Book Now
Exploring Myanmar (Burma) Holidays

Highlights with Luxury Cruise

Perfect for those looking to see the highlights of Myanmar (Burma) in luxury with a unique opportunity to cruise an undiscovered archipelago of more than 800 islands. This private tour of Mandalay, Bagan and Yangon includes accommodation at our favourite luxury hotels, a breath-taking hot air balloon at sunrise over Bagan, a secluded temple picnic and 5-nights on a luxury cruise (run by Burma Boating on SY Raja Laut, SY Meta IV or SY Meltemi) around the Myeik Archipelago, where few other tourists tread. This is Myanmar at its most luxurious… and perhaps most memorable.

Your Itinerary

Day 1 - Welcome to Mandalay!

After meeting your private guide and driver at the airport, they will take you to some fascinating sights on the way to Mandalay. Start with a visit to the snake temple in Paleik, which has 3 pythons that sleep at the feet of Buddha, before seeing one of the largest monasteries, the famous Mahamuni pagoda and the old capital of Amarapura. As the sun sets, walk over U-Bein Bridge and take a boat ride. Check into luxurious Rupar Mandalar.


Today you will board a boat to visit the former royal capitals around Mandalay. Stop at Mingun Pagoda (which was damaged by an earthquake) before taking a leisurely boat cruise for about 3 hours downstream to delightful Ava – a simple lunch packed in rattan baskets is served on board. In Ava, horse carts will take you around this magnificent site of ancient temple ruins before returning to Mandalay by car.

drive between yangon and mandalay


Meet your guide at the hotel and transfer to Yandabo village, which is famous for clay pottery, by private car. On the way, lunch will be taken at a local restaurant before you explore this pretty village, known for the signing of the Yandabo Treaty which took place under a tree on the riverbank in 1826, between the British and Burmese. Tonight, check into Yandabo Home on the river banks (standard room).

Day 4 - Take a village bike ride & a boat to Bagan

This morning, with your guide, you can saddle up and cycle through remote villages, where few foreigners tread. After, you will drive to a 12th century hidden cave temple of Kyauk Gu Ohnmin. Afterwards, board your private boat which will take you downstream to Bagan where you should arrive by 5pm. If you’re not a fan of cycling we’ll arrange for you to visit the local village of Pakkoku instead. Check into the stylish Bagan Lodge tonight.

Day 5 - A hot air balloon ride over the temples of Bagan!

This morning at sunrise enjoy the once-in-a-lifetime experience of taking a hot air balloon ride over the temples of Bagan followed by a glass of Champagne. Return to breakfast at your hotel before exploring some of the 2,000 temples, stupas and pagodas here including Ananda, Dhammayangyi, Sulamani, and Thatbyinnyu, which will certainly impress you. Around 4pm you will continue the tour by horse cart to Pyathagyi pagoda for sunset with some refreshing drinks served! 


This morning we will fly you to Yangon where you will enjoy an early evening tour of the shimmering, sparkling Shwedagon Pagoda. We will give you the full history of the pagoda and a deeper insight into Buddhism and also take you around the area, including a stop for local snacks and drinks and a walk through the night market – so you can experience Yangon like a local. Tonight you will check into the historic and colonial Strand Hotel.

Day 7 - Cruise the Myeik Archipelago

After a leisurely breakfast we will transfer you to the airport to catch your flight to Kawthaung, which is the gateway to the stunning Myeik Archipelago in the south, home to more than 800 islands of thick forests, white sand and clear water. Today you will board your luxury yacht for a memorable five-night cruise around these lesser visited islands – set sail to Barwell Island where you will spend the evening on the beach and can have a swim before dinner and drinks.

Day 8 - Island Hopping

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast on board this morning. After a refreshing swim you start your passage to Island No. 115, a place often frequented by Moken sea gypsies. In the afternoon you will reach a group of small islands called Mid Group. If time permits, you’ll go for a dinghy excursion into a nearby mangrove forest on Island No. 88. After the evening swim you will enjoy dinner in this beautiful sheltered bay.

Day 9 - Explore local sea gypsy life

In the morning you slowly sail towards the little village on Nyaung Wee Island and visit the local sea gypsy settlement. After lunch you begin to sail west to Great Swinton Island where you can take a jungle walk along the creek and collecting seashells on the huge beach. For those interested in Buddhism, a short visit in a local monastery. Snorkelling, then sundowners on deck. Watching the bioluminescent plankton at night.

Day 10 - Snorkleling Galore!

Early this morning we’ll sail to tiny Ohway Island for the best snorkelling (and great fishing) in the region. Observe the colourful life of the reef, full of soft and hard corals and plenty of tropical fish. After lunch we set sail for Jar Lann Kyun and anchor in its large fjord, one of the most spectacular bays in the archipelago. In the mangrove forest you’ll watch the hornbills at dusk. Fine dining on board. Time to relax under the starry sky.

