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Overview

Discover Loikaw, a hidden corner of Myanmar filled with exotic culture and raw beauty. Explore Padaung villages with a community guide to ensure a non-voyeuristic experience. Learn about the unique traditions of the famous local women who wear brass rings around their necks.Then hop in a boat for a journey through Sagar, a quieter, more authentic part of Inle Lake.

Trip Highlights

The Loikaw Loop

Walk through hilltribe villages to meet the famous ladies

Wearing brass rings around their necks and see their traditional handicrafts and customs.

Take a boat trip through Sagar, Inle Lake’s southern region

To see pottery villages, remarkable stupas and beautiful landscapes.

Journey through the lush mountains of the Shan and Kayah states

Explore quiet waterways and trek to unspoiled farmland.

Itinerary

1

Heho – Loikaw

Note: There is a direct flight from Yangon to Loikaw every day.

Upon arrival, our guide will be waiting at Heho Airport. From the airport, begin the scenic, six-hour drive through both the Shan and Kayah states before arriving into Loikaw.

En route, stop for lunch at the Green Tea Forest restaurant, located in an area known for its famous tea plantations.

Bisected by the Bilu River, Loikaw is blessed with rolling mountains, lakes, markets, and hill tribes – the most famous being the Padaung ladies that wear brass rings around their necks. The area was only recently opened to tourists in 2013, and is still very much off the beaten path.

Upon arrival, check in to the hotel.

Shortly before sunset, head into downtown Loikaw to visit the Taung Kwe Pagoda. Perched on a spectacular rock formation, this pagoda is Kayah State’s most famous sight. The rock formation itself is said to be the origin of the town’s name (Loikaw is Shan for “Island of mountains”). With great views of the surrounding area, the pagoda is the perfect spot to end the day.

Overnight in Loikaw.

2

Loikaw

Today the sightseeing begins at 08:00.

Begin the day with a visit 30 minutes outside of Loikaw to the Demawso market (only open Mon, Wed, and Sat). This local market attracts tribes from the surrounding area selling unique wares, including the local khaung-yay wine. Local women line up with batches of homemade wine, each offering free samples to any interested customers. After deciding on a particularly tasty one, customers will make their purchase, filling up containers they brought themselves.

Following the market visit, drive out to the countryside for an easy walk through local villages and farmland.  After an hour, reach the Pan Phet village. Most of the inhabitants of Pan Phet are of the Padaung tribe. The Padaung women are famous for the many golden neck rings they wear. Though the tradition is dying out, most women over 40 in the village can still be seen wearing these heavy accessories. There will be a unique chance to interact with these ladies during a stroll through the village. A few roadside stalls have opened to cater to tourists here, so there will be a few chances to pick up some locally sourced souvenirs and refreshments.

After leaving the village, take the hour return back to the car and head for a late lunch.

In the evening, we’ll head to a jetty just on the outskirts of the city. Your private motorboat cruises on the Bilu River which meanders its way through the heart of Loikaw and out into the countryside.  We’ll pass under the city’s many bridges, witness locals washing clothes and bathing in the river and finish the 45-minute journey at Thatta Bilu village where our vehicle will be waiting to take us back into town.

Overnight in Loikaw.

3

Loikaw – Sagar – Inle Lake

This morning the tour starts at 08:00.

Transfer to Phekon Jetty by private vehicle and board a private motorboat to Sagar, the far southern region of Inle Lake. Very few tourists make the trip down to this region, yet it is one of the most beautiful places in the Shan State.

The boat journey takes 2.5-3 hours, but is full of fabulous views and home to many unique species of birds, both indigenous and migratory.

Upon arriving in the Sagar area, make a visit to the ‘sunken’ stupas of Sagar. 108 stupas from the 16-17th centuries, these religious monuments sit partially underwater for a few months a year. There is also a local monastery and village that can be visited.

Continue to the village of Thaya Gone, home to the Pa-Oh, Shan, and Inthar people, known for its production of local rice wine. Watch the process of distillation and then sample some of the local brew. In Thaya Gone there is also the chance to climb to the top of a small hill which there are great views of the lake and surrounding villages.

Another stop will be made in Sae Khaung Pottery Village to see the crafting of oil and water pots as well as the natural, underground kilns used by the villagers. On the western shores of the Sagar area is Tar Kaung, a series of more than 200 stupas which also make a fabulous photo stop.

Lunch will be arranged along the way (either picnic lunch or local lunch at a small restaurant)

Around 14:30, the boat will begin its journey back to the main section of Inle Lake. Traveling back in the afternoon, the light has shifted and the route back appears much different with unique activities occurring on the water and in the villages.

Reach Nyaung Shwe by early evening.

Important Information

Our services include:

  • 2 nights accommodation in a shared twin or shared double room with daily breakfast
  • Meals as indicated in the program  (B = breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner) 
  • Entrance fees for visits mentioned in the program
  • All transfers and excursions with private air-conditioned vehicles
  • English-speaking guide
  • Private motorized boat for Inle Lake
  • Drinking water while touring

Our services do not include:

  • Other meals not indicated in the program (B = breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner)
  • Entrance fees for the sites not mentioned in the program
  • International flights to/from Yangon
  • Visa fees
  • Tips & porters at the hotels 
  • Drinks and Personal expenses
  • Credit card fees (2-3%) or bank transfer fees for non-cash payments
  • Any other items not mentioned in the included services

 

Creating Unique Touring Experiences

All the touring itineraries on this website have been carefully crafted by our in-country management teams and represent a series of experiences we can certainly recommend. However, we understand that every travel experience should be as unique and individual as each traveler. Our consultants are waiting to hear from you so that we can tailor or custom design a Myanmar Tour to your individual specifications.

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