of the country while mountain ranges run along the Thai border up to the Himalayas in the east.
The southern coast of the country borders the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea. Myanmar’s main
river is the 2,000km long Ayeyarwady River, formerly known as the Irrawaddy, around which most of
the country’s best farmland is found.

The main destinations visitors to Myanmar head for are Yangon, the former Rangoon of colonial times,
Mandalay, the royal city surrounded by former ancient capitals, Bagan, with impressive ruins of the
once famous Buddhist centre and Inle Lake with its serene nature and colourful hill-tribes. As a
destination Myanmar offers the authentic sights and sounds of Asia with great natural scenery,
magnificent archaeological sites, stunning pagoda and temple architecture, colourful bustling markets,
impressive colonial buildings and a very friendly, hospitable population. The Burmese language has no
word for ‘tourist’, just ‘guest’.
Карта Мьянмы (Бирмы)
Yangon,   the capital city, has an impressive colonial and spiritual heritage,
which makes it one of the most fascinating capitals of South-East Asia. Despite
being a city of 4 million inhabitants, much of Yangon still retains a feeling of
space, with wide tree-lined streets and many reminders of its colonial past.
Parts of the city look as if they have been transplanted from the shires of
England with red brick houses surrounded by walled gardens. Fine examples of
colonial architecture from the days of British India survive everywhere in the
city especially around Sule Pagoda with the City Hall, the Supreme and High
Court Buildings, the General Post Office, colonial offices on Pansodan Street
                                          and the beautifully restored Strand
                                          Hotel.

                                            Yangon’s most famous sight is the Shwedagon Pagoda
                                             whose giant golden dome and stupa dominate the capital’s
                                             skyline. Originally built around 2,500 years ago to house
                                             eight sacred hairs of the Buddha, the pagoda has changed
                                             beyond all recognition over the centuries. The first structure
                                             was only 9 metres high and it was not until 1774 that it
                                             reached its current height of 107 metres. The great bell-
                                             shaped dome is covered with 60 tonnes of gold leaf and the
                                             top of the stupa is encrusted with thousands of diamonds,
                                             rubies and sapphires. On the bustling terrace around the
stupa devoted Buddhists from all over the country pay their respects by offering flowers, pouring water
over the different Buddha statues or shopping for Buddhist artefacts to take home. Shwedagon is a
particularly impressive place to visit at sunset.

Two other interesting Yangon pagodas are Sule Pagoda and Kyauktagyi
Pagoda. Sule Pagoda, which dates back over 2,000 years, has a 48-metre
high octagonal golden stupa and was also originally founded to house hairs
of the Buddha said to have been a gift from Indian missionaries. Kyauktagyi
Pagoda on the other hand dates back only to 1966 but is well worth visiting
for its enormous 70-metre reclining Buddha.

The National Museum contains some items of interest including the 8
metre-high Lion Throne that was used by Burma’s last monarch, King Thibaw, at the Royal Palace in
Mandalay. A stroll along Mahabandoola Street in the small downtown area shows just how diverse the
population of Myanmar is. In ‘India town’ you will encounter street-stalls selling pungent Indian spices,
mosques and colourful Hindu temples. In nearby ‘China town’ visit the bustling night market, exotic
                              temples scented with incense smoke or shop for souvenirs. For serious
                              souvenir shopping the place to head for is Bogyoke Market, a sprawling
                              mecca for bargain hunters, established by the British in 1920’s as Scott’s
                              Market. Here you can find a huge selection of Burmese souvenirs
                              including woodcarvings, lacquerware, basketware, Shan shoulder bags,
                              colourful textiles, longyis, monks’ umbrellas, gems, jewellery and
                              cheroots, the famous Burmese cigar. For dining Yangon has a variety of
                              restaurants offering Myanmar, Indian, Chinese, Thai and western cuisine
                              ranging from a simple bowl of mohinga soup to a full blown banquet.

