The more you go, the bigger and more diverse Myanmar seems to be. This journey brings you a chance to immerse yourself into every aspect of Myanmar. From the bustling Yangon to peaceful traditional villages around Inle Lake, a walk to reach the summit of Golden Rock or a scenic drive to Pindaya through the picturesque countryside of Shan State promise to give you the best memories. Discover the magical ancient country though charming temples and pagodas scattered around Myanmar, get off the beaten path and the mold of daily life in busy cities to get to know the locals in provincial areas.
Itinerary in detail
Day 1: Yangon – Arrival
Met and welcome by the Hanoi Voyages Guide upon arrival at the airport. Then transferred by private car to your hotel.
You refresh and relax a little after your flight, then we will furnish you with various items needed to begin your adventure:
- You will be given a map of the city, and the necessary explanations to help guide you.
- Then we’ll help you to exchange currency, and you can start to soak up the atmosphere.
Overnight in Yangon
Day 2: Yangon - City tour
After breakfast, a local tour guide will meet you at the hotel’s lobby and we start exploring the most highlights of Yangon:
- Visit Shwedagon Pagoda, one of the world’s most spectacular religious monuments. The golden dome Pagoda is the place to see the local ways of life and belief then.
- After that proceed to Chaukhtatgyi Pagoda with the huge reclining Buddha Statue in length of 72 meters long and then taking a lunch break at an authentic local restaurant to introduce typical local foods to you.
After lunch, drive back to the hotel to take a short break till afternoon sightseeing begin.
In the afternoon, we will visit Bogyoke Market before exploring the reality of Yangon’s suburbs through city circular train ride:
- Firstly you will be transferred to Yangon Central Railway Station built in 1954 based on Burmese Traditional Architectural Styles.
- Then take a train ride for one hour which runs through Yangon’s suburbs.
Disembark at Insein Train Station and meet up with your drive there and drive back to the hotel to have early rest for tomorrow’s early wake-up.
Overnight in Yangon.
Day 3: Yangon - Kyaiktiyo - Golden Rock
In the early morning, depart Yangon in a private vehicle for Kyaiktiyo standing on a gilded boulder precariously perched on the edge of the hill over 3615 feet above sea-level, 190km to the east of Yangon.
Late morning, arrive at Kyaikhtiyo and stop at Kinpun Basecamp, then transfer an open truck for one hour ride to the transit junction and take a slight hiking for one hour to reach the summit to see the Golden Rock, one of Myanmar most important pilgrimage sites.
Overnight in Kyaikhtiyo
Day 4: Kyaiktiyo - Bago - Yangon
After breakfast return to Yangon. On the way, stop at Bago, an ancient city of the 15th century Mon Kingdom as well as Myanmar Second Dynasty and pay visits to Shwemawdaw Pagoda – the highest pagoda in Myanmar Kanbawzathadi Palace, the palace site of King Bayinnaung who is the founder of Myanmar 2nd Dynasty Shwethalyaung Pagoda – 55 meters long reclining Buddha Mons’ weaving village, and Cheroot Making Home Cottage Industry.
On the way back to Yangon, visit Kyaikpon Four gigantic Buddha Images and the Allied War Cemetery near Htaukkyant where 27,000 allied soldiers who had perished during the Second World War were buried Overnight at hotel in Yangon
Day 5: Yangon - FLY - Bagan
Transfer to the airport for a flight to Bagan. Upon arrival met and welcome by our guide and begin the day of discovery.
The plain of Bagan is the largest archaeological site in Myanmar and it covers around 40 square kilometers and is a testament to the populations’ Buddhist beliefs.
In this magical and historical location, there are over 2000 pagodas spread out and punctuated by vegetation. Some of the monuments were built between the 10th and 13th century, showing a variety of external influences including Tibetan, Indian, Sri Lankan and some Burmese influences as well.
