ROAD TO MANDALAY
WeLcOMe TO OuR WORLD Magical MyanMar Travel in luxury and style on board the road To Mandalay and discover the wonders of Myanmar. 6-19
THE EXPEriEncE Elegant cabins, attentive staff and fine dining transport you in comfort along the ayeyarwady river, while our expert guides make sure your encounters on shore are truly genuine. 22-27
THE DESTinaTiOnS city and archaeological highlights, including the cultural capital Mandalay, ancient Bagan and the garden city of yangon. 30-35
THE JOurnEyS choose from our range of road To Mandalay journeys. Gorges of the Far North 38-39 Ayeyarwady Adventure 40-41 Images of a Golden Land 42-43 Highlights of Myanmar 42-43
DiScOvEr MOrE Experience exceptional sights with our special tours and extensions. Yangon 44-46 Inle Lake 47 Ngapali 48 Golden Rock 49 Sittwe & Mrauk U 49 By Rail & River: Eastern & Oriental Express and Road To Mandalay 50 Cambodia 51 Laos 52 Bangkok, Yangon & Road To Mandalay 53
cOMMuniTy SPiriT Find out how we are supporting local initiatives. 54
BEFOrE yOu TravEl visa requirements, money matters and other essential information. 55
Our cOllEcTiOn Discover our world. 56-58 Key throughout brochure: n Inclusive Tour/Extension Travel and hotel accommodation combined, as stated within the itinerary description.
“Travel and change of place imparT new vigour To The mind.” Seneca, Roman philoSopheR
ROAD TO MANDALAY
Clockwise from opposite: find a good vantage point to take in the pagodas of Bagan; a woman balances a plate of freshly cut fruit on her head; sunrise over the Ayeyarwady; the Road To Mandalay passes through ever-changing riverside scenery.
DISCOVER MYANMAR A journey gently sailing along the Ayeyarwady River on the Road To Mandalay is the best viewpoint to the exceptional and largely undiscovered beauty of Myanmar. Golden pagodas and colourful festivals, spectacular natural beauty and exotic wildlife. Myanmar is a country that seems untouched by time. Bordered by China, India and Thailand, it boasts a rich cultural heritage that co-exists in perfect harmony with its great lakes and rivers, lush jungle and emerald rice fields. Myanmar continues to capture the hearts and minds of travellers as it has done for centuries. Its unique ambience harks back to more tranquil times. Ox-drawn carts trundle along dusty roads, saffronrobed monks spend quiet time worshipping at revered 6
shrines and the charming locals greet travellers with warm and generous smiles. The best vantage point from which to glimpse the country is on our luxury ship. With 16 yearsâ€™ experience in Myanmar, the Road To Mandalay offers a collection of extraordinary three- to 11-night cruises for 82 people, taking in all that the country has to offer. Gliding past dramatic landscapes, from glittering temples to riverside villages, and looked after by our attentive on-board team, this is a voyage of a lifetime, a journey of constant discovery.
ROAD TO MANDALAY
JEWEL OF THE EAST
Myanmar is a land that seems to have transcended time, recalling a quieter, more leisurely Asia.
MyanMar has reMained a largely agrarian society, with the mighty ayeyarwady river still its major thoroughfare, coursing from north to south and plied by the road To Mandalay cruiser. even its cities are gentle-moving and low-rise, dominated by the dazzle of gilded spires and pagodas.
There is colour everywhere you look: in the fruits and spices piled high in markets, in the richly decorated temples, in the magnificent trees, glorious flowers and bio-rich wildlife and in the intricately woven dress of the hill tribes.
The PeoPle are the most beguiling aspect of Myanmar. openness and warmth transcend the different ethnic groups, and their unique charm is what, above all, makes this country so special.
â€œThe real voyage of discovery consisTs noT in seeking new landscapes, buT in having new eyes.â€? Marcel ProusT, auThor
roaD To ManDaLay
The hearT of MyanMar Golden temples, saffron-robed monks, ancient legends, royal cities and gracious people—as you explore this enchanting land, an endless richness of wonders is revealed.
A GENTLE LAND Rudyard Kipling memorably wrote that Myanmar “will be quite unlike any land you know”. This was true when the great author first visited—and can equally be said of the country today. Life moves at an unhurried pace in this world of pony carts and flower-hung wayside shrines. It is a place to relax and absorb sights unchanged for centuries; a realm where history and religion still play a crucial role in everyday life. PEoPLE AND rELiGioN The most beguiling aspect of Myanmar is the calm serenity of its people based on their Buddhist beliefs. One Buddhist practice you will witness wherever you go is alms giving, when food is humbly offered to monks, who queue up in order of age, holding their black lacquer alms bowls. Unlike male Buddhists, there are no religious requirements for women to join a monastery; nevertheless, there are about 30,000 nuns in Myanmar. Although they cannot yet be ordained or perform ceremonies, they have a special place in society and are recognisable by their pink robes. Meanwhile, Burmese men and women wear colourful, full-length sarong-style skirts, called longyi, which are wrapped skilfully around the waist. You will also notice that women often apply a yellowish paste to their cheeks, called thanaka. Made from a powdered bark, it is used as a beauty cosmetic and sun protector. ThE TribEs A great spectacle is the many ethnic tribal minorities dressed in their traditional costumes. Akha women are famed for their fabulous headdresses, hung with silver baubles and coins and Pa-O women are easily identified by their colourful turbans. The women of the Lay Tu Chin tribe have intricate facial tattoos while Lisu women wear headdresses decorated with silver trinkets and threads hung with pom-poms. ›
Opposite: boy monks look out over the temple city of Bagan. Above: a path leading to Yangon’s Shwedagon Pagoda. Left: a woman weighs spices at a market stall.
ROAD TO MANDALAY
Top to bottom: an Akha woman in traditional dress; actors perform in the Thingyan water festival; a boy shaded by golden umbrellas on Inle Lake takes part in a noviation ceremony in which he is inducted as a Buddhist novice. Opposite: novice nuns, in their distinctive pink robes, pray.
Festivals Almost every week there are festivities, fireworks and religious parades. The highlights include the Thingyan water festival for the Burmese New Year in April, the Independence Day celebrations and Bagan’s Ananda festival in January, the Shwedagon Pagoda festival in February and March, Buddha’s birthday in May, and the Festival of Light and events to celebrate the end of the rainy season in October. When to visit The cool season, October to February, is the most comfortable with temperatures from 130C to 200C. March to May is hot but dry with temperatures from 300C to 350C, while the rainy season, June to September, has average temperatures of 250C to 300C. Even during the wet season, Yangon usually only has morning and afternoon showers, while rainfall in Bagan and Mandalay is low. Visitors will find pleasant weather year-round at Inle Lake and in Shan State but it’s cold at night from December to February.
