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Amazing, surreal, largely untouched by modernity – there are a ton of ways to describe Burma (also known as Myanmar), but it’s better to visit and see for yourself. Using Thailand as a jumping off point, take two weeks to walk, hike, and roam all over the region, from the Bagan temples and ruins to the rice paddies and rural hill tribes. And with two flights included, you’ll avoid long travel days and ensure you get the most out of your cultural immersion in different Burmese towns. Just trust us when we say you need to experience the wonder and beauty of Burma for yourself at least once in your life. Make that time now – right now.
With start and end in the authentic and popular Yangon, this 15 day itinerary takes you through the Burmese country side and to all the best Burma has to offer. Discuss itinerary options and extensions with our Asia Travel Experts.
Welcome to Myanmar!
You will meet your guide on arrival, transfer and check-in to your hotel. During the drive your guide will provide an introduction to Yangon (Rangoon), answer any questions you have, and make arrangements for the following day.
Located in the fertile delta region of central Burma (Myanmar), the former capital and waterfront city of Yangon with its crumbling British colonial mansions and ancient stupas, thriving restaurants and lively bars, is a melting pot of old and new. Home to over four million inhabitants, it's a sprawling city, the streets interspersed with parks and lakes, much of its allure stemming from the colourful street life. Marvel at the glittering Shwedagon Pagoda, wander the cobblestone streets of Bogyoke Market or simply watch the rickshaw drivers in their striped longyis (sarongs) peddle lazily through the streets as you sip on a cup of tea at a roadside tea stall.
Enjoy free time for the rest of the day.
Start the day with a city walking tour of Yangon. You will visit the city center and some major attractions around town.
In the afternoon, you will head down to Kandawgyi Lake, where you’ll see Karaweik Hall, a reconstruction of a golden royal barge floating on the eastern side. Then visit the holiest shrine in the country, the Shwedagon Paya. This gold-gilded pagoda is studded with diamonds and gems, and said to contain eight hairs of the Buddha. It’s a particularly impressive sight at sunset when the lights come on and the stupa shines beautifully.
This morning fly from Yangon to Nyuang-U. From there, transfer to the ancient city of Bagan (about 20 minutes). Situated in central Burma on the plains adjacent to the Irrawaddy River, the city is dotted with thousands of ancient stupas and temples from various eras making it one of the most remarkable archaeological sites in the world. The ancient city of Bagan was the capital of the Kingdom of Pagan from the 9th to 13th centuries and built over 10,000 Buddhist temples, pagodas and monasteries on the Bagan plains alone. Today around 2,200 of the original temples and pagodas remaining standing.
You’ll start your visit with an orientation tour of the town. Afterwards head to the nearby Shwezigon Paya, one of the town's main Buddhist sites, also incorporating a compound dedicated to the pre-Buddhism deities, the 37 Nats.
Today enjoy a Temple bike tour. Admire impressive temples such as Ananda Pahto, Htilominlo Temple, That Bin Nyu Paya (the highest pagoda in Bagan), Dhammayangyi Pahto and Shwesandaw Paya. There are also many opportunities to climb stairs to vantage points and capture some magical views.
Later see the enormous Shwe Sandaw Temple at sunset.
Optional activity: hot air balloon flight over the site possible on the mornings of day 4 or 5.
Enjoy a free day in Bagan. You can explore the stalls at the archeological site, visit the nearby Nyaung U Market, the Archeological Museum and the Royal Palace.
Another option is to take a day trip to Mt Popa, a mountain topped with monasteries and stupas. Climb the 777 steps to enjoy incredible views from the top and make a visit to the strange shrine devoted to the 37 Nat spirits.
Today travel for around two hours and arrive at your unique community lodge outside the town of Myaing, north of Bagan to experience a pioneering community-based tourism initiative in Myanmar.
This afternoon enjoy a bicycle ride around the nearby villages. Stop at the first village for lunch and attend a presentation about the project from a local member of the community. Visit a thanaka farm and try out the genuine product that you will see on the faces of many Burmese. Ride to a second village and learn about the local farming and seasonal crops. Back at the lodge, you’ll help out with a tree-planting project. Dinner this evening will be cooked by some of the nearby villagers, and entertainment will follow. Perhaps take this opportunity to interact and share your own culture with the locals.
