Myanmar Highlights

We're taking you on a guided tour of all of Myanmar's classic highlights! Additionally, you'll explore the hidden wonders of Yangon, Bagan, Kalaw, Loikaw, and Inle Lake. The rich history, fascinating culture, and pristine natural beauty of this country make for a new adventure every day! In a little over a week you will get the opportunity to see much of this incredible country from bustling streets to ancient temples.

Daily Itinerary

Day 1: Yangon Arrival

Yangon Arrival
Daily Summary
  • Transportation: Airport Transfer
  • Tour: Colonial Heritage Walk
  • Accommodation: Savoy Hotel Yangon

Welcome to Myanmar! Upon arrival at the airport in Yangon, you will clear Immigration, collect your luggage and exit Customs. A friendly local representative will be waiting to greet you in the arrivals area, holding a sign with your name on it. For a smooth and comfortable start to your adventure, you will be driven directly to your hotel to check-in and freshen up. (This service is on a private basis.)

Colonial Heritage Walk

Yangon's downtown is unique, with much of its ancient colonial architecture still standing. The city boasts some of Asia’s most impressive collections of late nineteenth and early twentieth century buildings, both religious and secular. This half-day exploration, will take you back in time to
discover these beautifully constructed monuments to colonialism, some of which have been neglected, while others have been purposefully restored. Stop off at the abandoned Ministers’ Building, formerly known as The Secretariat, where the ‘Father of the Nation’, General Aung San, started the path to independence. Built in 1889, this impressive building and its gardens take up a whole block in the downtown area. After the tour, you will have time to enjoy some refreshing
drinks at Gekko, a stylish and popular restaurant and lounge bar on the ground floor of the historic Sofaer Building.(This service is on a private basis.)

Yangon

Yangon, also known as Rangoon, is Myanmar’s largest city and most important commercial hub, located at the convergence of the Yangon and Bago Rivers. This former Burmese capital, creatively blends tradition, culture and modernity. It is home to the stunning Shwedagon Pagoda, which dates back more than 2,000 years. From pilgrimages and pagoda festivals, to ubiquitous tea shops and cosmopolitan avenues, you can find it all in Yangon. Often called the "Garden City of the East", nature lovers will enjoy the city’s pristine lakes, verdant tropical trees and spacious parks.

Day 2: Yangon

Yangon
Daily Summary
  • Tour: Spiritual Shwedagon Pagoda
  • Accommodation: Savoy Hotel Yangon
  • Meals: B, L

Spiritual Shwedagon Pagoda

Interested in discovering what is behind the golden facade of the Shwedagon Pagoda? During this interactive half day tour, you will be guided through the back door, to reveal what is usually hidden from travelers. Understand the full history of the pagoda, the daily life of the people living in the immediate surroundings, and gain a deeper insight in the Buddhist religion and how their spiritual belief is mixed with the belief in nats – the Myanmar spirits. This intriguing adventure will begin from the bottom of the hill, passing the workshops, markets and monasteries, which will be useful, or even essential, to have a true understanding of the country during the rest of your journey. This excursion includes a traditional Burmese breakfast, offerings to monks and the pagoda, a visit to a fortune teller and a Burmese lunch. (This service is on a private basis.)

Day 3: Yangon - Bagan

Yangon - Bagan
Daily Summary
  • Transportation: Airport Transfers
  • Transportation (Air): Domestic Flight
  • Tour: Full Day Orientation Tour
  • Accommodation: Bagan Lodge
  • Meals: B, L
Domestic Flight
Yangon - Bagan
Flight #: TBD
Departs: TBD
Arrives: TBD

This morning you will be picked up at your hotel and transferred to the airport in good time to board your domestic flight to Bagan. Upon arrival at Bagan airport, you will meet your guide and start sightseeing! (This service is on a private basis.)

Full Day Orientation Tour

Today, you will embark on a full-day tour by car through Bagan. Learning through the eyes of your experienced guide, the focus of this tour introduces the best-known temples of the area. Your adventure begins with a climb to the top of a hill from where you can genuinely appreciate the iconic temple views. From the top, you will see the ancient ruins rising from the rice plains in every direction. It is this enchanting scenery that puts Bagan on the map. After time for plenty of photos, your exploration continues to other nearby temples, including some that are several centuries old. Places like the Ananda, Dhammayangyi, Sulamani, and Thatbyinnyu will certainly impress you.

