The Best of Myanmar

This journey is the traditional itinerary for a first approach of the country. For 8 days, you will cross Myanmar and its main sites, and be immersed in different atmospheres and sceneries, whose beauty will, for sure, make you willing to come back!

Tour highlights


Day 1

Arrival Yangon

Mingalabar and welcome to Myanmar! The former capital Yangon, also known as Rangoon, remains Myanmar largest city and continues to be the country's the most important commercial hub and gateway for most of its international visitors. Its colonial background and religious legacy make it one of the most mesmerizing and genuine places in all of Southeast Asia. Upon arrival at the airport you will be warmly welcomed by your guide who will take you to your hotel for check in (note: check in time is 14.00. Early check in is subject to availability). You’ll be taken downtown and start your tour on Mahanbandola Road where the Immanuel Baptist Church, originally built in 1830, is located. Continue east passing a couple of alleyways crammed with food stalls and markets. Turn right onto Pansodan Street with its many stalls selling second-hand and photocopied books. You’ll pass the High Court Building, the grand Inland Water Transport offices and even grander Myanmar Port Authority building until you’ll reach Strand Road. Your next stop will be to view the majestic Strand Hotel (note: in order to respect hotel guests at this small, exclusive property we are requested not to visit inside unless having a meal or drink at their café or bar) and walk along Strand Road until you’ll see the Customs House and the Law Court, an impressive-looking colonnaded building. Turn north onto boisterous Bank Street and up onto Sule Pagoda Road, where you can consult one of the many fortune tellers who hang out under the trees. Be sure to make a photo stop at Sule Pagoda, downtown’s symbol whose construction dates back to over 2,000 years ago standing in the middle of the heat-stained Mahabandoola Garden. After a complete rotation seeing the twice rebuilt City Hall continue west down Mahanbandoola Road through the chaotic Indian and Chinese quarters. Explore the gold shops of Shwe Bontha Street and have a look from outside at the Moseh Yeshua Synagogue on 26th street. You’ll reach Theingyi Zei market, where you can engage in a little pickled snake hunting. Exit onto Anawratha Road until you reach into the Sri Kali temple, Yangon’s most colourful Hindu temples. Lunch and dinner on own account. Overnight stay in Yangon.

Day 2


On this particular morning you will glimpse into the daily activities of Myanmar’s biggest city. The day will start off after you’ve been picked up from your hotel and moved over to Yangon’s Central Station. Embark upon the local “Circular Train”, which runs from Yangon’s main railway station around various neighbourhoods in town as well as the borders surrounding the city itself. This train travels at a deliberately slow pace which provides you with time to really enjoy your surroundings and get a clear overview of the city (train ride is about 20 minutes, please take note that the trains are very simple, and used by many locals during the day). Disembark at Kyee Myin Daine station, one of the most beautiful station buildings remaining in Yangon. From here you’ll take a short 10 minute walk through a local neighbourhood. At this hour of the morning the neighbourhood is a vibrant hive of activities with children heading off to school, folks grabbing a bowl of noodles on their way to work and nuns and monks collecting alms door to door. This middle-class neighbourhood is a good glimpse of true life in Yangon. Continue on to the Shan Road market; you will certainly find some interesting merchandise here. Walk among the stalls filled with colourful fruits, green vegetables and fresh meat while chatting with friendly vendors. When you are finished you’ll return by car to the city via the main road. Visit Kyaukhtatgyi Pagoda to see a 70 meter long reclining Buddha statue around the size of a blue whale. Most countries and cultures have examples of what might be termed “quintessentially……” and the drinking of tea can certainly be describes as “quintessentially Burmese”. To share in this staple of Myanmar living, a visit to a local tea shop is a must. In addition to the obvious “cuppa”, you will also find a wide choice of delicious morsels to sample while you soak up the atmosphere and observe the locals as they use the drinking of tea as a backdrop to both social and professional conversations. Afterwards, you continue uptown in order to make a quick stop by the Royal Lake located in Kandawgyi Park which is very popular with local residents, especially in the early morning and around sunset. Catch a view of Karaweik Hall, a reproduction of a royal barge and enjoy a spectacular view of the Golden Shwedagon Pagoda. No Myanmar expedition can be considered truly great if it’s lacking a visit to the legendary Shwedagon Pagoda. Ready for an amazing experience? The visual delights present there alone, are worth the trip. The best time to visit Shwedagon Pagoda is at sunset when its gilded stupa is bathed in the fading rays of the sun and takes on a magical glow. No Myanmar expedition can be considered truly great if it’s lacking a visit this legendary site. Ascend the eastern stairway to find a row of shops at the base of the temple selling various religious items. Here you will find monks robes, alms bowls, offerings, incense and other unique Buddhist objects. As your browse the stalls your guide will explain the use and rituals of Myanmar’s Buddhist people. Then reach the platform which forms the base of the majestic temple. As the sun begins to dip low in the sky, witness the colours transform on the 100-meter chedi which is literally enclosed in over 40 tons of gold leaf. Shwedagon is largely considered to be the most important religious site for the Burmese; most visitors report that the trip is extremely memorable and still etched into their minds. Lunch and dinner on own account. Overnight stay in Yangon. ( B )

