Wonders of Myanmar

15 Days / 14 Nights

Yangon – Mandalay – Monywa – Pakokku – Bagan – Heho – Nyaung Shwe – Inle Lake – Yangon

Discover the daily life of Yangon on a walking tour. Continue in a trishaw in the village of Dalah, visit the ancient kingdoms around Mandalay, discover the sandstone caves of Hpo Win Taung, tour Bagan and the surrounding villages by bike, take part in a cooking class at Inle Lake and continue by bike to discover the villages around the lake.

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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.

SUGGESTED ITINERARY

Day 1. Arrive Yangon (-/-/-)

Upon arrival at Yangon airport, you will be welcomed by your guide and transferred to your hotel. Later in the day we will drive downtown to the Central Post Office from where you will start your walking tour. Walk along Strand Road passing by the landmark Strand Hotel and the Pansodan Jetty. See the daily life of the local people including workers, busy street vendors and the shoppers during rush hour. Go up Pansodan Street famous for some of Yangon’s most impressive colonial buildings. Arrive at Mahabandoola Road from where you have the perfect view on Sule Pagoda, City Hall and the High Court. Cross the greens of Mahabandoola Garden and continue to 31st street well known for second hand book shops as well as typical historical shop houses. Continue your walk by discovering the gold shops of Shwe Bontha Street and from there head to Bogyoke (Scott's) Market with hundreds of food, clothes, handicrafts and gems stores (closed on Mondays and on public holidays).

In the afternoon, cross to the animated Indian District of Anawrahta Road to reach a Hindu Temple. Stop for a refreshing drink at a typical Myanmar tea shop crowded with people who have completed the day’s tasks. Go further down on Kon Zay Dan Street and complete your walking tour in the busy area of Chinatown visiting a Chinese Temple. Drive to the Shwedagon Pagoda and visit one of the world’s most spectacular monuments. View the sunset here, spend time walking around and exploring this amazing site, then return to your hotel.

Total walking time approximately: 4½ h. 

Day 2. Yangon - Dalah - Yangon (B/-/-)

After breakfast, proceed to the jetty and cross the Yangon River in a local ferry. You get to Dalah, an area at the entrance to the delta of the Irrawaddy River. Here the image of the urban district of Yangon change into rice fields, unpaved streets and traditional houses. The Delta is a very fertile area of ​​lush vegetation, crossed by rivers, canals, lakes and watercourses. In Dalah your tour continues in a trishaw, the traditional Burmese transport, a kind of bicycle taxi to explore the streets of the original village in a local way. On the way back you can enjoy an unusual panoramic view of the city of Yangon from the opposite bank of the river. This trip gives you an insight into other aspects of daily life in Yangon and the surrounding area. 

Day 3. Yangon - Mandalay (B/-/-)

After breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport for your domestic flight to Mandalay.

Upon arrival in Mandalay, you will experience the sights and sounds of Mandalay such as the Shwe Inbin Monastery, the Golden Palace Monastery, a superb example of a traditional wooden building, and the Kuthodaw Pagoda, where you will find the world’s largest book made of marble. Visit also one of the most revered religious monuments in Myanmar, the Mahamuni Pagoda. Further, observe the booming businesses of Mandalay's famous traditional craftsmanship, which have partly turned into large scale industries such as jade cutting and polishing at the Jade Market, traditional puppet making, hand woven "Kalaga" (embroidered tapestries), wood carving, sculpturing marble and casting bronze images, traditional gold leaf making and temple ornaments and paraphernalia.

Depending on your wish, continue to an astrologer (please note that the astrologer might ask for a donation directly from clients). View the sunset from Mandalay Hill.

 

Day 4. Amarapura - Ava - Sagaing (B/-/-)

After breakfast, excursion to Amarapura, 15 km 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 200-year-old U Bein teak bridge built in 1782 when Amarapura was the Royal Capital. From the early days the city was known for its silk- and cotton weaving. Visit a traditional hand-woven silk workshop before proceeding to Bagaya Monastery, a compound with a superb collection of Buddha statues.

