A Voyage of Nature Discovery

13 Days - 12 Nights Ava, Bagan, Heho, Indein, Inle Lake, Kayah State, Loikaw, Mandalay Division, Mingun, Pan Pet, Sagaing Division, Shan State, Yangon Division

Tour Overview

Explore Myanmar, a land brimming with cultural heritage and breathtaking natural scenery. This thoughtfully crafted itinerary encompasses the highlights of this captivating country, beginning in the lively city of Yangon and venturing on to the temple-studded plains of Bagan. Immerse yourself in the history of Mandalay’s ancient capitals before taking a flight to the Shan State, a region renowned for its awe-inspiring landscapes and vibrant hill tribe communities. Prepare to be enchanted by Loikaw, a lesser-known and intriguing destination that has long been yearning to be discovered by adventurous souls like yourself. This carefully curated itinerary captures the essence of Myanmar, allowing you to truly feel, experience, and appreciate the country’s unique charm.

Travel itinerary

  • Day 01: Arrival in Yangon

    As you step foot in Yangon International Airport, be greeted by your English-speaking guide who will accompany you throughout the journey. Get ready for an enchanting tour of Yangon, a city where people from all corners of Myanmar come together. Marvel at the blend of cultural flavours, where British Colonial Buildings grace the streets, a beautiful mosque stands proudly, Hindu temples exude their divine aura, and the world-famous Shwedagon Pagoda takes your breath away. Yangon’s unique harmony among its diverse inhabitants makes it a truly special city. If time permits, you’ll be treated to an orientation tour before you check in at your hotel. The remainder of the day and evening are yours to enjoy at your own leisure. Spend a memorable night in Yangon.

  • Day 02: Yangon – Mandalay – Mingun – Mandalay (B)

    After breakfast, transfer to the airport for a scheduled flight to Mandalay, the former royal capital of Myanmar.

    Once you arrive in Mandalay, be whisked away to the jetty for an exciting excursion to Mingun. Brace yourself for a journey along the mighty Ayeyarwady River, as you cruise towards Mingun, just 11 kilometres away. Mingun holds the remnants of what could have been the world’s largest pagoda, a colossal structure intended to reach a staggering height of 152 metres. Although its construction halted in 1819, the pagoda remains remarkably impressive, even after being dramatically split by an earthquake in 1838.

    Prepare to be awestruck by the mighty Mingun Bell, the world’s largest uncracked bell, weighing over 87 tons and standing more than 3.7 metres tall.

    You’ll also visit the exquisite Hsinbyume (Ma Thein Tan) Pagoda, a white-washed temple designed to resemble Mount Meru, and the unfinished yet magnificent Mingun Pagoda, once intended to be the world’s biggest.

    After a scenic river cruise back to Mandalay, transfer back to your hotel. In the afternoon, visit the Golden Palace Monastery, known as the ShweKyaung Monastery, renowned for its intricate wood carvings—a delicate reminder of Mandalay’s past.

    Next, head to the Kuthodaw Pagoda, famously referred to as ‘the world’s largest book,’ boasting a collection of over 700 marble slabs inscribed with Buddhist teachings. Conclude your first day in Mandalay with a visit to Mandalay Hill, where you’ll witness a breathtaking sunset. Enjoy a restful overnight stay in Mandalay.

    Breakfast included
  • Day 03: Mandalay – Sagaing – Ava – Mandalay (B)

    Breakfast at your hotel before embarking on a journey to the holiest site in Mandalay, the Maha Muni Temple. Delight in the opportunity to observe local workshops where bronze sculpting, gold leaf marking, and wood carving techniques are skillfully demonstrated.

    Later, continue your adventure to Inwa, an ancient city adorned with religious monuments dating back to the 14th to 19th centuries. Cross the Myint Nge River on a small ferry and explore the captivating Inwa by horse cart. Visit the Bagaya Teak Monastery, the Nan Myint Watch Tower, and the Maha Aungmye Bonzan Monastery, over 300 years old and steeped in history.

    In the late afternoon, off to Sagaing, passing upon the Ayeyarwady Bridge, and descending upon Sagaing Hill, where sweeping panoramic views await. One of the notable pagodas on the hill is Soon U Ponya Shin Pagoda, originally built in 1312. Your exploration continues with a visit to Umin Thonze Pagoda, also known as the 30 Caves Pagoda, where 45 magnificent gilded Buddha images in various sizes reside within turquoise-coloured tiled mosaic halls—an exquisite sight that promises fantastic photo opportunities.

