Magnificent Journey through Myanmar (16 days)

On this journey experience Myanmar by land, water and air! Tour historical and cultural landmarks such as the famous Reclining Buddha in Yangon and the U Bien’s Bridge in Mandalay. Then, cruise from Mandalay to Bagan and indulge in the magnificent sunsets and landscapes. Take to the air in a breathtaking Hot Air Balloon ride over Bagan to get a spectacular view of the world famous archaeological site. Embark on a 4-day trek through the small villages of Myanmar. This journey is definitely for those who thrive on adventure and wish to have unique and active experiences!

Daily Itinerary

Day 1

Details for Today

Arrive: Yangon, Myanmar

Accommodation: Chatrium

On arrival at Yangon Airport, you will be met by your local tour guide and transferred to your hotel.

Yangon is the main gateway and former capital city of Myanmar. With what can only be described as one of the most striking religious monuments in South-East Asia, the Shwedagon Pagoda, plus a wealth of colonial architecture and lots more besides, Yangon is a city of amazing contrasts and a delight to explore.

Day 2

Details for Today

Yangon:

  • Visit the Sule Pagoda
  • See the City Hall and High Court Building
  • Explore the Bogyoke Aung San Market
  • View the famous Reclining Buddha at Chauk Htat Kyi
  • Visit the historic Shwedagon Pagoda

Accommodation: Chatrium

Meals: B

After breakfast at your hotel, depart with your guide and explore the downtown area of the city!

Sightseeing this morning will include the 2000-year-old Sule Pagoda, one of the city’s most endearing landmarks and an opportunity to view the splendid colonial buildings that still dot this part of the city including the City Hall and the High Court Building.

There will also be time to explore Bogyoke Aung San Market, still commonly known by its old British name of Scott Market. Undoubtedly offering the largest selection of handicrafts in Myanmar, the market is a great place to discover a bargain and have fun haggling with the local traders. Please note the market is closed on Monday.

Sightseeing will continue with an excursion to the huge reclining Buddha at Chauk Htat Kyi.

Later visit the historic Shwedagon Pagoda which towers almost 98 meters (326ft) above the green cityscape of Yangon. One of the wonders of the religious world, it is believed to have been built more than 2500 years ago and is a testament to the faith of the Burmese. This magnificent building is covered with hundreds of gold plates and the top of the Stupa is encrusted with 4531 diamonds; the largest which is a single 76 carats. One of the most magical times to visit the paya is early evening as the sun is about to set; to witness the serenity and calmness that abounds at this time of the day is an experience that will remain for a very long time.

Day 3

Details for Today

Transfer: Fly to Mandalay

Mandalay:

  • Explore Inwa on a horse-drawn cart
  • Tour Amarapura
  • See the U Bien’s Bridge

Accommodation: Mandalay Hill

Meals: B

After breakfast at your hotel, transfers to Yangon Airport for the domestic flight to Mandalay.

Sightseeing today will continue to the former Royal Capital at Ava (Inwa), where exploration by horse-cart offers the opportunity to discover the picturesque ruins and surrounding countryside at a relaxed and more tranquil pace.

Meaning ‘City of Immortality’, Amarapura was Myanmar’s penultimate Royal Capital and the last stop today before returning to Mandalay. Sightseeing will include the iconic U Bien’s Bridge, which spans Taungthaman Lake and is the longest teak footbridge in the world. It is often busy with locals ‘commuting’ back and forth which makes for an attractive photo opportunity.

Day 4

Details for Today

Mandalay:

  • Visit the famous Mahamuni Pagoda
  • Tour Shwenandaw Kyaung
  • See the Kuthodaw Pagoda
  • Experience the sunset from the top of Mandalay Hill

Accommodation: Mandalay Hill

Meals: B

Sightseeing today will include the spiritually important Mahamuni Pagoda, which houses one the most famous seated Buddha images in all Myanmar.

Continue to the Shwenandaw Kyaung (Golden Palace Monastery), an imposing teak monastery-temple that was originally built within the palace complex but subsequently dismantled and rebuilt some years later.