An interesting day trip from Yangon is Bago, 80km to the northwest of the capital. Formerly known as
Pegu, Bago was the capital of the Mon Kingdom in the 15th century and its Mon style Shwemawdaw
Pagoda with its 114-metre high stupa is one of the most venerated in Myanmar. Bago is perhaps most
famous however for its huge 55-metre reclining Buddha, known as the
Shwethalyaung Buddha. Another day trip on the opposite side of
Yangon River takes you through rice paddies and small villages to the
famous pottery village of Twante, idyllically situated along the river.
A six hour drive to the east of Yangon is Mon State home to one of
Myanmar’s most important Buddhist sites, the magnificent ‘Golden
Rock’ at Kyaiktiyo. A huge boulder covered in gold leaf and said to
contain a hair of Buddha is perched on a cliff at the peak of Kyaiktiyo
Mountain. A breathtaking sight in a beautiful forested area.




Yangon Highlights

 + Shwedagon Pagoda with its enormous glittering golden dome

 + The Strand Hotel, High Court, City Hall, Pansodan Street and General Post
   Office for British colonial architecture

 + Bogyoke Market, the Scott’s Market of old Rangoon, for the best in Burmese
   handicrafts

 + Sule pagoda, India town and China town for mysterious temples and bustling
   street scenery

 + A day trip to Bago for the Shwemawdaw Pagoda and the Shwethalyaung’s
   huge reclining Buddha

 + A two day excursion to Kyaiktiyo for the extraordinary Golden Rock
   balancing on the edge of the mountain




                                  The magnificent archaeological site of Bagan, 690km to the north of
                                    Yangon used to be one of the great Buddhist centres of South-East
                                    Asia. Bagan is a truly remarkable sight. Scattered over an arid plain
                                    by the banks of the Ayeyarwady River are some 3,000 pagodas,
                                    temples and other brick structures dating from the 11 th to 13th
                                    century. Originally there were well over 10,000 temples, an
                                    impressive landscape of ruins and restored temples, unique in the
                                    world. It is possible to climb to the top of some of the temples for a
                                    magnificent view over the historical site and the surrounding
landscape of rice fields and toddy palms. The total area of the site is more than 40 square kilometres
and it can be easily visited by car, bicycle or horse and carriage.
Ananda Temple, one of Bagan’s largest and best-preserved temples,
is often referred to as Bagan’s masterpiece. Built in 1905, the design
of Ananda inspired the style of later Burmese temples of the Middle
Bagan period. Ananda is a perfectly proportioned temple with a
                                  central gold pillar with further
                                  gilded spires in the four corners.
                                  The four huge carved teak Buddha
                                  statues facing out from the centre
                                  of the temple to the north, west,
                                  south and east are a feature of Ananda. Just next to Ananda is Ananda
                                  Okkaung, one of the few surviving brick monasteries from the Early
                                  Bagan period. The largest and one of the oldest of Bagan’s temples is
                                  the Shwezigon, with its beautiful bell-shaped stupa. Shwezigon
                                  Temple is one of the most important places of pilgrimage for the
Burmese and is said to contain the Buddha’s collarbone and one of his teeth. South of Shwezigon is the
13th century Wekkyi-in Gubyaukgyi Temple with its Indian-inspired pyramidal spire. The interior of this
temple was originally decorated with fine frescoes depicting scenes from the jatakas but unfortunately
many of these have since disappeared.

Htilominlo Temple is a two-storey red brick temple standing close to the road from Bagan to Nyaung
Oo, the main town of the Bagan area. Built in 1211 by King Htilomino at a height of 46 metres it is one
Bagan’s larger temples. There are good views of the surrounding plain from the upper levels of
Htilomino and some good examples of the original stucco decoration
survive on the temple exterior.

