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Burma Discover a Timeless Culture

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Discover the highlights of Myanmar on this 2-week journey! From the timeless ancient royal capital of Mandalay to the majestic Inle Lake, immerse yourself in this country's rich culture while making your way through bustling cities, ancient temples and remote villages.

Customizable tour itinerary

This tour idea is fully customizable

This itinerary has been crafted by our Local Agency with one idea in mind: to inspire you. Every element can be adapted to your needs and your interests, from duration to accommodation and activities.

Day 1: Arrival in Yangon

Mingalabar and welcome to Myanmar! Upon arrival at the airport you will be warmly welcomed by your guide who will take you to your hotel for check-in. Visit Kyaukhtatgyi Pagoda to see a 230 feet long reclining Buddha statue. Stop at a local tea room and taste the "quintessentially Burmese" infusions. Afterwards continue uptown, making a quick stop at the Royal Lake located in Kandawgyi Park, very picturesque at both dawn and dusk.
Take a peak inside Karaweik Hall, a reconstruction of a royal barge, and enjoy a spectacular view of the Golden Shwedagon Pagoda.

Ascend the eastern stairway to find a parade of shops at the foot of the temple. After sunset, head off to Chinatown for a change of scenery -  check out the dragons and incense of the colourful Khen Hock Keong Chinese Temple.
Explore the vibrant street stalls where vendors sell all kinds of fruit, vegetables and other goods, or simply just walk around and take in the atmosphere of this little China in Yangon

Visited:
Yangon
Accommodation
Night at Chatrium Hôtel, Deluxe (Yangon)

Day 2: Try the main vehicles used by the people of Myanmar

This morning, discover the daily happenings of Myanmar’s biggest city.
Once at Yangon’s Central Station, take the local “Circular Train” to Kyee Myin Daine station.
From here take a short trishaw ride through a local neighbourhood, to the Shan Road market, before returning to the city.

Afterwards, go to Pansodan Jetty for a local, two-deck ferry ride on the Yangon River towards Dhala. The area seen from the ferry is a vibrant market where many locals go to trade.
Upon arriving in Dhala, travel by trishaw throughout the town. For those who like to get out the camera at turn, this area is chock-full of beautiful scenery. Have a drink on the local tea room terrace at the jetty, watching the action while you take in the historical skyline of Yangon. Return to Yangon by boat around midday. 

Visited:
Yangon
Accommodation
Night at Chatrium Hôtel, Deluxe (Yangon)

Day 3: Encounter Myanmar’s secular culture

After breakfast transfer to the airport for your flight to Mandalay.
This place is the cultural heart of Myanmar, livened by its traditional music, dances and drama. 
Arrive in the morning for a scenic two-hour drive (47 miles) to the past British hill post of Pyin Oo Lwin with its various remnants of the colonial period. After lunch, enjoy a traditional horse carriage ride around town.
Admire the brick and timber houses, English-style gables, turrets and chimneys.
Additionally, go to the local market to look at the various flowers and vegetables on offer.
Check out the Botanical Gardens, sporting around 432 acres of space - a habitat to several plant species from around the globe.
On your way back don’t forget to stop by the notorious Candacraig Hotel. 
Conclude with with a drink while you watch the sunset.

Accommodation
Governor's Aureum Palace Resort (Pyin Oo Lwin)

Day 4: Train journey

At around 08:15, take the Mandalay-Lashio train, passing villages and railway bazaars along the way - a perfect opportunity to take some pictures! 

You'll also see the renowned Gokteik Bridge, before arriving at around 12:00 in Naung Pen, then journey to Mandalay by car.

Picnic lunch on the train.

Visited:
Gokteik Naung Pain Mandalay
Accommodation
Night at Notte al Mercure Mandalay Hill Resort (Mandalay)

Day 5: Discover Myanmar’s architecture

Today, visit the Kyauktawgyi Pagoda, known as the pagoda of the Great Marble Image.

Proceed to Kuthodaw Pagoda, then to the Shwenandaw Monastery, and the Golden Monastery.

