December 28, 2013, to January 12, 2014
Explore the isolated “Golden Land” of Burma with Hoover Institution senior fellow Larry Diamond, ’74, MA ’78, PhD ’80.
Ruled by a dictatorial military government, most Burmese people have managed to retain their traditional ways, their lives imbued with Theravada Buddhism and animist religious beliefs. Travel from the British colonial city of Rangoon to Inle Lake in scenic Shan state. Tour the old royal capital city of Mandalay and view hundreds of temple ruins in Bagan. Cruise for five days up and down the broad Irrawaddy River aboard the brand-new colonial-style river cruiser, Paukan 2007. Go ashore to visit historic monasteries and remote villages with bustling local markets, and explore lavishly gilded stupas and ancient pagodas.
Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies
As a scholar of democracy, development and the rule of law, Larry focuses on the current political scene in the countries we visit and the issues and challenges they face.
- Larry Diamond, Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies
Larry Diamond, ’73, MA ’78, PHD ’80, is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, where he directs the Center for Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law (CDDRL). At CDDRL, he is also one of the principal investigators in the programs on Arab Reform and Democracy and on Liberation Technology. He is also founding co-editor of the Journal of Democracy and a senior consultant to the International Forum for Democratic Studies of the National Endowment for Democracy. His latest book, The Spirit of Democracy: The Struggle to Build Free Societies Throughout the World (Times Books, 2008), explores the sources of global democratic progress and stress and the prospects for future democratic expansion.
At Stanford, Diamond is the Peter E. Haas Faculty Co-Director of the Haas Center for Public Service and also professor by courtesy of political science and sociology. He teaches courses on comparative democratic development and post-conflict democracy building, and advises many Stanford students. In 2007 he was named “Teacher of the Year” by the Associated Students of Stanford University for teaching that “transcends political and ideological barriers,” and he was also honored by Stanford University with the Dinkelspiel Award for Distinctive Contributions to Undergraduate Education.
“Larry Diamond added a critical 4th dimension - politics and economics - to an adventure already packed with beautiful scenery and antiquities. Outstanding!”
Please note that this itinerary includes only the tourist sites we will be visiting; guest speakers and special events are also being planned but will not be confirmed until shortly before departure. Our intent on this program is to give travelers a well-rounded introduction to Burma, including tourist highlights as well as interactions with local Burmese.
Saturday & Sunday, December 28 & 29
DEPART U.S. / RANGOON, BURMA
Depart the U.S. on flights to Burma, crossing the international date line en route. Arrive the next day in Rangoon (Yangon), capital of Burma (Myanmar), and check in to our hotel. In Rangoon, the hub of commercial activity within the country, watch traders dressed in traditional longyi as they conduct transactions for rice, teak and oil. Spend the afternoon exploring the downtown area independently before dinner at our hotel, followed by a good night’s rest. STRAND HOTEL (12/29: D)
Monday, December 30
Explore Rangoon today, beginning with the historic downtown district and continuing to the riverfront and the Sule Pagoda. Next visit the National Museum featuring royal treasures of the last Burmese kings and other historical artifacts. After lunch at a local restaurant, view the famous golden Shwedagon Pagoda. Built 2,500 years ago to house eight sacred hairs of the Buddha, the structure has been restored and enlarged continuously since it was built. Sixty tons of gold leaf cover the central tower, and its weather vane is decorated with a 76-carat diamond and 4,350 additional diamonds and precious stones. The pagoda is surrounded by numerous other places of worship that accommodate the 10,000 pilgrims who visit each day. Many kinds of religious observances are in progress simultaneously, and even the processions of sweepers have a ritual quality. Return to our hotel as the sun sets for this evening’s welcome reception and dinner. STRAND HOTEL (B,L,D)
