Program photograph

Burma! ~ Mysteries of Myanmar

March 5-19, 2013
Faculty: Stephen Cushman, Robert C. Taylor Professor of English at U.Va.
 
Price: $4,495 per person, double occupancy, land only


$5,593 per person, double occupancy, air inclusive from Los Angeles or San Francisco

$6,243
per person, double occupancy, air inclusive from Charlottesville

$1,195 single supplement
(Air prices include airline taxes & departure fees)
registration

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Overview

Traveling via Bangkok, begin in Yangon, Myanmar’s largest and most interesting city. Tour the downtown area including revered Shwedagon Pagoda, a wonder of the religious world and Kipling’s 2,500-year-old “golden mystery.” Call on Kalaywa Tawa Monastery to learn from the monks about the fundamental role of Buddhism in Burmese culture. Fly to Bagan, “city of four million pagodas” and one of the richest archaeological sites in all of Asia. Visit several important shrines and dine in the home of a local Burmese family. Encounter everyday Burmese life up close at bustling Nyaung Oo fruit and vegetable market and on an excursion to Phwar Saw Village. In Mandalay, visit the former royal capital of Amarapura, with its iconic pedestrian U Bein Bridge. Enjoy a panoramic view from atop Mandalay Hill. Spend a night at the peaceful hill station of Kalaw, home to several of Myanmar’s many ethnic peoples. Travel to beautiful Inle Lake, whose shore and islands host 17 villages on stilts inhabited mostly by native Intha people. Enjoy lunch with a local Intha family in their floating home. Encounter various ethnic minorities at the Five-Day Market, where hill tribespeople come from all over the Lake Region to trade their wares. Enjoy a farewell dinner before returning to the U.S. again via Bangkok. Or, explore the magnificent temples of Angkor Wat in Cambodia on a 3-day/2-night post-tour extension.

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Program Highlights

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Accommodations

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Meals

29 meals: 12 breakfasts, 11 lunches, 6 dinners

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Faculty

Stephen Cushman is the Robert C. Taylor Professor of English at U.Va., where he has taught since 1982. With a B.A. from Cornell and a Ph.D. from Yale, he has brought to the English Department his commitment to American literature, modern Literature, poetry, literature and the environment, and the American Civil War. His teaching has been honored with an All-University Teaching Award and the first Mayo Distinguished Teaching Professorship. A poet as well as a scholar, he has published eight books, most recently Riffraff, a volume of poems (LSU, 2011), and the Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics (Princeton, 2012), for which he served as general editor. Steve and his wife Sandra have two sons, Sam and Simon. He has enjoyed five trips with Cavalier Travels (Ireland twice; safari in Tanzania; D-Day and Normandy; and Around the World by Private Jet). He is very glad to have the opportunity to visit Burma.

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Itinerary

Day 1 - March 5, 2013
Depart U.S. for Bangkok, Thailand

Day 2
Arrive Thailand
Upon arrival late this evening, we transfer directly to our airport hotel.

Day 3
Bangkok/Yangon, Myanmar
We fly this morning to Yangon, Myanmar’s largest and most interesting city. We tour the downtown area, redolent with Yangon’s British past (as Rangoon), where well-preserved colonial buildings flank ancient pagodas. Highlights include revered Shwedagon Pagoda, a wonder of the religious world and Kipling’s 2,500-year-old “golden mystery.” Shwedagon’s gold-leafed dome sparkles with 4,531 diamonds, crowned by a single diamond of 76 carats. Tonight we enjoy a welcome dinner at our hotel. (B,L,D)

Day 4
Yangon
Early this morning we visit Kandawgyi Park to watch the sun rise over the lake and gleaming Shwedagon. Then we call on Kalaywa Tawa Monastery, where we learn from the monks about the fundamental role of Buddhism in Burmese culture. Later we see the colossal Chauk Htat Gyi Reclining Buddha, at 203 feet, one of the country’s largest Buddha images. Next: a trip to the Scott Market, featuring a large selection of Burmese handcrafts and other goods. Early this evening we wander through Yangon’s vibrant fresh fruit market. (B,L)

Day 5
Yangon/Bagan
This morning we fly to Bagan, “city of four million pagodas” and one of the richest archaeological sites in all of Asia. With some 2,000 pagaodas, temples, and monasteries (still standing) spread over a 16-square-mile site on the Eastern shores of the Irrawaddy, Bagan distills the very essence of Myanmar’s Buddhist culture. Upon arrival, we visit several important shrines, including revered Ananda with its golden spires. This afternoon we encounter Bagan’s rich artistic heritage as we see artisans craft lacquerware. Then we return to Bagan to watch the sun set over this sacred site. Tonight we dine in the home of a local Burmese family. (B,L,D)

