Overview

Do you have teaching experience or are you interested in interacting with young people in a teaching role? This Journey gives us a wonderful opportunity to serve the people of Myanmar by teaching English to students between the ages of 17 and 22 at the Hospitality Culinary and Tourism Academy. With morning teaching engagements and afternoons for sightseeing and other cultural opportunities, this Journey will allow you to touch the lives of these Burmese students and broaden you horizons in return.

Home Hospitality

Home Hosting is not permitted by the government of Myanmar; however there will still be day hosting and other cultural events facilitated by our partners.

Live With a Local

  • We will have the opportunity to serve by teaching English to students ages 17 – 22 at the Hospitality Culinary and Tourism Academy. We are looking for people who have teaching experience or who are interested in serving the community in Myanmar in this way.
  • Visit Mahagandayon Monastery where more than a thousand monks live and study. Time permitting, you will have the opportunity to observe the monks having their last meal of the day in total silence.
  • Visit a Kalaga tapestry craftsmen’s shop before proceeding to Mandalay Hill for sunset viewing.
  • In Taunggyi, visit the Sisters Orphanage, where you'll spend the day teaching the children.

Sightseeing Highlights

  • Visit one of the world’s largest bells, the 90 ton Mingun Bell
  • Travel to the former British hill station Pyin Oo Lwin (Maymyo), a delightful small town with colonial-style buildings, markets, and a botanical garden. Upon arrival, visit the local market on a horse cart.
  • See the famous Inthar leg rowers, floating gardens, local methods of fishing, village life, and magnificent scenery of Inle Lake.
  • Visit the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, one of the most sacred shrines in Myanmar dating back to the 18th century, and the Nga Phe Monastery with a beautiful collection of ancient Buddha images.
  • See the magnificent reclining Buddha Chauk Htat Gyi.
  • No visit to Myanmar is complete without a trip to Shwedagon Pagoda, one of the world’s most spectacular monuments.
  • Go on several guided walking tours around Yangon, seeing many impressive pagodas, stopping in plenty of local markets and handicraft shops, and observing the hustle and bustle of daily life in Myanmar.
Want more highlights? Click on the "Itinerary" tab above for a complete day-to-day guide!
It was a great journey to Myanmar. Due to some specifics of the country it did not include homestay. But what we have seen, gives a complete picture of the lives of ordinary people of Myanmar, their shrines and temples, their religion and national customs. - 2016 Ambassador

English Teachers to Myanmar

14 Days / 13 Nights Program and Itinerary:

February 22, 2018 – March 7, 2018
Coordinator: Jeff Allen
jeff@allenschoolofselfmastery.com

All Friendship Force Itineraries are subject to change.

Feb. 22 - Mandalay

Upon arrival, you will be welcomed and transferred to hotel and the rest of the day is at leisure.

Lunch will be to your own account.

Dinner and overnight stay at Hotel Hazel.

Feb. 23 - Amarapura – Ava - Sagaing

After breakfast, you will board your domestic flight to Mandalay.

Upon arrival, excursion is made to Amarapura, 15 km from Mandalay, to visit Mahagandayon Monastery where more than a thousand monks live and study. Time permitting, you will have the opportunity to observe the monks having their last meal of the day in total silence.

Continue to the 200-year-old U Bein teak bridge, built in 1782 when Amarapura was the royal capital. Already from the early days the city was known for silk- and cotton weaving.

Visit a traditional hand-woven silk workshop before proceeding to Bagaya Monastery, a compound with a superb collection of Buddha statues.

In the afternoon, embark on a short boat ride and start exploring the former Royal Capital Inwa (Ava) by horse cart. Visit Nanmyint Watch Tower, the remains of the ancient palace building, also known as “the leaning tower of Ava,“ Maha Aungmye Bonzan Monastery built of brick and stucco, Bargayar Monastery, famous for its impressive ornate woodcarvings and teak posts, then continue to Sagaing Hills, a retreat for Buddhist devotees for sunset.

