Experience Rural Myanmar
14 Days / 13 Nights
Yangon - Bagan - Mindat - Kanpatlet - Bagan - Monywa - Mandalay - Pindaya - Inle - Yangon
After being amazed by the sights of Yangon and Bagan, set off on a 4WD adventure deep into the countryside. Trek to Chin villages and explore the native village life for the next three days then continue to Pakokku, visit cave temples in Monyva, explore the ancient kingdoms around Mandalay and finally see the sights of Inle Lake.
Our itineraries are suggestions and are fully customisable according to your needs, interests and budget.
Treat these itineraries as inspiration and one of our experts will create your uniquely tailored holiday with your requests in mind so that you can truly experience Myanmar with Seven Senses.
Day 1. Arrive Yangon (-/-/-)
Upon arrival at Yangon international airport, you will be welcomed by your guide and transferred to your hotel. After some rest we embark on a journey to explore Yangon's highlights. Start from the colonial-style city center and one of the most important landmarks, Sule Paya stupa – built over 2,000 years ago and the focal point of numerous historical events in the city. Continue to Chauk Htat Gyi pagoda to view its magnificent reclining Buddha, and Karaweik Hall to marvel at the uniquely decorated “hamsa-bird-shaped” building on Kandawgyi (Royal) lake. We visit Bogyoke (Scotts) market, where hundreds of gemstones, handicrafts, art, clothes and food stores are tucked in a maze of colour. We 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.
View the sunset from here then return to the hotel.
Day 2. Yangon - Bagan (B/-/-)
After breakfast, transfer to Yangon airport for your domestic flight to Bagan. Upon arrival, we start with a visit to the Nyaung U Market, the largest market in the Bagan region, to get a glimpse of local life. We also see how cottage industries like brick making are carried out with traditional methods. We continue to the gilded Shwezigon Stupa, purported to contain a holy tooth relic of the Buddha. Continue to Kyansitha Umin, a cave temple, where the long dimly lit corridors are decorated with frescoes, some believed to have been painted by Tatar invaders during the Mongol occupation after 1287. Next, visit Gubyaukgyi (Wet-Kyi-Inn), a 13th-century ‘cave temple’ that has an Indian-style spire like the Mahabodhi Paya in Bagan. It is interesting for the fine frescoes of scenes from the Jatakas. Then to Htilominlo Temple to learn how Burmese sand paintings are created. The day’s temple tour continues with a visit to the beautifully symmetric and majestic Ananda Temple with its four standing Buddha images that seem to gaze at the viewer with fixed serenity wherever the viewer stands. Then we visit Dhamayangyi Temple, the largest temple of Bagan with the thickest walls and the Sulamani Temple. Finally, proceed to Bupaya or Shwesandaw Pagoda to watch the sunset over the famous Ayeyarwaddy River.
Day 3. Bagan - Mindat (B/-/-)
After breakfast, drive in a 4 WD to Mindat, about 160 kms from Bagan, which will take around 7 hours. Lunch break on the way at Pauk (own account). After check in to the hotel, (if time permits) we will drive to Pang Oo Village located on a steep slope outside Mindat (about 45 minutes drive). We will visit the first Chins and get acquainted with their traditions. 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 to photogenic village, Ng’Nam Thai. Mindat is located at an elevation of 4860 feet / 1600m above sea level.
Day 4. Mindat (B/-/-)
After breakfast at the hotel, visit the Mindat market and then visit some smaller Chin villages around the town of Mindat. Drive across the Chi stream and start trekking at Mashiyaw village. Walk about 2 hours to Kyado village to explore the native village life. The footpath is very narrow and dangerous. We will find Chin tribes such as the M’kang, Dai and N’men. All of these groups speak different dialects and have different costumes. You may find some women, mostly elderly ones but also a few young girls with tattooed faces with very different patterns. We can count about 5 different ways of putting the tattoos on: dots, spider, lines, and curls, almost black. The Chins are mostly Christians with a variety of all beliefs from Methodists to Catholics. You will see houses decorated with buffalo horns. These are from animals called Mithan, 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 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.
Day 5. Mindat - Kanpetlet (B/-/-)
After breakfast, drive three hours to Kanpetlet. Kanpetlet is probably the smallest town in Chin State. The town is about 75 kms from Mindat and only 15 kms away from Saw. About half of the population in Kanpetlet is Christian, while the other half is Buddhist. Upon arrival, check in to your hotel. We 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, we 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).
Day 6. Kanpetlet - Bagan (B/-/-)
Breakfast at our lodge then visit Kantar Yon village, where you will find Ra and Ngrah Chin groups before our return journey to Bagan through arid landscape passing Saw, Seik Phyu, some remote village communities and Chauk town after crossing the bridge over the Irrawaddy River. Arrival to Bagan will be in the afternoon. Driving time will be approx. 7hrs, 110 kms. Lunch stop will be at a simple local restaurant en-route. Arrive to Bagan late afternoon.
Day 7. Bagan - Pakokku - Monywa (B/-/-)
In the morning transfer by boat on the Ayeyarwaddy River to Pakokku (approximately 3 hours), a port city south of the Chindwin confluence. On the way, you will stop at an old wooden monastery in Pakhan Gyi ancient town. There is the possibility to see the weaving of the characteristic Myanmar cotton blankets. Upon arrival to the jetty, proceed by road to Monywa. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel.
