Cultural Splendors of Myanmar

11 Days - 10 Nights Amarapura, Ava, Bagan, Heho, Indein, Inle Lake, Mandalay Division, Mingun, Monywa, Nyaung Shwe, Pakkoku, Sagaing Division, Shan State, Yangon Division

Tour Overview

Experience an immersive 11-day journey through Myanmar’s vibrant culture, which promises to be an unforgettable experience and a perfect introduction to the country’s cultural highlights. Enjoy insightful introductory tours in Yangon, Mandalay, Bagan, and Inle Lake, and explore the impressive network of sandstone caves containing over 400,000 Buddha images at Pho Win Daung in Monywa. This exceptional tour is designed to highlight the unique beauty of Myanmar’s lush countryside and introduce you to the warmth and hospitality of its charming locals.

Travel itinerary

  • Day 01: Yangon Arrival

    Upon your arrival at Yangon International Airport, you will be warmly welcomed by an English-speaking guide who will accompany you to the hotel. If time permits, you will have an orientation tour of the city before checking into the hotel. After settling in and relaxing, you will start your tour in the afternoon.

    The tour will take you to the heart of the city center, where you can explore a mix of pagodas, monuments, and colonial buildings on foot. You will be amazed by the vibrant street life of Yangon, with lots of street market stalls selling snacks, food, and fruits. Along the way, you will have the opportunity to taste local food.

    Take a break at one of the local tea houses and experience the Myanmar tea culture, which is a reflection of the country’s colonial past under British rule. This will give you a chance to refresh and learn more about the local culture.

    The highlight of your first day in Myanmar will be a visit to the magnificent Shwedagon Pagoda. This magnificent monument is adorned with gold and is believed to be 2,600 years old, making it one of the most prominent attractions in Yangon. The pagoda’s spire reaches a height of 326 feet into the sky and draws in pilgrims from all corners of the world.You will have the opportunity to enjoy the breathtaking view of the sunset with the background of the Shwedagon Pagoda before driving back to the hotel for an overnight stay in Yangon.

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

    Start your day with an early breakfast at the hotel before heading to the domestic airport for your scheduled flight to Mandalay (approximately 90 minutes). Upon arrival in Mandalay, your first destination will be the Ancient Kingdom of Sagaing, an important religious and monastic center with over 554 monasteries and 6,000 monks and nuns.

    After reaching the bottom of Sagaing Hill, drive to the summit for breathtaking panoramic views, including the Soon U Ponya Shin Pagoda, which was originally built in 1312. This temple offers stunning views of the pagoda-decorated hills with the Ayeyarwaddy River in the background. Your next stop will be the Umin Thonze Pagoda, also known as the 30 Caves Pagoda, which features 45 beautiful gilded Buddha images of different sizes, creating an impressive sight in a turquoise-colored tiled mosaic hall. Take advantage of this opportunity to capture some excellent photos.

    If time permits, you’ll have a chance to visit one of the monasteries and observe the monks’ lunch offering time, where they take their last meal of the day. Afterwards, drive to Mandalay to explore one of Myanmar’s most prominent Buddha images, covered with a thick layer of gold leaf, housed in the Mahamuni Pagoda.

    In the late afternoon, visit the Kuthodaw Pagoda, home to a collection of 729 Buddhist marble slabs, which is considered the world’s largest book. Afterward, explore the ancient wooden monastery of ShweKyaung, originally part of the Royal palace, and an excellent example of traditional Burmese architectural style.

    After a day full of exploring, you will spend the night in Mandalay.

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

    Begin your day with a healthy breakfast at the hotel before departing for Amarapura, the third former capital. Head to the U Bein bridge, a 200-year-old footbridge made of teak wood that is reputed to be the longest in the world. Take a leisurely stroll along the bridge and take in the stunning views of the surrounding farms and streams. Afterwards, you can board a ferry to cross the river and then travel in a traditional horse carriage to reach the Bagaya Monastery, which is made entirely of wood and famous for its elaborate wood carvings as well as the 267 carved pillars.Not far from here, you can also explore the ruins of the Maenu Okyaung monastery, which was built with bricks and stucco. Return back to Mandalay for the next part of your adventure.

    In the afternoon, enjoy a picturesque cruise up the Ayeyarwady River to Mingun, located about 11km away and taking around an hour to reach. Upon arrival, visit the Mingun Bell, the world’s largest uncracked bell that weighs more than 87 tons and is more than 3.7 meters tall. From there, head to the beautiful Hsinbyume Pagoda, a stunning white temple built to resemble Mount Meru. Don’t miss the mighty Mingun Pagoda, which was originally intended to be the world’s largest pagoda but was left unfinished. On your return journey, sail back to Mandalay while enjoying a beautiful sunset vista over the Ayeyarwady River.

