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Hidden Trails of Burma

Burma (Myanmar) - Trip code HW Walking and Trekking
Days 14
Price from Call us
Flights not included
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Why book this trip?

Discover both Burma's cultural highlights and some of its more remote corners whilst walking through beautiful landscapes. Trek to hilltribe villages in the Shan Highlands, admire the sunset across the temple plains of Bagan, join Buddhist pilgrims on a hike to Golden Rock and explore the tranquil surrounds of Inle Lake.

  • Rangoon (Yangon) - British colonial heritage and the golden Shwedagon Pagoda
  • Bagan - Breathtaking vast plain studded with over 2000 ancient temples
  • Inle Lake - Floating gardens, stilted villages and leg-rowing fishermen
  • Included meals

    Breakfast: 13

    Lunch: 4

    Dinner: 1

  • Trip staff

    Explore Tour Leader

    Boat Crew

    Driver(s)

    Local Guide(s)

  • Transport

    Bus

    Boat

    Flight

  • i

    Accommodation

  • i

    Walking grade:

    Moderate

  • i

    Group Size:

    10 - 16

Itinerary

Itineraries on some departure dates may differ, please select the itinerary that you wish to explore.

Trip information

Country information

Burma (Myanmar)

Climate

Burma is a tropical country and has three seasons. Temperature and rainfall varies across the country; Rangoon, Bagan and coastal areas tend to have higher temperatures and rainfall. Cool season = October to February with average temperatures from 18-24C; at higher altitudes (Inle Lake, Kalaw) the temperature is slightly cooler and temperatures can drop down to about zero at night. Hot season = March to mid-May 25-38C; particularly hot in Bagan and Rangoon. Rainy (Southwest Monsoon) = mid-May to September 23-33C; practically all of the country's rain falls in this period.

Time difference to GMT

+6

Plugs

3 Pin Flat

Religion

Theravada Buddhism, Hinduism

Language

Burmese

Budgeting and packing

Optional activities

The following excursions and/or activities are usually available and may be arranged locally. Estimated costs are provided below for guidance only, are on a per person basis unless shown otherwise, and may depend on the number of participants. Prices quoted are correct as of the date these tour notes were originally issued but may change at any time due to currency fluctuations. Please note: These activities are booked and paid for direct with the supplier and do not form part of your Explore holiday contract.


Bagan - Sunrise visit to Temples from US$ 8; Mount Popa Excursion approximately US$ 42 (based on 3-4 participants); Traditional Massage US$ 10;
Rangoon - Scott Market and sunset visit to Shwedagon Pagoda US$4 transfer plus US$ 5 entrance fees
Inle Lake - Winetasting US$ 9; Traditional massage US$ 8

Clothing

You will need loose fitting, comfortable clothes for hot, humid conditions. Sunhat, sunglasses, long trousers and long sleeved shirt essential for protection from the sun. Warm weather clothing is suitable for Rangoon, Mandalay and Bagan. The Shan highlands, Inle Lake and Kalaw are cooler and in the winter season temperatures may reach near zero at night. Please dress respectfully when visiting temples and religious sites, covering your torso, shoulders and legs to below the knee and easily removable footwear for convenience as you can only enter sacred sites barefoot. In general, as Burma is a traditional, conservative and largely Buddhist culture we recommend you do not wear revealing clothing.

Footwear

We recommend you bring waterproof walking boots with ankle support, make sure that your boots are worn-in and comfortable before the start of the trip. Also trainers or sandals for relaxing and general wear. We suggest that on international flights you either carry your walking boots in your hand luggage or wear them - should your luggage be lost or delayed, your own boots are the one thing that will be irreplaceable.

Luggage

20kg

Luggage: On tour

One main piece of baggage and daypack. Remember you are expected to carry your own luggage so don't overload yourself.

On the overnight treks to Golden Rock and Yasakyi Village your main luggage will be left in secure storage and you will be required to carry your rucksack, large enough to carry essential items for the two days (bedding is already provided). In Golden Rock it is possible to arrange for a porter to carry your bags and this can be arranged and paid for locally.

Daypack
On the trekking days at Inle Lake and Kyiang Tong you will only be required to carry your day pack or light rucksack, large enough to carry essential items such as water, snacks and sun/weather protection.

