A Luxury Tour of Myanmar with Irrawady River Cruise
13 Days / 12 Nights
Yangon - Heho - Pindaya - Inle Lake - Mandalay - Amarapura - River Cruise - Bagan - Mt. Popa - Yangon
Experience Myanmar in luxury while you fully immerse yourself in local culture. Explore the most important sights, sip premiere local wines at a lush vineyard, cruise on the Ayeyarwaddy River while relaxing on the sundeck, visit a monastic school, and a small village where you can help the locals with their daily activities.
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 - Heho - Pindaya - Inle Lake (B/-/-)
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your domestic flight to Heho. Upon arrival, 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. We continue driving to Inle Lake for another 2.5 hours. After checking in to the hotel, we embark on an afternoon exploration of Inle Lake, populated with floating islands and gardens made from roots of water hyacinth plants and reeds. Delight in the picturesque sights of fishermen who balance and row with one leg, a technique indigenous to the Inn Thar minority group on Inle Lake.
Overnight at hotel on Inle Lake.
Day 3. Inle Lake (B/-/-)
After breakfast, visit Phaungdaw 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. As an extra treat, we stop at a house for Burmese cats built over the lake, where we see the conservation efforts and reintroduction of this rare pure breed of felines to Myanmar. At Nanpan village, local craftsmen show us how Burmese cigars, or “cheroots,” are traditionally packed and rolled.
Day 4. 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 ancient pagodas constructed more than 1,000 years ago. Then transfer by boat to the hotel. The rest of the day will be at leisure.
Day 5. Inle Lake - Red Mountain - Heho - Mandalay (B/-/-)
After breakfast, transfer to Nyaung Shwe by boat, then we visit the 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. In the afternoon, transfer to Heho airport for the domestic flight to Mandalay. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel. Then visit 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. We end our day with panoramic views over city skyline on Mandalay Hill at sunset, the highest point of the city.
Day 6. Mandalay - Amarapura - Ava (Inwa) - Mandalay (B/-/-)
After breakfast at the hotel, we embark on a journey to the seats of ancient Myanmar kingdoms near Mandalay. We drive to the 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, is a magical experience and a photographer’s dream. Then we cross over 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 a 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. Next, we proceed to major highlights of the city: the sacred Mahamuni Pagoda, housing one of the most significant Buddha images covered in several tons of gold leaf and the crown prize in wars between competing kingdoms; 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.
Day 7. Mandalay - Mingun (By RV Paukkan Cruise) (B/L/D)
After breakfast, we transfer to the jetty and board the ship at 11.30-12.00 hrs. Welcome cocktail and briefing in the saloon or sundeck followed by lunch. After cruising upstream for two hours we arrive at the Mingun pagoda complex. Our English speaking manager (or your private guide) will accompany you during the visit. Moor overnight at a sandbank mid-stream. After dinner guests can enjoy a dance and drama performance by the Mandalay Arts School on the sundeck.
Day 8. Mingun - Sagaing - Yandabo (By RV Paukkan Cruise) (B/L/D)
Early in the morning cruise downstream. During the two hours' journey the passengers can admire the natural beauty of the river and the life on its banks while relaxing on the sundeck or just sitting outside their own cabin. Enjoy the sunrise over Sagaing Hills. After breakfast passengers wishing to visit Sagaing can go ashore with the assistance of our ship manager or their own guide. We resume our downriver voyage at 10.30 hrs and we will sail all day long. In the late afternoon we stop at Yandabo, a village specializing in pot-making, where the peace treaty of the first Anglo-Burmese war was signed on Feb. 24, 1826. We visit the pot workshops, the monastery and the school. Moor overnight near the village of Shwe Nann Tint.
Day 9. Yandabo - Bagan (B/-/-)
In the morning, after breakfast disembark at Aye Yar Jetty around 9:00 am. Upon arrival, we begin our journey into the ancient kingdom of Bagan. Drive along dusty lanes and tree shaded roads past temples and monasteries to Taung Bi village. Visit the noodle makers, a Myanmar-style movie theatre, the village hairdresser and a local tea shop. Along the Ayeyarwaddy River we also visit some traditional family businesses including blacksmiths, brick makers, dry snack ‘factories’ and bamboo roof producers, where the skills and trade have been passed on for generations. Visit some of the most famous temples in Bagan (Shwezigon Stupa, Gubyaukgyi (Wet-Kyi-Inn), Htilominlo Temple, Ananda Temple, Dhamayangyi Temple, etc..,) . In the evening, we will take you to one of the best spots for sunset near Dhamayazeka Zedi (Or South Guni/North Guni).
