Thailand – Myanmar – Thailand

11 Days - 10 Nights Golden Rock (Kyaiktiyo), Hpa-an, Indein, Inle Lake, Kayin State, Keng Tung, Kunhing, Mae Sot, Mandalay Division, Mingun, Mon State, Myawaddy, Naypyidaw, Sagaing Division, Shan State, Tachileik Border Cross Tour

Tour Overview

Set out on an unforgettable 11-day, 10-night journey through Myanmar, traversing from the plains to the captivating mountainous landscapes of the Southern Shan State. This immersive tour takes you to renowned destinations, including the majestic Mt. Zwekabin in Hpa An, the legendary Golden Rock Pagoda in Kyaikhto, and the magnificent Uppatasanti Pagoda in Naypyidaw. Prepare to be enchanted as you cruise along on a sightseeing boat trip on the picturesque Inle Lake, where you’ll encounter a myriad of fascinating attractions and have the opportunity to interact with local ethnic groups, such as the Padaung and PaO, immersing yourself in their rich cultural heritage. The tour concludes in Tachileik, a vibrant border town adjoining Mae Sai, offering a unique blend of cultures and the perfect ending to your unforgettable journey through Myanmar.

Travel itinerary

  • Day 01: Mae Sot/ Myawaddy arrival – Hpa Ann

    As you approach the Mae Sot/Myawaddy border check-point, get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey filled with excitement and discovery. Welcoming you with open arms, a friendly team consisting of a knowledgeable local English-speaking guide and an expert driver will be by your side, ensuring a smooth and hassle-free border crossing. They’ll take care of all the necessary paperwork, leaving you free to relax and fully immerse yourself in the adventure that lies ahead.

    After a short break to rejuvenate, it’s time to explore the enchanting Karen State in Myanmar. The vibrant city of Hpa An eagerly awaits your arrival, offering a captivating blend of cultural marvels and natural beauty.

    Upon reaching your hotel, take a moment to settle in before embarking on an enthralling tour. Begin by immersing yourself in the serene beauty of Kyaunkamlab Stupa, a haven of tranquility where spirituality and peaceful surroundings converge. Next, venture to Lumbini Garden, nestled at the foot of Mount Zwekabin. Prepare to be amazed by the sight of 1,000 Gantgaw trees adorned with exquisite Buddha statues, a testament to unwavering devotion.

    As the day unfolds, take a leisurely stroll through the charming streets of Hpa-An, discovering hidden treasures along the way and soaking up the town’s delightful ambiance. As the sun starts its descent, make your way to the picturesque Shwe Yin Myaw Pagoda, nestled on the banks of the majestic Than Lwin River. Here, you’ll witness a mesmerizing sunset, as vibrant colors paint the sky in a breathtaking display.

    Retire to the comfort of your hotel room, ready to embrace the adventures that await you in Hpa An and beyond. Get a good night’s rest, for tomorrow promises even more remarkable experiences.

  • Day 02: Hpa Ann – Golden Rock

    After a breakfast at your hotel, start your day by basking in the warm morning sun and taking in the picturesque scenery from the Town Hall area. Then, prepare for a vibrant and immersive experience as you delve into the colorful central market, where a myriad of sights, sounds, and aromas await your senses.

    Next on the agenda is a visit to the awe-inspiring Kawgun Cave, located just outside Hpa-An in the charming Kawgun Village. This natural limestone cave stands tall at 200 feet and stretches 300 feet in length. As you approach the entrance, marvel at the rock face adorned with clay Buddha images that have withstood the test of time since the 15th century A.D., during the Hanthawaddy period.

    Continuing your journey, make your way to the renowned Bayint Nyi Naung Gu, a natural limestone cave famous for its hot springs, believed to possess healing properties. Visitors from the surrounding area flock to experience the rejuvenating powers of the springs, which are divided into three pools – one for monks, one for men, and one for women. En route to your next destination, make a stop at the captivating Shwe Sar Yan Pagoda in Thaton.