Our guided tour of Old Bagan and popular surrounding sites can be made by carriage or bike, depending on your choice. We will see The door, Sarabha The monastery of Ananda Archaeological Museum Thatbyinnyu Temple Dhammayanzika Temple. And at sunset, if the sky permits, we will climb to the terrace of a temple to admire the scenery of Bagan in the last rays of the setting sun.
Overnight in Bagan
Day 6: Bagan - City tour – puppet show dinner
After a short tour of the Nyaung Oo Market, we will resume our visit to the ancient and historical archaeological sites, with a visit to Shwezigon Pagoda, one of the most beautiful and richly decorated pagodas in the country.
After lunch, we embark on a carriage ride and visit the village of Minnanthu, set a little apart from the ruins:
- The Sulamani temple
- The Tayoke Pyay and see its temple frescoes, and also enjoy the spectacular views and contemplate the pinnacle of the temple
- The pagoda Dhammayazika
Enjoy dinner in Bagan and a puppet show.
Overnight in Bagan
Day 7: Bagan - Popa mountain - Bagan
The morning will commence with a drive to Mt. Popa, an extinct volcano over 1500 m high, about 48 km southeast of Bagan and visit the Nat worship shrines, stupas, and monasteries at the summit.
In the afternoon, depart for Salay, an old town with ancient ruins from the Bagan era with visits Payathonzu complex Yoe Soe (Youpson) wooden monastery Man Paya – the largest lacquer Buddha image in Myanmar.
On the way back to Bagan, stop at Minnanthu village and pay visits to Lemyethnar, Nandaminnya and Minnanthu monastery.
Overnight in Bagan
Day 8: Bagan - BOAT – Pakkoku - Monywa
After breakfast at the hotel, transfer to the jetty and then take the boat to Pakkoku. On the way, enjoy the river villages and fishing, local tavelling people by small boat.
In the afternoon arrive in the Pakkoku. Then take a visit to the east bank of the river passing traditional villages where farmers climb the palm trees to extract the juice from which they produce palm sugar. Stop in Pakkangyi to visit one of the oldest surviving wooden monasteries in Myanmar. A lively, typical Burmese city with a strong craftwork tradition producing colorful woven blankets, papier-mâché toys, and the traditional sandals.
Arrive in Monywa late afternoon and check in hotel.
Overnight in Monywa.
Day 9: Monywa - Po Win Daung - Mandalay
Monywa, a typical Burmese town on the banks of the Chindwin River.
Crossing the Chindwin River by ferry, proceed to Po Win Daung by local open jeep. This extraordinary complex consists of 947 sandstone caves dug out of the hills and contains what is considered by archaeologists to be the richest collection of mural paintings and Buddhist statues in South East Asia. Recently opened to foreigners, Po Win Daung with its unique, precious frescoes, some dating from the early 17th century, is a must to see for anyone with an interest in Buddhist Arts. A few hundred meters from the caves is Shwe Ba Daung, another very interesting site where monasteries and temples are carved out rocky narrow cliffs.
Afternoon visit Thanboddhay Pagoda, where more than 500,000 Buddha images cover every wall and archway of this huge Buddhist temple. Also visit Boditahtaung Pagoda and the largest reclining Buddha image in Myanmar, 100m long and 27m high.
Drive to Mandalay in the evening.
Overnight in Mandalay
Day 10: Mandalay - City tour - Amarapura
Mandalay, the second largest city in the country, known as the “Golden City”, and also the cultural and religious center of Buddhism in Myanmar. While being here, we will discover:
- The Atumashi and Shwe Nandaw monasteries to see beautiful and extremely fine hand carved teak motifs that adorn these magnificent architectural buildings which house incredibly beautiful marble sculptures.
- Kuthodaw Pagoda, a set of Buddhist stupas that house the largest book in the world, a vast collection of seminal texts engraved on marble headstones, each nestled in a small white temple, a total of 729 in all.
- The Arakan Pagoda, also known as the Mahamuni Pagoda, that houses a Buddha from the ancient Arakan Kingdom, conquered by the Burmese. This highly revered Buddha is endlessly being covered in gold leaf.
