Tailor-Made Holiday

Highlights of Myanmar

Travel overland through Myanmar taking in Inle Lake, Bagan, Yangon, Kalaw & Mandalay

13 days

from £2,800pp (excluding flights)

Explore the beautiful scenery of Myanmar (Burma) and the fascinating sites that Yangon,  Mandalay and Bagan have to offer. Venturing outside of the cities, visit the forests and lakes of Myanmar and meet the people that make this country so special.

  • Explore the thousands of temples and pagodas dotting the plains of Bagan
  • Take a boat ride on the mighty Irawaddy River with sundowners on a sandbank
  • Spend time with a mahout at the elephant conservation programme
  • Witness local fishermen with their distinctive 'leg' rowing on Inle Lake
  • Walk across the iconic U-Bein Bridge whilst in the old capital of Amarapura

 Arrive into Yangon, Myanmar's largest and most modern city and take the time to visit some of its most interesting sites. With much of its colonial era architecture still standing you will find most impressive collections of buildings, including the famous Strand Hotel.  From here travel to Mandalay , the home of arts and crafts.Visit some of the monasteries in this area, take a horse and cart to some of the more remote spots and visit the famous wooden U-Bein bridge that spans 1.2km. Also take the chance to travel by boat along the Irrawaddy and Inle Lake with its famed 'leg' rowers. Colourful markets in the Shan State region are worth discovering whilst at the lake. Inle Lake is home to the Red Mountain Vineyard. Nestled on the hillside with stunning views of Inle Lake, this makes a perfect spot for wine tasting at sunset. Cycle here and travel back to your hotel - a great way to round off a day of sightseeing.

A must see for any first time visitor to Myanmar is Bagan, the 11th century capital, to view its remaining temples, many of which were destroyed by earthquakes. Tour this extensive complex by car, horse and cart and foot , and even hot air balloon, ensuring you find temples that are often completely deserted.

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Price Excluding Flights £Flight cost from 
£ 2800 £ 700
  Click here to see what is included/excluded

what is included

  • All accommodation
  • Internal flights
  • International flights as detailed
  • Sightseeing with private guide as per the itinerary
  • Transfers as detailed

what is excluded

  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Visas


Itinerary at a glance

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Day 1

Fly London to Bangkok overnight

Day 2

Fly Bangkok to Yangon

No longer the capital but still Myanmar's largest city, Yangon remains one of the country's most important commercial hubs. International isolation over the last five decades has left the city with an enduring colonial charm. Architecture from a bygone era lines the streets of the old centre, whilst the beautiful Shwedagon Pagoda - a dazzling Buddhist temple attracting pilgrims from all over the world - dominates the skyline.

Time To Yourself

You will be staying at Belmond Governor's Residence, Bed & Breakfast

Day 3

Shwedagon Pagoda
The Shwedagon Pagoda which dominates Yangon and can be seen from many parts of the city. Dating back more than 2,600 years it is one of the holiest places in the entire country. Originally built to house eight holy hairs of the Buddha it has been added to and re-built almost continuously. Its temples and shrines throng with the thousands of pilgrims and worshippers that come daily.

Walk the Colonial Area
Walk around the colonial area of downtown Yangon, visit the dockside or take a look at one of the many churches that have survived in the city. One of the Anglican churches has a register of all those killed in Burma during the second World War. One relatively recent pagoda was constructed in 1952 and is called the Kaba Aye Pagoda. It was built by the United Nations for the Sixth Buddhist Synod and houses a 500 kg silver Buddha in the inner relic chamber.

Take high tea at the Strand during the walking tour

You will be staying at Belmond Governor's Residence, Bed & Breakfast

Day 4

Fly Yangon to Mandalay

Visit the Temples ruins of Paleik
The snake temple in Paleik is known for the three pythons sleeping at the Buddha statue that are washed and fed daily at 11am by local worshippers. You will also get to see the lesser known ancient temple ruins in the area, many of which are over 200 years old. Take a picnic lunch amongst the buildings.