Words and greetings Hello Yes No How are you? I’m fine Thank you What is your name? What is that? One, two, three How much is? Market Goodbye (m) male; (f) female
Min-gala-ba Kamya (m)/Shin (f) Ma hut bah boo Ne kaun yeh la? Ne kaun ba deh Tze zu timba deh Tjanaw nammeh (m)/ Tjama (f) Da ba-leh? Tit, nit, thone Beh lauk-leh? ze Thwa may
â€œwe travel, some of us forever, to seek other states, other lives, other souls.â€? anaĂ?s nin, author
ROAD TO MANDALAY
A RiveR RuNs ThROugh iT The beautiful Ayeyarwady River is at the heart of Myanmar life. As the Road To Mandalay slowly plies the serene Ayeyarwady River, on its journey from Mandalay to Bagan, stunning scenes unfold of timeless cities, venerated shrines and authentic river life. Small, teak sail and fishing boats scatter before barges and hnaws (traditional wooden craft) while double-tiered ferry boats pass by, overflowing with passengers, produce and livestock. Around the next bend, brightly coloured craft, fishing canoes or simple coracles drift alongside the Road To Mandalay. The 2,170km Ayeyarwady is a river of surprises. Blooming trees and shrubs give way to dense forest and then an embankment covered in freshly washed clothes. Excited children whistle from the shore as waving villagers bathe in front of their houses. As you relax on the ship’s Observation Deck, spot Myanmar’s magnificent wildlife—a white-throated kingfisher seeking out food for its hungry brood and graceful egrets taking flight from the water’s edge. Very occasionally, you may witness rare Ayeyarwady dolphins playing in the waves behind the ship. Every day, amazing scenes like these are played out along this great waterway, much as they have done for centuries. For the traveller, it makes a journey down the Ayeyarwady a unique and thrilling adventure.
ROAD TO MANDALAY
• BHAMO BAGAN • NGAPALI •
• MINGUN • MANDALAY • MOUNT POPA • LA RÉSIDENCE PHOU VAO (LUANG PRABANG) • LAKE INLE • PYI
STEP ON BOARD
• THE GOVERNOR’S RESIDENCE (YANGON)
• BANGKOK • LA RÉSIDENCE D’ANGKOR (SIEM REAP)
Our river journeys, inclusive tours and special extensions offer visitors a truly distinctive flavour of Myanmar.
• KUALA LUMPUR • SINGAPORE
• UBUD JIMBARAN PURI BALI • HANGING (BALI) GARDENS (BALI) Highlighted river indicates scheduled route of the Road To Mandalay. Map shows the location of our Asian hotels. For full routes and itineraries, please see pages 39-43.
Left: relax on the Road To Mandalay and admire historic sites of importance. Below left; a nat or spirit adorning a temple. Below right: local children are friendly and curious. Opposite: the Sulamani Temple in Bagan is famous for its stonework and carvings.
The Road To Mandalay gently cruises the Ayeyarwady River between Bagan and Bhamo via Mandalay, stopping off at the country’s aweinspiring wonders, including the spectacular ancient city of Bagan, the royal capital of Mandalay, and the sacred Sagaing Hills. For details of our journeys, see pages 39-43. To experience the lesser-known sights of Myanmar and further afield, add one of our special extensions to your Road To Mandalay river cruise. See pages 44-53 for details of our extensions.
WHEN The Road To Mandalay offers a range of exceptional three- to 11-night cruises between January to April, and July to December.
HOW To make a booking, please contact your travel agent or visit orient-express.com/contacts where you will find details of your local Reservations office.
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LIFE ON BOARD From fine dining to breathtaking scenery and the warm smiles of your crew, every moment on board the Road To Mandalay offers an opportunity for wonder and discovery. The CABINS... The Road To Mandalay has five categories of elegant cabins across two of its four decks: Single, Superior, Deluxe and State Cabins, plus the exclusive Governorâ€™s Suite (see deck plans on page 24). All cabins are exquisitely decorated with beautiful fabrics and luxurious furnishings handmade by Burmese artisans, and have outward-facing windows, air-conditioning and en-suite showers and toilets.
DININg... No journey to Asia would be complete without sampling the superb regional cuisine. The acclaimed on-board menu showcases the finest gourmet Eastern and Western delicacies, all served with Burmese courtesy and charm. Early morning tea and coffee is available in your cabin on request. Breakfast follows in the restaurant. The extensive buffet-style breakfast and lunch are served on the Observation Deck or in the restaurant. Lunch follows different themes such as Burmese, Thai, Indonesian, Chinese, Indian and European. Dinners are served in the restaurant and offer a choice of succulent dishes to cater to all tastes. Carefully selected wines are also available to complement your meal. roadtomandalay.net
ROAD TO MANDALAY
The Bar... At the end of a day, retire to the Piano Bar, decorated with a mixture of light wood and Burmese lacquerware, for an evening with fellow travellers. Tales can be shared over delicious local and international cocktails as the resident pianist plays into the night. OBservaTiOn deck... With its wooden furniture and swimming pool, the Observation Deck has a relaxed ambience. As you sail gently by, this is the perfect place to admire stunning views of the Ayeyarwady River and village life. enTerTainmenT... In addition to the resident pianist, a variety of local entertainers perform in the evenings, ranging from traditional Burmese marionettes to thrilling acrobatic feats and graceful dances. Those looking to discover more about Myanmar’s fascinating culture can attend lectures in the Observation Lounge with our expert guides. dress... The atmosphere on board is relaxed and resort-wear is appropriate during the day. For dinner, smart-casual dress is appropriate— gentlemen, for example, may wish to wear an open-necked shirt with a jacket.
DECK PLANS OBservaTiOn deck
rOad TO mandalay WellBeing... For a totally relaxing escape on board, indulge in one of the sumptuous beauty and massage treatments available, from a revitalising facial to a pampering aromatherapy massage. Our staff are fully trained and professional. There is also a hair wash and blow-dry service, and a fitness area with three machines and a stretch/crunch area for those who like to keep fit.
BOuTique... A variety of delightful items are available for purchase on board as a unique memento of your trip, including handmade local crafts, lacquerware, traditional Burmese fabrics and jewellery.
gOvernOr’s 1 Cabin
sTaTe 18 Cabins
deluxe 16 Cabins
suPeriOr 4 Cabins
single 4 Cabins
rOad TO mandalay WellBeing
“ I trAvEL Not to go
ANywhErE, but to go. I trAvEL for trAvEL’S SAKE. thE grEAt AffAIr IS to movE.” rOBerT lOuis sTevensOn, WriTer
ROAD TO MANDALAY
Left to right: children outside Mingun Pagoda; freshly picked produce at a local market; visitors take in the impressive views of Bagan.
Enjoy the perfect balance of relaxation on board the Road To Mandalay with astonishing, genuine and unforgettable experiences on shore.
Wherever you go on the Road To Mandalay—from enthralling cities to spellbinding ancient temples and rarely visited villages—a qualified guide with an exceptional knowledge of Myanmar and strong connections to the local communities will escort you. This offers a unique, genuine and personal perspective on the country. And because our excursions are in small groups, there is time to explore the sights at a leisurely pace. At the stunning city of Bagan, stroll around ancient temples on foot or by bicycle, often enjoying the monuments to yourself, or find a quiet spot to contemplate the breathtaking views across the sun-drenched plain. On the Road To Mandalay, there are endless opportunities to delve into Myanmar’s hidden treasures, feel the atmosphere and encounter the people that make this country so beguiling. Explore a pretty riverside village and engage in conversation with the local residents—they will be as interested in you as
you are in them. In Mandalay, wander through bustling markets with stalls decked in blooming flowers, freshly picked fruit and aromatic spices. Then seek out a teashop and sip honeysuckle tea and savour sweet pastries with the locals. At revered Buddhist shrines, hear the tinkling of the temple bell and smell the heady smell of incense— sensations of a deeply spiritual place. In Shwe Kyet Yet, see how the Road To Mandalay participates in the local tradition of alms-giving, making food offerings to local monks, who queue up in order of age with their shaven heads and striking crimson and saffroncoloured robes. Back on board, reflect on the extraordinary adventure so far, whether relaxing on deck by the swimming pool or watching the world pass you by from the Observation Deck. Later, over cocktails and dinner, share your colourful tales with fellow passengers. These experiences will become cherished memories of an exceptional journey.
“At bAgAn, stroll Around Ancient temples or find A quiet spot to contemplAte breAthtAking views.”
