Unseen Myanmar

If you are looking for a holiday to throw yourself into – this is IT! Step back in time and experience the incredible culture, history, food, people and lifestyles of Myanmar. This tour will take you around the major sights of Yangon, Inle Lake, Bagan and Mandalay but you will also get to spend time in some lesser known cities. A truly wonderful and never to be forgotten itinerary.

Planning your holiday is easy, and speak to your friendly Consultant.

Day 1: Arrive Yangon

On arrival at Yangon International Airport, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. The remainder of the afternoon is free at leisure.

Hotel: Sule Shangri-La Yangon, 2 nights

Day 2: Yangon

Yangon (formerly known as Rangoon), the capital of Myanmar is also called the “Garden City of the East” because of its many parks and beautiful lakes. This morning visit the Botataung Pagoda, which is hollow and you are able to walk through and see many ancient relics and artifacts. We then visit downtown Yangon and from here we walk along Pansodan street to view its many large colonial buildings which are still in use today. It is also interesting to see the sidewalk markets including those selling old books and magazines dating from the 1960’s to today. We will then visit China town before going to the famous Scott Market, a sprawling complex which was built in 1926 and it is noted for its variety of handicrafts and other items which provides an excellent opportunity for a shopping spree. This afternoon sightseeing includes the colossal reclining Buddha Chaukhtatkyi, and the National Museum, which is filled with artifacts and cultural exhibits of Myanmar. We finish our tour with a visit to the awe-inspiring Shwedagon Pagoda which towers over all of Yangon. It is perhaps the most beautiful pagoda complex in all of Asia and is one sight that no visitor to Myanmar should miss

Day 3: Yangon – Golden Rock

This morning depart Yangon by car for a 5 hour drive to Kyaikhtiyo which is located in the Mon state. It is the site of the famous ‘Golden Rock’, a large boulder painted in gold, which appears to balance delicately on the edge of a cliff near the mountain top. It is believed to be balanced with the assistance of a hair of the Buddha and is one of the most revered Buddhist shrines. From the base camp we take a local truck to the beginning of the trail where you enjoy a 45-minute walk to the top where you enjoy mountain views and the Buddhist pilgrims at the Golden Rock.

Hotel: Mountain Top Hotel

Day 4: Golden Rock – Yangon

Enjoy the beautiful morning sunrise at Kyaikhtiyo before descending the mountain for transportation by “flatbed truck” back to base camp before driving back to Yangon. On the way we pass through Bago (formerly Pegu), the pre-eminent city of the region for centuries with a rich and complex history, primarily as the capital of the Mon kingdom. There are still vestiges of this culture that we can see as we visit Shwemadaw Pagoda, the tallest pagoda in the country. Then drive to Yangon. On the way we visit the beautifully landscaped Taukkyan War Cemetery, which commemorates 27,000 allied soldiers who died in WWII.

Hotel: Sule Shangri-La Yangon

Day 5: Yangon – Heho – Inle Lake

You will be transferred to Yangon Domestic Airport early this morning for your flight to Heho. On arrival in Heho, you will be met and transferred transferred to the unique and magical Inle Lake. Located about 900 meters above sea level and 20 km long by 6 km wide. On arrival at Nyaung Shwe Jetty, we start our sightseeing tour by long tailed boat to Innpawkhone Village where you can see the lotus and silk weaving industries. Our next visit is to Nanpan to see traditional boat making and cheroot (Burmese cigar) making factory. We then continue our visit to the Phaungdaw U Pagoda and if time permits, take a short visit to the Leshae Village where you can see the making of a Buddha image from dried flower powder. Later visit the ‘jumping cats’ monastery and the floating gardens. Transfer to the Inle Lake Princess for check-in.

Hotel: Inle Lake Princess, 3 nights

Day 6: Inle Lake

This morning visit the moving 5 days market (if today coincides with a good Inle market day) and then take a small canal leading to the Pa-oh Village of Indain. On the way, stop at Ywarma Village where you can see a silver smith and the Padaung tribes. Then, continue to the Indain area on foot, strolling around the village, visiting a local school if we have chance. Here you can climb the covered stairway to the top of a hill which is covered with picturesque ancient stupas and has magnificent views of the lake below.

Day 7: Inle Lake

After breakfast, travel by boat to the southern end of Inle Lake for a journey to Sangha and Thakong Villages. This relaxing boat journey (about 3 hours one way) enables us to get off the beaten path and see unspoiled culture and the traditional life-styles of the ethnic groups living in the area. On the way we will visit Kyauktaing, a shan village who live on earthenware pottery works. On our trip we will see beautiful landscapes, flowering trees and settlements dotting both sides of the canal.

Day 8: Inle Lake – Heho – Bagan

You will be transferred to Heho Domestic Airport early this morning for your flight to Bangan. On arrival in Heho, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. This afternoon, sightseeing highlights include the Sulamani Temple built by King Narapatisithu; Dhammayangyi Temple, a massive later period temple with the finest brickwork in Bagan, and Thatbyinnyu Temple which towers above other monuments of Bagan. We can also visit a Thanaka museum, dedicated to the tree bark and root of the Thanaka tree used in making a fragrant white colored paste which Myanmar women wear for skin beauty and protection from the sun. Visitors can learn how to make and apply the Thanaka paste. As the day wanes we will be at Bupaya, a Pyu-style stupa located on the banks of the Ayeyawady River.

