It is not a secret that Myanmar is a cultural treasure trove and perfect destination in the hearts of luxury travelers. Myanmar offers mystic temples, a fascinating blend of iconic landscapes, charming cultures and friendly people. Explore the ancient royal capital of Myanmar, the wonders of Bagan where thousands of temples are scattered across a sandy plain. Spend the captivating days exploring unforgettable sceneries in Mandalay and Inle lake and luxury travel in Myanmar are practically endless.
- First glimpse of the golden glow of the massive stupa of Shwedagon Pagoda,
- Immersion into the myriad of fascinating cultures and picturesque landscapes at the archaeological wonders of Bagan
- Diversity of traditional hill tribes in the sublime Inle Lake
- Discover Mandalay, with its strong Buddhist monastic influences, and explore the highlights including the Royal Palace
Day 01: Arrive Yangon
On arrival at Yangon International Airport, be welcomed by an English speaking guide and then transferred to the hotel and orientation tour around the city before check-in at the hotel. Take afternoon relaxation at the hotel after a long journey. (If time permits)
Formerly the capital city of Myanmar, Yangon’s history includes shifts in power from Eastern to Western and back, and its landscape reﬂects that diversity.
This evening, the first introduction to Myanmar’s leading city visit the splendid Shwedagon Pagoda. Sheathed in gold, the magnificent monument is believed to be 2,600 years old and it’s one of Yangon’s premier attractions and the pagoda’s spire soars a massive 326 feet into the air. This stunning stupa attracts pilgrims from all over the world.
After enjoying the breathtaking view of the sunset with the background of Shwedagon Pagoda, drive back to the hotel overnight in Yangon.
Optional Activity : Welcome transfer by unique replica Elephant Coach.
It is a unique way of exploring Yangon with a replica of the old Chevrolet bus “Elephant Coach”. Luxurious Elephant Coach has recreated the post-colonial look of the old Chevrolet bus. Originally brought to Myanmar during the Second World War as military service transport, these vehicles were rebuilt by Myanmar carpenters for public transportation use after the war. Handcrafted reconstruction and restoration of this antique bus, combines the original carriage with today’s comfort. Charming Bus attendance and refreshment served during the onboard time.
Optional Activity : Traditional Light Oil Lamps Ceremony at Shwedagon Pagoda
The oil lamp lighting ceremony is a highly symbolic Buddhist ritual where they believe that lighting over 1000 special lamps will bless them with wisdom and enlightenment. This beautiful ceremony under bright moonlight and a magnificent Shwedagon Pagoda with over a thousand sparkling lights make this special arrangement a once in a lifetime experience!Overnight
Day 02: Yangon – Mandalay (B)
After breakfast at the hotel, relax for a panoramic drive through downtown Yangon where the British colonial influence remains in force.
Local Tri Shaw Experience – A truly Yangon experience by the traditional mode of transport (Trishaw) is commonly used by the locals. These open-air, pedal-powered vehicles are a combination of a bicycle and sidecar which has two back to back seats for two passengers on the left side of the driver. Myanmar trishaw is quite different from others in Vietnam, Laos or Cambodia.
There is no better way to explore the city’s downtown colonial site, some of which are on the Yangon City Heritage List. City Hall is a ﬁne example of Myanmar design with its tiered turrets. Pass through religious sites as well, including the Dutch-designed St. Mary’s Cathedral and Sule Pagoda, a Buddhist temple that sits gracefully in the center of the city. Watch as the locals go about their daily life and experience with local street shops which are selling local products, book stores, vegetables, fruits.
From here, enjoy a respite and refreshment at one of the local tea houses for a chance to experience Myanmar tea culture, another throwback to the inﬂuential British rule in the colonial era.
Optional Activity : Landmark Yangon Lunch – The Strand hotel
A proud national landmark, the hotel is a model of cool, colonial repose featuring marble ﬂooring inlaid with teak, rattan furniture, and potted palms, originally opened in 1901. The Strand is truly the elegant colonial splendor of a bygone era. Time to introduce Myanmar traditional cuisine, a choice of Myanmar countryside curry served with steamed rice, seasonal herbal salads, typical local soup and a mix of local condiments.
