A Passway to Golden Myanmar
Imagine a land untouched by time, where golden pagodas reach to the skies, and the landscape is a white page for you to write your own adventure.
"Andrea did a wonderful job designing an itinerary to suit three generations of diverse interests, and was flexible and responsive to last minute changes and requests. He showed us many hidden treasures of this beautiful region that would have missed we're it not for him."
- Heather on her journey in Italy
A possible, beautiful itinerary for you
Layers of History
You arrive in Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city and its former capital. It is a bustling city that fully reflects all the chaotic charm of its history. Your stay here will be brief, but you get a taste of the colonial sites, and tell to yourself that it is as if a modern city wanted to break out of a nineteenth century shell. After a night in Yangon, flying to Bagan brings an altogether different taste. Bagan is authentically Myanma through and through. Joseph Campbell once said, that to see what matters to a society, you need look no further than their tallest buildings. Here, it is obvious. The city is studded by thousands of pagodas and temples, that reach towards the sky, and their golden finials and htis point to something profound and unapparent. There is no other way to put it: it is as something from a dream.
Edifices for the Soul
As the day breaks, you begin your exploration of the many spiritual buildings of Bagan. Wherever you look, there is something new to discover, but it all points to the same truth. You take a different approach. One day, you walk the city, and let your feet be your guides, to take the time to enjoy the exquisite artwork, and the delicate devotion of the Myanma people. Next day, you rent a bicycle, and your curiosity takes you to the villages surrounding the city, where you meet devout monks, and farmers, and learn from their way of life. You enter the gilded halls of Ananda Temple. On its walls, with characteristic artistry, lay before you Jataka tales, which speak of the past lives of the Buddha, human and animal alike. It is awe-inspiring, but you would never get to see it all. There is a clever solution though… A hot air balloon tour of Bagan lets you take in all of the cities spirituality in a single, privileged view. Once again, there is no other way to put: this is the stuff of dreams. Read more
In the Place of the 37 Great Spirits
Myanmar is an ancient place. Because of its isolationist policies, it seems untouched by time. From Bagan, you travel to Mount Popa. Atop the mountain, you find a delightful temple, devoted to the 37 Nats, or spirits of ancient Myanma religion. These are worshipped in Myanmar, alongside Buddhism. It is a place of pilgrimage and worship for many. The rich history of the Golden Land is best exemplified by the city of Mandalay, the last royal capital of the country. It is fitting, to treat yourself royally. You hop on a trishaw and are driven on a culinary tour of the city. You are taken from dish to dish in a delightful afternoon of gastronomic discovery. The excesses of the body, now call for a cooling of the mind. You visit Tilokaguru Cave Temple, where, by the moving murals of the life of The Buddha, you meditate with the monks.
A World around a Lake
Inle Lake is a place touched by beauty. You spend some time with the Intha, and learn how they see in the waters of Inle a true cornucopia. You row in between the floating gardens. They are made out of seaweed, and provide sustenance to the townsfolk. The fishermen have developed a clever method to see better as they fish: they row with their foot. It looks easier than it is, as you soon find out. However, you soon find your balance, and discover the charm of rowing in these waters. All around the lake, there are treasures to be discovered. Once more, you take to the skies on a hot air balloon, and go from village to village, from monastery to monastery, as the wonders of Inle reveal themselves to you, one after another.
A Retreat in Paradise
You travel south, to the Mergui Archipelago. This is a place truly untouched. You retreat to the Island of Wa Ale, where you discover a new dimension in time. For one, it is a place so peaceful and unburdened, that you can easily let go of all worries and concerns. The life here is so simple and pure, that time simply goes by at a different pace. You spend your mornings exploring the jungle, and snorkeling in the blue waters of the Andaman Sea. You discover the purity of farm to table meals. The fish is caught the same day, and the herbs come from the chef’s garden. In the afternoons, you kayak through the river and the mangrove forests. This is a new kind of luxury, one that does not ask for attention, but rather, one that merges seamlessly with nature. There is no way around it, and you say it again: this must be a dream.