Price

$7617 AUD per person

$2241 AUD single supplement

Inclusions

  • Return airport transfers throughout
  • 16 nights accommodation
  • 15 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 1 Dinner
  • Experienced English speaking guide throughout
  • Domestic flights Yangon – Bagan – Mandalay – Heho – Keng Tong –Yangon
  • Private transportation by air-conditioned vehicle for transfer and support for  cycling days
  • Bicycle rental and helmet for cycling days
  • Bottled drinking water for sightseeing
  • All sightseeing entrance fees as per the itinerary.
  • Snacks and coffee at local tea shops in Yangon/Sunrise Breakfast on Bagan Temple/ lunch at the monastery or a picnic lunch in Maing Thauk
  • Support truck on cycling days
  • Horse cart ride in Bagan
  • Kayaking on the Lake
  • Boat Rental in Inle Lake

 

Exclusions

  • International and domestic flights
  • Visas
  • Travel and medical insurance
  • All services, meals other than those indicated above
  • Any changes to the proposed and confirmed program.
  • All items of a personal nature e.g. drinks, laundry, telephone calls, tips etc

Discover Myanmar in depth as we cover the major sites before venturing off-the-beaten-track. A perfect blend of culture and history, this extensive itinerary provides with access to some of the countries most remote minority groups, the Chin Tribes. Hidden from the outside world until only recently, the raw traditions and culture are very much preserved for you to experience.

Cycling and hiking within this journey, allows you to venture further afield and access lesser trodden paths whilst mingling with communities who have seen less foreign travellers than you can count.

Brimming with quaint charm, Myanmar oozes characteristics of days gone by and proudly showcases a rich heritage often now forgotten in other South East Asia countries.

Day 1 - Arrival in Yangon

Welcome to Myanmar! Upon arrival to the Yangon international airport, you will be welcomed by our English speaking guide and embark on a journey to explore the highlights of Yangon. Starting from the colonial-style city centre and one of the landmarks, Sule Paya stupa – built over 2,000 years ago and the focal point of numerous historical events in the city. Your guide will then take you to a local tea shop, where you will learn about the traditional tea drinking culture of Burma. Next visit Chauk Htat Gyi pagoda to view its magnificent reclining Buddha, and Karaweik Hall to marvel at the uniquely decorated ‘hamsa-bird-shaped’ statue on Kandawgyi (Royal) Lake. You will visit the Bogyoke (Scotts) Market, where hundreds of gemstones, handicrafts, art, clothes and food stores are tucked away in a maze of colour. You complete the day with a visit to one of the world’s most spectacular monuments, the Shwedagon Pagoda, a gold covered bell dome structure that dominates the city’s skyline. Legend has it that strands of sacred Buddha’s hair are enshrined here. The Shwedagon is an iconic symbol of the country, a sight not to be missed.

(Please note that the market is closed on Mondays and on public holidays)

Overnight at Kandawgyi Palace Hotel in a Deluxe Room or similar

Day 2 - Yangon to Bagan (Cycling)

After breakfast, transfer to Yangon airport for a domestic flight to Bagan. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel. Start your cycling tour through the Ancient Kingdom of Bagan and learn how Bagan’s famous lacquer ware crafts are produced in Myingaba Village, before heading to the fascinating Myazedi Temple. Close by is the Myingaba Gubyaukgyi Temple which is truly a sight to behold, housing Bagan’s best preserved mural paintings of the Buddha’s Jataka reincarnations. Manuha Temple, built by the Mon king in the 1300s, represents his time in captivity under the Bagan king. From here you then visit the Dhamayazeka Zedi, providing panoramic views of the temple studded plains of Bagan. Take time to explore and search for bamboo and wood houses built long ago. Laymyetnat Temple and Payathonzu with Minnanthu Village are of a later period than those in Central Bagan.

Nanda-man-Nya Temple is a single-chambered temple which has very fine frescoes and contains a ruined, seated Buddha image. Tayok Pye Paya is a large temple, built by Narathihapate (1256-1287) who is known as the king who fled from the Mongolian invasion, thus ‘Tayok Pye’ in Myanmar. (B)

2 nights at Thiripyitsaya Sanctuary Resort in a Deluxe Garden View or similar

Day 3 - Sunrise Breakfast and Horse Cart Ride in Bagan

Rise early this morning in the pre-dawn light and transfer to Bagan’s scrub land. Reaching a small hill after a short bike ride, you will be welcomed by a warm cup of tea or coffee in an intimate outdoor breakfast setting. Immerse yourself in the silence and changing shades of sky over panoramic Bagan while a light breakfast is being served. After enjoying breakfast and the sunrise view, it’s time to leave the little hill behind and take advantage of a quiet morning to explore a legendary temple of Bagan by horse cart, with the opportunity to peacefully observe the temple’s architectural details and ancient paintings. If time permits,

continue to Shwe San Taw temple and climb up to the top for a grand vista of Bagan. Then it’s time to return to your hotel for a full breakfast.