Next, go to Kuthodaw Pagoda which is said to house the world’s largest book on account of the 729 marble slabs that are inscribed with Buddhist scriptures.

Finish the day with a drive to the top of Mandalay Hill for sunset and a panoramic view of the city.

Day 5

Details for Today

Begin your 2 day Cruise!

Mandalay:

  • Welcome Drinks
  • Cruise downstream

Accommodation: On Board Accommodations ( RV Pandaw Cruises)

Meals: B,L

This morning you will be met at your hotel and transferred to the jetty (Shwe-kyay-yet) in Mandalay, where you will embark on your cruise. Begin with welcome drinks and a briefing in the boat’s saloon.

The rest of the day will be spent cruising downstream along the river.

Day 6

Details for Today

Transfer: Cruise to Bagan

Bagan: 

  • Private-guided tour of temples, pagodas, and surrounding area
  • Visit a local workshop where they make handicrafts and lacquer ware
  • Watch the sunset from the top of a temple

Accommodation: Hotel Tharabar Gate

Meals: B

Weather permitting; enjoy sunrise from the deck of the boat before breakfast and a final few hours of cruising prior to arriving at Bagan.

Disembarkation will be at Ayer Jetty, Bagan and your guide will be waiting to transfer you to your hotel. The rest of the day will be dedicated to exploring the temples and the surrounding area.

Sightseeing will include Gubyaukgyi with its excellent stucco carvings, the impressive Htilominlo Pahto and Ananda Pahto which is one the best preserved temples in the archeological zone.

Bagan is not only famous for its temples and pagodas but also for its artistic handicrafts and lacquer ware. There will be the opportunity to visit a local workshop where the process of making these interesting items can be seen.

The only way to truly appreciate the scale of the site is atop one of the temples, and early evening presents the perfect opportunity to watch the sunset and take in the enormity of the surrounding area.

Day 7

Details for Today

Bagan :

  • Take a sunrise Hot Air Balloon Ride over Bagan
  • The rest of the day is at your lesiure

Accommodation: Hotel Tharabar Gate

Meals: B

There is no better or more spectacular view of the ancient kingdom of Bagan than from a hot air balloon. This world-famous archaeological site of more than a thousand Buddhist temples scattered over a plain is at its best when seen from a bird’s eye vantage, as the sun comes up gently over the Ayeyarwady River.

You will be collected from your hotel and provided with a light breakfast and safety briefing while the balloons inflate, before enjoying a dawn flight lasting just under one hour. Flights operate daily from October through March.

After the flight, return to the hotel to freshen up and breakfast. The rest of the day will be at leisure allowing you the time to further explore the city at your own pace, perhaps do some sightseeing in Bagan or simply relax in the environs of your hotel.

Day 8

Details for Today

Transfer: Fly to Pindaya

Pindaya:

  • Visit the Pindaya Caves
  • Tour a local Shan paper workshop
  • Visit Plan Bee, a bee-keeping learning center

Accommodation: Thahara Farm house

Meals: B

After breakfast at your hotel, you will be transferred to Bagan Airport for your domestic flight to Heho.

Upon arrival, transfer to Pindaya in your private vehicle (approximately 1 hr.). Take an attractive drive up into the hills and across the Shan Plateau, through fields of mountain rice.

Visit magnificent Pindaya Caves, set in a limestone ridge overlooking a picturesque lake, where thousands of different types of Buddha images are on display in the various cave chambers.

Afterwards, continue to a local workshop where Shan paper and parasols are made.

Sightseeing today will continue to visit the Plan Bee, a not-for-profit organization that recently opened in the town of Pindaya to provide information and skills training in the art of bee keeping. Providing knowledge and equipment across 20 villages in the southern Shan State, Plan Bee make it possible for local farmers to increase agricultural production via pollination. In their information center, they sell honey and showcase crafts such as beeswax balms and candles. The center’s terrace overlooks peaceful Pindaya Lake and is the perfect place to have a cup of coffee or tea with honey and crackers.