Take a break at midday before arriving at your hotel for check in (Note: check-in time at most hotels is 2pm; early check-in is subject to availability).

​Your Mandalay guided tour continues this afternoon with a visit to the Mahamuni Pagoda.

Visit the craft workshops and, should you wish to, stop at those making gold leaf, tapestries, wood carvings and marionettes.

Then continue your tour with a walk up Mandalay Hill, rising 240 metres above the city.

The top rewards you with a magnificent view, the hazy blue outline of the Shan Hills to the east, the Mandalay Palace (and the city sprawl) to the south and the Irrawaddy River to the west. 

Visited:
Mandalay
Accommodation
Night at Notte al Mercure Mandalay Hill Resort (Mandalay)

Day 6: Journey to the City of Immortality

The day will begin with a visit to Mandalay’s vibrant morning market. Head off to Mandalay jetty and embark on a private boat for a relaxed 1 hour journey on the Irrawaddy River to Mingun. Experience the sights and sounds of Mingun, starting with the celebrated Mingun Paya. Carry on to the gorgeous alabaster Hsinbyume Pagoda. Afterwards hop on over to the Mingun Bell, claimed to be the world’s largest bell still capable of ringing. Before returning to Mandalay by boat there will be enough time to explore the small neighbourhoods. Next is Ava, which was the standing capital from the 14th through to the 18th century. Cross the small river by ferry and travel in a traditional horse carriage to the wooden Bagaya Monastery renowned for its extraordinarily elaborate woodcarvings. Be sure to check out the Nanmyint Watch Tower, which is what’s left from the remnants of the ancient palace and Maha Aungmye Bonzan Monastery.

​In the afternoon, the day is followed by a visit to Amarapura, “City of Immortality”, which is Myanmar’s penultimate royal capital. Start with the Mahagandayon monastery, home to more than a thousand young monks and renowned as a centre for monastic study and strict religious discipline. Continue on foot or by bus for a short distance to the legendary U Bein Bridge. It spans 1.2 km across the shallow Taungthaman Lake and is said to be the longest teakwood bridge worldwide. Enjoy this very special atmosphere as the late afternoon sun casts long shadows and illuminates the local people heading home. As a stunning day comes to an end, head back to Mandalay for the night. Lunch and dinner on own account.

Accommodation
Night at Notte al Mercure Mandalay Hill Resort (Mandalay)

Day 7: Enjoy Myanmar’s various landscapes

In the morning you will explore the life at the river during a nice walk along the majestic Irrawaddy River. You will visit a local market where all kinds of exotic fruit and vegetables are sold. There are barely any tourists coming here and it is a great opportunity to gather some unique impressions off the beaten track. From there, a short 45 minutes transfer (30 km) will bring you to Paleik, which is known locally as the home of the snake temple. With a little luck you may be able to witness a snake washing which is supposed to bring fortune. Do not miss to take some time to explore the ancient Ava temples. Afterwards, you will be taken to Bagan on the new scenic road.

​During the 5 hours drive (304 km) you can enjoy the beautiful landscape and will arrive in Bagan in the late afternoon. When Bagan was the centre of Myanmar from the 11th to 13th century, the monarchs built multitudes of massive stupas and pagodas, scores of which are still present on the shores of the Irrawaddy River. The majesty of Bagan with more than 2000 red brick temples on a plain of the size of Manhattan Island is one of the highlights of a Myanmar holiday that will soothe the eye of every traveller. Upon arrival you will be warmly welcomed and transferred to your hotel for check-in. Lunch and dinner on own account.

Visited:
Irrawaddy River Bagan
Accommodation
Night at hotel Areindamar (Bagan)

Day 8: Paradise of temples 

Discover the best of Bagan today! This excursion also introduces you to the Burmese culture, allows you to see traditional craftsmen at work and takes you up the mighty Irrawaddy River to a decidedly unusual ‘cave’ temple! Your first port of call is an elevated temple with its panoramic views of the Bagan plains. From here you will have a look around the Ananda Temple. Continue to various other temples dotted around the temple plains to experience a variety of architectural styles in the area. You will get a taste of rural Bagan life in this ‘living museum’ setting. Next on the agenda is your chance to learn more about the local culture with a visit to two workshops producing Bagan’s most famous products - lacquer ware and wood crafts.

