The Heart of Myanmar: Along the Irrawaddy & Chindwin Rivers
Before You Go
On this expedition, you will be traveling on a scheduled Anawrahta departure. Zegrahm participants will enjoy the exclusive leadership of Gary Wintz, as well as additional private arrangements while on board and during touring. For most activities, a relatively moderate level of exertion is required. You must be able to walk distances of one to three miles, sometimes over rough and uneven surfaces, such as unpaved roads, and climb stone steps that at times may not have handrails. Expect high heat and humidity throughout this expedition, with temperatures ranging from the low 80s to low 90sºF. Though this expedition is timed for the end of the monsoon season, some precipitation can be expected.
Please pay close attention to the following sections: Passport and Visa Requirements, Health Information, and Baggage Allowance.
Activity Level & Accommodations
On this expedition, you will be traveling on a scheduled Anawrahta departure as well as staying in local lodging. For most activities, a relatively moderate level of exertion is required. You must be able to walk distances of one to three miles, sometimes over uneven surfaces, such as cobblestones and climb stone steps that may not have handrails. Expect high heat and humidity throughout this expedition, though this expedition is timed for the end of the monsoon season, some precipitation can be expected.
Arrivals & Departures
Departure / Airport Check-In Procedures
Please arrive at the airport for your flight to Bangkok at least two hours prior to departure and have access to your passport and airline E-ticket confirmation. Do not pack your passport or other travel documents in your checked luggage. Be certain the check-in agent properly tags your bags through to the final destination allowed, and that you have all baggage and E-ticket receipts.
Airlines change flight times frequently and if you booked your tickets through our air department, Zegrahm Expeditions will send you any updates as they are received from the carrier. Still, we recommend reconfirming the departure time of your flights with the airline directly within 24 hours of departure. This can be done easily online and will ensure you arrive at the airport with plenty of time to board your flight.
Please contact Zegrahm at 1.800.628.8747, 1.206.285.4000, or 126.96.36.1991 should you encounter significant delays or problems en route. Proceed to your airline’s ticket counter or flight gate for immediate assistance. Advise Zegrahm of all changes to your arrival into Bangkok so that we may inform our Expedition Leader.
Arrival / Departure Transfers
Transfers and assistance between airports and group hotels are arranged for participants arriving and departing on group dates and for those who have booked additional night(s) at our group hotel, Novotel Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport Hotel.
Please Note: You will need to purchase airfare from your home city/ Bangkok, Thailand / Mandalay, Myanmar and Yangon, Myanmar / Bangkok, Thailand / home city. For more detailed information, please contact our in-house Air Department for fare quotes, reservations, or other air-related questions.
If you are handling your own travel arrangements, please forward a copy of your itinerary to Zegrahm Expeditions as well as contact information where you can be reached prior to and after the program.
For your international flight to Bangkok,Thailand and return flight home from Bangkok, Thailand, please check for luggage weight restrictions with your airline provider. For the Bangkok Airways flights, Bangkok to Mandalay, Bagan to Yangon and Yangon to Bangkok, baggage allowance is 20 kilograms (44 pounds).
PLEASE NOTE: Most airlines strictly enforce their baggage regulations. Excess baggage charges, which can be substantial, are the personal responsibility of each participant.
We recommend the use of soft-sided luggage, as it is easier to store. Your carry-on bag should include anything you may need in transit. We recommend that you carry essential toiletries and prescription medications with you while traveling, as well as a change of clothing appropriate for the initial activities of our itinerary so that you will be comfortable in the unlikely event your baggage is delayed in transit or is slow to be delivered to your room upon arrival.
Myanmar is a hot environment. While some areas are humid, Bagan may be very dry. The sun can be intense, especially at mid-day. Temperatures in the northern part of Myanmar can drop in the early mornings and late at night, so make sure to bring a light sweater.
The following are average high/low temperatures in September for selected locations on our itinerary:
Your expedition includes most necessities; therefore, we strongly recommend that you carry most of your spending money in smaller denominations. Bills must be crisp with no tears or markings, otherwise they will not be accepted. As of April 2017, the exchange rates are as follows:
|$1 US dollar (USD)||34.46 Thai baht (THB)|
|$1 US dollar (USD)||1,354.45 Myanmar kyat (MMK)|
ATMs are very limited. Please carry smaller denominations as most merchants will require local currency. Also, ensure you have a four-digit PIN (Personal Identification Number) for your debit or credit card if you wish to obtain currency at ATMs.
USD and Myanmar kayts are accepted on board the Anawrahta. Your voyage includes most necessities; therefore, we strongly recommend that you carry most of your spending money in smaller denominations. Most credit cards are accepted for payment of shipboard accounts.
You will receive your Pre-Departure Packet—including a Personal Information Form that will need to be returned to Zegrahm, complete packing list, reading list, and gift certificates—approximately five months prior to departure. Final documents—including a final itinerary, contact list, and staff biographies—will be sent approximately one month prior to your departure.
The electrical unit in Myanmar runs at 220-240 Volts with round-prong European-style plugs that fit into recessed wall sockets /points. If you are bringing standard, North American appliances with you, bring a converter and an adapter.
While onboard the Anawrahta, the electrical unit will also be 220 volts. A two-round pin type, the same as in Continental Europe, can be used. Various adaptors for different types of plugs are available at the reception on board. The electricity supply is 240 volts. Please turn your lights off when you leave your cabin.