In the afternoon, embark for a short boat ride over Myit Nge stream and start exploring the former Royal Capital Inwa (Ava) by horse cart. Visit Nanmyint Watch Tower, the remains of the ancient palace building, also known as “the leaning tower of Ava“, Maha Aungmye Bonzan Monastery built of brick and stucco, Bargayar Monastery famous for its impressive ornate woodcarvings and teak posts. Continue then to Sagaing Hills, a retreat for

Buddhist devotees for sunset.

Day 5. Mandalay - Monywa (B/-/-)

After breakfast, proceed to Monywa (150 km – 2½ h). Visit en route the Thanboddhay Pagoda where 845 small stupas surround and rise up to the richly decorated central stupa. The pagoda is built to remind you of Mt Meru and has some similar characteristics to Borobudur of Java. Take a walk through the nearby banyan tree grove Bodhi Tataung where thousands of Buddha images rest at the feet of the trees. Enjoy the panoramic view from Aung Setkya Pagoda, standing 130 metres high on the Po Khaung hills. 

In the afternoon, cross the Chindwin River by ferry boat and proceed by pick-up or jeep (40 km - 1h) to Hpo Win Taung, a network of impressive sandstone caves containing Buddha statues, wood carvings and fine mural paintings, some dating back to the 15th century. Dozens of large and small caves with about 450,000 images are hidden in the area

of the Hpo Win Hills.

Day 6. Monywa - Pakokku - Bagan (B/-/-)

After breakfast, drive to Pakokku (128 km – 3h), a port city set south of the Chindwin confluence. In Pakokku, you will visit a lively local market by traditional trishaw bicycle taxis. There is also a possibility to observe the weaving process of typical Myanmar cotton blankets. Continue by boat on the Ayeyarwaddy River to Bagan. This downstream trip takes approx. 2 hours. (Please note: travel time is subject to change depending on the water level)

Upon arrival to Bagan, transfer to your hotel.

Day 7. Bagan (B/-/-)

After breakfast, your bicycles will be ready for your biking tour through old Bagan and the surrounding region. First you will bike to the nearest small town of Nyaung Oo to visit the local market. Continue to old Bagan on the historical roads overshadowed by magnificent trees and commence with the visit of the most important temples and pagodas. See the Shwezigon Pagoda built by King Anawrahta in the early 11th century as a religious shrine, Ku Byauk Gyi, a temple with superb murals of Jataka scenes, and Ananda Temple with its four magnificent standing Buddha images. As it gets very hot in Bagan at noon time we recommend returning to the hotel for a rest, but the choice is entirely up to your preferences.

Mid afternoon, bike to Myinkaba Village where you have the possibility to visit one of the famous lacquer ware craftsmen’s workshop and experience the bustling activities of the village. See Manuha Temple built in Mon style in 1059 and follow on to Nanbaya Temple, a unique sandstone monument said to have been the palace of King Manuha. Choose one of the more off the beaten track pagodas to climb on top and view the sunset over the plain of Bagan dotted with more than 2,000 temples.

 

Distance - 35 to 40 km

Cycling hours - 4½ to 5 h

Day 8. Bagan (B/-/-)

After breakfast, proceed by bike to the monastery by the bank of the Ayeyarwaddy River where you will be able to observe the educational as well as religious side of monkhood.  Your guide will give you some suitable accessories in order to donate to the monks. The monastery compound is spacious, clean and quite pleasant to sit for a while under the shady trees looking at the beauty of the majestic Ayeyarwaddy River. At lunch time, donate Soon (meal for monks), which will be the last meal for that day for the monks. Bagan is not only a site of thousand years old temples and pagodas, but also home to several local villages scattered around the temple dotted plains.

