Burma Family Adventure
You could wait in long lines at Disney World with multitudes of other hot, cranky families – or you could take your brood on an actual adventure to Burma (also known as Myanmar). Over a span of 12 days, this country of ancient civilizations will be revealed, giving your children a unique look at an emerging world destination. Add in some biking and hiking in order to visit different areas and you’ve got the perfect avenue to immerse your family in a dynamic new – yet old – culture.
Arrival Transfer. Shwedagon Pagoda (Yangon). Guided tour of Bagan Archaeological Zone. Cycling around Bagan. Hill tribe hike. Limestone caves of Pindaya. Half day boat tour of Inle Lake including floating villages. Hiking in Ho Kyin. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
Explore intriguing Yangon, visit the Shwedagon Pagoda, cycle around amazing Bagan, discover limestone caves at Pindaya, relax at tranquil Inle Lake, hike in the hills around Thandwe.
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.
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.
This trip is designed for parents and children to enjoy together. You will be travelling as part of a group of families with other children. The itinerary has been designed with the needs of the whole family in mind. We have given this trip a minimum age for this trip to allow you to be sure that you have the right trip for you and your family. Minimum age of 8 years for this trip. Please see the activities for any specific minimum age requirements.
Note that it is best to travel with US dollars in cash when visiting Myanmar. There are no ATMs and the use of credit cards and travellers checks is virtually impossible, as very few places are willing to accept them. Please arrive with enough US dollars, in good condition, to last you the length of your stay. Changing money into the local currency, kyat, is a good idea for small transactions and can be done upon arrival at any of the various money changers in town. Please note that if carrying US Dollars, they should be in excellent condition (ie- without any small tears, creases, marks or faded in any way) and printed recently (after the year 2001).
Please note, due to the nature of travel in Asia, a backpack is more more suited to this trip than a suitcase. There may be a weight restriction for the internal flight on this tour. Each passenger is allowed to carry one checked bag with a maximum weight of 15 kg (33lbs). Additional bags or excess weight charges may apply. These charges are the responsibility of the passengers.
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 20, Avg 12.
11 breakfasts, 2 lunches
Private bus/van, bike, plane, boat, walking.
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.
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.
Hotels (10 nts), monastery (1nt, multishare).
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.
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.
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 you are expected to carry your own luggage. As a rule we try not to have to walk more than 15-20 minutes with your bags which is why we recommend keeping the weight of your bags between 10-15kg/22-30lb. 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.
Passport (with photocopies)
Travel insurance (with photocopies)
Airline tickets (with photocopies)
Credit or debit card (see personal spending money)
G Adventures vouchers, pre-departure information and dossier
Any entry visas or vaccination certificates required
Sun hat, Sunblock, Sunglasses
Small towel and swim wear
Sturdy walking shoes/Sport sandals
Hiking pants/track pants
Warmer clothes for Nov-Feb Fleece, sweater
Clothes for temples – long pants or sarongs
Camera and memory cards
First-aid kit (should contain lip salve, Aspirin, Band Aids, anti-histamine, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, re-hydration powder, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)
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.
Visas and Entry Requirements
Please note that visas for 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 Burmese 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.
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.
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.
Note that it is best to travel with US dollars in cash when visiting Myanmar. There are no ATMs and the use of credit cards and travellers checks is virtually impossible, as very few places are willing to accept them. Please arrive with enough US dollars, in good condition, to last you the length of your stay. Changing money into the local currency, kyat, is a good idea for small transactions and can be done upon arrival at any of the various money changers in town. 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.
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!
There is $10 departure tax upon leaving Myanmar.
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.
- Hot Air Balloon Ride (275USD per person)
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:
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 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
The Planeterra Foundation planeterra.org is a Canadian non-profit organization that helps empower local people to develop their communities, conserve their cultures, and create humane and supportive systems for their endeavours. Planeterra provides capacity building and catalyst grants to get community social enterprises off the ground. These businesses address local challenges by providing benefits for indigenous people, empowering marginalized women, and granting disadvantaged youth access to education, employment, and brighter futures. Planeterra also works to ensure these businesses have a thriving customer base by integrating programs into G Adventures’ itineraries globally.
G Adventures is Planeterra’s largest corporate donor, covering all operating costs so 100% of your donation will bring opportunity to people in need.
G Adventures’ Dollar-a-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar for every day you are on trip. 100% of these donations go directly to support community development projects worldwide that are implemented by Planeterra.
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Minimum age of 8 years for this trip.
Check-in times and baggage allowances/restrictions vary by airline and can change at any time. For the most up-to-date information for your flight, please contact your airline. We recommend checking in online in advance to avoid potential delays at the airport.
Max 16, avg 12
Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides.
PRODUCT_LINE: ABFA, ID: 23272
Day 1 Yangon
Today is arrival day so there are no activities planned. You are free to relax and explore the city.
Please try to arrive before 6pm for an important group meeting where you can meet the Chief Experience Officer (CEO) and the other group members. Following this, enjoy an optional group dinner where you can sample some local cuisine.
Please note that most nationalities require a visa to enter Myanmar (Burma); double check this with your travel agent or local Myanmar Embassy prior to your arrival.
Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting
Day 2 Yangon/Mandalay (1B)
Early in the morning, transfer to the airport for the flight to Mandalay.