In the late afternoon, you will be driven to the jetty where a private wooden river boat awaits you. Sitting either under the shade or on the open-deck you’ll be treated to fabulous views as you cruise down the Irrawaddy River. You will cruise passing by several small villages, fishermen, local boats and of course many of the ubiquitous Myanmar Buddhist temples. As the sun begins to sink slowly from view, you will prepare to disembark before being driven back, greatly relaxed, to your hotel for the evening. Lunch and dinner on own account.

Visited:
Bagan
Accommodation
Night at hotel Areindamar (Bagan)

Day 9: Market and ​handicrafts of Bagan

The morning will start off to the vibrant Nyaung Oo Marke. From here you will have a look around the Old Bagan starting with a visit of the renowned Shwezigon Pagoda. Travel over dusty lanes and tree shaded roads past temples and monasteries to a small village. Explore the village on foot, getting a glimpse of local lifestyles of Bagan’s residents. Continue to lesser-known monuments, selected based on your interest, in the area for the remainder of the morning. If you wish, a short walk can be arranged through a series of smaller monuments, which allows for a unique perspective of Bagan.

This particular afternoon will begin with a trip to a traditional lacquer workshop. Here you can watch the manufacture of one of Myanmar’s most popular handicrafts. Afterwards, you will continue to Ananda Temple, which is considered to be an architectural work of art and is certainly one of Bagan’s most gorgeous temples. From here you will journey on by horse cart for an excursion that passes Thatbyinnyu, the tallest temple in Bagan, gigantic Dhammayangyi Temple noted for its remarkable brickwork, and of course, Sulamani Temple. Take pleasure in an extraordinary sunset from the upper terrace of one of the surrounding temples. Lunch and dinner on own account.

Visited:
Bagan
Accommodation
Night at hotel Areindamar (Bagan)

Day 10: Find Myanmar’s most curious places

After enjoying your breakfast you will be transferred without guide to Nyaung U airport for your domestic flight to Heho. From Heho, you will experience a lovely scenic one-hour drive (32km – 1 hour) which leads to Nyaung Shwe, gateway village to Inle Lake. Along the way, you will have the opportunity to visit rural workshops that specialize in traditional Shan paper and unique handcrafted umbrellas. Upon reaching the edge of the lake, take a short orientation tour of Nyaung Shwe, a small town of narrow streets dotted with temples, monasteries, tea shops and local houses.

After lunch time, you will board a private motorboat and begin heading out onto Inle Lake. Along the way you will pass several villages that are built on stilts over the lake, which are inhabited by the local Intha people. You will also visit Nga Hpe Chaung Monastery, which houses loads of early Shan Buddha Images. Proceed to the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, the lake’s main haven. There are also many traditional crafts from Inle Lake and, should you wish, we can stop for a visit to one making incredible woven items from lotus silk, boat builders (depending on the time of year), a cigar making workshop, blacksmiths or even silver smiths. The day will come to an end with a return trip by boat back to your hotel. Lunch and dinner on own account. 

Visited:
Heho Nyaung Shwe Inle Lake Inle Lake
Accommodation
Pristine Lotus Resort (Inle Lake)

Day 11: Learn more about the lake people’s daily life

After breakfast, you’ll pay a visit to the lake’s rotating morning market. A 1-hour boat ride down a small canal will take you to the Pa-Oh village of Indein, positioned on the western shores of Inle Lake. Take a leisurely stroll around the village before ascending the moss-covered stairway to the top of a hill. At the summit, you will be greeted buy an iconic Buddha image which sits enshrined among hundreds of stupa ruins and overgrown shrubbery. Here, from the peak, you will also be rewarded with mesmerizing views of the placid surroundings. The Indein Pagoda complex is undoubtedly one of the most amazing sites around the shore of the lake.

