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Cultural Highlights and Himalayan Foothills

Revel in the lush natural beauty of a country known for it’s colorful political past. Myanmar boasts the most intricately-designed Buddhas in the world, as well as several traditional temples open to the public. Discover your adventurous side as you travel into the country’s beautiful trekking scene. This 14-day Myanmar itinerary will take you through Yangon, Bagan, Lake Inle, Mandalay, and Putao. 

Highlights   Pricing
  • Shop at a rare and exotic floating fifth day market on Inle Lake
  • Visit with villagers in the traditional villages of the Putao region
  • Raft down the lower Malikha River and see the pristine white river beaches from a new perspective
  • Marvel at some of the country’s most incredible, ancient pagodas and temples, including one containing the world’s largest book
 
Starting at
$840
per person per day
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Day by Day Itinerary

View Cultural Highlights and Himalayan Foothills in a larger map
Day 1

Arrive in Yangon, the country’s former capital filled with beautiful colonial style buildings. Spend the evening familiarizing yourself with your surroundings and checking into your hotel. Relax at your hotel this evening. We recommend the Governor's Residence or The Strand.

Day 2

After having breakfast at your hotel, fly to the ancient city of Bagan. The city once had over 10,000 Buddhist temples and more than 2,000 remain today. After checking into your hotel, take a tour of the Ananda temple. The temple contains four massive Buddha images and King Anawrahta’s famous golden stupa of Shwezigon Pagoda. Feel enlightened as you visit the Temple of Omniscience, known as Thatbyinnyu. See the grand interlocking brickworks at the famous, massive Dhammayangyi Temple. Watch the sun dip in the tangerine sky from Bagan’s ancient monuments and take a quaint horse cart ride through the old town in the evening, before retiring to Aureum Palace Hotel.

Day 3

Catch a majestic Bagan sunrise to begin your day. Learn about village life as you visit Tayokepay Temple and Min Nan Thu Village. You’ll have the rare opportunity to learn how to extract coveted groundnut oil. Marvel at the intricate murals painting the walls of the Phaya Thonezu and Nanda-pyinnya Temples. Stock up on artisanal goods and snack on Burmese treats and ripe produce as you peruse the lively Nyaung Oo Market. Gain new cultural insight as you continue to Myinkaba to visit the Gubyaukgyi Temple, noted for its intricate stucco detail, as well as Nanpaya Temple, Manuha temple and its grandiose Buddha images. The day is complete as you relax on a sunset boat trip and cruise down the Ayeyarwady River.

Day 4

Day four of your adventure is spent traveling through Heho and arriving in Inle. Enjoy a ferry ride and catch a glimpse of the beautiful floating gardens and the unique one-legged fishing style specific to the area. Spend the night at in Lake Inle at the Inle Princess Resort or Aureum Inle Resort & Spa.

Day 5

You’re just in time for the fifth day market. Join in as the region’s ethnic tribes meet to buy, sell and exchange delicious home grown produce. Watch as local tribesmen create traditional handicrafts such as the local cheroot - a cigar with open ends on each side. Explore the well-known “Nga Phe Chaung” monastery and view the stunning collection of Buddhist statues.

Day 6

Take a boat ride to Nyaung Shwe to reach Heho airport for your flight into Mandalay - the last royal capital of Burma. See the world’s largest book at the golden Buddhist Stupa - Kuthodaw Pagoda. The pagoda is made up of 729 marbles slabs. Visit the Mahamuni Pagoda that is regarded as one of the holiest Pagodas in Myanmar’s history. Walk through the Golden Palace (Shwe Kyaung) monastery, decorated with elaborate wood carvings. Spend the sunset in peace as you watch the evening prayers. That night, rest at your hotel in the city.

Day 7

Lounge in leisure until it’s time for your mid-morning departure to Putao. Putao is the gateway for trekkers looking to explore the snow-capped mountains and sprawling flat valleys. Enjoy dinner and a quiet overnight in a white canopied bed at the Malikha Lodge.

Day 8
Machanbaw - Namkham

Begin the morning by strolling through a local Putao market ran by the area’s ethnic tribes. Enjoy a jeep excursion down a pebbled road and across the Malikha River to the quaint colonial style town of Machanbaw. Explore the candidly-named “Stone Dragon Park,” before taking a local river boat for a tour of the sprawling Rawan local village. Here, you have the rare opportunity to see the Kanugmulon Pagoda - a historic Buddhist monument built in 300 B.C.