    Finally, bask in the glory of a mesmerising sunset from Sagaing Hill, revelling in the stunning views of the surrounding countryside, Ayeyarwady River, and pristine white stupas. Return to Mandalay and enjoy a comfortable overnight stay.

    Breakfast included
  • Day 04: Mandalay – Bagan (B/L) Picnic Lunch

    Begin a unique experience after your breakfast at the hotel—an Ayeyarwady River cruise from Mandalay to Bagan. Leave the conventional road or domestic flight behind and embrace the picturesque landscape from a fresh perspective. This day cruise offers you a chance to appreciate the natural beauty of the river and witness the vibrant life along its banks. As you journey, marvel at scenes of everyday life, from family fishing boats passing by to children waving from the shore.

    Take a short detour to a small local village along the riverbank, where you can immerse yourself in the fascinating local lifestyle. Gain insights into the Ayeyarwady River communities before the cruise carries you onward to Bagan. Indulge in a delightful picnic lunch on board and enjoy a day of relaxation and awe-inspiring views.

    Upon your arrival in Bagan, we’ll provide an orientation tour en route to your hotel. The evening is yours to unwind and savour the magical atmosphere of Bagan. Spend a restful night in this captivating city.

    Launch included
  • Day 05: Bagan (B)

    Start your day with a delightful breakfast and get ready to uncover the captivating highlights of Bagan. Begin your adventure by immersing yourself in the lively morning market at Nyaung-U, where you can witness a vivid assortment of fruits, vegetables, rice, handcrafted furnishings, and clothing. Keep your camera at hand as this market is a paradise for photographers.

    Next, visit the magnificent Shwezigon Pagoda, an architectural marvel built by King Anaweahta in the 11th century. This bell-shaped pagoda, adorned in gold, served as the inspiration for countless pagodas across Myanmar. It holds great significance as a sacred shrine and the primary pilgrimage centre in Bagan. Take a moment to appreciate the golden majesty and tranquil aura it emanates.

    After exploring the wonders of Shwezigon Pagoda, continue your journey to the enchanting Ananda Temple. Renowned as the most exquisite temple, it boasts thousands of terracotta, mural paintings, and sandstone statues that vividly depict the life of Buddha and his previous incarnations. Don’t miss the opportunity to capture breathtaking photos of the panoramic view of the sprawling Bagan temple complex.

    Once you’ve relished a delectable lunch, take a leisurely afternoon break at your hotel.

    In the afternoon, venture to the colossal Damayangyi Pagoda, a grand temple similar in layout to the Ananda Temple. However, this temple surpasses it in size and was constructed by King Karathu in 1160.

    Experience the charm of old Bagan and behold the majestic temples as you embark on a horse cart or E-bike tour through the Archaeological Zone, culminating in a visit to the sunset hill lock. Conclude your day with a mesmerising sunset, framed by the ancient temples and pagodas, casting a spellbinding ambiance.

    Afterward, return to your hotel and spend the night in Bagan.

    Breakfast included
  • Day 06: Bagan (B)

    Savour a delightful breakfast at your hotel as your journey unfolds with a visit to a charming complex comprising Payathonzu, Lemyentha, and Nandamannya Temples. These temples offer awe-inspiring views of the surrounding plains, providing a perfect introduction to the grandeur and scale of Bagan’s architectural marvels. Take advantage of this opportunity to capture stunning photographs during your leisurely walk around these beautiful temple complexes.

    Continue your leisurely drive to one of the authentic local villages, immersing yourself in the daily lives of the inhabitants through a captivating walking tour. Afterward, visit a lacquerware workshop where skilled craftsmen produce and decorate exquisite lacquerware items. Bagan stands as one of the last remaining places globally where fine lacquerware is meticulously crafted.

    Return to your hotel and indulge in the serene atmosphere for the rest of the afternoon.

    In the evening, visit the historic Manuha Temple, one of the oldest temples in Bagan, built by King Manuha in the 11th century after being captured by King Anawrahta. Explore the adjacent Nanpaya Temple, an attractive fusion of sandstone and brick. Conclude your temple visits with a stop at Lawkananda Pagoda. Then, head to a private location alongside the Ayeyarwady River, offering a tranquil setting for breathtaking sunset views, capturing timeless memories and providing a perfect moment to relax.

    Return to your hotel and spend the night in Bagan.

