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We will stop for lunch at Pontaung Ponnya in the Western Ranges before crossing the (ever-retreating) Chin border at Saw, winding our way up the Chin Hills to the mountain town of Mindat.
Chin State is a world away from the tudor facades of Pyin Oo Lwin and effete skinny jeans of Mandalay. Here in Mindat locals wrap themselves up in coats and hats, sipping upon thick Chin coffee and eating chewy basc deer salad.
Hiking in Chinland you will pass women with their faces heavily tattooed drinking millet wine out of mithun horns, as well as hardy little children – when themselves not working – casting onto the cracked earth homemade roughly cut spinning tops.
On this journey you will be taken to visit some of the many methodist churches that pepper the Chin Hills as prodigiously as pagodas, and up to the summit of Mt Victoria where rhododendrons produce a riot of colour around Christmas time.
Upon your arrival in Myanmar you can choose to either relax at your hotel or head directly into the City of Gems for sightseeing and exploration.
Board a boat at Mandalay jetty and be taken up to the village of Myit Kan Gyi where on the river you can observe Irrawaddy dolphins helping the local fishermen locate their catch.
After spending the night on board the boat, cruise back down to Mandalay passing pottery villages on the way.
Take a day-long boat trip down the Ayeyarwaddy River to the ruins of the ancient Pagan Kingdom.
After visiting the Nyaung U morning market, you will be taken to the secluded area of Minnanthu for a picnic. Explore the temples at your own leisure before sunset on the Ayeyarwaddy.
Head north-west by jeep over the Pakokku Bridge, the longest in Myanmar. After lunch at Pontaung Ponnya in the forests of the Western Ranges, you will cross the border into Chin State and begin driving uphill to the town of Mindat.
Visit the monastery of Mindat as well as the Chin Heritage museum, before embarking upon a light hike after lunch passing through villages of the Makaan and Yin Du ethnic groups.
Hike from Chi Creek to a village where you will enjoy a traditional Chin lunch. Travel on to Aye Camp, the site of an old British army camp. Before turning in for the night, sit around a bonfire and sample Chin rum while listening to local musicians play.
Commence your climb of Mt Victoria, which should take between 2 – 4 hours. After lunch at the summit, amble down the mountain before checking into a comfortable lodge in the pine tree-clad mountainside town of Kanpetlet.
Drive down the hills out of Chin State to Pakokku and visit the tobacco workshops in operation there. Transfer on to the town of Monywa and be sure not to miss the spirited night market.
Visit the two mammoth Buddha Images (one Standing, the other Reclining) at Bodi Ta Taung. Travel on to Shwe Ba Taung where 2588 Buddhas are situated in 492 caves of various shapes and sizes.
Before leaving the Golden Land you will be taken on the Grasshopper’s Foodies Bicycle Tour sampling the best breakfast snacks to be found in Mandalay’s myriad tea shops.
In the midst of Myanmar’s most resplendent empire is the first in a new generation of hotel.
Everything in delectable miniature from the pool, to the spa to the salt & pepper shakers.