The Des DesTinaT ina ions
ROaD TO MaNDaLay
The SPLeNDOUR Of MaNDaLay Myanmar’s second largest city is the cultural and spiritual heartland of this devout Buddhist country.
King Mindon, the penultimate King of Myanmar, moved his court to Mandalay in 1861 on a plain under Mandalay Hill, within sight of the Ayeyarwady River and the Shan State Hills. Step back in time as you wander along the streets around his former palace. Start at the teak monastery of Shwenandaw Kyaung, where King Mindon housed his 40 concubines and 200 or so children. Then visit the spectacular Mahamuni Paya shrine—a four-metre high, seated Buddha on whose hands and body pilgrims place layers of gold leaf in the hope of improving their karma. At Kuthodaw Paya, you’ll find the entire Buddhist scriptures, engraved on to 729 marble tablets. The pace quickens in downtown Mandalay, which pulsates with busy workshops for gold, jade, gems, embroidered tapestries and gold. Sample chapattis, rice cakes and fish curry at food stalls or in the cafés amid the bustle and banter of Zegyo Market. More peaceful is U Bein Bridge, outside the city. Here, you can be rowed under the 150-year-old teak footbridge at twilight, as you watch the fishermen cast their nets. Back on shore, watch the sun set on Mandalay Hill before heading back to the Road To Mandalay for cocktails on deck and a chance to savour memories of your time spent in this unique city. 30
Clockwise from opposite: view from Mandalay Hill; the golden statue of Buddha inside Mahamuni Pagoda in Mandalay; a scene from Zegyo Market, where stall holders sell everything from fresh fruit to textiles and hats.
GOING FOR GOLD
“Watch the sun set on mandalay hill before heading back to the road to mandalay for cocktails on deck.”
The centre of gold-leaf production is Mandalay and the entire city resonates to the rhythmic pounding of nuggets being beaten with wooden mallets to form a thin leaf of gold. It’s not just made to place on the statue of the Buddha. Fine gold leaf is supposedly good for your heart and digestion, too—usually accompanied by a chocolate.
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BAgAN: The TeMpLe ciTY Nothing is more likely to make travellers gasp in amazement than the views upon arrival at one of the world’s most remarkable religious cities.
Spread across a sun-baked plain alongside the snaking Ayeyarwady River are the thousands of monuments that comprise the ancient city of Bagan, the former centre of Buddhist spirituality and learning. Dating from Bagan’s heyday, between 1044 and 1283, the city represents a golden age when the kings devoted their resources to constructing pagodas, temples and monasteries. Visiting the city today by horse and carriage, or simply strolling among the ruins, it is easy to conjure up a time when these palaces, libraries and sacred buildings sheltered the royal families and their entourage of servants, and hundreds of chanting monks. The temples may now be empty, but many contain hidden treasures, such as magnificent Buddha statues or exquisite reliefs of the god Brahma. Travellers can walk or cycle to many of the grand edifices and explore them at will, soaking up all the atmosphere of centuries past—they may even have them all to themselves. Early morning and evening are classic times to enjoy Bagan, but midday is no less entrancing, when the buildings shimmer like mirages under the warm sun. At the end of the day, climb to a high vantage point to watch the sun set over the plain. As the light ebbs, the stucco-white pagodas stand out against the sky. Then, tiny lights begin to flicker, picking out the summits of the stupas’ golden spires.
BALLOONS OVER BAGAN Drifting over thousands of ancient pagodas and local villages amidst the toddy palms is the perfect way to capture the full splendour of the magnificent ancient site of Bagan at first light. Our champagne sunrise flights take off daily (subject to weather conditions) from October through to March and last approximately one hour. You can book flights through the Road To Mandalay and we recommend this is done in advance.
ROAD TO MANDALAY
Clockwise from opposite: the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon; some of its stunning golden stupas; traditional puppets and lacquer work inlaid with gold can be found at Bogyoke Market; colourful spices for sale in the market place.
THE CHARMS OF YANGON Discover enduring colonial charm, magnificent religious shrines and bustling street life in the centuries-old “garden city of the East”. As the gateway for most international visitors to the country, the historic and colourful city of Yangon is a spellbinding introduction to Myanmar. Founded in 1755 by King Alaungpaya on the site of a fishing village, Yangon became the political and commercial centre under British rule in the mid-19th century. Today, this waterfront city on the Yangon River is a glorious melting-pot of diverse cultures, customs and people, with Shan, Mon, British, Chinese and Indian influences. Its shady and spacious parks, lush tropical trees and serene lakes have earned it the name “the garden city of the East”. A recommended starting point is the city’s National Museum with its fascinating exhibits from the country’s rich past. Then stroll along historic streets of once grand colonial architecture, wander through buzzing open-air markets, and experience the city’s energetic streetlife at one of its many tea houses, where locals catch up with friends. A highlight of any visit to Yangon is the renowned Shwedagon Pagoda, a revered Buddhist shrine and one of the most outstanding religious monuments in the world. Wherever you are in this city, you will catch sight of its jewel-encrusted golden stupa. When you need a quieter distraction, you’ll find the perfect retreat in The Governor’s Residence, an Orient-Express hotel set in beautiful gardens in the leafy Embassy Quarter of the city (see page 46).
Bogyoke Market Built by the British in 1926, Bogyoke Market (formerly Scott Market) is yangon’s famous downtown bazaar. over two floors, you will find shops selling everything you could possibly want, from local jade and other precious stones to a treasure trove of antiques, exquisite handicrafts, traditional puppets and original artwork as well as piles of succulent fresh fruit.
ROAD TO MANDALAY
Above: a standing golden Buddha in Ananda Pahto, one of Baganâ€™s most impressive temples.
SHWE PAW ● BHAMO KATHA ●● ● NWE NYEIN
●● MANDALAY SAGAING BAGAN ● MOUNT POPA ● ● LAKE INLE
● CHIANG MAI
NGAPALI ● MyanMar Bay of Bengal
gorges of the far north
mAndAlAy—BhAmo—BAgAn 12 Days & 11 Nights Highlighted river indicates scheduled route of the Road To Mandalay.
An 11-night river cruise tAking you from the culturAl city of mAndAlAy through mAgnificent gorges to BhAmo, neAr the chinese Border, finishing At the mAjestic plAin of temples At BAgAn.
dAy 1 Fly from Yangon to Mandalay and transfer to the Road To Mandalay, berthed on the Ayeyarwady River opposite the Sagaing Hills, which are studded with white pagodas. Set sail for northern Myanmar witnessing dramatic scenery changes along the way. At Mingun, visit the world’s largest brick-built pagoda and uncracked bell. Meet your fellow travellers at a pre-dinner drinks party.
dAy 7 In the early morning, experience a train journey into thick Kachin jungle and teak forests. Later, the ship heads for the river port of Tigyaing.
dAy 2 Enter the first of three gorges around midday. Anchor off Nwe Nyein for a walking tour and to see traditional clay-pot sculpting. Later, float past the picturesque island pagoda at Thihadaw.
dAy 9 The city of Mandalay comes into view once again. Disembark for a city tour.
dAy 3 Enjoy a stroll around the delightful village of Kyan Hnyat, where the morning market bustles with activity. As you head north, vast stretches of the river spread out before you. At sunset, the ship anchors off the old market town of Katha, famous as the site where the Irrawaddy Flotilla Company scuttled its fleet in 1942. dAy 4 Arrive at Katha early morning and wander through the market place. After lunch on board, disembark for a boat ride ashore to the port of Shwegu and experience life in a typical riverside Shan village. dAy 5 The ship drops anchor at Bhamo where you may wander into the town centre and enjoy the vibrant local activity of this tribal meeting point. dAy 6 Enjoy a morning visit to the picturesque Shwe Paw Island and its ancient pagodas. Visit the riverside village of Moe Dar to witness a noviation ceremony, a very important aspect of Buddhist Myanmar life.
dAy 8 At Thabeikkyin, take the road that winds towards Mogok, passing a forestry reserve where many botanical specimens are grown for their essential oils. Then meet the working elephants.
dAy 10 The ship leaves in the early morning for Bagan, allowing you to witness the raw beauty of village life. Take in the marvellous sunset over the ancient city to whet your appetite for the next day’s tours. dAy 11 On your final day, visit the ancient sites in and around Bagan. If you wish, explore the site on a horse-drawn carriage or bicycle. An optional afternoon tour to Mount Popa is available, with its impressive summit monastery. dAy 12 Return flight to Yangon.
much more to see extensions to experience myanmar’s lesser-known sights, or to visit other exceptional sites in the region, choose one of our special extensions to add on to your road to mandalay river cruise. see pages 44-53 for details.
