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Voyages to Antiquity: Temples and Treasures of Southeast Asia

Program Number: 20567RJ
Start and End Dates:
2/22/2014 - 3/10/2014;
Duration: 16 nights
Location: Singapore/Malaysia/Thailand/Burma
Price starting at: $5,395.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Adventure Afloat Study Cruise; Ocean Voyages
Meals: 42; 14 Breakfasts, 14 Lunches, 14 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Low Fat; Gluten Free; Low Salt    

Beginning and ending in the exotic city-state of Singapore, sail to some of Southeast Asia’s most fascinating ports on board the Aegean Odyssey. Experience the bustling, modern cities of Malaysia, the natural beauty of Thailand and the Buddhist traditions of Burma.

Activity Particulars

Walking over uneven terrain; standing for up to 90 minutes at a time; stairs without railings; hot and humid conditions.

Due to the nature of this program, listening devices are not available.

Itinerary At-a-Glance

Singapore, 2 nights; aboard Aegean Odyssey, 6 nights; Bagan (Burma), 1 night; aboard Aegean Odyssey, 5 nights.

Days 1-2: Flight from the U.S.A.

Days 3-5: Arrival Singapore / embark Aegean Odyssey:

Discover the Marina Bay area and enjoy a panorama of Singapore’s modern architecture. Explore the three main ethnic regions of Singapore — Malay, Chinese and Indian — and visit their gardens, temples and marketplaces. Lodging: Centrally located hotel.

Days 6-7: Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) / At Sea:

Marvel at the record breaking Petronas Towers as you experience the modern metropolis of Kuala Lumpur. Visit the 19th-century Cathedral of St. Mary and historic buildings of Independence Square.

Days 8-9: Phuket (Thailand) / At Sea:

Delight in the local culture of Phuket — Thailand's largest island — before journeying by boat to enjoy the crystal blue waters and scenic beaches of the Phi Phi Islands.

Days 10-14: Yangon (Burma) / flight to Bagan / flight to Yangon to reembark / At Sea:

View the archaeological site of Bagan, and thrill in the panoramic views from Tayoke Pyay. Learn about the gentle, Buddhist way of life as you visit the golden Shwedagon pagoda. Lodging: Four-star boutique hotel in New Bagan.

Days 15-17: Penang (Malaysia) / Malacca / Singapore / disembark / departure:

Admire the historic British settlements of Penang as you walk along the streets of Georgetown. Explore Malacca, Malaysia’s third largest city-state—its historic center recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

Aegean Odyssey

The Aegean Odyssey is a premium-class ship especially rebuilt for sailing along shallow coastlines, among remote islands and into small, uncrowded harbors that larger ocean liners can’t reach. Public areas include several gourmet restaurants, library, Internet center, sweeping sun decks, outdoor pool, gym and spa.

Meals and Lodgings
   PARKROYAL on Kitchener Road
  Singapore, Singapore 2 nights
   MV Aegean Odyssey
  MV Aegean Odyssey - At Sea, At Sea 6 nights
   Areindmar Hotel
  Bagan, Myanmar 1 night
   MV Aegean Odyssey
  MV Aegean Odyssey - At Sea, At Sea 5 nights
 PARKROYAL on Kitchener Road
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: The PARKROYAL on Kitchener Road hotel stands in the heart of the Singapore's Little India district. This location provides the opportunity to closely experience the spirit of this distinct neighborhood that’s brimming with culture and dotted with quaint shops. The friendly staff at the PARKROYAL hotel can recommend the best of the community. In fact, with their personal recommendations, you’ll feel like a local in no time at all. Walk down Serangoon Road and be enthralled by the colors and aromas along the streets.
  Contact info: 181 Kitchener Road
Singapore,  208533 Singapore
phone: +65 6428-3000
  Room amenities: Each room includes air-conditioning, bathrobes, complimentary wireless Internet access, television with cable and movie channels, telephone, personal safe, hair dryer, bar sized refrigerator, and tea and coffee making facilities.
  Facility amenities: The hotel offers a café and bar, 24-hour room service, air-conditioning, currency exchange desk, dry cleaning and laundry service, wireless and wired Internet access for a fee, and two restaurants. Enjoy a steam bath or work up a sweat in the fully equipped hotel gym, and then cool off on the spacious sun deck around the enticing swimming pool.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior:  Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services if you would like assistance making hotel reservations for additional non-program nights. (800) 241-1404
  Check in time: 3:00 PM