This afternoon, you will stop for lunch at a local restaurant, before riding by horse cart to your next location. You will arrive just in time to admire the colorful sunset. Enjoy the enchanting scenery, as your guide serves refreshing beverages and another beautiful day in Bagan comes to an end. This tour includes a contribution to local charity initiatives. (This service is on a private basis.)

Bagan

Located on the eastern banks of the Irrawaddy River in central Myanmar, Bagan is famous for its picturesque Buddhist temples, pagodas, stupas and ruins. More than 2,000 of these extraordinary treasures cover an area of 16 square miles, many of which date back to the 11th and 12th centuries. Bagan is the ultimate photographer's paradise. No matter if it's the colorful hour of dawn or the balmy late afternoons, the impressive pagodas that decorate the landscape, is truly picture perfect.

Day 4: Bagan

Bagan
Daily Summary
  • Tour: Discover Myanmar's Culinary History!
  • Accommodation: Bagan Lodge
  • Meals: B, L

Discover Myanmar's Culinary History!

It’s all about food this morning. Narathihapate, or Sithu IV of Pagan, was the last king of the Pagan Empire, who supposedly had a gluttonous appetite – demanding 300 varieties of dishes at each of his banquets! Today, you are going to discover what kind of food he must have eaten, to become so obsessed. You will learn more about herbs and greens at the market in Myinkaba, visit home-based cottage industries, where products like tamarind paste or candies are made, and visit the Mingalazedi pagoda, which was built by the last king. In a local monastery, you will have the chance to satisfy your senses with the various tastes of typical Burmese ingredients, from sweet, too bitter. End your excursion with a meal, just as the last king of Bagan would have requested it - only a bit more moderate - with “only” 30 different dishes to try! Cheers! Please note, your car and guide will be available for any additional visits to temples. (This service is on a private basis.)

Day 5: Bagan - Kalaw

Bagan - Kalaw
Daily Summary
  • Transportation: Airport Transfers
  • Transportation (Air): Domestic Flight
  • Tour: Trekking & Elephants in the Forests of Kalaw
  • Accommodation: Royal Kalaw Hills Resort
  • Meals: B, L
Domestic Flight
Bagan - Heho
Flight #: TBD
Departs: TBD
Arrives: TBD

After breakfast at your hotel, you will be picked up and transferred to the airport in good time to board your domestic flight to Heho. On arrival, you will be meet your driver and guide to embark on an adventure to Kalaw. (This service is on a private basis.)

Trekking & Elephants in the Forests of Kalaw

On this adventurous tour, your guide will take you for a rewarding day into the forests surrounding Kalaw, where you will encounter elephants, their mahouts, and people living in the region. Young tourism professionals from Kalaw town decided to set-up Green Hill Valley Elephant Camp, a project that is focused on protecting nature, providing care for elephants that are no longer fit to work, and preserving the traditions of local people living in and around Kalaw – a hill station during British colonial rule that today is popular for hiking and trekking. In a big part of this privately protected forest, a natural habitat has been set aside for animals that would otherwise be vulnerable to hunting and poaching. The tour begins with a private car ride to the starting point of this trek, which is mainly downhill, walking through forest. You arrive at the main camp where the specialized staff will explain to you about their project and the daily activities at the camp. A delicious lunch of Nepalese food will be served to you. It’s then time to help the mahouts wash and feed the elephants. You will also be invited to plant a tree, before driving back in the late afternoon to Kalaw town.

Kalaw

Sitting at an elevation of 4300 feet, the peaceful hill station of Kalaw offers a lush, cool respite from the heat of the plains. Known for its trekking, Kalaw is also interesting culturally with a diverse population of Shan, Indian Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims as well as Nepali Gurkhas who came to Kalaw to build the roads and railway line under British rule. Kalaw is the main setting of the novel “The Art of Hearing Heartbeats” by Jan-Philipp Sendker.

Day 6: Kalaw - Pinlaung - Loikaw

Kalaw - Pinlaung - Loikaw
Daily Summary
  • Transportation: Internal Transfer
  • Tour: Former Shan Palace & Scenic Train Ride
  • Accommodation: Loikaw Lodge
  • Meals: B, L

Once you have checked out of your hotel in Kalaw, you will set out on a three-hour journey to Pinlaung. (This service is on a private basis.)