    Breakfast included
  • Day 07: Bagan – Heho – Inle Lake (B)

    After enjoying a delicious breakfast, embark on your journey to Inle Lake. Begin with a scenic morning transfer by scheduled flight to Heho, the gateway to Inle Lake (approximately 45 minutes). From there, enjoy a picturesque one-hour drive to Nyaung Shwe valley, situated at the edge of Inle Lake. Along the way, make a stop at a local family-run workshop, where you can observe the traditional craft of papermaking used for the production of Shan parasols.

    Discover the striking “Shwe Yan Pyay,” a beautifully red-painted teak building dating back to the 19th century. Unlike many other famous monasteries and pagodas in Myanmar, Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery possesses a unique architectural style.

    Next, head to the jetty and board a local boat, embarking on a photographer’s dream journey. Witness the mesmerising technique of the “leg rowers,” Intha fishermen who skillfully row while standing on one leg, leaving their hands free to manipulate their conical fishing nets.

    Marvel at the sacred Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, the most revered religious site in southern Shan State. Then, visit a traditional boat-building workshop, where local craftsmen spend four weeks crafting the iconic longboats made from local teak. Witness the art of silk weaving on wooden handlooms, as well as the creation of fabrics using lotus flower fibres. Cruise past the endless floating gardens, where Intha lake dwellers cultivate fruits and vegetables. After a day of exploration, transfer to your hotel and spend the night in Inle.

    Breakfast included
  • Day 08: Inle Lake – Indein – Inle Lake (B)

    Enjoy a breakfast at your hotel and seize the opportunity to visit a vibrant 5-day rotating market, providing a fascinating glimpse into the lives of the ethnic Pa-O, Danu, and Intha people who converge here to sell and purchase various goods (subject to the market schedule).

    Embark on a long-tailed boat ride across the lake to Indein, located at the western end of Inle. Prepare for one of the most scenic trips on the lake as you disembark at the jetty and take a short walk through Indein village to reach the pagoda ruins of Nyaung Oak, dating from the 14th to 18th centuries. Ascend a covered walkway, adorned with souvenir stalls, leading to the weathered zedi (stupa) complex of Shwe Inn Thein Paya, which includes both restored and original structures from the 17th and 18th centuries.

    Continue your journey with a visit to a cheroot maker’s workshop, where you can observe the handcrafted production of traditional Burmese cigars. Pass by a traditional blacksmith’s forge, immersing yourself in the local craftsmanship.

    Experience the enchanting canoe boat trip offered by the Inle Canoe Lady. Local women, who also work at the cigar workshop, row the canoes and offer this short trip to support their families. Glide through the channels, passing houses built on stilts and the floating gardens of the “Intha” people who call the lake their home.

    Upon returning to your hotel, take the remaining evening to relax at your leisure. Witness a breathtaking sunset over postcard-worthy views of the lake, creating a truly magical ambiance.

    Overnight in Inle Lake.

    Breakfast included
  • Day 09: Inle Lake – Samkar – Loikaw (B)

    Begin your day with a delightful breakfast before embarking on an exciting adventure. Step aboard a boat for an enchanting 1 hour and 30-minute journey to Samkar, an awe-inspiring archaeological complex with a majestic past. Discover hidden stupas, temples, and pagodas nestled in the hills, reminiscent of a bygone era now entwined with time and nature. These historical treasures have been shrouded in darkness since the area was flooded in the middle of the 20th century.

    Continuing your journey, head towards Phe Khone (approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes). Upon arrival, you’ll be transferred by road to Loikaw (approximately 30 minutes). Immerse yourself in the cultural wonders of Loikaw, known as the homeland of the long-necked women. Check-in at your hotel for a refreshing break.

    Next, explore the Cathedral of Christ the King, an architectural marvel blending traditional European church elements with local Buddhist styles. Built in 1939, it stands as the oldest church of its kind. In the evening, visit the Weaving Training and Vocational Training Center, where a master trainer will guide you through the centre’s garden, showcasing the natural dyeing process.

    Return to your hotel in Loikaw for an overnight stay.

    Breakfast included
  • Day 10: Loikaw – Pan Pet – Loikaw (B/L)

    Indulge in a hearty breakfast to fuel your day ahead. Begin by driving to Pan Pat village, the ancestral home of the Kayah long-necked women, famously known as the Padaung tribe. En route to the village, make a stop at the vibrant Demawso market (open on Mon, Wed, and Sat), where diverse ethnic groups from the surrounding areas gather to sell traditional garments and local delicacies, such as the renowned “Khaung-yay” wine. Take this opportunity to savour a taste of the local wine and experience its unique flavours.

