Myanmar, also known as Burma, has undergone decades of upheaval and renewal in its politics. Opening its doors to the world in 2011, Myanmar has only recently sparked the interest for the inquisitive traveler.
DAY01: Arrival in Yangon
Arrive in Yangon, your guide will be welcoming you at the airport entrance and bringing to the hotel. Check in time at 14:00 hour in high season!
Yangon lies in the fertile delta of southern Myanmar, on the wide Yangon River. The city is filled with tree-shaded boulevards, while shimmering stupas float above the treetops. The city became the capital only in 1885, when British completed the conquest of Upper Myanmar and Mandalay’s brief period as capital of the last Burmese Kingdom ended.
Today our sightseeing tour start from downtown area around Sule Pagoda. Here you can read from one of the many fortune tellers hanging around under the trees. Be sure to take a quick photo break at the Sule Pagoda; after all, this is the landmark of the city center, which was built more than 2,000 years ago. Look at the Independence Monument and the green Mahanbandola Garden. When you turn around, you will come across the twice newly built Town Hall. Head west and cross the chaotic Little India district. Visit the gold shops on Shwe Bontha Street and admire the Moseh Yeshua Synagogue on the 26th Street from the outside.
Finally, visit to Shwedagone Pagoda, the most revered Buddhist temple in Myanmar. The central stupa is over 90 meters tall and gilded with gold leaf- a breathtaking and colorful sight which dominates the city skyline. Enjoy the sunset there.
03 nights in Yangon.
DAY02: Cycling in Dhala & Twante
Today we experience the rural life by bike in Dhala, where can be reached by a local ferry boat (not private). You can see many people coming and going to work from either side of the Yangon River during this boat trip.
We can also study the ways of life of the local people by biking, local markets and head out into the Burmese countryside.
Enjoy package lunch or light lunch at local tea shop.
On the way to Twante township, we pass through rice paddies field, ambling cows, and various farms and head off-road on rough tracks to villages buried deep in bamboo forests. Upon arrival, you will see many local potteries using traditional methods to craft earthenware, after passing Snake Temple where local people believe that the snakes are guard of pagoda and visit to Shwesandaw pagoda.
After the excursion by cycling around local village, return to Yangon.
Stay overnight in Yangon.
DAY03: Yangon Sailing / or padding
Breakfast at hotel. Today we experience the paddling or sailing on the Inya Lake in Yangon. Depending on your desire, we can choose paddling or sailing for 02 hours. After a short briefing on safety and basic technigues, you can set off to paddle or sailing into the lake. Inya Lake is the largest lake in Yangon, where you will see various kinds of birds and water ducks fishing from these waters. Depending on the season period, you will see different kinds of brids.
Then, back to the hotel, free and leisure rest of the day.
Stay overnight in Yangon.
DAY04: Flight to Bagan - the city of temples
Morning flight Yangon – Bagan (probably the K7 221 at 08.45 – 10.05)
Bagan is a spectacular plain stretching away from the Ayeyarwaddy River, dotted with thousands of 800-year old temple ruins. Although human habitation at Bagan dates back almost to the beginning of the Christian era, Bagan only entered its golden period with the conquest of Thaton in 1057 Ad.
After checking in at hotel, we explore this famous city of temple: Thatbyinnyu Temple, the highest temple in Bagan; the massive Dhammayangyi Temple, noted for its remarkable brickwork. Proceed to the Shwesandaw Pagoda for a first circular view. Our other visits include some of the most important pagodas and temples, such as The Ananda Temple with its statues of Buddha standing in all four directions, and the Manuha Temple from 1059!
Picnic lunch near the temple ruins service included (if it rains, we will enjoy lunch at a local restaurant).
In the afternoon: we explore the city by e-bike. Wind your way to the local workshops. The first stop is a lacquerware workshop. Bagan has been the center of the production of varnish for more than 1000 years. We visit another famous workshop where produces Pon yay gyi or black bean curd paste, which is Burmese meals, cooked with pork and served over rice, or as part of a salad on the side.
Enjoy a sunset view from one of the most scenic spots overlooking the plains of Bagan before returning to your hotel in the early evening.
03 nights in Bagan
Stay overnight in Bagan.
DAY05: Cooking class and Min Nan Thu village
Optional – Balloons Over Bagan early in the morning. Once in a lifetime experience.