ROAD TO MANDALAY
India China Ayeyarwady River
● ● MANDALAY ●
MANDALAY—BAGAN—MANDALAY 8 Days & 7 Nights
SAGAING BAGAN ● MOUNT POPA ● ● LAKE INLE
● CHIANG MAI
NGAPALI ● MyanMar Bay of Bengal
A seveN-NiGht jourNeY stArtiNG iN MYANMAr’s cuLturAL cApitAL, MANDALAY, trAveLLiNG oNwArDs to the teMpLes of BAGAN AND fiNishiNG iN the chArMiNG coLoNiAL towN of MAYMYo.
DAY 1 Fly from Yangon to Mandalay. Join the Road To Mandalay, berthed by the village of Shwe Kyet Yet. After lunch on board, enjoy a tour of Mandalay. Visit ancient palaces, religious landmarks and the Mahamuni Paya, one of the country’s most venerated shrines. Dinner this evening is followed by entertainment on board.
Highlighted river indicates scheduled route of the Road To Mandalay.
DAY 2 Experience a walking tour of Ava, the ancient capital of Mandalay, before sailing mid-morning for Bagan. The beauty of the river unfolds as you cruise south. An afternoon lecture on the Burmese way of life will give you more insights into this fascinating country.
Opposite page: sail to Myanmar’s historical wonders on the shores of the Ayeyarwady. Left: enjoy meeting the locals, who are renowned for their warmth.
DAY 3 Arrive in Bagan, one of the world’s greatest religious sites, with more than 2,000 temples and pagodas scattered over a sun-drenched plain. An orientation tour introduces the most important temples. After lunch, explore further with your guide or independently.
DAY 4 A full-day excursion takes you to Mount Popa, believed to be the sacred home of nats (spirits). Admire the spectacular views across distant plains from this venerated home of the gods. Return to the Road To Mandalay for dinner and local entertainment. DAY 5 After breakfast either visit local markets or explore independently. Set sail mid-morning for Mandalay. In the afternoon, learn more about Myanmar and its customs during an on-board lecture. Under a starry sky, enjoy a casual cocktail party before dinner. DAY 6 Arrive at the village of Shwe Kyet Yet. Lunch is followed by an excursion to Sagaing, Myanmar’s living centre of the Buddhist faith. Return to the ship for dinner. DAY 7 A full day at the colonial hill station of Maymyo, known for its botanical gardens and the horses and carriages that ply its streets. Join the Road To Mandalay for a farewell dinner and a night of entertainment. DAY 8 After an early breakfast, return by air to Yangon. This journey can begin from Bagan or Mandalay, depending on your departure date.
hiGhLiGhts MouNt popA the extinct 1,500-metre volcano Mount popa is known as the home of all spirits, called nats. pilgrims climb the 777 steps on a winding path up the mountain to pay their respects to carved figures of ancient gods. for visitors, the energetic ascent is rewarded with breathtaking panoramas.
ROAD TO MANDALAY
Above: local women carrying food cross the teakwood U Bein Bridge on Taungthaman Lake.
India China Ayeyarwady River
MINGUN ●● MANDALAY ●
SAGAING Laos ● LAKE INLE
Bay of Bengal
● CHIANG MAI
images of a golden land
highlights of myanmar
ENjoY fivE DAYs of rELAxiNG cruisiNG ALoNG thE AYEYArwADY. ExpLorE thE iMprEssivE citY of BAGAN, visit sAGAiNG, coNsiDErED to BE thE LiviNG cENtrE of BuDDhisM, AND MiNGuN, hoME of thE LArGEst workiNG BELL, BEforE DiscovEriNG thE fAsciNAtiNG citY of MANDALAY.
joiN thE roAD to MANDALAY oN this thrEENiGht jourNEY, visitiNG MANDALAY AND its Most rEvErED sitEs AND ExpLoriNG thE AwE-iNspiriNG ANciENt citY of BAGAN.
BAGAN—MANDALAY 5 Days & 4 Nights
DAY 1 Fly from Yangon to Bagan to join the Road To Mandalay. After lunch, enjoy a sightseeing tour of Bagan, a vast religious site of more than 2,000 ancient temples scattered across a sandy plain. Watch the sun setting over a field of glowing pagodas, many with ornate, golden domes, before returning to the ship for dinner and local entertainment.
DAY 2 Mid-morning, set sail for Mandalay. Enjoy a leisurely day drifting past riverside villages and watching the many activities taking place along the water’s edge. Learn more about Myanmar and its customs during an on-board lecture before a casual cocktail party and dinner in the evening. DAY 3 The ship will dock at Shwe Kyet Yet near Mandalay early in the afternoon for a tour of the city. Visit ancient sites including the Kuthodaw temple and what is known as the world’s largest book, a collection of marble slabs inscribed with Buddhist scriptures. Return to the ship for dinner and local entertainment.
DAY 4 Visit Mingun, home to the Hsinbyume Pagoda and the world’s largest ringing bell. Return by local boat for a late lunch. In the afternoon, visit the Sagaing Hills, with its many beautiful pagodas and thriving community of Buddhist monks and nuns. Join a final farewell dinner in the evening. DAY 5 Take a return flight to Yangon.
MANDALAY—BAGAN 4 Days & 3 Nights
Highlighted river indicates scheduled route of the Road To Mandalay.
DAY 1 Fly from Yangon to Mandalay to board the Road To Mandalay. After lunch, enjoy a city tour including a visit to the world’s largest book—inscribed marble slabs within the Kuthodaw temple—and the Mahamuni Paya, one of the country’s most venerated shrines. Mandalay is also renowned for wood-carving, embroidery and silverwork, all sold in lively markets. Return to the ship for dinner and local entertainment.
DAY 2 Before sailing for Bagan mid-morning, visit Sagaing, the centre of the Buddhist faith in Myanmar. Spend the remainder of the day on board, experiencing daily life on the river. In the afternoon, learn about the Burmese way of life during an on-board lecture. The evening begins with a relaxed cocktail party under the stars followed by dinner. DAY 3 Arrive in Bagan for an orientation tour of this remarkable area, where countless 11th-century temples and stupas are spread before you. After lunch on board, either explore the area independently or join our guided excursion, which includes the opportunity to see the ornate pagodas silhouetted against the setting sun. Dinner and local entertainment conclude your final night on board the Road To Mandalay.
DAY 4 Take a return flight to Yangon.
Much MorE to sEE ExtENsioNs to experience Myanmar’s lesserknown sights, or to visit other exceptional sites in the region, choose one of our special extensions to add on to your road to Mandalay river cruise. see pages 44-53 for details.
