Marvels of Myanmar: A Glimpse into its Signature Beauty

15 Days - 14 Nights Amarapura, Bagan, Golden Rock (Kyaiktiyo), Heho, Hpa-an, Indein, Inle Lake, Mandalay Division, Mawlamyine, Mingun, Mon State, Nyaung Shwe, Sagaing Division, Shan State, Yangon Division

Tour Overview

This remarkable tour will take you on a discovery of Myanmar’s most iconic and enchanting destinations. Experience the towering beauty of the Shwedagon Pagoda, a symbol of spirituality and grandeur. Marvel at the awe-inspiring Golden Rock, a sacred pilgrimage site that defies gravity with its precarious balance. Immerse yourself in the enchanting wonders of Hpa-an, a charming town known for its picturesque beauty. As your journey unfolds, venture north to explore the renowned sites of Bagan, Mandalay, and Lake Inle. Witness the majestic temples of Bagan and admire the ancient wonders that dot the landscape. Discover the vibrant city of Mandalay, steeped in history and rich in cultural heritage. Indulge in the tranquil beauty of Lake Inle, where floating villages and unique leg-rowing fisherman await. Immerse yourself in the culture and natural beauty of Hpa-an in Kayin State and Mawlamyine in Mon State. Delve into the peaceful daily lives of local tribes and gain insight into their traditional crafts. Capture the essence of Myanmar as you witness the simple joys and rich traditions of these lesser-known regions.

Travel itinerary

  • Day 01: Arrival in Yangon

    Experience a warm welcome from your knowledgeable guide upon arrival at Yangon International Airport. As you transfer to your hotel, get ready for an orientation tour of this captivating city (if time permits).

    Yangon, known as the ‘Garden City of the East,’ will enchant you with its lush tropical greenery, serene parks, and stunning lakes. Founded in 1755 by King Alaungpaya, Yangon has grown into a bustling metropolis with a population of over five million.

    Embark on a journey through the heart of the city centre, where pagodas, monuments, and colonial buildings intermingle. Explore Yangon’s architectural treasures, some of which are included in the prestigious Yangon City Heritage List. Admire the exquisite design of City Hall, characterised by its tiered turrets. Pass by St. Mary’s Church and the majestic Secretariat Building, also known as the Ministers’ Building.

    Immerse yourself in the vibrant street life of Yangon, with bustling market stalls offering a variety of snacks, local delicacies, and fresh fruits. Along the way, savour the opportunity to taste authentic local cuisine. As you continue your exploration, take a well-deserved break and indulge in Myanmar’s tea culture at a charming local tea house, a testament to the country’s rich history influenced by British colonial rule.

    After a long day of discovery, it’s time to relax and recharge. Overnight in Yangon.

  • Day 02: Yangon – Golden Rock (Kyaikhtiyoe) (B)

    Yangon to Golden Rock – 189 km (approximately 4.5 hours driving)

    Start your day with a hearty breakfast at the hotel, preparing for an unforgettable road trip to the awe-inspiring Golden Rock, perched precariously on Mount Kyaiktiyo, seemingly defying gravity. This massive boulder is adorned with layers of golden leaf and delicately balanced on the edge of a cliff.

    En route, make a stop at Bago, the closest city to Yangon, steeped in cultural and historical significance. Bago was once the capital of the Hanthawaddy Kingdom, an ancient Mon civilization. Explore the Kanbawzathadi Golden Palace, where captivating tales of the Hanthawaddy Mon Kingdom come to life, immersing you in the rich heritage of the region.

    Continue your drive to Golden Rock, with your first destination being the Kin Pun base camp (approximately 3 hours driving). From there, embark on a journey to one of Myanmar’s iconic landmarks, Kyaikhtiyo, known as the “Golden Rock.” Hop aboard an open truck for an adventurous, bumpy ride to Ye the (Hermit) Hill Camp (45 minutes drive), followed by a 45-minute hike to the mountaintop. If you prefer, sedan chairs carried by four men can be arranged at an additional cost. Brace yourself for a thrilling ascent on a truck, racing through winding roads, and be rewarded with the mesmerising sight of the Golden Rock at sunset, where reality and imagination blend seamlessly.

