Exploring Tribal Crossroads of India and Myanmar
Wordsmith Tom Cole, a member of the expedition where the idea emerged to create the company that would become Geographic Expeditions (originally InnerAsia), once wrote:
“We travel to wake up. Life is swift and hazy. We are habitual creatures, following mildly comfortable ruts. As Miguel de Unamuno said, ‘To fall into a habit is to cease to be.’ The great religions (not by mere word-flinging is Buddha called The Awakened One), the poets, the philosophers, the guy at the corner store (if he stops to think of about it), tell us that we live most of our lives in a mist. Travel, like the best friend you’ll ever have, gives you a little slap, Wake up! Wake up! Be!”
Here at GeoEx, we are still as passionate about travel as we ever were, from our veterans to the newest, bright-eyed staffers. We’re still convinced the world is brimming with new gems, still in love with travel and fervent about its worth. This spirit infuses our new adventure, traveling from northeast India to Myanmar this November. This newest addition to GeoEx’s roster of pioneering journeys traverses a border that’s just reopened after a 75-year hiatus. Among the first Westerners to make this crossing since World War II, we’ll connect two supremely remote, rarely visited regions, delve into their fascinating tribal cultures, and ultimately expand our own inner worlds along the way.
We’ll attend the thrilling Hornbill Festival, one of the largest and most dynamic cultural extravaganzas in northeast India. This annual, weeklong event provides invaluable social communion among the remote area’s unique tribes. The celebration is accompanied by plenty of food and drink, as well as drumming, music, and dancing. Our arrival corresponds with the opening ceremonies, which are especially colorful and dramatic.
We’ll visit tranquil Majuli Island, a World Heritage Site famous for its Vaishnavite satras (institutions dedicated to the worship of Vishnu, one of whose ceremonies is pictured above). Majuli is an oasis of tranquility that is increasingly rare in modern India, and its unique culture makes it all the more exceptional.
We’ll have the opportunity to venture into remote tribal villages, where we’ll meet Konyak Naga elders, some of the last tribesmen to sport facial tattoos, a tradition that is quickly disappearing.
We cap off the trip with a sunrise hot-air balloon ride over Bagan, Myanmar, offering a magnificent bird’s-eye view of the thousand-year-old pagodas and temples, and of the mighty Irrawaddy River.
If you’d like to join us on this intrepid 18-day journey, give us a call at 888-570-7108. You’ll discover new cultures and perhaps in the process, re-discover yourself.