Myanmar Revealed

This three-week itinerary goes deeper than most into the heart of Myanmar, exploring remote temples and villages in lesser visited states such as Shan and Rakhine.

Highlights: Yangon – Hsipaw – Pyin Oo Lwin – Mandalay – Bagan – Kalaw – Inle Lake – Mrauk U

bagan-mt-popa

 

Day 1

Arrive Yangon

You will be met at Yangon International airport for the transfer to your hotel.

Rest of the day at leisure.

Day 2

Yangon

Morning tour to the Shwedagon Pagoda for an insight into
the daily lives of people living in the immediate surroundings of the pagoda and which provides a useful introduction to Buddhist philosophy. Burmese lunch is included.

Afternoon walking tour of the colonial centre of Yangon to get a feel for the city past and present. Downtown Yangon retains much of its colonial architecture, an impressive collection of late nineteenth and early twentieth-century buildings. Your guide will walk you through the back streets, explaining the history of buildings and ending with a drink at Rangoon Tea House, on Pansodan street, where many of Yangon’s expatriates meet up for drinks and meals.

In the evening visit Lake Kandawygi.

Day 3

Yangon - Hsipaw

In the morning visit the war cemetery in Taukkyan where thousands of Southeast Asian and Allied prisoners of war who worked on the Thai-Burma death railway are commemorated.

Transfer to the airport in time to check in for the flight to Lashio, where you will be met and driven to your hotel in Hsipaw.

In the late afternoon your guide will take you for a 2½
hour walk through paddy fields, small creeks and villages of the northern Shan state. There is a chance to visit some of the cottage industries such as bamboo weaving and cigar rolling which help villagers to generate an income.

Day 4

Hsipaw

Excursion to Hsipaw Haw, the home of Shan prince Sao Kya Seng. Born in 1924, he studied mining engineering in Colorado and returned to Burma in 1954 with his Austrian-born wife, where he was crowned Saopha (Lord of the Heavens). He abdicated in 1959 whilst serving as a member of the Burmese upper house (Chamber of Nationalities) but disappeared in March 1962 during the coup which brought General Ne Wen to power.

Continue by boat on the Dokthawaddy River in direction of the Ban Jyo pagoda where the family’s statue of Buddha is currently locateds. From here drive to a monastery built by one of the princes for the Hsipaw royal family where a traditional Shan lunch is served.

Day 5

Hsipaw - Pyin Oo Lwin

A wonderful train journey through the Shan mountains crossing the mighty Gokteik Viaduct which was constructed in 1901 by the Pennsylvania Steel company and which was once the second highest railway bridge in the world.

The train departs from Hsipaw station at 9.30am and will cross the Gokteik Viaduct around lunchtime and is scheduled to arrive in Naung Cho at 2pm. You will be met and driven by private car to Pyin Oo Lwin.

Passengers should note that delays on an historic railway like this one are not uncommon.

Overnight at a local hotel.

Day 6

Pyin Oo Lwin – Mandalay

Morning tour of Pyin Oo Lwin, including the botanical gardens, the market, forest museum and some of the buildings at this former hill station during British colonial rule. The excursion includes a stop at the Anglican church.

Afternoon transfer and tour of Mandalay including the Mahamuni Pagoda, the old capital of Amarapura with its Mahagandayon Monastery with hundreds of
monks and a visit to the U-Bein Bridge. End the day with a visit to Mandalay Hill.

Day 7

Mandalay

Excursion on the Ayeyarwaddy River visiting Mingun, Sagaing and Ava.

From the jetty in Mandalay travel upstream to Mingun and visit the Mingun Pagoda, which has a giant crack caused by an earthquake and an important bronze bell.

Cruise downstream for about 2 hours to Sagaing and visit the Setkyar Thida nunnery before continuing to Ava where you will travel by horse and carts to explore the ancient temple ruins.

Return to Mandalay by car.

Day 8

Mandalay – Yandabo

Transfer by road to Yandabo, a village known for its pottery. It was also the site of the signing of an important treaty on 24 February 1826 between the British and Royal Burmese House of Ava which ended the first Anglo-Burmese War. We continue by local ferry to Pan Nyo village for a look around this village famous for buffaloes.

Overnight at a local hotel in Yandabo

Day 9

Yandabo - Bagan

The day will start with a bike ride of about 10 miles on unpaved, quiet roads, travelling through remote villages that rarely see foreign visitors. The journey is mostly flat with lovely scenery of palm trees, fields and villages.

You will continue by car to visit the Kyauk Gu Ohnmin cave temple travel onward by private boat to reach Bagan around 5 pm.

Day 10

Exploring Bagan

We start the day climbing a pagoda to get a first impressive view over the whole temple complex here. An experienced guide will take you on a tour of the best known temples including Ananda, Dhammayangyi, Sulamani, and Thatbyinnyu.

After lunch at a local restaurant we'll continue the tour by horse and cart and end with sunset drinks at Pyathagyi pagoda

Day 11

Bagan

Excursion to Mount Popa.

Mount Popa is said to the be the birthplace of the 37 “nats” of Myanmar, the protective spirits.

Amongst the sites, you will visit a temple in Minnanthu area, get to know a bit about rural village life in Shwe Si Tine, see the fruit and flower market and tea plantations. Lunch will be taken at Popa Mountain Resort. Return to Bagan at the end of the day.

