Golden Yangon, cultural Mandalay & Irrawaddy River cruise to the world-heritage temples of Bagan, plus ephemeral Inle Lake
|Style||Small Group TourTravel with a small, intimate group of no more than 16 likeminded travelers (and often much fewer), escorted by an English speaking guide and/or tour manager for some or all of your journey. More of these packages
Dedicated tour escorts & guides throughout
|Departures||Group Size||24 travelers max|
|Themes||Active, History & Culture, Grand Tours|
|What to Expect||This fast-paced, escorted tour involves a significant amount of walking or hiking, often on uneven terrain, requiring a high level of physical fitness to fully enjoy the trip. Travel safely and confidently with our new health & safety protocols.|
|Already booked?||Find everything you need to know before you go, including information about passport & visa requirements, flights, luggage, and more.|
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Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, is a land of timeless beauty, where visitors can still experience what Asia was like before modern times encroached on ancient cultures. Having been isolated from the world for many years, Myanmar has remained a lush, tropical garden of a country, where amazing natural beauty, Buddhist spirituality, warm, gentle people, and a unique culture make it among the most remarkable of destinations. If truly exotic is your type of trip, join us in Myanmar. Want more? Extend your stay with a post-tour to the bustling city of Bangkok. But, don't wait too long to reserve your spot. Our groups are small, our prices are exceptional, and space is definitely limited.
- Round-trip airfare from Los Angeles or New York JFK via China Airlines including fuel surcharges and taxes and fees
- All intra-Myanmar flights and ground transportation
- Accommodations at superior & deluxe hotels
- 25 Meals: 10 breakfasts, 8 lunches, & 7 dinners
- High Tea at historic Strand Hotel
- Comprehensive touring program including entrance fees
- Professional English-speaking tour guides and local guides
- Flights from Chicago O'Hare (ORD), Houston (IAH), Seattle-Tacoma (SEA). Request pricing when making your reservation.
Why you'll love it
- Experience traditional High Tea
- Enjoy a sunset tour of the Shwedagon Pagoda
- Meet a local artist at a traditional silver crafts workshop in Mandalay
- Relax on a full day cruise along the Irrawaddy (Ayarwaddy) River
- Visit several famous pagodas in Bagan
- Dine with a family in their home in Bagan
- See a traditional marionette show at a local restaurant
- Venture onto Inle Lake for a boat tour to visit five ancient gold Buddhas
- Tour Inn Paw Khone, a village specializing in silk weaving
Day 1: Depart USA
- Check in for your flight to Yangon, Myanmar via Taipei
Day 2: En route
- Cross the International Dateline and lose a day (which you'll recover on your return)
Day 3: Yangon
2 nights Sule Shangri-La or similar, Yangon.
- Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel
- Afternoon traditional High Tea at the Strand Hotel
- Trishaw ride to view Yangon's colonial buildings
- Remainder of the day at leisure
Full Day Itinerary: Arrive this morning in Yangon, the former capital city of Myanmar, which boasts the largest number of colonial-era buildings in Southeast Asia, as well as the most sacred Buddhist pagodas. After completing immigration and customs formalities, transfer to your hotel. This afternoon, enjoy a traditional High Tea at the famous Strand Hotel. Hop into a trishaw for a view of Yangon's colonial buildings en route to your hotel. Enjoy the balance of the day at leisure.
Day 4: Yangon
Breakfast, lunch & dinner.
- Visit Kalaywa Monastery
- City tour of downtown Yangon
- Sunset tour of the Shwedagon Pagoda
- Welcome dinner at a local restaurant
Full Day Itinerary: After breakfast, visit Kalaywa Monastery, home at any one time to between 800 and 1500 monks and novices. Witness the morning ceremony of alms giving, as well as a tour around the monastery to observe the everyday lives of monks. Later, explore downtown Yangon, including the landmark 2,000 year old Sule Pagoda, and pass by the city's colonial buildings such as the High Court Building. Spend some time exploring Myanmar's largest selection of handcrafts at the Bogyoke Aung San Market, also known as Scott Market.
Visit Shwedagon Pagoda at sunset, one of the religious wonders of the world. Towering above Yangon, the pagoda is believed to have been built more than 2,500 years ago and is a testament to the faith of the Burmese.
This evening, join your fellow passengers for a welcome dinner at a local restaurant in Yangon.
Day 5: Yangon & Mandalay
1 night Mandalay Hill Resort or similar. Breakfast, lunch and dinner.
- Transfer to airport for flight to Mandalay
- Tour the Shwenandaw Kyaung, the Golden Palace Monastery
- Visit a traditional artisans workshop
- View the iconic U Bein's Bridge, the longest wooden bridge in Myanmar
Full Day Itinerary: After an early breakfast, transfer to Yangon airport for your flight to Mandalay. The last capital of the third Myanmar Empire, Mandalay is the second largest city both a bustling commercial and ancient cultural center. The city is well known for woodcarving and tapestries and other traditional crafts. Upon arrival, visit the spiritually important Maha Muni Pagoda, housing one of the most sacred statues of Buddha in Myanmar. The statue is said to have been brought to life after seven embraces by the Buddha, and is referred to as Maha Muni Sacred Living Image.