Former Shan Palace & Scenic Train Ride

Upon arrival you will meet with a local family and set off for a short walk around town, passing the ruins of the former wooden palace of the last Sawbwa (prince) of the Pinlaung principality. After your visit, you'll enjoy a simple Shan lunch at the home of the host family. (This service is on a private basis.)

At 3:00 PM you will bid farewell to your local Shan guide and depart for the train station in Pinlaung. At 3:45 PM your train will depart for a scenic trip to Saung Byaung, arriving around 5:10 PM.

Upon disembarking the train you will be met by your Kayah guide. He will assist in transferring you to your accommodations in Loikaw (approximately 1.5 hours drive). Check-in to your lodge and enjoy the evening to rest, relax, and enjoy your new surroundings. (This service is on a private basis.)

*Please Note: The train schedule is subject to change. Exact timing and routing will vary based on the best available option for your dates.

Day 7: Loikaw

Loikaw
Daily Summary
  • Tour: Trail of the Ancestors Trek & Long Neck Villages
  • Accommodation: Loikaw Lodge
  • Meals: B, L

Trail of the Ancestors Trek & Long Neck Villages

Start the day with a visit to the bustling morning market in Loikaw and the palace of the Kayah prince. From there, you'll be driven to Pemsong village where you will begin your Trail of the Ancestors trek. A local community guide and a translator will accompany you on this 2-hour walk, telling ancestral stories about Kayah's beliefs in spirits, the importance of the totem pole, and herbal medicines. The first 30 minutes is uphill, after that, it's mostly flat. Enjoy stunning views and a delicious picnic lunch at the halfway point.

After lunch, you will continue on to the Kasae Kum Longneck tribe's village, where you'll see local handicrafts such as bracelet making, bamboo cups, weaving, and sculptures. This visit will provide an excellent opportunity to meet and engage with these women and learn more about their legend and belief system.

The trip ends with one final visit to a Kayah village where you can continue to learn more about the fascinating culture of the long neck women. After your final visit, you'll be driven back to Loikaw. (This service is on a private basis.)

Day 8: Loikaw - Samkar

Loikaw - Samkar
Daily Summary
  • Tour: Kayah Village Walk & Pekon Lake
  • Accommodation: The Inle Sanctuary Resort
  • Meals: B, L

Kayah Village Walk & Pekon Lake

This morning you will be driven to the Hta Nee La Leh village. Here you will meet with some of the local community members who will provide insights into the animist traditions practiced at their local shrines. Enjoy a stroll through the community and continue by oxcart for a 30-minute scenic ride to the 7 lakes. Stop to enjoy a delicious Kayah BBQ lunch.

After lunch, you'll be driven to Pekon where you'll bid farewell to Kayah State and continue by private boat across the wide Pekon Lake. After cruising for about 2 hours you'll arrive at Samkar Village.

If time allows you can visit the Samkar monastery. Alternatively, if you wish to relax, just enjoy watching the sunset from the Samkar Lodge terrace. (This service is on a private basis.)

Day 9: Samkar - Inle Lake

Samkar - Inle Lake
Daily Summary
  • Transportation: Internal Transfer
  • Tour: Inle Lake Culture, Scenery & Markets
  • Accommodation: Villa Inle Resort & Spa
  • Meals: B, L

This morning your journey continues northwards to Nyaung Shwe. On the way, you will visit Hmawbi temple ruins and other sights the lake is famous for. (This service is on a private basis.)

Inle Lake Culture, Scenery & Markets

Inle Lake is surrounded by traditional Shan Villages, where the Intha people have been living for many centuries, in villages built entirely on stilts above the water. Today's tour begins with a ride on a private motorboat around the lake. This offers the chance to truly appreciate the natural beauty of the lake, visit the floating gardens, observe some of the famous leg rowers and enjoy some tea at a local family’s home. On and around the lake, traditional markets are held in various villages according to a 5-day rotating schedule. During this excursion, you will visit one of these colorful markets, frequented by the local Shan and PaO people. You will also stop at a local cheroot factory, where Burmese cigars are made, before visiting a floating tomato garden and the beautiful Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda. This afternoon, you will be invited into a local Intha home for a traditional lunch, served to your liking. Your guide can also take you to a weaving factory if you are interested, before returning to your hotel. (This service is on a private basis.)