 MV Aegean Odyssey
Type: Cruise Ship
  Description: The MV Aegean Odyssey offers boutique-style cruising at its best. In contrast to the massive vessels cruising to and from major ports, it is a midsized ship adapted for island and coastal cruising. The Aegean Odyssey can visit smaller, less crowded harbors and sail closer to the coast enabling you to really appreciate the magical views.
  Ship Information: Ship’s Tonnage: 11,563 Length: 461 feet Beam: 67 feet Draft: 20.5 feet Cruising Speed: 18 knots Passenger Decks: 7 Stabilizers: 2 Passenger Staterooms/Cabins: 198 Passengers – lower beds: 378 Classification: Lloyd’s Register Society London Ship’s Registration: Malta
  Contact info: Voyages to Antiquity
1800 SE 10th Avenue, Suite 230
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33316 USA
phone: 877-398-1460
  Room amenities: All cabins are equipped with a flat screen TV, air-conditioning, and personal safe. Particular importance is placed on the standard of bedding in cabins. Luxury bedding, including fine duvets, covers and sheets, ample soft pillows and quality towels can be expected. Also, shampoo, bath and shower gel, soap, and shower cap are provided. Your cabin steward is always available. Cabins and suites feature outlets with 220 voltage, using the “European” two round pin plug. Hair dryers are provided in your cabin and electric rollers, curling irons, electric shavers and other small appliances can be used in your cabin. For safety reasons, travel irons are not allowed.
  Facility amenities: Dining: MV Aegean Odyssey offers many dining facilities: The Marco Polo Restaurant is the ship's more formal restaurant, providing casual country-club elegance for lunch or dinner; The Terrace Cafe offers a combination of indoor and outdoor seating where you can indulge in breakfast, lunch and dinner from the grill or the sumptuous daily buffet. In the evenings, enjoy breathtaking views over dinner at Tapas on the Terrace. *There is a complimentary choice of wine, beer, or soft drinks with your evening meal. There will be a string trio, pianist and casual dancing before and after dinner. You may also wish to partake in afternoon tea, served in the Observation Lounge. Or perhaps an evening snack and cocktail, available in the Lido and Rendezvous bars. A limited room service menu is available. Special Diets: Please advise us at the time of booking of any special dietary requirements. The ship can usually meet most general requests such as those made with an air carrier; however, this cannot always be guaranteed. Services: Library; outdoor pool; spa; health center, saunas, massage and beauty treatment rooms and early morning yoga on the Lido Deck; elevators; Internet center (open 24 hours and a charge of $18 for 4 non-consecutive hours is applied, no wireless available); beauty salon; medical center; laundry and pressing services (order form and laundry bag is provided in cabin); lecture theater and cinema and on board shop.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 Areindmar Hotel
Type: Boutique Hotel
  Description: Located in New Bagan, a 10 minute drive from the archaeological zone of Bagan, the Areindmar Hotel is a four-star boutique property. Thirty-eight thoughtfully designed, Deluxe rooms surround a manicured courtyard.
  Contact info: 2nd Street, New Ni and Cherry Street
New Bagan,   Myanmar
phone: +95 1-377956
  Room amenities: Each room has air conditioning, a telephone, coffee and tea making facilities, a personal safe, satellite television, mini bar, and a hair dryer.
  Facility amenities: This hotel has a restaurant, swimming pool, laundry service, and wireless Internet in common areas.
  Smoking allowed: No