Hotel: Aureum Palace Resort & Spa Bagan, 3 nights

Day 9: Bagan

Start our visit to one of Asia’s most stunning archeological destinations with its more than 3,000 pagodas doted the plains along the legendary Ayerwaddy River. Sightseeing include some of Bagan’s most distinctive pagodas such as Shwezigon, a prototype of later Myanmar stupas and Wetkyi-in- Gubyaukgyi, a 13th century ‘cave temple with fine wall paintings. One of the most outstanding is the magnificent Ananda Pagoda, one of the most revered pagodas in all Myanmar and containing four tall standing Buddhas within. This afternoon we continue our sightseeing of more Bagan impressive pagodas and temples. Sightseeing highlights includes Manuha Temple built by King Manuha to represent his displeasure of captivity, Nanpaya close behind the Manuha and which is also Bagan’s first “gu-style” (cave) shrine and next to visit Gubaukgyi Temple, in the old Bagan village of Myinkaba, is an early period temple with well-preserved paintings inside. After that we will visit a lacquer ware craft shop to see the process of hand-making these beautiful pieces. Then visit Lawkananda Pagoda, a riverside stupa rich in history and where the sunset views are excellent.

Day 10: Bagan

After breakfast take a leisurely drive (about one hour) through the Bagan countryside to Mt. Popa, which supposedly rose from the ground in a massive earthquake in 442 BC. Mt. Popa is famous as the abode of the Nats (Spirit Gods) and for its panoramic view of the local tropical region. There is a volcanic plug with a temple on top that we can walk up to if we like (777 steps ! ) On the way to Mt. Popa we will visit a local toddy palm farmer at his hut and see how he collects the toddy palm from the palm trees to make the strong alcoholic toddy palm drink and also the toddy palm sugar candy. Return back to Bagan.

Day 11: Bagan – Mandalay

You will be transferred to Bagan Domestic Airport early this morning for your flight to Mandalay. On arrival in Mandalay, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. This afternonn visit the highly revered Mahamuni Pagoda with its sitting Buddha covered in gold leaf. A particular highlight is the beautiful Shwenandaw Monastery, one of the last wooden monasteries in Myanmar. Next we visit the intriguing looking Kuthodaw Pagoda, renowned as the World’s largest book for its 729 stone slabs containing the entire Buddhist scriptures. If time permits we will go atop Mandalay Hill for a view over the city and the Irrawaddy River.

Hotel: Sedona Hotel Mandalay, 2 nights

Day 12: Mandalay

After breakfast transfer to Mandalay jetty where we board our private boat for a short and pleasant ride up the Ayerwaddy River to the ruins of the Mingun pagoda, the site of what would have been the world’s largest pagoda had not King Bodawpaya died in 1819 thus halting all further work. Later an earthquake in 1838 split the monument and reduced it to partial rubble. Nonetheless, the mammoth base of the unfinished pagoda is still a very impressive sight as we approach from the river. Nearby we can also visit the Mingun Bell, moved from the pagoda after the earthquake and now hangs in a new shrine building. It is said to be the largest hanging un-cracked bell in the world. Return to Mandalay.

Day 13: Mandalay – Pyin Oo Lwin

After breakfast, drive to the former British Hill Station of Pyin Oo Lwin (formerly Maymyo). It is located 42 miles northeast of Mandalay up a winding road, and at an elevation of 1070 meters and enjoys a cool and pleasant climate. Once the summer capital of the Raj in Burma, the town still retains much of the ‘hill station’ look, including horse drawn carriages and the Purcell Tower, a gift from Queen Victoria. The town is especially noted for the National Kandawgyi Gardens which cover nearly 400 acres. The gardens were laid out in 1915 by Sir Alex Roger and Lady Cuffe, a botanist from Kew Gardens in England. In 1924 they were declared a national botanical garden and forest reserve. A great variety of orchids and other flowers can be seen along with hundreds of tree varieties and many bird species. There is also an impressive butterfly museum and the Nan Myint viewing tower gives a wonderful view over the town and BE waterfall. Other sights include the bustling morning market, colonial era churches.

Hotel: Aureum Resort at The Governors House

Day 14: Pyin Oo Lwin – Naung Pain (Train) – Hsipaw

After breakfast, transfer to the train station to board a local train for a scenic journey over the Goteik Viaduct. Completed in 1901, it was the largest railway trestle in the world at the time. The bridge was designed and fabricated by the Pennsylvania Steel Company in the U.S. and then shipped to Myanmar. It is 689 meters from start to finish and 102 meters high above the gorge. From Pyin Oo Lwin, it is about two hours by train to reach the viaduct. Enjoy the rural scenery on the way and then the slow crawl of the train across the bridge with dramatic views from the carriages straight down. After crossing the bridge we disembark at the next village, Naung Pain and drive for about one hour to reach Hsipaw, one of the oldest and most important of the Shan cities. This small picturesque town is enjoyable to walk around and also a good place for easy day hikes to local villages. Enjoy afternoon sightseeing in the town and visit the 12th century Shan style Bawgyo Pagoda and watch a panoramic sunset from the top of Theintaung Hill.