Following breakfast, continue by car to the gilded Shwezigon Stupa, said to contain a holy tooth relic of the Buddha. Then on to Kyansitha Umin, a cave temple, the long dimly lit corridors are decorated with frescoes, some believed painted by Tartar invaders during the Mongol occupation after 1287. Next, visit Gubyaukgi (Wet-kyi-Inn), this 13th-century ‘cave temple’ has an Indian-style spire like the Mahabodhi Paya in Bagan. It is interesting for the fine frescoes of scenes from the Jatakas. Continuing on to the Htilominlo Temple where you will learn how Burmese sand paintings are created. The day’s temple tour continues with a visit to the beautifully symmetrical and majestic Ananda Temple with its four standing Buddha images that seem to gaze at the viewer with fixed serenity wherever the viewer stands. You then visit Dhamayangi Temple, the largest temple of Bagan with the thickest walls and the Sulamani Temple. Finally, proceed to the Bupaya or Shwesandaw Pagoda to watch the sunset over the famous Ayeyarwaddy River. (B)

Day 4 - Bagan to Mindat

After breakfast, drive by 4×4 to Mindat which is approx 7 hours drive from Bagan. A lunch break will be had enroute at Pauk. After checking into your hotel, (if time permits) you will drive to Pang Oo Village located on a steep slope outside Mindat which will take approx 45 minutes. You will visit the first Chins and get acquainted with their tradition. In this village, an elder man is specialized in reading the future in a particular way. He heats up bamboo sticks and holds them on emptied eggs and through the appearing cracks he reads the future. Visit the photogenic village, Ng’Nam Thai. Mindat is located at elevation of 4860 feet/1600m above sea level. (B)

2 nights at Mountain Oasis Hotel or similar

Day 5 - Mindat

After breakfast at your hotel, visit the Mindat market prior to visiting some smaller Chin villages in the surrounding countryside. Your trek begins after crossing the Chi stream, at Mashiyaw village, taking approx. 2 hours on sometimes narrow paths to reach Kyado village, where you can experience local village life. You will find the M’kang, Dai and N’men Chin tribal groups here, all of which speak different dialects and wear different costumes. You may also meet some of the women, mostly elders, who have tattooed faces. It is said that there are about 5 different styles of tattoo, dots, spider, lines, curls and almost totally black. The Chins are mostly Christians with a variety of all beliefs from Methodists to Catholics. You will see houses decorated with large sets of horns. These are from animals called Mithun, a cross between a domestic cow and a wild gaur. Each time such an animal is slaughtered a kind of wooden pillar decorated with all sort of ornaments is erected in front of the house. In addition, a stone table, which is also used as a cover for urns is placed nearby. Some of the houses have up to 10 such pillars and in some villages the stone tables are all gathered together (like a cemetery) whereas in others they are near each home. (B)

Day 6 - Mindat to Kanpetlet

After breakfast, drive three hours to Kanpetlet. Kanpetlet is probably the smallest town in the Chin State. The town is 100km from Mindat and only 24km away from Saw. About half of the population in Kanpetlet is Christian, while the other half is Buddhist. Upon arrival, check into your hotel. You then visit Ma Kyauk Ar, Saw Laung, and Oak Pho villages. These are the nearest villages to Kanpetlet and are primarily N’men group villages. After this, you drive to the base of Mt. Victoria and visit Dai and Yindu Dai villages (Dai, Ra, Yindu Dai and Utbu are Chin sub groups living in Kanpetlet). (B)

Overnight Pine Wood Villa in a bungalow or similar

Day 7 - Kanpetlet to Bagan

Enjoy breakfast at your lodge and visit Kantar Yon village where you will find Ra and Ngrah Chin groups before your return journey to Bagan through arid landscapes passing Saw. Carry on through some remote village communities and Chauk town after crossing the bridge over the Irrawaddy River. Driving time will be approximately 7 hours. Today lunch will be at a simple local restaurant (own expense) en-route. Arrive into Bagan late afternoon. (B)

Overnight at Thiripyitsaya Sanctuary Resort in a Deluxe Garden View Room or similar

