Khiri Travel has introduced two new tours in Myanmar, including one based on the route the Top Gear team took in their famous two-part ‘Burma Special’ special episode.
The new tour is a five-day, four-night four-wheel-drive trip that follows the remote route Clarkson, Hammond and May took through the Shan State. The Eastern Shan State was closed to foreigners until 2013, when Khiri received permission to visit the area with the Top Gear crew.
Using a four-wheel-drive vehicle and driver, Khiri’s new trip starts at Inle Lake and continues to Taunggyi, Palaung villages, Phan Lan and Myin Pan, before arriving in the Shan state capital Kengtung, in the centre of the Golden Triangle – an area notorious for its opium trade.
Khiri admits that facilities will be basic (“forget Wi-Fi and 4G”) and there is some optional village trekking in and around Kengtung.
“Eastern Shan State is certainly one of the last frontiers in Asian travel,” said Edwin Briels, general manager of Khiri Travel Myanmar. “It’s a trip that will yield fascinating travel stories when you’re at the dining table back home.”
The second new trip is a four-day, three-night itinerary in the Loikaw Hill area of Kayah State, which is known for its long-neck hill-tribe communities.
This will allow visitors to see the effects of a local community-based tourism initiative funded by the Dutch government. Highlights will include chatting (through a translator) to local tribes-people in their villages, light trekking and optional cycling. Most of the route is covered by car or train.
And for travellers who like their comforts, Briels said that a “more up-market version” of the trip is available.
Khiri Travel was hired by the Top Gear production team to help organise its Burma Special, which saw the presenters and crew travel from Yangon to the Shan State, before crossing into Thailand and building a bridge over the River Kwai.