Hotel: Mr. Charles River View Lodge, 4 nights

Day 15: Hsipaw – Boat Trip to Shan Village

After breakfast at the hotel, we take 1 hour scenic boat ride upstream on the Dokhtawadi River with its mountain and valley views and many fruit plantations. We disembark and enjoy a short trekking adventure up the hill slope through a fruit plantation for approx. 45 minutes to visit the old Tai (Shan) monastery which is 150 years old and sitting alone in the forest. On the way we pass through plantations of pineapple, papaya and oranges which are widely grown in the area. On arrival we learn the history of the monastery before returning to the jetty where we board our boat then continue to the river confluence where swimming is available for the more adventurous. On the return journey we include a visit to a Shan village which has typical houses featuring small, charming gardens.

Day 16: Hsipaw – Trek to Waterfall

After breakfast, you will be met by your guide for a walk through rice fields to reach the Nam Tok Waterfall, which has a nice pool at its base. Visit a limestone cave on the side of the waterfall and climb up 100 ft. (30 meters) to enjoy a splendid view over an ancient pagoda and Shan Royal Tomb as previously seen on the path in the rice field. We return to Hsipaw for lunch after about four hours of walking. The reminder of the day is free at leisure.

Day 17: Shan Villages

After a local breakfast, we observe farmer’s villages by walking along trails with panoramic scenery including fields with seasonal crops, mountains and streams. We also learn about the style of living in the Shan villagesand the work by the housewives whose home duties include the making bamboo hand fans, basket weaving and cheroot rolling process.

Day 18: Hsipaw – Pyin Oo Lwin

After breakfast drive back to Pwin Oo Lwin. After check-in, we visit Pwe Kauk waterfall located along the Mandalay/Lashio road which were named Hampshire Falls by the British. On the way visit local Shan villages of the Yechando and Ye Negye. The waterfall is a pleasant picnic spot and is popular with locals on weekends. Proceed further to Peik Chin Myaung cave, a limestone stalactite cave located on the Lashio Road, 23 km from Pyin Oo Lwin. It is several hundred million years old and its name means numerous Peik Chin (local plants) which grow here. The entrance is approx. 6 metres wide and 500 metres long and where various Buddha images and pagodas of many different sizes are placed on the cave ledges and niches. Inside the cave, there are many underground streams and pilgrims collect this water as they believe it can cure skin-diseases, sore eyes etc. Outside the cave there is a three layer waterfall where locals can swim and there are local herbal medicine stalls and souvenir shops which are also of interest.

Hotel: Aureum Resort at The Governors House

Day 19: Pyin Oo Lwin – Mandalay

Breakfast at hotel and later drive to Mandalay (approx. 2 hours drive) and to the Sedona Hotel Mandalay. The remainder of the day free at leisure.

Hotel: Sedona Hotel Mandalay

Day 20: Depart Mandalay

Depending on your flight, you may have time at leisure before you will be transferred to Mandalay International Airport.

2020 Dates & PricesTwin ShareSolo Traveller
Departs daily from Yangon:Price on ApplicationPrice on Application

Inclusions 
Meals:19 breakfasts
Transport:Airport Transfers & private air-conditioned vehicle
Flights:Flight Ticket: Yangon / Heho / Bagan / Mandalay
Train:Train Ticket: Goteik Viaduct
Accommodation: 19 nights
Guide:Local English Speaking Guide
Entrance Fees & Touring:Entrance fees & activities as per itinerary

* Tour departure dates are subject to availability at time of booking.
* Prices and itinerary are correct at time of publication and are subject to change without notice.

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Essential Myanmar

A wonderful combination of Myanmar’s major sightseeing with visits to Inle Lake, Bagan and Mandalay included. You will experience the best on offer in these cities and be enthralled in the feeling of stepping back in time while you travel around Myanmar.

Planning your holiday is easy, and speak to your friendly Consultant.

Day 1: Arrive Yangon

On arrival at Yangon International Airport, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. The remainder of the afternoon is free at leisure.

Hotel: Sule Shangri-La Yangon, 2 nights

Day 2: Yangon

Yangon (formerly known as Rangoon), the capital of Myanmar is also called the “Garden City of the East” because of its many parks and beautiful lakes. This morning visit the Botataung Pagoda, which is hollow and you are able to walk through and see many ancient relics and artifacts. We then visit downtown Yangon and from here we walk along Pansodan street to view its many large colonial buildings which are still in use today. It is also interesting to see the sidewalk markets including those selling old books and magazines dating from the 1960’s to today. We will then visit China town before going to the famous Scott Market, a sprawling complex which was built in 1926 and it is noted for its variety of handicrafts and other items which provides an excellent opportunity for a shopping spree. This afternoon sightseeing includes the colossal reclining Buddha Chaukhtatkyi, and the National Museum, which is filled with artifacts and cultural exhibits of Myanmar. We finish our tour with a visit to the awe-inspiring Shwedagon Pagoda which towers over all of Yangon. It is perhaps the most beautiful pagoda complex in all of Asia and is one sight that no visitor to Myanmar should miss.