Equipment

Mobile phones: Your mobile will not work in Burma. It is possible to buy a local SIM card for $20 in order to make/receive international calls, as long as your phone is un-locked. SMS messaging is not possible. WiFi is available in most hotels.

Bedding provided in Yasakyi Village: For the night spent in the basic monastery you will be provided a sleeping mat or mattress, pillow, mosquito net and blanket or sleeping bag. You may choose to bring a sleeping sheet liner.

Walking Poles: These may be useful for the steeper sections on trek. Not available locally.

Sunglasses: A good pair of sunglasses are essential for protection against UV rays.

Sun Hat, High Factor Sun Cream/Block & Lip Salve: Bring suncream (Factor 15 or more) to protect your skin against the sun. A combination sunblock/ lipsalve is ideal for facial protection.

Torch/Batteries/Bulb: A small torch is essential for the overnight in Yasakyi. Street lighting in cities and rural areas can be very poor so a torch is useful to help light your way while out at night. Additionally power cuts can occur from time to time, particularly in rural areas. Remember to bring some spare batteries.

Cycling Helmets: We strongly advise that you bring your own helmet with you. Helmets are not available locally.

Tipping

Explore leader
Tipping isn't compulsory, and we work hard to ensure that our leaders all receive a fair wage. You may however, want to recognise a leader that's done a great job or really added to your trip by giving them a tip. We're often asked about the recommended amount. It's a tricky one, and down to personal preference, but we'd recommend between £15 to £20 per person per week as a guideline.
Local crew
Local Crew: Although entirely voluntary, tipping is a recognized part of life in this region of the world. Some local staff will look to members of the group for personal recognition of particular services provided. In order to make things easier for you, the Tour Leaders may organise a group's tips kitty and if this is the case, they will account for it throughout the tour.

Accordingly you should allow approximately US$40 for this purpose.

Burma (Myanmar)

Food and drink

The costs for meals may vary depending upon location, type of restaurant and number of courses eaten and so the prices given are an average guide. Local restaurants located off the beaten track may be less expensive, whereas an upmarket restaurant located in the centre of a major city may charge more.


Lunch price
£3
Dinner price
£5
Beer price
£1.8
Water price
£0.7
Foreign Exchange
Local currency
Kyat.
Recommended Currency For Exchange
US Dollars often get the best exchange rate (try to bring newer dollar bills, in larger denominations and in good condition) but GBP is widely accepted.
Where To Exchange
The official rate is far different from the market rate, we recommend you consult your tour leader for advice regarding the best place to exchange.
ATM Availability
ATMs are becoming more widely available and some hotels may have them, including the Panda Hotel in Yangon. You are more likely to find them in the larger cities, but they are now starting to appear in some of the smaller towns and villages. Please be aware that they are prone to occasional breakdowns so you would be wise to top up your cash before it runs out completely.
Credit Card Acceptance
Credit cards are becoming more widely accepted but you should not rely on them. The places where you are most likely to be able to use them are in the cities of Yangon and Mandalay and there may be a charge.
Travellers Cheques
Not accepted.
Transport, Accommodation & Meals

Transport Information

Bus, Boat, Flight

Essential Information

FCO Advice

We strongly recommend that you check your government's travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination: safety and security, entry requirements, health, local laws and customs. For UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice click here.

For more information from Explore about travel advice, click here
 

Under 18 immigration guidance

Please note that some countries require proof of parental consent when travelling overseas with under 18s. Please check requirements with the relevant embassy or consular office well in advance of travel if this applies to your party.

Price Guarantee

Once your booking has been confirmed we guarantee the price will not increase, whatever the circumstances. Before booking please ensure you have read our important tour pricing information.Booking Conditions

Visa and Passport Information

Burma: An e-visa is required to enter Burma and must be arranged prior to travel through the following website: http://evisa.moip.gov.mm/. Visas are valid for 90 days from issue and allow a 28-day, single-entry visit.

You should confirm all visa related questions with the relevant Embassy prior to departure.


