Mid-Voyage Land Adventure: Myanmar: Golden Pagodas & Ancient Temples (for In-transit Guests)
Venture into Myanmar, the legendary Golden Land, formerly known as Burma, and discover one of the most fascinating destinations in Asia. Visit its exotic capital Yangon with its magnificent Shwedagon Pagoda and take a trip to ancient Bagan. Founded in 849 AD, its more than 3000 pagodas, temples and other religious monuments make it one of the most famous and richest archaeological sites in Southeast Asia. This Mid-Voyage Land Adventure will re-join the ship in Singapore and is available to guests continuing on to the following cruise.
03MIDBKK-M Golden Pagodas & Ancient Temples (for In-Transit Guests)
Departure: March 4, 2013
Duration: 3.5 Days / 3 Nights
Re-join ship: March 7, 2013 in Singapore
Reserve by: December 20, 2012
This Mid-Voyage Land Adventure requires advance booking through Silversea Reservations by December 20, 2012. Requests received after this date may be accommodated on a space-available basis and the programme price is subject to change. Payment in full is due within 120 days prior to sailing. This programme is non-refundable if cancelled within 90 days of sailing.
Myanmar visa formalities will be arranged by Silversea and note that guests must bring two passport photos with them. At the time of booking, a scanned copy of the first page of the passport is to be submitted to Silversea Reservations and cannot be accepted within four weeks prior to sailing. Passports must be valid for at least six months and have one full page available for the Myanmar visa.
This Mid-Voyage Land Adventure offers a unique opportunity to visit one of the most mysterious and exotic destinations in Asia - Myanmar, the legendary Golden Land. Known as Burma in colonial times, it is a paradise to discover, with glittering pagodas, a wealth of cultures, and some of the richest archaeological sites in Asia. Its bustling capital, Yangon, is filled with attractions, including the famous Shwedagon Pagoda. A trip to fabled Bagan is nothing short of magical.
DAY ONE - Monday, March 4, 2013 - Bangkok/Yangon
Depart the ship at Klong Toey pier and transfer to Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport for an afternoon flight to Yangon.
Following arrival formalities at the Yangon International Airport, transfer to the Strand Hotel. The legendary hotel opened in 1901 as the only luxury hotel in Rangoon, Burma. Beautifully restored, the hotel's interior, with rattan furniture, chandeliers, and black-lacquered ceiling fans evokes the colonial splendour of a bygone era.
After check-in, depart the hotel for your first introduction to Myanmar's leading city. With tropical foliage, lovely parks, and beautiful lakes, Yangon deserves the title of 'Garden City of the East'. Old colonial buildings and ancient temples lend additional highlights to the city. Its most impressive landmark is the majestic Shwedagon Pagoda located at a hilltop above Yangon. Sheathed in gold, the magnificent monument is believed to be 2,500 years old and its bell-shaped stupa is visible from most points in the city. The upper platform is reached via an escalator (or a long flight of steps if the escalator is out of order). In addition to Shwedagon, there are numerous smaller pagodas, prayer pavilions, temples, mosaic-covered columns, and Buddha images of all shapes and sizes. Take a walk around and marvel at Shwedagon's wonders (shoes/socks have to be left at the bottom of the escalator). With luck, you will be there at sunset. But even after the sun has gone down, the splendour of the site is no less impressive due to brilliant lighting. As one of Yangon's premier attractions, Shwedagon draws thousands of tourists and residents at any time of the day or evening.
Following your visit, re-join your coach for the transfer back to the hotel. Dinner is served at the hotel.
Overnight accommodation is at the Strand Hotel - Yangon.
DAY TWO - Tuesday, March 5, 2013 - Yangon /Bagan
After breakfast and check out, meet your experienced local guide and transfer to the Yangon Domestic Airport for the 75-minute flight to Bagan. Due to the early departure, you will be provided with a packed breakfast from the hotel.