ROAD TO MANDALAY
DISCOVER MORE OF MYANMAR
To experience the lesser-known sights of Myanmar, add on one of these special extensions to the start or end of your Road To Mandalay journey.
n EXTENSION THE ITINERARY 3 Days & 2 Nights EXplORE THE mYSTERIOuS AND ENDlESSlY fAScINATINg cITY Of YANgON, THE cOuNTRY’S EcONOmIc cENTRE, AND DIScOvER HOw ITS RESIDENTS wORk, wORSHIp AND lIvE THEIR DAIlY lIvES.
DAY 1 A warm welcome awaits at Yangon International Airport. Transfer to your hotel for two nights. In the afternoon, tour the key sights of the city centre with its magical colonial buildings. In the afternoon, enjoy a city tour culminating with a visit to the spectacular Buddhist Shwedagon Pagoda, offering the chance to take some remarkable photos at sunset. Dinner at leisure either at your hotel or in one of the many restaurants in Yangon. DAY 2 Enjoy breakfast at the hotel, then the day is yours to spend at leisure. Optional sightseeing can be arranged; perhaps to explore a little further afield to Syriam or Bago, Myanmar’s ancient capital. Lunch and dinner by your own arrangement.
DAY 3 After breakfast at the hotel, you will be transferred to Yangon domestic airport for your flight to join the Road To Mandalay. After completing your cruise and returning to Yangon, depending on your onward international flight, you will be either taken to a hotel near the airport for light refreshments or to a downtown hotel for lunch and relaxation, before returning to the airport. Our staff will be able to advise you accordingly during your stay. For details of our recommended hotel in Yangon, please see page 46.
HIgHlIgHTS SHwEDAgON pAgODA The awe-inspiring gilded stupa of Shwedagon pagoda, which is covered in hundreds of gold plates and encrusted with thousands of diamonds, can be seen from virtually anywhere in the city. This sacred site is an important place of worship.
ROAD TO MANDALAY
THE GOVERNOR’S RESIDENCE An elegant 1920s teak mansion in the leafy Embassy Quarter offers the perfect base for your stay in Yangon. The Governor’s Residence, an Orient-Express hotel, is set within lush gardens and surrounded by lotus ponds. This romantic, colonial-style teak mansion dating from the 1920s is the former home of the governor of the country’s southern states. The hotel’s refined style and atmosphere captures a bygone era while offering every modern pleasure. Guest rooms and suites are sumptuously decorated with teak furniture, cottons and silks, and friendly staff are on-hand to attend to your every need. At the end of a memorable day visiting the sights of Yangon, cool off in the fan-shaped swimming pool, sip traditional long iced cocktails in the Kipling Bar, and dine on delectable Asian and European cuisine in the Mandalay Restaurant. Alternative hotel accommodation is available (details provided upon request). 46
Top to bottom: the striking exterior of The Governor’s Residence; traditional dancers and musicians entertain guests; the Burmese-style bedrooms.
n exTension The iTinerArY 4 Days & 3 Nights This exquisiTe sTreTch of wATer is known for iTs floATing gArDens, houses AnD mArkeTs, As well As iTs DexTrous rowers.
DAY 1 Transfer from the Road To Mandalay to the airport, and fly to Heho. Continue to your hotel on the edge of Inle Lake, stopping to visit Shwe Yan Pyay monastery. In the afternoon, visit the picturesque ruins of Indaing on the west bank. Dinner is at your hotel. DAY 2 Enjoy an unforgettable day on Inle Lake, a photographer’s dream. Scenic hills provide an idyllic backdrop to the unique leg rowers of the Intha people. Visit Nga Phe Kyaung monastery, famous for its jumping cats, and Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, the holiest religious site in southern Shan State. Lunch is at a local restaurant and dinner is at your hotel.
DAY 3 Travel through pine-clad hills to Taunggyi, which
inle Princess resorT
is the capital of the southern Shan State and a former British hill station. Visit the local market and a cheroot cigar factory. After lunch at a local restaurant, discover the long-lost ruins of Kakku, now beautifully restored in countryside inhabited by the Pa-O people. Return to your hotel for dinner.
Nestling on the eastern edge of Inle Lake, this secluded retreat consists of traditional wooden chalets with views across the tranquil lake or of the property’s lush gardens. The rooms with private terraces are furnished with beautiful handmade materials to give a special ambience. The resort is surrounded by calm waters and is accessible by boat.
DAY 4 In the morning, transfer back to Heho airport for your onward flight to Yangon.
Top: Inle Lake’s serene waters reflect the stilt huts and mountains that surround it. Above: the lake’s rowers propel their boats while standing on one leg, with sideway kicks against the oar.
ROAD TO MANDALAY
NGAPALI n EXTENSION THE ITINERARY 4 Days & 3 Nights NgApAlI IS THE mOST bEAuTIful ANd fAmOuS bEAcH IN mYANmAR. TOTAllY uNSpOIlT— THE SEA ANd THE SANdS ARE, quITE SImplY, uNfORgETTAblE—IT mAkES A fITTINg fINAlE TO YOuR vISIT.
dAY 1 After leaving the Road To Mandalay, take a domestic flight to Thandwe. On arrival, you will be transferred to our preferred hotel in Ngapali—the Sandoway Beach Resort, the ideal hideaway for anyone looking to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. dAYS 2-3 Relax and enjoy all that the Sandoway Beach Resort has to offer, including a spa, swimming pool, library and private cinema. dAY 4 Transfer back to Thandwe airport for your onward flight to Yangon. 48
SANdOWAY bEAcH RESORT
AmATA RESORT ANd SpA
Situated among coconut palms beside Ngapali Beach, this luxurious resort consists of villas and cottages scattered throughout the six acres of the 450m-long beach front and tropical gardens. Each cottage has a lounge area with patio, a large bathroom with shower and dressing area. The upper floor consists of a bedroom cooled by sea breezes, with an additional lounger. The resort has a bar and restaurant, offering an international menu to suit most tastes, with views of the magnificent unspoilt sandy beach.
Another exclusive beach resort hotel beside the beautiful Ngapali shoreline is the Amata Resort and Spa. It is surrounded by private tropical gardens and fringed by the beautiful Ngapali shoreline. Its cabanas, bungalows and deluxe and superior rooms feature sumptuous interiors that incorporate the best traditional Asian style with modern indulgences. A wonderful choice of treatments and therapies, many using local flowers and tropical herbs, are offered at the luxurious spa.