Lunch will be served at local restaurant.

Dinner and overnight stay at Hotel Hazel.

Feb. 24 - Mandalay – Mingun

After breakfast, an excursion by boat on the Ayeyarwaddy River will take you to Mingun, about 11 km (1h) upriver from Mandalay.

Visit one of the world’s largest bells, the 90 ton Mingun Bell, Hsinbyume Paya and the unfinished Mingun Paya meant to become the largest stupa in Myanmar, constructed by King Bodaw Paya.

Return to Mandalay.

In the afternoon, experience the sights and sounds of Mandalay including some of the most revered religious monuments in Myanmar such as Mahamuni Pagoda, She Inbin Monastery, Golden Palace Monastery, a superb example of a traditional wood work and Kuthodaw Pagoda, the world’s largest book, made of marble.

Mandalay is a major arts and crafts center. Visit a Kalaga tapestry craftsmen’s shop before proceeding to Mandalay Hill for sunset viewing. Lunch and dinner will be served at local restaurant.

Overnight stay at Hotel Hazel.

Feb. 25 - Mandalay – Pyin Oo Lwin

After breakfast, a scenic drive (80km – 2h) will take you to the former British hill station Pyin Oo Lwin (Maymyo), a delightful small town with colonial-style buildings, markets, and a botanical garden. Upon arrival, visit the local market on a horse cart.

Venture out to visit the Peik Khyin Myaung Caves.

Proceed to Pwe Kyauk Falls, a favorite picnic spot for local people, before retiring to your hotel.

Lunch will be served at local restaurant.

Dinner and overnight stay at Aureum Palace Resort at the Governor’s House.

Feb. 26 - Pyin Oo Lwin – Mandalay – Heho – Inle Lake

After an early breakfast, we will drive back to Mandalay and you will be transferred to the airport for your domestic flight to Heho.

Upon arrival to Heho, transfer to Taunggyi (40 km, 1 hr) to visit the Sisters Orphanage. Spend the day at the orphanage by teaching the children.

Visit to Umbrella and Cheroot workshops before transfer to Nyaung Shwe (30 km, 1hr) and transfer to hotel.

Lunch will be served at local restaurant.

Dinner and overnight stay at Thanakha Inle Resort.

Feb. 27 - Inle Lake

After breakfast, visit to one of the five days market around Inle Lake (on market days only), see the famous Inthar leg rowers, floating gardens, local methods of fishing, village life and magnificent scenery.

You will visit the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda; one of the most sacred shrines in Myanmar dating back to the 18th century, the Nga Phe Monastery with a beautiful collection of ancient Buddha images, the weaving village of Inpawkhon.

Lunch will be served at local restaurant.

Dinner and overnight stay at Thanakha Inle Resort.

Feb. 28 - Inle Lake

After breakfast, the whole day is at leisure for your own exploring around the lake. No boat and guide services.

Lunch will be to your own account.

Dinner and overnight stay at Thanakha Inle Resort

*Optional* Full-day visit to southern part of the lake, Sagar
Proceed by boat to Nampan Village. Continue by boat on a 2-3 hour journey through lake and river sceneries to the southern part of Inle Lake where time has stood still and the ethnic populations of Pa-O, Inthar, Shan, and Padaung have remained untouched by modern civilization. Walk through several villages on the shore that produce local goods such as pottery, bamboo ware, sugar cane, hand-woven cloth, alcohol, fishery products, and much more. Visit the ancient pagoda sight of Sagar and Tha Kong, built in the 17th century in typical Shan style. On market days, take part in the local market activities where hill tribe folks meet the lake population. Return to your hotel by boat.

Lunch will be served at local restaurant.

March 1 - Inle Lake – Heho - Yangon

After breakfast, you will be transferred to airport for your domestic flight back to Yangon. Upon arrival, you will be transferred to hotel and check in.

Both lunch and dinner are to your own account.

Overnight stay at Panorama Hotel.

