Myanmar Odyssey: Temples, Lakes, and Mountains Expedition

Amarapura, Bagan, Heho, Indein, Inle Lake, Keng Tung, Loi Mwe, Mandalay Division, Mingun, Pin Tauk, Sagaing Division, Shan State, Yangon Division

Tour Overview

Initiate a captivating journey through Myanmar, immersing yourself in its rich cultural heritage, breathtaking landscapes, and vibrant local communities. From the ancient temples of Bagan to the serene waters of Inle Lake, the misty mountains of Keng Tung, and the cultural treasures of Mandalay, each day brings new adventures and unforgettable moments. Explore architectural wonders, interact with diverse ethnic tribes, cruise along picturesque rivers, and indulge in the charm of bustling markets. This tour promises a perfect blend of discovery, tranquility, and cultural immersion, leaving you with lasting memories of Myanmar’s captivating beauty.

Travel itinerary

  • Day 01: Welcome to Yangon – Uncover the City’s Rich History

    As you arrive at Yangon International Airport, your friendly English-speaking guide will greet you and accompany you to your hotel. Before checking in, get ready for an orientation tour around the city, where you’ll catch a glimpse of Yangon’s fascinating past. Once the former capital of Myanmar, Yangon has experienced shifts in power from East to West and back again, leaving its landscape with a diverse heritage.

    Take a relaxing break and embark on a walk through downtown Yangon, where you’ll be treated to a visual feast of colonial buildings. Many of these architectural gems are listed on the Yangon City Heritage List. Keep an eye out for City Hall, a stunning example of Burmese architecture blending with other influences. Immerse yourself in the local culture by exploring street shops selling a variety of local products, from books to fresh produce.

    As evening falls, prepare for an unforgettable experience at the renowned Shwedagon Pagoda. This ancient marvel, standing for over 2,600 years, reaches a staggering height of 326 feet. Its glistening gold plates and jewel-adorned dome captivate visitors from all corners of the world. Witness the breathtaking sunset against the backdrop of the Shwedagon Pagoda before returning to your hotel for the night.

  • Day 02: Yangon to Bagan – Discover the Land of Temples

    After a delightful breakfast, it’s time to fly to Bagan, one of Asia’s most popular archaeological destinations and a UNESCO World Heritage site since 2019. Upon landing in Bagan, make your way to the vibrant morning market at Nyaung-U, where you’ll witness a tapestry of colors and find a wide array of fruits, vegetables, and local handicrafts.

    Bagan is home to more than 2,000 pagodas, temples, and monasteries that trace their origins to the Bagan Dynasty founded by King Anawrahta in 1044.Start your exploration with the magnificent Shwezigone Pagoda, a towering shrine and a central place of pilgrimage. Its golden splendor and tranquil ambiance create a truly awe-inspiring sight.

    Continue your journey to the Ananda Temple, a masterpiece of early architectural style. This grand temple, built in 1091 by Kyansittha, represents the infinite wisdom of the Buddha. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit a local lacquerware workshop, where you can witness the intricate process of creating these unique pieces of art.

    After a delightful lunch, check in at your hotel and take a well-deserved break. In the early evening, visit the Htilominlo Temple, a magnificent structure known for its ornate stucco decorations and captivating interior arches. Explore the ancient temples of Bagan, either by a horse-drawn cart or an exhilarating E-bike ride, as you make your way to a scenic spot to witness the mesmerizing sunset over the Bagan plains. The changing light casts an enchanting spell on the historic pagodas, adding to their sense of antiquity and mystery. Retreat to your hotel in Bagan for a restful night.

  • Day 03: Bagan (B)

    After breakfast at the hotel, embark on an unforgettable journey as you explore a charming complex comprising Payathonzu, Lemyentha, and Nandamannya Temples, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding plains. Prepare to be awe-inspired by the grandeur and vastness of Bagan’s architecture. A walking tour around these magnificent temple complexes presents incredible opportunities for capturing stunning photographs. Then, we’ll visit the impressive Dhammayangyi Pagoda, a colossal temple that shares a similar layout with the renowned Ananda Temple. However, the Damayangyi Pagoda is even larger and was constructed by King Karathu in 1160.

    Head back to your hotel and indulge in some leisure time. In the late afternoon, you’ll head to the Jetty, where a pleasant boat trip awaits  across the Ayeyarwady River to Kyun Thiri village (approximately 30 minutes).

    Upon arrival at the island village, the locals will warmly welcome you. Hop on an ox-drawn cart and venture through the farming village, passing by lush gardens growing an array of vegetables such as cucumber, red chilies, tomatoes, mustard, cauliflower, and seasonal produce. Take a leisurely stroll along the shaded streets of the village, interact with the friendly villagers, and gain an authentic glimpse into the everyday life of a typical Bagan village.