    Overnight at Golden Rock.

    NOTICE: Please be aware that transportation by open truck to Golden Rock tends to be crowded and cramped. The trucks may be shared with other tourists and local Burmese. Additionally, the walk from the drop-off point to the pagoda can take up to 60 minutes, depending on the location of your hotel.

    Breakfast included
  • Day 03: Golden Rock (Kyaikhtiyoe) – Hpa-An (B)

    Golden Rock to Hpa-An – 115 km (approximately 2.5 hours driving)

    If you’re an early bird, seize the opportunity to witness a breathtaking phenomenon as a thick blanket of clouds rolls out towards the horizon, enveloping the surroundings. After this awe-inspiring sight, savour your breakfast at the hotel.

    Return to Kin Pun base camp by track, bidding farewell to the magnificent Golden Rock. Embark on a scenic drive to Hpa-An, the capital of the Kayin state, where natural wonders await.

    En route, visit Ya The Pyan Cave, adorned with numerous Buddha statues in various positions. Marvel at the intricate Buddhist carvings and stucco work from the 17th century at Kaw Goon Cave.

    Before reaching the town, take a moment to capture the beauty of Mt. Zwegabin and Lumpani Park, home to a collection of neatly aligned, seated Buddha images. Explore Kyauk Kalat, a pagoda built on layers of mesmerising natural rock formations. Finally, transfer to your hotel for check-in and some well-deserved rest.

    As evening descends, delight in the captivating sunset over Hpa-An’s most renowned pagoda, “Shwe Yin Myaw.” Overnight in Hpa-An.

    Breakfast included
  • Day 04: Hpa-An – Mawlamyine (Moulmein) (B)

    Hpa-An to Mawlamyine – 44 km (Approx: 30 mins driving)

    After breakfast, start a scenic drive from Hpa-An to Mawlamyine, a journey of approximately 44 km (30 minutes driving). Along the way, make a stop at Kaw Nhat Village, where you can marvel at the exquisite U Nar Auk Monastery, adorned with beautiful brass accents.

    Upon arriving in Mawlamyine, check-in at your hotel and get ready to immerse yourself in the city’s unique charm. Overnight in Mawlamyine.

    Breakfast included
  • Day 05: Mawlamyine (Moulmein) – Bilu Kyun (B)

    Mawlamyine to Yangon – 161 km (Approx: 2:30 mins driving)

    Enjoy your breakfast before setting out on an exciting excursion to Bilu Kyun, also known as Ogre Island. This captivating Mon Island is a self-contained paradise comprising 64 interconnected villages connected by rustic dirt tracks. The ethnic groups residing here have greatly influenced Myanmar’s culture, making it a treasure trove of distinctive traditions.

    Explore the island’s fascinating handicraft workshops, where skilled artisans create rubber bands, Burmese bamboo hats, tobacco pipes, cheroots (traditional cigars), weaving, and old-fashioned slate writing boards. Immerse yourself in the vibrant Mon culture, observing the preservation of traditional crafts.

    On your way back to Mawlamyine, visit the Queen Sein Don Monastery, known for its exquisite wood carvings adorning the walls and other ancient artefacts. Finally, ascend to the viewpoint at Kyaikthalan Pagoda, a stunning hillside temple. Take a lift from the road to reach the main platform, offering breathtaking panoramic views of the town and the river.

    Overnight in Mawlamyine.

    Breakfast included
  • Day 06: Mawlamyine (Moulmein) – Yangon (B)

    Mawlamyine to Yangon – 161 km (Approx: 2:30 mins driving)

    Enjoy a hearty breakfast before beginning your return journey to Yangon, passing through the historic city of Bago. En route, make a stop at Thaton, an ancient capital of the Mon Kingdom, predating even the famous Bagan. Explore the magnificent Thaton Shwezayan Pagoda, standing tall at 110 metres, and the Kyaikhtee Saung Pagoda, an ancient Pagoda.

