Best of Myanmar
Travel to Myanmar and discover a country of mythical landscapes, ancient treasures and some of the friendliest folk youâll ever meet. From golden-gilded Buddhas in Yangon and the magical temples of Bagan to the tranquillity of Inle Lake, Myanmar will excite, impress and intrigue you. A visit to Myanmar is to experience the South-East Asia of twenty years ago, full of rarely seen sights and generations of stories just waiting to be told. Come and discover a little bit of Myanmar magic with us.
- Get acquainted with Myanmar on a tour of downtown Yangon. Truly an incredible city, Yangon is packed with pagodas, giant Buddhas and countless historical sites
- See the most beautiful religious sites in Myanmar, including the Shwedagon in Yangon, Shwesandaw in Bagan, the Shwe Yan Pyae (Teak Monastery) in Nyaungshwe and many more
- Touring the ancient city of Bagan by bicycle is a magical way to see the place. You'll have convenient and leisurely access to thousands of temples, stupas and pagodas
- Get off the tourist track and enjoy a uniquely local experience at the community lodge outside of Myaing. This innovative ActionAid project is the first community-based accommodation in the area, with meals and activities provided by local villagers
- A full day of walking through the hills and villages of Kalaw may require a bit of energy, but it's one of the highlights of the trip. Get up-close and personal with the culture of rural Myanmar.
- Admire Yangonâs golden Shwedagon Paya
- See the work being done (in conjunction with Action Aid) to improve the lives of residents in the Pakokku District
|Physical||Cultural||Max Group Size||16||Duration||15 days|
|Category||Silver||The classic small group tour, with some included activities and staying at reasonably priced accommodation.|
Day 1 - Yangon
If you have free time to explore before the meeting, we recommend stepping out onto the streets of Yangon. Why not take the Yangon Circle Line train for a three-hour local journey, or head over to Bogyoke Market and haggle with the locals? Thereâs also Sule Paya Pagoda, a 2000-year-old golden temple, and the Gems Museum, which houses some of the worldâs largest sapphire, ruby and jade pieces. You may need a taxi to travel between some of these attractions; a one-way trip should cost about MMK 4,000.
Notes: You may wish to arrive a early so you arrive in time to attend the group meeting today, and have free time to explore Yangon. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).
Day 2 - Yangon
Day 3 - Bagan
Youâll start your visit with an orientation tour of the town and visit the archaeological site tomorrow. After the orientation tour, head to the nearby Shwezigon Paya, one of the town's main Buddhist sites, also incorporating a compound dedicated to the pre-Buddhism deities, the 37 Nats.
Day 4 - Bagan
After touring the temples, head back to the hotel for a short rest before heading out again to see the enormous Shwe Sandaw Temple at sunset.
Notes: The bike ride through Bagan is on flat terrain and at a leisurely pace. At times we ride off the main roads on gravel and sand paths and roadways. You donât have to be a serious cyclist to do the tour, however if for some reason youâre unable to participate in the ride, your leader can arrange a pony cart to take you around the sights (at an additional cost).
A highlight of a visit to Bagan for many travellers is the optional sunrise hot air balloon flight over the site, possible on the mornings of day 4 or 5 (depending on availability). Experience breathtaking views above the stupa-studded landscape, followed by a light breakfast and champagne. The experience runs for approximately 2.5 hours, with flights times an average 45 minutes (can range from 1 hour to 20 minutes subject to local conditions). Weather dependent, flights operate between October through to March.
Advance bookings are highly recommended as places are limited. Please ask your booking agent for further details of the Premium and Classic service options.
Day 5 - Bagan
Another option is to take a day trip to Mt Popa, a mountain topped with monasteries and stupas. Climb the 777 steps to enjoy incredible views from the top and make a visit to the strange shrine devoted to the 37 Nat spirits. Your leader can help you arrange transport to Mt Popa for the best price, starting from MMK60 000, and the cost can be split between participating group members.
Day 6 - Community Lodge
Notes: Accommodation at the community lodge is basic. Youâll be staying in simple twin share rooms, with mattresses on the floor in the traditional style. Linen and mosquito nets are provided. Bathroom facilities are shared. There is no air conditioning and only cold running water and showers. Electricity is intermittent, so we recommend that you bring a torch and charge all your electrical items before arriving. You can refill your water bottle from the large water containers provided.
You can expect your stay here to be wonderful and rewarding, but keep in mind that the project is still developing with the direction of the community, and there can be some hiccups along the way.
If youâd prefer not to cycle, alternative transport (tuk-tuk) can be arranged at an additional cost of around MMK 8,000 per vehicle.
During the warmer summer months the cycling activities may be amended to avoid cycling during the intense heat of the day.
Day 7 - Mandalay
Day 8 - Mandalay
After the excursion to Mingun, return to Mandalay where youâll have some free time to do some optional activities. Perhaps find some quiet moments at the ancient Sweinbin Teak Monastery, or try your hand at gold leaf making in the Gold Pounders District. Thereâs also the Mahamuni Buddha Temple, an important pilgrimage site complete with giant golden Buddha.
Tonight visit Mandalay Hill, which is where Lord Buddha is said to have left a footprint. Stay here for sunset and to enjoy views over the glittering stupas and vibrant mosaics of the city at this magical time of day.
For some extra entertainment in the evening, why not catch a traditional show by the Mandalay Marionettes, or a non-conformist comedy show by the Moustache Brothers?
Day 9 - Kalaw
Day 10 - Kalaw
Notes: While today's walk is not difficult, youâll cover about 20 kilometres in total and will be on your feet for most of the day. Youâll need a reasonable level of fitness for this part of the trip, and remember to bring appropriate hiking shoes. A support vehicle can be arranged to access the trails upon request from the halfway mark, so this means that youâll need to be able to walk at least 10 kilometres unsupported.
Day 11 - Inle Lake
The drive will take you to the resort town of Nyuanshwe which will be our base for the next few days as we explore Inle Lake.
Notes: Due to the extremely high volume of tourists currently visiting Inle Lake we are not always able to secure our preferred accommodation. At times like these we may need to stay in a property with a lower room standard than in other destinations on this trip.
Day 12 - Inle Lake
Visit Phaung Daw Oo Paya, the most religious site in the region and take a quick look inside at the various images of Buddha. You can also see a golden barge which is used during Phaung Daw Oo festival. Make a few more stops at local villages to meet the locals, then head back to your accommodation in Nyaungshwe.
Day 13 - Inle Lake
In the evening, enjoy a traditional Shan banquet.
Day 14 - Yangon
Day 15 - Yangon
Perhaps do some of the activities suggested at the beginning of the trip, or ask your leader about our range of Urban Adventures day tours. Visit www.yangonurbanadventures.com for more information.