TRUE ADVENTURES Discover Myanmar’s most unusual and rarely visited treasures on these two extensions—the truly perfect experiences for the most adventurous traveller, where travelling on rugged roads and along remote stretches of river is all part of exploring this captivating land.
sIttwe ANd mrAuk u
EXplORE THE lESSER-kNOWN SOuTHERN mON STATE, WITH HIgHlIgHTS INcludINg THE gOldEN ROck, WORld WAR II cEmETERIES, THE ANcIENT cITY Of THAHTON ANd THE STATE cApITAl mAWlAmYINE.
fROm THE WESTERN pORT cITY Of SITTWE, SAIl AlONg THE kAlAdAN RIvER TO THE ROYAl cITY Of mRAuk u, YOuR bASE fOR THIS THREE-NIgHT EXTENSION, ANd vISIT REmOTE cHIN vIllAgES.
dAY 1 From Yangon, travel to Bago, visiting a tree shrine and the Allied War Graves cemetery near Htauk Kyant en route. In Bago, see the Shwethalyaung Buddha and Shwemawdaw Pagoda. After lunch at a local restaurant, ascend by truck and on foot to the Golden Rock, a gold leaf-covered boulder on a cliff edge. Dinner and overnight accommodation at Mountain Top Hotel, near Kyaikhtiyo.
dAY 1 Fly to Sittwe and transfer to the jetty on the Kaladan River for your private boat to Mrauk U, once one of the richest cities in Asia. Enjoy a picnic lunch on board as you admire the scenery. Dinner and a three-night stay at Mrauk U Princess Resort.
n EXTENSION 5 Days & 4 Nights
dAY 2 Travel to Hpa-An stopping in Thahton, the former capital of the Mon Kingdom. After lunch in a local restaurant, see the Bayintnyi and Kokkong Caves. Continue on to Kyaukkalat Hill to Lumbini with its 1,080 Buddha statues. At Hpa-An, visit the Kaw Ka Taung Cave. Dinner and overnight stay at Hotel Zwekapin.
dAY 3 Visit the market in Hpa-An and U Na Aut Monastery. Arrive in Mawlamyine, capital of Mon State, for lunch. After a museum visit, take the boat to Shampoo Island, famous for its sweet water spring. Following lunch, highlights include ancient pagodas, the Bamboo Buddha and U Zin Na, or the Kipling Pagoda, to see the sun set. Dinner and two-night stay at Attran Hotel in Mawlamyine.
dAY 4 Travel to Thanbyuzayat, formerly the western terminus of the “Death Railway”, and Thanbyuzayat War Cemetery. Stop off at the seaside resort of Amherst to see Ye-le Pagoda at low tide. After lunch, drive to Win Sein Toya, near Mudon, where the world’s largest reclining Buddha is under construction. Dinner at a local restaurant and accommodation at Attran Hotel in Mawlamyine.
n EXTENSION 4 Days & 3 Nights
dAY 2 A sightseeing tour of the town, including the market, its largest temple and Mahabandola Monastery, with lunch at a local restaurant. Later on, visit Shittaung and Andaw Pagodas and Dukkanthein Ordination Hall and see the sun set on Harre Taund Pagoda hill.
Above: the Golden Rock, a gold leaf-covered boulder balanced dramatically on the edge of a cliff. Below: striking pagodas at Mrauk U. Opposite page: recline in the shade of a palm tree on Ngapali Beach.
dAY 3 Travel by local boat to tribal Chin villages, where some of its residents have traditional tattooed faces. Enjoy a boxed lunch in a village or on the boat. Return to Mrauk U with the afternoon at your leisure to relax.
dAY 4 Take a private boat back to Sittwe with a leisurely lunch on board. On arrival, explore the fish market and museum. Transfer to Sittwe Airport for your onward flight. Travel to Mrauk U should be regarded as an adventure because it involves local travel (no air-conditioning). Itineraries are subject to change locally due to weather and/ or transportation problems. In case of delays, allow an extra night in Yangon on your return to catch your onward flight. We recommend you bring insect repellent and comfortable, cotton clothing that covers arms and legs (to wear at dawn and dusk).
dAY 5 Return to Yangon visiting the Beelin Zothot stone carvings in Sintha Mintha with lunch at a local restaurant. Arrive at your Yangon hotel in the late afternoon. The region around Kyaikhtiyo, Hpa-An and Mawlamyine is underdeveloped for tourism. We will endeavour to obtain the best possible accommodation, transport and facilities available but would ask our guests for their understanding when they do not come up to expectations and for any delays and changes to itineraries that occur. In Kyaikhtiyo, foreigners are not allowed to travel by truck further than half way up the mountain because of the steep and dangerous nature of the road. Due to road conditions, travel is not recommended during the monsoon season (JuneSeptember). When it is wet, no trucks travel from Kinpun to the upper camp at the Golden Rock and be aware that roads can be muddy and slippery.
BY R AIL AND RIVER For the ultimate travel experience, discover Asia in complete luxury and style by combining a journey on our river cruiser in Myanmar, the Road To Mandalay, with the magnificent Eastern & Oriental Express train.
SINGAPORE, BANGKOK & YANGON 11 Days & 10 Nights
DAYS 1-2 Arrive in Singapore for two nights at the iconic Raffles Hotel. This vibrant city is a melting pot of cultures and is yours to explore independently.
Contrast dynamic cities such as Singapore and Bangkok, and the forested countryside of Malaysia and Thailand, with the vast panoramas along a waterway barely touched by time.
DAYS 3-4 Embark on your two-night journey to Bangkok on board the Eastern & Oriental Express luxury train.
The Road To Mandalay and Eastern & Oriental Express can be enjoyed in a variety of ways depending on their respective schedules. Opposite is a suggested itinerary for an 11-night journey; starting in Singapore, with a stay in Singapore, a two-night journey on the Eastern & Oriental Express, and a stay in Bangkok and Yangon combined with a three-night cruise on the Road To Mandalay.
DAY 6 Fly to Yangon in Myanmar, where you can relax at The Governorâ€™s Residence, an Orient-Express hotel, for two nights. A city orientation tour is included this afternoon, culminating in the impressive Shwedagon Pagoda at sunset.
There are several other options available to enable you to enjoy the Road To Mandalay and Eastern & Oriental Express throughout the season.
DAY 5 Arrive in Bangkok in the afternoon. Spend one night at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.
DAY 7 This day is at leisure, with optional sightseeing excursions available. DAYS 8-10 Fly to Mandalay to join the Road To Mandalay and begin your choice of either a three- or seven-night cruise through this mesmerising country. DAY 11 Return to Yangon and continue to Bangkok for your own onward arrangements. Further details can be viewed online by visiting roadtomandalay.net or orient-express.com/e&o
RoAD to mANDALAY
Go fuRthER AfIELD Why not extend your stay after a journey with the Road To Mandalay by visiting Cambodia and Laos.
The legendary temple complex of Angkor, nestled in an extraordinary jungle setting, is the biggest draw for visitors to this fascinating country.
ANGKOR n EXTENSION SIEm REAp, ANGKOR 4 Days & 3 Nights
ONE Of SOuTh-EAST ASIA’S SmALLEST COuNTRIES, CAmbODIA OffERS AN INTOXICATING mIX Of mAGNIfICENT ARChITECTuRE, pRISTINE juNGLES AND mOuNTAINS, AND SLEEpY SEASIDE TOwNS. hIGhLIGhTS INCLuDE ThE fAbLED TEmpLES Of ANGKOR wAT, A TRuLY bREAThTAKING uNESCO wORLD hERITAGE SITE.
DAY 1 Fly to Siem Reap with Bangkok Airways for a three-night stay at La Résidence d’Angkor. Begin your stay in the late afternoon with sunsets over the temples before returning to the hotel for dinner. DAY 2 Visit the Royal Bathing enclosure of Srah Srang and the incredible temple of Ta Prohm, the mountain temple of Ta Keo and, after lunch at the hotel, Angkor Thom. After passing through parkland and temples in ancient Siem Reap, explore the state temple of Bayon. Dinner is at the hotel.
DAY 3 Rise early to admire the sunrise over Angkor Wat followed by a tour of the central complex before feeding the elephants. Return to the hotel for a leisurely breakfast. Later, visit Artisan’s D’Angkor with its khmer craftsmen before returning to the hotel for lunch. In the afternoon, you might choose a trip to the pretty sandstone temple of Banteay Srei or the fishing village at Tonlé Sap Lake. Dinner is back at the hotel.
DAY 4 Return on a Bangkok Airways flight to Bangkok. If you have a personal preference for sightseeing, our guides will be pleased to re-arrange the programme for you. (See the price insert for further details.)