Proceed to the Shwenandaw Kyaung, the Golden Palace Monastery, famous for its intricate woodcarvings. Continue your tour of Mandalay at Amarapura, Myanmar's penultimate Royal Capital. Enjoy a visit to a traditional silver crafts workshop and meet the local artist. End the day at the iconic U Bein's Bridge, the longest wooden bridge in Myanmar, crossing the Taungthaman Lake and curved to withstand the wind and waves. Tonight enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 6: Mandalay & Bagan
3 nights Bagan Lodge or similar. Breakfast & lunch.
- Full day cruise on the Irrawaddy River
- Evening at leisure
Full Day Itinerary: After an early breakfast, transfer to the jetty and board the ferry boat and enjoy a full day cruising down the Irrawaddy River, the longest river in Myanmar. Enjoy the natural beauty of the Irrawaddy as you sail by the fascinating scenes of Mt. Sagaing, Pakokku, and Myaingyan. Arrive in Bagan and transfer to your hotel and enjoy the evening at leisure.
Day 7: Bagan
Breakfast, lunch & dinner.
- Visit the most significant and well preserved pagodas, including Gubyaukgyi, Htilo Minlo Pahto and the amazing Ananda Pahto Temple
- Visit a local village school to donate lunch to the children
- Dine on local specialties with a family in their home
Full Day Itinerary: Known as the city of four million pagodas, Bagan is one of the richest archaeological sites in Asia. Bagan is also famous for its artistic handicrafts and master craftsmanship of lacquer-ware. Today, you will visit the most significant and well-preserved pagodas, including Gubyaukgyi, Htilo Minlo Pahto and the amazing Ananda Pahto Temple. Later, visit a local village school to donate lunch to approximately 300 children.
After lunch in a local restaurant, check into your hotel and enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure.
This evening presents a marvelous opportunity to dine "Burmese" style as you enjoy the company of a local family and enjoy a dinner of freshly prepared local specialties at their home.
Optional Excursion: Mt. Popa, $65 (purchased locally). This morning, take part in an optional tour to Mt. Popa, an extinct volcano with spectacular views. Along the way, see plantations of palm trees, and the remains of a petrified forest. Observe the Nat Shrine with its display of mannequin-like figures which is also a popular pilgrimage site. This excursion will operate with a minimum of 5 persons.
Day 8: Bagan
Breakfast, lunch & dinner.
- Visit Phwar Saw Village and stop at the bustling market of Nyaung Oo
- Explore more of Bagan from a traditional pony cart
- Traditional marionette show and dinner at Nanda Restaurant
Full Day Itinerary: This morning, stop at Nyaung Oo, a bustling market rich in a variety of fresh produce. Visit the nearby Phwar Saw Village, where you will witness rural Burmese life.
After lunch at a local restaurant, explore Bagan and some additional temples which cannot be reached with conventional modes of transport, from the perspective of a traditional pony cart. End the day watching the sun set over the Bagan, from the top of a temple. This evening enjoy a traditional marionette show at Nanda restaurant.
Day 9: Bagan, Heho & Inle Lake
2 nights Pristine Lotus Spa Resort or similar, Inle Lake. Breakfast, lunch & dinner.
- Transfer from the hotel to your morning flight to Heho
- Visit the Shwe Yaunghwe Kyaung monastery
- Take a private boat tour to visit five ancient gold Buddhas at Phaung Da woo Pagoda monastery
- View the temple at Nga Hpe Kyaung
Full Day Itinerary: After breakfast, transfer to Bagan airport for your flight to Heho. Upon arrival, drive to Nyaung Shwe, the gateway to Inle Lake. A prime attraction of the Shan State, Inle is a vast, picturesque lake surrounded by hazy-blue mountains. Inle Lake is famous for its native lake-dwellers, the Inthas, and their unique way of rowing their boats balanced upon one leg.
Visit the Shwe Yaunghwe Kyaung monastery, famous for its unique oval windows. Then, transfer to a private boat and venture onto the lake. Visit the five ancient gold-covered Buddha images at Phaung Da woo Pagoda, the holiest monastery on the lake.
After lunch in a local restaurant, see the temple at Nga Hpe Kyaung, which houses an impressive collection of ancient Buddha images. Then there will be an opportunity to visit a floating garden before proceeding to the hotel for check-in and dinner.
Day 10: Inle Lake
Breakfast, lunch & dinner.
- Morning visit to the “5 Day Markets”
- Visit the stupa ruins and temples of Inndein
- Local cigar making at Nampan Village
- Tour Inn Paw Khone, a small village that specializes in silk weaving
- Evening canoe ride to the floating villages
Full Day Itinerary: This morning, visit one of the most interesting markets in Myanmar, one of the Shan "5-Day Markets," so called because the Shan people rotate between 5 different locations over a 5 day period. Life in the Shan State remains very traditional, and these markets are a great way to experience the life of the Shan tribes, who still wear their customary tribal garb. Next, visit the stupa ruins and temples of Inndein. A covered walkway leads to Shwe Inn Thein Paya, affording beautiful views of the lake. The temples of Inndein have been left in their natural state and the views are enough to take your breath away.