    Continue your drive to Yangon, with a sombre yet significant visit to the Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery near Htauk Kyant. This solemn resting place commemorates over 6,300 Allied soldiers who lost their lives during World War II. It serves as a poignant reminder of the atrocities of war and invites reflection (if time permits).

    Upon arrival in Yangon, transfer to your hotel for check-in and a comfortable overnight stay.

    Breakfast included
  • Day 07: Yangon – Mandalay (B)

    After a delightful breakfast at the hotel, transfer to Yangon Airport for your flight to Mandalay, a city steeped in Myanmar’s royal history and cultural heritage (approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes flight). As Myanmar’s last royal capital before the colonial era, Mandalay remains a vibrant centre for artistic pursuits.

    Embark on a panoramic drive through picturesque agricultural landscapes and villages, immersing yourself in the local way of life. Begin your exploration with a visit to the revered Mahamuni Pagoda, where you can admire the captivating gold leaf-covered statues on display.

    Next, uncover the grandeur of the Royal Palace, the last stronghold of Myanmar’s monarchy. Constructed by King Mindon in 1857 and relocated from Amarapura, the palace stands as a symbol of sovereignty and Burmese identity, providing valuable insights into the nation’s history.

    Check-in at your hotel and enjoy some leisure time in the afternoon. Later, embark on a cultural journey to visit the Shwe Kyaung (Golden Palace Monastery), a remarkable example of traditional wooden architecture. Continue to the Kuthodaw Pagoda, home to the world’s largest book—an impressive collection of 1,460 marble pages, covering a staggering 13 acres.

    Conclude the day at Mandalay Hill, where you can witness the captivating sunset and enjoy a magnificent panoramic view of the city and its surrounding countryside.

    Transfer to your hotel in Mandalay for an overnight stay.

    Breakfast included
  • Day 08: Mandalay – Mingun – Amarapura – Mandalay (B)

    After breakfast at the hotel, head to the jetty for a delightful boat trip to Mingun, a journey of approximately 11 km (about one hour) along the scenic Ayeyarwady River. Enjoy the picturesque views of the river, observing the local way of life with small longtail boats, bamboo rafts, and ferries transporting goods.

    Upon arrival in Mingun, visit the famous Mingun Bell, an impressive bell weighing over 87 tons and standing more than 3.7 metres tall. It is recognized as the world’s largest uncracked bell. Continue to the enchanting Hsinbyume (Ma Thein Tan) Pagoda, a unique temple designed to resemble Mount Meru. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the unfinished yet mighty Mingun Pagoda, which was intended to become the world’s largest pagoda.

    Cruise back to Mandalay, where you’ll have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the city’s cultural delights. Visit the revered Mahamuni Pagoda, home to one of the most venerated religious images in Myanmar. Admire the statues covered in beautiful gold leaf.

    Return to your hotel and enjoy some free time at your leisure. In the late afternoon, embark on a visit to Amarapura, renowned for its textile industry. Witness the intricate process of traditional fabric weaving at a cottage industry workshop. Lastly, visit the iconic U Bein Bridge, a 200-year-old teak footbridge known as the longest of its kind in the world. Take a leisurely stroll along the bridge, marvelling at the scenic views of the surrounding farms and streams.

    Drive back to Mandalay and enjoy the rest of the evening at your leisure. Overnight in Mandalay.

    Breakfast included
  • Day 09: Mandalay – Bagan by boat (B/L) – Picnic Lunch

    Mandalay to Bagan by boat – 239 km (Approx: 8/9 hrs)

    After breakfast, transfer to the jetty for a unique experience—a riverboat journey from Mandalay to Bagan. The leisurely boat ride along the Ayeyarwady River covers a distance of approximately 239 km and takes about 8 to 9 hours. Marvel at the idyllic views, feel the gentle breeze, and immerse yourself in the tranquil surroundings. Observe the daily routines of the riverside communities and enjoy the peaceful ambiance.