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Singapore, Singapore. 1:30 PM Lunch at the hotel. You will be staying at PARKROYAL on Kitchener Road that night.
  End of Program:
Singapore, Singapore. After breakfast on the last day. You will be staying at MV Aegean Odyssey the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required. The Voyages to Antiquity Guest Registration Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
To Start of Program
  Location:  Singapore
  Transportation to site: Taxis are also plentiful and fares start around SGD $2.40 and are approximately 10¢ for each additional 220m.
  From End of Program
  Location:  MV Aegean Odyssey - At Sea
  Transportation from site: Taxis are also plentiful and fares start around SGD $2.40 and are approximately 10¢ for each additional 220m.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Daily Schedule

Day 1: In transit
(Saturday, February 22)
 In Transit: Depart on international flight.

Day 2: In transit
(Sunday, February 23)
 In Transit: Continue international flight.

Day 3: Arrival / Singapore, Singapore
(Monday, February 24)
 Morning: Arrival at airport in Singapore. Transfer to hotel.
 Lunch: Welcome lunch in hotel dining room.
 Afternoon: Program orientation and group introductions. Introductory excursion of Singapore.
 Dinner: Dinner in hotel dining room.
Accommodations: PARKROYAL on Kitchener Road
Meals Included: Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Singapore, Singapore
(Tuesday, February 25)
 Breakfast: Breakfast in hotel dining room.
 Morning: Today a full day field trip takes you to the three main ethnic areas of Singapore - Malay, Chinese and Indian. Your day begins with a visit to the Botanic Gardens to the Orchid Enclosure to admire one of the very best hybrid Orchid collections in the world. Then continue down fashionable Orchard Road to Arab Street. Arab Street is believed to be named after a noble Arab merchant, Syed Ali bin Mohamed Al Junied, and was a residential "kampong" for Muslims of Arab, Malay, Indian, Bugis, Javanese and Boyanese descents. We take a short walk through this area discovering the local life. The area includes many longstanding textile, carpet, basket and bag shops. Built in 1928, the Sultan's mosque is one of the largest mosques in Singapore and includes the Sultan's Palace, which is known today as the Malay Heritage Center. Moving on, we visit Little India, experience the hustle and bustle of the market place, and see Indian jewellers and flower garland makers at work.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: After lunch, explore Chinatown and enjoy a short visit to the Hindu temple, Sri Mariamman Temple. Then explore the Chinatown Heritage Centre to learn the story of Chinatown.
 Dinner: Dinner in hotel dining room.
Accommodations: PARKROYAL on Kitchener Road
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Singapore, Singapore / Embark
(Wednesday, February 26)
 Breakfast: Breakfast in hotel dining room.
 Morning: Free time to relax or explore Singapore on your own.
 Lunch: Lunch in hotel dining room.
 Afternoon: Transfer to MV Aegean Odyssey for embarkation at 3 PM. Late afternoon Road Scholar orientation to the ship in the "Observation Lounge."
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
Accommodations: MV Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
(Thursday, February 27)
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: At sea. Attend a lecture by a guest speaker.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: Port Kelang is our gateway to Malaysia's impressive capital, Kuala Lumpur. A boomtown in the 19th century due to its rich resources of tin, today Kuala Lumpur is a thriving modern metropolis and home to the Petronas Towers, once the world's tallest buildings. View a landscape of beautiful mosques, grand museums, historic memorials, and ethnic marketplaces during your afternoon excursion. Discover the 19th-century Cathedral of St. Mary and historic buildings of Independence Square.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
Accommodations: MV Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: At sea
(Friday, February 28)
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: At sea. Stretch your body and mind during early morning yoga before attending a stimulating lecture.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: At sea. Take advantage of the ship's well stocked library that has a wide selection of volumes covering classical history, literature, art, architecture, and philosophy. The frequently updated collection also includes an extensive reference section as well as modern and classic novels.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
Accommodations: MV Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Phuket, Thailand
(Saturday, March 1)
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Phuket is Thailand's largest island and although it is a popular resort, Phuket has retained much of its local culture. From Phuket, a local boat will take you to the natural wonders of the Phi Phi Islands: with crystal clear blue waters filled with colorful marine life, astounding rock formations and classic sandy beaches, the Phi Phi islands are some of the most spectacular in Southeast Asia.
 Lunch: Enjoy lunch at a beachside restaurant.
 Afternoon: Enjoy an afternoon on enchanting Bamboo Island. There will be free time to feed the fish, snorkel amid the coral beds, or sample a local refreshment at one of the tiny bars.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
Accommodations: MV Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: At sea
(Sunday, March 2)
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: At sea. Attend a lecture given by a shipboard guest speaker.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: At sea. Attend a talk by your Road Scholar Group Leader.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
