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03 Nights / 04 Days

Due to volatile political circumstances, Burma has been closed to foreign tourism for the past several decades. But this is all rapidly changing. Traveling to Burma gives one the unique opportunity to visit a Southeastern Asian nation that has changed relatively little since its colonial times. It is a country full of stunning and surreal sites, such as the 4000 sacred stupas scattered across the plains of Bagan, the dazzling cultural capital of Yangon, and the mythical floating villages and stilted monasteries surrounding Inle Lake.

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The Republic of the Union of Myanmar (Burma)

The Land of Golden Pagodas- Burma - is a unique Asian country steeped in tradition. Dotted with Buddhist temples and more than 3000 panoramic pagodas, it is a fascinating country filled with Buddhist spiritualism. One can't help but agree with Rudyard Kipling-"This is Burma and it is unlike any land you know about."

Burma is bordered by Bangladesh, India, China, Laos and Thailand. It covers an area of 676,578 sq. km and a coastline of 1,930 km along the Andaman Sea and the Bay of Bengal. Bounded by a breathtaking landscape, it is rimmed in the northeast and west by mountain ranges forming a giant horseshoe. Across the central plains two major rivers, Ayeyarwady (Irrawaddy) and Salween flow southward. Endowed with a rich diversity of habitats, Burma is haven for about 300 mammal species, 300 reptiles, about 100 bird species and approximately 7000 species of plant life. The country is the largest exporter of teak and a principal source of jade, rubies and sapphires.

Drama is the lifeblood of Burmese culture and a pwe (show) is an integral part of any celebration. Rhythmic, melodious music that uses an array of predominantly percussive instruments like saung-gauk (boat shaped harp), gongs, drums and bamboo flutes is fundamental to a pwe. This musical ensemble or hsaing waing provides music for Yoke thé (marionette puppet show) as well.

Traditional arts (pan sè myo) of Burma - woodcarving (ba-bu), goldsmith (ba-dein), stucco relief (pan-daw), stone carving (pan-ta-maw), painting (ba-gyi), lacquer ware (pan-yun), silk weaving, pottery and gemstone engraving are artistic wonders of the world.

With a festival for every month of the year, Burma is a Land of Festivals. The Pagoda Festivals attract pilgrims from all over the country. Wreathed with fantastic folklore, Thingyan or the Water Festival is celebrated over four days culminating in the Burmese New Year (around mid-April). The festival is Buddhist in spirit when people are expected to observe the Eight Precepts of Buddhism.

Burmese cuisine lays emphasis on strong, pungent flavors. Food is served with tons of accompaniments. Balachaung (dried shrimp relish) is a popular accompaniment. The national dish, Mohinga is a fish based soup with rice noodles sprinkled with deep fried fritters. Laphet thoke, a salad of pickled tea leaves, is a national delicacy.

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