    During the journey, there will be a short visit to a small local village on the riverbank, offering a glimpse into the lives of the local people living along the Ayeyarwady River. After exploring the village, continue sailing down the river towards Bagan.

    Indulge in a picnic lunch on board the boat and relax as you admire the breathtaking river scenery. In the evening, arrived in Bagan, one of the most remarkable archaeological sites in Southeast Asia, comparable in importance to Angkor Wat in Cambodia and Borobudur in Indonesia. Enjoy the evening at your leisure and overnight at a hotel in Bagan.

    Note: From April 1st to July 31st each year, the river’s water level is at its lowest, which may prevent cruises from operating. In such cases, a flight between Mandalay and Bagan will be arranged as an alternative.

    Launch included
  • Day 10: Bagan (B)

    Start the day with a refreshing breakfast at the hotel before diving into the vibrant atmosphere of the morning market at Nyaung-U. Join the locals as they peruse the colourful array of fruits, vegetables, rice, handmade furnishings, and clothing. It’s a fantastic opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture and experience the bustling market ambiance.

    Continue the exploration with a visit to the magnificent Shwezigon Pagoda, built in the 11th century by King Anawrahta. This bell-shaped pagoda, covered in gold, serves as an important shrine and pilgrimage site in Bagan.

    Next, proceed to Htilominlo Temple, the last temple built in the Bamar style in Bagan. Admire the old murals and friezes that adorn its walls. Continue to Damayangyi Pagoda, a massive temple built by King Narathu in 1160, known for its impressive layout and grandeur.

    Take a break at the hotel during the relaxing afternoon. Bagan is famous for its handicrafts, particularly lacquerware. Visit the village of Myinkaba, renowned for its long-standing tradition of producing intricate lacquerware. Witness the skilled artisans at work and gain insights into the elaborate lacquerware-making process.

    Explore old Bagan and its majestic temples and pagodas by horse cart, a charming and traditional mode of transportation within the archaeological zone. Reach a sunset hillock, where you can admire a breathtaking sunset over the ancient temples and pagodas—an unforgettable experience.

    Lastly, visit the Ananda Temple, an architectural masterpiece representing the early Bagan architectural style. Built in 1091 by King Kyansittha, the temple symbolises the boundless wisdom of the Buddha.

    After the tour, transfer to your hotel in Bagan for overnight stay.

    Breakfast included
  • Day 11: Bagan – Village sightseeing (B)

    Start the day with breakfast at the hotel before starting your journey to explore the lesser-known temples of Bagan. Visit the Payathonzu, Lemyentha, and Nandamannya Temples, which offer spectacular views of the surrounding plains. These temples provide a perfect introduction to the grandeur and architectural diversity of Bagan. Take a walking tour around the temple complex and capture some stunning photographs.

    Continue your leisurely drive to an authentic local village, where you’ll have the opportunity to explore the daily life of the local inhabitants through a guided walking tour. Immerse yourself in the village atmosphere and learn about the traditions and customs of the locals.

    After the village visit, proceed to a local family business involved in the production of toddy or palm sugar. Witness the process of gathering palm sap from small pots hung high in the trees, followed by heating the sap in large pots to produce smoky and sweet palm sugar. It’s a fascinating experience that provides insights into the local industry.

    In the afternoon, take a well-deserved break at the hotel and relax.

    As evening approaches, head to the riverside pier and board a local boat for a slow cruise along the Ayeyarwady River. While on the water, take the opportunity to observe the lifestyle of the fishermen and riverside villagers, offering you a distinctive and unique perspective of Bagan’s temples and their surroundings. Capture the enchanting views and return to the hotel for an overnight stay in Bagan.

    Breakfast included
  • Day 12: Bagan – Heho – Nyaung Shwe Jetty – Inle Lake (B)

    After an early breakfast, transfer to Nyaung-U (Bagan) airport for a short flight to Heho (approximately 45 minutes). Upon arrival at Heho airport, embark on a one-hour drive to Nyaung Shwe jetty, the gateway to Inle Lake known for its unique leg-rowing fisherman.

