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Ancient Bagan to Hedonistic Ngapali

This 14-day adventure and relaxation in Myanmar Itinerary takes you through the best Myanmar has to offer. Spend the first part of your trip exploring the rich culture and history of the country. Next, find a sense of peace in the natural landscape and ancient temples dotting the countryside. Finish your trip as you lounge seaside in Myanmar’s best beachtown, Ngapali. You don’t have to pick between adventure, culture or relaxation - with this itinerary, you can have it all. 

Highlights   Pricing
  • See the world’s largest functioning bronze bell and largest unfinished pagoda in the ancient town of Mingun
  • Visit the Gubyaukgyi Temple and trace your eyes over some of the most intricate stucco work in the world
  • Watch the sunset from an exclusive evening cruise along Inle Lake Lounge seaside in the majestic town of Ngapali
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Day by Day Itinerary

View Ancient Bagan to Hedonistic Ngapali in a larger map
Day 1

Arrive in Myanmar’s former colonial capital and settle into your hotel in the charming city. Spend the evening exploring and resting up at your hotel for your thrilling adventure ahead.

Day 2

After breakfast at your hotel, catch your flight to the age-old, historic city of Bagan. After checking into your hotel, take a tour of the city’s gem, the Ananda temple. Boasting four massive Buddha images and King Anawrahta’s famous golden stupa of Shwezigon Pagoda - the spiritual site is a must-see. Search for your own enlightenment as you visit the Temple of Omniscience known as Thatbyinnyu. While inside the Dhammayangyi Temple, scope out the detailed interlocking brickworks. Revel in the last few rays of sunshine as the sun plummets in the sky while you watch from Bagan’s ancient monuments. End the day by taking a quaint horse cart ride through the old town in the evening, before retiring to your hotel.

Day 3

Rise early to catch a stunning sunrise. Learn about village life as you visit Min Nan Thu Village and the Tayoke Pyay Temple. Learn how to extract the popular, savory groundnut oil. Marvel at the intricate murals painting the walls of the Phaya Thonezu and Nandapyinnya 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 Nanpaya Temple, Manuha temple and its grandiose Buddha images. Cruise down the Ayeyarwady River on a evening boat trip and watch the sunset from your ideal river view point.

Day 4
Bagan - Mandalay - Amarapura

First fly to Mandalay and then begin your excursion to Amarapura. Feel a sense of peace as you pay a visit to the Mahagandayon Monastery. Skip across the incredible teak bridge of U Being. Slide your hand across luscious silk at a local silk weaving factory. Return to Mandalay and enjoy a half day touring the city. Make sure to check out the sacred Mahamuni Pagoda, the revered Golden Palace Monastery and finish the day by watching the sunset from the Shwe Kyin Monastery.

Day 5

Jet set on a private boat trip down the Ayeyarwaddy River to the ancient little town of Mingun. See the world’s largest functioning bronze bell along with what was intended to be the world’s largest pagoda - the yet to be completed Mingun Pahtodawgyi. After a short car trip, see the former capital of Burma, Inwa (Ava), that is settled on an island balancing between the Ayeyarwaddy River and the Myitnge Rivers. Delight in taking a horse-drawn cart to tour the Maha Aung Mye Bonzan Monastery, the leaning Nanmin Watch Tower, and the awe-inspiring wooden monastery of Bagaya Kyaung.

Day 6

Fly from Mandalay to Heho then continue on to Kalaw. Kalaw is a picturesque hill town favored by the British during colonial rule. Stroll through the local market and the quaint train station. Walk through the pine-forested hills until you reach Myinmahti village. The ancient Danu tribes inhabit this area. Observe their way of life as you walk through local farms and crops. The tribes use ox and buffalo to cultivate the crops, even today. Spend the night in the serene little village at a local hotel.

Day 7

Lounge about in the morning until it’s time to transfer to Nyaung Shwe. Take a boat to the stunning Inle Lake and catch a glimpse of the floating gardens and unique one-legged fishing style specific to this region. Spend the evening at a hotel in Inle Lake .

Day 8

You’re just in time to explore one of the exotic fifth day markets. Indulge in home grown fresh produce and local souvenirs. Enjoy a boat excursion on Inle Lake. Visit the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, the most revered shrine in the Shan states. Stop by the weaving village of Impawkhon. Watch traditional handicrafts being created in front of your eyes - notably the cheroot, a double open-ended cigar, that is especially popular among both locals and visitors.