Inle Lake

Magical Inle Lake is a vast natural freshwater lake located in the heart of Shan State, part of Shan Hills in Myanmar bordering Laos and Thailand. It is the second largest lake in Myanmar with an estimated surface area of 44.9 square miles, and one of the highest at an elevation of 2,900 feet. A wonderful watery world of floating gardens, stilted villages and crumbling stupas, Inle Lake is a place to be savored. Watch the unique leg-rowers of the Inthas, the native lake dwellers. Revel in colorful floating markets, meditative monasteries and interesting hill tribe villages in the surrounding mountains.

Day 10: Inle Lake

Inle Lake
Daily Summary
  • Tour: Full Day Trekking & Pa O Village
  • Accommodation: Villa Inle Resort & Spa
  • Meals: B, L

Full Day Trekking & Pa O Village

The Pa O are one of the distinctive hill tribes from the Shan State, known for their navy blue attire, colorful red turbans and their incredible farming and trading skills. On this full day trek adventure, you will receive an exclusive look into the unique life of the Pa O. The tour includes visits to their hillside villages, samples of their traditional cuisine and the opportunity to even dress like them. Depending on the location of your hotel, this excursion will either begin with a short horse cart ride or scenic boat ride. Upon arrival at the starting point, you will embark on a 2.5 hour walk towards the Pa O villages. Please note that parts of this trek are slightly uphill.

Once you have made it to your first Pa O village, you will be introduced to some of the village monks, visit a local school and learn more about their traditional dress. From there, your trek continues about another 30 minutes, on mainly flat land. Upon arrival in the next village, you are invited to enjoy a traditional Pa O lunch. Your authentic dishes may include ginger soup, pumpkin leaf salad and sukini leaf salad. After some time to relax, you will follow your guide on the last 2.5 hour hike of the day. The scenery showcases breathtaking views of the lake and vast plantations of crops, featuring ginger, garlic and turmeric. Admire the pristine and peaceful setting, on the way back to your hotel transfer. (This service is on a private basis.)

Day 11: Inle Lake

Inle Lake
Daily Summary
  • Tour: Shan Cooking Class With Locals
  • Accommodation: Villa Inle Resort & Spa
  • Meals: B, L

Shan Cooking Class With Locals

Meet Tin Tin – an Intha native from Inle lake, who will share her traditional Shan recipes with you today during an interactive cooking class. Your unique course will take place in a local family house that is built on stilts on the lake. It may not be a Master Chef class from a Michelin restaurant owner, but this simple, flavorful, home-cooked food from a local, is sure to be a highlight of your stay. Your teacher has been cooking her whole life for her family.

Together, with an English speaking translator, you will visit the local market to gather all of the necessary ingredients for your class. You will then travel by boat to the traditional house, where the fun truly begins! Start by helping to clean vegetables, before you continue chopping the ingredients, frying or boiling the food, adding the right herbs and mixing the right ingredients. Of course, your class will finish with a delicious lunch, made of your own hard work. A kitchen apron, some specific local kitchen tools and a list with all ingredients to try your cooking skills again from home, will be provided for you today. This will be a fantastic way to not only learn about how to make the local food but also to get a taste of the real and authentic life of an Intha on the lake. (This service is on a private basis.)

Day 12: Inle Lake - Yangon Departure

Inle Lake - Yangon Departure
Daily Summary
  • Transportation: Airport Transfers
  • Transportation (Air): Domestic Flight
  • Tour: Pampering & Shopping
  • Transportation: Airport Transfer
  • Meals: B
Domestic Flight
Heho - Yangon
Flight #: Air KBZ K7 249
Departs: 10:30 AM
Arrives: 11:40 AM

This morning you will say goodbye to Inle Lake as you head back to Yangon for departure. At the appropriate time, you will be picked up at your hotel and transferred to the airport in good time to board your domestic flight. Upon arrival in Yangon, you will meet your guide for one final exploration! (This service is on a private basis.)

Pampering & Shopping

Join our specialist shopping guide for this half-day tour, and go on a personalized shopping spree to boutique shops, markets and bazaars to find almost anything your heart desires. Whether it’s a longyi (local sarong), a silk shirt, old books, antiques, paintings or even a trishaw, our shopping specialist knows just where to find it. Depending on what you prefer, this fun shopping excursion can either start or end with a delicious lunch in the company of a local entrepreneur, who grows their own organic vegetables and produces locally made ‘French’ cheeses, hams and other specially prepared foods. After your shopping bonanza you can soothe your aching feet with a foot massage, given by visually impaired and hard of hearing masseuses, trained by a local charity. (This service is on a private basis.)

