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Overview

Be introduced to Myanmar’s rich culture and timeless traditions in this short five-day trip. Explore the bustling city streets and serene pagodas of Yangon, step back in time at the ancient temples of Bagan and revel in the untouched natural beauty of Inle Lake.

Trip Highlights

Burmese Days

See Myanmar’s iconic sites

This trip includes visits to Shwedagon Pagoda, the temples of Bagan and Inle Lake, three of Myanmar’s most famous sites.

Get an introduction to Myanmar culture

Meet locals at the teashop, visit religious monuments, see traditional crafts and explore typical neighbourhoods to better understand Myanmar culture.

Learn about the country’s history

From the ancient pagodas of Bagan to the faded colonial buildings of Yangon, discover Myanmar’s turbulent history through its monuments.

Itinerary

1

Arrive Yangon

Upon arrival, receive a warm greeting from the guide and transfer to the hotel.

First impressions of Yangon are usually memorable. Its unique blend of rich colonial heritage, conspicuous spirituality and make unique cultural vibes make it one of the most fascinating cities in Southeast Asia.

Venture downtown to explore the city centre and its fabulous mix of architecture and cultural sites. The streets are filled with historical buildings, many of which have a faded colonial charm not seen elsewhere in Asia.

Start at the historic Post Office and walk to Sule Paya in the middle of downtown, passing by the Strand Hotel, Mahabandoola Garden and Independence Monument along the way. Then visit Little India and Chinatown, a colourful cacophony of restaurants, temples and markets. Reach Bogyoke Market, formerly known as Scott’s Market, where there is time to browse through dozens of stalls and shops. This is Yangon’s best market for handicrafts and other goods.  (Note: market is closed on Mondays and public holidays).

Continue to a local tea shop for a chance to experience an integral part of Burmese life: drinking tea! Select from an array of snacks and enjoy a coffee or tea while sitting amongst businessmen, friends and families who gather at the tea shop to socialize or conduct business. 

Next the guided tour goes to Kandawgyi Park, one of central Yangon’s greenest spots. Here, see the glittering Karaweik Barge, a replica of the Royal Barge, with the vast lake and views of Shwedagon in the background. Depending on the day of visit, Kandawgyi may be busy with local families who come on the weekend to relax in the fresh air.

From here, continue to Shwedagon Pagoda, the most revered Buddhist temple in Myanmar. Although the origins of the pagoda are unclear, local legend states that the original structure was built 2,500 years ago then renovated several times before taking its current shape in the 15th century. The 8-sided central stupa is 99 metres tall, gilded with gold leaf and is surrounded by 64 smaller stupas. Follow the guide’s lead around this massive complex and learn why this temple is so revered.

Overnight in Yangon.

2

Yangon – Bagan

After an early breakfast at the hotel, transfer to Yangon's Airport for a flight to Bagan (Nyaung Oo).

Today’s excursion visits a range of sites, providing a great overview of Bagan’s history, culture and local lifestyles.

The journey begins at Thagyar Pone Temple, a temple with spectacular views over the surrounding plains. This is the perfect introduction to the grandeur and scope of Bagan’s architecture. Next, continue to Ananda Temple, one of the most revered temples in Bagan, which is quiet in the morning before all the tour buses arrive.

Afterwards, head to Myinkaba Village and Gubyaukgyi Temple, noted for the beautiful mural paintings on its inner walls and well-preserved plaster carvings on its exterior. Nearby is Manuha Temple and Nan Paya Temple, two smaller temples with nice Buddha statues and stone work.

Then, learn more about the local culture with a visit to two workshops producing Bagan’s most famous products: lacquerware and woodcrafts. Watch as skilled craftsmen use techniques passed down through generations to create beautiful items. Take a break with lunch (client’s account) and then return to the hotel for a short rest, escaping the extreme heat of the midday sun.

Later in the afternoon, board a private river boat and set off upriver toward Kyauk Gu U Min. Throughout the Irrawaddy River cruise, be treated to fabulous scenes of life on the water: fishermen, local ferry boats, riverside villages and views of the Bagan temples.

Arrive in Kyauk Gu U Min on the eastern side of the river where a five-to-ten minute walk takes leads to Kyauk Gu U Min Temple. After your exploration of this temple, return to the boat for a relaxing cruise back to Bagan (around 1 hour). Transfer back to the hotel upon reaching Bagan.

Overnight in Bagan.

3

Bagan - Heho - Inle Lake

After breakfast, transfer to Nyaung Oo Airport for a flight to Heho.