In the afternoon, it’s time to embark on a 45 minutes trek to Sae Ma village. Along the way, you’ll enjoy the natural beauty and panoramic vistas of the area while basking under the shade of the bamboo grooves in the area. Upon arrival at the village, observe the daily lifestyles of the rural inhabitants. On your boat ride back, should time allow, you'll stop at the Intha Heritage House to learn more about the history and culture of the lake's indigenous people and enjoy a delicious coffee and cake (snack break not included). At the end of the day transfer back to your hotel for some well-deserved relaxation.  Lunch and dinner on own account.

Visited:
Indein Inle Lake
Accommodation
Pristine Lotus Resort (Inle Lake)

Day 12: Discovering Sagar

Set off this morning for your lakeside hotel in Sagar, the far southern region of Inle Lake. The boat journey takes 2.5-3 hours but is full of fabulous views and home to many unique species of birds, both indigenous and migratory. Upon arriving in Sagar area there are several stops that will be made. The main highlight for many travellers are the 'sunken' stupas of Sagar. There is also a local monastery and village that can be visited here. Continue to the village of Thaya Gone, home to Pa-Oh, Shan and Inthar people. Another stop will be made in Sae Khaung Pottery Village. On the western shores of the Sagar area is Tar Kaung, a series of more than 200 stupas which also make a fabulous photo stop.

Around 2:30 p.m. the boat will begin its journey back to the main section of Inle Lake. Travelling back in the afternoon the light has shifted and the route looks much different, with multiple activities occurring on the water and in the villages. Rice noodles can be seen drying in the sun, spun cotton is hung out to dry and kids are returning from school at this time of day. You'll reach your hotel early this evening, in time to freshen up and watch the sunset. Lunch and dinner on own account.

Visited:
Sagar Inle Lake
Accommodation
Pristine Lotus Resort (Inle Lake)

Day 13: Free time in Yangon

After enjoying your breakfast you will be transferred without guide to Heho airport for your domestic flight back to Yangon. The day is at your leisure in Yangon. Your local English-speaking guide and the vehicle is at your disposal only for the airport transfer. Lunch and dinner on own account. 

Visited:
Heho Yangon
Accommodation
Night at Chatrium Hôtel, Deluxe (Yangon)

Day 14: Departure

Breakfast will be served at your hotel and transfer to Yangon International Airport according to your flight time. The driver and your local English-speaking guide will be at your disposal for your transfer. Lunch on own account.

Visited:
Yangon

Yangon Mandalay Pyin Oo Lwin Gokteik Naung Pain Mingun Ava Amarapura Irrawaddy River Bagan Heho Nyaung Shwe Inle Lake Inle Lake Indein Sagar

Price details

This tour idea is fully customizable

The price reflects this specific itinerary and is designed to give you an idea of the budget required for this destination. Throughout the trip-planning process, our local agency will tailor your itinerary around your budget.

Approx. $2,820 / 14 days
Excluding international flights
For 2 For 4 Single Supplement
Price per Person High Season $2,810 $2,550 $1,230
Price per Person Low Season $2,400 $2,140 $850

Included in price:

  • Accommodation on shared twin room basis with daily breakfast
  • Meals as mentioned in the program
  • Activities and sightseeing as mentioned in the program
  • Local English speaking station guides (different guides in each destination – one guide per town) according to the program
  • Ground transportation with air conditioned vehicle (where available) with drivers on touring days
  • Entrance fees for visits mentioned in the program (except camera fees)
  • Private motorized boat on Inle Lake
  • Domestic airfares
  • Drinking water and refreshing towels on touring days

Not included in price:

  • International airfare
  • Early check in and late check-out from hotel Tips for guides, driver and other suppliers
  • Visa fee for Myanmar
  • Tour options (quoted separately)
  • Transfer for dinners if meals are not included in the itinerary
  • Drinks during meals
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal expenses (souvenirs, laundry etc.)
  • Peak season surcharges (Myanmar Water Festival, Christmas, New Year, etc.)
  • Christmas and New Year compulsory dinner supplement (TBA at time of booking)
  • Any other services/items not mentioned in inclusions

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