Day 6
Bagan
Today we encounter everyday Burmese life up close, first at the bustling Nyaung Oo fruit and vegetable market then at Phwar Saw Village. After lunch we return to Bagan where we explore by pony cart, venturing into areas inaccessible by car or bus. Early this evening we embark on a cruise along the Irrawaddy as the sun sets over Bagan. We dine on our own tonight. (B,L)

Day 7
Bagan/Mandalay
We fly this morning to fabled Mandalay, Myanmar’s second largest city at once a center of commerce and a repository of ancient culture. Upon arrival we visit the former royal capital of Amarapura, with its iconic pedestrian U Bein Bridge built of teak posts that spans lovely Taungthaman Lake. Our tour here features Mahamuni Pagoda, the country’s most sacred site after Shwedagon. After lunch we proceed to peaceful Shwe Kyaung, the “Golden Palace Monastery” that is all that remains of the former 19th-century wooden Royal Palace; and Kuthodaw Pagoda, housing the Buddhist scripture carved on 729 marble slabs. Our tour concludes with a panoramic view from atop Mandalay Hill. (B,L,D)

Day 8
Mandalay/Mingun
We return to the Irrawaddy for a cruise to Mingun, famed for Mingun Paya (pagoda), begun in 1790 by King Bodawpaya but left unfinished because of a prophecy that he would die when the temple was completed. We visit the huge temple then continue on to Myatheindan Paya, with its seven circular terraces; and the 90-ton Mingun Bell. This afternoon we visit artisans creating works of marble and silk. Then we watch the setting sun paint vivid pictures as pedestrians cross wooden U Bein Bridge. (B,L)

Day 9
Mandalay/Heho/Kalaw
After flying to Heho, we travel by motorcoach about 1½ hours to the peaceful hill station of Kalaw, home to several of Myanmar’s many ethnic peoples. En route we visit farming villages of the Pa-O and Shan people. After lunch together in a local restaurant we proceed to Kalaw and check in at our hotel there. The remainder of the day is at leisure to explore this popular town with its churches and Tudor-style architecture from the colonial past.  Dinner tonight is on our own. (B,L)

Day 10
Kalaw/Inle Lake Area
Our day begins at the Kalaw market, where the region’s ethnic minorities come to sell their wares. Then we travel to beautiful Inle Lake, whose shore and islands host 17 villages on stilts inhabited mostly by native Intha people. Primarily farmers and fishermen, the Intha propel their flat-bottomed boats with one leg and an oar – a unique style that we’ll see during our stay. We arrive in Nyaung Shwe, gateway to Inle Lake, where we visit Shwe Yan Pyae Monastery known for its oval windows. We also see Phaung Daw U Pagoda, with its five gilded Buddha images; and visit villages known for cigar (cheroot) making, canoe carving, and silk weaving. Tonight we dine at our hotel.  (B,L,D)

Day 11
Inle Lake/Inndein
A morning visit to the Inndein temple complex of decaying wooden stupas surrounded and overtaken by huge banyan trees offers an evocative and contemplative scene reminiscent of the Khmer temples at Angkor Wat. Lunch today is a small group highlight as we dine in the floating home of a local Intha family. Returning to our hotel, we see the fishermen engaged in their unique styles of rowing and fishing, and also visit one of the lake’s improbable floating farms. Dinner tonight is at our hotel. (B,L,D)

Day 12
Inle Lake
We encounter various ethnic minorities today at the Five-Day Market, where hill tribespeople come from all over the Lake Region – in their traditional tribal colors – to trade with the Intha. From here we visit the “Jumping Cat” monastery, with a prized collection of ancient Buddha images. Tonight we enjoy a farewell dinner at our hotel. (B,L,D)

Day 13
Inle Lake/HeHo/Yangon/Bangkok
We return to Heho for the flight to Yangon, where we have hotel day rooms. The afternoon is at leisure before this evening’s flight to Bangkok. Upon arrival, we transfer directly to our hotel; dinner is on our own tonight. (B,L)

Day 14 (March 18, 2013)
Depart for U.S.
Today is at leisure, with our rooms available for late check-out. This evening we board our overnight flight to the U.S.  (or proceed to Cambodia for post trip extension.) (B)

Day 15 (March 19, 2013)

Arrive U.S.
We arrive in the U.S. this morning and connect with our flights home. 

Please note: This trip involves considerable walking on uneven terrain and embarkation/disembarkation on small river and lake boats. You should be in good physical condition to enjoy the tour to its fullest.

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Program Fees

$4,495 per person, double occupancy, land only. A limited number of single rooms are available for a supplement of $1,195 to the per person, double occupancy rates.

