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Private Custom Myanmar Tours
Yangon, Inle Lake, and the Temples of Bagan - Prices from $1,938
The culture of the West has not quite arrived in the Golden Land. From men wearing skirt-like longyi, to the lack of fast food restaurants and convenience stores, one quickly realizes this is not your average tourist destination. At first light in Yangon, crimson-robed monks collect rice alms as taxi cabs honk their horns and street vendors sell mohinga noodle soup to early bird commuters. History and tradition resonate strongly here. In such a foreign country with such epic differences in culture, it’s the little moments that help us define it. Wonder at the floating gardens and homes on the serene waters of Inle Lake. Watch the sun set over Bagan's thousand Buddhist temples. Sit back and relax with a freshly squeezed cup of cane juice on a sweltering day in Mandalay. Myanmar won’t stay this way forever, but for now, it’s a treasure waiting to be discovered.
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Highlights of Myanmar
Temples of BaganBeginning around the 10th century and continuing for 250 years the rulers and wealthy citizens of Bagan constructed over 10,000 religious monuments in an effort to gain favor and display power and devotion. Today, you can experience the breathtaking views of the temple zone from a hot air balloon, or bicycle around the ruins as farmers and herds of goats pass by. Sunrise and sunset are best viewed from the tops of the tallest buildings such as Shwe San Daw Pagoda and Lawkaoushaung Temple.
Inle LakeThe country’s second largest freshwater lake has provided for the people of Shan State for centuries. A predominantly Intha population lives in 4 main villages around the lake and traditionally make their stilted homes of wood and woven bamboo grasses. Visit the rotating village markets to see the wide variety of ornate and colorful clothing worn by the local people of various ethnicities selling their wares. Other highlights include a journey to the Indein stupas, a visit to the friendly monks at the Cat Monastery, and boat rides through the floating gardens.
Unique LodgingGolden Island Cottage’s bamboo bungalows on Inle Lake offer traditional atmosphere, peaceful lake views, and are owned and run by a collective of the Pa-O tribal people. We offer boutique hotels such as the Red Canal in Mandalay, which are influenced by the regions numerous ethnic groups. Or you could relax at a hill station retreat at the colonial style resorts in Kalaw and Pyin Oo Lwin. No matter where you stay in Myanmar, you can be assured that our handpicked basecamps will offer a unique, sustainable and unforgettable experience.
Natural SplendorTrek through the hills of Kalaw and pay a visit to the elephant conservation project. Kayak to Saddar Cave past rice fields, limestone mountains, and tranquil villages with your local guide in Karen State. Ride up the Dokthawaddy River and take a walk through the forests of Shan State to visit a 150 year old monastery near Hsipaw. Pay a visit to the three resident pythons at the snake temple in Paleik that are being washed and fed daily by local worshippers.
- Yangon (Rangoon), Myanmar's former capital and educational center is home to Shwedagon Pagoda, this 99m gilded stupa is the oldest pagoda in the world according to legend.
- Bagan is an ancient desert city and home to over 2200 temples and pagodas. These are the remnants of the over 10,000 temples, pagodas, and monasteries that were built by ancient kings dating as far back as the 9th century.
- Kakaborazi National Park in Kachin State, was established in 1996 and is home to a great variety of rare animals including takin, musk deer, bharal, muntjac, and leaf deer.
- Mandalay's Bargaya Monastery was built by King Bagyidaw in 1196 AD and has been destroyed by fire twice. The most recent reconstruction efforts took place in 1996 and the monastery now functions as a museum housing Buddhist images and palm-leaf manuscripts.
- Kyaikhtiyo Pagoda stands upon a precariously balanced golden boulder in Bago. This pilgrimage site is believed to be held in place by the power of the Buddha's hair that is preserved within.
- Thanaka paste is made by grinding branches of the thanaka tree on a flat stone. Women and some men throughout the country decorate their skin with the yellowish-white paste which also has a faint scent, cooling feel on the skin, and protects against sunburn.
- Seven different major languages are spoken throughout Myanmar as well as 2 Indo-European languages.
- The Nagar Glass Factory in Yangon still operates a store in Yangon, although their factory was irreparably damaged by a cyclone in 2009. This factory opened in 1948 and produced nearly all the glass work in the country for many years including eyes for Chaukhtakyi Pagoda's famous reclining Buddha.
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With the help of our partner, Carbonfund.org, we also offset our company's entire carbon footprint each year.
Interested in offsetting your entire trip? Let us know! We are currently working to provide full carbon offsetting options for every trip.