Day 3: Yangon – Heho – Inle Lake

You will be transferred to Yangon Domestic Airport early this morning for your flight to Heho. On arrival in Heho, you will be met and transferred transferred to the unique and magical Inle Lake. Located about 900 meters above sea level and 20 km long by 6 km wide. On arrival at Nyaung Shwe Jetty, we start our sightseeing tour by long tailed boat to Innpawkhone Village where you can see the lotus and silk weaving industries. Our next visit is to Nanpan to see traditional boat making and cheroot (Burmese cigar) making factory. We then continue our visit to the Phaungdaw U Pagoda and if time permits, take a short visit to the Leshae Village where you can see the making of a Buddha image from dried flower powder. Later visit the ‘jumping cats’ monastery and the floating gardens. Transfer to the Inle Lake Princess for check-in.

Hotel: Inle Lake Princess, 3 nights

Day 4: Inle Lake

This morning visit the moving 5 days market (if today coincides with a good Inle market day) and then take a small canal leading to the Pa-oh Village of Indain. On the way, stop at Ywarma Village where you can see a silver smith and the Padaung tribes. Then, continue to the Indain area on foot, strolling around the village, visiting a local school if we have chance. Here you can climb the covered stairway to the top of a hill which is covered with picturesque ancient stupas and has magnificent views of the lake below.

Day 5: Inle Lake

After breakfast, travel by boat to the southern end of Inle Lake for a journey to Sangha and Thakong Villages. This relaxing boat journey (about 3 hours one way) enables us to get off the beaten path and see unspoiled culture and the traditional life-styles of the ethnic groups living in the area. On the way we will visit Kyauktaing, a shan village who live on earthenware pottery works. On our trip we will see beautiful landscapes, flowering trees and settlements dotting both sides of the canal.

Day 6: Inle Lake – Heho – Bagan

You will be transferred to Heho Domestic Airport early this morning for your flight to Bangan. On arrival in Heho, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. This afternoon, sightseeing highlights include the Sulamani Temple built by King Narapatisithu; Dhammayangyi Temple, a massive later period temple with the finest brickwork in Bagan, and Thatbyinnyu Temple which towers above other monuments of Bagan. We can also visit a Thanaka museum, dedicated to the tree bark and root of the Thanaka tree used in making a fragrant white colored paste which Myanmar women wear for skin beauty and protection from the sun. Visitors can learn how to make and apply the Thanaka paste. As the day wanes we will be at Bupaya, a Pyu-style stupa located on the banks of the Ayeyawady River.

Hotel: Aureum Palace Resort & Spa Bagan, 3 nights

Day 7: Bagan

Start our visit to one of Asia’s most stunning archeological destinations with its more than 3,000 pagodas doted the plains along the legendary Ayerwaddy River. Sightseeing include some of Bagan’s most distinctive pagodas such as Shwezigon, a prototype of later Myanmar stupas and Wetkyi-in- Gubyaukgyi, a 13th century ‘cave temple with fine wall paintings. One of the most outstanding is the magnificent Ananda Pagoda, one of the most revered pagodas in all Myanmar and containing four tall standing Buddhas within.

This afternoon we continue our sightseeing of more Bagan impressive pagodas and temples. Sightseeing highlights includes Manuha Temple built by King Manuha to represent his displeasure of captivity, Nanpaya close behind the Manuha and which is also Bagan’s first “gu-style” (cave) shrine and next to visit Gubaukgyi Temple, in the old Bagan village of Myinkaba, is an early period temple with well-preserved paintings inside. After that we will visit a lacquer ware craft shop to see the process of hand-making these beautiful pieces. Then visit Lawkananda Pagoda, a riverside stupa rich in history and where the sunset views are excellent.

Day 8: Bagan

After breakfast take a leisurely drive (about one hour) through the Bagan countryside to Mt. Popa, which supposedly rose from the ground in a massive earthquake in 442 BC. Mt. Popa is famous as the abode of the Nats (Spirit Gods) and for its panoramic view of the local tropical region. There is a volcanic plug with a temple on top that we can walk up to if we like (777 steps ! ) On the way to Mt. Popa we will visit a local toddy palm farmer at his hut and see how he collects the toddy palm from the palm trees to make the strong alcoholic toddy palm drink and also the toddy palm sugar candy. Return back to Bagan.