March 2 - Yangon

Breakfast at hotel and the rest of the day is at leisure.

No car and guide service.

Both lunch and dinner are to your own account.

Overnight stay at Panorama Hotel.

March 3 - Yangon

After breakfast, half of the day is at leisure for teaching and preparing for lessons.

Both lunch and dinner will be to your own account.

Half-day walking tour through colonial buildings, which includes:
Pick up at your hotel and transfer to Bogyoke (Scott’s) Market with hundreds of food, clothes, handicraft, and gems stores (closed on Mondays and public holidays) before proceeding to Pansodan Jetty to observe the busy life on Yangon River. Continue driving up Pansodan Street, famous for some of Yangon’s most impressive colonial buildings. Start your walking tour at Mahabandoola Road from where you have the perfect view on Sule Pagoda, City Hall, and the High Court. Cross the greens of Maha Bandoola Garden before discovering the gold shops near Shwe Bontha Street. Go further on to Kon Zay Dan Street and Shwedagon Pagoda Road before walking across the animated Indian District of Anawrahta Road to reach a popular Hindu Temple. Continue to 31st Street, well known for secondhand books. Continue your walk by the gold shops of Shwe Bontha Street.

Complete walking time is about 1½ hours; your vehicle will be on stand-by at a pre-determined location to pick up passengers who prefer a visit by car.

Then transfer back to hotel.

Overnight stay at Panorama Hotel

March 4 - Yangon

After breakfast, half of the day is at leisure for teaching and preparing for lessons.

Both lunch and dinner will be to your own account.

Half day visit around Yangon, which includes:
Pick up from your hotel and proceed to the magnificent reclining Buddha Chauk Htat Gyi. Then go for a photo stop at the Karaweik Hall, a barge on Kandawgyi (Royal) Lake. See the eight-meter-high Golden Lion Throne, as well as the Mandalay Royal Regalia at the National Museum (closed on Mondays and public holidays). If time permits, go to a Traditional Medicine Practitioner to learn about diagnosing and administering of herbs and powders as well as other forms of traditional medicine.

Overnight stay at Panorama Hotel.

March 5 - Yangon

After breakfast, half of the day is at leisure for teaching and preparing for lessons.

Lunch and dinner will be to your own account.

Half day evening tour around Yangon:
Pick up at your hotel and transfer to Botathaung Pagoda in the vicinity of the Yangon River. Proceed then to the busy area of Chinatown to explore among local people and street vendors. In the early evening, the pavement turns into a Night Market selling all kinds of goods. Drive to Sule Pagoda before proceeding to the Shwedagon Pagoda for the visit of one of the world’s most spectacular monuments and return to your hotel.

Overnight stay at Panorama Hotel.

March 6 - Yangon

After breakfast, the whole day is at leisure for teaching and preparing for lessons.

Both lunch and dinner will be to your own account.

Overnight stay at Panorama Hotel.

March 7 - Yangon

After breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport for your international flight back home or on to the Bagan Extension.

Lunch will be to your own account.

OPTIONAL Bagan Extension - March 7

Upon arrival in Nyaung U airport from Yangon, start your day with a visit of the local market in Nyaung U.

Continue to the most significant pagodas and temples of Bagan, including Shwezigon Pagoda built by King Anawrahta in the early 11th century as a religious monument to newly introduced a temple with superb murals of Jataka scenes, Khay Min Ga Temple, and the famous Ananda Temple with four magnificent standing Buddha images.

In the afternoon, visit one of Myanmar’s most treasured handicrafts, a lacquer ware craftsmen’s workshop in nearby Myinkaba Village.

You will continue to Manuha Temple built in Mon style in 1059 and follow on to Nanbaya Temple, a unique sandstone monument said to have been the palace of King Manuha.

Proceed to Bupaya Pagoda to watch the sunset over the famous Ayeyarwaddy River.

Lunch and dinner will be served at local restaurant.

Overnight stay at Myanmar Treasure Resort.