    Continue your exploration with a visit to an ancient wooden monastery that has stood for over 120 years. This provides a remarkable opportunity to learn about the spiritual beliefs of the local people. Spend the rest of the evening immersing yourself in the captivating experience of this unique agricultural society before returning to your hotel in Bagan via a boat ride across the Ayeyarwady River, where you can relish the stunning sunset views.

    Breakfast included
  • Day 04: Bagan – Mandalay – Amarapura – Mandalay (B)

    Embark on a road trip from Bagan to Mandalay (approximately 4 hours). After two hours of driving, you’ll make a stop at Myingyan, an authentic Burmese city nestled in the Ayeyarwady River valley that remains undiscovered by most tourists. Explore the lively morning market and witness the bustling local atmosphere. Myingyan is renowned for its cotton trading and local cigar production, which supplies cigars throughout Myanmar. Take a short visit to observe the local cotton businesses and cigar production. Then, continue to drive to Mandalay, making a few rest stops along the way to stretch your legs and capture beautiful photos.

    Upon arrival in Mandalay, make a stop in Amarapura on our way back. Visit U Bein’s Bridge, a remarkable wooden bridge built in 1782 using salvaged teak columns from the deconstructed Ava Palace. Stretching for 1.2 kilometers, it is believed to be the longest teak bridge in the world. Take a leisurely stroll along the bridge, marveling at the scenic views of farms and streams. Witness a picture-perfect sunset over the bridge, creating an enchanting atmosphere.

    After the sunset, drive back to Mandalay, where you’ll spend the night.

    Breakfast included
  • Day 05: Mandalay – Mingun – Mandalay (B)

    Indulge in your hotel’s breakfast before you go on an adventure to the top of Mandalay Hill. Witness an impressive panoramic view of the former kingdom, offering a breathtaking sight. Our exploration of Mandalay’s revered attractions begins with a visit to Shwe Kyaung (Golden Palace Monastery), an exquisite example of traditional wooden architecture. Prepare to be amazed as you explore the Kuthodaw Pagoda, home to the world’s largest book. Each of its 1,460 marble pages measures an astounding three and a half feet wide, five feet long, and five inches thick. The pages stand upright on individual stands, covering a vast area of 13 acres.

    Continue the journey by discovering Mandalay’s impressive marble carving and handicraft workshops. Next, visit the Mahamuni Pagoda, named after the holy image “Maha Muni” enshrined within. Admire the remarkable statues adorned with golden leaf, including the iconic three-headed elephant, Erawan.

    In the afternoon, head to the jetty for a delightful private boat trip to Mingun (approximately 11 kilometers, one hour), immersing ourselves in the picturesque scenery along the river and observing the local lifestyle. Watch as small longtail boats, bamboo rafts, and ferries transport goods up and down the river. Upon arrival, visit the Mingun Bell, an astonishing uncracked bell weighing over 87 tons and standing over 3.7 meters tall. This bell holds the title of the world’s largest uncracked bell.

    Next, explore the captivating Hsinbyume (Ma Thein Tan) Pagoda, an alluring white-washed temple designed to resemble Mount Meru. You’ll also encounter the mighty Mingun Pagoda, which was intended to be the largest in the world but remained unfinished. Cruise back to Mandalay along the Ayeyarwady River, indulging in the mesmerizing sunset vistas.

    Return to the hotel and enjoy an overnight stay in Mandalay.

    Breakfast included
  • Day 06: Mandalay – Heho – Inle (B)

    Begin your day by transferring to Mandalay Airport for a short 30-minute flight to Heho. Upon arrival, descend into the beautiful Nyaung Shwe valley, located on the edge of the mesmerizing Inle Lake. The duration of the journey is roughly one hour and thirty minutes.

    En route, make a stop at the captivating “Shwe Yan Pyay,” a stunning red-painted teak building dating back to the 19th century. Arrive at Nyaung Shwe and embark on a local boat trip that will take you across the enchanting Inle Lake, famous for its floating gardens, stilted villages, and ancient stupas.

    Witness the incredible skill of the lake’s renowned “leg rowers” – the Intha fishermen who navigate the waters by standing on one leg while using the other leg to propel their traditional conical fishing nets. Witness the awe-inspiring beauty of Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, the most revered religious sanctuary in southern Shan State.

    Next, visit a traditional boat building workshop where the longboats used on Inle Lake are meticulously crafted over a period of four weeks using local teak. Stop by a silk weaving workshop to observe the intricate process of creating fabrics using lotus flower fibers.

    As you traverse the lake, pass by countless floating gardens where the Intha people cultivate an array of fruits and vegetables.

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

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

    Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before setting out to explore the vibrant 5-day rotating market (if it coincides with your visit). This bustling market offers a fascinating glimpse into the lives of the ethnic Pa-O, Danu, and Intha people who gather here to trade goods.

