Cultural Excursion

Family Temple Explorer

Yangon, Myanmar

We customize every trip

Prices From: $3,118 Per Person

Shrouded in mystery and intrigue, Myanmar has long captivated the imagination of the discerning traveler. Unfortunately, due to the dire political situation Myanmar's legendary beauty and fascinating culture has remained relatively unexplored. Although renowned for its countless temples and celebrated Buddhist heritage, Myanmar's stunning landscape and natural beauty has remained a relative secret.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 - Arrive Yangon

Upon arrival to the Yangon international airport, you will be welcomed by an English speaking guide and transferred to your hotel.

Overnight: Savoy Hotel Yangon

Day 2 - Yangon: Free Day

Today, you have a free day in Yangon to explore at your leisure.

Overnight: Savoy Hotel Yangon (Breakfast included)

Day 3 - Yangon - Dala Mountain Biking

After breakfast you'll be picked up from your hotel and transferred to Pansondan Jetty. After fitting and adjusting bikes you'll cross the Yangon River by local ferry to Dala Village. Our morning ride takes us through small lanes, market streets, and friendly village neighborhoods. You'll observe the daily activities of Burmese locals and get a feel for the authentic rural lifestyle of Myanmar. We'll make a stop in a local pagoda and small monastery and enjoy local refreshments before heading off to Twante. The road to Twante passes through farming lands and paddy fields and has very little traffic. Enroute we'll stop at a local workshop to see how Burmese velvet slippers are made. Twante is known for its generations old industry producing some of Myanmar’s best terracotta. After lunch in a local restaurant we'll visit some local workshops, meet the laborers, and observe the process of making famous pots and other items with traditional methods and firing them in kilns. We'll also visit 75m high stupa at Shwesandaw Pagoda before riding back to Dala. Then we'll take the ferry crossing back to Yangon and bike ride back to your hotel.

Overnight: Savoy Hotel Yangon (Breakfast included)

Day 4 - Yangon - Bagan

After breakfast, you will transfer to airport for the domestic flight to Bagan. Upon arrival, you'll be transferred directly to your hotel. The rest of the day is at your leisure.

Overnight: Thiripyitsaya Sanctuary Resort (Breakfast included)

Day 5 - Bagan: Mt. Popa

After breakfast, a 1.5hrs drive takes us to Mount Popa, along the way we’ll stop at a small village where the locals make a variety of treats from the juice of the palm tree. Watch the farmers climb the tall Toddy trees and tap the fruit, returning to land to boil the liquid into wine and sweet molasses. Kids can also help grind rice and corn, guiding the oxen as they pull the stone grinder.

We continue to Mt. Popa, an extinct volcano, which dominates the area. Mt Popa was for centuries where kings of central Burma made pilgrimages to confer with the sacred statues about the future of their reigns and the Burmese spiritual epicenter for those who worship the pantheon of nat spirits and martyrs. After paying respects to the Nat Shrine, at the foot of Mount Popa, we climb nearly 800 steps to the pagoda perched at the top of the mountain to admire the views of the surrounding plains and farm lands.

Overnight: Thiripyitsaya Sanctuary Resort (Breakfast included)

Day 6 - Bagan Hot Air Balloon Ride

Today is yours to explore Bagan at your own pace. You may be interested in renting bicyles to visit more far flung and fascinating temples.

Mary, you and your children will enjoy a hot air balloon ride today with Balloons over Bagan. Floating over thousand year old pagodas and the mighty Ayeyarwaddy River you will watch the sunrise in this stunning location.

Overnight: Thiripyitsaya Sanctuary Resort (Breakfast included)

Day 7 - Bagan - Mandalay

After breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport for the domestic flight to Mandalay. Upon arrival, you will then transfer to your Mandalay. En route you'll visit Paleik Pagoda, home to the snake pagoda, Hmwe Paya, named after the 3 giant Burmese pythons that sleep curled around Buddha statues. The entire temple is devoted to the pythons and there are hundreds of statues of them with smaller Buddhas seated inside. If you're lucky, you may catch the fortune teller who uses leaves to see your past and predict your future. Then proceed to Mandalay and your hotel.

The rest of the day is free to spend at your leisure.

Overnight: Hotel Sedona Mandalay (Breakfast included)

Day 8 - Amarapura - Ava - Sagaing

After breakfast at the hotel, we embark on a journey to the Ancient Kingdoms of Myanmar near Mandalay. We drive to the beautiful ancient capital, Amarapura, famous for its textile industries. There, we visit a cottage industry workshop to learn how Myanmar longyis and traditional fabrics are woven. Continuing to the Ubein Bridge, a simple yet remarkable teak structure that spans 1.2km over Taungtaman Lake, you have the option to be rowed onto the calm waters. Ubein Bridge, silhouetted by the setting sun, is a magical experience and a photographer’s dream.