Tuesday, December 31
RANGOON / BAGAN
This morning, stroll through the sprawling Bogyoke Aung San Market (Scott Market) where everything from gems to car parts is for sale. Continue on to the colossal Chaukhtatgyi, better known as the “Reclining Buddha.” Dating back to 1899, the huge statue stretches 216 feet in length and is one of the largest Buddha images in the world. After lunch, board our flight for Bagan, and upon arrival, board our coach for the hotel. AUREUM PALACE (B,L,D)
Wednesday, January 1
At its peak Bagan spread across the plains; today’s city covers an area of just a little more than 25 square miles and is studded with 2,000 temples in varying states of repair. When the area converted from Hindu and Mahayana Buddhism to Theravada Buddhism, there was an unprecedented building of stupas (Buddhist mound-like structures) and temples. The monuments are decorated with gold, silver and fine mosaic painting. Spend a full day exploring the temples, including the Shwezigon Pagoda and the Gubyaukgyi and Htilominlo temples. After lunch see temples representative of various time periods and architectural styles, and visit a village workshop devoted to the production of Burmese lacquerware. Enjoy sunset from the top of one of the temple ruins and dine tonight at a local restaurant where we enjoy traditional folk entertainment. AUREUM PALACE (B,L,D)
Thursday, January 2
BAGAN / MOUNT POPA
Early this morning drive 30 miles to Mount Popa. Often described as the “Mount Olympus” of Myanmar, this extinct volcano is estimated to have erupted for the final time over 320,000 years ago. Today it is not known for its geological aspects, but more for being the abode of “Nats,” the mischievous local spirits that inhabit the natural world and are a key feature of daily life in Burma. Upon our return to Bagan visit the temples of Manuha and Nanpaya.
AUREUM PALACE (B,L,D)
Friday, January 3
BAGAN / EMBARKATION
Mid-morning, board the Paukan 2007, our home for the next four nights, and cruise upstream until the early evening when we drop anchor outside the town of Yandabo. This evening our ship crew welcomes us with a cultural performance. PAUKAN 2007 (B,L,D)
Saturday, January 4
YANDABO / AVA
The village of Yandabo is known historically as the site where the treaty of the First Anglo-Burmese War was signed on February 24, 1826. Today, the village is best known for its pottery. Explore the village, stopping at some pottery-making workshops to learn their unique production techniques, and visit a monastery. Board our ship and continue upstream to the ancient city of Ava, capital of the Burmese Kingdom from 1364 to 1841. PAUKAN 2007 (B,L,D)
Sunday, January 5
Spend the morning exploring the ruins of Ava by horse cart, visiting the beautiful 200-year-old, all-teak Bagaya Kyaung Monastery, the Nanmyin watchtower and the Me Nu Ok Kyaung Monastery. Return to our river vessel for lunch and continue upstream. This evening we moor overnight north of Mandalay. PAUKAN 2007 (B,L,D)
Monday, January 6
KYAUK MYAUNG / MINGUN
Today venture ashore at Kyauk Myaung, a string of villages known for its unique pottery workshops. Here we find everything from tiny toy tea cups to giant 50-gallon urns built for storing fish paste. Additional stops today include Mingun, where King Bodawpaya pledged to build the largest pagoda in the world. Upon the death of King Bodawpaya in 1819, the pagoda project was abandoned, but the vast building site and the huge Mingun Bell, originally cast for the pagoda, continue to draw visitors from all over the world. This evening enjoy a dance-and-theater performance aboard our ship and moor overnight in Sagaing. PAUKAN 2007 (B,L,D)
