Itineraries to Inspire
Cruise, trek and fly in Burma $9,000/£7,600*
This journey is a perfectly paced introduction to the Myanmar's people and culture. Visit the spiritual and historical sites, explore off the beaten track through traditional villages and cruise down the Irrawaddy river from Mandalay to beautiful Bagan. All the while staying in some of Burma's loveliest properties.
Explore the colonial Yangon and join pilgrims at Shwedagon Pagoda, before flying to Heho in the heart of the fertile Shan Plateau. Travel to Inle Lake to discover how local farmers live in houses built on stilts and grow produce on floating gardens. Take the train to the old colonial hill station of Kalaw for some trekking in the hills. Then fly on to royal Mandalay and a river cruise down the Irrawaddy to ancient Bagan. The iconic hot air balloon flight over the 2000 temple plain is a must. Round off your trip with a few days relaxing at the beautiful Ngapali beach.
Arrive in Yangon
Arrive in Yangon and settle into your hotel.
In the evening join the throngs of devout worshippers at the iconic Shwedagon Pagoda, the holiest stupa in the land.
Governor's Residence, Yangon
Packed with pagodas and crammed with colonial relics, Yangon is one of the most enchanting cities in Asia.
Visit the famous Scott market with a wide array of handicrafts including traditionally woven silk and cotton. Perhaps ride the local circular train around the city to get an insight in daily life.
Fly to Heho and Inle Lake
Transfer to the airport for your flight to Heho, transfer to Nyaung Shwe at the north end of Inle Lake. Here board a long-tailed boat for the trip to your hotel on the eastern shore. After a relaxing afternoon take a tour by canoe through the peaceful stilt villages bathed in the golden light of dusk.
Inle Princess, Inle Lake
The lake sits in a valley between two mountain ranges and feels like a different world to the rest of Burma. Wooden houses are built high on stilts and fishermen steer their one-man boats with a unique rowing style, wrapping one leg around their oar. Rows of floating gardens produce delicious vegetables and beautiful flowers. Along with fishing and farming, traditional handicrafts are an important part of the local economy, especially silk weaving. As with all of Myanmar, religion plays a massive part in local life, and numerous pagodas and monasteries can be found on the lake and its shores.
Travel by long-tailed boat to the western bank of the lake to the ancient temple site of Indein. Explore the crumbling and atmospheric groups of pagodas and carvings of mythical creatures, and climb the covered stairway leading up the hill to Shwe Inn Thein Paya for wonderful views across the lake.
Take the train to Kalaw
Journey across the beautiful landscape of the Shan Plateau to Kalaw. In town, explore the central market and visit some of the old colonial houses including the Anglican Church, built by the British in 1900s. Visit Pinmagon monastery which houses the famous Nee Paya (Bamboo Buddha Image) estimated to have been built during the Ava Period over 500 years ago, before transferring to your hotel
Amara Mountain Resort, Kalaw
Trekking around Kalaw
Kalaw offers some of the best trekking in the country. The surrounding mountains are home to numerous hill tribes and villages including Danu, Pa-O, Palaung and Taung Yoo ethnic groups. The villagers are mostly farmers growing tea, clementines, rice and a countless variety of fruits and vegetables. Your knowledgeable guide will introduce you to the local people and be able to explain many of the plants encountered on your trek, including several herbs used in local cooking and traditional medicine.
Return to Heho and fly to Mandalay
After a relaxing morning return to Heho and fly to Mandalay.
This afternoon visit U Bein Bridge at Amarapura where you will take a rowing boat under the bridge for the best view at sunset.
Hotel by the Red Canal, Mandalay
Sightseeing Royal Mandalay
Visit the gold leaf beaters - back-breaking work but highly regarded. As is tradition, men are able to place gold leaves onto the most holy Buddha image of the country: the spectacular Mahamuni that’s been growing in size every year by more and more thick layers of gold.
Enjoy the beauty of the Shwenandaw (Golden Palace) Monastery, a superb example of a traditional wooden building and count the endless stupas of the Kuthodaw Pagoda, consisting of 729 marble slabs engraved with Buddhist scriptures.
Board your river cruise
After a relaxing morning transfer to Gawein jetty for embarkation at 12 noon and enjoy a welcome cocktail in the Saloon. Cast off to begin your voyage up stream to Mingun. The boat's English speaking manager will assist you during the visit of the Mingun Pagoda Complex. Moor Overnight at a sandbank mid-stream. After dinner, guests can enjoy a Dance and Drama performance by the Mandalay Arts School on the sundeck.
RV Paukan 2012
Cruising the Irrawaddy River
Continue your cruise on the Irrawaddy watching the river life slip by. Stop off at Sagaing to tour the temple complex and sail on to the village of Yandabo, where they specialise in pot-making. You'll sail on to moor overnight near Shwe Nann Tint.
Arrive in Bagan
Enjoy the sunrise near Bagan, before arriving at Aye Yar jetty.
Have a wander around the traditional market in Nyaung U, before checking into your hotel on the Irrawaddy river. Lacquerware is Bagan's speciality and you will have the opportunity to visit a workshop to watch craftsmen produce these beautiful handicrafts. Later climb onto a temple platform to watch the sun set behind the forest of stupas. Taste traditional Burmese food in an atmospheric restaurant by the river.
Thripytsaya Sanctuary, Bagan
Balloon ride over the temple plain
Rise early for your transfer to the launch site for hot drinks and briefing. Then take to the air for dramatic views over the unique and enchanting 11th century ruins as the sun rises from behind distant mountains.
After breakfast, start your tour of some of Bagan's beautiful temples on the ground. At the beautiful golden dome of Shwezigon Pagoda you will hear the story of King Anwaratha and his conversion to Buddhism and at Dhammayazika Pagoda see the terracotta tiles illustrating scenes from the Jataka.
Enjoy a day at leisure; relax by the pool or head out by bicycle to explore old Bagan
Fly to Thandwe and Ngapali Beach
Take short flight from Bagan to the beautiful beaches on the west coast of Myanmar.
The Sandoway, Ngapali
With its charming fishing village vibe, pristine white sands, the clear blue waters and stylish accommodation, Ngapali beach is the perfect way to end your stay in Myanmar. Spend your time visiting the local fishing village by bicycle, hire a fishing boat to take you snorkelling, enjoy a barbecue on a deserted island or just relax on your beach front lounger.
Enjoy a day at leisure.
Fly to Yangon
Fly back to Yangon to say farewell to Myanmar and prepare for your international flight home.
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