Join us on our first year of building people to people ties in Burma.
Emerging from decades of global sanctions and 50 years of military rule, Burma’s recent political and policy reforms are reintroducing this once isolated country to the world. Burma at the Crossroads will explore the country’s vibrant culture; understand its tumultuous history; engage in dialogue with locals to understand contemporary life in Burma; and meet social, educational, political and humanitarian groups shaping the future of the country.
Since Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi’s release from house arrest in November 2010, the military junta ceding power to a civilian government in 2011 and the National League for Democracy’s (NLD)’s victories in the 2012 by-elections, the mood on the streets in Burma is one of palpable optimism. All of this makes now a fascinating time to visit and witness the rapid changes in this once inaccessible country.
In addition to visiting many of the country's cultural and historic sites (Shwedagon Pagoda, the pagodas of Bagan, the ancient cities around Mandalay, U Bein Bridge, etc.), Burma at the Crossroads will meet with human rights advocates, members of Aung San Suu Kyi's National League of Democracy, Shan minority representatives, and local craftspeople and artists to gain a first hand understanding of the country directly from its people. Our journey includes visiting the breathtaking Inle Lake and meeting with the Ministry of Tourism in Bagan to learn about tourism impacts and opportunities for the local economy.
While the changes in the past year and a half have been extraordinary, Burma still remains one of the least developed and poorest countries in the world; and continues to be one of the most repressive governments in the world. Global Exchange Reality Tours have designed this tour to maximize support for the local communities and people we visit.
Note: Burma has been experiencing a tourism boom the past year and the rise in international visitors has outpaced the development of its tourism infrastructure. Due to the high demand for limited hotel rooms and other tourism facilities, prices continue to increase haphazardly. Because of this, we encourage all interested participants to book early so travel arrangements can be promptly finalized.
Due to the volatility of the Burmese Kyat’s exchange rate and fuel, transportation and hotel rates in Burma; tour prices may be adjusted if prices suddenly rise.
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Photo by Gregg Butensky
In addition to visiting many of the country's stunning sites (Shwedagon Pagoda, the pagodas of Pagan, the ancient cities around Mandalay, U Bein Bridge, etc.) we will dig deeper and meet with human rights advocates, craftspeople and artists. Our local guides will offer unprecedented access to local people and groups.
- Accommodations at locally owned 3-star hotels on a double occupancy basis (Single supplement: $420)
- All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) as specified, except for Day 1 (dinner only) and Day 12 (breakfast only)
- Local English speaking guide accompanying the group throughout the tour
- Program activities as specified in itinerary
- All entrance fees to sites as specified in itinerary
- Domestic flights and airport taxes as specified in itinerary
- Honoraria for speakers and donations to community groups
- Vehicle transport as specified – air conditioned coaches, open-air boats, horse carts and chartered local Nawarat boat from Mandalay to Bagan
- Bottled water during meals and refresher towel when on local operator’s vehicles and boats
- Baggage handling at airports and in hotels
- Visa fee
- Alcoholic, soft drinks and imported mineral water
- International flights and airport tax
- Services not mentioned in the program.
- Meals not mentioned in the program
- Expenses of a purely personal nature.
- Room service charges.
- Transportation of luggage in excess of weight allowance.
- Conveyance fees used for private purposes.
- Travel Insurance (We strongly advise that each participant arrange for their own travel insurance).
We must receive your application and a non-refundable deposit of $500 at the time of booking. Payments by Mastercard, Visa and Discover are welcome.
This trip will be as diverse as possible in terms of race, age and life experiences. In some cases, a limited number of partial scholarships are available for low-income applicants.