The city of Mandalay lies on the eastern banks of the Irrawaddy River and is the modern-day economic hub of Myanmar. Mandalay is almost a byword for exotic, yet nowadays the city centre has become standard modern fare. Look beyond the norm, however, and its backstreets and surrounding areas hold more than their fair share of culture and old-world charm.

Half day city tour
Visit Mandalay Fort built in 1857 by King Mindon Min and later involved in the battle between the British, Indian and Japanese forces in which the royal palace was burned and destroyed. There are excellent views from Mandalay Hill and the sunset from here is usually magnificent. In addition, visits may also include Kyauktawgyi Paya notable for the seated Buddha carved out of one solid block of marble, Sandamani Paya built on the site of King Mindon’s temporary palace - where he stayed during construction of the new Mandalay Palace, Kuthodaw Paya, Atumashi, Shwe in Bin and Shwenandaw Kyaung’s, Mahamuni, Shwekyimyint, Setkyatha, Eindawya Paya’s.

You will be staying at Sedona Hotel, Mandalay, Bed & Breakfast

Day 5

Full Day Cruise on the Ayerwaddy River visiting Mingun and Ava
Mandalay and the other former royal capitals around it have all been capital cities for a while for one major reason: they are all situated on the Ayeyarwaddy River (Irrawaddy). Feel the breeze of the river and imagine how it must have been to arrive by boat in Mingun or at the court of Ava. From the jetty in Mandalay we go upstream to Mingun and visit the Mingun Pagoda with the big crack caused by an earthquake and the giant bronze bell. We take a leisurely boat cruise for about 3 hours downstream to Ava. A simple lunch packed in rattan baskets will be served while cruising down. Arriving in Ava, horse carts are ready to take us around this magnificent site with various ancient temple ruins that used to be majestic buildings during the 400 years that Ava was the capital.

You will be staying at Sedona Hotel, Mandalay, Bed & Breakfast

Day 6

Half Day Orientation of Mahamuni and Amarapura
Begin at the Mahamuni pagoda and have a look at this 100 year old Buddha statue originating from Mrauk Oo. It is a very lively temple compound where men are sticking gold leaves to the Buddha statue. The Mahamuni is also an excellent place to shop around for the perfect Buddha statue (bronze or wood). Can’t find what you are looking for? Find a marble statue at the next stop which is the marble carving street.
The old capital of Amarapura is a quiet village where you hear the sound of the weaving machines. We walk through the famous Mahagandayon monastery complex with hundreds of monks, visit one of the small weaving factories and walk over U-Bein Bridge and take a boat ride before heading back to your hotel.

Fly Mandalay to Bagan

The ancient, lost city of Bagan in Myanmar is a truly extraordinary sight. Set in a 70 square kilometre expanse of open countryside and farmland, framed by a backdrop of distant mountains, the 4000 or so temples scattered across the plain are all that remain of a once important capital.

Time to Yourself

You will be staying at Bagan Lodge, Bed & Breakfast

Day 7

Optional Early Morning Balloon Ride
Have the opportunity to take an early morning balloon ride over Bagan's thousand-year-old pagodas. Admire the gilded structures in the soft dawn light and take this chance to fully appreciate the scale of the site. Afterwards, return to the hotel in time for breakfast.
(Pre-booking is strongly recommended. The trip is not included in tour price and is subject to availability.)

Half Day Visit to Minnanthu Temple
Minnanthu is arguably our favourite temple area - it’s quiet, in a beautiful area and the temples here are often completely deserted. Your guide will take you to this forgotten part of Bagan and spread out a blanket and serve a great picnic lunch in this historical setting before or after visiting two or three ancient temples ruins in the area.

Evening Sundowners on the Irrawaddy
This evening what better way to see the sun go down than from the top of an ancient temple or on board a boat on the Irrawaddy. We will arrange sun downers for you this evening.

You will be staying at Bagan Lodge, Bed & Breakfast

Day 8

Full Day Exploring the Temples of Bagan
Touring by car with an experienced guide through Bagan will show you the best known temples of the area. Start the day climbing a pagoda to get an impression and sense of the scale of the temple complex. From here visit some of the amazing temples such as Ananda,Dhammayangyi, Sulamani, and Thatbyinnyu.
Lunch will be taken at a local restaurant and at around 4pm continue the tour by horse cart to Pyathagyi pagoda for sunset with a sundowner.