Bike along small dirt tracks and tree shaded roads past temple sites and monasteries to Taung Bi village. Visit the village hairdresser and a local tea shop. Continue by bike along the Ayeyarwaddy River. Visit some family businesses including soya bean paste making, blacksmiths, dry snack ‘factories’ and bamboo roof producers. These people practice generations old traditions and trade. Complete the day by choosing one of the more off the beaten track pagodas. Climb up to the roof top terrace for a magical moment, as the sun sets into the horizon of distant mountain ranges and more than 2,000 temples and pagodas.

 

Distance - 35 to 40 km

Cycling hours - 4½ to 5 h

Day 9. Bagan - Satsat Yo Village (B/-/-)

Breakfast at the hotel. Next to religious sites, village life is one of the main attractions of Bagan. People from all over the world have come to see how the people of the villages in the area have their own special culture and customs, festivals and beliefs and their cottage industries. Sat Sat Yo village which is located about 45 minutes drive from Bagan is special among the tourists for village children who is sporting the country's ancient hairstyle called “Sanyitwyne”. Before colonial rule, all of the country's boys and girls wore their hair in this manner. This village is the only place left in Myanmar where children still have their hair tied in this traditional style.

Transfer by car to the starting point and continue biking (approx. 1h) along the small lane that leads to the village passing through the farms. Upon arrival at the village, meet with the children at the village monastery and explore around this charming village. After that, bike back to the main road where the car is waiting for you to transfer you back to your hotel.

In the afternoon, a colorfully decorated ox-cart is waiting to show you more of Bagan's ancient temples in the traditional way of transportation used by people in Myanmar's countryside. Enjoy sunset over the plains and mountains of Bagan while cruising on the Ayeyarwaddy River.

Day 10. Bagan - Heho - Nyaung Shwe - Inle Lake (B/-/-)

After breakfast you will be transferred to the airport for your domestic flight to Heho.

Upon arrival at Heho Airport, drive to Nyaung Shwe (61 km – 1½h) and visit the local market in Nyaung Shwe where you can see fish and meat sellers, vegetable sellers and shopkeepers where the locals go for their daily meal shopping. From there, proceed to observe the activities of the lively jetty and watch the people’s daily life. You will also visit the tomato house in where tomatoes are kept, sorted and traded.

Then continue to the Red Mountain Vineyard, owned by a Pao ethnic group organization employing a genuine French wine maker to create some magnificent wines which are recognized as one of the best wines produced in Asia. Enjoy the wine tasting, visit the vineyard, then return to Nyaung Shwe visiting en route the Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery, a fascinating wooden monastery built in the early 19th Century. After that, proceed by boat to your hotel on Inle Lake.

Day 11. Inle Lake (B/-/-)

After breakfast, commence an excursion by boat on the Inle Lake. See the famous Inthar leg rowers, floating gardens, local methods of fishing, village life and magnificent scenery. You will visit the Phaungdaw Oo Pagoda, one of the most sacred shrines in Myanmar, dating back to the 18th century, the Nga Phe Monastery, famous for its beautiful collection of ancient Buddha statues, the weaving village of Inpawkhon and one of the local markets in the Inle Lake region (on market days only).

 

Optional cooking class at Inthar heritage house:

After breakfast, you will be transferred to the Inthar Heritage House for a special Burmese cookery class. On arrival, you will be served welcome drinks and taken to the cooking area. Then the chef of the Inthar Heritage House will explain about the class, introducing you to the ingredients and cooking methods used. After the introduction, continue to the delightful organic gardens and pick the ingredients for the meal before you start cooking. The class will take about 2 hours and at the end you will sit down to enjoy what you have created for lunch. The Inthar Heritage House promotes the heritage of Inle cultures and supports sustainable development in the Inle region. After your lunch, you have an opportunity to observe their various different conservation projects, including Burmese cat conservation, a Lake Species Aquarium, a Vocational Training Centre and environment-friendly agriculture.