At 62 metres high, Thatbyinnyu Temple is the tallest of Bagan’s
structures. It was built in 1144 and is a classic example of Middle
Mon architecture. The construction is based on two enormous cubes
with wide terraces leading to the top. Other temples that are worth
seeing in the little-visited Minnanthu area include the 13 th century
Leimyethna with its frescoed interior, and Payathonzu and
Nandamannya which both contain fine Sino-Tibetan influenced
murals. To the east of Bagan is the massive Dhammayangyi
Temple, an impressive looking structure built in a similar style to
Ananda. Right behind Dhammayangyi is Sulamani Temple, a fine example of late Bagan period temple
architecture. The use of small bricks, arches and elaborate stucco-work of Sulamani are characteristic
of this period.

One of the not-to-be-missed experiences in Bagan is to watch the sunset (or sunrise for early-birds)
from one of the temples. The upper terraces of Myauk Guni Temple, Shwenandaw or Tayoke Pyay at
nearby Minnanthu, are ideal locations to watch the sun go down over the ancient temples and the
Ayeyarwady River. Another unique experience is a an early morning hot air balloon flight over Bagan’s
temples. Taking off before sunrise the flight lasts from 30 to 45 minutes and offers a bird’s eye view of
this wonderful archaeological site.

The nearby village of Nyaung Oo is a perfect place to walk around the colourful market, where old
women smoking cheroots sell their home-grown produce. Apart from exotic fruits and vegetables the
market also offers a good range of lacquerware and other handicrafts. At New Bagan, or Myinkaba, visit
a local lacquerware factory where skilled craftsmen fashion ornate plates, trays, boxes and tables
using a centuries-old process and perhaps take some examples home as a souvenir of this magical
place. On the banks of the Ayeyarwady River there are always women doing their laundry, men loading
boats or children playing in the water. A boat ride from here offers a majestic view of the temples of
                                  Bagan on the east bank of the river.

                                 Just over 50km from Bagan is the extinct volcano known as Mount
                                 Popa. Rising to 1518 metres above sea level Mount Popa is the most
                                 magical of Myanmar’s mountains and has been a place of pilgrimage
                                 for over 700 years. Myanmar’s most powerful nats, Burmese spirits
                                 associated with natural features, are said to live here making Mount
Popa the country’s centre for nat worship. On the way to Mount Popa look out for people climbing the
palm trees to collect toddy juice for making sugar or sweet cookies.



Bagan Highlights

 + Tour Bagan’s temples by bicycle or horse and carriage

 + Ananda Temple, the architectural masterpiece of Bagan with its four
   standing teak Buddha’s

 + Shwezigon Pagoda for its magnificent golden stupa

 + A panoramic sunset view of Bagan and the Ayeyarwady River from the top of
   an ancient temple

 + Get a spectacular bird’s eye view of Bagan’s temples with an early morning
   hot air balloon flight

 + A trip to magical Mount Popa, an extinct volcano and pilgrimage site

 + A boat trip on the Ayeyarwady River




Mandalay, less than 200km to the north east of Bagan, is the cultural capital of the country as well as
being the economic and religious centre for Upper Myanmar. From 1861 until 1886 when the British
arrived, Mandalay was the country’s capital. Among the religious sites to visit in Mandalay is the
                                Mahamuni Pagoda, famous for its venerable golf leaf covered Buddha
                                statue. The attractive covered hallway leading to the Buddha statue
                                is lined with shops selling all kinds of Buddhist artefacts including
                                Buddha images, monks’ robes and portraits of well known monks. The
                                beautiful Shwenandow Monastery is noted for the exquisite
                                woodcarving that covers both the inside and outside of the building.
                                Another interesting religious site, the Kuthodaw Pagoda has 729
                                white marble slabs of Buddhist scriptures, giving rise to Kuthodaw’s
                                nickname ‘the world’s biggest book’. The slabs took eight years to
                                complete and for a monk to recite the full scripture would take
                                around two years!

Mandalay’s Royal Palace complex, originally built in the 1860’s by King Mindon, consisted of fabulously
ornate carved teak buildings surrounded by moats. Unfortunately the buildings were completely
destroyed in fighting at the end of World War II and have recently been rebuilt in concrete. It is a 30
minute climb to the top of Mandalay Hill, from where there are commanding views of the city
including the Royal Palace compound. This 236 metre-high hill dominates the town and is a favourite
spot for locals and visitors to watch the sun set over the mountains, river and paddy fields around
                                    Mandalay.