From Heho, a scenic one-hour drive leads to Nyaung Shwe, the gateway village to Inle Lake. Along the way, stop at the wooden Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery, which features beautiful carvings and a collection of Buddha images. Also, stop in Nyaung Shwe for a trishaw tour around town, winding through quiet streets past nunneries, monasteries and local houses. Visit the ‘Tomato House’ where the lake’s freshly picked produce is sorted and then distributed throughout the country. If the local market is being held in town, stop there for a visit as well.

Upon reaching the edges of Inle Lake, board a private motorboat to head out to Inle Lake, one of Myanmar’s most spectacular sights.

Pass villages built on stilts over the lake, inhabited by the local Intha people. Observe the iconic leg-rowing fishermen and see their floating gardens built up from strips of water hyacinth and mud and anchored to the bottom with bamboo poles.

Continue to Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, the lake’s main sanctuary, which contains five sacred Buddha images covered in gold leaf. 

Explore the local crafts of Inle Lake with a stop at the weaving village of Inpawkhone and a cheroot factory, where traditional Burmese cigars are made by hand.

If time permits, there may be time to enjoy a short walk through one of the lakeside villages.

Overnight on Inle Lake.

4

Inle Lake - Heho - Yangon

This morning the sightseeing begins at 08:00 with a visit to theAfter breakfast, visit the  lake’s morning market. The market rotates its location around the lake’s villages in a 5-day rhythm and is visited by lake inhabitants and surrounding hill tribes who come to sell and trade their wares. (Note: market is daily except on dark-moon day and full-moon days).

Then, continue to the western banks of the lake and travel down a small canal to Indein. Indein is a Pa-Oh village known for its stupa-covered hill at Alaung Sitthou. Spend time exploring Indein on foot, and head to the top of Alaung Sitthou. Here, wander around the weather-beaten stupas and enjoy magnificent views of the lake below.

This afternoon, transfer to Heho Airport for the flight to Yangon. On arrival, transfer to the hotel for a good night’s rest.

Overnight in Yangon.

5

Depart Yangon

Depending on flight time, there may be time to embark on a half-day tour. These unique ‘insider’ tours offer something for everyone (note: supplemental charge will be applied)

Blessings Trail: Discover the rich mixture of cultures and religions in Yangon with this half-day walking tour. Visit Hindu Temples, synagogues, churches and mosques as well as unique Burmese spiritual places including nat shrines and fortune tellers. Along the way, we’ll explore markets, tea shops and other lively local sites in the busy downtown area.

Yangon for Foodies: Get a taste for Burmese food and culture with a half-day guided ‘Yangon for Foodies’ tour. Visit some of the city’s best fresh markets, sample tasty treats, sip a cuppa with locals in a tea shop and enjoy a traditional curry lunch. From the sweet (fried donuts) to the strange (fermented tea leaf salad), try all the strange and wonderful Burmese foodstuffs that make Myanmar such a unique place. (Lunch included)

Pilgrimage Tour: Trace the path of a Yangon legend that stretches back 2,000 years on a guided Pilgrimage Tour. Visit three stupas where, many years ago, sacred Buddha relics, brought from India, were enshrined by two merchant brothers. Join local pilgrims on this fascinating spiritual journey. (Note: although this program visits Shwedagon Pagoda again, the visit is in the morning when the activities and atmosphere is very different)

Art Gallery Tour: Explore traditional and modern Burmese art with a guided tour of Yangon’s art scene. Visit a selection of local galleries displaying paintings, sculptures and photographs from famous art pioneers and emerging young artists.

Transfer to the Yangon Airport in time for the departure flight.

Important Information

Our services include:

  • 4 nights accommodation in a shared twin room or shared double room with daily breakfast
  • Meals as mentioned in the program (B=Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner)
  • English-speaking station guide
  • All transfers and excursions with private air-conditioned vehicles
  • Private boat to Kyauk Gu U Min
  • Private boat for Inle Lake excursions
  • Porter fees at the airport
  • Entrance fees for the visits mentioned in the program (Yangon- Shwedagon Pagoda Entrance Fee & Kandawgyi Park Entrance Fee, Bagan Zone Fee & Inle Zone Fee)
  • Drinking water while touring

Our services do not include:

  • Domestic flights (please refer to the additional airfare table)
  • International ticket to/from Yangon
  • Meals not mentioned (B = breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner)
  • Visa arrangements for Myanmar
  • Visits not mentioned in the program
  • Drinks and personal expenses
  • Tips and porters at the hotels
  • Credit card fees (2-3%) or bank transfer fees for non-cash payments
  • Any other items not mentioned

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