Myanmar

5-Day Distinctive Southeastern Myanmar with Elephant Coach

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Tour type

Tour Level: Relaxed / Easy

Tour Comfort: Luxury

Tour Period: 5 Days

tour highlights

  • Transportation with Luxurious Elephant Coach
  • Overland drive to Golden Rock, Hpa-An and Mawlamyaing
  • Visit the famous pilgrimage site of Golden Rock
  • Explore the beautiful religious caves in Hpa-An
  • Boat trip along the Thanlwin River to Mawlamyaing
  • Observe the rich culture at U Nar Auk Monastery
  • Visit the famous death railway at Thanbyuzayat

tour details

Unique way of traveling in Myanmar with the lavishly restored post-Colonial Chevrolet passenger bus, combining old carriage fashion and modern comfort interior. Easily overlooked by tourists in the rush to head north from Yangon, south-eastern Myanmar more than justifies a diversion. This tour to Kayin and Mon State will offer a wonderful experience to visit the picturesque and inspiring destinations in Myanmar.

Pick up from your Yangon hotel by the luxurious Chevrolet bus, Elephant Coach and drive to Bago (84 km, 1 'bd hours). En route, visit a tree shrine dedicated to legendary animist spirits known as 'nats'. Then visit the impressive Allied War Graves cemetery near Htauk Kyant, the last resting place of over 6300 Allied soldiers and home to a memorial of 27,000 more. A stop is made in the handicraft village that produces woven bamboo wares. Arrive Bago with a brief stop at Kyaik Pun Pagoda, famous for its four giant Buddha images before you visit the Shwemawdaw Pagoda, which is over a thousand years old, and whose tip is even taller than that of Yangon's Shwedagon Pagoda. Continue to the 55-metre-long reclining Shwe Thalyaung Buddha image, one of the country's most revered objects. Visit the Maha Kalayani Sima (ordination hall) and Mahazedi (Great Stupa), offering panoramic views. Lunch at Khaing Khaing Kyaw Restaurant.
After lunch, continue to Kin Pun (110 km, 3 'bd hours) from where you will leave the Elephant Coach and take a truck to get to the top of the mountain, The Golden Rock.
Accommodation at Mountain Top Hotel (Deluxe Room) or similar, near Kyaikhtiyo
Departure from Kyaiktiyo and return to the base camp to hop in the Elephant Coach for Hpa-An (115 km - 6 hours). On the way, make a stop in Thaton, former capital of the Mon Kingdom. Lunch is served at a simple local restaurant.
Arrive into Hpa-An and visit Bayintnyi Caves. Just about 30minutes drive outside Thaton, lies this famous monastery known for its natural hot springs and a cave up in the rocks full of Buddha statues. The cave itself is not very big, but houses some interesting Buddha Statues. Nice view from the entrance over the plains full of paddy fields. Then, visit to Kawh Goon Cave. This cave is by far the most interesting. The entrance to the cave is covered with hundreds of small terracotta votive tablets which are plastered up to the ceiling - some are tiny, some are big. Just outside Hpa-An lies the interesting Kyauktalat Monastery. This monastery is known for its unique shape and location on a tiny island (access via a bridge). Very peaceful atmosphere. Evening stroll along the Thanlwin river in Hpa-An.
Accommodation at Hpa - An Lodge (Kayin Cottage) or similar, Hpa-An
This morning, you will be taken by the boat along the Thanlwin River to Mawlamyaing. This is one the highlights of the trip: the tour takes 2 hours. Beautiful river scenery and hardly any other boats to be seen during the journey. Half-way stop in the village of Kadow. This sleeping village offers great opportunities to discover simple rural life. Stroll through the narrow main lane of the village, talk and laugh with the local community. Visit the U Nar Auk Monastery which houses fantastic reliefs displaying the history of Buddha's life. Alternatively, you can hire motorbike taxis. Arrival in Mawlamyaing, the capital of Mon State. Lunch at a local restaurant.
Afternoon sightseeing in and around Mawlamyaing. Visit the Mon State National Museum where traditional music instruments, clothes and old Mon language scripts are displayed. Sightseeing continues with the Mahamuni Pagoda, Kyaikthanlan Pagoda (known as the Kipling Pagoda) and Seindon Mibaya Kyaung, where King Mindon's wife sought refuge. These religious buildings are all situated on a mountain range from where beautiful sunsets can be observed. Transfer to your hotel afterwards.
Accommodation at Hotel Suggati (Deluxe City View) or similar, Mawlamyine
In the morning, visit the local Zegyi market. Before leaving Mawlamyaing, visit the small town of Mudon (20 km - 1 hour). The area between Mawlamyaing and Mudon is very fertile and well known for its rubber plantations and the numerous seasonal fruits. A huge reclining Buddha can be seen en route. Stop at Kyaukdalone, a Buddhist Stupa and a Hindu temple facing each other. Depart Mawlamyaing and drive south to Win Sein Toya, where the largest reclining Buddha in the world can be discovered. Stop at Thanbyuzayat, formerly the western terminus of the infamous 'Death Railway' on which Allied Prisoners of War were forced to work by the Japanese military. An estimated 16000 prisoners died, of which 3771 have graves in immaculately maintained Thanbyuzayat War Cemetery. Continue driving to Kyaikkami, a small seaside resort known as Amherst during the British era. You will visit Ye-le Pagoda, which is perched over the sea and reached by a two level bridge (the lower level is submerged at high tide). This shrine is said to house a Buddha image which floated on a raft from Sri Lanka and landed at this spot near Kyaikkami. Look out for the shrine built in the shape of a boat. Lunch at a local restaurant.
In the afternoon, return to Mawlamyaing and visit the small museum (if open) and the local market. There will be photo opportunities on the way, at some interesting old colonial-style houses, a mosque and churches.
Accommodation at Hotel Suggati (Deluxe City View) or similar, Mawlamyine
Optional train from Mawlamyine to Yangon: You have the possibility to return by train from Mawlamyine to Yangon. The train departs at 08.30 hrs and arrives Yangon at 18.00 hrs (approximately). Train journeys have to be considered as 'adventurous' as the wagons have little comfort. The trail is bumpy and the train runs at slow speed. Some wagons have air-condition, but not all. However, these journeys are a wonderful experience to see more of the local life.