Day 9: Bagan – Mandalay

You will be transferred to Bagan Domestic Airport early this morning for your flight to Mandalay. On arrival in Mandalay, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. This afternonn visit the highly revered Mahamuni Pagoda with its sitting Buddha covered in gold leaf. A particular highlight is the beautiful Shwenandaw Monastery, one of the last wooden monasteries in Myanmar. Next we visit the intriguing looking Kuthodaw Pagoda, renowned as the World’s largest book for its 729 stone slabs containing the entire Buddhist scriptures. If time permits we will go atop Mandalay Hill for a view over the city and the Irrawaddy River.

Hotel: Sedona Hotel Mandalay, 2 nights

Day 10: Mandalay

After breakfast transfer to Mandalay jetty where we board our private boat. Take a short and pleasant ride up the Ayerwaddy River to the ruins of the Mingun pagoda. The site of what would have been the world’s largest pagoda had not King Bodawpaya died in 1819 thus halting all further work. Later an earthquake in 1838 split the monument and reduced it to partial rubble. Nonetheless, the mammoth base of the unfinished pagoda is still a very impressive sight as we approach from the river. Nearby we can also visit the Mingun Bell, moved from the pagoda after the earthquake and now hangs in a new shrine building. It is said to be the largest hanging un-cracked bell in the world. Return to Mandalay.

Day 11: Depart Mandalay

Depending on your flight, you may have time at leisure before you will be transferred to Mandalay International Airport.

2020 Dates & PricesTwin ShareSolo Traveller
Departs daily from Yangon:Price on ApplicationPrice on Application

Inclusions 
Meals:10 breakfasts
Transport:Airport Transfers & private air-conditioned vehicle
Flights: Flight Ticket: Yangon – Heho – Bagan – Mandalay
Accommodation: 10 nights
Guide:Local English Speaking Guide
Entrance Fees & Touring:Entrance fees & activities as per itinerary

* Tour departure dates are subject to availability at time of booking.
* Prices and itinerary are correct at time of publication and are subject to change without notice.

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Myanmar in Style

Unravel the mysteries of Myanmar in this journey through an enchanting land almost untouched by the 21st century. Venture into the heart of the country on a luxury cruise along the Irrawaddy. Witness an ever-changing landscape of timeless villages and glittering stupas, experience the daily rhythms along the river and get to know some of the most endearing people in the world.

Planning your holiday is easy, and speak to your friendly Consultant.

Day 1: Arrive Yangon

Welcome to Myanmar with fast track arrival services. Transfer to your historic hotel.

Hotel: The Strand Hotel, 2 nights

Day 2: Yangon

Discover the four unique wonders of this city once known as the “Queen of the East”. Join your guide on a visit to the Botataung Pagoda and venture into the intriguing hollow stupa. Take a look into the future as you experience a traditional fortune reading by one of Yangon’s most experienced astrologers. Head downtown to discover the city’s colonial architecture and bustling Bogyoke Aung San Market. Later, marvel at the Reclining Buddha Pagoda and step inside the Buddha Shrine Hall filled with effigies. Your final stop is the majestic Shwedagon Pagoda, a diamond-encrusted masterpiece with a gold stupa towering 98 metres above the city. Join pilgrims lighting the oil lamps which encircle the magnificent stupa. As darkness descends, the glittering golden stupa, illuminated by the newly-lit oil lamps and carefully placed spotlights, is a sight to behold (Not available between May to September).

Day 3: Yangon – Mandalay

Transfer to Yangon airport for your flight to Mandalay. Board Sanctuary Ananda, your platform for discovery for the next four nights. If there’s time before setting sail, discover the highlights of Mandalay. Visit one of the country’s most revered Buddhist places of worship, Mahamuni Pagoda. Continue to the beautiful teak Shwenandaw Monastery, the only palace building to survive World War II bombings, and Kuthodaw Pagoda, where 729 marble slabs inscribed with Tripitaka texts have earned it the title “the biggest book in the world”.

This afternoon, visit the pagoda-sprinkled Sagaing Hill, an important religious centre that’s home to some 554 monasteries and 6,000 monks and nuns. Meet novice monks at a monastic school and acquire a deeper understanding of Buddhism. Later, drink in breathtaking views from the top of the hill on the terraces of the Soon U Ponya Shin Pagoda. Stop at Amarapura, once known as ‘The City of Immortals’, and listen to the clack-clack of weaving looms as you wander through this charming place. Stop awhile at the U Bein Bridge, believed to be the longest teak bridge in the world, and witness the sunset in this spectacular place.

Cruise: Sanctuary Ananda (Deluxe Suite Bagan Deck), 4 nights

Day 4: Cruising the Irrawaddy River

Sail north to the quaint village of Sin Kyun, just north of Mandalay. Take an optional tour to witness first-hand the way of life in a place seldom viewed by outsiders, and learn about the positive impact being made by Abercrombie & Kent Philanthropy. Then, set sail towards Tan Chi Taung Mountain. From your perfect viewpoint on the ship, take in the village of Mingun and its massive unfinished pagoda guarded by two gigantic lions. After a decadent lunch, choose from a menu of activities. Enjoy an onboard demonstration of how to tie a longyi (the skirt that both men and women traditionally wear) and how to make and apply tanaka (natural sun cream). And learn about Myanmar’s history and culture from the onboard expert.