Day 9

Details for Today

Transfer: From Pindaya to Taung Myint Gyi

Begin your 4 day trek to Myin Ka!

Trek Pindaya to Taung Myint Gyi (approx 5 hrs):

  • Explore Htut Village
  • Experience a traditional lunch at the See Kya Inn
  • Visit a small tea leaf plantation
  • Walk through Taung Myint Gyi Village

Accommodation: Monastery or local house

Meals: B,L,D

Depart from Pindaya Hotel to begin your 4-day trek to Myin Ka!

During today’s trekking, you will pass through villages mostly from the Danu ethnic group. The day starts with uphill walking to Htut Ni village.

Later, a traditional lunch will be served in See Kya Inn, from where it is possible to go visit a small tea leaf plantation.

After lunch proceed to Taung Myint Gyi village.

Day 10

Details for Today

Trek Taung Myint Gyi to Hmwe Daw (6 hrs):
  • Visit Min Tain Bin Village
  • See a cheroot leaf garden
  • Eat lunch with a local family
  • Walk through Yae Pote
  • See various paddy fields
Accommodation: Monastery or Local house

 

Meals: B,L,D

After breakfast, proceed to Min Tain Bin village through Myin Dwin. In this Pao village you can see a cheroot leaf garden. It’s a short 15 min walk to Tat Port but it is also possible to hire a bullock cart to ride there.

Proceed to Enn Ni village then reach Kyaung Soe Gone for lunch at family house.

After lunch, walking through Yae Pote, this afternoon’s route is dotted with paddy fields.

Day 11

Details for Today

Trek Hmwe Daw to Say Ti Gone (5 hrs.):
  • Walk through Thit Yar Bin Village
  • Explore Tha Ye Oo Hmin Cave
  • See chive and cheroot plantations

Accommodation: Monastery or Local house

Meals: B,L,D

After breakfast, depart from Hmwe Daw monastery to Naung Ye walking through Thit Yar Bin village.

After lunch and crossing a small mountain, reach Tha Ye Oo Hmin cave. In that cave, you can see the ancient images of Buddha.

Later, proceed to Sa Ti Gone village. On the way, you can see the chive and cheroot plantations.

Day 12

Details for Today

Trek Say Ti Gone to Myin Ka (2 1/2 hrs)

Transfer:  From Myin Ka to Kalaw

Kalaw:

  • Afternoon at leisure

Accommodation: Amara Mountain Resort

Meals: B

After breakfast it’s a downhill walk from Say Ti Gone. Walk through the forest to reach Myin Ka. Walking hours today will be about (2 & 1/2 hrs.). Your car will be waiting at Myin Ka monastery for the transfer to Kalaw.

Afternoon at leisure.

Day 13

Details for Today

Transfer: Kalaw to Inle Lake Region

Inle Lake Region:

  • Visit Shwe Yaung Pyay Kyaung Monastery
  • Take a private boat ride on the lake
  • Visit the five ancient Buddah images at Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda on the lake
  • Tour the temple at Nga Hpe Kyaung on the lake
  • Visit a floating garden
  • Watch the unique technique of leg rowing

Accommodation: Inle Lake View

Meals: B

After breakfast, you will be transferred from Kalaw down into the valley to Nyaung Shwe.

After a brief visit to Shwe Yaung Pyay Kyaung Monastery, which is famed for its unique oval windows, transfer to your private boat and venture onto the lake.

Firstly visit the five ancient gold-covered Buddha images at Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, the holiest monastery on the lake.

Continue sightseeing with a visit to the temple at Nga Hpe Kyaung on the eastern side of the lake, which houses an impressive collection of ancient Buddha images.

There will also be the opportunity to visit a floating garden and it goes without saying any visit to the lake would not be complete without witnessing the unique technique of leg rowing which is so synonymous with Intha fisherman.