Day 8. Monywa - Mandalay (B/-/-)
After breakfast at the hotel, we cross the Chindwin River and drive 1hr to Hpo Win Taung Limestone Mountain, containing hundreds of cave temples with mural paintings that date back to 15th century. On the way, stop at a local cottage industry workshop to learn how copper is extracted from the local soil and processed into copper bullions. Then drive to Mandalay and on the way stop at the Bodhi Tataung “Buddha Park”, the site of world’s tallest Buddha statue at 128m high. Also of interest is the 114m long reclining Buddha and tens of thousands of smaller Buddha statues donated to the site by devout Burmese pilgrims. We continue the drive to the peculiar yet colorful Thanboudday pagoda, regarded by some people as the “little Burmese Borobudur”: Its galleries are filled with over 582,000 Buddha images of all sizes, lending the hall a meditative atmosphere. And then we drive 150km/3hrs to Mandalay.
Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel.
Day 9. Ava (Inwa) - Sagaing - Amarapura - U Bein Teak Bridge (B/-/-)
After breakfast, we embark on a journey to the ancient kingdoms of Myanmar near Mandalay. We drive 15km 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. We visit the Bagaya Teak Monastery, over three hundred years old, yet well preserved and still in use by local monks; the Nanmyin Watch Tower, the last standing structure of the Ava dynasty palace compound also known as the “Leaning Tower of Ava”; and the Maha Aungmye Bonzan Monastery, a 300-year old architectural wonder with graceful archways. We continue to the ancient kingdom of Sagaing, located across the mighty Ayeyarwaddy River. From the Sagaing Hills, we 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. We continue to another beautiful ancient capital, Amarapura, famous for its textile industries. There, we visit a cottage industry workshop to learn how Myanmar longyis and traditional fabrics are woven. Continuing to the U Bein Bridge, a simple yet remarkable teak structure that spans 1,2km over Taungtaman Lake. We have the option to be rowed onto the calm waters. U Bein Bridge, silhouetted by the setting sun, is a magical experience and a photographer’s dream.
Day 10. Mandalay - Heho - Pindaya (B/-/-)
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your domestic flight to Heho, a quiet transit town in the beautiful hills of Shan State, northeast of Yangon. Visit the bustling main Heho Market, a meeting point for different ethnic groups of the surrounding areas to trade handmade goods and locally grown produce, especially on market days. Then drive 2 hours to cross the Shan highlands and reach the Pindaya Caves. The main cave is unique in housing thousands of Buddha images donated by devotees alongside caverns filled with numerous stalactite formations.
Day 11. Pindaya - Inle Lake (B/-/-)
After breakfast, transfer to Nyanung Shwe (90 km - 2 hours) and board a boat heading to the hotel for check in. Then we visit Paungdaw Oo Pagoda, the home of some of the country’s most sacred Buddha statues covered in gold leaf. We also make a visit to the Inpawkhon weaving village to learn how local silks, linens and lotus fabrics are handmade and crafted. At Nampan Village, local craftsmen show us how Burmese cigars, or “cheroots,” are traditionally packed and rolled.
Day 12. Inn Dain (B/-/-)
After breakfast we journey out by boat, following the currents of a small river to reach the Inn Dain Pagoda complex, a site that makes us feel as if we’ve stepped through a forgotten portal in time. To access the complex, we walk through verdant bamboo groves that open up to a field covered with the ancient pagodas constructed over 1,000 years ago. Then boat back to the hotel and the rest of the day will be at leisure.
Day 13. Inle Lake - Heho - Yangon (B/-/-)
After breakfast, transfer to Heho airport for the domestic flight to Yangon.
Upon arrival, we visit the quaint Yangon Old Quarters, built during the British colonial era. Many charming historical buildings are located here. We continue to one of Asia’s architectural landmarks, the elegant Strand Hotel, built by the Sarkies Brothers. Inside, we visit the River Art Gallery, where the works of some of the most famous and skilled Burmese artists are on display. Then we will take you to one of the train stations for a circular train ride to visit the lively local market activities at Danyingone Market, practically known as Railway Market which is located in the outskirts of Yangon city. Upon arrival, you can see the market with full of locals, vendors and hawkers selling and buying colourful vegetables, meats, local snacks and flowers. Afterwards, return back to Yangon by car. In the evening, take a stroll to Chinatown, which is lively and busy, filled with cafes, bars and restaurants as well as vendors selling street food and fruits.
Day 14. Departure (B/-/-)
After breakfast, check out and transfer to the airport for your departure flight.
The itinerary may be subject to change depending on circumstances.
14 DAYS / 13 NIGHTS FROM £2,600 pp
based on 2 people travelling together
The price includes:
Twin sharing Accommodation in a double/twin room in the following standard hotels:
Yangon: Summit Park View Hotel *** or similar
Bagan: Amata Boutique House *** or similar
Mindat: Mountain Oasis *** or similar
Kanpetlet: Floral Breeze *** or similar
Monywa: Win Unity Hotel *** or similar
Mandalay: Yadanarpon Dynasty Hotel *** or similar
Pindaya: Inle Inn *** or similar
Inle Lake: Hupin Khaing Daing Resort *** or similar
Quality private air-con vehicles & experienced drivers for all transfers and sightseeing.
Experienced English-speaking local guides throughout the tour.
Domestic flights Yangon –Bagan/Mandalay-Heho-Yangon.
Private boat at Inle sightseeing.
Entrance fees for all listed attractions.
Meals as stated in the itinerary (B/L/D) = (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner).
The price does not include:
Return flights from the UK to Myanmar. Request a quote from us.
Anything not specifically mentioned above.
Optional tours, camera fees.
Tips to the guide and driver, porters and waiters.
Visa fee for Myanmar.
Personal costs such as drinks, laundry, etc.
Peak season surcharges
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