Next, you will head to Ava (Inwa), the ancient capital of the Shan and Burmese Kingdoms for over four centuries. Crossing the Myint Nge River by ferry, the small roads of Ava are explored by horse cart. We visit the Bagaya Teak Monastery, over three hundred years old yet well preserved and still in use by local monks; the Nanmyin Watch Tower, the last standing structure of the Ava dynasty palace compound also known as the “Leaning Tower of Ava”; and the Maha Aungmye Bonzan Monastery, a 300-year old architectural wonder with graceful archways. We continue to the Ancient Kingdom of Sagaing, located across the mighty Ayeyarwaddy River. From the Sagaing Hills, we enjoy sunset views of the hillside dotted with countless pagodas and pay a special visit to a monastery to learn about the life of Buddhist devotees.

Overnight: Hotel Sedona Mandalay (Breakfast included)

Day 9 - Mandalay - Heho - Kalaw

Enjoy breakfast and then transfer to the airport for your flight to Heho, a quiet transit town with one of the few airport links in the beautiful hills of Shan State. Visit the bustling main Heho Market, the meeting point for different ethnic minority groups of the surrounding areas to trade handmade goods and locally grown produce (on market days only). Enroute to Kalaw, we stop at a local family workshop to learn how Shan umbrellas and paper are made by traditional methods using the fibres of the mulberry tree. We continue our 1-hour drive to Kalaw, a former British colonial hill station where ambassadors would spend the summers enjoying the crisp mountain air and sipping on gin tonics.

After you check into the hotel and enjoy your lunch, the afternoon can be spent either luxuriating in fresh mountain air for those who prefer sedentary pleasures, or hiking around Kalaw’s beautiful forest vistas for those yearning more active pursuits. Local guides can adjust the duration and difficulty of the more active activities according to your wishes.

Overnight: Pine Hill Resort (Breakfast included)

Day 10 - Kalaw Trek - Inle Lake

After an early breakfast, visit to Nee Paya Pagoda and start your trek to the Palaung villages of Ywa Thit and Tar Yaw, west of Kalaw and on the rim of the mountains. It is 1385m high and takes around 2 or 2.5 hrs to get there. Continue walking up and down the low mountain ranges passing vast meadows and farm hills. The Danu ethnic minorities mostly inhabit this area and you will have the chance to visit several of the villages. Lunch will be served at View Point (local Nepalese house) where you can enjoy a panoramic view. After lunch, you walk back to Kalaw (another 2.5 hours). Then drive to Inle Lake gives us 2 leisurely hours to observe the countryside. Upon arrival, check in to your hotel.

Overnight: Inle Princess Resort (Breakfast included)

Day 11 - Inle Lake

After breakfast, you'll be picked-up at your hotel on Inle Lake and transferred to Khaung Daing Village by boat. It's an easy walk up hill under the shade of the trees to the wish-fulfilling pagoda overlooking the lake. Bike through Khaung Daing village and on the road along the shore of the lake to Nyaung Shwe. Observe the unique life of the Intha people as you stop at fishing and farming villages on the way. Visit the museum of Shan Lords in Nyaung Shwe. Transfer back to your hotel by car and/or by boat.

Khaung Daing – Nyaung Shwe 10 km Cycling time – 1.5hrs Road conditions – Partly tarred winding road with pot holes in many places, partly narrow path ways. Light traffic. Places to see – Scenery, villages, agricultural farms, fishing, view point over the lake and market (mornings only on market days).

*Inle Lake markets: The colorful and bustling morning market is one of the highlights of Inle Lake. Local ethnic minority groups come near and far to trade their goods, and this presents an opportunity to observe people in traditional costumes in an authentic market atmosphere. The market rotates five days a week, each day making its base in a different village (though closed on national holidays). Market visits can be included in any tour program if the market location falls within proximity of our travel itinerary.

Overnight: Inle Princess Resort (Breakfast included)

Day 12 - Inle Lake

Today is a free day to enjoy at your leisure.