                                  Mandalay   is well known for producing some of the best traditional
                                  handicrafts in Myanmar and there are many workshops in and around
                                  the city producing gold leaf, marble Buddha sculptures, tapestries,
                                  woodcarvings and other handicrafts. A visit to these simple
                                  workshops is truly a visit back in time.

                                  A not to be missed day trip from Mandalay takes you to the former
                                   capital cities of Amarapura, Ava and Sagaing. The 18th century
                                   capital of Amarapura is the site of the largest monastery in Myanmar,
the Mahagandayon Monastery, which has over 1,000 monks. The 1.2km long U-Bein Bridge was built
over 200 years ago from teak taken from the Ava Royal Palace and is always a hive of activity as people
cross backwards and forwards carrying all kinds of goods. Ava, also known as Inwa, was the capital
between the 14th and 18th centuries. After crossing the river you can take a horse and carriage through
the villages and ruins of the former capital. The beautiful teakwood Bagaya Kyaung Monastery is a
quiet stop on the way, hidden in a picturesque landscape of toddy palms, rice fields and ox carts.
Sagaing, on the opposite bank of the Ayeyarwady River is generally regarded as the religious hub of
the country with over 600 pagodas and monasteries. From the top of the hill there is a commanding
view over the area dotted with white pagodas.

Mingun,  an ancient site across the Ayeyarwady River, is perhaps the most interesting city around
Mandalay to visit on a day trip. Mingun is reached by a one and a half hour boat trip on the Ayeyarwady
River and a short stroll through what is nowadays a small village brings you to the huge bell of Mingun
and the unfinished brick pagoda with it’s impressive crack caused by
an earthquake.

Around 140km to the west of Mandalay is Moniwa, a major trading
centre for agricultural products from the surrounding Chindwin
Valley. The Thanbodday Pagoda with its 500,000 Buddha images, the
Boddhi-tataung Pagoda with its grove of 1,000 sacred banyan trees
and the huge reclining Buddha are the main sights of Moniwa. On the
opposite bank of the Chindwin River are Po Win Daung Caves, a
recently opened complex of caves containing thousands of mural
paintings showing daily life at the Royal Court, some dating back to
                                   the 14th century.

                                  A  short drive to the east of Mandalay, is the former British hill
                                  station of Maymyo, now known as Pyin Oo Lwin. Many reminders of
                                  the colonial era are still present in Pyin Oo Lwin, including brick and
                                  timber houses with British names, the old clock tower and the
                                  recently renovated botanical gardens. A visit to the market,
                                  botanical gardens or a drive around town in one of the many
                                  antiquated horse carriages is not to be missed. For train fans a ride
                                  from Mandalay to Maymyo offers stunning views as the train zig-zags
                                  up and down the mountainsides. It is a further six hours by train from
Maymyo to Hsipaw, a pleasant little Shan town that has retained its haw or Shan palace and is a good
base for treks in northern Shan State. The journey to Hsipaw is very scenic especially the spectacular
Gokteik Viaduct, 300 metres above a gorge in Shan Mountain. Mogok, 200km to the north east of
Mandalay and 1170m above sea level, is known around the world for its gemstones, particularly rubies
and sapphires. Most of Mogok’s 200,000 inhabitants are involved in the gem business either working in
mines, cutting and polishing or selling the precious stones. Myitkyina, the capital of northern
Myanmar’s Kachin State, can be reached by air from Mandalay. Set in a flat and very fertile valley
Myitkyina is the gateway to explore Myanmar’s largest lake, Indawgyi Lake, and one of the world’s
largest jade mines at Hpakant.
Mandalay & The North Highlights

 + Visit Mahamuni Pagoda with its religious shopping arcade, Kuthodaw Pagoda
   and the Shwenandaw Monastery