    As the day progresses, embark on a scenic drive to Kyaikhtiyo, a sacred Buddhist site nestled in Myanmar’s Mon State. Perched atop Mount Kyaiktiyo, you’ll discover the mesmerizing Golden Rock, a massive boulder delicately balanced on the cliff’s edge and adorned entirely with shimmering gold leaf. To reach the Golden Rock gateway compound, enjoy an adventurous 30-45 minute open-air truck ride along a winding and bumpy road. From there, a short walk will lead you to the magnificent Golden Rock itself, topped by a glistening stupa that houses a sacred Buddha hair relic. This remarkable site holds great significance as a pilgrimage destination and reflects the deep-rooted traditions and devotion of the local people.

    As the sun begins to set, prepare to witness a breathtaking spectacle at Golden Rock, where the golden hues mingle with the natural beauty, creating an otherworldly ambiance. Let the rock’s shimmering splendor captivate your senses as you bid farewell to the day. Spend a restful night at a hotel in the enchanting surroundings of Golden Rock, knowing that more extraordinary experiences await you on your journey.

    Optional cable car: There is also an optional cable car ride available, which is Myanmar’s first cable car, and it shuttles up to eight people in each of the 44 cable cars from Yathetaung camp to the Golden Rock compound, taking around 8-15 minutes. From here, you can walk a few minutes to reach Golden Rock.

    Note: The transportation by open truck to Golden Rock tends to be crowded and cramped. The trucks may also be shared with other tourists and the locals. Also, the walk from the open truck drop-off point to the pagoda can be up to 20 minutes or 45 minutes, depending on the hotel’s location.

  • Day 03: Golden Rock -Naypyidaw

    Start your day with a satisfying breakfast, energizing yourself for the adventures that lie ahead. Today, you’ll be embarking on a captivating journey to Naypyidaw, the magnificent capital of Myanmar since 2005, known as the “Abode of Kings.” Brace yourself for a long but enthralling drive, as you traverse scenic landscapes that unfold like living tapestries.

    Throughout the journey, numerous stops are planned to ensure you don’t miss the opportunity to immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty of your surroundings. Pause and take in the awe-inspiring landscapes, capturing photographs that will forever remind you of these unforgettable moments spent in this remarkable land.

    As you arrive in Naypyidaw, prepare to be amazed by the majestic Uppatasanti Pagoda. Stand in awe of its grandeur, allowing the serene atmosphere to envelop your senses and instill a sense of tranquility within you.

    Next, make your way to the National Museum in Naypyitaw. Here, you can delve into Myanmar’s rich history and cultural heritage through various exhibits and artifacts. The museum houses a vast collection of art, royal regalia, and archaeological treasures, providing valuable insights into the country’s past.

    After your visit to the National Museum, check into your hotel. You can spend the evening at your leisure, exploring the local area, or relaxing after the drive.

  • Day 04: Naypyidaw – Mandalay

    After breakfast, embark on your journey from Naypyidaw to Mandalay, which typically takes around 4 hours, depending on traffic and road conditions. As you drive northward, immerse yourself in the picturesque landscapes that Myanmar has to offer.

    Upon reaching Mandalay, make your way to Amarapura, the former capital and the location of the first British embassy in Myanmar back in 1795. Begin your sightseeing by visiting a traditional hand-woven silk workshop, where you can witness the intricate craftsmanship of local artisans. Gain insights into the meticulous process of creating silk products, showcasing the rich textile heritage of the region.

    Conclude your day with a visit to the U Bein Bridge, located just outside of Mandalay in Amarapura. This teakwood bridge stretches across Taungthaman Lake and offers a picturesque setting, especially during sunset. Take a stroll along the bridge, capture memorable photos and appreciate the tranquil surroundings.

    Head to your hotel in the evening and overnight in Mandalay.

  • Day 05: Mandalay – Sagaing –Mandalay (B)

    Start your day with an early breakfast at the hotel before heading to 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 06: Mandalay -Mingun – Mandalay (B)

    Breakfast at the hotel and start the day by heading to the jetty to board a local private boat for a picturesque one-hour journey to Mingun (11 km). While on the boat, enjoy the scenic beauty of the river and observe the local lifestyles of people using small longtail boats, bamboo rafts, and ferries to carry goods up and down the river.

