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The Temples & Trains of Burma

24th May 2012 Print
Gokteik Bridge, Myanmar

Southeast Asia Specialist Bamboo Travel has created a brand new two-week itinerary to Myanmar (Burma) called The Temples & Trains of Burma, travelling by train and boat to discover the country’s ancient and colonial past.

Two separate, spectacular train journeys, will take you deep into the heart of the country, to experience village life and discover relics from the bygone British Colonial era.

The exciting journey commences with a private tour and overnight stay in Yangon, with its golden stupas and vibrant streets, before heading to Bagan for two nights, to marvel at the ancient temples, visit Mount Popa and have an evening sunset cruise on the Irradwaddy.

Burma’s second largest city, Mandalay, is the next stop where there is much to see including Mahagandayon Monastery where more than a thousand monks live and study, the 200 year old U Bein teak bridge built in 1782 at the time when Amarapura was the capital, and Mandalay Palace which was re-built using forced labour following its destruction during WWII.

The first train journey starts in the morning from the colonial hill station of Pyin U Lwin near Mandalay, for the journey over the spectacular Goteik viaduct. This train used to be the infamous black-market train which, in the past, transported goods to and from China. You will travel through charming scenery and the train will cross the famous 700m long Gokteik Bridge, built in 1900 by the American Pennsylvania Steel Co. The impressive height from the bridge to the bottom of the valley is nearly 300m.

The second train journey starts from another rural hill station, Kalaw, nestled in the Shan Hills from where it meanders slowly through the countryside and zigzags across hilly terrain before arriving at sleepy town of Shwe Nyaung, a short drive from Inle Lake where the next 2 nights are spent. The train frequently stops at small rural stations where you will be able to buy interesting snacks and other goods from the local ladies and children.

The climax of the tour is a visit to the former ancient capital of Mrauk U, where there are over 70 magnificent temples and Pagoda's dating from the 4th Century AD.

The holiday costs from £2995 pp (two sharing, in May) which includes international flights from the UK, 12-nights' hotel accommodation, daily breakfast, six lunches and two dinners, road & boat transfers, train travel and tours on a private basis with English speaking guides and drivers.

For further information or to make a booking, visit

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Gokteik Bridge, Myanmar