Price is based on double or twin hotel room occupancy and includes accommodation, transfers, car/driver, English-speaking guide, activities and entrance fees, breakfasts and some casual lunches while touring. Flights and optional special activities will be quoted separately. Most personal expenses, including dinners, alcoholic beverages, spa treatments and gratuities can be paid on the spot while traveling. Prices may vary depending on season, choice of accommodation and other factors.
This 10-day luxury itinerary showcases Myanmar’s complex history, touring important and iconic sites such as the temples and stupas of Bagan, the colonial buildings of Yangon, and the stilt-house villages of Inle Lake. Accompanied by expert guides and translators, you’ll gain insight into the tapestry of ethnic cultures that form modern-day Myanmar and see some of the country’s most breathtaking scenery. Visits to different ethnic communities and private time with local families, artists and scholars are part of this enlightening journey.
Your 10-day luxury itinerary begins in the capital, Yangon. Here you’ll enjoy a tour of the city’s grand colonial architecture via “Elephant Coach” - a restored antique Chevrolet bus. These Elephant Coaches are unique to Yangon and feature teak interiors decked out with Shan textiles and elaborate woodwork. Your guide for this tour is an award-winning architect and history scholar. You’ll stop at Bogyoke Aung Sun markets today where you’ll find local tea, silk, and rattan products, and in the afternoon enjoy sunset over Shwedagon Pagoda’s beautiful golden spires. Recommended hotels in Yangon are the Governor’s Residence and The Strand, both luxurious colonial properties.
Enjoy more of Yangon’s fascinating cultural heritage today with a tour of its contemporary art galleries. On this tour, you’ll visit the studio of one of Myanmar’s emerging artists, with the possibility of chatting with him about his work and the political ramifications of his work within the country. For lunch, you will dine with monks - a unique experience offered to few travelers. In the evening, set sail on a relaxing sunset cruise on the Yangon River, enjoying stunning views as the sun sinks beneath the horizon. Return to your luxury Yangon hotel tonight.
You’ll travel to the old capital of Bagan today, with its countless gold spires rising above the tree line. Bagan has an intriguing history, and here you’ll see it unravelled in its architecture - sites such as Ananda Temple, Shwezigon Pagoda, and the Minnanthu village temples. Ananda Temple was built nearly a thousand years ago and features a spectacular gold spire and four standing Buddha statues. Shwezigon Pagoda was constructed for Theravada Buddhism, with its immense circular gold-leafed stupa, one of Bagan’s most compelling and iconic sights. After this fascinating tour through the old city, check into your hotel in Bagan - we recommend the Aureum Palace Hotel.
Get up early today for a sunrise hot-air balloon ride, available in peak season from October to April. This unforgettable experience allows you to appreciate the true extent of Bagan’s beauty, its thousands of temples and its serene countryside. Today you’ll also climb the 777 stairs to the top of volcanic Mt. Popa, where you’ll discover monasteries, shrines and gold stupas at its peak. For dinner, take a private cruise on the Irrawaddy, glimpsing village life on the riverbanks. Return to your hotel in Bagan for the night.
Today you’ll travel to Mandalay to explore the city’s historic highlights. Start with the Mahamuni Paya and see the famed Buddha, covered in gold leaf by pilgrims every day. You can also visit the beautiful Shwenandaw Kyaung teak monastery, built entirely of teak wood and featuring intricately-carved depictions of the life of the Buddha. Enjoy lunch at a casual local Mandalay restaurant and settle into a hotel by the Red Canal. For dinner, you can relax in your hotel, or try out authentic local cuisine at the Green Elephant restaurant, which offers Burmese and Shan cuisine, as well as Thai and Chinese dishes. We recommend both the Hotel Red Canal and the Mandalay Hill Resort while staying in Mandalay.
Start your day with a visit to Kuthodaw Pagoda, one of Mandalay’s most striking locations. This 19th-century complex is home to the “world’s largest book”, comprising 729 white marble tablets engraved with Buddhist scriptures. The tablets are arranged in groups, each crowned by a white stupa, making for a remarkable sight. Today you can also stroll across U Bein’s Bridge, the world’s longest teak bridge at three-quarters of a mile long. Return to your hotel in Mandalay tonight.
Travel to the peaceful Inle Lake today - another must-see location in Myanmar. This is the site of floating farms and stilt-house villages where more than 70,000 people of different ethnicities call home. Get a feel for river life with a visit to the floating markets, then enjoy a unique Myanmar experience - a visit to a local vineyard. Here, you can enjoy a picnic and wine-tasting surrounded by beautiful countryside. Next up, you’ll visit the village of Indain on the west side of the lake, where you’ll see the crumbling remnants of 12th-century stupas, some overgrown with vines, others containing Buddha statues. Check into a traditional-style Inle resort tonight - we recommend Aureum Inle Resort and Spa and Inle Princess Resort, both beautiful properties located on the lakefront.
You’ll begin your day with a hike to the village of Pa-O, where traditional farming methods are still used to cultivate tobacco and mustard. In Pa-O, you can visit the local markets to observe village life and find out from the locals what it’s like to live so remotely. Today you’ll also have the unique opportunity to join a cooking class in an Inthar stilt house, cooking - and eating - authentic Myanmar dishes, and afterwards visit Phaung Daw U Pagoda, located on the lake. Phaung Daw U Pagoda is one of three main shrines in the country, housing Buddha statues from the 12th century. This evening, return to your resort on Inle Lake.
Today you’ll get a private tour of the grand Inthar Heritage House - a stilt house sporting traditional architecture in the silk-weaving village of Inn Paw Khon. The most famous residents at Inthar Heritage House are its purebred Burmese cats, reintroduced to the country in a preservation program aiming to restore the breed as a national treasure. After touring the house, you’ll enjoy lunch with a local family in a floating village, using your private guide as an interpreter to learn more about life on the river. Return to your lakeside resort for the night.
Return to Yangon today where you’ll start off with a kickboxing lesson. Different from Muay Thai due to its lack of boxing gloves, the sport dates back to the 15th century. You can find out more about it when you take the kickboxing students at the gym out to lunch. Next, head to Shwe Phone Pint fortune-telling pagoda where more than 30 different vendors ply this ancient trade. Afterwards, head to Ta Yoke Tan - Chinatown - where you can pick up local snacks, fresh fruits and some mementos of your journey before heading back to your hotel for the final night of the trip.