Day 5: Cruising the Irrawaddy River

Taste a unique blend of traditional flavours in a hands-on cooking class with the ship’s executive chef. Then, enjoy a leisurely morning sailing downstream as you enjoy the many luxuries onboard Sanctuary Ananda. Indulge in a spa treatment, relax by the pool or simply soak in the timeless landscape of fishing canoes, teak villages and hills glinting with golden spires as you sail towards Bagan. On arrival, venture to the top of Tan Chi Taung mountain for your first glimpse of the Bagan plain, dotted with more than 2,000 pagodas and stupas. Back onboard, enjoy sundowners in the elegant Kansi Panorama Lounge before a candlelit dinner on the banks of the Irrawaddy.

Day 6: Cruising the Irrawaddy River

Rise early for an optional sunrise balloon ride over the pagoda-sprinkled landscape (additional fee). Visit the vibrant local market of Nyaung U where farmer gather to buy and sell a variety of goods, ranging from fruit and vegetable to china and lacquerware. Continue to the great golden Shwezigon Pagoda and see where relics of the Gautama Buddha lie, and on to Ananda Temple, one of the most beautiful temples in Myanmar. Watch the dramatic sunset over the temple-dotted plains, followed by a local performance and farewell dinner onboard – the perfect end to your cruise adventure.

Day 7: Bagan

Leave your cruise ship behind and journey to the village of Myinkaba. Explore a place where locals still rely on centuries-old craft techniques. Step inside a lacquerware workshop for your hands-on masterclass in one of Myanmar’s ancient handicrafts.

Hotel: Aureum Palace Hotel

Day 8: Bagan – Inle Lake

Fly to Heho and check into your elegant, boutique hotel on the edge of Inle Lake, a culturally vibrant, untouched corner of the world. See where fisherman row using their legs, farmers work on floating land, and stilt villages punctuate the landscape. Visit the Phaung-Daw-U Pagoda and see the five golden Buddha images carried from Malaysia to Myanmar by the 12th century King Alaungsithu. Then, visit the wooden Nga Pe Chaung Monastery built on stilts over the lake.

Hotel: Villa Inle Resort, 3 nights

Day 9: Inle Lake

Start your day with a visit to the Fifth Day Market, the lively rotating market that travels by boat around the towns. Browse handmade crafts and fresh produce grown on the floating gardens, while admiring the vibrant dress of different hill tribes. See firsthand why Inle Lake is renowned for its silk weaving in the village of Inn Paw Khone. This afternoon, cruise through a densely-forested river to visit Indein perched on a hillside in the southwestern corner of the lake. Slow down to wander through this typical lakeside village and watch daily life unfold before walking through a bamboo grove and up a beautiful stairway lined with wooden columns to old Shwe Inn Dein, an impressive collection of ancient Shan style stupas. Bask in the stunning view across the lake and beyond, to the hills in the east and the rolling countryside to the west.

Day 10: Inle Lake

Enjoy a day at leisure. Optional tours may include a visit to Aythaya, Myanmar’s first and most notable vineyard. Sample some of their fine wines in the heart of the beautiful estate surrounded by countless rows of vines nestled high on the mountainside. Or take a leisurely bike ride to Nanthe village to see the Kyauk-phyu-jyi pagoda and a vibrant town on the lake to visit the Shan Royal Palace, a tomato warehouse and bamboo weaving factory. Pause at Red Mountain Winery for wine tasting before visiting the Intha Heritage Bamboo School. Alternatively meet a traditional Shan chef for an immersive culinary experience. Visit the vibrant local market by boat to select the freshest ingredients before being welcomed into your chef’s stilted house for a unique cooking class followed by lunch (additional cost).

Day 11: Inle Lake – Yangon

Transfer to Heho for the flight back to Yangon where you are transferred to a local restaurant for lunch. Later, weave your way through Yangon’s hive of independent galleries and artist’s studios with a leading curator and researcher to discover a flourishing creative arts scene often missed by passing visitors. Your guide today has been an active part of the city’s arts scene since 2009 and founded Myanm/art, an institution that promotes local contemporary art to domestic and international audiences. See the city through her eyes as she leads you to hidden exhibition spaces in historic buildings. Get a brief overview of the nation’s art history at the curator’s own gallery. Then continue to various venues scattered around the downtown area to learn more about the nation’s emerging artists, their unique visions and dynamic body of work. Or visit Sule Pagoda. If the Shwedagon is the soul of Yangon, then the Sule Pagoda is its heart. This evening is at leisure or you may wish to dine at the acclaimed Le Planteur, one of the finest restaurants in the city (additional cost).

Hotel: Belmond Governor’s Residence

Day 12: Depart Yangon

Transfer to the airport, where your journey ends.

