Myanmar Experience

From AU$ 0 12 Days
  • myanmar
  • Max 16 passengers
  • Yangon Yangon
12 days From AU$ 0


The gates have been opened, it is time to discover Myanmar (formerly known as Burma), before the crowds discover it. Myanmar is a country with a deep and fascinating culture, a country that has been relatively closed to visitors until now! Discover the spiritual heavyweight of Shwedagon Pagoda, bicycle through Bagan and its thousands of pagodas, cross the longest teak bridge in the world if you dare and enjoy the tranquil life at Inle Lake, where floating markets, leg-rowing fishermen and ethnic minorities abound. Myanmar is sure to impress with its delicious food, breathtaking landscapes and people both curious and welcoming, you will understand why it is called the hidden gem of Southeast Asia.

Tour Itinerary

Day 1 Yangon

Min Gala Ba! Welcome to Myanmar. Your 12 Day Myanmar adventure begins with a group meeting this evening.  Feel free to arrive at any time today, and spend the day at leisure exploring Yangon.  Check in to your room, then check with hotel reception for where and when the meeting will take place, then enjoying exploring the many attractions of Yangon. Once Myanmar’s capital, Yangon is still the country’s major city, it is a buzzing city with a beautiful skyline studded with the golden Shwedagon Paya temple.

Day 2 Yangon

The adventure officially kicks off this morning as we head out on an orientation tour of Yangon. With a better understanding of the city, enjoy some free time to explore the city at your own pace. Sights that we recommend are the Bogyoke Market or various temples and pagodas around town.  After lunch we head to the railway station and board an overnight train to Bagan. Enjoy the experience of overnight train travel in Myanmar, it is one of the safest travel options around the country, and you might even make a few new friends as you travel the way the locals do.

Please note: Due to rail upgrades around the country, expect a bumpy ride and possible delays. There is usually a restaurant car attached to the train but it’s a good idea to bring some snacks in case there isn’t. A sheet and blanket are provided but you might like to bring an extra sarong or jacket for the journey in case you get cold. Remember the all-important toilet paper as there’s unlikely to be any in the bathroom!

Day 3 Bagan

We arrive into Bagan mid-morning to mid-day. Please note that this train ride usually takes 17 to 20 hours and rarely runs to schedule. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure to explore the magical Bagan at your own pace.  The archaeological tour deserves the full day, so we leave that until tomorrow for you to enjoy.

Day 4 Bagan

Enjoy exploring Bagan with pedal power, as we spend the entire day sightseeing the archaeological site on bicycle accompanied by a local guide.  This is where Theravada Buddhism was introduced to the Kingdom of Bagan and once housed 10,000 temples, pagodas and monasteries. The ancient city still impresses today with over 2,000 brick and gilded ruins, it is a stunning sight to behold.   Be blown away as you see many of the large and impressive temples such as Ananda Pahto, Dhammayangyi Pahto and Shwesandaw Paya, as well as some of the smaller hidden gems. Immerse yourself in the tranquil atmosphere of this amazing place, as exploring the temple site by bike is a great way to do this, and there are also many opportunities to climb stairs to vantage points and capture some magical views. For those wanting an extra magical experience here, there is the option to enjoy a hot air balloon ride over the site (At own expense and this needs to be pre-booked well in advance).  After the day exploring the ancient city, you may like to check out the nearby Nyaung U market, which is one of the more interesting markets in the country.

Day 5 Mandalay

Rise bright and early this morning in order to board a public ferry before dawn and cruise up the Ayeyarwady River to Mandalay.   Spend the day relaxing on deck as you watch riverside life go by, a wonderful way to experience Burmese local life. Some ferries also have a cafe/bar on the upper deck for drinks and simple meals, but you may also like to bring your own food with you. On arrival to Mandalay we check into our simple hotel, our home for the next three nights.

Please note: Due to the unpredictable nature of water levels on the Ayeyarwady River between February and May, it’s sometimes possible that your ferry may be cancelled. Although rare, cancellations may take place at the last minute and without warning. If this happens, the group will travel by road from Bagan to Mandalay.

Day 6 Mandalay

This morning we enjoy another boat trip further along the Ayeyarwady River to the archaeological site of Mingun. Discover the Mingun Pahtodawgyi, an incomplete stupa which would have been the largest in the world. You’ll also see the world’s largest ringing bell and the nearby beautiful white Hsinphymae Pagoda.   We then return to Mandalay, and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure to explore this amazing city.. Once known as The Golden City, Mandalay was the last capital of the former Kingdom of Myanmar. You may like to see the city by taking a local van or bus to Mahamuni Buddha Temple, an important pilgrimage site famous for its 2000-year-old golden Buddha statue, or visit the nearby cottage industries where gold leaf is made or go to Shwe In Bin Kyaung, the intricately carved teak monastery. Another interesting trip is the half-day trip up to the hill town of Pyin Oo Lwin. In the evening Mandalay Hill boasts a spectacular sunset view over the town, or experience the beautiful puppetry or dance performances at the Mandalay Marionettes or Mintha Theatre.

Day 7 Kalaw

We wave goodbye to Mandalay this morning, and travel along the Great Road of China- the new superhighway built by the Chinese and head to Kalaw by private bus.  Enjoy a break along the way at the impressive U Bein Bridge, at 1.2km long it is the world’s longest teak bridge. Be amazed by the stunning mountain scenery as we enter Shan state and arrive at Kalaw, the mountain city which provides welcome relief from the heat of Myanmar’s low lying area.

Day 8 Kalaw

Enjoy a day in the hills, exploring the villages, farms and forests in the area near Kalaw.  Discover the many ethnic minority groups of the area, including the Palaung, Danu and Pa-O, as well as Indians and Nepalese who moved here during the British rule.  Enjoy a simple lunch at one of these local villages.

Day 9 Inle Lake

This morning enjoy some free time to see some more of the sights of Kalaw, including more beautiful Buddhist pagodas and the local market. We then hit the road again as we travel by bus for about three hours to Inle Lake. Discover the calm waters of Inle Lake, the life-blood for many ethnic minority communities who live in stilt houses along the lake's shallow fringes and surrounding areas.

Day 10 Inle Lake

Today we head out onto the water as we board a motorised boat to discover local life on the lake.  You will be amazed with lake life including fisherman who use a distinctive leg-rowing technique on their boats, floating tomato plantations and cottage industries such as silversmiths, weavers and cigar makers. If you’re lucky, you might even see the floating market which circles the lake every five days, and you can even buy traditional wares produced by the locals. We then visit some villages where locals greet you with a smile and you can browse the various handicraft items.

Day 11 Inle Lake

Enjoy a day at leisure at Inle Lake. You may like to visit the morning market at Mingala, before heading to Nyuangshwe's oldest Buddhist monastery, Yadana Man Aung Paya, and finishing the day off at a traditional puppet show held in town every evening.

Day 12 Yangon

This morning we wave goodbye to the splendour of Shan state, as we take the short flight back to the hustle and bustle of Yangon, where your trip unfortunately comes to an end.  Bid farewell to your new friends made on this trip and get one last group photo before you part ways.  If you’d like to stay on for a few extra days your leader can help with accommodation and transfer bookings. 

Please note: If you are planning to fly out today, we advise you not to book a flight out before 4 pm. This is because domestic flights in Burma are often delayed and there’s a chance you could arrive late from Heho and miss your flight out. If you have time to kill in Yangon before leaving, your leader can suggest some things for you to do.

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