Spend your morning learning how to cook some traditional Burmese dishes. You will be transferred to Nyaung U market to explore the stalls where fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs and meats are for sale alongside chillies, pastes and other sauces used in local cuisine. Then head to the local restaurant where you will meet the head chef and ready for a private cooking class. With the guidance’s from the local chef, you'll prepare the ingredients and use traditional techniques to cook some Burmese favourites. Afterwards, savour the food that you had already cooked with the additional Myanmar dessert and tea or coffee.
In the afternoon, we join an e-bike tour / or horst cart or bullock cart (depending your the fitness) to Min Nan Thu Village, a typical Burmese village where you can observe the daily activities of the local such as: how they carry the water from the nearby well, how they collect the crops and how they crash the peanuts, make the cooking oil.
Stay overnight in Bagan
DAY06: Hiking on Mount Popa
Mount Popa - it is assumed that Mt Popa is 4,980 feet (1,518 m) above sea level high. Sometimes Mount Popa can be seen all the way from the Irrawaddy River.
Early morning, we leave the city for a drive to Mount Popa. Upon arrival, we start your journey to Popa Mountain by hiking. Hiking enthusiasts are interested in visiting this oasis where we can enjoy the forest journey along with the beautiful scenery. It takes about 4 – 5 hours hiking. We highly recommend wearing hiking boots or good walking shoes. You might want to avoid jeans and choose sportwear, T-shirt and hoodie instead. Remember that it does get cooler along the journey. Packed lunch included.
On the way, you will see the Taung Kalat monastery, U Nu buildings which caught fire and is now rebuilt as a rest house and the helipad. On the way we will arrive on Zagar Pone mountain where you can see the broadcasting station and telephone communication tower.
Rest for a while at there, back to foot of the hill and return to your hotel in Bagan. Stay overnight in Bagan.
The best travel time from Oct – April.
DAY07: Flight to Heho - Pindaya
After having breakfast at hotel, we leave Bagan for Heho. After a short flight we land in Heho.
Upon arrival, we drive to Pindaya (distance: appr. 70 km, equivalent 2 hours). Our journey takes us up into the hills and past a network of paddy fields as we make our way into the heartland of the Taung Yoe people. Our destination is the magnificent complex of limestone caves that occupy the bridge overlooking the Pindaya Lake.
The Pindaya Caves are home to thousands of Buddhist images, made from alabaster, teak, marble, lacquer and even cement, which have been placed here over the centuries to create a labyrinth through the hills. We will have a chance to explore something of this fascinating setting, even taking the time to visit some local houses to watch traditional Shan paper making. Then, drive to Inle lake.
Stay overnight in Nyaung Shwe or Inle (depending on hotel location).
DAY08: Inle and Indein village
After breakfast, we board a local motorboat and cruise along one of the many canals through a landscape of tall grasses and small waterholes to the Pa-Oh village of Indein on the western shore of Inle Lake.
The first visit is a morning market (depend on 5-day market schedule) and proceed to Indein village. This is a small village in the west of Inle Lake, known for its market and two groups of ancient pagodas. An ascent to bemooster stairs leads to the top of the hill, from where you have a magnificent view over the surrounding countryside.
The Indein Temple Complex is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful sights around the lake. The Bagan and Shan-style pagoda ruins hidden in the bushes seem to grow almost out of the ground, literally taking you back to the 12th – 13th centuries. If time permits, we stop by some local workshops such as silk weaving workshop, ciger workshop where makes local snacks such as soybean crackers and tofu crackers at village.
In the afternoon, sunset canoe trip to Mine Thauk Village. This lovely sunset excursion provides a memorable and atmospheric view of the lake and ends at Mine Thauk Bridge. The trip lasts around 1.5 hours.
Stay overnight in Nyaung Shwe or Inle.
DAY09: Trekking and cycling in Inle
A leisure walk lets us experience the life of the farmers up close. You walk through villages and along rice fields and sugarcane plantations. On the way back you will see the floating gardens up close. The local tomatoes will be sold to all the major cities of Myanmar.
After a short break we start take a bike tour from Nyaung Shwe to Khaung Daing village (distance: 10 km – 1 ½ hours) and on the road along the shore of the lake. Partly tarred winding road with potholes in many places, partly narrow pathways. (Light traffic; difficult to cycle during monsoon months from May to September). We observe the unique life of the Intha people’s life on the Shore of Inle Lake and admire the scenery. As soon as you arrive in KhaungDaing, and board a boat to the Nyaung Shwe. Return to the hotel.
Stay overnight in Nyaung Shwe or Inle.
DAY10: Heho - Yangon
Depending on your departure flight, we will offer you a suitable flight back to Yangon for your flight back home.