All too soon, it will be time to drive to Yangon domestic airport departing for Mandalay by afternoon flight (Approx : 90 mins). Once arrived, observe Mandalay’s various agricultural landscapes and villages on a panoramic drive to Mandalay city. Transfer to the hotel and this evening offers free time.Breakfast included
Overnight in Mandalay.
Day 03: Mandalay (B)
Balloon Over Mandalay is one of the best ways to discover and explore the area of the last royal kingdom, Mandalay mixed with modern and ancient flavor.
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before heading out to experience the sights and sounds of Mandalay including one of the most revered religious images in Myanmar – the Mahamuni Pagoda. Admire the beautiful gold leaf covered statues on display.
Continue exploring some of the most hallowed attractions in Mandalay visit to Shwe Kyaung (Golden Palace Monastery) – an excellent example of a traditional wooden building. Continue to visit Kuthodaw Pagoda, home to ‘the world’s largest book’, a collection of more than 700 marble slabs inscribed with Buddhist teachings.
Carry on and explore Mandalay’s impressive marble carving and handicrafts.
Followed by a visit to Royal Palace, it was the last Burmese monarchy constructed between 1857 and 1859 as part of Kind Mindon’s founding of the new royal capital city of Mandalay.
Transfer to hotel and leisure to avoid the midday heat.
The journey continues to jetty to join a local private boat trip to Mingun (11 km, about one hour) enjoying the picturesque scenery of this river and the lifestyles of the local people, small longtail boats, bamboo rafts and ferries carrying goods up and down the river. Arrive Mingun and start to visit the Mingun Bell, Mingun Bell which weighs more than 87 tons and is more than 3.7 meters tall. This is the world’s largest uncracked bell.
Head to the beautiful Hsinbyume (Ma Thein Tan) Pagoda, a white-washed temple built to resemble Mount Meru. And the unfinished, mighty Mingun Pagoda (built to be the world’s biggest. Cruise along the river, sail back to Mandalay and savor sunset vistas over the scenic beauty of River Ayeyarwady.
Return back to the hotel and overnight in Mandalay.
Optional Activity : Traditional Culture Show at Mintha Theater
Before the end of the day, be introduced with Myanmar traditional dance which is essentially postures in movements of the feet, hips, head and hands, each detailing a different aspect of Myanmar culture. At Mintha Theater, it is organized by the Inwa School of performing arts and all the performers are students at the school. The school is run as a charitable project and an hour-long show composed of a series of short dance pieces in lavish traditional costumes. It will be a remarkable evening experience with a local traditional dancing in Mandalay.Breakfast included
Day 04: Mandalay – Sagaing – Amarapura – Bagan (B)
Optional Activity : Mandalay Morning Ride
Escape the hustle and bustle of the dusty city and discover the tranquility and charm of the Mandalay countryside. This is a chance to discover another side of Mandalay and daily life in Myanmar’s second-largest city. Take a leisurely ride to the outskirts of the city and through the countryside in a part of Mandalay few visitors see. On the way back to the city, enjoy lunch at a Tea Shop and sample some of Mandalay’s most famous dishes. The tour will end at 12:00 Noon.
After enjoying breakfast at the hotel, discover the former ancient Kingdom of Sagaing, cross the bridge over the Ayeyarwady River to Sagaing Hill covered with white, silver and gold pagodas and monasteries that are decorated along the riverside.
After reaching the bottom of Sagaing Hill, drive to the summit for sweeping panoramic views, noteworthy Pagoda on the hill is Soon U Ponya Shin Pagoda was originally built in 1312. The temple offers spectacular panoramas of pagoda-decorated hills with the Ayeyarwaddy River flowing beyond.
Continue visit, Umin Thonze Pagoda also known as 30 Caves Pagoda filled with 45 beautiful gilded Buddha images which are unique in a different size. The golden statues, set in turquoise colored tiled mosaic hall, form an impressive sight. These thirty caves make for some excellent photo opportunities.
From here, admire an amazing view of the beautiful green valley below and many stupas around.
Afterward, time to explore before visiting one of the monasteries which is home to many monks. In his lifetime, a Myanmar male is expected to spend some of his life serving as a monk to learn the ways of Buddhism. Upon time permitting, observe lunch offering time at the monastery their last meal in a day.
Continue visit to Sagaing local typical market rarely visited by tourists and explore local daily life. From here visit a small pottery village to observe potty production in a traditional way.