Day 12

Bagan by Balloon; Transfer to Kalaw

It means an early start but you'll get to see Bagan's temples in the sunrise light. The hot-air balloon is guided by gentle winds which never exceed 15 mph, allowing a serene and peaceful bird's-eye view of the ancient complex.
Balloon flights usually last 45 minutes to one hour, depending on the wind. There will be a celebratory glass of champagne on landing.

The round-trip journey with transfers from hotel and champagne breakfast will last 2½ to 3 hours.

All balloons are built to the highest standards of the British Civil Aviation Authority and are provided by Cameron Balloons Limited, the world's largest manufacturer of high quality balloons. Pilots and technicians are qualified and registered in the UK.

In addition a small contribution from each flight is donated to community programs that directly benefit the local population of Bagan city.

After the balloon flight, travel into the jungle forest and visit the elephant conservation project before continuing to Kalaw, a former hill station.

Overnight at a local hotel.

Day 13

Kalaw - Indein - Lake Inle

An interesting journey by mountain bikes to Indein. The trip is mostly off-road and technically easy with most of the roads flat or downhill (although some parts are uphill in the first hour). Biking through Pa'O villages in an area where few foreigners travel is a great experience.

From Indein we continue to your hotel by private motorboat across Lake Inle.

Day 14

Lake Inle

Excursion by private motorboat to discover the natural beauty of the lake, visit the floating gardens, see some of the famous leg rowers and have a cup of tea at a local family’s house. Traditional markets are held in different villages according to a 5-day rotating schedule. There may be time to include a visit a local cheroot factory (where Burmese cigars are made), floating tomato gardens, a weaving workshop, and Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda. A traditional Intha lunch is included.

Day 15

Lake Inle

Full day trekking excursion to visit the Pa'O hill tribe.

It is a 2½ hour hike to reach the Pa'O tribe in Shan State where you have time to talk with the monks and visit a local school. A traditional Pa'O lunch is included with dishes such as ginger soup and pumpkin leaf salad.

Return hike to Lake Inle and to the hotel.

Day 16

Inle Lake - Mrauk U

Transfer to the airport at Heho for your flight to Sittwe. On arrival meet your local guide for the four-five hour drive to Mrauk U – a scenic road with interesting stops on the way to meet local life and take pictures of the breath-taking scenery of green paddyfields and the river. The journey includes a visit to a weaving village, an old monastery to have tea with the head monk, a small cave temple and an optional 15 minute hike to a vantage point for lovely views. As we travel closer to Mrauk U stop at the Mahamuni pagoda and visit the Vessali ruins.

Mrauk U was once one of the richest cities in Asia, comparable to Amsterdam or London. What’s left today is a historical site with 700 temples built in a very different style to those at Bagan.





Day 17

Mrauk U

Exploring the temples of Mrauk U by bike with an expert guide to the archaeological site and general history of Rakhine Dynasties of this state. There is a back-up vehicle with you all day.

Day 18

Mrauk U

Encounter with the Chin people.

A 1½ hour trip by boat over the Lemro River brings you to a Chin village where you will meet and have a simple lunch with a local host family. Your guide will explain some of the traditions and culture of the Chin people.

Afternoon return by road and river to Mrauk U, perhaps with a stop at some of the temples you have not previously seen.

Day 19

Depart Myanmar

A leisurely 4-hour cruise along the Kaladan River to reach the harbour at Sittwe where a car will be ready to drive you to the airport in time for your flight to Yangon and onward connection.



The above sample Myanmar holiday can be varied in any way you choose to suit your exact requirements so give us a call now on 01932 424252 to discuss any modifications.

Hotels in Myanmar

With the growth in tourism to Myanmar in recent years,  it is essential to book early if you wish to stay at particular hotels. The range of hotels in Myanmar is rather more limited than in other countries in South-East Asia but this is beginning to change as the country opens up.  Please chat to one of our Travel Consultants to get informed advice as to which hotels they would suggest for your tailor-made Myanmar holiday.

Included Tours, Excursions & Activities whilst on your Myanmar Holiday

The tours, excursions & activities mentioned in the above sample Myanmar holdiay are just a selection of what is available in each location. The programme can be adjusted to fit your particular requirements for this holiday; please liaise with your Travel Consultant to confirm what other activities are available and what you would like to include in your tailor-made Myanmar holiday.

Duration of your Myanmar Holiday

If you like the broad sweep of the above sample Myanmar holiday but have either fewer days to spend, or wish to extend it in any way, please ask your Travel Consultant for ideas on how to shorten or lengthen the holiday, or how to reorganise the itinerary.

No-Obligation Quote

We would be delighted to email you a no-obligation, fully-detailed itinerary & quote, containing images of the hotels we suggest for your tailor-made Myanmar holiday along with a link to the hotel’s website, plus details of any included tours & excursions. The quote will clearly state what is, and what is not included in the quoted price. If you thereafter wish to make any changes to the initial itinerary – be it an alternative hotel, different activities, a different duration in any location etc. – that’s not a problem and we will continue to work with you to adjust the programme until it exactly matches what you’re looking for from your tailor-made Myanmar holiday.