Alumni recently traveled to Myanmar. With traditions unchanged from time immemorial, a rich Buddhist culture, and diverse ethnic groups, Myanmar presents a singular travel experience. The small Brandeis group visited Mandalay, and saw the spectacular temples at Bagan, colonial Yangon, the hill station of Kalaw, and pastoral Inle Lake – a journey of deep discovery and reward.
Myanmar (Burma) is emerging from decades of isolation with a genuine move toward democratization. Travelers have responded with enthusiasm and tales of a country on the brink of tremendous change. The time to go is now! Myanmar is the perfect destination for exploration, with ancient temples, timeless traditions, a strong Buddhist presence and natural beauty. Myanmar is poised to join the rest of Southeast Asia in growth and development, especially after the elections of April 2012 and the end of military rule. Please join us for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Day 1-2--Bangkok, Thailand
Depart the United States, reach the Thai capital late the following day and transfer directly to the airport hotel.
Day 3-4--Yangon, Myanmar
Fly in the early morning to Yangon, Myanmar’s largest and most interesting city. Tour the downtown area, including the revered Shwedagon Pagoda. Visit Kandawgyi Park to watch the sun rise over the lake and gleaming Shwedagon. See the colossal Chauk Htat Gyi Reclining Buddha. Wander through Yangon’s vibrant fresh fruit market.
Fly to Bagan, one of the richest archaeological sites in all of Asia. Watch the sun set over the skyline of some 2,000 pagodas, temples, and monasteries. Dine in the home of a local Burmese family. Encounter everyday life at the bustling Nyaung Oo fruit and vegetable market and at the Phwar Saw Village. Continue on to fabled Mandalay and visit the former royal capital of Amarapura, with its iconic pedestrian U Bein Bridge. Cruise along the Irrawaddy to Mingun, famed for Mingun Paya (pagoda); Myatheindan Paya, with its seven circular terraces; and the 90-ton Mingun Bell.
Day 9-12--Heho/Kalaw/Inle Lake
Depart via Heho for Kalaw, home to several of Myanmar’s many ethnic peoples. En route visit farming villages of the P-O and Shan people. Travel to beautiful Inle Lake, whose shore and islands host 17 villages on stilts inhabited mostly by native Intha people. Discover the Inndein temple complex. Enjoy lunch in the floating home of a local Intha family. Experience the wares of the various ethnic minorities at the Five-Day Market, where tribespeople come from all over the Lake Region to trade with the Intha.
Return to Heho for the flight to Yangon. After an afternoon at leisure, depart this evening for Bangkok. Upon arrival, transfer directly to the airport hotel.
Day 14-15--Bangkok/Arrive U.S.
Spend a day at leisure in Bangkok prior to overnight flights back to the U.S. Arrive in the U.S. the following day and connect with flights home.
Please note: This trip involves considerable walking on uneven terrain and embarkation/disembarkation on small river boats and lake boats. You should be in good physical condition to enjoy this tour to the fullest. Activity level is moderate.
Detlev Suderow '70, P '05 is co-chair of the Brandeis Alumni Travel Program, a fellow of Brandeis University and senior lecturer at the Brandeis International Business School. His wife, Ellen Beth Lande '73, P '05, teaches at a local community college and is a former business executive. Detlev and Ellen Beth are veteran Brandeis travelers. They led the Brandeis alumni trips to China in 2009 and to Guatemala in 2010. They also traveled with the Brandeis community to Morocco in 2007. Ellen Beth has recently traveled through Laos and Cambodia visiting Buddhist temples in preparation for Myanmar. She and Detlev travel frequently and look forward to exploring the newly opened mysteries of Myanmar.
Brandeisians are intellectually curious and enjoy stimulating conversations over dinner, on the shuttles, and side-by-side exploring new places. Together we will visit spectacular temples and ancient pagodas set within a majestic landscape. We will dine in the home of a local Burmese family and experience Burmese arts, food, and culture. Our group will travel by flat-bottomed boat along Inle Lake and visit villages known for canoe carving and silk weaving. What could be better than to discover the mysteries of Myanmar with Brandeis? View the Myanmar brochure today and get ready for the trip of a lifetime.