PLEASE NOTE: Some appliances, such as video camera battery packs, require heavy-duty converters rather than the normal travel type. Please check your equipment to be sure you bring what is necessary for your personal needs.
Flights to and from your home city are not included in the cost of expeditions; however, Zegrahm Expeditions has a fully-staffed air department that can assist you with flight arrangements.
You will need to purchase airfare from your home city/ Bangkok, Thailand / Mandalay, Myanmar and Yangon, Myanmar / Bangkok, Thailand / home city. For more detailed information, please contact our in-house Air Department for fare quotes, reservations, or other air-related questions.
Vaccinations against yellow fever are required if arriving within 6 days after leaving or transiting countries with yellow fever transmission. It is not safe to drink tap water but purified bottled mineral water is available everywhere and will be provided.
Drink plenty of fluids whenever you can, not just when you are thirsty. By preventing dehydration, you may prevent a range of medical problems associated with traveling. Take precautions to avoid overexposure to the sun. Bring a sun hat with a wide brim or scarf, polarized sunglasses, and a high-SPF sunscreen.
In case of serious injury or illness while traveling, it is important to understand that satisfactory medical facilities may not exist nearby. Should you require emergency medical care, it may be necessary to depart the country by international medical evacuation services. The cost of your expedition includes $100,000 in emergency evacuation and $25,000 in medical expense. Details of this policy are available online at www.travelguard.com/zegrahm.
While there are no required vaccinations for visiting Myanmar, this information herein is a guideline and is subject to change without notice. Contact your physician or local health center for current and other information concerning health precautions, immunizations, and prescriptions based on your physical condition and medical history.
Internet & Phone
Your final documentation will include contact information for our hotels, including phone and fax numbers as well as email addresses.
Following are local times that apply to this expedition when it is 7:00am on the North American west coast:
|7:00am||Seattle, WA (PDT)|
|10:00am||New York, NY (EDT)|
Should you have any dietary needs, please let us know on the Personal Information Form included with the Pre-Departure packet, and we will do our best to prepare for them. Unfortunately, kosher meals cannot be accommodated.
It is essential to maximize the versatility of your travel wardrobe by packing clothing that can be layered. Wash-and-wear, lightweight, natural fabrics are recommended. As you pack, consider your own internal thermostat and personal tastes and adjust accordingly.
Bring loose comfortable clothing appropriate for the hot and sunny conditions you will encounter, keeping in mind that dress is far more conservative in Myanmar than in the West. Sleeveless tops are not allowed in the temples; shorts or capris must be below the knee. Bring adequate sun-protective clothing and gear, including a hat or visor and sunblock, as we will be out for extended periods of time. On our cruise on the Irrawaddy River, it can be cool in the early morning breeze and late evenings, so bring a light jacket or sweater. For pants, it may be convenient to bring pants with zip-off legs. You also need sturdy, non-skid walking or hiking shoes for our daytime excursions. Please make sure your shoes are well broken-in before you depart.We will also have welcome cocktail party on board on the first night of our cruise, as well as a farewell dinner at the end of our cruise. Some may choose to wear slightly more dressy attire for these nights.
Passport & Visa Requirements
A valid passport is required for participation in this program. It is recommended that your passport is valid for 6 months after you return home, through April 3, 2018. If you do not have a passport, or if it is not valid for the correct length of time, you should apply for one as soon as possible. You need to have a minimum of one page per country available for entry/exit stamps in your passport. As of January 1, 2016, the US State Department has eliminated the application to insert additional pages into your passport. If you require additional pages, a new passport must be obtained. We suggest that you carry extra passport photos and a photocopy of your passport’s information page when you travel.
Visas are not required for US nationals for entry into Thailand. Visas are required of US nationals for entry into Myanmar. If you are traveling independently of the group or to any other countries prior to or after the program, check the entry and visa requirements with the local consulates of each country you plan on visiting.
PLEASE NOTE: Nationals of countries other than the US should check with the nearest consulates for specific visa and entry requirements for their entire itinerary, including both the group arrangements and any travel prior to or after the program.
Payments & Cancellations
A deposit totaling 25% of the expedition fare will reserve a place for you on this Zegrahm program. The balance of the expedition fare is due 120 days prior to departure. Airfare is due at the time tickets are issued. All prices are quoted in US dollars and must be paid in US dollars.
Cancellation & Refund Policy
Notification of cancellation must be received in writing by Zegrahm. At the time we receive your written cancellation, the following penalties will apply:
- 180 days or more prior to departure: $750 per person
- 120 through 179 days prior to departure: 25% of expedition fare
- 1 through 119 days prior to departure: 100% of expedition fare
Please note, fees associated with cancelled airline tickets are in addition to this and will be clearly outlined for you on your flight itinerary.
Trip Cancellation and Interruption Insurance
We strongly advise that all travelers purchase trip cancellation and interruption insurance to protect themselves from an unforeseen emergency that may force you to cancel or leave an expedition while it is in progress. Information describing coverage will be sent to you upon receipt of your deposit for the expedition. Unfortunately, we are unable to offer insurance to guests residing outside the United States.
With Our Compliments
We are pleased to offer complimentary amenities to our explorers so they can be fully prepared before departing on one of our expeditions. Gift certificates to Longitude Books and our Zegrahm Store will offer you the opportunity to purchase gear from our store along with books or maps suggested in the highly-recommended titles included in your Reading List.