Day 14

Details for Today

Inle:

  • Visit a local market
  • Tour the ruined stupas and temples of Inndein Village
  • Observe the skill of cigar making
  • Embark on a canoe excursion to witness various floating villages on the lake

Accommodation: Inle Lake View

Meals: B

The local 5-Day Market rotates between towns in the Inle Lake region. The market is a great place to observe local life with many of the ethnic minorities attending to buy and sell their goods.

After exploring the market and perhaps buying the odd local handicraft or two, it is time to continue to the ruined stupas and temples at the lake-side village of Inndein. A covered walkway leads to the main Shwe Inn Thein Paya, from where (weather permitting) there are great views across the lake.

There will be the opportunity to visit Nampan village to see local cigar (cheroot) making and then continue to Inn Paw Khone, a small village that specializes in silk weaving.

The day will end with a tranquil canoe ride to witness life in one of the floating villages that are scattered throughout the lake.

 

Day 15

Details for Today

Transfer: Fly to Yangon

Yangon: 

  • See Kandawgyi Lake
  • Visit the Karaweik
  • Tour the National Museum

Accommodation: Chatrium

Meals: B

This morning, you will be transferred back to the airport at Heho in order to connect with your return flight to Yangon.

On arrival, the first stop will be Kandawgyi Lake, a large and peaceful pool of water east of the Shwedagon Pagoda, which can sometimes be seen reflecting in its tranquil waters. Whilst exploring the park that surrounds the lake, you will be able to take a look at the Karaweik, a replica of a traditional Royal Barge.

Next, with its impressive collections, visit  the National Museum. This museum affords an excellent introduction to Burmese history throughout the ages. Highlights include the Lion Throne (Sihasana) belonging to the last King of Myanmar, King Thibaw Minand a stunning collection of ceremonial dresses.

Please note the museum is closed on Monday.

 

Day 16

Details for Today

Depart: Yangon

Meals: B

Accommodation

Chatrium Hotel Royal Lake Yangon, Myanmar

Surrounded by beautiful greenery and the tranquil Kandawgyi Lake, The Chatrium Hotel Royal Lake Yangon show clients pure luxury among a rich colonial-style heritage. Choose from six restaurants and bars for delicious dining, relax by our beach-styled swimming pool, work-out at the Fitness Centre and rejuvenate at Nemita Spa.

Mandalay Hill, Mandalay, Myanmar

At the foot of Mandalay Hill with a panoramic view of a myriad of pagodas, sits the Mandalay Hill Resort. Experience the hospitality of the Myanmar people and create treasured and timeless memories.

Pandaw Cruise, Mandalay, Myanmar 

Since the 1800s, this family-run business has served guests from all over the world, providing each one with top-notch service and hospitality. Cruise in style down the rivers of Myanmar, enjoy welcome drinks upon arrival and enjoy local dishes and exotic cuisines!

The Hotel at Tharabar Gate, Bagan, Myanmar

Located in the most unique Archaeological Site of South East Asia, Old Bagan, The Hotel at Tharabar Gate is surrounded by more than 4000 ancient temples and Pagodas. This hotel is known for its open air fine dining, traditional Myanmar food and also features a beautiful pool, spa and garden.

Thahara Farm House, Pindaya, Myanmar

Located just outside the little town of Pindaya, Thahara Farm House is set on 30 acres of land and is constructed in the traditional Shan way. On this land you will find organic gardens as well as mango and banana trees!

Amara Mountain Resort, Kalaw, Myanmar 

The Amara Mountain Resort is located on a hill, on the outskirts of the town of Kalaw. This former British Colonial Building has been transformed into a beautiful, quaint hotel with Asian accents. The hotel also has a spa and restaurant where you can enjoy local specialties and a view over Kalaw.

Inle Lake View Resort, Myanmar 

Built on 25 acres of lush land of trees and flowers, ideally located in a picturesque area overlooking the Inle Lake, the Inle Lake View Resort caters to luxury and elegance. Experience amazing Myanmar hospitality as you relax in a serene and beautiful environment.

Magnificent Journey through Myanmar (16 days)