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Destinations Offered > Myanmar > Ballooning Over Burma

Ballooning Over Burma

Sunset on Lake Inle
This program allows you to explore Burma on land and by boat. It also gives you the opportunity to experience it by air in your own hot air balloon in the hands of skillful pilots. Through numerous flights you will see the splendor of Inle Lake and the people who live there. You will also see the pagodas of Bagan in a new light as you pass over them in the early morning light.
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Traveler's Overview12 Days $8,796 per person inclusive of superior rooms in deluxe hotels, three private balloon flights over Inle Lake and two over the plains and pagodas of Bagan, most meals, comprehensive sightseeing, personal guides, private boats and private car and driver. International airfare is additional. Minimum of four passengers and maximum of eight. Note: This program is only offered from October through March.
Trip Dossier

Personal Highlights:

• Flying over the floating villages and gardens at Inle Lake
• Assisting the preparation and sharing of a meal with the Intha people
• Floating over the plains and pagodas of Bagan at sunrise
• Dinner by candlelight amidst Bagan’s ancient temples

Days 1- 2 USA-Myanmar

You board your aircraft for the flight to Myanmar, more popularly known as Burma. Since you cross the International Date Line" you technically "lose" a day but you will ‘find" it on your return journey


Day 3 Arrival in Rangoon

Upon arrival in Yangon you will be met by your guide who will facilitate the collection of luggage and the transfer to your car which will take you to your landmark hotel. Yangon, formerly known as Rangoon, was founded by King Alaungpaya on the site of a small town called Dagon when he conquered lower Myanmar in 1755. He changed its name to Yangon, which means "end of Strife" but was anglicized as Rangoon by the British when they annexed Myanmar in 1885. It is still a relatively quiet and charming city. Moreover its colonial and spiritual heritage makes it one of the most fascinating and authentic capitals of South East Asia. Enjoy a quiet dinner in your hotel's justly admired restaurant.


Day 4 Heho and the Antique Bus to Pindaya

After breakfast your guide and driver will escort you to the airport for the flight to Heho. Upon arrival you will be met by your guide and taken in a restored antique bus dating back to the colonial period to the small town of Pindaya. You check into your hotel and have the afternoon to relax. As the evening approaches, gather beneath the magnificent Banyan trees for a welcome bonfire dinner.

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Day 5 Catching the Early Morning Thermals

You will transfer by the antique bus to the balloon launch location. The morning flight over Pindaya is a serene experience during which you drift over stunning scenery as the sun is rising. Watch the town below come to life as you fly above the town, tranquil Botoloke Lake, and the surrounding areas. After landing, your guide will take you to the Pindaya Caves, known locally as "Shwe U Min", a visit to the caves is a great chance to learn about the culture, lifestyle and religious beliefs of the Burmese people. The caves contain thousands of Buddha images of various shapes and sizes, the first of which were installed in the 11th Century. With your guide you wind your way through the labyrinth. You will have a picnic lunch as you travel to Nyaung Shwe in the antique bus. This village is the gateway to Inle Lake and a trip by private motorboat takes you to your lake front hotel. As you cruise across the water, enjoy the spectacular scenery. Pass villages built on stilts, leg-rowing Intha fishermen, and floating gardens which are anchored to the lake's bottom with bamboo poles. As the sun begins to set enjoy a scenic canoe trip as you tour the calm waters around the Intha village in a traditional canoe which is steered in the local leg-rowing style. This evening's dinner is a special experience as you dine on delicious traditional Shan cuisine whilst enjoying a cultural show.

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Day 6 Time Aloft and Time at The Market

After breakfast you board a private motorboat to the launch site for your balloon flight. Flying over Inle Lake in a hot air balloon is one of the most beautiful ways to see the area. The skilled pilots use their knowledge of the winds to steer the balloon over the floating villages and gardens. You will see the morning fishermen looking for the first catch of the day and boats laden with produce on their way to the market. At higher altitude you will be amazed at the sweeping views of the lake's villages and intricate network of canals.. After landing, your guide will take you to the local market where you buy cooking ingredients which will be used to prepare your lunch. You will then go to an Inthar house where the host family will introduce you to the techniques and methods of their traditional cooking. After preparing the lunch, join the family to dine together on your creations. This evening enjoy a unique dining experience in your hotel's wine cellar.

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Day 7 One More Lake Flight and Then off to Bagan

This morning you have another chance to fly above Inle Lake. Enjoy the beautiful scenery and panoramic views as you coast above the lake and its surroundings. After landing take the opportunity to enjoy the resort's pool or perhaps visit the spa? You will transfer to the mainland and have lunch at View Point restaurant before taking the antique bus one more time to Heho airport and the flight to Bagan. Upon arrival you are met by both your guide and your new pilots and escorted to the hotel. Get to know your pilots over dinner on the terrace.

