Our classic Yangon city tour starts after breakfast with a visit to the stunning Sule Pagoda, which is thought to date back some 2,600 years to the time of Buddha. From here, we begin our walking tour of downtown Yangon, taking in key the key sights such as the beautiful Armenian Church, St Mary’s Church and the grand Secretariat building, as well as a number of other charming colonial buildings.
After a delicious local lunch, we proceed to the sprawling Bogyoke Market, known affectionately as Scotts Market, where you will have the chance to browse a fascinating selection of traditional handicrafts, jewellery and artwork at leisure.
Our next stop is Yangon’s majestic Reclining Buddha proceeding the Royal Kandawgyi Lake. Situated on the southeast corner of the lake, the gold-clad Karaweik Palace is designed to resemble the Pyigyimon royal barge and is one of the city’s most famous landmarks. Having enjoyed a tour of this magnificent palace, we proceed to the famous Shwedagon Pagoda for sunset. Standing a full 99 meters tall and clad with a staggering array of gold and diamonds, a visit to this sacred Buddhist shrine is a highlight of their visit to Myanmar. Having witnessed the magical sunset from this fantastic viewpoint, we return to your accommodation where our Yangon city tour will conclude.
After breakfast at your hotel in Yangon, you will be transferred to the Yangon domestic airport for the flight to Heho. A pleasant surprise awaits you here because the elevation of the Shan plateau is roughly 1000 meter above sea level and thus the weather is a bit cooler.
We begin our Inle Lake tour in Heho, from where we start our drive through the stunning Shan landscape to the town of Pindaya. The scenery in this region is amongst the most incredible to be found in the country, with rolling hills, traditional farms and villages displaying a truly spectacular array of colours. Life in the Shan state has remained largely unchanged for decades, and the local population still use traditional methods to cultivate their fertile lands, providing us with a wonderful insight into this untouched corner of Myanmar. One of our first stops is to explore the magnificent limestone caves of Pindaya, which are home to over 8,094 Buddha images and overlook a stunning lake.
Continuing our drive, we visit a traditional Shan paper and parasol factory, where goods are still made by hand using traditional methods. Further along our route, we have the opportunity to taste some delicious locally produced Honey at the Plan Bee Beekeeping Centre. A short drive from here takes us to the former British hill station of Kalaw, one of the areas fascinating colonial towns where we will enjoy a magnificent sunset view from amongst the historic bungalows that dot the landscape.
After a delicious breakfast, we begin our day with a visit to the local market where we see the incredible array of goods produced in the region and experience the local way of life. From here, we make the short drive to the Shwe Oo Min Paya, a Buddhist temple that is home to dozens of gold Buddha statues.
Continuing our journey towards Inle Lake, we soon reach the bustling town of Aungpan where we visit the famous ‘5-day market’. As its name suggests, this market operates on a 5-day schedule across local villages, although Aungpan is considered one of the best locations to witness this colourful and vibrant scene.
Next stop on our Inle Lake tour takes us to the small town of Ngwesaung, home to the impressive Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery. Constructed of solid teak and painted a beautiful shade of red, this small but beautiful monastery boasts a superb collection of wood carvings. Having toured the monastery and had the chance to meet the novice monks who live there, we continue to our accommodation at Inle Lake.
After breakfast, we begin our Inle lake boat tour with a visit to the ‘5 Day Market’ for a fascinating insight into traditional life on Myanmar’s second largest lake. From there, we continue by boat to a traditional silversmith, where we can see intricate items of jewellery being made by hand using traditional methods. The village of Paw Khon is our next stop and is famous locally for its fine silk weaving industry which we will experience first-hand.
As we continue our Inle Lake boat tour, we visit a number of other local industries including a boat making workshop and a traditional Cheroot factory, where this unique style of cigar is still hand rolled using tobacco and tamarind. The Jumping Cat Pagoda and Nga Phe Kyaung Monastery are our next stops, before proceeding to the sensational Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda. A highlight if many people visit to Inle Lake, the pagoda houses 5 gold carvings of Buddha, upon which pilgrims apply small squares of gold leaf as a form of blessing.
After lunch at a local restaurant, we enjoy some fresh air with a relaxing boat trip along the river as far as Indein, passing small settlements and numerous fishermen on the way. A small and peaceful village, Indein is known for its exceptional local market and magnificent array of pagodas, many of which date back as far as the 16th century. Such is the number and array of the pagodas that some have even compared them to a forest! We spend some time exploring the area before enjoying a delicious local lunch.
After breakfast you will be transferred to the Heho airport for the flight to Mandalay for another magnificent day in Myanmar.
Our Mandalay day tour begins after hotel check in with a visit to a traditional Gold Leaf factory where we observe the fine art of creating sheets of gold just a fraction of a millimetre thick. From here, we pay a visit to the giant seated Buddha at the Mahamuni pagoda, before visiting a famous stone carving street to witness local craftsmen at work.