 + Climb Mandalay Hill for a birds-eye view of the city

 + Visit the family workshops around the city for bargain handicrafts and
   souvenirs

 + A day trip to the deserted former capitals of Amarapura, Ava and Sagaing

 + A boat trip across the Ayeyarwady River to Mingun

 + Moniwa for the extraordinary Po Win Daung Caves

 + Pyin Oo Lwin for colonial architecture, antique horse-drawn carriages and
   botanical gardens

 + Mogok’s ruby land for its world renowned

 + Myitkyina, gateway to Kachin State and Myanmar’s mysterious far north




Beautiful Inle Lake, 1,300 metres above sea level and 22km long is
in a picture postcard setting encircled by wooded hills. Inle is home
to the Intha people and is famous for its unique leg-rowing
fishermen, floating gardens and villages built on wooden stilts over
the water. The best way to see Inle is from a local wooden canoe.
The lake’s Phaung Daw U Pagoda is one of Myanmar’s most
important religious sites while the teakwood Nga Phe Kyaung
Monastery is one of Myanmar’s most unusual religious sites with its
hoop-jumping cats. Apart from fishing and growing flowers in the
floating gardens the industrious Intha have established cottage industries in their stilt villages
producing unique textiles, ceramics, lacquerware and cheroots. At In Dein, south of Inle, a covered
stairway leads from the village to Alaung Sitthou, an area of ancient stupas and temple ruins partly
                         covered by vegetation. From here there are magnificent views over the lake.

                       A three hour drive, or five hour trek through rice fields and Pa O villages, will
                       take you from Nyaung Shwe to Kakku, passing the capital of Shan State,
                       Taunggyi. Kakku is a hidden treasure, 46 kilometres south of Taunggyi, with an
                       unusual collection of ancient Buddhist stupas. More than 2,000 stupas lie here
                       in a small area of just one square kilometre, surrounded by mountains and
                       forest. Inhabited by the colourful Pa-O tribes, this area was only recently
                       opened to travellers.

                       Kalaw is another former British hill resort in the west of Shan State and about
                       70km from Inle Lake. Kalaw is a little higher than Pyin Oo Lwin at 1,320m but
has a similar faded colonial atmosphere with its ramshackle country houses and other colonial
buildings. The cool mountain air, pine forests and ethnic minority villages make for good trekking in
and around the Kalaw area. A three day monastery trek from Kalaw to Inle Lake is the perfect way for
the more adventurous traveller to experience the best of this beautiful region. The road from Kalaw to
Pindaya is very scenic with panoramic mountain views. Pindaya is famous for its caves carved out of a
limestone ridge overlooking a lake. The caves contain over 8,000 gold-covered Buddha images as well
                                 as some spectacular stalagmites and stalactites.

                                 Kengtung, Myanmar’s gateway to the Golden Triangle, is a small
                                 town often compared to Chiang Mai fifty years ago. It is a treasure
                                 trove of traditional architecture with its old style houses featuring
                                 intricately designed wooden balconies so characteristic of Shan
                                 State. Kengtung is a great area to visit the different ethnic minority
                                 communities of the Golden Triangle like the red clothed Palaung
                                 tribe, the Akha people or the Lahu tribe. Kengtung market is the
                                 meeting place for many of the local hill tribes and the nearby Pin
                                 Tauk Waterfall is well worth a visit.



Inle & Shan State Highlights

 + Inle Lake for its serene natural beauty, floating gardens, famous leg-rowers
   and bizarre Jumping Cat Monastery

 + In Dein and Kakku for ancient pagodas

 + Kalaw for faded colonial atmosphere, pine forests and trekking to ethnic
   minority villages

 + Pindaya Cave and its 8,000 Buddhas

 + Kengtung in the Golden Triangle for colourful hill tribes and waterfalls




Western Myanmar is made up from Rakhine State, formerly known as Arakan, and Chin State,
bordering Bangladesh and India. The main attractions of Western Myanmar are the ancient city of
Mrauk U in Rakhine State and the deserted sandy beaches on the Bay of Bengal. A newly opened area is
                                 Mount Victoria in Chin State, a national park and an area of
                                 outstanding natural beauty.