Day 9
Mudon

Catch a glimpse of the country’s humanitarian efforts as you visit one of the local orphanage schools. Once you’ve finished your visit, walk and bike to the Paneling Hkamti Shan Village and find the exotic Mahamuni picture displayed in the village. Journey through Putaung Shan, Gyin Lisu and Malawagy villages all against an incredible backdrop of picturesque, snow-capped mountains. Make your way back to the Malikha Lodge through the village of Lonsut.

Day 10
Malikha River

Get ready for an adventurous day as you take a jeep ride into the Mulashidi village. It’s time to grab an oar and raft down the pristine freshwater of Mula river. Post-rafting, you can explore the exotic white river beaches before returning to Putao by jeep.

Day 11
Hopaing

Walk or bike your way through the Lonsut village and the unending paddy fields. Cross Namhtun creek, the Hopaing Shan Village, the village’s exquisite monastery and see a different way of life as you stop and discover how the locals live.

Day 12

Stock up on last minute souvenirs from the area’s local market before catching your flight back to Mandalay. Rest up at your hotel that evening.

Day 13
Mandalay - Mingun - Yangon

Travel to the jetty by an exclusive private boat trip on the Ayeyarwaddy River that will take you all the way to Mingun. Take a picture with the world’s largest functioning bronze bell: the Mingun bell. See the unfinished Mingun Paya that once aspired to be the world's largest pagoda, though this has yet to come to fruition. Take a late afternoon flight to Yangon and enjoy an evening of leisure in your hotel.

Day 14

Walk along the streets of Yangon to discover the city’s picturesque colonial architecture, the Karaweik Royal Barge suspended over the quiet Royal Lake and a last chance shop through the massive Bogyoke Aung San Market. Your adventure ends here, as you travel from Yangon and make your way home.

 

Suggested Accommodations

Location
Accommodation
YANGON
Governor's Residence, The Strand

Governor's Residence

Located in a lotus garden not far from the Shwedagon Pagoda is The Governor's Residence. Once a governor's mansion, it has since been converted in to a 49-room hotel, a 30-minute drive from Yangon airport (RGN). Located in the hotel are two restaurants; the Mandalay Restaurant serves Asian and European cuisine and the Mindon Lounge is a comfortable spot to sit indoors overlooking the garden, or outdoors, and enjoy a refreshment. While there is a swimming pool and massage treatments are offered, there is no spa. The Governor’s Residence has a fitness center and WiFi is available anywhere on hotel grounds, in addition to having a business center for Internet and email access.

 

The Strand

This elegant 32-room colonial palace, built at the height of the British rule in Burma, is reminiscent of the romantic era of Graham Greene and W. Somerset Maugham. It remains an oasis of tranquility in an ever-changing and bustling Rangoon. The Strand was previously part of the Aman group, and is still of Aman caliber in its splendid suites, delicious food and superb service. It is now a part of the GHM Group, which is an Aman affiliate. The hotel offers two dining options, The Strand Café, which features Burmese cuisine, and The Strand Grill, which is said to be one of Yangon’s finest dining venues. A business center is available for Internet and email access with professional secretarial services. The hotel has The Strand Boutique for shopping and The Strand Spa Suite for spa treatments. The hotel is a 30-minute drive from Yangon International Airport (RGN).

 
 
BAGAN
Aureum Palace Hotel, Thiripyitsaya Sakura Hotel

Aureum Palace Hotel

Set back in 27 acres of lush, tropical gardens, The Aureum Palace Hotel is a tranquil retreat in the heart of Bagan. Spacious villas lace the resort’s expansive gardens and are lavishly appointed with hand-crafted teak furnishings, antiques and local artifacts. Dining options are extensive. For traditional Myanmar and Thai cuisine, visit The Shan, or for Italian cuisine and wines, dine at Casa D’Enzo. Casual cocktails and lighter fare are available at the resort’s many outdoor patios and cafes and poolside dining is available throughout the day. The Spa at the Aureum Palace offers aromatherapy treatments and massage by appointment. There is a swimming pool and fitness center, as well as a business center for Internet access.

