Myanmar (Burma) – Essential Myanmar
8 days from £1,028* per person Saving you £167 per person*
This itinerary isn’t set in stone. Pick, mix, swap however you like – your trip will be totally tailor made for you.
Day 1 Arrival in Yangon
You’ll be greeted at Yangon International airport and taken to your hotel.
Time to explore the commercial capital of Yangon, the largest city in Myanmar, with wide tree-lined avenues, shady green parks and beautiful lakes. See the Sule Pagoda, City Hall and the colonial buildings, Chaukhtatkyi Pagoda with its spectacular reclining Buddha and the Royal Barge on Kandawgyi Royal Lake.
At sunset, you’ll visit the awe-inspiring Shwedagon Pagoda, the glistening golden stupa that towers over the metropolis.
Day 2 Yangon – Bagan
Finish your breakfast – you’re flying to Bagan to see one of the richest historical and archaeological sites in Asia. Prepare yourself for a landscape of Buddhist sculptures and lavishly decorated temples and pagodas, complete with mural paintings and plaster carvings from the 11th to 13th centuries.
Your tour includes several small villages and various religious structures, including Shwezigon Pagoda, Ananda Temple, Gubyaukgyi Temple and Shwesandaw Pagoda.
Round off the day with a pony cart ride among the temples, before climbing one to watch the sun sink into the distant hills. Simply magical.
Day 3 Bagan
After breakfast, take a brief stop at Nyaung Oo Market then proceed to Sulamani temple, Shwegugyi Temple and Minanthu village. Alternatively, take your pick from other activities – grab an aerial view of Bagan on an exhilarating hot air balloon ride, or take a cookery class with a local bio-gardening expert.
In the afternoon, stop at a local lacquerware workshop to watch the artisans at work, then take an evening cruise along the Ayeyarwady River.
Day 4 Bagan – Mandalay
Fly from Nyaung Oo airport to Mandalay, the second largest city in Myanmar.
First stop is Mahamuni Temple, with its huge bronze Buddha figure layered in gold. You’ll also visit a workshop where 24k gold is transformed into fine gold leaves using just a hammer.
In the late afternoon, visit the Golden Palace Monastery, famous for its intricate carvings, before being driven to the top of Yankin Hill. Crowned with a quiet monastery, the location offers fantastic views of Mandalay city and the surrounding farmland.
Day 5 Sagaing – Ava – Amarapura
After breakfast, it’s off to the Sagaing Hills, a retreat for Buddhist devotees. There are over 500 monasteries here. Next, continue to Ava (the former royal capital for almost five centuries) and tour it by pony cart, taking in the Maha Aungmye Bonzan monastery, the Nan Myint watch tower and the Bagaya teak wood monastery.
In the afternoon, pay a visit to the traditional cotton and silk weavers whose ancestors used to weave robes for royalty. Marvel at the silk longyis produced here, with weaving so intricate that only an inch can be completed in a day.
At sunset, visit the picturesque U Bein Bridge, a 1.2 kilometre teak walkway spanning Taungthaman Lake. Fancy taking to the water for a cocktail? Join a sunset cruise before returning to Mandalay.
Day 6 Mandalay – Heho – Inle Lake
Today you’re flying to Heho, the gateway to the Southern Shan State. From here you’ll be taken to Inle Lake, famous for its scenic beauty and the Inthas, the native lake dwellers. You’ll have the rest of the day to explore the lake by longtail boat, watching the Inthas tend their floating gardens. If you prefer, you can join a cycling tour through Nepalese villages and rice fields, finishing at the shores of the lake. The day also includes a visit to the Phaung Daw U Pagoda.
In the evening, you can do a tasting at the Red Mountain Winery, where a French winemaker is producing exciting new Myanmar wines.
Day 7 Inle – Indein
Spend a day exploring the Inle Lake by boat. You’ll also have a chance to visit the market and see the hill tribe people coming down to sell their wares and buy provisions.
Situated on the western shore of the lake, the Indein temple complex is often referred to as a mini Angkor. After a short walk through a bamboo forest, you’ll see the mysterious monuments appear, some covered in climbing vegetation.
In the afternoon, visit the silk-weaving village of Impawkhone, a traditional blacksmith and a cigar-making workshop before returning to your hotel for the evening.
Day 8 Homeward bound
If there’s time, squeeze in a trip to Bogyoke Market to pick up some last-minute souvenirs of your trip before boarding your flight home.
*Prices are based on private arrangements (not lower priced escorted tours with set dates). Quality three star accommodation is quoted here (unless mentioned otherwise), with breakfast included and other meals where mentioned. Mostly private transfers with an English speaking driver/guide and all activities mentioned, with top guides, are included. Domestic flights and transport all included from Day 1 to end point. Can be tailored to your needs, so prices could be lower for budget arrangements or higher for luxury.
International flight is not included