    Finally, return to your hotel and spend the night in Mandalay.

    Breakfast included
  • Day 04: Mandalay – Monywa – Pho Win Taung – Monywa (B) Mandalay to Monywa – 130 km (3 hrs driving)

    After breakfast at the hotel, take a scenic drive to Monywa, a charming city that boasts of rich archaeological sites and is considered one of the largest economic hubs of upper Myanmar. En route to Monywa, stop by the Maha Bodhi Tahtaung Standing Buddha, the second-largest standing Buddha in the world, for a quick photo opportunity. Then, visit the Thambuddhe Pagoda, home to over 500,000 Buddha images.

    Upon reaching Monywa, cross the Chindwin River and drive for an hour to Po Win Taung Caves, a breathtaking archaeological complex consisting of 947 intricately decorated sandstone caves. Marvel at the numerous carved Buddha statues and murals dating back to the 14th century. Just a few hundred meters away, discover the stunning Shwe Ba Taung, fondly referred to as “Burma’s Petra.” Wander through sandstone passages and marvel at the five Buddha images intricately carved into the rock.

    After this fascinating exploration, drive back to Monywa and check into your hotel for an overnight stay.

    Breakfast included
  • Day 05: Monywa – Pakkoku – Bagan(B) Monywa to Pakkoku – 132 km (3 hrs drive), Pakkoku to Bagan –37 km (1hr 15 mins drive)

    After enjoying breakfast at the hotel, begin a morning drive to Bagan. Along the way, take a fascinating detour to visit an authentic local village, where you can observe the daily routines of the locals and witness small family businesses in action. You’ll also have the opportunity to learn about the process of making joss or incense sticks, which are produced here. Continuing your journey, make a stop at the quaint town of Pakkoku, known for its rich agriculture and vibrant, colorful local market.


    Finally, arrive in Bagan, one of Asia’s most renowned archaeological destinations, recently declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2019. After arriving in the late afternoon, check in to your hotel and enjoy some free time to explore the area at your leisure. Spend the night in Bagan, ready for more adventures in the morning.

    Breakfast included
  • Day 06: Bagan(B)

    Begin the day by having breakfast at the hotel before embarking on a journey to explore the highlights of Bagan. Start with a visit to the magnificent Shwezigon Pagoda, which was constructed in the 11th century by King Anaweahta. This bell-shaped, gilded structure served as a prototype for nearly all pagodas built in Myanmar thereafter. Following your visit to Shwezigon Pagoda, proceed to the Ananda Temple, an immaculately white-washed masterpiece of Mon architecture. The temple houses four standing Buddhas and boasts well-preserved 18th century murals. It was constructed by Kyanzittha in 1901 and represents the endless wisdom of the Buddha.

    After immersing yourself in these masterpieces, pause for some memorable photographs of the breathtaking panorama of the Bagan temple site. Then, take a break for lunch before returning to your hotel to relax in the afternoon.

    Later, proceed to the massive Damayangyi Pagoda, which is similarly designed to Ananda but is larger and was built by King Karathu in 1160. One excellent way to experience old Bagan and witness the majesty of the temples is by using a horse cart or E-bike in the Archaeological Zone before arriving at the sunset hill lock.

    End your day with an awe-inspiring sunset as you witness the view of ancient temples and pagodas. Finally, return to your hotel and spend the night in Bagan.

    Breakfast included
  • Day 07: Bagan (B)

    Start your day with a delicious breakfast at the hotel, then head to the vibrant morning market in Nyaung-U, where you can join the locals in the pursuit of a colorful assortment of fruits, vegetables, rice, handmade furnishings, and clothing.

    Next, visit a small complex that includes the Payathonzu, Lemyentha, and Nandamannya temples, which offer spectacular views of the surrounding plains. This is an ideal way to acquaint yourself with the grandeur and magnitude of Bagan’s architecture. A walking tour around these beautiful temples provides excellent opportunities for taking photos.

    Afterward, take a leisurely drive to one of the local, authentic villages to explore the everyday life of the local inhabitants on foot. Once you arrive at the village, take a walking tour to discover the local people’s daily lives.

    After the visit, proceed to one of the local family businesses that produce toddy or palm sugar. Take this opportunity to see how palm sap is gathered in small pots hung high in trees and then heated in large pots to produce a sweet and smoky-tasting palm sugar.