Day 9
Inle - Indein - Inle

Ferry down Inle Lake and the Indein Creek to reach Indein village. Explore the village’s ancient pagoda and complex filled with hundreds of 16th-century Shan style stupas. If you’re feeling active, take an hours’ trek to the stunning Peacock Hill and enjoy an incredible panoramic view.

Day 10
Inle - Heho - Thandwe - Ngapali Beach

Step aboard your ferry and journey through Nyaung Shwe, catching your last glimpses of the lake before transferring to Heho Airport to fly to Thandwe and onto Ngapali Beach. Lounge beachside that day and spend the night at a local hotel.

Day 11

After 10 days of adventure, culture and exploration, it’s time to relax. Revel in an entire day of leisure. Lounge seaside or engage in a water sport such as fishing, windsurfing, kayaking or snorkeling the crystal clear waters. There’s also a golf course nearby.

Day 12

Enjoy yet another day of leisure, relaxing beachside or exploring town. The stunning beach makes the perfect spot to while away some time with a good book, listening to the waves lapping onto the white, powdery sand.

Day 13
Ngapali Beach - Thandwe - Yangon

Spend a last leisurely morning before transferring to Thandwe Airport to fly to Yangon. Spend the afternoon visiting the Shwedagon Pagoda, marveling at the diverse array of pavilions, stupas, Buddhist images and bells. Spend the night at a hotel in Yangon.

Day 14

Take one last stroll through the ancient city before spending the evening on a plane home. Snap a picture in front of the massive reclining Buddha, check out the Karaweik Royal Barge that sits on the Peaceful Royal Lake and soak in the gorgeous traditional colonial architecture. Squeeze in a last minute shop at the massive Bogyoke Aung San Market, stocking up on rare Myanmar souvenirs to bring home, as you begin your departure.


Suggested Accommodations

Belmond Governor's Residence, The Strand

Belmond 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).

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.
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.



This colonial residence, originally built in 1909 and restored in 2002, is located in the hill town Kalaw in Shan State. The building is laden with history and tradition and is surrounded by a cottage garden with ancient trees and flowers. The resort is situated in a tranquil location with a fantastic view over Kalaw and the Shan mountains. All 10 rooms of the Amara Mountain Resort are simply decorated in Asian and European style, each room with an open fire and chimney and en-suite bathroom with bathtub and shower. The resort’s dining room serves traditional Myanmar and European food. Many of the restaurant’s ingredients are picked from the resort’s own organic garden. The surrounding area has plenty of nature and culture worth exploring. Activities include trekking directly from the front door into the Shan mountains and around Kalaw, visiting Palaung, Danu and Pao villages, Kalaw market and golf course. Heho airport can be reached by car within 45 Minutes.

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.
Amazing Resort, Sandoway Resort

Amazing Resort

Amazing Resort is located on a prime stretch of Ngapali Beach. All villas in each of the three room categories (24 Deluxe Seaview villas, 10 Suite villas and three Amazing Suite villas) come with air conditioning, private baths with hot and cold showers, international direct dial (IDD) phones, satellite TV, a private verandah, and other standard in-room amenities. Recreational facilities include a swimming pool, the Spa Thukha, a 9-hole golf course located five minutes by car from the resort, bicycles for rent, and more. Dining options include all-day dining at Zee Phyu Gone, where the focus of their Burmese and international cuisine alike is on fresh local ingredients, including seafood from local fishermen. Bar El Mar, meanwhile, offers panoramic views out over the Bay of Bengal. The Amazing Resort is just a five-minute drive from Thandwe (Sandoway) Airport, which itself is about a 55-minute flight from Yangon (RGN).


Sandoway Resort

This sumptuous resort is shaded by coconut palms on the relatively un-spoilt sands of Ngapali beach. The 50 spacious villas and cottages set on six acres of land look across over tropical gardens to the glistening Bay of Bengal. This resort, designed in traditional South East Asian style, offers an idyllic escape from other, more bustling parts of the country. The stunning rooms do not have televisions or telephones to ensure complete relaxation. Built using local materials, various kinds of hard wood, stone carving and marble, guests will feel as though they are residing in a Burmese coastal palace. The resort even has its own cinema with comfortable seating, as well as a piano lounge bar and tranquil library. The onsite restaurant serves up delicious Italian, traditional Burmese and international cuisine and fresh seafood in an open-air veranda. Local activities include sailing, golf, fishing trips, boat excursions, snorkeling, cycling and sightseeing in the local town.
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