OPTIONAL Bagan Extension - March 8

After breakfast, a 50 km drive (1½ hr) will take you to Mt. Popa, an extinct volcano with spectacular views. Popa is a popular pilgrimage destination for the Myanmar. The local people travel here from far away to worship various animist spirits known as “nats.” 777 steps lead up to the shrine placed on top of the steep Popa peak.

In the afternoon, visit the sites of Tayokepyay Temple in Min Nan Thu Village, Phaya Thone Zu and Nandamanya Temples, noted for exquisite murals of 13th century, Kyat Kan Cave monastery, a famous meditation retreat in Bagan.

Continue then to some farming villages around Bagan which will give your insight into the lives of the local people.

Enjoy sunset from one of the temple tops in Bagan (if available).
Lunch and dinner will be served at local restaurant.
Overnight stay at Myanmar Treasure Resort.

Optional – Oriental Ballooning or Balloons over Bagan:
Imagine floating over thousand year old pagodas and the mighty Ayeyarwaddy River, as the sun slowly rises over the temple dotted plains of Bagan. The magic of Bagan has inspired visitors to Myanmar for centuries. One of the most remarkable sights in Asia, ancient temples dot the landscape as far as the eye can see. “Balloons over Bagan” grant visitors a unique opportunity to see this ancient kingdom, as never before. The sunrise champagne flights last just under one hour and take off daily from October through to the end of March. The balloon is guided by gentle winds not exceeding 20 km per hour, allowing passengers a serene and peaceful bird’s-eye view of ancient temples drifting by. Using his skill the pilot is able to guide the balloon to a gentle landing on the banks of the Ayeyarwaddy River, or in an open field, where the friendly crew and a celebratory glass of champagne will be on hand.

Note: Body weight and nationality have to be advised 30 days prior to flight date.

OPTIONAL Bagan Extension - March 9

After breakfast, embark for visits to Tayokepyay Temple in Min Nan Thu Village, Phaya Thone Zu and Nandamanya Temples noted for their exquisite murals of 13th century and Kyat Kan Cave monastery, a famous meditation retreat in Bagan.

Farming villages around Bagan will give your insight into the lives of the local people.

In the afternoon, a horse cart is waiting to show you more of Bagan’s ancient temples in the traditional way of transportation used by people in Myanmar’s countryside.

Enjoy sunset over the plains and mountains of Bagan while cruising on the Ayeyarwaddy River.

Lunch will be served at local restaurant.

Dinner and overnight stay at Myanmar Treasure Resort.

OPTIONAL Bagan Extension - March 10

After breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport for domestic flight to Yangon.

Lunch will be to your own account.

This is the end of the optional extension.

Rate:

$2600 USD

Price Includes: FFI and host fees, tour fees, domestic airfare for main program, tips and gratuities, administrative fees, and contingency fees. There is a single supplement of $530.

Availability:

18Spaces Remaining

Active

Know before you go

  • There is an optional four-day extension tour to Bagan that costs $585 including tour fees and domestic air; single supplement $140.
  • Home hosting is not permitted by the Myanmar government at this time, but we have incorporated day hosting, a garden dinner party, and other cultural events so that you will still have the opportunity to experience the local culture.
  • The weather will be quite warm this time of year with the average weather in February/March in Yangon, Myanmar being characterized by gradually rising daily high temperatures, with daily highs increasing by 4°F, from about 91°F (33°C) to 94°F (34°C) over the course of the month.
  • Yangon is a bustling metropolis which has maintained its original colonial buildings. The most active time in Yangon is from 4-10PM.
  • Itinerary is subject to changes depending on flights, road conditions and availability of rooms.
Interested in this Journey?

We would love to have you on this Journey with us.

Our Mission

Friendship Force International provides opportunities to explore new countries and cultures from the inside by bringing people together at the personal level. Through the signature program of home hospitality, local hosts welcome international visitors into their culture, sharing with them meals, conversation, and the best sights and experiences of their region.
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