Isolated for decades, Burma holds a wealth of cultural and historical treasures, and this trip spends time exploring its rich heritage and culture.
Our tour covers the main highlights of the country but also includes some hidden gems and areas that rarely see Western tourists. A highlight for most travellers will be left until near the end of this trip. Bagan is one of the most spectacular sites in Asia, a vast collection of ancient temples which rise out of the dusty plains next to the Ayeyarwaddy and make for superb exploration. Burma is one of the most stunning parts of Asia.
Day 1 - Yangon
Arrive in Yangon and transfer to your hotel. The rest of the day is free to relax or explore. Overnight at Aung Tha Pyay Hotel or similar.
Day 2 - Yangon
This morning we visit the magnificent Shwedagon Pagoda. You will learn about the history of the pagoda, the daily life of all people living in the immediate surroundings of the pagoda and a deeper insight into the Buddhist religion and how the spiritual belief is mixed with the belief in nats – the Myanmar spirits. The tour includes a traditional Burmese breakfast, offerings to monks and the pagoda and a visit to a fortune teller. The afternoon is free to discover downtown Yangon with all its heritage buildings on your own. Overnight at Aung Tha Pyay Hotel or similar (B)
Day 3 - Yangon to Lashio and Hsipaw
This morning transfer to Yangon airport for a flight to Lashio . We then travel by road to Hsipaw. On arrival set off on a guided walk (approximately 4 hours) through panoramic scenery of paddy fields and seasonal crops, small creeks, Shan villages, local schools (we will hopefully get an opportunity to visit a school), the grave of the first prince of Hsipaw, a local nunnery, and a wooden monastery. Learn about Shan life see and witness first hand traditional industries.
Overnight at Mr. Charles Hotel or similar (B)
Day 4 - Dokthawaddy River trip
This morning travel by boat along the Dokthawaddy River through beautiful mountain scenery. As we cruise leisurely you will be able to witness traditional village life from the water in this fascinating part of Myanmar. After the boat ride we take a short walk for about an hour to visit a 150 year old Shan monastery in the forest. Your afternoon is at leisure.
Overnight at Mr. Charles Hotel or similar (B)
Day 5 - Kyaukme and Trekking
We take an early morning local bus from opposite the impressive post office. Stopping at local villages the bus journey is a great opportunity to interact with the locals. Along with the locals themselves expect to be surrounded (or sit on top of) by vegetables, rice and anything else you can imagine! After a couple of hours we arrive in Kyaukme. We then start the days walk (approximately 4 -5 hours) in the mountains surrounding Kyaukme. We have lunch in one of the Palaung villages where people live according to century old traditions.
Overnight at a local hill tribe village house (BL)
Day 6 - Kyaukme trekking
We spend the day walking amongst the hill tribe villages around Kyaukme. A simple lunch will be served at a local house in the village. Late afternoon we will head back to the hotel in Kyaukme.
Overnight at the A Yone oo guesthouse (BL)
Day 7 - Kyaukme to Pyin Oo Lwin and Mandalay
This morning you have some free time to explore the town with its colonial buildings and the busy and colourful market. Later around 11am we take a spectacular train journey crossing the mighty Gokteik Viaduct, once the second highest railway bridge in the world. Through a backdrop of mountain scenery the train will pass small villages and towns where vendors will enter the train to sell drinks and local snacks. On arrival we will continue by private car to Mandalay.
Overnight at Emerald Land Hotel or similar (B)
Day 8 – Mandalay explored on bike
This morning we explore Mandalay by bike. The ride starts in the back lanes of town, passing markets, lively neighbourhoods heading for the north east of the city. After a short ride we find ourselves in the true countryside where farmers tend to their fields and villagers go about the daily rituals often stopping to wave as we pass by. Overnight at Emerald Land Hotel or similar (B)
Day 9 – Mandalay to Bagan
This morning we take the public bus to Bagan. We arrive in Bagan at lunchtime and transfer to the hotel. This afternoon enjoy a sightseeing tour of Bagan. The guide will show you the best known temples of the area. Overnight at Thande Nyaung U or similar (B)
Day 10 – Explore Bagan
A free day in Bagan to discover its delights at your own pace.
Overnight at Thande Nyaung U or similar (B)
Day 11 - Bagan to Kalaw
This morning we have a long drive (around 6 hours) to an elephant conservation project near Kalaw. If time allows after the journey we will take a wonderfully peaceful walk in the forest before encountering the elephants and their mahouts. The project was started by local school friends with a focus on protecting the local environment, elephants and the traditions of local people living in the area. The project includes a natural environment for retired working Asian elephants and helps the local population through education and micro finance.We will also have lunch at the project in its perfect natural setting before continuing on to Kalaw.
Overnight at the Dream villa hotel or similar (B)
Day 12 - Kalaw to Inle Lake
Morning transfer to Inle Lake. Before arriving at the lake we visit a recently set up vineyard, one of only a couple in the whole country. We visit the ruins of Indein, partly covered by vegetation and which until recently lay undiscovered. A home-made cooked lunch will be served in a local house. We continue towards the Nam Pan village for a very interesting trip by small canoes exploring the small channels and observing village llife.
Overnight at Hupin Kaung Dine Hotel or similar (BL)
Day 13 - Inle Lake
Enjoy a full day exploring this magical lake by boat. Around the lake, traditional markets are held in different villages according to a 5-day rotating schedule. Today we take you to visit one of these colourful markets frequented by Shan and PaO people. Overnight at Hupin Kaung Dine Hotel or similar (BL)
Day 14 - Inle Lake via Heho to Yangon
This morning transfer to Heho airport for a flight back to Yangon and on arrival transfer to the hotel. The rest of your day is free in Yangon.
Overnight at Aung Tha Pyay Hotel or similar (B)
Day 15 - Yangon Departure
Transfer to the airport for your homeward flight. (B)
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