Full day drive back to Yangon. (Approximately 6 - 7 hours). Lunch at local Restaurant (or packed lunch for train option). Upon arrival in Yangon, transfer to hotel.

includes

Our tour prices are included of:

  • All sightseeing tour and transfer services with luxurious private Elephant Coach as detailed in the itinerary
  • Join-in transfer on truck from the base camp to the upper camp
  • Meals as specified in the itinerary (5 lunches and breakfast) (B=Breakfast and L=Lunch)
  • All entrance fees for the places as mentioned in the programme
  • Transfers and tours with English-speaking guide
  • Boat service from Hpa-An to Mawlamyine
  • Service charges, room tax and baggage handling
  • Accommodation at hotels as above mentioned or similar
  • Filtered drinking water and wet towels during the tour

excludes

Not included are:

  • Myanmar visa fee
  • Optional train tickets from Mawlamyine to Yangon
  • Accommodation at hotel in Yangon
  • Surcharges for language guides
  • The use of a sedan chair to go up or down the mountain
  • Personal expenditure, such as drinks, souvenirs, laundry, camera fees, communications, postage, gratuities etc.
  • Meals and services other than mentioned in the programme
  • Drinks with meals
  • Compulsory gala dinners during festive seasons and peak season surcharges which will be advised at the time of booking
  • (Peak season in general is between 15 December to 15 January and 13-17 April
  • Early check-in and late check-out at hotels, if not mentioned in the programme
  • Travel insurance (cover against all cancellation costs, medical expenses, including repatriation, in the event of accident or illness)

notes

Important Notes for Golden Rock:

  • The road from the base camp up to the Golden Rock has to be done by special dedicated trucks. You are not allowed to drive up there with your own vehicle. These open trucks are equipped with narrow benches on the back.
  • During the raining season, the platform around the Pagoda can be slippery due to rain or mist.
  • It is advisable to carry a torch light as there are frequent power cuts.
  • You are advised to only carry a light duffle bag or hand carry as your big luggage will stay in the car/bus at the base camp.
  • The Golden Rock Pagoda does regular gilding in a three year cycle. During this time, the rock will be covered in bamboo scaffolding. Prior notice is not given and exact schedule for the work are not really available.
  • Accommodation: The Mountain Top Hotel is located on the top of the mountain, whereas the Golden Rock Hotel is located near the upper camp (5 minutes' walk from the truck stop). More hotels are located near the base camp on in/near the village of Kyaiktiyo. Depending on where you stay, the program will need to be adjusted in terms of driving up and down the hill.
  • Sunsets and sunrises on the platform can only be seen if you stay at the Mountain Top Hotel.
  • A footpath goes up from the Golden Rock hotel to the top. The walk uphill takes around 45 minutes whereas downhill will take around 30 minutes. This path during the rainy season can be slippery.


    Notes:

  • Hotel prices for packages are quoted bases on hotels as mentioned or similar. Higher or lower categories can be requested and the price will be adjusted. The hotels featured in the package tour are subject to availabilities at the time of booking.
  • Meals at respective hotels are also included in the hotel prices if the itineraries mention lunch or dinner at hotel.
  • Additional charges during Festive Season: Christmas, New Year and the Water festival period may apply.
  • Supplements for compulsory Gala Dinners will be advised at the time of booking.
  • All hotels have special booking and deposit conditions and will be indicated at the time of booking. Nonrefundable deposits may be required.

Tour code: PKRADSED

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