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Mysteries Unveiled on the Road to Mandalay
By Hideaways Ambassador Van Giles

In what could have been something of a mob scene, my wife and I were shepherded through the throngs at the airport in Yangon, Myanmar's largest city, by the very competent guides from Belmond who were waiting to greet us. They ushered us into an air-conditioned luxury van and handed us each a bottle of chilled water--a seemingly small gesture, but just the kind of attention to detail we would come to expect from Belmond over the course of our Road to Mandalay tour.

Our five-day trip through Myanmar was the long-awaited fulfillment of a bucket-list dream and a chance to explore the temples and cultural riches of this formerly closed country. Myanmar only recently started welcoming foreigners, and we wanted to visit while its veil of secrecy was just being lifted, before it turns into another Cambodia in terms of tourist popularity.

Joining us in Myanmar were my dad, Bill, and his wife, Ann, two seasoned travelers who also wanted to experience this ancient land. I should probably point out here that, for the most part, this journey is not for the casual or uninitiated traveler. There are no beaches to lounge on, no crystal-clear waters to wade into. And it helps to be in fairly good shape, as there is a lot of rocky terrain to be navigated if you want to take in all the sites--and sights!

July/August 2015



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Copyright © 2017 Hideaways International, Inc.
All Rights Reserved