Transfer to the base of Mandalay Hill and visit Shwe Nandaw Kyuang (Golden Palace Monastery), which is noted for its intricate wood carvings, and to Kayuk Taw Gyi Pagoda, to view the huge marble Buddha.
Later, visit Kuthodaw Pagoda, home to ‘the world’s largest book’, a collection of more than 700 marble slabs inscribed with Buddhist teachings. Continue to Mahamuni Pagoda, which is known for its lumpy Buddha statue. Opt to visit some craft shops in the area.
In the late afternoon, head to Mandalay Hill to walk (or take the lift) to the top to enjoy the views over the city, countryside, and Irrawaddy River.
Mandalay Hill Climb
Shwenandaw Kyaung (Golden Palace Monastery) Visit
Kyauk Taw Gyi Pagoda Visit
Kuthodaw Pagoda Visit
Mahamuni Pagoda (Buddha Temple) Visit
Kuthodaw Pagoda Visit
Private Vehicle (0.50 hour(s))
Plane (1.50 hour(s))
Day 3 Mandalay (1B)
Embark on a boat trip up the Irrawaddy River from Mandalay to the riverside village of Mingun, enjoying the picturesque scenery and watching the people who live and work on these waters. Continue by road to Sagaing. After lunch, visit Amarapura, a former capital whose name means ‘City of Immortality’.
Mingun Village Boat Trip and Visit
Sagaing Hill Visit
Day 4 Mandalay (1B)
Take a scenic 2 hr drive to the former British hill station of Maymyo, now officially called Pyin Oo Lwin. Visit the local market in the center of town and check out the colorful array of items for sale, including locally produced jam and fruit wine.
The afternoon is free for exploration. Opt to enjoy a traditional horse and carriage ride through the town to see the historical houses including Candacraig, built in 1905. Get your horse and carriage to drop you off at the 175 hectare Botanical Gardens where you can take a relaxing walk though the beautifully landscaped area.
Pyin Oo Lwin Excursion
Private Vehicle (2.00 hour(s))
Private Vehicle (2.00 hour(s))
Day 5 Mandalay/Bagan (1B, 1L)
After breakfast at the hotel, transfer to the jetty for the boat to Bagan (Nyaung Oo). The journey takes 7-11 hrs, depending on the time of year and water level. There is a small café selling drinks and light meals (sandwiches, snacks and instant noodles usually) on board.
Ayeyarwady River Cruise
Day 6 Bagan (1B)
Enjoy 2 days exploring Bagan, the first and most beautiful capital of the Burmese, which was founded in the 11th century. This is one the most important temples and pagoda complexes in Asia.
Set off on a full day exploration of Bagan where we’ll wander local markets, historical pagodas, a handicraft workshop, a local monastery, as well as various ancient temples. Enjoy an unforgettable sunset over the plains from the upper terrace of one of the temples.
You have the option to take a hot air balloon flight over the plains of Bagan.
Bagan Guided Tour
Stretch out and scan the scenery from the comfort of a private ride.
Day 7 Bagan (1B, 1L)
At midday, transfer to the outskirts of town to a village in the middle of a toddy palm farm. Watch as the locals scale the trees and harvest the juice of the palm fruit and process it into alcohol or molasses. In the evening, we are welcomed into a local family’s home to enjoy a home cooked meal of traditional Burmese dishes. This is a memorable dinner and a chance to learn more about family life and traditions in Myanmar.
Toddy Palm Farm Visit
Day 8 Bagan/Inle Lake (1B)
Fly from Bagan to Heho, then make the short, 2 hr journey to Pindaya. From here, pull on some walking shoes and head off for an overnight trek up to Yasakyi. The trek starts on a good path with some steep ascents, before passing through Danu villages. Continue to See-Kya-Inn village, through misty tea plantations, before the climb gets steeper.
In Yasakyi, a large monastery serves as tonight’s accommodation, sleeping on mats on the floor, with ample time for exploring the area.
Pindaya Hills Hike
Plane (1.75 hour(s))
Private Vehicle (2.00 hour(s))
Day 9 Inle Lake (1B)
Enjoy a breakfast at the monastery, and take in the peaceful surroundings. It’s a wonder that the whole family will be able to enjoy within the quiet space inside the monastery walls. After breakfast, continue trekking with a magnificent view of the country below, as vistas of Lin Lai Inn and Taung Paw Gyi appear. Continue via a well-maintained road back to Pindaya. From here, continue by bus to Nyaung Shwe.
Private Vehicle (1.50-2.50 hours)
Day 10 Inle Lake (1B)
Board a boat and set off down the canal towards the main part of the lake. Pass villages built on stilts over the lake, inhabited by the local Intha people. Inle Lake is the land of the Intha people, known as the leg-rowers and as architects of floating villages and gardens. The life of the Intha, who originally came from the south of Burma, revolves completely around the lake.
Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Visit
Nga Phe Chaung Monastery Visit
Inpawkhone Village Visit
Day 11 Kalaw/Yangon (1B)
Following breakfast, drive to Heho airport for our flight over the length of Burma back to our starting point at Yangon. The afternoon is free to explore the markets and sights of Yangon with plenty of time for some last minute shopping before our final dinner together.
Private Vehicle (0.75 hour(s))
Plane (1.00 hour(s))
Day 12 Yangon (1B)
Depart at any time today.