Drive to Amarapura, head to U Bein bridge, a 200-year old, built-in 1782 and reputed to be the world’s longest teak footbridge. Enjoy a stroll along the bridge and the fabulous views of the surrounding farms and streams.
Following the sightseeing, transfer to the Mandalay Airport for a short flight to Bagan (approx.: 30 mins). Upon arrival, orientation tour on the way to the hotel (upon flight time permitting).Breakfast included
Overnight in Bagan.
Day 05: Bagan (B)
Discover the highlights of Bagan, first reach the vibrant morning market at Nyaung-U, join the residents pursuing a colorful array of fruits, vegetables, rice, handmade furnishings and clothing.
Visit the splendid Shwezigon Pagoda, built by King Anaweahta in the 11th century; the bell-shaped, gilded structure became the prototype for virtually all later pagodas in Myanmar. This is an important shrine and the main center of pilgrimage in Bagan. Note the golden mass and peaceful stability it seems to exude.
Following a visit to Shwezigon Pagoda, head to the masterpiece of early architectural style, the Ananda Temple, one of the ﬁnest, largest and best-preserved of the Bagan temples. The Ananda was built in 1091 by Kyansittha and is said to represent the endless wisdom of the Buddha.
After discovering the masterpiece, stop for photos of the stunning panorama of the Bagan temples site.
Optional Activity : Tower lunch with magnificent view
A flight of steps leads to the entrance of the building from where an elevator whisks you to the restaurant on the 9th floor. Enjoy the grand vista over the Bagan temple area while having lunch with delicious cuisine. A viewing platform on the 15th floor can be reached by elevator and a winding staircase.
After lunch, take a relaxing afternoon for a break at the hotel.
Aside from its profusion of pagodas, Bagan is also famous for its handicrafts, especially lacquer ware. Visit the local village of Myinkaba with a long-standing tradition to see the intricate process involved.
A great way to explore old Bagan and see majestic Temples is by horse cart OR E-bike in the Archaeological zone before reaching the sunset hillock. Finish the day with a spectacular sunset at the majestic view of ancient temples and pagodas.
Afterward, return to the hotel and overnight in Bagan.Breakfast included
Day 06: Bagan (B)
Today you have the unique opportunity to enjoy spectacular views of the ancient Kingdom of Bagan in a hot air balloon! The world-famous archeological site of Bagan is known for its marvelous sunrises, best enjoyed from the top of one of the monuments. A balloon flight gives you the chance to see Bagan with a bird’s eye view.
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel and the journey begins with a visit to a little complex including Payathonzu, Lemyentha, and Nandamannya Temples with spectacular views over the surrounding plains. This is the perfect introduction to the grandeur and scope of Bagan’s architecture. Walking tours around these beautiful Temples complex make for some excellent photo opportunities. Continue leisure drive to one of the local authentic villages to explore real Bagan typical villages.
Once at the village explore the daily life of the local inhabitants with a walking tour. After the visit, proceed to one of the local family business makings of toddy or palm sugar. Grab this opportunity to see how the palm sap is gathered in small pots hung high in the trees and then is heated in large pots to produce a smoky-tasting and sweet palm sugar.
Drive back to Bagan and enjoy the hotel atmosphere for this afternoon.
Optional Activity : Sanon Training Restaurant by Bagan youth
The region’s culinary school, Sanon Training Restaurant, is the setting for lunch. Operated by the Myanmar Youth Development Institute, the school graduates 30 disadvantaged youths each year and assists with placing them in the hospitality industry. English language classes along with kitchen and front-of-the-house skills are part of the curriculum. Chat with one or two of the students and watch as meals are prepared in the open kitchen.
In the evening time, head to the riverside pier to board a local boat for a slow cruise down the Ayeyarwady River to observe the lifestyle of the fishermen and riverside villagers as well as enjoying the unique perspective of Bagan’s temples.
Return back to the hotel and overnight in Bagan.
Optional Activity : Ayeyarwady Sandbank Dinner
Prepare for an amazing dinner experience that you will never forget in Myanmar. Transfer by a local boat that will take you to a mid-river sandbank where a private gala-style dinner will be served under an open sky, surrounded by Bagan’s resplendent temples mirrored on the leisurely river. Look forward to exquisite local dishes in a stunning surrounding. Light entertainment will perform during your dinner time for the romantic atmosphere.