Tuesday, January 7
SAGAING / DISEMBARK / MANDALAY
This morning disembark our river vessel at Sagaing and continue inland by coach to Mandalay. Located in central Burma along the Irrawaddy River, Mandalay was founded by King Mindon in 1857 when he moved the capital and its population of 150,000 to fulfill a prophecy. Today, Mandalay is Burma’s second-largest city with 500,000 inhabitants. The city is an important religious center with one-quarter of the land covered by monasteries, providing housing to more than 20,000 monks. Explore the Mahagandayon Monastery complex, home to 1,000 monks. This afternoon visit guild shops to watch artisans as they apply gold leaf and spin silk, then enjoy the sunset from the top of Mandalay Hill. SEDONA (B,L,D)
Wednesday, January 8
MANDALAY / INLE LAKE
Fly to Heho and transfer to Inle Lake. In the present day, Inle Lake is an area inhabited primarily by the Intha people (a Mon ethnic group). Visit the cluster of hundreds of old stupas at the ruined monastery. Explore Nga Phe Kyaung Monastery, which is famous for its “jumping cats.” Tonight enjoy a dinner of traditional Intha cuisine at our hotel. AUREUM PALACE (B,L,D)
Thursday, January 9
Spend the day exploring Inle Lake. Visit Indein, a market where tribes from nearby villages come to buy, sell and trade their goods and necessities. Mid-morning set off by motor-canoe and take advantage of opportunities to observe daily life and attractions around the lake, including the impressive floating gardens. After lunch, continue by boat to visit Inle Lake’s floating villages and see the work being done by local industries, including weaving of ikat fabric, cheroot-making and boat building. AUREUM PALACE (B,L,D)
Friday, January 10
INLE LAKE / RANGOON
Transfer to the airport this morning for our flight to Rangoon. Upon arrival in Rangoon, we visit with special interest groups and gain an insider’s perspective. Dine this evening at a local restaurant. STRAND HOTEL (B,L,D)
Saturday, January 11
Today is free for leisurely exploration of Rangoon. Our staff will be on hand to offer suggestions and help with arrangements. This evening, gather with fellow travelers for a special farewell reception and dinner at our hotel. STRAND HOTEL (B,L,D)
Sunday, January 12
RANGOON / U.S.
After breakfast at our hotel, transfer to the airport for flights to the U.S., returning home on the same day. (B)
Limited to 47 participants
ABOUT THE PAUKAN 2007
The Paukan 2007 is a beautiful river cruise vessel, blending colonial old-world charm with contemporary Burmese style and modern comforts. The timber-walled cabins are furnished with colonial-style cupboards, dresser and doors. Each cabin is outfitted with fixed beds with your choice of either two twin beds or one double bed. The sun deck has a stage for cultural performances and a bar and lounge for relaxation and fun. The upper deck has a lecture/movie room with LCD projector and LCD TV screen. There are two massage rooms on the lower deck offering soothing, massages. Meals in the dining room on the main deck include both Burmese and Western-style cuisine. A good selection of international and local wines, spirits and beers are served at meal times and available from the bar in the lounge area and the service bar on the observation deck.
Flag: Myanmar / Length: 183 feet / Beam: 38 feet / Draft: 3 feet
|Superior||Cabin on Main Deck with twin beds, rattan reading chair and access to public promenade. 161 sq. ft.||$9,795
|Deluxe||Cabin on Upper Deck with fixed double bed or fixed twin beds; sliding picture-window and private French balcony. 226 sq. ft.
(6 cabins w/ double bed; 8 cabins w/ twin beds)
|Suite||Cabin on Upper Deck with double bed, three picture-windows and private French balcony. 430 sq. ft.||$12,995|
*Association nonmembers add $200 per person.