    Return to Bagan and relax at the hotel for the afternoon. In the evening, head to the riverside pier to board a local boat for a leisurely cruise down the Ayeyarwady River. By observing the lifestyle of riverside villagers, you can gain a unique perspective of Bagan’s temples.


    Finally, return to the hotel and spend the night in Bagan.

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

    Start your day with a delicious breakfast, then embark on a journey to Inle Lake. Take a scheduled flight to Heho, a gateway to Inle Lake (approx. 45 minutes). Enjoy a scenic one-hour drive to Nyaung Shwe valley at the edge of Inle Lake. Along the way, stop at a local family-run workshop where you can observe paper making for the production of traditional Shan parasols. You will also stop at “Shwe Yan Pyay,” a beautiful red-painted teak building that dates back to the 19th century.

    Next, travel to the jetty to board a local boat for a trip to Inle Lake – a paradise for photographers. The calm waters of the lake are dotted with floating vegetation and fishing canoes, and scenic hills provide the perfect backdrop. Observe the lake’s unique “leg rowers” – Intha fishermen who row standing up with one leg wrapped around a single oar, leaving their hands free to manipulate the conical fishing net.

    Visit the PhaungDawOo Pagoda, the holiest religious site in southern Shan State, and be amazed by its beauty. Afterward, visit a traditional boat building workshop where longboats used to traverse Inle Lake take four weeks to build and are made of local teak. You will also stop to see traditional handicrafts such as silk weaving on wooden handlooms and fabrics made from the fibers of the lotus flower. Pass through endless floating gardens, where Intha lake dwellers grow fruits and vegetables.

    After a day of exploration, transfer to the hotel and spend the night in Inle.

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

    Begin the day with breakfast at the hotel, and if the visit coincides with the schedule, explore a 5-day rotating market where ethnic Pa-O, Danu, and Intha people gather to sell and buy goods. Afterward, take a long-tailed boat across the lake to Indein, which offers one of the most picturesque trips on the lake. Upon arrival at the jetty, take a short walk through Indein village to reach the 14th-18th century pagoda ruins of Nyaung Oak. A pathway covered and bordered by souvenir vendors guides the way up to Shwe Inn Thein Paya, a cluster of small weathered pagodas dating back to the 17th-18th century; some of which have undergone recent reconstruction.

    Then, proceed to a cheroot maker’s workshop where Burmese cigars are made by hand.

    Next, experience the canoe boat ride with Inle Canoe Lady. The canoe will be rowed by local women who work at the cigar workshop but offer this short trip to provide their families with an additional income. The canoe ride takes you through the channels between houses built on stilts and the floating gardens of the “Intha,” who live on the lake.

    Return to the hotel for leisure time for the rest of the evening. Watch the sunset over breathtaking views of the lake before retiring for the night in Inle Lake.

    Breakfast included
  • Day 10: Inle lake – Nyaung Shwe Jetty – Heho – Yangon (B)

    Begin the day with a tasty breakfast and then head to the airport for the return flight to Yangon, which takes approximately 75 minutes.

    Upon arrival in Yangon, set out on a city tour starting with a visit to Chauk Htat Gyi Pagoda, home to a gigantic reclining Buddha statue that measures 217 feet in length, making it one of the largest in Myanmar.

    Next, visit the famous Bogyoke Market (also known as Scott Market), a bustling shopping destination that caters to both locals and tourists. With hundreds of shops and stalls, the market offers a wide variety of handicrafts, paintings, textiles, gems, and jewelry.

    In the evening, you will have free time to enjoy on your own, and you will spend the night in Yangon.

    Optional Activity : A Last-night Dinner in Yangon

    As an optional activity, you can opt to have a memorable dinner at Le Planteur, Yangon’s most prestigious and high-quality restaurant. This French fine dining establishment has an Asian twist and is housed in a luxurious mansion with a romantic garden compound. Enjoy a delicious meal with your group while taking in the breathtaking views from the garden, making it a truly special night to remember in Myanmar.

    Important Notice: The Bogyoke Market (Scott Market) is closed on Mondays and public holidays.

    Breakfast included
  • Day 11: Depart Yangon (B)

    After a satisfying breakfast at the hotel, it’s time to say goodbye to Myanmar as the Classic Myanmar tour comes to an end. Transfer to Yangon International airport for your departure flight, reminiscing on the wonderful memories and experiences gained during the tour.

    Breakfast included

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