AdventureTravelNews

Explore Returns to Burma

Fisherman On Inle Lake (Exploreworldwide.com)

After a 16-year absence, Explore has announced the reintroduction of tours to Burma. A two week tour is now available to book, for travel from November, 2011. Returning to the country with gusto, 12 departure dates will be offered for this tour, over a six month period. A further three-week tour and family trip will be featured in Explore’s new brochure.

Featuring highly on a lot of people’s wish lists, there have been a number of false alarms about the reintroduction of tourism to the country over the last few years. However, on each of these occasions Explore took its advice from Burma Campaign UK, who assured the company that the boycott was still in place.

Explore’s return to the country has been with the endorsement of Burma Campaign UK and the company continues to follow their guidelines closely. As per the appeals of Burmese pro-democracy leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, the adventure travel specialist will not be using junta-owned hotels, flights or other services. Everything will be done to minimise customer contact with the government as much as possible.

The two week Burma holiday takes-in many of the country’s highlights. Rangoon (Yangon) still retains much of its colonial character. Inle Lake is home to stilted villages and unique floating gardens. The lake’s fishermen are famous for the remarkable style of ‘leg-rowing’ that they have developed. Mandalay was the last royal capital of the Burmese kingdom and is considered to be Burma’s most historical and culturally rich region. Whilst the Plain of Bagan is one of the world’s premier archaeological wonders, studded with literally thousands of one-thousand year-old temples and stupas that rival Angkor Wat’s splendour.

Young Monk, Bagan (Exploreworldwide.com)

Explore’s new two-week tour of Burma costs from $1,900 to include 14 nights’ accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis, transport and the services of a tour leader and driver. There is also the opportunity to extend the tour with a three-night stay on the stunning palm tree-lined white beaches of Ngapali.

To celebrate the re-launch of the destination, pioneering customers can make the most of a $150 discount on all November 2011 departure dates booked by 31July, by quoting “Burma offer” at the time of booking.

Ashley Toft, Managing Director of Explore, commented, “With the confirmed relaxation of the boycott, we look forward to offering interesting and competitively priced tours in this fascinating country. Rich in colonial history, it is almost as if Burma has been left in a time-warp. Largely untouched by tourism, it currently offers just 9,000 hotel beds.”

He continued, “In a recent interview for the BBC’s Reith Lectures, Aung San Suu Kyi encouraged (tourism) institutions to help the people of Burma, whilst conserving its environment. As one of the first international adventure operators to return to the country, we want to make sure that we act appropriately and responsibly for the benefit of the Burmese people and our customers.”

For more information or bookings, visit www.exploreworldwide.com or call 800 715 1746.

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