2020 Dates & PricesTwin ShareSolo Traveller
Departs from Yangon on select dates From $6,425.00Price on Application

Inclusions 
Meals: 11 Breakfasts, 9 Lunches, 5 Dinners
Transport:Airport Transfers & air-conditioned vehcle
Flight: Air Ticket: Yangon / Mandalay - Began / Heho / Yangon
Accommodation: 7 nights accommodation & 4 nights cruise
Guide:Local English Speaking Guide
Entrance Fees & Touring:Entrance fees & activities as per itinerary

* Tour departure dates are subject to availability at time of booking.
* Prices and itinerary are correct at time of publication and are subject to change without notice.

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Cycle Inle Lake, Bagan & the Irrawaddy River

This 9 Day Cycle Inle Lake, Bagan & the Irrawaddy River includes bike, boat and train journey takeing you through the most picturesque parts of this country that has been shrouded in mystery for too long.

From the natural beauty of Inle Lake and the intrigue of the communities that inhabit it, to the scenic views of the Shan Hills, to the ancient ruins of Bagan and a different perspective from the waters of the Irrawaddy, this is a trip that takes in a diverse range of landscapes and includes some amazing riding. This tour is the ultimate way to immerse yourself in the culture, traditions, and cuisine of Myanmar and a unique opportunity to learn from natives why they remain hopeful for a peaceful and prosperous future. Experience the beauty of Myanmar by bike!

Planning your holiday is easy, and speak to your friendly Consultant.

Welcome to Yangon. Meet your tour guide this afternoon in our lovely, centrally located hotel. The best way to understand this sprawling capital city is to avoid the traffic and set off on foot. There’s plenty to see, taste and experience in the area just adjacent to the hotel, and your guide will show you all this with a walking tour to get you acquainted with your surroundings and each other.

Riding: 20km cycling – We navigate Yangon’s legendary traffic heading out to the airport for our morning flight to Heho. It’s just over an hour by plane to the airport nearest Inle Lake and then a drive of around the same duration to reach Nyaung Shwe: the main town of the Inle area.

We stay on dry land rather than on the lake, to allow for more freedom of movement. In the afternoon we’ll start with a bike fitting before the warm-up ride around the Nyaung Shwe area to a mysterious local cave. From here, we’ll pedal to a beautiful sunset spot for a drink before settling into our hotel.

Riding: 25km cycling – We’ll start our day with a ride around the area to learn about the local culture and farming habits of the people here, cycling around the eastern bank of Inle Lake before we hop on a boat. Once on the water, we’ll be able to catch a glimpse of the famous fishermen who stand on one leg as they row, as well as traditional silk weavers, and whole communities of stilt houses on the lake.

Everything from schools, shops, even the post office can be found out here, all within a short boat ride of each other. We will stop at some of the more interesting sites and visit the lake’s renowned cottage industries. Depending on the day, we may come across local small businesses such as tofu and rice cracker production, bread baking, or lotus-silk weaving. This is usually a full day and we can expect to return to town by around 4pm.

Riding: 50km cycling – We’ll start the day with a scenic train ride up into the Western Shan Hills. Once we’ve had a look around, we’ll hop on our bikes and cycle back down through the hills to Inle Lake, enjoying sweeping views over the lake along the way. We’ll stop at the pagodas of Indein before once again taking to the water for a boat back to Nyaung Shwe. Tonight try the fresh produce of the Shan Hills in a family-run restaurant.

Riding: 48km cycling – This morning we’ll take a transfer up the surrounding hills again before cycling around two hours to the town of Pindaya. Once we’ve reached the town, we’ll head to a small suburb of Pindaya that is covered in tea plantations for a fun activity. We’ll walk around this small village and learn to pick tea leaves and sort them before making a tea leaf salad: a unique traditional Burmese dish.

Today we’ll take a rest from the bikes with a one hour transfer to Heho and flight to Bagan. Bagan is an ancient Burmese city situated on the eastern banks of the Irrawaddy river and is a sight to behold. The stunning, arid plains host a high density of Buddhist pagodas and monuments that give Bagan an other-worldly feel, and make it one of the country’s main tourism drawcards.

We’ll spend the afternoon getting acquainted with this new setting before the opportunity to transfer to the pilgrimage site of Mt. Popa: a volcanic mountain that sits high above the Bagan plains and provides the optimal spot to watch the sunset over the mystical landscape below. It’s enough to give anyone goosebumps! We’ll spend the night in Bagan.

Riding: 20km cycling – We’ll start off the day by pedaling through Bagan, with stops at some of its more significant Buddhist sites such as Shwezigon, Dhamagyangyi, and Ananda, all built between the 14th and 19th centuries. Enjoy a free afternoon to make use of the hotel’s pool or go for your own exploration before we board a boat that will take us out on the Irrawaddy for sunset. Snacks and drinks will be provided.

Riding: 45km cycling – A traditional teak boat is our first vehicle of the day, and we’ll enjoy the morning light from the boat illuminating the pagodas of Bagan from the Irrawaddy. Soon we’ll hop on our bikes and head out on dirt tracks through farmland, then onto sandy roads into villages that are rarely visited by foreigners. We’ll pedal away from the flatlands, through fields and bamboo villages. The riverbank trail eventually leads us to our boat, waiting to continue the journey towards Salay.

