Myanmar is a truly spiritual destination, largely untouched by the influence of Western civilization. The stunning landscape of pagodas and temples surrounding Bagan has changed little in 1500 years.  Since the elections in November 2010, the government has started to open its doors and Secretary Clinton’s visit this week is the first step in ending the country’s international isolation.

 

Interest in travel to Myanmar has increased dramatically in the past few months since the National League for Democracy, founded by Nobel Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, released a statement saying that it welcomes responsible tourism.  Abercrombie & Kent has responded to the growing interest in travel to Myanmar by creating three entirely new programs for 2012 that showcase different aspects of the country:

 

Myanmar’s Burmese Heritage – This Marco Polo Club Invitational program in February 2012 sold out within a month of being announced.  We are currently working to add another departure in the fall (October 22 – November 6). Experience the inspiring spirituality and old-world charm of Myanmar, a country largely untouched by modernity. Marvel at magnificent temples, masterful expressions of craftsmanship and devotion. Glimpse traditional life along Inle Lake and the Ayeyarwady and Lemro Rivers. Sixteen days from $6,295.

Angkor Wat & The Road to Mandalay – This small group escorted journey that combines two of Asia’s most impressive UNESCO World Heritage Sites with a three-night cruise through Cambodia and Myanmar. Marvel at the abandoned Khmer city of Angkor Wat, one of the world’s most enduring architectural wonders, before exploring the heart of Myanmar by land and along the fabled Ayeyarwady River on the luxurious MV ‘Road to Mandalay.’ Climb a temple to watch the sun set over Bagan’s fields, dotted with more than 2,000 stupas. Twelve days from $5,995.

 

Signature Myanmar – Be one of the few to experience Myanmar’s inspiring spirituality and old-world charm as it slowly begins to open to the world. Float over thousands of golden stupas in Bagan in a private hot air balloon. Discover the remote reaches of Myanmar, as you travel by private boat to Mrauk Oo, a town untouched by time. Wander through the otherworldly Shitthaung Temple, the “Temple of 80,000 Buddha Images.” Overnight in artful lodgings set amidst untouched natural settings, including the Inle Princess and Mrauk Oo Princess resorts. Private local guides. Thirteen days from $4,620.