Day 11 - Sailing to bays and beaches

This morning you’ll take a long, leisurely sail towards Za Det Nge Island with its beautiful bays and beaches, stopping to visit Rhino Island on the way. Its stunning turquoise waters are perfect for enjoying the sun. Later you’ll move towards Za Det Nge’s for a last dinner party on the beach.

Day 12 - A final morning on board

After a leisurely breakfast and relaxed morning on board, we will reach Kawthaung by about noon. There will be time to stop for lunch on the way to the airport to catch your flight to Yangon or Bangkok (not included). From here you can catch your international flight home…. bon voyage!


This itinerary costs from £5,055 per person B&B based on 2 sharing and including all private transfers but not international flights.

You can get flights from as little as £500 per person return and do ask us for advice. Alternatively we can book the flights for you but a booking fee may apply.

What's included?

  • Prices start from £5,055 per person
  • Accommodation on B&B basis
  • Private transfers (air-conditioned vehicle)
  • All entrance fees with service of English speaking guide for excursions
  • On the boat: 3 full meals per day, non-alcoholic-beverages, water
  • Internal flights – excluding any flights on the last day
  • Local taxes
  • All trips are ATOL protected or ABTA bonded to ensure you are fully covered

Important note: the Myanmar government charges foreign visitors fees for entering the Mergui Archipelago. This fee is NOT included. At the time of writing the fees were about USD 250 per person

Make a booking
With one of the most evocative names in the region, Mandalay is the second biggest city in Myanmar and the gateway to great trekking in Hsipaw in the north. It is home to the iconic U-Bein Bridge (one of the most photographed sites in the country) and close to the old royal capital of Amarapura.
This is one of the best places to get off the beaten track and see rural Myanmar. Stay in a beautiful riverside lodge, take a trek through rice paddies and visit small Shan villagers where locals live just as they did 50 years ago. We also offer a fabulous boat ride upstream to a monastery which serves as a school for young novice monks.
Bagan is the ancient settlement that has really put Myanmar (Burma) on the map. With more than 2,000 historic stupas, temples and pagodas spread over a vast area, you really have to see it to believe it. We will ensure you get to the best spots for sunset or sunrise to see this amazing sprawl of temples over the valley - or better yet ask us about a balloon ride!
Inle Lake
This impressive freshwater lake is more than 13 miles long and resembles a vast silver sheet, reflecting the sky like a mirror. It is home to hundreds of herons, wild ducks and other bird life - as well as local fishermen who use unique fishing techniques with baskets. We have a fabulous selection of over-the-water boutique hotels to choose from.
Ngapali Beach
This has quickly become one of our favourite beach destinations in south-east Asia. Lined with rugged palm trees, this big sweeping bay of pristine sand feels so untouched and undeveloped. However, lying in the shade of the pine trees are a number of beautiful and tastefully designed luxury hotels that blend into their surroundings - we can't think of a better excuse to stop for a few days!
The Golden Rock
An important pilgrimage site for Buddhists around Asia; a large and precariously positioned gold-covered rock sits on the top of a mountain - home to one of the most well-visited stupas in the country. Expect an atmosphere charged with magic and devotion as everyone makes their way to the Golden Rock.
Mrauk- U
This former Rakhine capital offers a dramatic group of temples and pagodas (newer than those of Bagan) which have a fortress feel to them as they are made of stone with long twisting corridors inside. But it's also the perfect gateway for seeing rural river life - you can enjoy a boat ride here to Chin villages where the older women have their faces tattooed from a no-longer abided tribal tradition.
This charming city feels incredibly metropolitan compared to the rest of the country, but set against other Asian cities feels quite small. You can see the colonial architecture of a time gone by, sample some of the county's best street food and visit the remarkable Shwedagon Pagoda, which can be seen sparkling from almost anywhere in Yangon and is one of the most revered sites for Buddhism in the world, and said to enshrine eight hairs from Buddha.
A unique combination of landscape and beauty, Mawlamyine boasts a ridge of stupa capped hills to one side, the sea on the other and a town full of crumbling colonial architecture and mosques. From here you can explore remote ruins, sacred temples and un-touched beaches.
Explore Buddhist caves, sacred mountains and wonderfully rural countryside from this sleepy Mon State town
Pyin Oo Lwin
You would be forgiven for thinking you'd stumbled across an old English town at this colonial hill station, which was a favourite for British generals who were looking to escape the heat of the city below. Be sure to take a turn in the beautifully manicured Botanical Gardens.
Myeik Archipelago
A cluster of about 800 pristine and picture perfect white sand islands off the main coast of Myanmar. Most are completely uninhabited - or home to a small village or two where the nomadic seafaring Moken people live. These are best explored on a 3 or 4 night cruise - and we have some beautiful luxurious boats on offer.

Your adventure starts here!

Do you fancy having a chat about Highlights with Luxury Cruise? Personally, it's one of our favourite things to talk about.

Award-winning and fully-protected holidays
Itineraries & Destinations