After a short stop at a local Jade market, we visit the monks of the grand Shwe In Bin monastery before enjoying a delicious lunch at a traditional restaurant.
In the afternoon, our guided tour of Mandalay continues with a trip to the Shwenandaw monastery. Dating back to 1878, the monastery is famed for its incredible teak carvings of Buddhist myths which line the walls and ceilings. Our next stop is the magnificent Khuthodaw Pagoda, home not only to a beautiful golden stupa but also to the world’s largest book. A short journey up Mandalay Hill takes us to our final stop of the day, from where we can enjoy magnificent views across the city and Ayeyarwady River before returning to your accommodation.
We begin our Mingun day trip with a relaxing boat trip on the mighty Ayeyarwaddy River as far as the brilliant-white Pagoda of Hsinbyume Paya, designed to resemble the mythological Buddhist mountain, Mt Meru.
The nearby Mingun Paya Stupa is also unique in the region, in as far as it has never been completed. Having been commissioned by King Bodawpaya in 1790, construction was halted abruptly upon an astrologer’s prediction that the King would die should the Stupa be completed. We can still see, however, the 90-ton bell that was made for the stupa, which remains the largest in the world.
After lunch, we enjoy a short boat ride to the former Royal Capital of Inwa, where we will enjoy a traditional horse-drawn carriage tour of the ruins. Highlights of our visit include the Nanmyint Watchtower, Maha Aungmye Bonzan Monastery and of course the beautiful Bargayar Monastery, constructed entirely of solid teak. Just to the north of Ava, we visit the expansive Tha Byae Tan Fortress which dates back to the late 1800’s before making our final stops will be at the Lay Htat Gyi and Yadana Sinme pagodas.
Continuing our tour, we visit the former capital of Myanmar, Amarapura, where we enjoy a traditional silk weaving demonstration. The comparatively modern monastery of Mahagandayon is famous throughout the country and offers us a fascinating insight into the lives of the hundreds of monks and novices who live here. Our final stop of the day is at U Bein Bridge where we enjoy the fabulous sunset view before returning to your hotel in Mandalay.
Bagan hosts one of the greatest collections of Buddhist sculptures and murals and it is one of South East Asia‟s holiest cities which can be compared to Varanasi and Jerusalem. After hotel breakfast we will be transfer to Mandalay International Airport for your domestic flight to Bagan.
Bagan is one of Asia’s most celebrated archaeological sites, boasting over 2000 unique pagodas, temples and monuments and is, without doubt, a highlight if many people’s Myanmar tour. We start our day with a visit to Bagan’s thriving morning markets for a fascinating insight into daily life in Myanmar. From there, we proceed to our first monument of the day, the magnificent 900-year-old Shwe Zi Gon stupa. Having explored this marvellous gold-clad monument, we make the short journey to the famous Htilominlo temple. Constructed entirely of red brick and standing at over 150 feet tall, the Htilominlo temple is one of the most recognisable landmarks on the Bagan horizon, and is home to a number of spectacular plaster mouldings. From here, our next stop is the Shwesandaw Pagoda, consisting of five layered terraces and crowned with an intricately decorated stupa.
After a break for lunch, we visit a local workshop to experience first-hand some of Bagan’s famous lacquerware being produced by hand. Returning to the archaeological zone, we next visit the stunning Manuhar temple. One of the oldest temples in Bagan, main attraction of the Manuhar temple is the numerous enormous Buddhas to be found inside, including a unique reclining Buddha. The final stop of our Bagan day tour is at the Hindu temple of Nan Phaya where we can experience intricate carvings depicting the Hindu god Brahma, before experiencing a phenomenal sunset over Bagan from the pagoda.
Our day starts at 8.30am when we make the short drive to the traditional markets at Nyaung Oo. Having had the chance to experience traditional village life, we proceed to the stunning, 900-year-old Shwe Zi Gon stupa. The central, golden stupa is surrounded by a number of smaller temples and is, in fact, the prototype for all Burmese stupas built since the 1100’s.
Our next stop is the Ananda Buddhist temple, which is one of only four surviving examples in the region and dates back to the reign of King Kyanzittha in 1105 AD. From here, a 25-minute drive will take us to a small jetty on the Irrawaddy River, from where we make the 10-minute crossing by small ferry. Having been met on the other side by a traditional Ox-drawn cart, we enjoy a half hour ride through rural farmland to KyunThiri village where we will spend time discovering Bagan local life.
An optional visit to a local school is a great chance to interact with the children from the Bagan villages before we enjoy a home-cooked lunch with a local family.
In the afternoon we will be transfer to Bagan Airport for your domestic flight to Yangon. Back to Yangon and head to your hotel and enjoy the rest of the evening in the biggest city of Myanmar.
After hotel breakfast you will be transfer to the Yangon International Airport for your onward flight home. We hope you enjoyed your tour to Myanmar and hope to see you again in Myanmar!
starting from $1,299 per pax