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Classic Myanmar Adventure - 2016

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As a relative newcomer to adventure travel, exploring the mysterious nation of Myanmar (also known as Burma) often feels like setting foot on a foreign, untouched planet. With few other travellers to contend with, the natural and man-made wonders of this underexplored part of Southeast Asia often feel like they’ve been placed here just for you. And what wonders they are: Inle Lake’s unique floating gardens, the staggering imperial ruins of ancient Bagan, the incomparable palaces of Mandalay, and enveloping forests throughout. Unknown pleasures await – come find them.

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Day 1 Yangon

Arrive at any time.

Day 2 Golden Rock (1B)

Visit the incredible Shwedagon Pagoda before hiking to Golden Rock.

Day 3 Bago/Mandalay (1B)

Explore Bago, old capital of the Mon people and home to the biggest reclining Buddha in Burma. Return to Yangon and take an evening flight to Mandalay.

Days 4-5 Mandalay (2B)

Explore Mandalay's ancient temples and other beautiful sites such as the Golden Monastery. Visit the nearby ancient royal capital of Amarapura. Opt to traverse the world's longest teak bridge. Continue on to the village of Mingun.

Days 6-8 Bagan (3B)

Cruise down the Irrawaddy River to ancient Bagan. Visit the ancient site which includes hundreds of temples and stupas. Visit the Nyaung Oo market.

Day 9-10 Kalaw (2B,1L)

Drive to the cooler air of Kalaw, a former British hill station, visiting Mt Popa en route. Enjoy a half-day trek in the area, stopping off to visit a local hilltribe.

Days 11-12 Inle Lake (2B)

Travel by bus to serene Inle, home to the Intha people and floating villages and gardens, stopping en route to visit the Pindaya Caves. Explore the lake by boat and visit some of its floating villages. Try to spot the famous leg rowers during the tour.

Day 13 Yangon (1B)

Fly back to Yangon for a final chance to explore and shop in the old capital.

Day 14 Yangon (1B)

Depart any time.

What's Included

Shwedagon Pagoda visit (Yangon). Mandalay combo entry ticket (includes most sights in Mandalay). Golden Rock visit. Amarapura visit. Sagaing visit. Bagan Archaeological Zone guided tour. Irrawaddy River boat trip. Inle Lake boat tour including floating villages (half-day). Shwemawdaw Stupa visit. Mingun boat trip. U Bein Bridge visit. Mahagandayong Monastery visit. Sagaing Hills Meditation Centre visit. Mt Popa visit. Hilltribe hike (half-day). Internal flights. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.


Highlights

Explore intriguing Yangon, visit the Shwedagon Pagoda, stroll Mandalay's temples, float down the Irrawaddy River, experience the ancient ruins of Bagan, relax at Inle Lake


Dossier Disclaimer

The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.

VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.


Itinerary Disclaimer

While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.

Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.


Group Leader Description

All G Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of our Chief Experience Officers (CEO). The aim of the CEO is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting- we think it's the best of both worlds.


Group Size Notes

Max 15, avg 12


Meals

13 Breakfasts


Transport

Private bus, public bus, plane, boat, bicycle, walking.


About our Transportation

Private and Public Buses, Planes, Boats, Bicycle, Foot


Local Flights

All local flights are included in the cost of your tour unless otherwise noted. It is important that we have your passport information at the time of booking in order to process these tickets. Internal flight tickets are issued locally and will be given to you prior to the flight departure.


Solo Travellers

We believe single travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and single travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.


Accommodation

Hotels (12 nts), simple guesthouse (1 nt).


My Own Room

Please note that if you have booked the "My Own Room" option for this tour, you will receive your own single room for all night stops


About Accommodation

Hotels/Guesthouses (13nts)


Joining Hotel

For details of your joining hotel please refer to your tour voucher, G Account, the G Adventures App or contact your travel agent.


Joining Instructions

If you have not purchased an arrival transfer, upon arrival at Yangon International Airport the easiest way to get to the hotel is by taxi. There is a registered taxi stand at the exit gate of the arrivals hall where fixed rates can be paid. The airport is located approximately 30 minutes from the city centre and the rates are approximately 10-15 USD

If you have a pre-booked transfer, please look for the G Adventures representative, who will be holding a G Adventures sign at the arrival halls. If you are unable to locate our G Adventures representative, please wait up to 30 minutes, call our local staff on our emergency number, or take a taxi to the joining point hotel.


Arrival Complications

We don't expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, as soon as possible please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your CEO (if you are not on a group tour please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier). If you are unable to get in touch with your CEO, please refer to our emergency contact details. If you have pre-booked an airport transfer and have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.


Emergency Contact

Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call the G Adventures Local Office and then our G Adventures Local Representative (if one is listed below). If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.