Day 10. Bagan - Mt. Popa - Bagan (B/-/-)
After breakfast, a 1,5hrs drive takes us to Mount Popa. Along the way we’ll stop at a small village where the locals make a variety of treats from the juice of the palm tree. Watch farmers climb the tall Toddy trees and tap the fruit, returning to land to boil the liquid into wine and sweet molasses. Kids can also help grind rice and corn, guiding the oxen as they pull the stone grinder. We continue to Mt. Popa, an extinct volcano, which dominates the area. Mt. Popa was for centuries where kings of central Burma made pilgrimages to confer with the sacred statues about the future of their reigns, and the Burmese spiritual epicenter for those who worship the pantheon of Nat spirits and martyrs. After paying respects to the Nat Shrine at the foot of Mount Popa, we climb nearly 800 steps to the pagoda perched on top of the mountain to admire the views of the surrounding plains and farmlands.
Day 11. Bagan (B/-/-)
After breakfast, we start with a visit to the Nyaung U Market, the largest market in the Bagan region, to get a glimpse of the local life. Then take a boat out across the Irrawaddy to the island of Kyun Thiri village where we will enjoy a morning visiting the local monastery. Tradition dictates that all Buddhist males must at some time in their lives become monks – if only for a few days. We will then spend the rest of the morning with the people of the island, learning about their unique agricultural way of life. In the afternoon, we can also make a visit to a monastic school (Zay Ta Won) which provides education for over 500 students, who cannot afford school, from nearby villages. Then boat back to Bagan.
Visit some of the famous temples in Bagan (Laymyetnat Temple, Payathonzu, Minnanthu village, Tayoke Pye Paya, etc..,).
For sunset, an ox-cart ride around the temples offers unparalleled photo opportunities of one of the richest archeological treasures in Southeast Asia as the sun dips behind the temple ruins.
Day 12. Bagan - Yangon (B/-/-)
After breakfast, transfer to Bagan/Nyaung U 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 still located here. During our stroll through bustling Market Streets full of merchants and food stalls, we visit a local pharmacy and learn about Myanmar traditional medicine. Stop for a cup of tea and snack in the fashion of locals, and enjoy the sights and sounds of Yangon. 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. In the afternoon we will take you to one of the train stations for a circular train ride to the lively local market activities at Danyingone Market, practically known as Railway Market which is located in the outskirt 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.
Day 13. 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.
13 DAYS / 12 NIGHTS FROM £4,990 pp
based on 2 people travelling together
The price includes:
Twin sharing Accommodation in a double/twin room in the following deluxe hotels:
Yangon: Sule Shangri-La **** or similar
Bagan: Bagan Lodge **** or similar
RV Paukkan Cruise Main Deck Cabin
Mandalay: Mandalay Hill Resort **** or similar
Inle Lake: Pristine Lotus Spa and 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-Heho-Mandalay/Bagan-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
REQUEST A QUOTE
At Seven Senses Tours, the sky’s the limit in terms of creating your next unforgettable experience. Our knowledgeable and experienced travel consultants are waiting to plan every last detail of your upcoming trip, so all that’s left for you is to enjoy it.
We work Monday to Friday: 10am-6pm and we aim to respond to your query within one business day.
WHY BOOK WITH US ?
If you travel with us you will not just visit, you will experience your destination
Get in touch with the local culture, meet the people
Immerse yourself in the sights, sounds, taste, and feel of your journey
Our guides strive to share real experiences with you
100% Tailor-made according to your interests, requirements and budget
Stay in hand picked boutique hotels with a local feel and character
Options from budget to luxury
Every little detail of your trip is carefully planned and managed throughout your journey
100% Financial Protection
Full supplier failure cover
Our travel consultants have travelled extensively and have a broad knowledge of, and passion for their destination countries
24/7 emergency UK and local contact numbers while abroad