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Day 8 Ballooning over Bagan

Before sunrise, you will be picked up from your hotel and transferred to the departure point. While sipping coffee and having a croissant, watch the crew inflate the balloons and prepare for the flight. After a thorough safety briefing, climb into your balloon's gondola and take-off! Depending on the weather, the flight will be between 45 minutes to an hour. You will coast over the plains of Bagan at a speed of around 15 miles an hour and drift past ancient temples in the serene morning air. After your flight you will visit key sights around Bagan enjoying a picnic lunch along the way. In the afternoon you will be taken to a boat jetty where you embark on a sunset dinner cruise. Travel along the Irrawaddy River where you will be rewarded with views of river life as well as seeing the temples from a different perspective. This evening's dinner is a magical experience as you dine by candlelight in the grounds of one of Bagan's ancient temples. Enjoy a cultural show and a traditional Bagan dance performance with a beautiful pagoda as a backdrop.

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Day 9 One Last Flight

This morning you have one more opportunity to float above the plains and the ruins with panoramic views of the Irrawaddy River. Upon landing you visit a lacquerware factory to observe the process of creating beautiful lacquerware. The intricate craftsmanship of the Bagan workshops is often regarded as the best in the world. After lunch at the Sunset Garden Restaurant, transfer to the airport for the flight to Rangoon. This evening has been left open to allow you the chance to try one of the many fine restaurants in Yangon. We will,of couse, be happy to make recommendations

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Day 10 Ancient Yangon and Colonial Rangoon

This morning, enjoy a visit to Shwedagon Pagoda, the most revered Buddhist Temple in Burma. The central stupa is 270 feet tall and gilded with gold leaf. Inside you will get a private tour of the priceless ancient artifacts, works of art and historic memorabilia which will help you gain insight into the country's history and culture. You will then continue to the city center, stopping at the glittering Sule Paya and tranquil Mahabandoola Park as well as walking past the fading colonial-era courthouse and city hall. After lunch you will visit Bogyoke Market, formerly known as Scott's Market, where you can browse through the wide selection of Myanmar handicrafts. This evening, your final one in Myanmar you will be taken to Le Planteur Restaurant for Dinner. It's French-Indochine Fusion cuisine is noted throughout the country.

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Day 11 Return to USA

After breakfast you will be taken to the Yangon station where you can take a unique ride on the city's circular railroad line through the outskirts of the town. This slowly traveling train gives you the unique opportunity to observe the lively, colorful lifestyles of the local people and will provide a lasting memory of Myanmar. You can disembark at the Insein market where you can wander around the various stalls and interact with the friendly vendors before meeting up with your guide and heading to the airport for the beginning of your trip to the USA


Day 12 Arrival in the USA

You arrive back in the USA having "gained" back the day you lost on the way over

Day 3
Yangon (Rangoon)

The Strand
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Originally built in 1901 by the famed Sarkies Brothers, The Strand Hotel in Yangon stands for all that was wondrous and opulent in a bygone era. Restored to its former glory, the Victorian-styled Strand combines the charms of the 1920s and 1930s with lavish modern-day amenities.
Day 4

Pindaya Inle Inn
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Nestled amid the Shan hills, Pindaya town is situated 100 miles from the famous Inle Lake. Situated at the entrance of the town surrounded by historic and magnificent banyan trees facing the beautiful Ponetaloke Lake is the traditional but modern Pindaya Inle Inn. 12 Deluxe Chalets with fireplace, satellite TV, private bathroom with shower and bath. The restaurant serves local Danu, Chinese, Burmese and European cuisine and a wide selection of wine, soft drinks, beer and spirits.
Days 5 - 6
Inle Lake

Inle Princess Resort
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Inle Princess Resort lies within the blue mountain ranges on the east bank of Inle Lake. The resort has 46 chalets, 27 with lake view and 19 with garden view. (Ultitude guests are in Lake Front Suites). Opening from the lakefront rooms is a terrace overlooking the lake and flowing from the living and bedroom areas. The restaurant offers Shan, Intha, European and Chinese cuisine. The resort has a spa and a renowned wine cellar.
Days 7 - 8

Aureum Palace
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Acknowledged by many to be the best resort hotel in Myanmar, this sprawling property overlooks a breath-taking scene of Bagan’s pagoda-studded landscape across a lotus-dappled lake. The towering teak-pillared grand lobby and the restaurant lend regal splendor to its 72-room complex of villa-type super-deluxe accommodation, all of which are equipped with top-of-the-line amenities and equipment. The hotel is complete with an extensive spa facility, a fully equipped fitness centre, a sauna, a nightclub, and a huge swimming pool which affords a stunning view of Bagan’s pagoda landscape.
Days 9 - 10
Yangon (Rangoon)

The Strand
Select a different image from the previews below
Originally built in 1901 by the famed Sarkies Brothers, The Strand Hotel in Yangon stands for all that was wondrous and opulent in a bygone era. Restored to its former glory, the Victorian-styled Strand combines the charms of the 1920s and 1930s with lavish modern-day amenities.