LA RÉSIDENCE D’ANGKOR Stay at this intimate Orient-Express hotel on the banks of the historic Siem Reap river and close to the temples of Angkor. Surrounded by lush gardens, its splendid Khmer architecture furnished in local style is complemented with modern comforts and luxurious touches. Choose from spacious deluxe rooms, various suites and spa suites. Facilities include the exclusive Kong Kea Spa and a number of restaurants, including The Dining Room, serving royal Khmer cuisine and refined international dishes, The Lounge, offering light meals, snacks and salads, and the BBQ Restaurant, ideal for a meal after a morning by the pool.
ROAD TO MANDALAY
Landlocked Laos welcomes visitors to stunning landscapes and a rich cultural heritage.
Luang Prabang n EXTENSION LUANG PRABANG 4 Days & 3 Nights
LAOS OffERS vISITORS A UNIqUE AdvENTURE SINcE mUch Of ThE cOUNTRy IS UNTOUchEd By TOURISm. ThE ANcIENT UNEScO wORLd hERITAGE TOwN Of LUANG PRABANG IS SURROUNdEd By mOUNTAINS ANd fORESTS, ANd LIES AT ThE APEX Of ThE NAm KhAN ANd mEKONG RIvERS.
dAy 1 Flight from Bangkok with Bangkok Airways to Luang Prabang. Spend three nights at La Résidence Phou Vao. Dinner is served at the hotel. dAy 2 After breakfast, explore the town’s streets and temples. During your tour you’ll visit Visoun, Mai and Xieng Thong temples. The afternoon and evening are at leisure, an ideal opportunity to samples the town’s excellent restaurants.
dAy 3 Enjoy a full day trip on the Mekong river to Pak Ou, using the hotel’s traditional private boat. You’ll visit fascinating local villages before enjoying a picnic lunch on the beach at Don Koun island. After lunch, continue to the Holy Caves of Pak Ou, carved out of the limestone cliffs and containing thousands of Buddha statues. Return to Luang Prabang by boat and continue to your hotel. Dinner is at the hotel.
dAy 4 Return flight to Bangkok. 52
Top: the Wat Xieng Thong temple in Luang Prabang. Above: a balcony view from La Résidence Phou Vao.
LA RÉSIdENcE PhOU vAO La Résidence Phou Vao, an Orient-Express hotel, nestles atop the Hill of Kites overlooking the Mekong and Nam Khan rivers, with stunning views of the surrounding mountains and temples. Choose from 32 spacious Junior Suites and two suites. Deluxe Garden View Junior Suites are on the ground floor with a private terrace. Mountain View Junior Suites have a balcony and afford spectacular vistas of the Old City. Hotel facilities include an infinity-edge pool, sumptuous spa and a restaurant offering French and Laotian cuisine.
besT Of bOTh wORLDs Enjoy the best of the region, from grand palaces and ancient temples to colourful markets and untouched countryside, by combining an exciting stay in bustling Bangkok with a relaxing, luxury river cruise in Myanmar.
bangKOK, yangOn & rOad tO mandaLay n INcLUSIvE TOUR BANGKOK—yANGON—BANGKOK 10 Days & 9 Nights hIGhLIGhTS: BANGKOK, yANGON ANd ThE ROAd TO mANdALAy
Top: dance plays an important role in Thai culture. Below: relax by the swimming pool at The Peninsula hotel, Bangkok. Bottom: the inviting palm court lounge at the Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok.
Begin your South-East Asia adventure with a three-night stay in the dazzling Thai capital Bangkok, where you’ll see the Grand Palace with its golden spires and sacred Emerald Buddha and admire the 46-metre reclining Buddha in nearby Wat Pho. Join the locals at one of the city markets: watch them practise tai chi in Lumpini Park or fly dragon kites in Sanam Luang Square. At sunset, sail along the Chao Phraya River, passing the famous landmarks bathed in a golden glow. Then fly to Myanmar’s capital city Yangon for a two-night visit, taking in the spectacular Shwedagon Pagoda, before joining the Road To Mandalay for a four-night river cruise along the magnificent Ayeyarwady River.
dAy 1 Arrive in Bangkok for a three-night stay at your chosen hotel.
dAy 2 Enjoy a morning sightseeing tour of the impressive Grand Palace; alternative options are available. The remainder of the day is free to spend at your leisure.
dAy 3 Explore independently or relax at your hotel. Enjoy an evening cruise with a sumptuous buffet dinner.
dAy 4 Fly to Yangon in Myanmar for your two-night stay at The Governor’s Residence (see page 46). In the afternoon, join a city tour including Shwedagon Pagoda.
dAy 5 A day to spend as you will; the hotel can arrange an optional sightseeing tour, perhaps exploring further afield to the town of Syriam or the ancient capital, Bago. dAyS 6-9 Join the Road To Mandalay for the Images of a Golden Land river cruise (see page 43). dAy 10 Take a return flight to Yangon, where you continue to Bangkok and your onward arrangements.
mANdARIN ORIENTAL Overlooking the Chao Phraya River, the hotel is famed the world over for its impeccable service, luxurious accommodation, superb cuisine and legendary spa. Accommodation is in a Superior River Wing room.
ThE PENINSULA On the west bank of the Chao Phraya river, the hotel has 370 spacious and elegant guest rooms, a choice of restaurants, a three-tiered pool and a spa by ESPA offering a wide range of signature treatments. Accommodation is in a Deluxe room.
roaD to MaNDalay
Our philosophy is to act in an ethical manner and to support initiatives that help local people in the environments in which we work. As part of our collection of hotels, trains and cruises around the world, the Road To Mandalay is committed to supporting the community in which it works. With the help of generous donations from our guests, we continue to significantly contribute to the welfare of the local Myanmar community. The Road To Mandalay’s involvement began in 1997 when Orient-Express’ founder James B Sherwood and Dr Shirley Sherwood set up a nursery school in the small village of Shwe Kyet Yet, the home of the Road To Mandalay. Since then, our guests and staff have helped to fund the construction of an infant playschool and a middle school in the village. We continue to help this school as well as 10 others in the ports the Road To Mandalay visits along the Ayeyarwady, providing practical support such as books, furniture and first-aid medicine. We also offer sponsorship for teachers’ salaries and underprivileged families and are helping to upgrade primary, middle and secondary schools across the country. Our recent projects include the opening of a new school building in the village of Pon, near Bagan. Stationery has been donated to all 152 students and
first-aid equipment to the school. We continue to support the salaries of three teachers. Additional classrooms have been built for 160 students in the village of Htee Pu as well as the reconstruction of a primary school in the village of Taung-bi near Bagan. The Road To Mandalay also contributes to the provision of local medical aid. We opened the Free Clinic in Bagan, a long-term initiative of donors and Dr Hla Tun, our on-board doctor and head of our Social Contribution Programme. The people of Taung-bi and the surrounding countryside now have much-needed assistance with medical volunteers generously giving their time at weekends. When Cyclone Nargis devastated the Ayeyarwady Delta in May 2008, our staff leapt into action, organising activities that raised close to £20,000 for relief efforts. Mosquito nets, blankets, malarial tablets and equipment have also been distributed to orphanages and hospitals. As part of our philosophy to respect the environment, we have improved enforcing a recycling strategy to treat waste and minimise our environmental impact to ensure that Myanmar’s beautiful landscapes will be enjoyed for years to come.
Above: the Road To Mandalay promotes education in Myanmar, including sponsoring teachers and children from the country’s underprivileged families.
before you tr avel Practical advice, from visa requirements to money matters, for your Myanmar visit.