Mingalabar (welcome) to Ancient Bagan, whose magic has stirred travellers' imaginations for centuries. Founded in 849 AD as the capital of the first unified empire of Anawrahta, Bagan is home to more than 3000 religious monuments scattered over an area of 16 square miles (42 square kilometres). These architectural wonders enjoy world-wide renown and include ancient pagodas, temples, stupas, and other religious buildings from the 11th and 12th centuries. Many of them are in ruins, have been restored or are in the process of restoration. With so many temples spread out over a vast area, one could spend a week or more to see them all.
From the airport, head straight to the archaeological zone, making your first visit to the splendid Shwezigon Pagoda. Built by King Anaweahta in the 11th century, the bell shaped, gilded structure became the prototype for virtually all later pagodas in Myanmar. The extensive grounds surrounding the pagoda have to be walked barefoot.
Leaving Shwezigon, proceed to the 10th-century Gubyauk-Gyi Temple, which is known for its well-preserved frescoes thought to be the oldest remaining in Bagan.
Next, visit the Ananda Temple, the best preserved and most revered of the Bagan temples. The entrance ways are designed to make a perfect cross. Huge carved teak doors separate interior halls from cross passages, and four large standing Buddha images draw countless visitors to prayers and to present offerings.
Following your visit, drive to the Bagan Viewing Tower for lunch. A flight of steps leads to the entrance of the building, from where an elevator whisks you to the restaurant on the 9th floor. Enjoy the grand vista over the Bagan temple area while having lunch. A viewing platform on the 15th floor can be reached by elevator and a winding staircase.
After lunch, proceed to the nearby Aureum Palace Hotel for check-in. The hotel's villas are set amidst 27 acres of tropical, landscaped gardens and offer all the amenities of an upscale property, including a beautiful swimming pool. Golf carts are available to carry guests to their accommodations. The Reception and restaurant are in an attractive open-air setting.
This afternoon, visit the Archaeological Museum and view displays of ancient wall paintings, portraits of Bagan's society and battlefields, Buddha images and arts and crafts of the Bagan era.
Following your visit, proceed to the massive, pyramid-shaped Damayangyi Temple. Its construction is linked to a violent history of murders and assassinations. From here, return to the hotel and enjoy some free time before dinner.
Overnight accommodation is at the Aureum Palace Hotel - Bagan.
DAY THREE - Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Optional Hot Air Balloon: 'Balloons over Bagan' offers champagne flights for stunning bird's eye views of this ancient kingdom. From the balloon, a landscape dotted with countless temples, can be seen, making it an unforgettable experience. If interested, please indicate your desire to reserve onboard.
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast and time to relax until check-out. Depart the hotel and drive to a lacquer ware workshop. Bagan is famous for its lacquer ware and artists proudly demonstrate their skill. In the showroom you can browse through a wide range of items, perhaps selecting a few to take home as souvenirs. (Payment in cash - local currency or crisp dollar bills without any defects). Following your visit, head next to the Amata Boutique House for a set-menu lunch of local specialties.
After lunch, and time permitting, a stop is made at a typical village for a glimpse of local life away from ancient temples and pagodas. Your visit to Bagan concludes at the Nyaung Oo airport, where a scheduled flight takes you back to Yangon.
Upon arrival at the Yangon airport, your driver awaits to take you to the Strand Hotel. En route, a sightseeing drive through the city offers a brief stop at the illuminated Royal Karaweik Barge on Lake Kandawgyi. Then, check-in at the Strand Hotel.
This evening enjoy dinner at one of Yangon's fine restaurants.
Overnight accommodation is at the Strand Hotel - Yangon.
DAY FOUR - Thursday, March 7, 2013 - Yangon / Singapore
After breakfast and check-out, depart the hotel and head to the Chauk Htat Gyi Pagoda. Its claim to fame is a huge, reclining Buddha image housed in a purpose-built structure (shoes have to be removed at the entrance). From here, proceed to the Bogyoke Market, also referred to as Scotts Market, a mindboggling shopping place that is popular with both residents and tourists. Hundreds of shops and stalls offer a wide array of handicrafts, paintings, textiles, gems and jewellery.