We will disembark at the restored Colonial house that is our home for the night, where a delicious traditional lunch awaits. This small, quiet riverside town hides a surprising number of intriguing sights and luckily is still off the typical tourist’s map. Once elegant, now slightly dilapidated Colonial-period houses line the Strand Road on the riverbank, some still emblazoned with the rampant lion emblem of the British Royals. We will explore this interesting town by bike and foot in the afternoon, checking out the largest lacquerware Buddha image in Myanmar, which is said to have washed up from the river after heavy flooding in 1888.

A morning walk of the town is a lovely way to spend your last few hours in rural Myanmar. The villagers will be out, trading produce at the market and selling the various breakfast snacks that you will likely be familiar with by now. All will be chatty and curious to have a rare visitor in town. Breakfast is a simple, but fulfilling meal and it’s then time to pack up and return to Bagan by vehicle. Your tour concludes on arrival Bagan. For those departing the country today, flights to Yangon or Mandalay for connection to international flights are frequent (and can be booked with us) and we can deliver you to the airport as required.

2020 Dates & PricesTwin ShareSolo Traveller
January 04USD $2,650.00USD $3,280.00
February 06USD $2,650.00USD $3,280.00
July 25USD $2,650.00USD $3,280.00
October 24USD $2,650.00USD $3,280.00
December 24USD $3,047.00USD $3,677.00
2021 Dates & Prices
January 30USD $2,650.00USD $3,280.00
July 23USD $2,650.00USD $3,280.00
October 23USD $2,650.00USD $3,280.00
December 25USD $3,047.00USD $3,677.00

Inclusions 
Meals: 8 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches, 8 dinners
Transport:Cannondale CX 3s Bikes
Flight: Air Ticket: Yangon / Heho / Bagan
Support Vehicle: An air-conditioned backup support vehicle is always available in case you want a break from riding, and to carry your luggage
Accommodation: 8 nights accommodation
Guide:Local English Speaking Guide
Entrance Fees & Touring:Entrance fees & activities as per itinerary

* Tour departure dates are subject to availability at time of booking.
* Prices and itinerary are correct at time of publication and are subject to change without notice.

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Flavours of Burma

Burma is epic in both size and scale. Unsurprisingly, its many influences have coalesced to forge an enthralling culinary identity, so you can run the gamut of Burmese cuisine.

Planning your holiday is easy, and speak to your friendly Consultant.

Day 1: Arrive Yangon

On arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel. In the afternoon explore Yangon with a visit to Mawtin Jetty and then on to Chinatown. In the evening experience a street food tour by trishaw.

Day 2: Yangon – Bagan

Fly to Bagan. Spend the morning exploring Bagan’s most important temples by e-bike. After a curry lunch continue your temple explorations by car.

Day 3: Bagan

Visit Nyaung Oo market followed by a visit to a Pone Yay Gyi shop – Bagan’s most famous food treat, where you can learn the steps to make this black paste. For lunch visit the family of a toddy palm climber, and watch the art of collecting of the juice to make molasses. Finish the day with a cruise on the Irrawaddy.

Day 4: Bagan – Mandalay

Fly to Mandalay. Sightseeing commences with a visit to Mahamuni Pagoda. Continue on to the workshops of some local craftsmen, known for their work in tapestry, gold leaf and marble. Following this, there is the chance to try a local treat, Le Phet Thole, followed by lunch at a local tea house. The afternoon tour takes you to Kuthodaw Pagoda, home to the world’s biggest book, and Shwenandaw Monastery.

Day 5: Mandalay – Heho – Inle Lake

Fly to Heho and travel to Inle Lake. Spend the morning visiting the local market. Continue by trishaw down the canal to witness goods being traded from the boats. Stop by a tomato house, and pass by monasteries and nunneries as you go. Sample some of the best Shan food at View Point Restaurant for lunch, and then continue to Red Mountain Estate Vineyards and Winery.

Day 6: Inle Lake – Heho – Yangon

Visit the daily market before continuing across the lake, passing by stilted houses and leg-rowing fishermen. Visit Khaung Daing Village, famous for its fried tofu crackers, and then travel by boat to an Inthar family’s house and join them in preparing lunch. In the afternoon fly to Yangon.

Day 7: Yangon

This afternoon visit Kyaukhtatgyi Pagoda, Shwedagon Pagoda and Kandawgyi Park.

Day 8: Yangon

Your trip ends with a transfer to the airport.

2019 Dates & PricesTwin ShareSolo Traveller
Departs daily from Yangon: From $1,885.00Price on Application
Inclusions 
Meals: 7 breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 1 Dinner
Transport:Airport Transfers & Private air-conditioned vehicle
Flights:Air Ticket: Yangon / Bagan / Mandalay / Heho / Yangon
Accommodation:7 nights accommodation
Guide:Local English Speaking Guide
Entrance Fees & Touring:Entrance fees & activities as per itinerary

* Tour departure dates are subject to availability at time of booking.
* Prices and itinerary are correct at time of publication and are subject to change without notice.

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