Golden Hills of Burma
Day 1: Rendezvous at the group hotel in Yangon in the early morning. A single airport transfer will be provided. After a couple of hours rest, KE group package services begin with lunch at the hotel, where the local guide will brief the group about the week ahead. After lunch, there will be a guided afternoon sightseeing tour to include a visit to the incredible Schwedagon Pagoda. Overnight in Yangon.
Day 2: We have a morning transfer to the airport to catch the short flight to Bagan and spend the rest of the day sightseeing amongst the innumerable temples and pagodas. Our visit will include the gilded Schwezigon Pagoda and the Ananda Temple, with its 4 huge standing Buddha images. After checking out the best sunset views we'll return to our hotel for dinner.
Day 3: After breafast we'll pack up the support vehicles and cross the Irrawaddy towards the Pontaung Mountains as we drive to Mindat (1480m), the main administrative town for the southern Chin State. Overnight in a local guesthouse.
Day 4: After an early wake-up call, we'll breakfast in a local cafe taking in the sights and sounds in the bustling market town of Mindat. We begin our trek with a short transfer to the trailhead, and then walk through forests and tea plantations before arriving in Khone Eai. Continuing uphill we crest a ridge and then descend to Amlong (1307m). Overnight in the quarters of the local monastery.
Day 5: A shorter walk today, as we trek to the Chin village of Kyar Aei Nuu (1430m). The trail takes us down to the valley floor before ascending gradually to the village where we can see evidence of the local Chin people's animist beliefs. Overnight in simple local house accommodation.
Day 6: Today is one of the longer days walking, with 2 valleys and several ridges to cross. We pass through several villages including Oumlong and Madat before reaching our destination at Kyardo (1090m). There is plenty of village life to see, including the animist wooden sacrifical poles used by the Chin to display offerings. The river near Kyardo is a rich source of gold. Overnight in a local house.
Day 7: Today we make the ascent to Aye (1845m), taking lunch at a newly built monastery on the way. After a steep uphill pull we'll arrive in Aye in the mid to late afternoon. This is a great days walking and in the evening we can enjoy a beer and the views across the Chin Hills to Mindat and beyond.
Day 8: Today there are 2 options to take us to the village of Do Nuu (2211m). The easier route will allow us to reach Do Nuu for lunch, the longer more challenging path will mean a later arrival. Overnight in a local house close to Do Nuu.
Day 9: The summit of Mount Victoria beckons! After 3 hours on good paths we reach 'Base Camp', the junction for Kampalat. The path then becomes more scenic and circuitous to the summit at 3053m. The views from the summit, which boasts a golden pagoda, are stunning. Tonight we camp on a col below the summit and enjoy the Burmese sun set over the Chin Hills panorama. Overnight camping.
Day 10: After an early start to watch the sun rising over the plains to the east, we retrace our steps to Base Camp where we meet up with our jeeps for the short drive to Kampalat where we check into a hotel and enjoy a shower before visiting the lively town with its colourful market.
Day 11: Today we drive back to Bagan, leaving the cool tranquility of the Chin Hills behind us. After lunch at Saw Village we continue on to Bagan. We should arrive in the mid to late afternoon, so a last chance to view sunset over the pagodas. Overnight in a comfortable hotel.
Day 12: Another early start for the flight to Mandalay where we will visit the old palace and see monks colleting alms at the Maha Ganayon Kyang Monastery. No visit to Mandalay is complete without the journey to Amarapura and the U Bein teak bridge. After watching the sunset, we return to our hotel.
Day 13: We have allowed more time for sightseeing in Mandalay today, to allow us to cross the Irrawaddy by boat to Mingun to see the world's largest bell and the unfinished ruins of the Mingun Paya, Mandalay is a major arts and crafts centre, and we will visit laquer and gold-leaf workshops. Later in the afternoon we will transfer to the airport for the flight to Yangon and then on to our hotel for dinner
Day 14: After an early breakfast, we transfer to Yangon Airport to catch our homeward flight. KE group package services end on arrival at the airport.