    Embark on a scenic long-tailed boat ride across the lake to Indein, located at the western end of Inle Lake. Disembark at the jetty and take a short walk through Indein village to reach the ancient pagoda ruins of Nyaung Oak, dating from the 14th to 18th centuries. Follow a covered walkway adorned with souvenir stalls leading up to Shwe Inn Thein Paya, a complex of weather-beaten 17th to 18th-century zedis (small pagodas), some of which have been recently reconstructed.

    Continue your visit to a cheroot maker’s workshop, where traditional Burmese cigars are meticulously crafted by hand. Pass by a traditional blacksmith’s forge and immerse yourself in the local craftsmanship.

    Take some leisure time to experience a unique canoe boat ride with the Inle Canoe Lady. These local women, who work at the cigar workshop, offer this special trip to support their families. Immerse yourself in the serene experience as you glide through the water channels, observing the stilted houses and the floating gardens of the Intha people, who have made the lake their cherished abode.

    Upon returning to the hotel, you’ll have free time for the rest of the evening. Take this opportunity to witness a captivating sunset over the picturesque views of Inle Lake.

    Overnight in Inle Lake. 

    Breakfast included
  • Day 08: Inle Lake – Heho – Keng Tung (B)

    Start your day with a delectable breakfast and transfer to the airport for a 70-minute flight to Keng Tung. Nestled in a valley surrounded by rolling hills and tea plantations, Keng Tung is a captivating destination inhabited by various ethnic groups such as the Wa, Eng, Akha, Akhu, Palaung, and Lahu. Upon arrival in Keng Tung, transfer to your hotel.

    Next, go on a tour of the most iconic sights in Keng Tung, beginning with a visit to the magnificent Maha Myat Muni Pagoda, which houses a Mandalay-style Buddha statue and stands as the most revered temple in the city. Next, explore the site of the standing Buddha statue, the place where Keng Tung was founded a thousand years ago.

    Conclude the first day in Keng Tung by visiting the picturesque Naung Tong Lake, where colonial architecture mingles with lively local restaurants, creating a vibrant atmosphere.

    Transfer back to your hotel and enjoy an overnight stay in Keng Tung.

    Breakfast included
  • Day 09: Keng Tung – Loi Mwe – Keng Tung (B/L)

    Commence your day with a wholesome breakfast at the hotel. Depart from Keng Tung by road towards Loi Mwe, a journey that takes approximately 1.5 hours covering a distance of 33 km. Loi Mwe, known as the “misty mountain,” is situated at an elevation of 1,600 meters, offering a cooler climate and stunning panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes.

    As a city that was frequented by the English during colonial times, Loi Mwe still retains many colonial-style buildings, including a Catholic church. The highlight of the trip is the scenic ascent to Loi Mwe, passing through forests and rice paddies.

    During the ascent, make several stops to visit different villages and immerse yourself in the local way of life. Explore the Wan Lun Shan village, witness the colorful traditional dresses of the Akha tribes in Ho Lap Akha, visit the Nang Cho Wa village, and discover the Pan Wai Lahu village.

    As the day draws to a close, return to Keng Tung and overnight at your hotel.

    Launch included
  • Day 10: Keng Tung – Pin Tauk – Keng Tung (B/L)

    Enjoy breakfast at your hotel before embarking on a 45-minute road transfer to Pin Tauk. From there, proceed to the Lahu village, where your trekking adventure begins.

    It will be a soft trek and can be taken at a leisurely pace. Immerse yourself in the lush monsoon forests and vast rice fields that resemble sprawling green blankets.

    During the trek, visit villages inhabited by the Enn and Akha tribes, some of whom practice Christianity while others adhere to animistic beliefs. The Enn ethnic group, often referred to as the “Black Teeth,” reside on the highest hills and possess distinct customs and beliefs that set them apart from other tribes. Spend approximately 4 hours exploring these villages and gaining insight into their way of life.

    After the village visits, return to your hotel in Keng Tung and enjoy an overnight stay.

    Launch included
  • Day 11: Keng Tung – Yangon (B/L)

    Start the day with breakfast and transfer to the airport for your return flight to Yangon, which takes approximately 75 minutes. Upon arrival in Yangon, begin your sightseeing with a visit to the Chauk Htat Gyi Pagoda, home to a massive reclining Buddha statue measuring 217 feet in length, making it one of the largest in Myanmar.

    Conclude your day with a visit to the renowned Bogyoke Market, also known as Scott Market, featuring numerous shops offering a wide range of food, clothing, crafts, and precious stones.

    Return to your hotel for check-in, and the remainder of the day is free at your own leisure. Overnight in Yangon.

    Note: Bogyoke Market (Scott Market) is closed on Mondays and public holidays.

    Launch included
  • Day 12: Depart Yangon (B)

    Enjoy a leisurely breakfast at the hotel and spend the day at your own leisure until it’s time for your transfer to Yangon International Airport for your onward flight. This marks the conclusion of your Myanmar holiday, filled with unique and memorable experiences.

    Breakfast included

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