Price includes:

Does not include:

From $5,593 total price per person, double occupancy with economy-class roundtrip airfare from Los Angeles or San Francisco. A limited number of single rooms are available for a supplement of $1,195 to the per person, double occupancy rates.

In addition to the inclusions noted in the land-only pricing, air-inclusive price includes:

Does not include:

Post Tour Extension:

CAMBODIA: ANGKOR WAT (3 days/2 nights) includes air transportation Bangkok/Siem Riep; 2 nights’ accommodations in Siem Reap at Sofitel Royal Angkor (Deluxe); rooms reserved for late check-out on third day; 4 meals (2 breakfasts, 2 dinners); Three days sightseeing of Angkor complex (UNESCO World Heritage Site), including all entrance fees; Services of an Odysseys Unlimited representative; Private motorcoach transportation; Gratuities for dining room servers, airport and hotel porters, and all drivers.

Extension Price: $795
Single Supplement: $195

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How To Register

Ready to register? The best way to do this is by phone so that we can ensure we are meeting all of your needs. Please call us at 866-765-2646. Or, e-mail cavaliertravels@virginia.edu with your contact information and the best time to reach you.

A deposit of $500 per person is required to reserve your spot. Final invoicing will be done approximately three months prior to departure. Final payment is due 95 days prior to departure.

Deposits can be made via check or credit card (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express)

Early registration is encouraged as space is limited.

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General Terms & Conditions

Please read this information carefully, as a payment of a $500 deposit per person represents your acceptance of the following Terms and Conditions.

Payment Schedule: A deposit of $500 per person confirms your reservation. The balance of your invoice is due 95 days (November 30, 2012) before departure.

Not Included in Tour Price: Airfare when purchasing a land only package; costs of passports and visas; personal expenses such as beverages, laundry, room service, and meals not specified; communication charges; gratuities to your Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director, which are at your discretion (suggested gratuities: $10-$15 per day, per traveler); optional sightseeing; and travel protection insurance. Additional baggage fees may apply and are subject to change at any time. You should confirm directly you’re your airline prior to departure.

Cancellation and Refunds: If you must cancel your trip, the effective date of cancellation will be upon our receipt of your written notification. Refunds for cancellations are subject to the following per person charges: Cancel 95 days or more before departure: $200 charge; Cancel 94-65 days before departure: 25% of tour price; Cancel 64-45 days before departure: 50% of tour price; Cancel 44-30 days before departure: 75% of tour price; Cancel 29-0 days before departure: No refund. If a guest makes any changes within 94 and 30 days prior to departure, Odysseys Unlimited, Inc. will apply a $100 per person administrative fee, in addition to any fees or penalties imposed by third parties. If your reservation changes from double occupancy to single occupancy for any reason, you will be charged the single supplement. Changes are subject to availability and cannot be guaranteed. No changes are allowed within 30 days of departure. Upon reservation you must provide your full legal name as it appears on your passport, your date of birth and gender. In the event an airline ticket is issued with incorrect information you have provided, you will be responsible for charges associated with the ticket’s reissue.

Responsibility: The liability of the University of Virginia, as sponsor, and Odysseys Unlimited, Inc., as tour operator, is strictly limited. The University of Virginia and Odysseys Unlimited, Inc. purchase transportation, hotel accommodations, restaurant and other services from independent suppliers not under our control. We serve only as agents for these sup-pliers in securing tour arrangements, and therefore will not accept responsibility for wrongful, negligent, or arbitrary acts or omissions of these independent contractors, their employees, agents, servants or representatives. The University of Virginia and Odysseys Unlimited, Inc. are not liable for injury, damage, loss, accident, or delay that may be caused by events not within our control, including without limitation, acts of terrorism, war, strikes, the defect of any vehicle, or the negligence or default of any third party. All coupons, receipts, and tickets issued are subject to the terms and conditions specified by the air carriers, cruise line, and other independent suppliers. We will make every effort to operate our tours as planned, but we re-serve the right to make itinerary changes as necessary. If unforeseen circumstances re-quire us to change a hotel, we will select alter-native accommodations of the same or better quality. If you choose to make your own air arrangements, Odysseys Unlimited, Inc. shall not have any liability for any loss resulting from cancellation of this tour or changes in this tour.

Health and Medical Issues: We request that you be in good health to participate in this Odysseys Unlimited tour. This trip involves considerable walking on uneven terrain and embarkation/disembarkation on small river and lake boats. You must be able to get on and off motorcoaches and boats on your own. We reserve the right to remove anyone whose physical or mental condition, in our opinion, compromises the operation of the tour or detracts from the enjoyment or safety of the other passengers. In that event, Odysseys Unlimited and the University of Virginia assume no financial responsibility for any unused portion of the tour.

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