    Upon arrival at Mingun, admire the world’s largest uncracked bell, the Mingun Bell, which weighs over 87 tons and stands over 3.7 meters tall. Next, explore the Hsinbyume (Ma Thein Tan) Pagoda, a white-washed temple designed to look like Mount Meru, and the unfinished Mingun Pagoda, which was intended to be the world’s largest.

    Afterward, cruise back to Mandalay to explore some of its most revered attractions, starting with the Mahamuni Pagoda, which houses one of Myanmar’s most sacred religious images. Then, continue the tour to the Golden Palace Monastery (Shwe Kyaung), an exemplary traditional wooden building, and the Kuthodaw Pagoda, which is home to the world’s largest book, consisting of 1,460 marble pages that each stand on its own stand.

    The day ends at Mandalay Hill, where you’ll enjoy a stunning view of the city and the surrounding countryside as the sun sets on the horizon.

    Overnight in Mandalay.

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

    Start your day with an early breakfast, then proceed to Mandalay domestic airport for a short flight of approximately 30 minutes to Heho airport. Once you arrive, you will take an hour-long drive to Nyaung Shwe jetty, the gateway to Inle Lake, famous for its unique leg rowers. Along the way, make a stop at a local family-run workshop where you can observe the process of paper-making for the production of traditional Shan parasols. Then, visit the beautiful red-painted teak building, “Shwe Yan Pyay,” which dates back to the 19th century.

    Upon arriving at Nyaung Shwe, start a local boat trip on Inle Lake, which is a photographer’s dream due to its natural beauty and stunning landscapes. The tranquil surface of the water is decorated with patches of aquatic plants and traditional fishing boats, creating a stunning contrast against the scenic hills in the distance. Explore the lake’s famous “leg rowers,” Intha fishermen who stand up with one leg around a single paddle, leaving their hands free to manipulate the conical fishing net. Gaze in wonder at Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, which is considered the most sacred place of worship in the southern region of Shan State.

    Later on, visit a conventional workshop where skilled craftsmen build the iconic longboats used to cross Inle Lake. These boats, constructed using locally sourced teak, take around four weeks to complete. You’ll also have the opportunity to see traditional handicrafts like silk weaving on wooden handlooms and fabrics made from the fibers of the lotus flower. Finally, pass by endless floating gardens, where Intha lake dwellers grow fruit and vegetables.

    After a day of exploring, transfer to your hotel for an overnight stay in Inle.

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

    Start the day with a delicious breakfast at the hotel, and if the timing is right, take a trip to a rotating market that showcases the daily lives of ethnic Pa-O, Danu, and Intha people who gather to buy and sell goods. The five-day market is a charming and renowned attraction in Inle Lake, which moves from one quaint lakeside village to another every five days. The market attracts a diverse crowd of local Shan and Intha people, as well as many Pa-O villagers from the nearby hills, who come to sell their wares and produce.

    Embark on a long-tailed boat for a picturesque trip across the lake to Indein, located on the western end of Inle. Once arriving at the pier, disembark and stroll through the nearby Indein village for a brief period before reaching the remnants of Nyaung Oak, a pagoda that dates back to the 14th-18th century. A covered walkway leading to Shwe Inn Thein Pagoda, a complex of 17th-18th century weather-beaten zedis (small pagodas), some of which have been newly reconstructed.

    After returning to Inle Lake, make a stop at a cheroot maker’s workshop, where you can see the traditional Burmese cigars being hand-rolled. Next, pass by a traditional blacksmith’s forge before embarking on a unique canoe boat experience with Inle Canoe Lady. The canoe will be rowed by local women who work at the cigar workshop and are offering this short trip to supplement their family income. Enjoy a leisurely ride through the channels, passing houses built on stilts and the floating gardens of the “Intha” who call the lake home.

    As the day draws to a close, head back to the hotel and spend the evening at leisure. Don’t miss the chance to witness the stunning sunset over the breathtaking views of the lake.  Overnight in Inle.