(Subject to weather conditions – usually best between November and April)Breakfast included
Day 07: Bagan – Heho – Nyaung Shwe jetty – Inle Lake (B)
Begin the journey to Inle Lake with a morning transfer by scheduled ﬂight to Heho, a gateway to Inle lake (approx.: 40 mins). Once, it is a scenic one hour drive to Nyaung Shwe valley at the edge of Inle Lake.
Along the way to Inle Lake, stop at a local family-run workshop to observe paper making for the production of traditional Shan parasols.
Stop at “Shwe Yan Pyay”, a beautiful red-painted teak building dated back to the 19th century. Unlike many other famous monasteries and pagodas in Myanmar, Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery does not bear the spirit of royal architecture.
Next up is a short drive into Red Mountain Winery at the edge of the hill. It is hard to believe there is a vineyard in such a sub-tropical country Myanmar. Great combination of French wine experts and Shan native created Red Mountain in 2003 and the lovely property has expanded to produce 120,000 bottles each year of various reds and whites, most notably its Sauvignon Blanc. Explore the winery and enjoy a snack along with tastings of four wines while taking in the views of terraced vines and distant pagodas.
Afterward, travel to the jetty to board a local boat trip – a photographer’s dream. Its calm waters are dotted with floating vegetation, fishing canoes and scenic hills provide the perfect backdrop. See 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.
Marvel at Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, the holiest religious site in southern Shan State.
And then, stop to see traditional handicrafts silk weaving on wooden handlooms and fabrics with the fibers of the lotus flower. Pass endless floating gardens where Intha lake dwellers grow fruit and vegetables on the way to the hotel.
After a day of exploring, transfer to the hotel and overnight in Inle.
Optional Luxury Boat
Only one way to explore the magical Inle Lake by using a local long-tail boat is a standard way. There is no better option to discover Inle Lake by Indevi luxury boat specially designed for comfort and the engine noise has significantly reduced to create a more tranquil atmosphere for the luxury travelers. The boat offers a teak wood design deluxe version of the current local long-tail boat standard in Inle Lake and it is the best option who always loves the luxury experience.Breakfast included
Day 08: Inle lake – Indein – Inle Lake (B)
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel, explore a 5-day rotating market (if the visit coincides with the schedule) which offers an insight into the life of the ethnic Pa-O, Danu and Intha people who come to these markets to sell and buy goods.
Long-tailed boat across the lake to Indein at the western end of Inle for one of the most scenic trips on the Lake. Disembark at the jetty and walk for a few minutes through Indein village to reach the 14th – 18th century pagoda ruins of Nyaung Oak. A covered walkway popular with souvenir stall holders leads up to Shwe Inn Thein Paya, a complex of weather-beaten 17th – 18th century zedi; some newly reconstructed.
Optional Activity : Exotic Floating Lunch in the Lake
An experience unlike any you have ever known lunch at a private floating restaurant on Inle Lake. Special designated floating restaurant transformed from a local rice carrier boat. Your private onboard chef prepares traditional Shan food on the boat when you enjoy the magnificent scenery of clear waters, local fishermen and mountains. Truly, an experience you will never forget and a rewarding experience in your stay in Inle Lake.
Continue visit to cheroot – maker’s workshop where typical Burmese cigars are made by hand and pass by a traditional blacksmith’s forge.
Time at leisure will allow exploring the canoe boat experience by Inle Canoe Lady. The canoe will be rowed by local women who work at the cigar workshop but are offering this short trip to provide their families with an extra income. The canoe through the channels, between the houses built on stilts and the floating gardens of the “Intha” who live in the lake. Once back to the hotel, time at leisure for the rest of the evening. It’s time to watch the sunset over postcard views of the lake.Breakfast included
Overnight in Inle Lake.
Day 09: Inle Lake (B)
This morning you will have the unique opportunity to enjoy spectacular views over Inle Lake in a hot air balloon! Flying over Inle Lake in a balloon really is a unique way of experiencing one of Myanmar’s most scenic and cultural attractions.
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast at the hotel and this day offers free time and enjoys luxury hotel facilities. OR select one of our collection tours that offer different experiences than others. (Additional charge will be applied). Here are two great options for special interest activity (Cooking Class) and an authentic visit to a unique Sankar excursion.