Accommodations: MV Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Yangon, Myanmar
(Monday, March 3)
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: At sea. A relaxing day to enjoy the sunshine and the shipboard guest lectures as the ship makes its way to Yangon, Myanmar.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: Continue sailing to Yangon. The Aegean Odyssey will berth in the heart of Yangon in the early evening.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
Accommodations: MV Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Bagan, Myanmar
(Tuesday, March 4)
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Transfer with your Road Scholar group to Yangon's Mingalardon airport for a flight to Bagan. With thousands of ancient stupas and temples, Bagan is one of the most remarkable archaeological sites in Asia. From the 11th to the 13th century, when Bagan was the capital of Myanmar, the rulers constructed huge stupas and temples, many of which are still standing today on the banks of the Irrawaddy River. Upon arrival, you will take in the stunning, panoramic views from Tayoke Pyay. While at the Shwezigon Pagoda, learn about the Burmese belief in Nats, or spirits, which was officially replaced by Buddhism in the 12th century, but continues to the present. Also visit the nearby Wetkyi-In Gubyaukgyi, a cave temple with exquisite "jakata" mural paintings and the elegant Htilominlo Temple noted for its fine plaster carvings and glazed sandstone decorations.
 Lunch: Lunch at the Sunset Garden restaurant overlooking the river.
 Afternoon: After lunch, transfer to the hotel for check-in before continuing with an afternoon excursion. The afternoon excursion begins with a visit to the Ananda temple, an excellent example of early-style Bagan architecture. Nearby Ananda Okkyaung is one of the few surviving brick monasteries from the early Bagan period. Pass through Thatbyinnyu, the highest temple in Bagan, and the massive Dhammayangyi Temple noted for its remarkable brickwork.
 Dinner: Dinner in hotel dining room.
 Evening: Enjoy an evening lecture titled, "The History of Bagan."
Accommodations: Areindmar Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Yangon, Myanmar
(Wednesday, March 5)
 Breakfast: Breakfast in hotel dining room.
 Morning: Transfer to Nyaung U airport for a return flight to Yangon. On arrival, explore Yangon and take a close look at the local life of this historical city. Travel to the Sule pagoda in the center of the city and enjoy a leisurely walk around the Mahabandoola Park to see the colonial courthouse and city hall. Afterwards, stroll through Boyoke Market, formerly known as Scott Market, which offers a wide variety of Myanmar handicrafts and other goods.
 Lunch: Enjoy lunch at the Monsoon Restaurant.
 Afternoon: Visit the awe-inspiring golden Shwedagon Pagoda with its 98-meter high stupa that is covered in genuine gold plates (these are donated by ordinary Myanmar people from all over the country): it is truly a remarkable sight. Unlike many great sites around the world, Shwedagon is visited mostly by local Burmese people. The giant gold gilded Paya serves as a meeting point for families, friends, and teenagers looking to enjoy the cool night air. Transfer to MV Aegean Odyssey for embarkation.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
Accommodations: MV Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: At sea
(Thursday, March 6)
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: At sea. Enjoy the Observation Deck if the weather is nice, or dive into a good book from the ship's library. Attend a talk by your Road Scholar Group Leader.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: At sea. Enjoy a rousing board game with fellow travelers.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
Accommodations: MV Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14: At sea
(Friday, March 7)
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: At sea. Relax on deck and attend a lecture by a guest speaker.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: At sea. Enjoy conversation with your fellow travelers.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
Accommodations: MV Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 15: Penang, Malaysia
(Saturday, March 8)
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: See the many sides of Penang, starting in Georgetown, an historic city on the Straits of Malacca and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Begin with a visit to the Chew Jetty – an early Chinese settlement established by immigrant workers, where houses are built on stilts perched over the water. Next a photo stop at Fort Cornwallis, where Captain Francis Light landed in 1786 and, according to legend, fired a cannon of gold coins into the brush to encourage locals to clean the jungle. Then, visit the Thai temple of Wat Chayamangkalaram with its 108-foot-long Reclining Buddha covered in golf leaf. For centuries this region has produced batik, fabric art created by a complicated process using wax and dyes. See a demonstration of this unique art form at the Craft Batik Workshop. Complete your excursion in Georgetown, at the Penang Museum with its collection of old photographs, maps and historic artifacts. View the profusion of architectural styles along the "road of harmony," home to the Anglican St. George's Church, the Chinese Goddess of Mercy Temple and the Kapitan Kling Mosque.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: In the afternoon, take advantage of free time to wander the streets of Georgetown with its historical buildings including 19th century merchant houses, well-preserved colonial core, and street markets.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
Accommodations: MV Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 16: Malacca, Malaysia
(Sunday, March 9)