**Single accommodations are limited.
- 10 nights of best-available hotel accommodations
- 4-night cruise aboard the Paukan 2007
- 14 breakfasts, 13 lunches and 14 dinners
- Welcome and farewell receptions
- Soft drinks, local beer and wine at group meals
- Bottled water at group meals and on excursions
- Gratuities to porters, guides, drivers and riverboat crew for all group activities
- All tours and shore excursions as described in the itinerary
- On-tour domestic economy-class air transportation within Burma
- Visa fees for travel to Burma for U.S. citizens
- Airport transfers on program arrival and departure days (12/29 and 1/12)
- Minimal medical, accident and evacuation insurance
- Educational program with lecture series and pre-departure materials, including recommended reading list, a selected book, map and travel information
- Services of our professional tour manager to assist you throughout the program
- International and U.S. domestic airfare
- Passport fees
- Immunization costs
- Meals and beverages other than those specified as included
- Trip-cancellation/interruption and baggage insurance
- Excess-baggage charges
- Personal items such as internet access, telephone and fax calls, laundry and gratuities for nongroup services
WHAT TO EXPECT
Travel in Burma can be demanding. This is a fast-paced, strenuous program in a country where the weather can be hot and dusty and where delays are not uncommon. Some sites include one to three miles of walking, including stairs and often uneven terrain. In some instances, such as ruins, steps are a necessary part of the tour and may not have handrails. Temples in Bagan and elsewhere must be entered with one being barefoot. Good health and stamina with a sense of adventure and a flexible attitude about delays and inconveniences are essential. All stops while aboard the Paukan 2007 depend on river conditions, and the schedule will be adjusted accordingly. Hotel accommodations are best-available and provide all necessary amenities. Participants must be physically fit, active and in good health. We welcome travelers 15 years of age and older on this program.
Terms and Conditions
We encourage membership in the Alumni Association as the program cost for nonmembers is $200 more than the members' price. Parents and their children under 21 may travel on one membership. For more information or to purchase a membership, visit alumni.stanford.edu/goto/membership or call (650) 725-0692.
Deposits, Payments and Cancellations
A $1,000 deposit is required to hold space. Deposits and any payments are fully refundable, less a $1,000-per-person cancellation fee, until 120 days prior to departure. After that date, refunds can be made only if the program is sold out and your place(s) can be resold, in which case a $2,500-per-person cancellation fee will apply.
Stanford Travel/Study provides all travelers who are U.S. or Canadian citizens with minimal medical, accident and evacuation coverage under our group-travel insurance policy. We strongly recommend that you subscribe to optional baggage and trip-cancellation insurance. A brochure offering such insurance will be mailed with your confirmation about one week after we receive your deposit. The product offered in this brochure includes special benefits if you postmark your insurance payment within a specified window: 15 days of the date listed on the confirmation letter for the Waiver of Pre-Existing Conditions and coverage for Financial Insolvency; 21 days for the Cancel for Any Reason benefit.
The Stanford Alumni Association, Stanford University and our operators act only as agents for the passenger with respect to transportation and ship arrangements and exercise every care possible in doing so. However, we can assume no liability for injury, damage, loss, accident, delay or irregularity in connection with the service of any automobile, motorcoach, launch or any other conveyance used in carrying out this program or for the acts or defaults of any company or person engaged in conveying the passenger or in carrying out the arrangements of the program. We cannot accept any responsibility for losses or additional expenses due to delay or changes in air or other services, sickness, weather, strike, war, quarantine, force majeure or other causes beyond our control. All such losses or expenses will have to be borne by the passenger as tour rates provide arrangements only for the time stated. We reserve the right to make such alterations to this published itinerary as may be deemed necessary. The right is reserved to cancel any program prior to departure in which case the entire payment will be refunded without further obligation on our part. The right is also reserved to decline to accept or retain any person as a member of the program. No refund will be made for an unused portion of any tour unless arrangements are made in sufficient time to avoid penalties. Baggage is carried at the owner's risk entirely. It is understood that the ship's ticket, when issued, shall constitute the sole contract between the passenger and the cruise company. The airlines concerned are not to be held responsible for any act, omission or event during the time passengers are not on board their plane or conveyance. Neither the Alumni Association, Stanford University nor our operators accept liability for any carrier's cancellation penalty incurred by the purchase of a nonrefundable ticket in connection with the tour. Program price is based on rates in effect at the time the brochure is printed and is subject to change without notice to reflect fluctuations in exchange rates, tariffs or fuel charges. As a condition of participation, all confirmed participants are required to sign a Release of Liability.
California Seller of Travel Program Registration #2048 523-50
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