The Golden Land of Burma: Cox & Kings, the World's Oldest Travel Company, Reintroduces Tours to Burma

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Cox & Kings has announced that it is to reintroduce group tours and tailor-made travel to Burma (Myanmar) this autumn. The company, which has historic links with Burma, having had its own shipping office in Rangoon for much of the twentieth century, had not been operating there in recent years due to unease about military regime. The decision to reintroduce Burma has been made in light of the news in August 2009 that the pro-democracy leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, has decided that tourism can be encouraged as long as it is run through private companies without connection to the military regime. The new escorted group tour, The Golden Land of Burma, is a 13 day / 10 night escorted group tour priced from £2,195 per person with the first departure on 8 October 2010.

Temples of Pagan, Burma

By choosing our partners in Burma carefully we are able to minimise any financial gain for the government, whilst maximising the benefit to local communities.

Cox & Kings has announced that it is to reintroduce group tours and tailor-made travel to Burma (Myanmar) this autumn. The company, which has historic links with Burma, having had its own shipping office in Rangoon for much of the twentieth century, had not been operating there in recent years due to unease about military regime. The decision to reintroduce Burma has been made in light of the news in August 2009 that the pro-democracy leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, has decided that tourism can be encouraged as long as it is run through private companies without connection to the military regime. The new escorted group tour, The Golden Land of Burma, is a 13 day / 10 night escorted group tour priced from £2,195 per person with the first departure on 8 October 2010.

Burma is a culturally rich land with a long history relatively untouched by tourism. The Golden Land of Burma discovers the highlights of this diverse country, beginning with the majestic Shwedagon Pagoda in Rangoon, the former capital. The Burmese people’s deep-rooted belief in Buddhism and spirit worship is reflected in the thousands of pagodas in ancient Pagan and the monasteries of Mandalay. The tour then finishes at the beautiful Inle Lake, famous for its floating villages and gardens and the leg-rowers of the Intha tribe.

The price of £2,195 per person includes international flights from London via Bangkok with Thai Airways, guided excursions as specified, transfers and accommodation with breakfast daily. The same itinerary can also be taken as a private journey and Cox & Kings can also arrange tailor-made itineraries throughout the country.

Alternatively, On the Road to Mandalay is a luxury 13 day / 10 night private journey staying in Orient Express accommodation throughout. The price is from £3,395 per person and includes 3 nights at the Governors Residence, a two-storey teak mansion built in the 1920s in Rangoon’s Embassy quarter and a 7 night cruise on the stylish ‘Road to Mandalay’ cruiser, which embraces the sights and sounds of the Irrawaddy (Ayeyarwady) River. Also included are international flights from London via Bangkok, guided excursions as specified, transfers and accommodation based on twin sharing with breakfast daily and all meals on board the cruise.

Cox & Kings' position regarding the acceptability, or otherwise, of operating tours in Burma (Myanmar) has been led by the opinions of the country's pro-democracy leader, Aung San Suu Kyi. As a result, for many years Cox & Kings held back from organising travel in Burma, even whilst many other travel companies continued to do so, because Aung San Suu Kyi had expressed her reservations about tourists coming to the country and injecting much needed foreign currency straight into the hands of the governing military regime. However, in August 2009 Aung San Suu Kyi let it be known that her position had changed and that tourism could be encouraged, as long as it is run through private companies. This is the policy now adopted by Cox & Kings.

Cox & Kings’ Senior Product Manager, Nigel Hosking said: “We have chosen to work with partners without connection to the government and who support projects that help local communities in Burma and promote sustainable development. It is not possible to guarantee that no money will reach the government as a result of tourism, for example through taxation, however by choosing our partners in Burma carefully we are able to minimise any financial gain for the government, whilst maximising the benefits for local communities and allowing our clients to see the situation in the country for themselves, should they wish. Cox & Kings will continue to monitor the suitability of the partners we work with in Burma and also the opinions of Aung San Suu Kyi."

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Katie Parsons
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