Note: There are approx. 120 shallow steps to reach the ruins of St. Paul's Church.

 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: At sea. Attend a lecture given by a shipboard guest speaker.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: Malacca is a unique experience and its rich historical background earned it a UNESCO World Heritage Site designation in July 2008. Malacca was the capital of the Malacca Sultanate and was the center of the Malay world in the 15th and 16th centuries. It fell to the hands of the Portuguese in 1511 and centuries of colonization by the Portuguese, Dutch, and the British have influenced the architecture of the town. This rich history will come to life as you discover the main colonial sites including the ruined Portuguese fort "A Famosa," St. Paul's Church that overlooks the Malacca Strait, and Dutch Square.
 Dinner: Farewell dinner on board.
Accommodations: MV Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 17: Disembark in Singapore / Departure
(Monday, March 10)
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Transfer to the Singapore airport for departing flights.
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
  Singapore Chinatown Heritage Center
The history of Singapore's Chinese settlers comes alive in three floors of an old shophouse on Pagoda Street. Uncover the secret societies, underground gambling rings, and hopeful narratives of settlers during a walk through this unique museum. Be transported back to the 1950s with the reconstructed, private interiors of shophouse tenants.
  Singapore Flyer
Enjoy a beautiful walk along the Marina promenade before getting into the gigantic Ferris wheel known as the Singapore Flyer. Delight in the astounding views of the Singapore skyline during the 30 minute ride. Reaching 541 feet, this Ferris wheel is the tallest in the world.
  Sultan's Mosque
The Sultan's Mosque is often considered one of the most important mosques in Singapore. Built by the Sultan Hussain Shah of Johore with a grant from Sir Stamford Raffles, this mosque was built in 1825 and can accommodate 5,000 worshippers.
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List

A History of Malaysia

Author: Leonard Y. Andaya, Barbara Watson Andaya

Description: This scholarly yet readable work tracks Malaysia’s sociopolitical development, from the appearance of the famed Malay empire Srivijaya onto the historical scene in the late seventh century to the formation of the Federation of Malaysia and its transition into the 21st century. This is a panoramic historical overview of a multicultural society that supports one of the most dynamic economies in Asia.

A Traveller's History of Southeast Asia

Author: J.M. Barwise, Nicholas J. White

Description: A compact history of the region, including the Khmer and the various ancient kingdoms that produced Borobudur, Angkor and other architectural marvels.

Anna and the King of Siam

Author: Margaret Landon

Description: The enduring, fanciful tale of a governess in mid-19th century Siam, which is the basis for the hit musical production The King and I.

Birds of Southeast Asia

Author: Craig Robson

Description: This authoritative, masterfully illustrated guide, featuring 140 color plates covering 1,270 species throughout the region, also includes Malaysia, Burma, Borneo and Indonesia.