                                 Back in its 15th century heyday Mrauk U was one of the richest cities
                                 in all of Asia, and there are many places of interest to visit in the
                                 ruins of this once great city including the well-preserved Shittaung
                                 Temple, Laungbanpyauk Pagoda, with its exquisite carvings, the
                                 ornate Sakyamanaung Pagoda and the largest of Mrauk U’s stupas,
                                 Yadana Mannaung. Also of interest are the ruins of the Royal Palace
                                 and the Archaeological Museum. From Mrauk U it is easy to visit the
                                 nearby Chin villages, where the women traditionally have their faces
tattooed. Mrauk U is reached by a five hour boat journey on the Kaladan River from Sittwe, the capital
of Rakhine State.
Myanmar’s    best beaches are to be found 200km to the south of
Mrauk U on the Bay of Bengal. Ngapali is the country’s premier beach
destination and has long stretches of sandy beach, swaying palm
trees and some very nice small-scale resorts. Further south is Ngwe
Saung, another area with a long pristine sandy beach. Newly opened
to tourism, Ngwe Saung now has some fine international standard
resorts with all kinds of water sports and excellent seafood on offer.
The best way to reach Ngwe Saung is by boat on an overnight cruise
through the Irrawaddy Delta to Pathein from where it takes just over
an hour by road to Ngwe Saung.

The area around Mount Victoria, in Chin State bordering India and Bangladesh, is a region of
outstanding natural beauty. The village of Kanpetlet makes the ideal base for exploring the national
park with its diverse flora and fauna and stunning scenery.



Western Myanmar Highlights

 + Mrauk U for the impressive ruins of this once great Asian city and Chin
   villages inhabited by tattooed women

 + The Bay of Bengal for pristine sandy beaches like Ngapali and Ngwe Saung

 + An overnight cruise from Yangon to Pathein to experience river life in the
   verdant Irrawaddy Delta

 + Mount Victoria for adventure and stunning natural beauty




Incentives

The phenomenal rise of the incentive industry over the past decade has lead to incentive houses and
tour operators looking further afield to find ever more exotic locations to offer their clients. Like
Vietnam, Myanmar is fast gaining a reputation as an incentive destination for those looking for a truly
unique experience. Yangon, Myanmar’s capital city, is the gateway to Myanmar for most visitors with
regular flight connections from Bangkok, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong among others. With
the opening of its new airport, Mandalay has now become the country’s second international gateway.
For accommodation some of the best-known international hotel groups are represented in Yangon
                                   including the Shangri-La, Renaissance, Nikko and Pansea.

                                  We are one of the pioneers of incentive travel in Myanmar and
                                  following are just a few of the ideas we have incorporated into past
                                  programmes. Starting in Yangon try a ‘Treasure Hunt by Taxi’. Split
                                  into teams of three or four with one team per taxi, the ubiquitous
                                  little blue local taxis, each team has a list of questions to answer. In
                                  the course of answering the questions the teams get to travel around
                                  the major attractions of Yangon in the taxi. At each place visited
                                  there will be Exotissimo staff ready with a challenge to be completed
                                  by the competitors before they can continue to the next site. At the
end of the day there is an award giving ceremony with prizes of typical Burmese gifts being presented
to the victorious team.
In Bagan we can arrange a ‘Moonlit Longyi Party’ in the lush gardens of the Bagan Hotel, with some of
Bagan’s finest temples as a backdrop. Two of the magnificent ancient temples that lay within the hotel
grounds are illuminated and every guest is provided with a longyi, the sarong-like traditional dress
worn by both Burmese men and women. Dinner is a delicious selection of Burmese curries served on
flower-decked tables to background music played on the harp and piano. At the end of the evening, a
memorable finale is provided by a procession of young men dressed in Bagan period costume climbing
the temples carrying blazing torches.