 

Thiripyitsaya Sakura Hotel

Thiripyitsaya Sakura Hotel is a grand property situated on the banks of the evocative Irrawaddy River, in the ancient city of Bagan. This charming, classically decorated hotel was originally established thirty years ago by the Myanmar government, and the property is now under Japanese management. The hotel has since undergone extensive renovation, upgrading and expansion. Set in a beautiful riverfront location, amongst 24 acres of well-landscaped gardens, this hotel is a truly luxurious sanctuary. The Resort has been host to international political and business leaders and celebrities, and is considered to be Bagan’s foremost hotel. Guest rooms are spacious and tastefully appointed. Every room is thoughtfully decorated in a traditional Myanmar style using local materials and teak wood. The hotel boasts superlative cuisine, a spa, a lounge bar, a coffee shop, Jaccuzzi and the biggest outdoor pool and sundeck in the area. A choice collection of Myanmar souvenirs is offered at “The Thiripyitsaya Boutique," located next to the Reception. Hand-woven lotus fabric, antique lacquer ware, originally designed jewellery, photographs and artwork, handicraft, silverware, longyi, books and postcards, as well as film, sunblock, bathing suits and other practical goods are available.
 
 
INLE LAKE
Aureum Inle Resort & Spa, Inle Princess Resort

Aureum Inle Resort & Spa

Opened in 2010, the Aureum Inle Resort & Spa is perched on the edge of Inle Lake with villas surrounding its banks. Each of the 66 units comes with separate sleeping and living areas, satellite television, private balconies and outdoor terraces. Dine at either one of the hotel’s restaurants (both indoor and outdoor options are available). Other on-site facilities include a spa and beauty parlor, a swimming pool and a boutique shop. Water sport activities are also available through the hotel.

 

Inle Princess Resort

The Inle Princess Resort lies on the northeast shore of Inle Lake, set against dramatic mountains. Forty-six chalets built in a traditional Shan style with high peaked roofs are lined along the waterfront – 27 with views of the lake, and 19 with views over landscaped tropical gardens full of exotic flowers. The Princess’s restaurant serves Shan, Intha, Thai, Chinese, and European cuisine, with a special set menu for vegetarian guests. Special private dinners are also available on the restaurant’s terrace, overlooking the lake, and in the resort’s Wine Cave. The Princess’s Spa, open from 09:00 to 22:00 each day, offers a variety of massages and treatments and has Sauna, Steam Room, and Jacuzzi facilities, as well as hydrotherapy with natural hot spring water. All rooms are WiFi enabled, and fax and Internet services are also available via the front desk. Morning yoga and meditation grouped classes are offered; private sessions can be arranged at additional cost. The resort is approximately a 50-minute drive from the airport in Heho followed by a 25-minute boat ride.
 
 
MANDALAY
Mandalay Hill Resort, Red Canal

Mandalay Hill Resort

With 206 guest rooms and suites featuring beautiful views of the Irrawaddy River and the Royal Palace, the Mandalay Hill Resort Hotel is a comfortable retreat located at the foot of Mandalay Hill. Amenities include a fitness center, two tennis courts, a swimming pool, massage services as well as a number of dining options to choose from. Enjoy an international barbecue buffet and culture show at Kinsana Garden Theater or traditional Chinese cuisine at Ming’s Chinese Restaurant. Kipling’s Lounge offers a tapas menu and performances by a live band while Yadanabon Cafe provides guests with local Myanmar cuisine. The Mandalay Hill Resort Hotel is approximately 15 minutes from the Mandalay airport.
 

Red Canal


Being a boutique property this hotel prides itself on its high standards of Myanmar grace and hospitality. The hotel is a celebration of all things Myanmar, featuring teak furniture, fixtures and fittings made from rattan, mother-of-pearl and Myanmar marble. Each room bears the name of a Myanmar ethnic group, the design and decoration of each room reflects their respective cultural heritage. Chin and Shan suites feature a terrace overlooking the pool and gardens. The Rakhine suites are spacious and ideal for the business traveler. An outdoor shower with a slate wall of cascading water is the highlight of the honeymooner Kachin suites. Onsite dining includes the Spice Garden an elegant restaurant serving Myanmar, Northern and Southern Indian cuisines. Step into the stylish spa for beauty and health treatments. The spa’s interior is inspired by traditional construction methods of rural villages in Myanmar. The building remains at a comfortable temperature, even in summer with walls plastered with natural mud mixed with rice husks and straw. Running water features, rattan fixtures and terracotta tiles combine to give this retreat a rustic and earthy feel.


 
 
Meet An Asia Expert
From Our Blog
Our co-founder Jay Tindall has been visiting Myanmar since 1993. He prefers to escape to remote areas such as Loikaw & the Chin State, as well as sailing in the Mergui Islands.
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