INCLUDES : Breakfast

Day 3

Yangon - Bagan

After enjoying your breakfast you will be transferred to the airport for your domestic flight to Bagan. Welcome to Bagan, known to be one of the greatest architectural sites in Asia. When Bagan was the centre of Myanmar from the 11th to 13th centuries the monarchs built multitudes of massive stupas and pagodas, scores of which are still present on the shores of the Irrawaddy River. The majesty of Bagan with more than 4000 red brick temples on a plain of the size of Manhattan island is one of the highlights of a Myanmar holiday that will soothe the eye of every traveller. Discover the best of Bagan today! Not simply a chance to see the splendid Bagan temples, this excursion also introduces you to the Burmese culture, allows you to see traditional craftsmen at work and takes you up the mighty Irrawaddy River to a decidedly unusual ‘cave’ temple! Your fist port of call is an elevated temple with its panoramic views of the Bagan plains. This viewpoint will give you a taste of the sheer number of temples as well as some of their distinctive styles. From here you will have a look around the Ananda Temple – one of the most exalted of Bagan’s temples. We will ensure that our tour reaches this point before the majority of tourist arrive, enabling you to enjoy the splendour of the temple in relative tranquillity. Continue to various other temples dotted around the temple plains to experience a variety of architectural styles in the area as well as the artistic wonder of the 9-14th centuries. Traveling amid the temples you will get a taste of rural Bagan life in this ‘living museum’ setting where farmers and families work amongst the monuments. Next on the agenda is your chance to learn more about the local culture with a visit to two workshops producing Bagan’s most famous products - lacquer ware and wood crafts. Watch in amazement as the skilled craftsmen use traditional techniques passed down through generations to create beautiful items.# After a short siesta back at your hotel, you will board a private river boat and set off upriver towards Kyauk Gu U Min. Throughout your Irrawaddy river cruise you will be treated to fabulous scenes of life on and by the water: fishermen, ferry boats, riverside villages and views of the Bagan temples. There will be a stop at a riverside village to allow you go ashore for a short stroll and observe the lives of the river’s residents. The friendly people work as farmers and fishermen, living a simple but happy life. After returning aboard the cruise continues to Kyauk Gu U Min on the eastern side of the river from where it is only a five to ten minute walk to the temple. This beautiful masterpiece has exquisite stone carvings depicting religious figures and flowers. The temple itself is built into the side of cliff and behind the main hall is access to a quiet and tranquil cave. Inside the cave there are several small recessed alcoves which are ideal for meditation. Legend has it that the cave was built during the 13th century for the locals to hide from the invading Mongols. After your exploration of Kyauk Gu U Min, you’ll return to the boat for a relaxing cruise back to Bagan (around 1 hour). Transfer back to your hotel. Lunch and Dinner on own account. Overnight stay in Bagan. ( B )

INCLUDES : Breakfast

Day 4


After breakfast at your hotel, your guide and driver will pick you up to start your Bagan excursion. It’s off to the vibrant Nyaung Oo Market, where the locals come to trade fresh produce and other goods daily. From here you will have a look around the Old Bagan starting with a visit of the renowned Shwezigon Pagoda, constructed by King Anawrahta in the early 11th century as a religious memorial. Travel over dusty lanes and tree shaded roads past temples and monasteries to a small village. Explore the village on foot, getting a glimpse of local lifestyles of Bagan’s residents. Continue to more lesser-known monuments, selected based on your interest, in the area for the remainder of the morning. If you wish, a short walk can be arranged through a series of smaller monuments which allows for a unique perspective of Bagan. From here you will journey on by horse cart for an excursion that passes Thatbyinnyu, the tallest temple in Bagan, gigantic Dhammayangyi Temple noted for its remarkable brickwork, and of course, Sulamani Temple. Take pleasure in an extraordinary sunset from the upper terrace of one of the surrounding temples. Lunch and Dinner on own account. Overnight stay in Bagan. ( B )