We take lunch during our travels, after which we drive to Amarapura. Then we will visit:
- A workshop to see marble sculpturing and some gold hammering.
- A cotton and silk weaving establishment The Patodawgyi and Kyauktawgyi Pagodas.
- And as sunset draws near we cruise on the Taungthaman boat to view the magical spectacle of U Bein Bridge, built in 1841and based on teak columns and is the longest teakwood bridge in the world.
Overnight in Mandalay
Day 11: Mandalay - Mingun – Sagaing - Ava
We visit the Jade Market then board a boat to go up the Irrawaddy River towards Mingun.
Disembark in front of the Satowya Pagoda. See a model of the Mingun Pagoda, and receive an explanation of same.
- Visit the unfinished Mingun Pagoda, started in the reign of King Bodowpaya, and originally meant to be 150mts in height, but amounts to only 50mts, and then visit the ruins and the imposing pile of bricks.
- See the Mingun Bell that weighs over 90 tons, the largest bell in the world to ring.
- Visit the Hsinbyume pagoda.
We then return to Mandalay for lunch.
Tour to Sagaing and its impressive panorama of pagodas dotted the surrounding countryside. We will continue our day around the hills of Sagaing approximately 20kms south of Mandalay, using the metal bridge at Ava, after which we will enjoy a tour of Sagaing and its impressive panorama of pagodas that dot the surrounding countryside.
Overnight in Mandalay
Day 12: Mandalay - FLY - Heho - Pindaya - Kalaw
Transfer to the airport for domestic flight to Heho in Shan State.
Continue by car and enjoy a scenic drive to Pindaya through the picturesque countryside of Shan State.
Visit Pindaya’s limestone cave with its maze of chambers displaying more than 8,000 Buddha statues and local handicraft workshops producing Shan Paper made from mulberry bark and traditional umbrellas made from the same paper that is used by monks all around the country.
Then drive to the Kalaw and overnight in Kalaw.
Day 13: Kalaw - Inle lake
After breakfast, drive to Pindaya, a small quiet town, famous for its thousands of Buddha Images deposited inside the caves centuries of years ago.
For the time being here, pay visits to Pindaya caves, traditional Shan paper making, pottery and umbrella making villages.
After lunch, proceed to Nyaung Shwe – a small town located at the entrance of Lake Inle.
And then boat transfer to the hotel.
Overnight in Inle lake
Day 14: Inle lake - Indein - Inle lake
Today begins with a visit to the lake’s morning market (the market is open every day apart from the dark moon and full moon calendar days). The market is a hive of activity as the lake’s residents gather to buy fresh produce and other goods in the early morning hours.
Continue with an 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 the moss-covered stairway to the top of a hill.
Once you’ve arrived at the summit, you will be greeted by an iconic Buddha image which sits enshrined among hundreds of stupa ruins and overgrown shrubbery.
Then it’s time to embark on a 45 minutes trek to Sae Ma village. Along the way, you’ll enjoy the natural beauty and panoramic vistas of the area while basking under the shade of the bamboo grooves in the area. Upon arrival at the village, observe the daily lifestyles of the rural inhabitants.
If the time allows, you’ll stop at Intha Heritage House to learn more about the history and culture of the lake’s indigenous people?
The day will come to a close with a return trip by boat back to your hotel.
Overnight in Inle Lake or Nyaung Shwe.
Day 15: Inle lake - Heho - FLY - Thandwe - Ngapali
Transfer to the airport for a flight to Thandwe
Greeted by our driver and then transferred to the hotel in Ngapali.
Free time at your leisure
Overnight in Ngapali
Day 16 & 17: Ngapali - Freetime
Free time at your leisure on the beach.
Overnight in Ngapali
Day 18: Ngapali - Freetime - Thandwe - FLY - Yangon
Free time until transfer to the airport for a flight to Yangon.
Met and welcome by our driver and then transferred to the hotel in Yangon.
Overnight in Yangon
Day 19: Yangon - Departure
Free time until transfer to the airport for your departure flight