If you do require assistance in obtaining a visa then you may be able to apply through Explore's recommended visa service in the UK, Travcour. See www.travcour.com to download the relevant visa application for your trip, if applicable (UK citizens only), along with details of how to apply for your visa through Travcour. The Team at Travcour will be happy to answer specific questions relating to visa applications, please call them directly on 0208 5431846.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of a full passport, with the correct validity for your chosen destination.
 

Booking conditions

Before booking your Explore trip, please ensure that you read both our Essential Information and Booking Conditions.

Transfers

Find out more about Trip Transfer Terms and Conditions before you book.

Booking a land only package with Explore

Customers who have chosen to book on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements of our tour, please ensure that you have checked your tour specific ‘Joining Instructions’ prior to booking your own travel arrangements. Your joining instructions can be found below in the dates and prices information. 

You may also be eligible for the Free Explore Transfer.


Joining Tour Abroad

Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will now receive a Free Transfer, provided you arrive and depart on the tour only itinerary start and end dates. The complimentary transfers will be arranged from the Explore designated airport or train station to your trips joining point, and then back from the ending point to the designated airport or train station. Generally the airport or station that Explore have selected will be the one that is closest to the town or city where the trip starts, or the one nearest to the joining point. It will be either an airport or train station but not both.

The exception to this rule is customers who are booked on a tour where the joining and ending point is at the designated airport or train station.  

Free transfers are not available for Self-Guided, Polar, Tailormade or Tours for Churches customers.

If you are not eligible for the Free Transfer then you will need to make your own way through to the joining and ending point. On a majority of our tours Explore will be able to provide a private transfer at an additional cost. Please ask for a quote at the time of booking.  


For more information regarding the Explore Free Transfer click here

Insurance

It is a condition of booking with Explore that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. The cost of many of our Polar Voyages will exceed the capped amount covered by standard insurance premiums and you will be required to pay an additional premium to cover the full value of your trip. Please ensure that you are covered for the full amount of your holiday cost, as insufficient cover could invalidate a claim under the policy. Medical and repatriation insurance cover is not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
Read more information about what travel insurance is required.

Flight information

Explore offers a wide range of flexible flying options to make joining and leaving our trips easy. Read more about them here.


Flight Information

You are able to book this tour on a 'land only' basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.

  

Booking a flight inclusive package with Explore

We have a good selection of flights not only from London but from many regional airports around the UK allowing us to compare fares between scheduled carriers as well as low cost and charter airlines. Our dedicated flights team will match the best flight options to your arrival and departure airport.

On our website we display a UK flight inclusive package guide price which is generally based on a London departure. To avoid paying supplements or to secure your preferred flight option, we recommend booking as early as possible, especially for peak travel dates.

Burma (Myanmar)

Vaccinations

Nothing compulsory, but we recommend protection against malaria, tetanus, typhoid, hepatitis A plus Polio and diptheria. Consult your travel clinic for latest advice on different prophylaxis available against malaria. Following the advice given by the Government's Foreign and Commonwealth Office, we strongly recommend the wearing long sleeved shirts and the liberal application of insect repellent as a precautionary measure to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. These precautions should be taken at all times as the mosquitoes are also active during daylight hours. Please check the latest requirements with your travel clinic or doctor prior to departure. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at Explore Travel Health and from your local healthcare provider. Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed by you before travelling.

Walking and Trekking information
Walking grade
Moderate
Trek details
Walks on 9 days for between 30 minutes and 6 hours. For the walking tours and at Bagan, the timings include sightseeing. We have graded the overall walking level as Moderate.
Tourism in Burma
Sadly, recent events surrounding the Rohingya minority have seen Burma thrust into the international spotlight again. The areas of unrest are concentrated within the north of Rakhine state, far away from any location our itineraries visit. We actively monitor the situation on the ground and closely follow the advice of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).  

We also remain acutely aware of our ethical responsibility; and in order to ensure that the local communities benefit the most from our trips, we use a privately-owned Burmese local ground agent for all of our local services. Our itineraries have been carefully planned to limit the use of services owned by, or affiliated with, the government. This ensures that the Burmese people benefit as much as possible from our tours. 

We strongly believe that we contribute positively to the local economy, whilst providing our customers with the privilege of direct and genuine interaction with the local people, as well as an insight into the country's unique culture and heritage. 
 

Dates, prices and booking

All holidays are subject to availability and prices are subject to change

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