INCLUDES : Breakfast

Day 5

Bagan - Heho - Inle Lake

After enjoying your breakfast you will be transferred to the airport (1 hour) for your domestic flight to Heho. From Heho, you will experience a lovely scenic one-hour drive (32km – 1 hour) which leads to Nyaung Shwe, gateway village to Inle Lake. Along the way, you will have an opportunity to visit rural workshops that specialize in traditional Shan paper and unique handcrafted umbrellas. Upon reaching the edge of the lake, take a short orientation tour of Nyaung Shwe, a small town of narrow streets dotted with temples, monasteries, tea shops and local houses. Then you will board a private motorboat and begin heading out onto Inle Lake, one of Myanmar’s most spectacular and breath taking sights. Its calm waters are dotted with floating vegetation and fishing canoes, to which scenic hills provide the perfect backdrop. Along the way you will pass several villages that are built on stilts over the lake, which are inhabited by the local Intha people. Observe the daily activities of the local leg-rowing fishermen and see their ‘floating gardens’, which are built up from strips of water hyacinth, earth and anchored to the bottom of the lake with bamboo poles. You will also visit Nga Hpe Chaung Monastery, which houses loads of early Shan Buddha Images. In the past this temple was known for its ‘jumping cats’ but these days there are only a few felines roaming around and none are jumping any more. Yet the Buddha images are still worth the visit. Proceed to the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, the lake’s main haven, which contains five sacred images of Buddha decorated in gold leaf. There are also many traditional crafts originating on Inle Lake and , should you wish, we can stop for a visit to one making incredible woven items from lotus silk, boat builders (depending on the time of year), a cigar making workshop, blacksmiths or even silver smiths. The day will come to a close with a return trip by boat back to your hotel. Lunch and Dinner on own account. Overnight stay in Inle Lake ( B )

INCLUDES : Breakfast

Day 6

Inle Lake - In Dein - Inle Lake

After breakfast you’ll pay a visit to the lake’s morning market (the market is open every day apart from dark moon and full moon calendar days). The market’s location rotates between the lake’s villages in a 5 day schedule and is also visited daily by the lake’s inhabitants as well as the surrounding natives who also come to sell and trade their wares. A 1-hour boat ride down a small canal will take you to the Pa-Oh village of Indein, positioned on the western shores of Inle Lake. Take a leisurely stroll around the village before ascending a rural road to the top of a hill. Once you’ve arrived at the summit, you will be greeted buy an iconic Buddha image which sits enshrined among hundreds of stupa ruins and overgrown shrubbery. Here, from the peak, you will also be rewarded with mesmerizing views of the placid surroundings. The Indein Pagoda complex is undoubtedly one of the most amazing sites around the shore of the lake and it consists of hundreds of small stupas which are overrun by moss and greenery. On your boat ride back, should time allow and if you wish, you'll stop at the Inthar Heritage House to learn more about the history and culture of the lake's indigenous people and enjoy a delicious coffee and cake (snack break not included). Lunch and dinner on own account. Overnight stay in Inle Lake. ( B )

INCLUDES : Breakfast

Day 7

Inle Lake - Heho - Yangon

Breakfast will be served at your hotel before driving by a combination of boat and car to the Heho Airport (1-1.5 hour) for a short flight back to Yangon. The remainder of your day is at your leisure with guide and car at your disposal for last minute shopping or sightseeing. Lunch and dinner own account. Overnight stay in Yangon. ( B )

INCLUDES : Breakfast

Day 8

Yangon Departure

Breakfast at hotel. Transfer to airport for your departure flight. Lunch and dinner on your onw account. Rooms are available until 12:00. ( B ) Should you wish to extend your stay or add another exciting destination to this Tour, please call one of our Myanmar holiday travel specialists.

INCLUDES : Breakfast


Superior 1st June 2016 - 31st March 2017

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