Enjoy a taste of Myanmar cuisine at a local restaurant before transferring to the Yangon International Airport for an afternoon flight to Singapore. At the Singapore airport you are met and escorted to the transfer vehicle that will take you to the Cruise Ship Terminal where the ship awaits your return.
Please Note: This Mid-Voyage Land Adventure requires an extensive amount of walking and climbing of steps. It is recommended only to those guests who are physically fit and is not suitable with guests with limited mobility, those not able to climb stairs at a reasonable pace, and guests who utilise a wheelchair. Guests will be required to walk over uneven and dusty surface. Shoes and socks have to be removed at the entrance to temple grounds. Walking is not always on clean, smooth areas. Towelettes are provided for your use before putting shoes back on. This Land Adventure involves touring outdoors and guests may be exposed to warm, humid and/or wet weather and insects; please pack accordingly. While Myanmar is definitely an up and coming tourist destination, much of the infrastructure still has to catch up to 21st-century standards. Restroom facilities are limited in some areas and may not be to Western standards. Guests should pack lightly; porterage may not be available. Visits to most religious sites require moderate dress; shorts or sleeveless tops are considered inappropriate. We recommend bringing a light sweater or jacket for the evening and wearing comfortable shoes that easily slip off and on. There are no seat assignments or upgrades available on flights within Myanmar; it is 'free seating'. In case of flight changes, the tour sequence may be subject to change. Credit cards are not generally accepted in Myanmar and guests should therefore carry some cash in U.S. dollars (clean, crisp bills without defects) for local purchases or incidentals not covered in the tour.
Visa formalities will be handled by Silversea's ground operator; guests need to bring two passport photos with them. Guests must provide a scanned copy of the first page of the passport to Silversea Reservations at the time this Mid-Voyage Land Adventure is reserved. Passports must be valid for at least six months and have one full page available for the Myanmar visa.
Guests interested in the 'Balloon Over Bagan' flight should indicate your desire to reserve onboard. The flights are very popular and space cannot be guaranteed. Balloons can carry from 8 to 16 passengers and may not be exclusive to Silversea. Pilots and technicians are European nationals qualified and registered in the U.K. Each balloon is insured for 3 million dollars, third party, and passenger liability. A small contribution from each flight is donated to benefit the local population. Passengers are requested to wear long trousers and long sleeved tops from 100% natural fibres.
Two-night stay at the Strand Hotel (or similar) - Yangon
One-night stay at Aureum Hotel & Resort (or similar) - Bagan
Two breakfasts, one boxed breakfast, three lunches and three dinners (lunch includes choice of 2 beverages - soft drinks, mineral water, local beer; dinner includes also house wine)
Scheduled flights Bangkok/Yangon, Yangon/Bagan/Yangon, and Yangon/Singapore in Economy Class. Upgrade to Business Class at additional cost may be available on the international flights and must be requested at the time of booking (subject to availability). No upgrades are possible on flights between Yangon and Bagan
Myanmar visa fee
All sightseeing and transfers as per itinerary.
Any meals and drinks not specified above, Bagan hot air ballooning, gratuities to drivers and tour guides, laundry, telephone calls, excess baggage fees, cancellation insurance, and other personal items.
All Land Adventures require a minimum number of participants in order to operate as described. If this minimum number is not met, Silversea reserves the right to offer the programme at a different rate based on private arrangements, or to cancel the specific departure. Silversea's published cruise cancellation policy will remain in effect. All Land Adventure fares are subject to change and are not guaranteed until payment is received in full by Silversea. All Land Adventures are non-transferable and non-refundable for any reason, within 90 days of sailing and are recommended to guests 18 years or age and older. This description is a general overview of this programme. Our local operator reserves the right to substitute other sites if local situations, including holidays and weather, require. The programme described in this brochure is provided by independent contractors. Silversea acts solely as ticketing agent. Silversea shall have no obligation or liability of any kind to guests for the business practices, acts or omissions in connection with or arising out of arrangements with independent contractors, including but not limited to airline carriers, ground-tour operators, and hotels since they are neither agents for nor employees of Silversea Cruises. Silversea's liability does not extend beyond the vessel.