AIRPORT TRANSFER 
If you have purchased an arrival through G Adventures or if an arrival transfer is included in the cost of your tour, please note that:

Your arrival transfer has been arranged based on flight information provided to us. If you are advised of a flight schedule change within 48 hours of your scheduled arrival time, we will do our best to rearrange your arrival transfer however we cannot guarantee this. If your arrival transfer does not arrive within 30 minutes after you have exited the arrivals area please take a taxi to your start point hotel. 

EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Office Bangkok, Thailand
During Office hours (Weekdays, 9am-5pm Local Time)
From outside Thailand: +66 2 381 5574
From within Thailand: 02 381 5574

After hours emergency number:
From outside Thailand: +66 87 049 6074
From within Thailand: 087 049 6074

G Adventures Local Representative (Burma)
Emergency Number: +95 1 293 464

If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.

Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999


What to Take

What you need to bring depends on the trip you have chosen and the countries or regions you are planning to visit. We suggest that you pack as lightly as possible as your are expected to carry your own luggage. As a rule we try not to have to walk more than 15-20 mintues with your bags which is why we recommend keeping the weight of your bags between 10-15kg/22-30lb. Suitcases are not recommended for G Adventures trips! Most travellers carry a backpack or rolling bag of small to medium size (no XXL ones please!) as they need to fit with you in buses or on trains. You will also need a day pack/bag to carry water, cameras and other electronics like ipods and mobile phones. If your trip involves overnights in homestays, villages or camping then you usually have the opportunity to rent sleeping bags if need be instead of bringing them with you.


Checklist

-Documents
-Cash, credit and debit cards
-Watch and alarm clock
-Flashlight/Torch
-Sunblock/Sun hat
-Sunglasses
-Insect repellent
-Reusable water bottle
-Small travel towel and swim wear
-Toiletries
-Sturdy walking shoes
-Moneybelt
Shorts
-Long pants/jeans
-Hiking pants
-Shirts/T-shirts
-Warm clothing
-Hat
-Gloves
-Fleece jacket or warm layer
-Windproof rain jacket
-Windproof rain gear
-Umbrella
-Waterproof backpack cover
-Plastic bags
-Clothes that cover knees and shoulders (long pants/sarong)
-Camera with extra memory cards and batteries
-Personal Entertainment
-Binoculars
-Pocketknife
-First-aid kit


Laundry

Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap. Aboard the expedition ship Explorer laundry facilities are provided at a charge. Aboard the Amazon Explorer laundry facilities are provided free of charge for each passenger once a week.


Visas

Please note that visas for Myanmar/Burma are the responsibility of the individual traveler - most countries must obtain a visa prior to travel. The visa requirements vary depending on nationality, you can find the full details at the Foreign Services website for your country, or at the Myanmar embassy/consulate closest to you.

Please visit http://evisa.moip.gov.mm/ for the full details of the E-Visa approval letter process.
The cost of the visa is approximately $50 USD.

When filling in the form please enter the following:
Purpose of Entry: Tourism
Address in Myanmar: please use the start hotel for your tour (listed in the Joining Hotel section)
Agency Name: SunBird Tours
Agency Contact Number: 0095 1 293464/ 294050

The approval process may take up to 5 business days and the letter is valid for 90 days from the date of issue. Once the evisa approval letter is received by email, print out the approval letter and bring it with you to present upon arrival.


Spending Money

Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip:

We recommend roughly 300-350 USD for spending money on this trip. This can be exchanged on Day 1 in Yangon with some advice from your CEO. This allowance would cover food, drinks, camera fees and most optional activities (except for the hot air balloon). If you are a keen shopper and/or drinker, we recommend budgeting a bit more for those activities.

Please bring ONLY new, MINT CONDITION US dollars to Myanmar with you. Be specific with your bank when buying cash. If you are in the US, please be sure to go to your bank and request NEW bills- older bills with wrinkles, tears, rips, creases or marks will not be accepted.


Money Exchange

During this tour the local currencies you will use are the Burmese Kyat and the US Dollar. As currency exchange rates in South East Asia do fluctuate, we ask that you refer to the following website for the most up to date daily exchange rates: www.xe.com for each of the above mentioned currencies.

ATMs are available in every major town in Burma but they are not always accessible, may not be functioning or may be closed. We recommend bringing MINT CONDITION US dollars to Burma and exchanging it on arrival. See "Spending Money" for more information on budgeting.

Travellers cheques can be tricky, timely and expensive to exchange. While we do not recommend that you bring them as your primary source of funds, it is great to have one or two cheques in case of emergency. Thomas Cook or American Express travellers' cheques in US currency are the easiest to exchange. Cash advances can also be made with some banks but are time consuming and tend to have high fees attached. Credit cards can be used at some upmarket restaurants, and at some larger stores if shopping for big items. When purchasing US dollars please make sure that the notes are new and in good condition. Notes older than 2003, or with any tears or blemishes may not be accepted. Be fussy with your bank when buying cash!


