Highlights of Myanmar

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Experience Myanmar, a feast for the soul and the senses

Discover the magic of Myanmar on a ten-day journey through some of its best sights. Bookend your adventure in beautiful Yangon, where the golden Shwedagon Pagoda glitters in the sunset, and experience the many facets of Myanmar's heart and soul in between – from tranquil temples, home-cooked cuisine, heartwarming villagers, grassroots cuisine, floating gardens and handmade local industry. Many modes of transport, from plane to bike to canoe, make for a convenient, exhilarating and authentic adventure across this mystical land.

 

Start Yangon, Myanmar Physical rating 2 out of 5
Finish Yangon, Myanmar Ages Min 16 years
Destination Myanmar Group size 12 people
Departing November 5, 2017 Style Original

 

Why we love this trip

  • Get off the tourist track and enjoy a uniquely local experience at the community lodge outside of Myaing. This innovative ActionAid project is the first community-based accommodation in the area, with meals and activities provided by local villagers.

  • Spend an afternoon touring the temple town of Bagan by bike. This is a fantastic way to see the thousands of spectacular temples, stupas and pagodas.

  • Join a homegrown master of local cuisine as you stock up on market ingredients, cook up a storm in a cooking class, then feast on the results – all the while supporting a community library initiative.

  • Enjoy an action-packed schedule in Mandalay. Visit the magnificent Mandalay Palace, tour a local village and monastery and discover the hill-top pagodas of Sagaing.

  • Explore Inle Lake on a peaceful canoe trip, followed by a boat tour of its floating islands. 

  • Be dazzled by Shwedagon Pagoda at sunset. Myanmar's religious crown jewel comes alive in the dusk, with thousands of glittering diamonds on its golden stupa.

Is this trip right for you?

  • This ten-day "highlights" trip is perfect for travelers seeking a taste of Myanmar over a short period. 

  • Flying between most destinations maximizes your time in each location. Mandalay to Bagan, however, is a five-hour bus trip, which is the most efficient way to travel between these locations. It's a great chance to soak up the beautiful scenery.

  • There's a fair amount of walking involved – sometimes barefoot, and sometimes up steep steps to catch incredible views. Note also that many religious sites require footwear to be removed.

  • Myanmar can get hot and humid, even in winter. The hottest and driest months are March and April, while there tends to be higher levels of rainfall from May to late October. During this time humidity is typically high. 

Itinerary

Welcome to Myanmar. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at your hotel’s lobby after checking-in.

In the afternoon, you’ll head over to Shwedagon Pagoda, a 2,500-year-old Buddhist pagoda which is considered the most sacred in Myanmar. At over 300 ft from its base and with more than 100,000 pounds of pure gold covering it, the golden dome of this pagoda is often considered the world’s richest stupa. Here you’ll enjoy a stunning sunset view from the hilltop.

Included Activities

  • Arrival transfer – airport to hotel

Meals Included

  • No meals included on this day

Accommodation

  • Hotel

Fly to Heho airport, then transfer (approximately 1 hour) to your hotel in Nyaung Shwe. This is your gateway to Inle Lake, a picturesque and culturally fascinating area. Settle into your hotel, then enjoy free time in the afternoon. The town has a relaxed atmosphere and is pleasant to walk around. Perhaps enjoy a cool drink in one the local bars and strike up a conversation with one of many fellow travelers floating around town.

Included Activities

  • Flight from Yangon - Inle Lake

Meals Included 

  • Breakfast

Accommodation

  • Hotel

In the morning you will explore the lush waters of Inle Lake by canoe. Then continue by motorized boat for a sightseeing tour. You will stop in to see the local cigar makers, silk and lotus weavers, and see the unique floating gardens. This tour is a fascinating insight local handmade traditions. 

Included Activities

  • Inle Lake - Boat trip & village tour
  • Inle Lake - Canoe tour

Meals Included

  • Breakfast

Accommodation

  • Hotel

This morning you’ll have some extra time to explore before catching your flight to Mandalay. Mandalay is the last kingdom as well as the center of the Myanmar cultural, tradition, arts and crafts. Mandalay has long been known as a center of skilled craftsmanship and in former times supplied the royal courts.

Included Activities

  • Domestic flight from Heho to Mandalay

    Meals Included

    • Breakfast

    Accommodation

    • Hotel

    Embark on a morning boat trip up the Ayeyarwady River to Mingun (approximately 1 hour each way). Here you’ll come across some impressive pagodas. Spend some time exploring, then return to Mandalay. In the afternoon you’ll visit the Mandalay Palace and Shwenandaw monastery. In the late afternoon, head out of the city to watch the sun set over the U Bein Bridge.