PassPorts/visas Advice on up-todate requirements should be sought from your local Myanmar embassy or consulate or from your travel agent. For general guidance, please note the following: (i) Your passport must have at least six months’ remaining validity at the time of travel; (ii) Visas are required by all visitors to Myanmar and are valid for 28 days; they must be obtained in advance. Your Reservations office/travel agent will issue you with a package tour letter prior to you contacting your embassy or consulate for a package tour visa. Each passenger is responsible for ensuring they have the necessary and valid documentation and the Company assumes no responsibility for the consequences of any failure to comply. Any passenger without a valid visa will not be allowed to board their flight to Myanmar. CurrenCy The local currency is the
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Kyat. FECs (Foreign Exchange Certificates) and US$ notes in excellent condition (not torn, damaged or dirty) are widely used and accepted. We recommend passengers carry US$ (small denomination notes) for miscellaneous spending. Be aware that credit cards are not generally accepted and vendors who do accept them usually add a handling commission and also currency exchange charges. On the Road To Mandalay, major
international credit cards are accepted but travellers cheques are not (nor are they accepted anywhere in the country). There are no automated teller machines (ATMs) in Myanmar.
Dietary requireMents We endeavour to cater for special dietary requirements, such as vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free, and will be pleased to note your personal requirements in advance. We regret we are unable to provide meals requiring strict religious observance in their preparation.
HeaLtH Conditions in Yangon, Mandalay and Bagan are comparable to those in other parts of South-East Asia. It is recommended that passengers contact their medical practitioner or travel specialist for advice on health preparations and requirements. airPort tax This is included in the cost of your holiday if you are travelling on a Yangon, Road To Mandalay Bangkok/ Bangkok programme.
them. Taking photos of airports, railway stations, police stations, military installations and government offices may result in film or memory cards being confiscated.
reLigion The people of Myanmar have a high regard for religious customs and traditions. Dress and conduct should be appropriate when visiting religious sites. When entering the grounds of a pagoda or monastery, it is important to remove all footwear (including socks and stockings). Visitors (female and male) should also wear appropriate dress, with knees covered; long shorts are acceptable.
tiMe Zones Local time is GMT 6.5 hours. sHoPPing Local markets offer good shopping for lacquerware, silver, jewellery and fabrics. The prices are negotiable. Be aware that not all gemstones offered on the streets are genuine. It is also prohibited to export antiques, and the export of gemstones, jewellery and silver requires an official certificate from the seller.
PHotograPHy Some pagodas and temples do not allow photography while others ask for a small payment. Treat Buddhist images with respect and seek permission from monks before photographing
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DISCOVER OUR WORLD EXPLORE OUR WORLDWIDE COLLECTION OF ICONIC HOTELS, RAIL ADVENTURES AND RIVER VOYAGES.
CELEBRATIONS & GIFTS Celebrate aboard the romantic Venice Simplon-Orient-Express luxury train and stay at Venice’s Hotel Cipriani, or for something a little different, immerse yourself in Russian theatre, ballet and music at Grand Hotel Europe in St Petersburg.
Orient-Express destinations: arriving at Hotel Cipriani in Venice; Ubud Hanging Gardens in Bali, Indonesia.
For more than a century, the name Orient-Express has symbolised the world’s greatest train journey. But today it stands for so much more. As curator of sophisticated travel adventures across the globe, we create memorable experiences that excite, entertain and enrich the soul. Choose a grand city hotel such as Venice’s Hotel Cipriani, Rio’s Copacabana Palace or Hotel Ritz, Madrid. Or a safari in Botswana, a two-centre holiday in Bali or a river voyage along the remote Ayeyarwady River in Myanmar. All are perfect places to discover new cultures, celebrate with family and friends, learn fresh skills and embark on memorable journeys. Join us to experience well-known destinations in a fresh light or to head off the beaten track and discover a whole new world.
A new hotel, Palacio Nazarenas, forms the focus of a thrilling Orient-Express journey—Insiders’ Peru—which offers unparalleled access to Cuzco, the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu. Other great journeys include excursions through Britain aboard The Royal Scotsman luxury train, visiting lairds’ estates in Scotland and, south of the border, Raymond Blanc’s Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons.
FIND OUT MORE Web Visit our website for latest news, films and guest reviews, and to download our Orient-Express Traveller App for iPad. orient-express.com
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ThE ROyAL ScOTSmAN
AFLOAT IN FRANcE
Recapture the golden age of rail travel through one of the world’s most beautiful and exotic regions. The Eastern & Oriental Express accommodates 132 passengers in 66 private en-suite air-conditioned cabins—a unique way to explore South-East Asia. Moving gently from iconic cities to paddy fields and faraway mountains, all journeys offer a unique opportunity to encounter magical landscapes and people. Embark on one of our Classic Journeys— Bangkok to Singapore and vice versa—or choose one of our three Chronicles of South-East Asia journeys, which venture into the heart of Thailand, Cameron Highlands, Kuala Lumpur and Laos. Enjoy cocktails in the Observation Car, and panoramic views from the outdoor “verandah” Observation Area. Gourmet cuisine, attentive service and luxurious private cabins add to your enjoyment of this spectacular region. orient-express.com/e&o
A journey on The Royal Scotsman is one of the world’s great travel experiences. Encounter Scotland’s everchanging landscapes of sweeping glens, towering peaks and mirror-calm lochs as the train weaves through wild countryside and along virgin coastline. The Royal Scotsman takes 36 guests in 14 twin, two double and four single cabins, all with private facilities. Enjoy a whisky in the Observation Car or take in the exhilarating views from the open “verandah” deck. With the choice of two- to seven-night journeys, guests can walk, fish or play golf in some of the world’s most beautiful terrain and enjoy exclusive visits to grand private residences and famous whisky distilleries. Life on board the train is relaxed and indulgent, with the freshest, finest produce served in the dining cars. After dinner over a wee dram, a local clansman recounts tales and legends that bring Scottish history alive. royalscotsman.com
There is no better way to enjoy the splendour of France than by cruising along the rivers and canals that criss-cross the country. Afloat in France offers guests five of the most exclusive and exceptional luxury barges, with visits to astonishing sights. From the vineyards and plateaux of Burgundy, down the mighty Rhône, and along the picturesque Canal du Midi in the Languedoc, the barges are your luxury pass from great cities to France’s enchanting, hidden heart. These individually designed barges offer spacious, luxurious facilities, with some including a heated swimming pool and a Jacuzzi. Meals are prepared by the on-board chef throughout your week’s cruise. On-board staff provide an attentive yet unobtrusive service. For larger parties, take two or more of our barges and travel in tandem. Available on a privatehire or per-cabin basis, with a capacity of four to 12 guests, experience France at the leisurely pace you deserve. afloatinfrance.com
Revered as a piece of art and an Art Deco icon, the legendary Venice Simplon-Orient-Express luxury train offers a journey unlike any other. The moment you first glimpse this iconic train is one you’ll remember forever. Step aboard and you step back into a more gracious, elegant age. Romance, adventure and style are all intimately bound up in luxury train journeys that criss-cross through the sublime scenery of Europe and between some of the continent’s most alluring cities. This is the perfect luxury travel experience to celebrate with a loved one, for a honeymoon or romantic getaway or for hosting a personal celebration or milestone event. Ornate vintage cabins, sumptuous cuisine prepared by our skilled team of chefs and attentive personal service make the Venice Simplon-OrientExpress train one of the finest travel experiences in the world, full of unforgettable moments. vsoe.com
To make a booking, please contact your travel agent or visit orient-express.com/contacts where you will find contact details of your local Reservations office.