After lunch at a local restaurant, stop at Nampan village to see local cigar making, and then continue to Inn Paw Khone, a small village that specializes in silk weaving.
The day ends with a tranquil canoe ride to witness life in one of the floating villages that are scattered throughout the lake. Tonight, dinner will be at your hotel.
Day 11: Inle Lake, Heho & Yangon
2 nights Sule Shangri-La or similar, Yangon. Breakfast & lunch.
- Transfer from your hotel for your flight back to Yangon
- Explore the impressive collections of the National Museum
- Remainder of the day at leisure in Yangon
Full Day Itinerary: In the morning return to Nyaung Shwe by boat, then drive to Heho for the return flight to Yangon. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before continuing to the National Museum to explore Burmese history throughout the ages. Continue to your hotel for check-in, and relax for the remainder of the day.
Day 12: Yangon
Breakfast & dinner.
- Full day at leisure to explore Yangon
- Farewell dinner at a local restaurant
Full Day Itinerary: Enjoy the day at leisure to explore Yangon on your own. Perhaps spend the day shopping or exploring the city's many ancient pagodas. This evening enjoy a farewell dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 13: Yangon/USA
- Transfer to the airport in Yangon and board your flight to the USA, via Taipei
- Arrive in the USA later today
Full Day Itinerary: After breakfast this morning, bid farewell to the mystical lands of Myanmar as you transfer to the airport in Yangon to board your flight to the USA via Taipei. Arrive in the USA later today. Or take advantage of your already included airfare, and extend your stay to Bangkok, Thailand.
Bangkok Optional Post-Tour Extension
Why not take advantage of your already included international airfare and add three days in exotic Bangkok, bustling capital of Thailand? You'll return to the U.S. three days after the return dates shown. For JFK passengers, the Bangkok Extension must be coordinated with China Airlines' JFK schedule; please contact us for details.
Day 13: Yangon/Bangkok
3 nights Chatrium Riverside Hotel or similar, Bangkok. Breakfast.
- Day at leisure to explore Bangkok
Full Day Itinerary: This morning, transfer to the Yangon airport for your flight to Bangkok, bustling capital of Thailand, situated on the banks of the Chao Phraya River. Upon arrival, you'll be escorted to your deluxe hotel, which boasts a prime location within walking distance of many attractions. The rest of the day is yours at leisure to take in your new surroundings and explore the city on your own.
Day 14: Bangkok
- Half day Bangkok sightseeing tour
Full Day Itinerary: After breakfast enjoy a half day of sightseeing the major landmarks of Bangkok. Begin the day with a visit to the Grand Palace, which for 150 years functioned as the home of the King and his court as well as the entire administrative seat of government. Within its grounds, you'll also visit the Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew) built to house a large Buddha image carved from a solid piece of green jadite (jasper). Then board a typical long-tailed boat that will take you through Bangkok's waterway on the Thonburi canals. You will enjoy picturesque sights and scenes of traditional Thai canal life with houses on stilts, hidden temples, floating groceries and water taxi.
Day 15: Bangkok
- Full day at leisure
Full Day Itinerary: Enjoy a full days at leisure to discover Thailand's vibrant capital at your own pace. Bangkok offers no shortage of shopping, dining, and sightseeing. Your hotel concierge will gladly offer suggestions for independent exploration or join an optional full day sightseeing excursion. Often called the "Venice of the East" for its network of canals (klongs), Bangkok can also be explored by boat. From this vantage point, you can gain close-up views of traditional Thai life. And of course, no visit to Bangkok would be complete without a visit to the colorful Damneon Saduak floating market, held daily—an experience not to be missed!
Day 16: Bangkok/USA
- After breakfast, transfer to the airport and board your return flight to the USA, via Taipei
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- What should I know before I go? We've compiled a comprehensive checklist, including information on how to pay your balance due, flights & transfers, packing & luggage, and more.
- Do I need a visa or other documents? Are there any entry requirements? Travel visas are required for this package. Please review the visa & entry requirements.
- Can I make changes to my trip? Want to upgrade your seats? Stay a few extra days? Something else? Just ask!
- Can I bring my kids? Are there any age restrictions? To book this package, you must be 18 or older. Your traveling companions must be 12 or older at time of travel.
- Should I purchase travel insurance? Yes! We recommend you purchase travel insurance to help protect you and your travel investment against the unexpected. For your convenience, we offer a plan provided by Travelex Insurance Services.
- What's the fine print? Review the terms & conditions for this package.
- What should I know about Thailand? Check out our guide for practical travel tips, the best time to go, videos, and more.
- What should I know about Myanmar? Check out our guide for practical travel tips, the best time to go, videos, and more.
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