Day 8 - Bagan to Mandalay

After breakfast, you transfer to Bagan/Nyaung U airport for a domestic flight to Mandalay. Upon arrival, continue to the Artisan Quarters where some of the oldest craftsmanship is showcased. Observe the process of pounding gold leaf, detailing teakwood carvings and embroidering Myanmar tapestry dating back to the last dynasty of Myanmar. You will also see how bronze and marble Buddha statues are carved, cast and moulded. Next, you proceed to explore the highlights of the city. The sacred Mahamuni Pagoda, housing one of the most significant Buddha images, covered in several tons of gold leaf, it was the crown prize in wars between competing kingdoms. Visit the Golden Palace Monastery, the sole surviving Royal Palace building in Mandalay, offering a glimpse of the original style and architecture of the Myanmar royals; and lastly, the Kuthodaw Pagoda, a compound housing Buddha’s teachings carved in the sacred Pali script on stone tablets and regarded as the world’s largest book in terms of surface area. End your day with panoramic sunset views over the city skyline on Mandalay Hill, the highest point of the city. (B)

2 nights at Mandalay Hill Resort in a Superior Room or similar

Day 9 - Amarapura to Sagaing

After breakfast, you head to Amarapura, 15km from Mandalay to visit Mahagandayon Monastery where more than a thousand monks live and study. Time permitting, you will have the opportunity to observe the monks having their last meal of the day in total silence. Continue to U Bein teak bridge, built in 1782, a time when Amarapura, known for its silk and cotton weaving, was the royal capital. Visit a traditional hand-woven silk workshop before proceeding to Bagaya Monastery, a compound with a superb collection of Buddha statues.

You continue on to Ava (Inwa), the ancient capital of Shan and Burmese kingdoms for over four centuries. Crossing the Myit Nge River by ferry, the small roads of Ava are explored by horse-drawn carts. Visit the Bagaya Teak Monastery, over three hundred years old yet well preserved and still in use by local monks. The Nanmyin Watch Tower is the last standing structure of the Ava dynasty palace compound also known as the ‘Leaning Tower of Ava.’ The Maha Aungmye Bonzan Monastery is a 300-year old architectural wonder with graceful archways. Continuing on to Sagaing, located across the mighty Ayeyarwaddy River, we climb the Sagaing Hills and enjoy views of the hillside dotted with countless pagodas and pay a special visit to a monastery to learn about the life of Buddhist devotees. (B)

Day 10 - Mandalay via Heho to Kalaw

After breakfast, transfer to airport for your domestic flight to Heho, a quiet town in the beautiful hills of Shan State. Visit the bustling main Heho market (only on market days), a meeting point for different ethnic minority groups of the surrounding areas to trade handmade goods and locally grown produce. En-route to Kalaw, you stop at a local family workshop to learn how Shan umbrellas and paper are made by traditional methods using the fibres of mulberry trees. Continue on a 1-hour drive to Kalaw, a former British colonial hill station where officials and ambassadors would spend hot summer months enjoying the crisp mountain air and sipping gin and tonic. After checking into your hotel, you can spend the afternoon either relaxing and taking in the fresh mountain air, or for those who are feeling more energetic, hiking around Kalaw’s beautiful forest vistas. Your local guide can adjust the duration and difficulty of the more active activities according to your wishes. (B)

Overnight Pine Hill Resort in a Superior Room or similar

Day 11 - Kalaw to Pat tu Pauk Village (Trekking)

After breakfast, transfer by car (30 minutes) to your trekking start point in La Maing Village, near Myin Ma Hti, west of Kalaw on the edge of the mountains. On the way, you can visit Pa O village and enjoy visiting their long houses, mountain plantations and the scenic surroundings. En-route stop at Kone La village for lunch (approximately 2 ½ hours walking from La Maing Village to Kone La village). In the afternoon, continue hiking for about 3 hours until you reach Pat Tu Pauk village. This village is littered with farms. The villages here are inhabited by the Dabu Tribe and offers views of old monasteries and mountain creeks. (B,L,D)

Overnight in the village.

Approx. walking time: 6 hours

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be prepared and served at your homestay by our staff.

Accommodation: Local house. Sleeping facilities are local style. Simple mattresses on floor with bed linen, pillows and blankets in a shared room. Personal mosquito nets are also provided.

