Birds, Culture, and Natural History of Myanmar

Custom Tours 
designed to focus on your interests and fit your schedule

Contact Dr. John Rappole by email ([email protected]) to plan the tour of a lifetime in this extraordinary country

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      Photo by Bill Draker (    
Terms and Conditions

The Company

Chautauqua Backroad Adventures, LLC is a limited liability company created and operated as an equal partnership between Jim Berry, Mark Baldwin, and John Rappole.  Its purpose is to offer all-inclusive tours to persons interested in scenic beauty and cultural and natural history with expert commentary,

Contact Information

e-mail: [email protected]

mailing address:            Chautauqua Backroad Adventures
                                    738 Buffalo St.
                                    Jamestown, NY  14701

telephone:                     +  716-499-9077 (Jim Berry)

Tour Structure

The tours are designed to visit sites that combine extraordinary bird diversity and beauty with remarkable aspects of natural history in the company of experts.  

Physical Requirements

Sanitary and bathing facilities often are limited in rural Myanmar so participants must anticipate dealing with this situation on occasion.

Persons with special sensitivity to exposure to sunlight, insect bites or poison ivy should take appropriate prophylaxis in terms of clothing, foot gear, and  chemical applications, and have appropriate treatments with them in case of exposure.

Dietary Restrictions 

No special provision will be made for persons with dietary restrictions whether medical (such as diabetes or gluten intolerant), personal (such as vegetarian), or religious, and we recommend that persons with such restrictions not participate in the tour.

Tour Activities

All activities are optional within the general framework of the tour. We encourage and assist participants in the pursuit of personal aims if these do not conflict with the conduct of the tour.

All tour participants should have binoculars and know how to use them.

What the Tour Price Includes

The price for tours includes all travel from the time of your arrival in Yangon until your departure at completion of the tour; also lodging, meals, tour materials, and the services of the leaders and lecturers. Routine tips for meals, porters, drivers, and other service providers are also included.

The following items are not included in the tour price: travel to Yangon prior to the beginning of the  tour and travel from Yangon after completion of the tour.  Also not included are fees for passports, immunizations, excess baggage charges, optional excursions, telephone calls, alcoholic beverages (except wines provided with the evening meal), laundry, snacks, or anything of a purely personal nature. If you have questions, please contact us.

Restrictions on Tour Participation

We advise against participation in the tour by persons with a health problem or any physical limitation that could  restrict full involvement in any aspect of the tour, such as walking difficulties, diabetes, asthma, angina. We will provide any information that you or your doctor may need to judge your capacity to participate fully in the tour.  We do not program strenuous physical exercise, but participants should be able to complete walks of up to an hour or so, ride in any seat in tour vehicles, and meet the basic time schedule of the tour.

We reserve the right to send home persons unable or unwilling to conduct themselves in a manner compatible with the satisfactory operation of the tour.

Reservations, Deposits, and Payments

Reservations for tours require a non-refundable deposit of $100 at time of registration with 50% due 60 days prior to the start of the tour and the remainder due 30 days prior to the start of the tour.  Within the 30 day period immediately preceding the start of the tour, payments are non-refundable.  These charges are necessary due to the special nature of the all-inclusive tours that we offer, with their fixed up-front costs for us (advance reservation of resort lodges, booking of special flights and expert program hosts, etc.). 

We understand that payment of these charges involve an element of risk, and strongly suggest that guests obtain trip insurance. 
Reservations with deposits are accepted in order of their receipt, and rooms are assigned accordingly. Reservations can be made online on the website or by regular mail.

Payment may be made in US dollars by check, credit card (MasterCard or Visa), or Pay Pal.

If the tour is cancelled for any reason, potential guests will receive a complete refund.

If a guest is forced by circumstances to cancel a reservation at least 30 days prior to the start of the tour, all payments made up to that time will be refunded except for the $100 deposit.  There will be no guarantee of refunds for cancellations made within 30 days of the start of the tour.   

However, if we are able to fill the tour  with a replacement, we will refund all but $200 of previous payments. Obviously, there is no guarantee that we will be able to accomplish that task,  which is why we recommend trip insurance.

No refunds are given for skipped meals or other on-tour activities.

Tour Alterations

Our tours are carefully planned but sometimes circumstances beyond our control require us to make significant changes after a tour has been published on our website or arranged with individual participants. If such changes occur, for example in itinerary or leadership, before a tour has been confirmed to run (30 days before tour departure unless otherwise specified), participants will be informed and may withdraw from the tour without penalty.

If significant changes occur after a tour has been confirmed but before it has departed, it will be our decision whether or not we can run the tour successfully. Participants may withdraw without penalty only if they have a written agreement with Chautauqua Backroads Adventures. If we decide that the tour cannot be run successfully, the tour price will be refunded.

If significant changes to itinerary or mode of operation are forced upon us while a tour is in progress, for example, by weather delay, we will adjust the tour to the new realities as best we can.   However, we are not responsible for any additional costs. These costs, if any, are a participant expense and will be invoiced after the tour concludes.

Tour Confirmation

All Chautauqua Backroads tours are confirmed 30 days prior to their departure date.

Booked Tours

A confirmed tour is listed as “closed to new bookings” on our website when all the spaces have been booked and paid. However, we will maintain a waitlist for those persons submitting a reservation form after the tour is closed.  

Tour Cancellation

In case of tour cancellation by Chautauqua Backroads, all deposits and other payments for the tour  will be refunded.

Tour Materials

Past or prospective bird lists and General Information sheets will be sent to each registrant on receipt of a deposit. Final tour information, meeting instructions, a participant list, and any additional materials will be mailed about three weeks before tour departure. A final tour report will be mailed to all participants after the tour.

Travel Insurance

Many companies offer travel insurance, and we suggest that you protect your tour investment by purchasing a policy.

Travel to the Point of Departure

Clients are responsible for travel from their homes to  Yangon, Myanmar where the tour begins. 

 Assumption of Risk and Liability Release Agreement

 We expect our clients to take reasonable and prudent care for their own safety and to recognize that Chautauqua Backroad Adventures cannot guarantee anyone’s personal safety. For these reasons, we are willing to provide you with the tour opportunity you have requested only if you accept your personal responsibilities and you release us from liability for your safety within the limits of the law by entering into the Assumption Of Risk And Liability Release Agreement that you will be sent at the time you register for a tour.

Note: The  Chautauqua Backroad Adventures website for the Myanmar tour ( constitutes our document of record. Should published or distributed materials concerning tour descriptions, itineraries, costs, etc., differ in any way from the current website version, the  website version is correct.