For a back to nature experience we can charter an aircraft to fly the group from Yangon to Taungoo
Airport near Sein Yay teak forest. Experience life in a logging camp, watch as the working elephants
haul huge tree trunks along the forest floor and get to ride one of the magnificent animals through the
jungle. Evening dinner is around a campfire with local Bago Yoma dishes and entertainment provided
by a performance of singing and dancing. After a night in the rustic forest lodge transfer back to
Taungoo Airport to continue on to Bagan or return to Yangon.

For an enlightening experience in a country with more than
500,000 monks, we can offer the chance to attend a ‘Shin Pyu
Ceremony’, the initiation ceremony for young boys to become
novice monks. This is a rare opportunity to attend what is the
most important step in the life of most Burmese people and gain
an insight into the fascinating Buddhist religion. The group will
witness all the steps of the ceremony from the donation given to
the eldest monk in the monastery to the shaving of the novice
monks’ heads. Join a procession from the village to the
monastery and lunch with the families of the newly initiated
                                      novice monks. The whole ceremony takes place in a picturesque
                                      wooden monastery at Inle Lake.

                                      Inle Lake is also the setting for another of our incentive events,
                                        the ‘One-legged Boat Race’. Inle is known for its floating gardens,
                                        markets, woven textiles and most of all the unique one-legged
                                        rowing of the local Intha fishing men. Once a year, in October,
                                        the Intha people of Inle Lake celebrate the Buddhist festival
                                        called Phaung Daw U, with boat races being one of the main
                                        events of the festival. Each boat has a crew of 40 to 50 Intha men
                                        standing on one leg and rowing in unison with the other leg. You
                                        don’t have to wait till October to experience this fascinating
event, as we will put on a race especially for your incentive group. The balcony of the beautiful Golden
Island Cottages built on stilts in the middle of the lake offers the group a grandstand view of the race
and male members (sorry ladies, custom dictates only men may take part) of the group are invited to
join in. A delicious set lunch of Shan specialities at the Golden Island Cottages follows the morning’s
exertions.

Biking
We have pioneered biking tours in Myanmar with a fantastic trip combining bikes and boats taking in
Mandalay and its environs, Bagan with its fabulous temples and the Shan Plateau. The cycling is fairly
easy on mainly flat terrain and the scenery along the way is simply stunning. Biking tours can be
arranged either in groups or on an individual basis and are always accompanied by an experienced
guide and a support vehicle.

Trekking

The  Shan State region of central and eastern Myanmar offers some very good trekking opportunities
with cultivated hillsides, pine forests and many fascinating ethnic minority groups living in the area.
The former British hill resort of Kalaw is a good base for trekking. The trekking in Shan State is
generally fairly easy and overnight accommodation can vary from basic guesthouses, to ethnic minority
homes and monasteries. The area around Inle Lake also offers many possibilities for day treks with
some stunning scenery and colourful ethnic minority villages. We can offer some unique treks and
expeditions including a three day monastery trek from Kalaw to Inle Lake and expeditions into the
Myanmar Himalayas, one of the least explored regions of South-East Asia.

Birdwatching

Myanmar has some excellent areas for birdwatchers to explore including the Chin Hills in the west of
the country, Kachin State in the far north and Shan State in the east of the country. The birds found in
Shan State are generally the Malayan species of South-East Asia while those found in Kachin State and
the Chin Hills are mainly Himalayan species. Mount Victoria in the Chin Hills is a particularly good area
for birdwatching. For birdwatchers with less time to spare an interesting day trip from Yangon is the
Moyingyi Wildlife Sanctuary a two hour drive away and home to many species of migratory waterbirds
between October and March.

Jeep Safaris

An  exciting new adventure from our company is a jeep safari deep into the rainforest of Mount
Victoria. Stay for two nights in the village of Kanpetlet, inhabited by the Chin minority, famous for
their face tattoos. This is a largely unexplored area of western Myanmar with some beautiful and
spectacular natural scenery. An experienced driver, guide and mechanic accompany all our jeep safaris



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