You will be staying at Bagan Lodge, Bed & Breakfast

Day 9

Fly Bagan to Heho

Road Transfer from Heho to Kalaw

Upon arrival in Heho, meet with your guide at the airport and transfer to Kalaw to visit the Elephant Conservation Project.

Kalaw is a former British hill station, where colonial buildings can still be seen. Nearby is the village of Peinni Pin where local hill tribe people live, the Pa-luang, who still wear traditional costume and cultivate their hillside gardens.

Visit Green Hill Elephant Conservation Camp
Visit Green Hill Elephant conservation camp, home to a small number of re-homed Asian elephants. Beautifully located overlooking the surrounding mountains, feed these wonderful creatures as well as learn more about them from their in-house vet, ride an elephant along the bank and bathing them in the river.

You will be staying at Amara Mountain Resort, Bed & Breakfast

Day 10

Road transfer between Kalaw and Inle Lake

You will be driven to Inle Lake this morning.

Nestling in a valley of the Shan Plateau, Inle Lake is a spectacular freshwater lake at an altitude of almost 1000 feet. It is notable for its inhabitants, known as the Intha people or 'leg rowers', who developed a culture that has survived for centuries. Floating markets and the surrounding villages make this a fascinating place to visit during a trip to Myanmar.

Half Day Tour of Indein
In the south of the lake the ruins of Indein are certainly worth a visit. Partly covered by vegetation the area looks like a 'pagoda forest'. Walk for about one hour to enjoy a fantastic view over the lake. A home-made cooked lunch is served in a local house. Continue towards the Nam Pan village for a very interesting trip going local with a small canoe. Whenever you are tired paddling yourself, continue by motorboat back to your hotel.

You will be staying at Inle Lake View Resort, Bed & Breakfast

Day 11

A day on the lake
This morning ride in a private motorboat around the lake to take in its natural beauty. Visit floating gardens, see some of the famous leg rowers and be welcomed into a local family’s house for a cup of tea.
On and around the lake, traditional markets are held in different villages according to a five-day rotating schedule. Enjoy one of these colourful markets frequented by Shan and PaO people. There will also be time to visit a local cheroot factory, where the Burmese cigars are made, floating tomato gardens, Phaung Daw Oo pagoda, Intha Heritage House, where Burmese cats are bred, and if you wish, a local weaving factory.

Wine Tasting at Red Mountain Estate
Choose to cycle or take your vehicle up to the lower slopes of the hills surrounding Inle Lake, reaching the Red Mountain Estate Vineyard for either lunch , dinner or sunset drinks. A perfect spot to quaff some wine, or taste four varieties from the wine tasting menu. Enjoy the spectacular sunsets across Inle Lake from the outdoor terraces.

You will be staying at Inle Lake View Resort, Bed & Breakfast

Day 12

Fly Heho to Yangon

Pampering and Shopping Half Day Tour of Yangon
An excellent half day tour starting with a lunch at Sharky's restaurant - a local entrepreneur who is growing organic vegetables and producing locally made "French" cheese, ham and other delicious food. A one hour foot massage is what is deserved after a long trip to Myanmar and afterwards, enjoy a personal shopping guide, to ensure you bring home only the best souvenirs. The specialists know where to find it.

Fly Yangon to Bangkok overnight

Day 13

Fly Bangkok to London


Below you can see some of the wonderful places we recommend you stay on your journey.

Hilton Mandalay

Hilton Mandalay

Centrally located opposite the Royal Palace, the Hilton Mandalay offers comfortable rooms with views over the hotel gardens or the Palace....

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Belmond Governor's Residence

Belmond Governor's Residence

The Belmond Governor's Residence Hotel is an imposing two-storey Burmese mansion dating from the 1920's....

View Accommodation

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

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Deborah Brock-Doyle, Travel Expert

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For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

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