    Breakfast included
  • Day 09: Inle Lake – Kunhing

    Today marks an exciting transition in your 12-day tour as you bid farewell to the captivating Inle Lake and set out on an unforgettable journey towards Kunhing. Brace yourself for a day of adventure and awe-inspiring sights as you traverse the enchanting landscapes of the Shan Plateau.

    On the way, drop by at Taunggyi, the charming highland capital of the Southern State, renowned for its cool and pleasant weather all year round. Upon arrival, venture to the bustling local market, teeming with numerous stalls brimming with locally-grown produce, hand-made wares, and fragrant flowers.

    Continue your journey towards Kunhing. a captivating destination nestled in the Shan State. This small town offers a glimpse into the rural charm and natural beauty of the region. Embark on a thrilling ride through winding roads, where each turn reveals a new panoramic view that will leave you breathless. Surrounded by lush green landscapes, rolling hills, and picturesque valleys, Kunhing is known for its laid-back atmosphere and warm hospitality, making it an ideal place to unwind and connect with the local culture.

    Travellers to Kunhing can immerse themselves in the daily life of the villagers, observing their traditional farming practices and witnessing their close connection to the land. Kunhing is also home to several ethnic groups, providing an opportunity to learn about their customs, traditions, and colorful attire.

    For those interested in authentic culinary experiences, Kunhing offers a taste of traditional Shan cuisine. Sample local delicacies, such as fermented tea leaf salad or flavorful noodle dishes, and discover the unique flavors that characterize the region.

    The drive to Kunhing will take approximately 6 hours. After a day filled with unforgettable vistas and cultural encounters, you’ll arrive in Kunhing, where a comfortable hotel awaits you. Take a moment to relax and unwind, relishing in the warmth and tranquility that this hidden gem in Myanmar’s Shan State has to offer. Overnight in Kunhing.

  • Day 10: Kunhing – Keng Tung

    Start your day with a delightful breakfast before proceeding your journey to Keng Tung, a town located in the eastern Shan State of Myanmar. Keng Tung is known for its scenic beauty, cultural diversity, and historical significance. The town is surrounded by picturesque mountains and lush green landscapes, making it a popular destination for nature lovers and hikers. It is also home to several ethnic minority groups, including the Akha, Lahu, and Wa people, who contribute to the rich cultural tapestry of the region.

    The drive from Kunhing to Keng Tung takes slightly more than 6 hours. Upon arrival, meet the guide and transfer to the hotel for refreshment.

    Then, take a stroll around the downtown area and the lake and get a feel of this Eastern Shan town.

    Pass by the Saobwa Shan chieftain’s house and visit the old Wat Pha Jao Lung temple and the Khun Shan monastery of Wat Zom Kham which are considered the most beautiful in town.

  • Day 11: Keng Tung – Tachileik

    Begin the last day of your adventure with a delightful breakfast to fuel up for the final leg of your journey. Then, start a captivating trip from Keng Tung to the vibrant border town of Tachileik.

    Your first stop along the way is the renowned Shwe Da Gon Pagoda, a majestic and sacred place that exudes tranquility. Marvel at the intricate architecture, adorned with intricate carvings and shimmering gold, as you explore the pagoda’s serene grounds. Immerse yourself in the spiritual atmosphere, taking a moment to reflect and absorb the positive energy that emanates from this revered site.

    Continue our journey towards Tachileik, a bustling town nestled on the border, adjacent to the enchanting Mae Sai in Thailand. As you approach the Tachileik border checkpoint, get ready to experience the unique charm of this border town and its vibrant cross-cultural influences.

    Upon arrival, your dedicated guide will be on hand to assist you with the border pass process, providing a seamless guidance and ensuring a smooth transition as you cross into the next chapter of your adventure. From arranging the necessary documentation to answering any questions you may have, your guide is there to make your border crossing experience hassle-free and informative.

    As you conclude your tour, depart with a sense of fulfillment and venture forth into the next chapter of your travels.

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