A trekking adventure and cultural highlights 

HomeBurma/Myanmar / Burma Highlights

For a chance to experience real Burmese village life, join our Highlights tour that includes not only the top visitor attractions but also 4 days trekking between Kalaw and Inle Lake through local villages staying in simple accommodation.

The burma highlights Tour

This is a private tour, with your own local English-speaking guides and transport + driver. Price: from £2,845 Per Person (May-Sep) - £2,965 Per Person (Oct-Mar) (Based on Two Persons Minimum, Twin/Double Room) including international flights.

Day 1: UK to Yangon

Depart London on your scheduled overnight flight to Yangon.

Day 2: Yangon

Arrive Yangon. Met on arrival and transfer to your hotel. Rest of the day free.

Day 3: Yangon

After breakfast visit beautiful Kandawgyi Lake with the enormous mythical birds of the Karaweik Barge in prominent view. On to the Botataung Pagoda, located on the Yangon harbour. Then visit the downtown district with its many colonial buildings and the Independence Monument in Mahabandoola Gardens, dedicated to Burma’s independence in 1948. The streets are filled with colorful sidewalk markets selling various items both old and new. Afternoon sightseeing includes the colossal reclining Buddha Chaukhtatkyi, and the National Museum. We end the day with a visit to the awe inspiring Shwedagon Pagoda, perhaps the most beautiful pagoda complex in all of Asia. (B)

Day 4: Yangon to Bagan

Fly to Bagan by early morning flight. Upon arrival begin our visit to one of Asia’s most stunning archeological destinations with more than 2,000 pagodas covering the plains along the Ayerwaddy River. See the bustling Nyaung Oo local market and then on to some of Bagan’s most distinctive pagodas including Shwezigon; a prototype of later Myanmar stupas and Wetkyi-in-Gubyaukgyi: a 13th-century ‘cave temple with fine wall paintings. One of the most outstanding is the magnificent Ananda Pagoda, one of the most revered in all Myanmar and which contains four tall standing Buddhas within the central chamber. Afternoon sightseeing highlights includes Sulamani Temple; Dhammayangyi Temple, a massive later period temple with the finest brickwork in Bagan, and Thatbyinnyu Temple which towers above the other monuments of Bagan.Then as the sun goes down we will be at one of the ideal viewing sites selected by our guide for a panoramic view of Bagan. (B)

Day 5: Bagan

Breakfast at the hotel then bicycle around Thahtay Kan Village and Phya Saw Village where you can see the traditional ways of life including weaving cotton by hand, grinding peanut oil with yoked oxen, the care of various farm animals etc. Continue by bike to more temples/pagodas. Lunch at one of the local restaurant suggested by your guide then ride back to your hotel for a little free time to rest. In the late afternoon we take are car/bus to another village of Myinkaba where we visit a lacquerware craft shop to see the hand-making of these beautiful pieces. Then we go to a temple for a beautiful sunset view before returing to our hotel. (B)

Day 6: Bagan to monywa

After breakfast in Bagan we go to the river jetty for a private boat ride up the Ayeyarwady River to Pakkoku (about a 2.5 hour boat ride). Pakkoku is a busy town and noted as a tobacco trading center. Disembark at Pakkoku and drive through the rural countryside (about 1.5 hours) to arrive at the city of Monywa, the major agricultural trade center for the Chindwin valley. In Monywa sightseeing includes the very colorful Thanbuddhay Pagoda; similar to, though smaller, than the famous Brobudur in Indonesia; and Hlaungdawmu Buddha, the second largest reclining Buddha in Myanmar. (B)

Day 7: Monywa to Mandalay

In the morning we will take an enjoyable excursion, crossing the Chindwin river with a short boat ride, and then drive to the fascinating Po Win Daung Caves, a large complex of small sandstone caves containing many Buddha images and with decorative wall paintings. On our return to Monywa, after re-crossing the Chindwin river, enjoy a local trishaw ride before we drive on to Mandalay (about 3 hours) for overnight. En route we plan to stop in Monywee Kayemon village to visit a blacksmith and a local cottage industry where they make traditional slippers. (B)

Day 8: Mandalay

After breakfast start our sightseeing tour in Mandalay. Mandalay was the last royal capital of the Burmese kingdom and is rich in history and culture. Today visit the ancient royal capital of Amarapura (a capital twice during the Konbaung period), and enjoy a walk on U Bein Bridge which stretches 1.2 kilometers over Lake Taungtaman. Built around 1850, it is oldest and longest teakwood bridge in the world. As we stroll in the vicinity of U Bein Bridge we can also see traditional silk and cotton weaving for which Mandalay is noted. After our lunch break we visit the nearby island of Inwa, also a former royal capital, which was founded in 1364 and lasted nearly 400 years. Inwa is only accessible by a short ferry transfer and we travel by pony cart along tree-lined paths to see old palace walls; a watch tower now called the' leaning tower of Ava', the Maha Aungmye Bonzan, which is a beautiful brick-and-stucco monastery; and the elegant teakwood monastery Bagaya Kyaung, one of the few surviving teakwood monasteries in Myanmar and where young monks still study. (B)

Day 9: Mandalay

After breakfast transfer to board our private boat for a short and pleasant ride up the Ayerwaddy River to the ruins of the Mingun pagoda, the site of what would have been the world's largest pagoda had not King Bodawpaya died in 1819 thus halting all further work. Later an earthquake in 1838 split the monument and reduced it to partial ruin. Nearby we can also visit the Mingun Bell, moved from the pagoda after the earthquake and now hung in a new shrine building. It is said to be the largest hanging un-cracked bell in the world. Return by our boat to Mandalay. Afternoon sightseeing is in Mandalay city and includes the highly revered Mahamuni Pagoda with its sitting Buddha covered in gold leaf (later we will see the way gold leaf is hammered out by local craftsmen). A highlight is the beautiful Shwenandaw Monastery, one of the last wooden monasteries in Myanmar. Next we visit the intriguing looking Kuthodaw Pagoda, renowned as the World's largest book for its 729 stone slabs enscribed with the entire Buddhist scriptures. (B)

