The official Thingyan holidays are from Wednesday 13 – 16 April so if you take 11 and 12 April off, you have plenty of time for a great trip. Water celebrations are not much expected around the country and it’s an excellent time to leave the power cuts behind you. Here are some of Exploration Travel’s suggested packages. They can adapt any program to your preferences.
1Visit the ancient temple ruins of Mrauk U
These absolutely stunning temple ruins, build in the former capital of Rakhine state, were off-limits to tourists for a long time. The situation is quieter at the moment, their local guides are ready and in fact, had clients already visiting this mysterious and remote place.
This is a unique moment to visit Mrauk U with its amazing pagodas dating from the 15th century since they don’t receive many visitors. During the 4-day trip, you spend 2 full days with a professional guide to explore the ruins and hear everything about the history of this ancient kingdom. They will get you there by flight from Yangon (or Thandwe after a visit to Lalay lodge) and continue by car in about 3.5 hours to the small town.
Package price over Thingyan including flights, all transport, accommodation and guided tours: US$650 / person (based on 2 people traveling together)
2Away from the crowds….. stay at a quiet beach – Lalay Lodge
They still have some rooms available, especially for the pre-Thingyan days (Saturday 9 April till Wednesday 13 April). Lalay Lodge is a quiet, sustainable lodge with just 9 rooms on a hidden peninsula of the coast of Ngapali. Spacious rooms, A/C at night, hot-water showers, a hammock station, excellent home-cooked food and 12 other remote beaches around the peninsula to explore by bike or on foot.
If you want to know what others think about this place, have a look at these Tripadvisor reviews.
Package price for 5 days 4 nights including domestic flights, boat transportation and all meals: $460 / person (based on 2 people sharing the room)
Or come over for the day…
Already booked your Ngapali hotel but you want to come over for the day? They will pick you up at your hotel in Ngapali and bring you by tuktuk and boat to Lalay Lodge for snorkelling, lunch and a village walk and return you at the end of the day: Ks65,000 per person (min 2 people)
3Luxury Ananda Sanctuary – midweek biking & sightseeing the ancient cities around Mandalay
An extraordinary offer from this luxury cruise operator which has changed its base to a quiet rural village Ava (just south of Mandalay). During the week the ship stays docked at the jetty which gives unique opportunities to explore the ruins of this ancient kingdom, the local communities on the west bank of the river and the famous U-Bein bridge.
Exploration’s 4 days midweek package includes 2 days of exploring Ava, Sagaing and Mingun on mountain bike with an excellent guide.
Alternatively, if you’re more into relaxing you can join the Ananda cruise on the Ayeyarwaddy leaving on Friday and returning on Sunday evening. A relaxing experience on this luxury ship including sightseeing in Mingun. Cruise price: $400 per person
4Walking with the Elephants! – An ideal weekend trip for families
Since the 2016 ban on cutting trees, the 49 domesticated elephants are jobless (which is actually a good thing to protect the forest!) yet their owners decided to continuously take care of them and give medical support, ensuring they are able to find enough food and stay healthy. During this trip you walk with the “oozies” (mahout) through the jungle to take care of the elephants that roam around in this huge jungle area.
The walks can be a bit challenging (as no one can predict where the elephants lead us to) and you’re advised to wear good walking shoes to walk through forest as well as creeks. Elephant lover Ma Zabe is the founder of “Life in Oozie Village Ecohut” and she is passionate about the conservation of the nature in combination with the oozie and elephant lifestyle. Her grandfather was the chief conservator of Burma forest in the old days and he is her inspiration for the project.
A 2-day package includes accommodation, 2 walks with the elephants and the oozies, a talk with Zabe and all meals at the camp and transport by minivan from Yangon. Package price for family with 2 children under 12 years old: $875 in total.
Keep in mind that Covid testing is still in place for domestic flights. Exploration Travel is happy to arrange any other travel for you and your family or staff trips as well as business travel within the country.
Photos are provided by Exploration Travel
Exploration Travel Myanmar
Address: 5/9, 1st Floor, Bogalay Zay Street (Lower Block), Botahtaung Tsp, Yangon
Hours: 8:30am – 5:30pm (Mon-Fri), 9am – 12pm (Sat), Closed on Sunday