    En route to Nyaung Shwe, make a stop at a local family-run workshop to observe the traditional craft of papermaking used for producing Shan parasols. Also, visit the beautiful red-painted teak building called “Shwe Yan Pyay,” which dates back to the 19th century.

    Arrive at Nyaung Shwe and start a local boat trip to explore the breathtaking Inle Lake, a photographer’s paradise with its natural beauty and picturesque landscapes. Admire the floating vegetation and fishing canoes against the backdrop of scenic hills.

    Witness the unique “leg-rowers,” Intha fishermen who stand on one leg, leaving their hands free to manipulate the conical fishing nets. Embark on a visit to the revered Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, the most sacred religious site in southern Shan State.

    Continue the lake exploration with a visit to a traditional boat-building workshop, where you can observe the craftsmanship involved in constructing the longboats used on Inle Lake. Discover the art of silk weaving on wooden handlooms and witness the creation of fabrics made from the fibres of the lotus flower.

    Cruise past the endless floating gardens, where Intha lake dwellers cultivate fruits and vegetables.

    After a day of exploration, transfer to your hotel in Inle and enjoy an overnight stay.

    Breakfast included
  • Day 13: Inle Lake – Indein – Inle Lake (B)

    Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before embarking on a visit to the local market, which rotates among the lake villages in a 5-day rhythm. This vibrant market provides an insight into the lives of the ethnic Pa-O, Danu, and Intha people who come to buy and sell goods.

    Take a long-tailed boat across the lake to Indein, located at the western end of Inle Lake. This boat journey is considered one of the most scenic trips on the lake. 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 century. Follow a covered walkway adorned with souvenir stalls that leads to Shwe Inn Thein Paya, a complex of weather-beaten 17th to 18th-century stupas, some of which have been reconstructed.

    Return to Inle Lake and visit a cheroot maker’s workshop, where traditional Burmese cigars are handmade. Pass by a traditional blacksmith’s forge and witness the skilled craftsmen at work.

    Once back at the hotel, enjoy leisure time for the rest of the evening. Witness the sunset over the picturesque lake, creating postcard-perfect views. Overnight in Inle.

    Breakfast included
  • Day 14: Inle Lake – Nyaung Shwe Jetty – Heho – Yangon (B)

    Start your day with a delightful breakfast at the hotel before transferring to the airport for your flight back to Yangon (approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes).

    Upon arrival in Yangon, embark on a city tour, beginning with a visit to Chauk Htat Gyi Pagoda. This pagoda houses a massive reclining Buddha statue that stretches 217 feet in length, making it one of the largest reclining Buddhas in Myanmar.

    Enjoy a photo stop at the Karaweik Royal Barge, a concrete replica of a royal barge situated at the eastern edge of the lake. Capture some memorable shots of this impressive structure.

    In the afternoon, take some time to relax and enjoy leisure activities at your hotel.

    Later, head to downtown Yangon for a walking experience tour. Yangon boasts the highest number of colonial-period buildings in Southeast Asia, and strolling through the city will provide you with ample photo opportunities. Observe locals enjoying their time at traditional tea shops and admire the historic buildings in the area, including the remarkable British-Colonial City Hall, which showcases a blend of Burmese architectural styles.

    Continue to the famous Bogyoke Market, also known as Scott Market. This semi-covered market is a bustling hub filled with hundreds of stores offering a wide variety of food, clothing, handicrafts, and precious stones. Engage in an exploration of the market and treat yourself to some shopping.

    In the evening, enjoy the sunset along the tranquil Yangon River, taking in the serene scenes of the Botataung riverside. Observe the local way of life and immerse yourself in the peaceful atmosphere.

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

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

    Breakfast included
  • Day 15: Yangon Departure (B)

    Enjoy a hearty breakfast at the hotel and take some time to relax and unwind.

    When the time comes, you will be transferred to Yangon International Airport for your departure, marking the end of your memorable journey through Myanmar. Take with you unforgettable memories of your Myanmar holiday.

    Breakfast included

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