Day 12 - Pat Tu Pauk Village (Trekking) to Inle Lake

Breakfast today is local style, before you commence your hike via Pao villages, sitting in a mountainous area dotted with farms and bamboo forests. Visit local houses and stop at the village school before continuing to Hti Thein Village of the Pao Tribe. Take time to stroll around the village and witness the lifestyle of the inhabitants. After lunch at a local house, continue through Kyauk Su and Nan Yok village. Walking today ends at one of the Tone Lae villages near the western shore of Inle Lake, where you will board a boat, crossing the lake to to your hotel. (B,L)

5 nights at Inle Resort in a Deluxe Room or similar

Approx. walking time: 5 hours

Day 13 - Nyaung Shwe to Red Mountain and Thae Lae Oo to Maing Thauk by bike

After breakfast, you start the days bicycle ride with a trip to Red Mountain Estate for a tour of the lush vineyard situated on the side of mountain. Taste some of Myanmar’s premiere wines, and observe different aging methods. You then continue to ride to Thalehoo, a beautiful farming village that lies on the eastern shore of Inle Lake. The villagers belong to Inthar and Pa-O ethnic minority groups. They are known for their farming skills and use of organic farming methods. Major crops cultivated are rice, sugar cane, potato, tomato, garlic and a variety of beans, as well as cucumber and flowers. During the cold season (November to February) harvested sugarcane is sent to small mills where the juice is extracted, made into molasses and then sent to Mandalay Rum distillery. You will follow an agro trail that runs from the lake through the village. Take a short hike to Maing Thauk (Fort Stedman) village located on the eastern shore of the lake. Walk through the village and continue up hill (walking time approximately 1 hour) under the shade of the trees to the meditation centre. The moment you arrive you will feel a sense of serenity and peacefulness. A monk will introduce you into the world of meditation and give you a lecture on the way body and mind flow together as one. You will be shown to your private mediation room, a bamboo hut overlooking the lake where you will be left to your own thoughts. Simple lunch at the monastery or a picnic lunch is included. Late in the afternoon, descend back to the village with the possibility of visiting a community centre on the way. Return to your hotel by boat. (B,L)

Day 14 - Inle Lake

After breakfast, visit the morning lagoon market. The market changes its location around the villages of the lake every 5 days and is visited by the inhabitants of the lake. Tribes from the

mountains come to sell and market their products. (Note: The market is every day except the day of the new moon and full moon).

You will then you visit Phaungdaw Oo Pagoda, the home of some of the country’s most sacred Buddha statues covered in gold leaf. At Nampan Village, local craftsmen show you how Burmese cigars, or ‘cheroots’ are traditionally packed and rolled. Then enjoy a Shan cooking class and treat yourself to a culinary experience unlike any other. (B,L)

Day 15 - Kayaking Inle Lake

After breakfast, enjoy a scenic boat ride from your hotel to the starting point of your kayaking adventure near Impakhone Village. Located right next to a small restaurant you can have a quiet cup of coffee and some snacks and get changed before embarking on your kayaking expedition. Equipped with life jackets you will start kayaking southbound through the narrow waterways of the lake. Feel close to nature as you move on the tranquil waters flanked by high mountains as you pass small weaving villages on stilts, vegetable farms, one-hut schools and one leg rowing fishermen that have become the symbol of the local Intha tribe. After around one and half hours of paddling, stop at a floating village and take a well-deserved break (water and soft drinks provided). The last leg of your journey (about 45 minutes) takes you to the village of Taung Tho from where you will head back by boat. (B)

Day 16 - Indein

After breakfast, take a 1-hour boat ride down a small canal which 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 buy an iconic Buddha image which sits enshrined amongst hundreds of stupa ruins and overgrown shrubbery. Here, from the peak, you will also be rewarded with mesmerizing views of the placid surroundings. The Indein Pagoda complex is undoubtedly one of the most amazing sites around the shore of the lake and it consists of hundreds of small stupas which are overrun by moss and greenery. Then it’s time to embark on a 45 minute 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. On your boat ride back, should time allow, you’ll stop at the Inthar Heritage House to learn more about the history and culture of the lake’s indigenous people.

Far off the beaten path, near the ruins of ancient pagodas, the shade of the bamboo forest becomes the perfect spot for a picnic. Sample local Shan delicacies as you relax in a luxurious picnic setting laid out on natural woven palm mats as you lounge on pillows and soak up the beautiful natural surroundings. This truly is a one of a kind experience for those with a romantic heart. (B)

Day 17 - Nyaung Shwe to Yangon

After breakfast, transfer to Heho airport for your domestic flight to Yangon. Upon arrival, transfer to Yangon international airport for your departure flight. (B)