Overnight: Inle Princess Resort (Breakfast included)

Day 13 - Inle Lake - Heho - Yangon Departure

After breakfast, you'll transfer by boat to Nyaung Shwe Jetty and drive to Heho airport for the domestic flight to Yangon. Upon arrival you will be met and driven to visit Bogyoke (Scotts) Market, where hundreds of gemstone, handicrafts, art, clothes and food stores are tucked in a maze of color. Your baggage can remain in the car, as your driver will wait and be at your disposal in the car park.

Once you have finished your shopping and touring, you will transfer to the airport for your international departure flight.

We hope you've had an amazing time in Myanmar!

Accommodation Information

Savoy Hotel Yangon

Founded in 1995 and since then in private ownership, the Savoy Hotel is a four star colonial boutique hotel. All of its 85 full time employees are committed to a personalized and attentive service. The Savoy is ideally located in the picturesque area of Yangon, overlooking the Shwedagon Pagoda, Myanmar's "twinkling wonder" and the nearby People's Park. Just ten minutes drive from the city centre and 20 minutes to the International Airport.

All 30 deluxe rooms including six suites express the charm of "the old days" with traditional Myanmar antiques, teak furniture and spacious bathrooms. Nicely overshadowed by tall old trees, the pool with its lounge area makes the Savoy Hotel a silent oasis in the middle of the bustling city.

Thiripyitsaya Sanctuary Resort

Bagan Thiripyistaya Sanctuary Resort is situtated on the banks of the Irrawaddy, Myanmar's river of history and legend. The Resort sprawls over 24 acres of landscaped gardens, which is home to mature tropical trees and flowering plants, as well as native birds and a number of small tame animals. Oriented towards the west, the Resort revels in panoramic river views, glorious sunsets and silver moonglow, and a pervading atmosphere of profound peace, warmth and comfort.

Hotel Sedona Mandalay

Situated right in the heart of the city, Sedona Hotel Mandalay sits on four acres of landscaped gardens with breathtaking views of the magnificent Royal Palace and Mandalay Hill. Housed within the Hotel are 247 deluxe accommodation, which are graciously designed with an aesthetic eye for both contemporary elegance and traditional grace.

Recreational facilities include a freeform swimming pool, tennis court and fitness center.

Pine Hill Resort

Pine Hill Resort is a popular choice when embarking on or return from a regional trek. Its legacy as one of the best British Hill Stations is still a clear influence, with high standards of cleanliness and service displayed at all times. The elevated location, 4200+ feet above sea level, provides cooling breezes and a welcome escape from the more tropical lowlands. Centrally located, most of the town is accessible on foot including the markets and restaurants. Rooms are positively lavish in comparison to many local resorts, with sturdy and comfortable furniture, satellite TV and international telephones.

Inle Princess Resort

Inle Princess Resort lies on the eastern bank of Inle Lake next to the Magyizin Village; the resort is surrounded by magnificent views of the blue mountain ranges and rice paddy fields. The architecture of Inle princess was drawn from the traditions and culture of the Shan and Intha people.

Surrounded by a serene lake and beautiful tropical gardens, the resort combines simplicity with modern comfort with fine wooden chalets built on stilts above the lake. Guests can enjoy the impressive views of the fields, mountain and the peaceful Inle Lake. Of the 46 chalets, 27 have lake views and 19 garden views.

Location

Region: Asia - Southeast

Address:
Yangon
Myanmar

Amenities/Activities

Breakfast Breakfast

Day Tours Day Tours

Ecologically Responsible Ecologically Responsible

Hiking Trekking Hiking Trekking

Family Friendly Family Friendly

General Information

Price Includes

  • Private tours and transfers with air conditioned vehicles as specified in our itinerary.
  • Bottles of water & 2 refreshing towels per passenger per day
  • All entrance fees to the sites mentioned in the itinerary
  • English speaking local guides (different guide in each region)
  • Lodging with breakfast as specified in the itinerary
  • Boat ride/transfer in Inle Lake
  • Bike rental and boat rental for Dala
  • Kalaw trekking
  • Luggage handling fees at airports
  • Domestic Flights
  • * Yangon Bagan
  • * Bagan Mandalay
  • * Mandalay Heho
  • * Heho Yangon
  • Full support before, during and after your trip

Price Excludes

  • International flights, unless otherwise mentioned
  • International airport departure tax, or entrance fees
  • Myanmar Entry Visa (Available upon request)
  • Travel insurance (recommended)
  • Visits not mentioned in the program
  • Drinks and personal expenses
  • Tips and gratuities to guides, drivers
  • Early checkin, late checkout, services
  • Expenses of a purely personal nature
  • Any other items not mentioned
  • Optional Tours or Activities (please ask for pricing)