Although your adventure must come to an end today, you will be leaving with new friends, amazing experiences, and memories to cherish for the rest of your life. At the end of your tour, your driver will transfer you to the airport in good time to board your international departure flight. (This service is on a private basis.)

We wish you safe and happy travels home!

Accommodation

Savoy Hotel Yangon

Savoy Hotel Yangon

Since founded in 1995, the Savoy Hotel Yangon has been in private ownership, as a boutique heritage property. Each of the hotel's 95 full time employees are committed to quality service and exceeding expectations. A total of 30 deluxe rooms, including six suites, offer an experience of old world charm, styled with traditional Myanmar antiques, teak furniture and spacious bathrooms. The Savoy is idyllically located overlooking the iconic Shwedagon Pagoda and the nearby People's Park, just ten minutes drive from the city center and 20 minutes to the International Airport. Nicely overshadowed by tall ancient trees, the pool and outdoor lounge area offer a silent oasis in the middle of the bustling city.

Bagan Lodge

Bagan Lodge

Perched on the edge of an archaeological wonderland, Bagan Lodge is a gateway to some of the world's most magnificent temples and pagodas. The elegant rooms and suites evoke the romance of a storied expedition, albeit in posh, air-conditioned comfort. The delicious restaurant and bars are fuel to the fire of local adventure, and the swimming pool and spa promise an oasis at any time of day. You can indulge in your own personal paradise, here at Bagan Lodge.

Royal Kalaw Hills Resort

Royal Kalaw Hills Resort

The Royal Kalaw Hills Resort is a unique 19th Century mansion located at the base of Kalaw Hills. The main building was originally built in 1928 and renovated to its original looks. It is the perfect base to visit colonial railway station, Kalaw market, Shwe Oo Min Pagoda, Green Hill Valley Elephant Camp and Pine Forests at mountainside. With 14 boutique rooms, all with mountain views makes it the perfect place to enjoy the best of the area.

Loikaw Lodge

Loikaw Lodge

Founded and managed by a German-Myanmar family, Loikaw Lodge welcomes travellers from around the world to authentic Myanmar hospitality, explorations and memories. Seated at the edge of a small lake in urban Loikaw, the lodge opens a gateway to the authentic way of life of many ethnic minority people that dwell in this unspoilt region of Myanmar. Constructed almost entirely from locally sourced materials, Loikaw Lodge is a beacon for warm hospitality, responsible tourism, and long-term sustainable travel. Stay with us at Loikaw Lodge, and connect directly with the people of this beautiful land, their traditions and cultures that are vanishing, yet have shaped the heart of Asia for more than a thousand years.

The Inle Sanctuary Resort

The Inle Sanctuary Resort

Inle Sanctuary offers one of the most breathtaking locations in Myanmar. The six luxury stilt houses, built on a pier jutting out into the middle of Inle’s three lakes have unrivaled views of the water and surrounding hills. This is a sustainable eco-lodge located by Sakar (or Samkar) Lake, an unexplored lake south of Inle Lake. Inle Sanctuary is 100% solar-powered, all food is sourced locally, and supports development in Phayartaung village. Its located off the beaten track means you will be guaranteed a peaceful stay in unspoiled natural surroundings.

Villa Inle Resort & Spa

Villa Inle Resort & Spa

Villa Inle Resort & Spa, a brand new deluxe Hotel in Inle Lake, the culture and Nation icon of Myanmar. Spread over more than 20 acres on the eastern fringe of Inle Lake in Nyaung Shwe township. Our boutique hotel features 27 secluded lakeside villas, and is the ideal choice for those seeking a unique experience, away from mass-market tourism. All villas at Villa Inle Resort & Spa are designed to harmoniously blend in with the natural environment of the Lake. Featuring hand-selected local paintings, high wooden ceilings, and spacious living areas and bathrooms, they radiate a sensation of luxury and comfort.

Pricing and Details

Starting from $ 3,588 per person

*Pricing is based on two persons traveling together, based on availability, subject to change.

Price Includes

  • Full support before, during & after your trip
  • Meals as mentioned
  • Accommodation as mentioned
  • Tours/activities as mentioned
  • Transport as mentioned

Price Excludes

  • International & domestic flights
  • Travel insurance (highly recommended)
  • Entrance visas when applicable
  • Other services not mentioned
  • Tips and gratuities to guides, drivers
  • Taxes and fees

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