Emergency Fund

Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $250 (or equivalent) as an 'emergency' fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!


Departure Tax

You may be required to pay a departure tax of USD10 upon leaving Myanmar.


Tipping

It is customary in Asia to tip service providers such as waiters, at approximately 10%, depending on the service. Tipping is expected - though not compulsory - and shows an expression of satisfaction with the people who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are several times during the trip where there is opportunity to tip the local guides or drivers we use. You may do this individually, or your CEO will offer to collect the money and tip as a group. Recommendations for tipping drivers and local guides would range from $1.5-$3.5 USD per person per day depending on the quality and length of the service; ask your CEO for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture. Also at the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures CEO did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline $20-25 USD per person, per week can be used.


Optional Activities

All prices listed are in US Dollars (USD), per person (unless stated otherwise), and are subject to change as services are provided by third party operators.

Bagan
Hot Air Balloon- 290 USD
Bicycle hire- 5 USD
Bagan Archaeology Museum- 5 USD
Horse cart- 15 USD

Inle Lake
Red Mountain Winery- 10 USD


Health

Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.

You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medical requirements. Please be aware that sometimes we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities, and for legal reasons our CEO's are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. In Asia pharmacies tend to stock the same western drugs as you get at home but they are usually produced locally so please bring the full drug name with you when trying to purchase a prescription drug. When selecting your trip please carefully read the brochure and itinerary and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please refer to the Physical and Culture Shock ratings for trip specific information. G Adventures reserves the right to exclude any traveller from all or part of a trip without refund if in the reasonable opinion of our CEO they are unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group.


Safety and Security

Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers' cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your CEO has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Your CEO will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.

Protests and Demonstrations- Protests and demonstrations, even those that are well intended, have the potential to turn violent with no warning. Counter protests can also turn violent. Action by security forces to disperse demonstrators and protesters may occur at any time. If you are in an area where demonstrators or protesters are gathering, avoid the temptation of staying for a good photo opportunity and leave the area immediately.

Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards) have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).

Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk.

We take all prudent measures in relation to your safety. For ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling, please visit:


www.gadventures.com/travel-resources/safety/


Medical Form

Our small group adventures bring together people of all ages. It is very important you are aware that, as a minimum, an average level of fitness and mobility' is required to undertake our easiest programs. Travellers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own luggage at a minimum. Travellers with a pre-existing medical condition are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. This is to ensure that travellers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen trip. While our CEOs work hard to ensure that all our travellers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day's activities unaided. Please refer to the physical ratings in this Trip Details document for more information.

The medical questionnaire can be found online at:

www.gadventures.com/medical-form
.


A Couple of Rules

Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.


Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your CEO, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all clients must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of USD 200,000 for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.


Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation

Through our commitment to responsible tourism we have developed the Planeterra Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of people and communities around the world through support of international charities, local organizations and community projects in the places that we visit on our tours. G Adventures matches all individual donations and pays all administration costs, which means that 100% of each donation is doubled and goes directly to support our projects. For more information about Planeterra and the projects we support, or to make a donation, please visit www.planeterra.org

Planeterra Dollar-A-Day Program
Our Dollar-A-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to help us give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar per day for the duration of their tour. 100% of these proceeds will go directly to support our G Adventures for Good projects.

To participate in this program please indicate at the time of booking that you would like to participate in G Adventures’ Dollar-A-Day program, either by clicking the check box online, or by advising your G Adventures specialist or travel agent. (Note: Donation will be charged in the currency of your booking)


Feedback

After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that we'll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Your tour evaluation will be e-mailed to you 24 hours after the conclusion of your trip. If you do not receive the tour evaluation link in the days after your tour has finished, please drop us a line at customerservice@gadventures.com and we will send it on to you.


Newsletter

Our adventure travel e-newsletter is full of travel news, trip information, interesting stories and contests. To avoid missing out on special offers and updates from G Adventures, subscribe at www.gadventures.com/newsletters/

Stay current on how our company invests in our global community through our foundation – Planeterra. Sign up for Planeterra's monthly news to learn more about how to give back and support the people and places we love to visit.


Travel Forum - The Watering Hole

Be sure to stop by The Watering Hole, our adventure travel forum. If you're interested in meeting others booked on your upcoming trip, check out the Departure Lounge section of our forum and introduce yourself. Otherwise, just drop in at anytime to share some travel tips, ask questions, meet other travellers and quench your thirst for travel. Our forum is located at wateringhole.gadventures.com.


Group Leader

Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides.


Meal Budget

Allow USD240-315 for meals not included.


Meals Included

13 breakfasts, 1 lunch

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