This morning cycle to the small, 170-year-old wooden monastery nearby. Then you will stop at a village and enjoy a local breakfast prepared by the restaurants. after breakfast you’ll cycle to another village and visit a women’s cooperative to learn about their weaving, sewing and craft.
Continue your way to Mandalay. Visit en-route the beautiful Sagaing Temples, a collection of gilded stupas on the nearby hills.
Start the day with a walking tour Mandalay. Then, take a boast down the famous Ayeyarwady River to Mingun. Admire see the Mingun Pahtodawgyi, an enormous stupa which would have been the largest in the world if it had been completed. Marvel at the world’s largest ringing bell and the beautiful white Hsinphymae Pagoda which sits nearby.
Enjoy free time this afternoon.
Tonight visit Mandalay Hill, which is where Lord Buddha is said to have left a footprint. Stay here for sunset and to enjoy views over the glittering stupas and vibrant mosaics of the city at this magical time of day.
Today travel to Kalaw. The old British colonial hill station of Kalaw sits on the western rim of the Shan Plateau at an altitude of 1,320 metres (4,330 feet) above sea level, set amongst rolling hills, pine forests and bamboo groves. This beautiful and charming town was established by the British as a summer resort hill station. Visit the Pinmagon Monastery housing the bamboo strip lacquer Buddha Image and the Catholic King Church, or just wander through town to see the remnants of colonial buildings. Visit the local market where the hill tribes trade daily or consider a short hike along one of the many paths that offer magnificent views of the rugged landscape.
Today hike through the undulating hills that surround Kalaw with your guide. Your hike will take you through several hill tribe minority villages where you can observe and converse with some of the locals. Keep an eye out for the women weaving the traditional colourful clothing you'll see the locals wearing. Your guide will explain how an extended family live in a single longhouse with only curtains and small partitions offering privacy. Food is prepared and shared amongst an entire village with life here mostly unchanged for millennia.
Drive to Nyuangshwe and spend time around Inle Lake. At an altitude of 880 metres (2,900 feet) the freshwater lake of Inle is not only one of the highest lakes in the country but is one of the biggest. The lake is home to the Intha people who have lived, worked and survived off the lake for generations. They live in wooden and woven bamboo stilt houses surrounded by floating gardens. Inle’s constant source of moisture and its climate permits the Inthas to grow crops throughout the year. The most distinctive part of the Intha culture is the unique way they row their small wooden boats using their legs. You will set off across the mountains and farms and stop off at the Pindaya Caves, one of the Golden Caves in Shan state. Pilgrims flock here to worship the 8,000 golden Buddha images within the caverns, tunnels and chambers of the huge limestone cave.
Accompanied by your guide, take to the water on a boat trip on Inle Lake to look at the beautiful scenery and observe the local way of life. See the large floating gardens where the Intha grow their fruit and vegetables. The floating garden beds are made from lake-bottom weeds which are formed into garden beds and anchored by bamboo poles. These fertile floating gardens rise and fall with the changing water levels. There are also floating markets where fruit, vegetables and handmade products are sold from small boats.
Enjoy a free day around Inle Lake.
This morning drive from Inle Lake to Heho where you fly back to Yangon. Optional final dinner and night out on the town in Yangon.
Enjoy your free leisure time in Yangon until transfer service for your onward departure flight from Yangon.
All Get About Asia trips have been designed to make sure you have an unforgettable travel experience. We have developed several trip styles to cater for our diverse range of travellers. Read what your ideal Get About Asia experience might look like here.
|Standard:||from AU $2,040|
All GetAboutAsia prices are based on twin share and depend on availability and season. All our itineraries can be customised including international flights and extra nights. For questions or further information, Enquire Now!
Hotels each night of the itinerary (excluding your departure day). All GetAboutAsia accommodation is handpicked by us. Upgrades are available for this itinerary.
• Meals: 14 breakfasts, 3 lunches and 1 dinner
• All airport transfers.
• All transport on tour.
• Accommodation: Hotels (13 nights) and community lodge (1 night)
• Professional tour guides for all airport pickups, day tours and activities.
Availability of accommodation and season.