Burmese Days

Author: George Orwell

Description: Orwell, a veteran of the Colonial police force in Rangoon, writes with irony and insight in this sharp novel of politics, folly and the British.

Collected Short Stories, Volume 4

Author: W. Somerset Maugham

Description: Maugham can evoke turn-of-the-century colonial Asia like no other. This collection of stories features many set in Malaysia. Borneo and other southeast Asian locales, including the well-known tale "The Letter."

Culture Smart! Thailand

Author: Roger Jones

Description: A concise, no-nonsense guide to local customs, etiquette and culture with practical travel advice and a short overview of the land and people.

Eyewitness Guide Malaysia & Singapore

Author: Eyewitness Guides

Description: A visually stunning guide to Singapore and surroundings, featuring hundreds of photographs and illustrations, detailed city maps, and information on history, culture and attractions.

Finding George Orwell in Burma

Author: Emma Larkin

Description: An American journalist fluent in Burmese, Emma Larkin (a pseudonym) masterfully interweaves her travels in the footsteps of the British colonial officer and writer with interviews and an astute, moving history of modern Burma.

Fodor's Singapore's 25 Best

Author: Fodor's

Description: This pocket guide and map includes information on essential highlights, including sightseeing, walking itineraries, restaurants and shopping.

In Buddha's Land

Author: Moe Min

Description: This beautiful, illustrated portrait of monuments, monasteries and rituals is both a striking visual overview of Buddhism as practiced in Burma, and a splendid introduction to the country.

Inspector Singh Investigates

Author: Shamini Flint

Description: Flint introduces the bumbling yet endearing Inspector Singh, who is sent from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur to clear the name of a famous model accused of murder.

Letters from Burma

Author: Aung San Suu Kyi, Heinn Htet

Description: Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi's candid, affectionate letters on Burmese culture and daily life, which originally appeared as a weekly newspaper column in the Mainichi Daily News show her spirit and warmth. Michelle Yeoh, pictured here, plays Suu Key in The Lady, opening April 11. David Thewis plays her British husband Michael Aris, once tutor to the king of Bhutan's children and author of The Raven Crown, the exquisitely illustrated history of the Wanchuck family. The 88-minute documentary, They Call It Myanmar: Lifting the Curtain, is also screening this week. Running for the legislature after decades of house arrest, Suu Kyi has protested that the elections were not fee and fair. It is nonetheless a big step forward for Burma!

Lonely Planet Myanmar (Burma)

Author: Joe Cummings, Michael Clark

Description: Featuring maps, travel information and a good overview of society, culture, history and politics.

Myanmar (Burma) Map

Author: Nelles

Description: A double-sided map of Burma at a scale of 1:1,500,000, with an inset of Rangoon.

South Southeast

Author: Steve McCurry

Description: A remarkable portfolio of striking photographs taken in and around Afghanistan, Burma, India, Pakistan and other sites in South and Southeast Asia over a long career. Saturated with color, light and evocative of daily life.

Southeast Asia Map

Author: Nelles

Description: A clear, double-sided map of all of Southeast Asia at a scale of 1:4,500,000.

The Skeptical Romancer, Selected Travel Writing

Author: W. Somerset Maugham

Description: Pico Iyer introduces this Everyman's edition of Somerset Maugham's razor-sharp travel writing, set in Spain, China, Burma and Southeast Asia, including a long excerpt from Gentleman in the Parlour, a vivid account of travels from Rangoon to Haiphong by canoe, riverboat, rickshaw and pony. Also included is The Land of the Blessed Verigin (Spain), On a Chinese Screen and The Partial View (diverse places).

Where China Meets India

Author: Thant Myint-U

Description: Home to 60 million people and bigger than France, Burma -- as Thant Myint-U so effectively argues --- is hardly small or politically isolated; it is at the center of Asia. Mr. Thant mixes anecdote, travel, memoir and history in this compelling personal portrait -- and Cri de Coeur for western engagement in the region.

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