    Included Activities

    • Ayeyarwady River boat ride

    Meals Included

    • Breakfast

    Accommodation

    • Hotel

    Travel on a private bus towards Myaing early this morning, with a stop for lunch stop en route. Along the way, you’ll visit the beautiful Sagaing Temples, a collection of gilded stupas on the nearby hills. Total driving time to the community lodge from Mandalay is roughly 6 hours. 

    Arrive at your unique community lodge outside the town of Myaing, north of Bagan to experience a pioneering community-based tourism initiative in Myanmar. Then head out on a bicycle for the afternoon and ride around the nearby villages. Dinner this evening will be cooked by some of the nearby villagers, and entertainment will follow. Perhaps take this opportunity to interact and share your own culture with the locals.

    Notes: Accommodation at the community lodge is basic. You’ll be staying in simple twin share rooms, with mattresses on the floor in the traditional style. Linen and mosquito nets are provided. Bathroom facilities are shared. There is no air conditioning and only cold running water and showers. Electricity is intermittent, so we recommend that you bring a flashlight and charge all your electrical items before arriving. You can refill your water bottle from the large water containers provided.

    Meals Included

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner

    Accommodation

    • Community Lodge

    Wake up early this morning and cycle to the small, 170-year-old wooden monastery nearby. A couple more minutes on the bike and you’ll stop at a village for a simple local breakfast prepared by the residents. This is another great chance to strike up a conversation and practice your language skills. After breakfast you’ll cycle to another village and visit a women’s cooperative to learn about their weaving, sewing and craft (this is where Intrepid bags are made). Travel by private minibus for around two hours, stopping along the way at a local market in Pakkoku on your way to Bagan.

    Included Activities

    • Domestic flight to Bagan
    • Bike ride in Bagan

    Meals Included

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch

    Accommodation

    • Hotel

    Take a cooking class with a friendly, community-minded culinary expert. Visit the local market to stock up on produce, and then head to the kitchen to cook up a storm. Take the opportunity to ask your host about any mysterious ingredients you might see in the marketplace – she's a wealth of knowledge. As well as a chance to cook and taste real home-cooked Myanmar cuisine, it's a good cause, with part of the proceeds going towards a local children's library initiative. Enjoy the fruits of your labor for lunch.

    Included Activities

    • Cooking class 

    Optional Activities

    • Hot air balloon ride (starting at $276USD per person)

    Meals Included

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch

    Accommodation

    • Hotel

    Breakfast at your hotel before your leader will take you on a half-day bicycle tour of the stunning UNESCO site. Seeing these marvels on two wheels is ideal, as the site is quite spread out. You'll witness the grandeur of Ananda Temple and more. In the afternoon, visit a traditional lacquerware workshop to observe the process of making unique Myanmar souvenirs. Later, proceed for sunset at one of the ruins or one of the sunset viewpoints in Bagan.

    Notes: There is the option to take an early morning hot air balloon ride over Bagan this morning (not included). 

    Included Activities

    • Morning bike tour
    • Evening sunset by car in Bagan

    Meals Included

    • Breakfast

    Accommodation

    • Hotel

    Take a morning flight back to Yangon where your Myanmar tour comes to an end. We recomend that you book your flight home for the evening on this day.

    Included Activities

    • Departurel transfer – hotel to airport

    Meals Included

    • Breakfast

    Inclusions

    Meals

    9 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 1 dinners

    Transport

    Bicycle, Boat, Canoe, Plane, Private vehicle

    Accommodation

    Hotel (8 nights), Community Lodge (1 night)

    Inclusions

    • Guided bike ride through Old Bagan
    • Cooking class lesson in Bagan
    • Private boat between Mandalay and Mingun
    • Inle Lake - Boat trip & village tour
    • Inle Lake - Canoe tour
    • Urban Adventures – Hands on Yangon (Twante tour)
    • Airport transfers

    Important notes

    1. Please provide passport details at time of booking with name as per passport, as these are essential for booking services on this trip.
    2. Intrepid can book an optional sunrise balloon ride over the Bagan (operating October to March). Please refer to the itinerary for more information. 
    3. A Single Supplement is available on this trip.

    View all essential trip notes

    Bookings

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