    Continue your journey through picturesque countryside landscapes and embark on a short hour-long trek to Pan Pet village. Marvel at the scenic beauty of the hills and farmlands along the way. One of the highlights of this region is encountering various ethnic minority groups and engaging in trekking activities. The Kayan women, recognized by their iconic golden neck coils, are among the captivating sights. Led by a local guide, embark on a one-hour hike through the village, where your guides will share insights about the significant cultural and natural sites cherished by the locals. The walk concludes at breathtaking viewpoints, offering panoramic vistas of the surrounding mountains and rice fields. During your time in the village, you’ll have the opportunity to visit Kayan houses and observe skilled artisans crafting Kayan bracelets, weaving traditional textiles, and creating wooden statues and handicrafts.

    Return to Loikaw and visit the renowned Taung Kwe Pagoda, an iconic religious monument that dominates the Loikaw skyline. Witness the splendid landscape unfold as the sun sets over the region.

    Transfer back to your hotel in Loikaw for an overnight stay.

    Launch included
  • Day 11: Loikaw – Hta Nee La Leh – Loikaw (B/L)

    Start your day with breakfast at the hotel. Begin by exploring the Thiri Mingalarpon Monastery, formerly the palace of the Shan feudal chief, which holds historical significance and is well worth a visit. Afterwards, venture to Hta Nee La Leh village.

    Discover the charms of Hta Nee La Leh village, a farming community adorned with traditional animist shrines, totem poles, and the Kaetoebu village hall, where the village shaman predicts the future. Located 17 miles from Loikaw, the village is most famous for its central totem pole, a prominent feature in many Kayah villages and a testament to their animist traditions predating Buddhism and Christianity. These sacred poles are worshipped once a year, usually around April, and the village still retains remnants of its ancient animist customs. Immerse yourself in the village’s culture, enjoy traditional bamboo music, and explore the customs and attire of the local people. Our community guide will provide detailed explanations about their traditions during our visit to the totem pole.

    Following this, take an ox-cart ride to the scenic 7 Angels Lakes, one of the most picturesque regions in Kayah State. Delight in the serene surroundings and partake in a traditional lunch break in the village.

    After lunch, continue your exploration by visiting and interacting with the locals during a home visit. Learn about their traditional attire, daily routines, and enjoy the melodious tunes of traditional bamboo music.

    Return to your hotel in Loikaw for an overnight stay.

    Launch included
  • Day 12: Loikaw – Yangon (B)

    Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before heading to the airport for your flight back to Yangon (approximately 75 minutes).

    Yangon, Myanmar’s former capital, boasts a rich history shaped by various cultural influences, both Eastern and Western. The cityscape showcases this diversity.

    Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel for check-in. En route, visit the impressive Chauk Htat Gyi Pagoda, home to a colossal reclining Buddha statue spanning 217 feet in length, one of the largest in Myanmar.

    Continue your exploration with a visit to the renowned Bogyoke Market (Scott Market), a bustling hub housing hundreds of shops offering a wide range of goods, from delectable food and trendy clothing to exquisite crafts and precious stones.

    Embark on a journey through the heart of Yangon’s city centre, where pagodas, monuments, and colonial buildings converge. Stroll along the Yangon City Heritage List, passing by architectural gems such as City Hall, a splendid example of Myanmar design with its distinctive tiered turrets. As you traverse the area, you’ll encounter St. Mary’s Church and the grand Secretariat Building, also known as the Ministers’ Building.

    Immerse yourself in Yangon’s vibrant street life, surrounded by bustling market stalls offering a myriad of snacks, foods, and fruits. Take this opportunity to sample some of the delightful local cuisine along the way.

    Conclude your day with a visit to the magnificent Shwedagon Pagoda, an awe-inspiring golden monument believed to be over 2,600 years old. Rising 326 feet into the sky, it stands as one of Yangon’s premier attractions, drawing pilgrims from around the world.

    Note: Bogyoke Market (also known as Scott Market) remains closed every Monday and on public holidays.

    Breakfast included
  • Day 13: Depart Yangon (B)

    Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before your departure. Proceed to Yangon International Airport for your onward journey to your next destination.

    Breakfast included

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