Optional Activity : Inle Cooking Class at Heritage house
Connect and discover the tantalizing flavors and secrets of Inthar cuisine in Inle lake, Inle Heritage house is one the best outstanding as well as a sustainable vocational training project. Be involved in several activities aimed at preserving the culture of the local people in the lake. Once arrived there, welcomed by traditional Shan tea and a brief introduction to today’s program.
Follow the chef‘s introduction of traditional Inthar food and explore the organic garden while listening to inspiring stories about how to use food and vegetables for healthy living. Pick up vegetables and herbs from the garden before heading to the kitchen. Under the guideline of the chief, prepare authentic Intha dishes using home cooking methods and following traditional recipes. Once ready, enjoy and feast on a delicious meal of authentic local cuisine. After filling up on these home-cooked delights, return to the hotel.
Optional Activity : Incredible Sagar Experience
Discover the delights of beautiful Sagar, a hidden gem in the Inle region, perfect for a tranquil escape. Explore the remote southern parts of Inle Lake by boat and a journey of 2.5 – 3 hrs pass through many local villages and you will witness different views of their daily life including rice noodles dry in the sun and cotton hung out to dry. Arrive in Sagar and explore the Sunken ancient stupas, a collection of 108 stupas dating back to the 16th – 17th centuries that are partially submerged for part of each year when the water level rises. Explore local life including monastery visits in the village.
Continue to visit Thaya Gone home to Pa-Oh, Shan and Inthar people and known for its production of local rice wine. There is also the chance to taste local wine before a climb up to the hilltop and enjoy great views of the beautiful green valley below and villages around.
From here, visit Sae Khaung pottery village to see the crafting of oil and water pots as well as the natural, underground kilns used by the village. The last stop will be at Tar Kaung, a series of more than 200 stupa complex stops lying on the western shores of the Inle Lake. Relax and panoramic boat ride back to Inle Lake and enjoy passing views.Breakfast included
Overnight in Inle Lake.
Day 10: Inle lake – Heho – Yangon (B)
Start the day with a delicious breakfast and transfer to the airport to take the flight back to Yangon (Approx: 75 mins).
Back in Yangon begins with a visit to Chauk Htat Gyi Pagoda and its huge reclining Buddha 217 feet long and is one of the largest in Myanmar.
The last visit of the day will be the famous Bogyoke Market (Scott Market) with hundreds of shops for food, clothing, crafts, and precious stones.
Drive back to the hotel and check-in. The rest of the day is for own leisure.
Overnight in Yangon.
Important Notice: The Bogyoke Market (Scott Market) will be closed every Monday and public holidays.
Optional Activity : Heritage Bar-hopping in Style with Elephant Coach
Luxurious Elephant Coach has recreated the post-colonial look of the old Chevrolet bus. Originally brought to Myanmar during the Second World War as military service transport, these vehicles were rebuilt by Myanmar carpenters for public transportation use after the war. Handcrafted reconstruction and restoration of this antique bus, combines the original carriage with today’s comfort.
A unique post-colonial bus will take you to the most timeless hotel bars in Yangon and discover Yangon’s nightlife with a luxurious Elephant Coach. A private elephant coach waits for a ride to a landmark of Yangon, The Strand hotel’s Sarkies Bar and enjoys a complimentary homemade cocktail before heading to the Secretariat Heritage for drinks. End up at the Belmond Governor’s Residence; you will be welcomed with a lemongrass ginger tea with chili at the colonial-style 1920s mansion hotel. Complete your beautiful night by enjoying a mixed signature cocktail before transferring back to the hotel. Make a short photo stop for a great view of Shwedagon Pagoda night scenic in front of people’s parks.
Return back to the hotel and overnight in Yangon.
Optional Activity : Yangon Night Dinner in Last
As for your last night in Myanmar, you will be experiencing the most memorable dinner in Yangon’s most prestigious and best quality restaurant; Le Planteur is a French Fine Dining with an Asian twist, served in a luxurious mansion along with a romantic garden compound. The experience of watching the sensational view from the garden while having a delicious meal with your loved one is what makes the night special at your memorial time in Myanmar!Breakfast included
Day 11: Depart Yangon (B)
Enjoy an abundant breakfast at the hotel this morning and relax at the hotel. All too soon, it will be time to transfer to Yangon international airport, though Myanmar and her gentle people are sure to remain in the memories.Breakfast included