Experience Myanmar, a feast for the soul and the senses

Discover the magic of Myanmar on a nine-day journey through some of its very 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 – tranquil temples, home-cooked cuisine, heartwarming villagers, grassroots culinary wizardry, floating lake islands and handmade local industry. Many modes of transport, from plane to bike to canoe, make for a convenient, exhilarating and authentic adventure across this mythical land.

ITINERARY CHANGES IN 2018: Please refer to Important Notes for more information.

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Terms & Conditions

Start
Yangon, Myanmar (Burma)
Finish
Yangon, Myanmar (Burma)
Country
Myanmar (Burma)
Style
Original
Code
TRSH
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why we love this trip

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

  • Join a homegrown master of Burmese 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 activity 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 and local village industries

  • 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 nine-day 'highlights' trip is perfect for travellers seeking a taste of Myanmar over a short period. If you're looking for something more immersive, consider the longer Best of Myanmar trip, or perhaps spend extra time in beautiful Yangon.

  • Flying between most destinations maximises 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 before entry.

  • 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. Keep this in mind if planning to travel during summer.

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 January 2017 to 31 December 2017. View the itinerary for departures between 01 January 2018 - 31 December 2018

Min Gala Ba! Welcome to Myanmar. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader. After the meeting, there's an optional group dinner – a great chance to chat with fellow travellers and enjoy sumptuous Myanma cuisine, which draws variously on Mon, Indian and Chinese flavours.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Yangon - Bogyoke Market (Scotts Market) - Free
  • Yangon - Sule Pagoda - MMK3000
  • Yangon - Let Yangon Take You For a Ride Urban Adventure - USD41
  • Yangon - Myanmar Gems Museum & Gem Market - MMK5000
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Take an early morning flight to Bagan (approximately 1.5 hours). This famous archaeological site, located on the banks of the Ayeyarwady River, is where Theravada Buddhism was first introduced to the Kingdom. It was once the site of 10,000 temples, pagodas and monasteries; it still boasts a staggering 2,000 brick and gilded ruins. In the afternoon, 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.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Bagan - Temple bike tour
Optional Activities
  • Bagan - Dandaree Culture Show - USD50
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Take a cooking class with a friendly, community-minded culinary expert this morning. Visit the local market to stock up on produce, 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 Myanma cuisine, it's a good cause, with part of the proceeds going towards a local children's library initiative. Enjoy the fruits of your labour for lunch.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Bagan - Local cooking class - MMK35000
  • Bagan - Shwezigon Paya - Free
  • Bagan - Dandaree Culture Show - USD50
  • Bagan - Lacquer Ware Workshop Visit - Free
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Special Information
One of the best ways to experience Bagan is the optional sunrise hot air balloon flight. Experience breathtaking views above the stupa-studded landscape, followed by a light breakfast and champagne. The experience runs for approximately 2.5 hours, with flights times an average 45 minutes (can range from 1 hour to 20 minutes subject to local conditions). Weather dependent, flights operate between October through to March. The sunrise balloon flight is possible on the morning of day 3 (subject to availability).
Advance bookings are highly recommended as places are limited. Please ask your booking agent for further details of the Premium and Classic service options.
Drive to Mandalay by private minibus (approximately 5 hours). Though it's mostly a hub for day trips, the enchanting and evocative former royal capital has many lovely churches, temples and mosques to discover. Enjoy free time exploring or simply relaxing this afternoon.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Mandalay - Moustache Brothers - MMK8000
  • Mandalay - Mandalay Hill - MMK1000
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Embark on a morning boat trip up the famous Ayeyarwady River to Mingun (approximately 1 hour each way). Here you will find a small handful of impressive pagodas. Spend some time exploring, then return to Mandalay. In the afternoon you will visit the Mandalay Palace and Shwenandaw monastery. In the late afternoon, head out of the city and witness the awesome sunset over the U Bein Bridge.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Mandalay - Shwenandaw Teak Monastery
  • Mandalay - Boat trip to Mingun
  • Mandalay - U Bein Bridge
Optional Activities
  • Mandalay - Gold leaf pounding workshop demonstration - Free
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
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 travellers floating around town.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Inle Lake - Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery - Free
  • Inle Lake - Red Mountain Estate Winery Tasting - MMK3000
  • Inle Lake - Bicycle hire - MMK3000
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
In the morning you will explore the lush waters of Inle Lake by canoe. Then continue by motorised 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. Even the floating gardens require considerable manual labour to make. Local farmers collect weeds from the depths of the lake, then fashion them into gardens with the help of bamboo poles as anchors.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Inle Lake - Boat trip & village tour
  • Inle Lake - Canoe tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Catch a morning flight to Yangon. After settling into your hotel, head out to see the holiest shrine in the country, the Shwedagon Paya. This gilded pagoda is studded with nearly 5,000 diamonds and a number of gems, and is said to contain eight hairs of the Buddha. It’s a particularly impressive sight at sunset when the stupa begins to shine in the fading light of the day.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Yangon - Shwedagon Pagoda and candle lighting
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Your trip comes to an end today and you are free to depart at any time.
Optional Activities
  • Yangon - Hands-on Yangon Urban Adventure - USD81
  • Yangon - Yangon's Streets By Night Urban Adventure - USD40
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

8 breakfasts, 1 lunch

Transport

Bicycle, Boat, Canoe, Plane, Private vehicle

Accommodation

Hotel (8 nights)

Included activities

  • Bagan - Temple bike tour
  • Mandalay - Shwenandaw Teak Monastery
  • Mandalay - Boat trip to Mingun
  • Mandalay - U Bein Bridge
  • Inle Lake - Boat trip & village tour
  • Inle Lake - Canoe tour
  • Yangon - Shwedagon Pagoda and candle lighting

Dates & availability

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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. Places are limited and we recommend advance booking with your agent.
3. A Single Supplement to have your own room is available on this trip.
4. ITINERARY CHANGES IN 2018: For departures from 1st Jan 2018 this itinerary will travel from Mandalay to Inle Lake by private vehicle on Day 6. This will also allow travellers to see more of this part of Myanmar and will include extra stops on this journey.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

Reviews

Our Myanmar Highlights trips score an average of 4.8 out of 5 based on 5 reviews in the last year.

Myanmar Highlights, April 2017

Katherine Taylor

Myanmar Highlights, April 2017

Helen Dixon