This 6-day itinerary, Exploring the Tattooed Tribes of Chin State, takes you through the ethnic villages of the northwestern region of the country. Visit Yangon, Nyaung Oo, Kyunchaun, Mindat, Kyardo, Kanpetlet, Kyunchaun and Bagan, to gain a whole new cultural perspective. Chat with local tribes and trek across the lush rolling hills as you enjoy your Myanmar adventure.
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Arrive in Yangon, the country’s former capital, filled with beautiful colonial-style buildings. Stroll through downtown to see old homes and the gorgeous architecture amidst the busy city life. In the afternoon, enjoy shopping at Scotts Market. Pay a visit to Chauk Htat Gyi to see the massive reclining Buddha. Learn about a culture within a culture as you wander through Yangon’s own Chinatown. Spend the night at a hotel of your choice-- we recommend The Governor's Residence or The Strand.
Fly to Nyaung Oo and transfer to the jetty to take a boat down the Irrawaddy River to the Kyunchaung jetty. Climb into a jeep and enjoy the scenery as you sit back on the way to Mindat, a little town sitting at nearly 5,000 feet elevation. You will see the heart of the central dry zone and several toddy plantations. Once in Mindat, you’ll spend the night in a welcoming local guest house.
Learn about the daily lives of the Mon Chin, Dai Chin and Magan Chin tribes people during your time in Mindat. The women have intricately-tattooed faces and the people still don their colorful, traditional dress. Sit down for a meal at one of the flat stone tables created near the tribe’s houses. Visit Kyardo after a pleasant trek from Mindat. Meet members of the Mon tribe and learn about their ways of life - many of the men still wear only loincloth. See where the tribe makes sacrifices, their stone table cemetery and learn about their burial traditions using small pots. Return to Mindat and retire to your guesthouse.
Take a two-hour trek to the Chait River. Along the way, you’ll pass through the Chin’s mountain cultivation farm. After crossing the river, travel up on foot for four hours to the Aye Village, a small off-the-beaten-path village dotted with little wooden huts. Walk beneath the towering pines before retiring for the night, at either a local house or setting up camp in a tent.
Enjoy a savory breakfast before beginning your journey to Bagan by jeep. Delight in the panoramic view of Chin Hill and Mindat as the sun rises across the sky. After a seven-hour drive through the countryside, arrive at the Ayeyarwaddy River jetty and cross by boat. Reach Bagan that evening and relax at a local hotel-- The Aureum Palace Hotel is a great option.
Experience Burmese culture at its finest as you visit the old-world temple of Sulamani and the neverending Dhamanyan-gyi temple famous for its intricate brickworking. Visit a handicraft shop specializing in lacquerware, a unique craftsmanship in the Myinkaba village. That afternoon, transfer to the airport for your return flight to Yangon to begin your trip home.
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.
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).
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.