July 22, 2019 | InsideAsia Tours
With UNESCO having just awarded two of the most important historic sites in Southeast Asia World Heritage status, there’s no better time to experience these intriguing monuments first hand.
The immense sacred temple complex of Bagan in Myanmar and the mysterious archaeological spectacle that is Laos’ Plain of Jars are two of the 29 new sites given important protected status for 2019, as announced by the international committee in Baku, Azerbaijan, this month.
With unbeaten regional knowledge and passion, gained from having themselves spent years living, working and travelling across Southeast Asia, InsideAsia Tours has been tailor-making trips to both of these outstanding sites for many years.
“Both Bagan and the Plain of Jars have long been two of Southeast Asia’s most intriguing historical sites – to say that they are deserving of a UNESCO title is quite the understatement.
“Having arranged for many guests to visit these awe-inspiring sites over the years, it would be brilliant for this new status to pique the interest of an even greater number of respectful travellers, looking to see these wondrous places for themselves, whilst treading carefully on the newly-protected ground. This will really benefit the local people, many of whom who depend on the tourism industry for their livelihoods.”
Reason listed: A vast, sacred landscape, located in central Myanmar, close to the Ayeyarwady River, Bagan is scattered with more than two thousand ancient stupas of the Buddhist faith (dating back to 11th to 13th centuries AD), as well as Hindu temples, making this not only one of the most spectacular landscapes in the world, but also one of the most important.
Explore Myanmar’s most celebrated destinations in a fast-paced introduction to the country’s welcoming culture, fascinating history and glorious scenery. Starting in the former capital of Mandalay, head to the plains of Bagan to learn about the site’s fascinating history and marvel at the wondrous landscape. Flying east to Heho, head to the beautiful, mountain-ringed Inle Lake, famed for its leg-rowing fishermen and floating farms. The tour concludes in leafy Yangon, Myanmar’s economic and diplomatic centre – join locals for a spiritual sunset at spectacular Shwedagon Pagoda, the sacred heart of the country.
This eight-night trip is priced from £1,250 pp (two sharing), including eight nights’ B&B, transfers, one lunch and guided excursions as per the day-by-day itinerary. International flights extra.
Reason listed: The most prominent evidence of an Iron Age civilisation that dated from 500 BC to 500 AD, the Plain of Jars in Xieng Khouang, in northern Laos, takes its name from more than 2,100 giant stone jars that punctuate the landscape. The jars have been a long-standing archaeological mystery, thought to have been used for ancient burial practices.
This overland exploration of northern Laos takes in its wild jungle regions, hidden limestone caves and the mysterious Plain of Jars. Take a food tour in Vientiane before venturing into the countryside, visiting minority villages, exploring the caves of Sam Neua and taking an overnight trek through Nam Et-Phou Louey National Park. Then it’s on to the mountainous area of Nong Khiaw to trek karst scenery, kayak the Nam Ou River and visit the Pak Ou Caves, filled with thousands of images of Buddha, before finishing the adventure in Luang Prabang.
This 11-night trip is priced from £2,470 pp (two sharing), including 11 nights’ B&B, transfers (including internal flights as listed), four lunches, two dinners and guided excursions as per the day-by-day itinerary. International flights extra.
For more information, or to talk to an expert, call InsideAsia Tours on 0117 244 3380 (www.insideasiatours.com).
InsideAsia Tours Ltd is an award-winning travel company offering group tours and tailored travel and cultural experiences across Japan, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar.
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