Burma Explorer

Private Tour – can be adjusted to meet your requirements.

This varied itinerary covers Myanmar’s classic sights, and includes a few side trips to lesser known, rural destinations, market towns and ethnic minority villages.

Starting in Yangon, spend some time to get to know the bustling city, before flying north to Mandalay, and heading out to the refreshing hill-station of Pyin Oo Lwin. After some time exploring the town and surrounds, continue further into rural Shan state over the impressive Goteik viaduct, and spend some time in the remote town of Hsipaw, exploring the lush surrounding countryside. Return to Mandalay where the focus will be on the ancient capitals surrounding the city.

Travel to Bagan the exciting way, going via Monywa, and travelling the last part by boat along the Ayeyarwady. Become an explorer in Bagan, where the hundreds of temples and pagodas will amaze you, before travelling onto Inle Lake where you have time to relax and take in the scenery and serenity of the area. Fly back to the UK via Yangon.

Day 1
Fly overnight to Yangon via Bangkok, or another regional hub.

Day 2- Yangon
You will arrive in Yangon and then transfer to your hotel. You can have the day at leisure to acclimatise.

Day 3- Yangon
In the morning, your guide will take you on a walking tour of Yangon’s colonial quarter. You will see grand British architecture, such as the imposing Supreme Court Building, designed by the British in the Queen Anne revival style. You can also view the former headquarters of the Irrawaddy Flotilla Company, and other remnants of colonial days. You will then have tea in the Strand Hotel. In the afternoon, you will visit Sule Pagoda followed by the National Museum to gain an insight into Burmese Buddhist culture. Shwedagon Pagoda is left for the end of the day, where under the changing colours of sunset, you will experience the incredible atmosphere.

Day 4- Yangon, Mandalay & Pyin Oo Lwin
On this day, you will fly from Yangon to Mandalay in the morning, and travel approximately two hours by road to the town of Pyin Oo Lwin. The town, favoured by the British as an escape from the heat of the plains, is very reminiscent of colonial days, with many British-style mansions dotted around that would be at home in Surrey. You will board a horse and carriage, favoured local transportation, and spend the afternoon exploring the hill-station.

Day 5- Pyin Oo Lwin & Hsipaw
You will travel even  further into rural Shan state, across beautiful stretches of open countryside. You will board a local train to travel across The Gokteik Viaduct . Completed in 1900, this impressive example of engineering is considered a masterpiece. You will have a two night stay in the mountain town of Hsipaw .

Day 6- Hsipaw
You will visit the morning market with your guide, then take a boat along the Dutthtawaddy river, enjoying the lush scenery. You can take a walk through fruit and teak plantations, before visiting an old monastery. Then you will travel along the river back to Hsipaw, stopping at a typical Shan village. Then take a rest around noon time, before exploring Hsipaw town in the afternoon. You finish the day watching the sunset from Thien Taung Hill.

Day 7 -Hsipaw & Mandalay
Spend the day travelling back to Mandalay by road or rail through lush verdant rural scenes

Day 8- Mandalay
Today, you will explore three ancient capitals surrounding Mandalay. You begin with an early start in Amarapura and witness the many monks collecting alms from faithful Buddhists at Mahagandayon Monastery. Continue onto Sagaing where there are numerous temples and pagodas at Sagaing Hill to explore. Then you will cross the river to Inwa , also known as Ava, and have a leisurely horse-cart ride visiting a magnificent teak monastery. Afterwards, you return to Amarapura to watch the sunset at U Bein Bridge; what is believed to be the world’s oldest and longest teakwood bridge.

Day 9 – Mandalay
You will travel upriver by boat to Mingun enjoying the views along the way. You can explore the ruins of the vast and uncompleted Mingun Paya. Then, you return downstream to Mandalay. After lunch, you can explore Mandalay by trishaw, taking in the Golden Teak Monastery, and a temple famous for a beautiful seated Buddha carved from a single block of marble. You then finish the day with stunning views from Mandalay Hill.

Day 10- Mandalay & Monywa
You will take a local ferry across the Chindwin river, and continue by road in an open-top Jeep. You will visit the amazing cave complex at Po Win Taung, containing Buddha images, and cave murals from the 14th to 16th centuries. Also, you will visit Bodhi Tataung, seeing the colossal hill top Buddha images, and grove of banyan trees with a Buddha image at the base of each.

Day 11- Monywa, Pakkoku & Bagan
Today, you will travel by road to Pakkoku stopping en route at some traditional markets, and Ah Neint to visit an ancient temple. Afterwards, you board a boat for the final ten kilometres to reach Bagan.

Day 12 -Bagan
You will spend the day exploring the spectacular plains of Bagan, dotted with hundreds of ancient pagodas and temples. At its height in the 11th to 13th centuries, Bagan was the capital of the Bagan Empire. Your expert guide will take you around the most important sites such as Shwezigon Paya, and Ananda Temple.

Day 13- Bagan
This morning, you will travel out of Bagan to Mount Popa a centre of nat (spirit) worship, where after ascending the mountain by numerous steps, visit a monastery and temple complex with shrines to the various nats. En route you may be greeted by monkeys which are common on the mountain, and at the top you’ll have a spectacular view over the region. Later, you will go to Salay, a Bagan-era town, and visit monasteries and temples including the oldest surviving wooden monastery, Yoke Sone Kyaung.

Day 14- Bagan, Heho & Inle Lake
Today, you will take a short flight to Heho, then travel by road to Nyaungshwe. You will then board a traditional boat and travel across serene Inle Lake to your lakeside accommodation.

Day 15- Inle Lake
You will spend the day exploring Inle Lake by private boat. You will be able to see the traditional leg-rowers and visit the floating garden of Kyae Sar Gone. You can also explore a traditional house, and try your hand at rolling cheroots. In addition, you can visit the impressive Phaung Daw Oo pagoda, craft villages noted for their silk weaving, and the interesting Burmese Cat Café.

Day 16- Inle Lake
You have the day at leisure to relax and enjoy the peace of the lake, or explore nearby villages.

Day 17- Inle Lake, Heho & Yangon
You will take a traditional boat across the lake to Nyaungshwe, and then travel by road onto Heho. Afterwards, you will Fly to Yangon and connect with your international flight, via a regional hub.

Day 18
Arrive in the UK early morning.