Day 10: Mandalay

Transfer to airport for a morning flight to Heho. On arrival we drive ( about one hour) to Kalaw which sits high on the western edge of the Shan Plateau and was a popular hill station in the British times. It is still a peaceful and quiet place with the pleasant scent of pine trees and an atmosphere reminiscent of the colonial era. Sightseeing in Kalaw includes a visit to Myinmathi Cave to see its many Buddha images and small stupas, and Nee Paya, a lacquered bamboo Buddha. (B)

Day 11: mandalay to kalaw

Leaving from the hotel after breakfast we walk about half an hour to reach Ohn Pin Village, the home of a Danu tribe. Here we take time to visit and see life in a traditional Danu village. Then continue our trek for a further two hours, arriving at a panoramic hill top view point where we enjoy the view as well as take lunch time break. Then walk down for half an hour to see the beautiful landscape of Taryaw, a Palaung village. Along the way we see tea plantations, cheroot leaf gardens and other seasonal vegetables. After a short rest we visit a unique Palaung ‘long house’, and can see elaborate traditional dress. We will make our overnight at this village. (about six walking hours) Dinner with home cooking and overnight at the monastery or local home (simple accommodation). (B, L, D)

day 12: trekking

Leaving from the hotel after breakfast we walk about half an hour to reach Ohn Pin Village, the home of a Danu tribe. Here we take time to visit and see life in a traditional Danu village. Then continue our trek for a further two hours, arriving at a panoramic hill top view point where we enjoy the view as well as take lunch time break. Then walk down for half an hour to see the beautiful landscape of Taryaw, a Palaung village. Along the way we see tea plantations, cheroot leaf gardens and other seasonal vegetables. After a short rest we visit a unique Palaung ‘long house’, and can see elaborate traditional dress. We will make our overnight at this village. (about six walking hours) Dinner with home cooking and overnight at the monastery or local home (simple accommodation). (B, L, D)

day 13: trekking

After breakfast, we walk on to reach Ba Nin Gone village, about one hour away. This is the junction of the Aung Ban and Loi Kaw road. Then trek on for another hour and one-half to Tun Kong, a Pao village. We will pass fields of crops and vegetable gardens and on the way will stop and have lunch. After lunch continue trekking about two hours to Pattu Pauk, also a Pao village. Here they practice bamboo weaving crafts, making bamboo mats for local use. Then walk on another half hour to Hti Thein, a Pao village where we will have dinner and overnight at the monastery or a local village house (about five hours walking, simple accommodation). (B, L, D)

day 14: trekking

Depart from Hti Thein to the 17th-century pagoda site of Indein on the western side of Inle Lake. To reach Indein we walk about three hours passing through rolling hills and two Pao villages on the way. Arriving at Indain we visit the pagodas, many still in ruins and overgrown. After our visit enjoy a scenic boat ride down Indein creek and out onto Inle Lake where we transfer to our hotel (about three to four hours walk). (B, L)

day 15: Inle Lake

Today we start our Inle Lake sightseeing by long tailed boat. Inle Lake is a shallow lake situated 900 meters above sea level and is 22 km long by 11 km wide. In this idyllic setting surrounded by low lying hills live the Intha people, renowned for their floating gardens and the unique one-legged rowing style of the Intha fishermen. We will travel by small private boat on the lake, visiting the famous Paung Daw Oo pagoda, with its five famous Buddha images (four of which are carried in great ceremony around the lake during the Paung Daw Oo festival), and also nearby Inpawkhone Village where, in houses on stilts, we see traditional silk weaving with hand looms and the processing of lotus blossoms as they are made into beautiful fabric. After our lunch time break on the lake, see the local crafts of blacksmithing, cheroot (local cigar) rolling, and boat making. Then we take a leisurely boat ride through the Kalar village observing the many houses on stilts and the ways of life. We will see the floating gardens up close, then on to Ngaphae Chaung Monastery, a traditional old-style monastery on stilts on the lake. (B)

day 16: Inle Lake to Yangon to UK

After breakfast transfer to Heho airport for flight back to Yangon. Upon arrival transfer to the downtown area to see the Scott (Bogyoke) Market. Built in 1926, this sprawling complex is filled with goods and handicrafts of Myanmar and is an excellent opportunity for a last shopping spree. Continue to the historic Strand Hotel and enjoy their famous high-tea according to the English tradition. Then transfer back to Yangon airport to take your international departure flight back home arriving morning of Day 17. (B)

What’s Included

  • International Flights in Economy Class
  • Domestic Flights in Economy Class
  • Airport Taxes
  • Accommodation
  • Meals as Shown
  • All Transfers and Sightseeing Programmes as Shown
  • Entrance Fees
  • Services of English-Speaking Local Guides

What's Not Included

  • Burmese Entry Visas
  • Drinks
  • Early or Late Hotel Check-In/Check-Out
  • Insurance
  • Personal Expenses

Choose a Tour

Trust the team at Zero Distance Tours to provide a comprehensive tour of Burma. Here are the other Burmese tours that we operate:

GROUP TOUR - 11 days from £2,265 per person

PRIVATE TOUR - 12 days from £2,275 per person