Day 12. Inle Lake - Indein (B/-/-)

After breakfast, board your boat to the western shore of the lake where you will find the beginning of a stair path leading to the Indein Pagoda complex. Visit one of the most amazing historical sights on the shore of the lake consisting of hundreds of small stupas overgrown by moss and greens. Continue on foot to a village nearby where several crops are grown in traditional ways. Walk in an easy pace along one of the many creeks passing through rice fields to the village of Sae Ma. Visit the primary school of the village where you have the possibility to meet the children and teachers to observe their way of learning and teaching (during break time on school days only). Walk back along the creek to Indein or take a boat to the Paungdaw Oo Pagoda. Walk across to the weaving village of Tha Le, and in the afternoon, meet the people in the villages on the lake and travel to one of the monasteries to observe the monastic activities.

Return to the hotel by boat.

Optional biking tour:

Pick up from your hotel after breakfast and transfer to Ton Le village on the western shore where the bike team is waiting for you. After familiarizing yourself with the bike, start the gentle cycling to Taung Bo Kyi and visit the monastery, a school (only on school days), the village and people at work and many other things which are all exotic to outsiders. You will have the opportunity to meet the friendly local people and talk to them through the guide about their life, traditions, culture and other topics. Than cycling through Lae-Pyin and Than-Taung to Myay Ni Kone village where you can study the whole process of making rice cracker (Monte-Kyaut-Hnan-Htoo). It is one of the most famous snack on the lake. Take a boat back to your hotel.

 

Approx. cycling hours

Ton Le village – Myay Ni Kone   - 2,5 hours

Day 13. Inle Lake - Sagar (B/-/-)

After breakfast, proceed by boat to Nampan Village. Continue by boat on a 2-3 hour journey through lake and river sceneries to the southern part of Inle Lake where time has stood still and the ethnic populations of Pa-O, Inthar and Shan have remained untouched by modern civilization. Walk through several villages on the shore that produce local goods such as pottery, bamboo ware, sugar cane, handwoven cloth, alcohol and much more. Visit the ancient pagoda sight of Sagar and Tha Kong built in the 17th century in typical Shan style. On market days, take part in the local market activities where hill tribe folks meet the lake population. Return to your hotel by boat.

Day 14. Inle Lake - Heho - Yangon (B/-/-)

After breakfast, transfer by boat to Nyaung Shwe and overland to Heho Airport (32 km – 1 hour) for a domestic flight back to Yangon. Upon arrival in Yangon, visit the Kaba Aye (World Peace) Pagoda and then proceed to the riverside located Botataung Pagoda. Depending on your wish, transfer to Yangon’s Central Station for a train journey on the circular ‘commuter’ train line (about 30 minutes; please take note that the trains are very basic, often crowded and their schedule not reliable). You will get off at Kyi Myin Daing station and immerse yourself in this lively local Myanmar neighborhood where today’s more modern lifestyle mixes with old traditions. Visit the colorful roadside market and join the locals in a tea shop where they discuss important issues of the day. Later, transfer to your hotel.

Day 15. 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.

HIGHLIGHTS

PRICES AND INCLUSIONS

15 DAYS / 14 NIGHTS FROM £3,190 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 Hotel (****, Deluxe room) or similar

Bagan:                             Tharabar Gate Hotel (****, Deluxe room) or similar

Mandalay:               Mandalay Hill Resort Hotel (****, Deluxe room) or similar

Monywa:                    Win Unity Resort Hotel (**/*, Deluxe Lake View) or similar

Inle Lake:                Pristine Lotus Resort (****, Inle Lotus Villa) 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-Mandalay//Bagan-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.

Travel insurance.

Visa fee for Myanmar.

Personal costs such as drinks, laundry, etc.

Peak season surcharges

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SEVEN SENSES TOURS IS A TRADING NAME OF BRS TRAVEL SOLUTIONS LIMITED REGISTERED IN ENGLAND. COMPANY NUMBER 10287236. REGISTERED ADDRESS: 19 CROSSFIELD ROAD, LONDON, N17 6AY, UNITED KINGDOM.

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