The Essence of Myanmar

14 days - £2,450pp

This two-week tour of Myanmar shows off the very best of this beautiful country. We show you the highlights of downtown Yangon before taking you for a rural adventure in the Karin and Mon states where fewer tourists tread. From there you fly to historical Bagan for some serious temple gazing and onto Inle Lake where you can marvel as the fishermen who row with their legs. The tour finishes with a spot of relaxation at beautiful Ngapali Beach.

Day 1 - Yangon Heritage walk with High tea

After being met at the airport by your private driver and guide, you will take a fascinating heritage walk of this unique city with much of its colonial-era architecture still standing. Your guide will walk you through the back streets in a relaxed tempo and explain to you the history of each building before stopping for high tea at the famous Strand hotel, which oozes colonial charm. After, you can check into the sweet, family run Classique Inn (deluxe room).

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Day 2 - SPIRITUAL SHWEDAGON PAGODA

Today you will enjoy a private 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 so you can see how the locals live, work and shop. A traditional Burmese breakfast, offerings to monks and the pagoda, a visit to a fortune teller and a Burmese lunch are all included. Enjoy a free afternoon.

Day 3 - Visit the Golden Rock

Today your private guide and driver will escort you to one of the country’s most important pilgrimage sites for Buddhists; the Golden Rock (Kyaiktiyo Pagoda). A big rock with a small pagoda built on top of it, is balancing on the edge of a mountain and looks as if it could tumble into the ravine below at any moment. From the basecamp you will travel with pilgrims by truck to see this spectacle before spending the night at Golden Sunrise Hotel (deluxe room).

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Day 4 - Kayaking, Kayin village walk & a cave

Today is one of the most scenic and beautiful days of your tour; we take you off the beaten track and into the heart of remote Kayin tribal life. On kayaks, we will paddle through rice paddies before walking through a forest to visit some small villages where a traditional local lunch is served. Afterwards, visit the famous Saddar cave, which is one of the most spectacular caves in the country before staying at the luxurious Hpa-An Lodge (deluxe room).

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Day 5 - Mawlamyine: The colonial capital of Burma

Today you take a private cruise over the Thanlwin (Salween) River – one of the longest rivers in Myanmar, which boasts fantastic views of local life on the river banks. We stop in Pa Lin village for a walk with Kayin, Shan, Mon, Bamar and PaO people before arriving at the colonial city Mawlamyine where George Orwell once lived. You’ll take a walk and see the first baptist church and enjoy a home cooked lunch before returning to Hpa-An.

Day 6 - Royal Palace of Bago & Train Ride

Today you will return to Yangon, stopping at Kawgun cave, home to clay Buddha statues which date back to the 7th century, before driving through rural villages of Mon and Kayin State. After three hours you will stop to see the former Royal Palace in Bago. From here you continue by train – a fabulous way to see the scenery change from rural to suburbia, which is part of the famous Circular Route. Spend tonight at Samadhana Inn, closer to the airport (deluxe room).

Day 7 - Bagan Uncovered

Today we fly you to Bagan, home to more than 2,000 temples and stupas. After lunch at a local restaurant, your private guide will show you the best known temples, starting with a pagoda that offers one of the finest panoramic views. Later, after visiting key ancient and historical temples, a horse and carriage will take you to Pyathagyi pagoda for a picture perfect sunset. The best bit? If you see a temple you like, just ask your guide to stop! Overnight at Areindmar Hotel (deluxe room).

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Day 8 - Off the Beaten Track in Bagan

Minnanthu is probably the favourite temple area amongst frequent Bagan visitors because it’s quiet, beautiful and often completely deserted. Your guide will bring you here for a picnic lunch in this unique historical setting before or after visiting a few ancient temples. Afterwards, the driver and guide are at your disposal for any further temples or sights you may wish to see.

Day 9 - Bike to Inle Lake

Today we will fly you to Heho, near Inle Lake – and have planned the most fun way for you to arrive at the lake. Your luggage will be transferred so you can enjoy a leisurely bike ride from Thaung Lay Lone to Indein. This 3 hours bike trip – mainly flat – passing sugarcane and garlic fields, Khaung Dine village with some beautiful views on Inle Lake. At Indein we visit the famous ruins before continuing to Pristine Lodge by motorboat (floating duplex room).

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Day 10 - Day on the Lake

Enjoy a full day boating around the lake. Highlights include the colourful rotating five-day markets frequented by the Shan and Pa O people, the famous Intha fisherman rowing in the one-legged style; and visits to Phaungdaw U Pagoda, and a local cheroot factory (Burmese cigar). We will walk about 1 hour to enjoy a fantastic view over the lake. A home-made cooked lunch is served in a local house.

Day 11 - 13 - off to the beach!

To finish your trip we will fly you to the beautiful Ngapali Beach, which 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. We’ve planned nothing for you for the last three days of your trip so you can relax, unwind and reflect on all you have seen from the comfort of Bayview Hotel (deluxe garden view).

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Day 14 - Bon Voyage!

Get ready to bid your farewells to this beautiful country (and maybe plot your return!) After a leisurely breakfast we will fly you back to Yangon, where you will arrive by 1pm. From here nothing has been organised so you can catch your international flight home. Safe Travels!

DETAILS:

This itinerary costs from £2,450 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.

INCLUDED:

  • Prices start from £2,450 per person
  • Accommodation on B&B basis
  • Private transfers (air-conditioned vehicle)
  • All entrance fees with service of English speaking guide for excursions
  • Eight lunches (on days 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 9, 10 & 11).
  • Internal flights
  • Local taxes
  • All trips are ATOL protected or ABTA bonded to ensure you are fully covered