Experience historical culture with our Burmese holidays and tours. Burma is an astounding country that is filled with awe-inspiring history and gorgeous landscapes. The food is delicious, nutritious, and is rarely eaten outside the country. From seeing amazing panoramic views to exploring the market streets and ancient temples, you are sure to enjoy yourself in Burma.
Depart London or your regional airports for your flights to Mandalay.
Arrive in Mandalay and transfer to the hotel. An afternoon sightseeing tour in Mandalay includes the highly revered Mahamuni Pagoda, a gold leaf hammering craftshop, and Shwenandaw Monastery, noted for its exquisite wood carvings. You also visit Kuthodaw Pagoda, renowned as the world's largest book for its 729 stone slabs containing the entire Buddhist scriptures, and if time permits, Mandalay Hill for a view over the city and Ayeyarwaddy River.
Eat breakfast at the hotel and then travel to the ancient royal capital of Amarapura. Here we will visit Mahagandayon monastery, which is a school for young monks, and the nearby U Bein Bridge, a two-century old, 1.2km bridge which boasts the longest teakwood span in the world.
In the afternoon you are transferred to Mandalay jetty, where we take a short and pleasant ride upriver to Mingun, the site of what would have been the world's largest pagoda. Unfortunately, King Bodawpaya died in 1819, thus halting all further work. Later an earthquake in 1838 split the monument and reduced it to partial rubble. Nonetheless, the mammoth base of the unfinished pagoda is still a very impressive sight as we approach from the river. Nearby, we can also visit the Mingun Bell, moved 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. (B)
Begin an early morning departure from Mandalay Port for a fascinating journey on board the local Mandalay-Bagan ferryboat service. You will travel along the fabled Ayeyarwaddy or Irrawaddy River, enjoying the sights and sounds of the river life. Arrive in Bagan in the late afternoon and transfer to your hotel.
On the morning, we begin sightseeing one of Asia’s most stunning archaeological destinations. More than 2,000 temples and pagodas, some dating back to the 11th century, are spread across the plains next to the legendary Ayerwaddy River. Visit 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.
Of particular beauty is the magnificent Ananda pagoda, one of the most revered in all Myanmar with its four tall standing Buddhas in the inner chambers. Afternoon sightseeing highlights include the Sulamani Temple built by King Narapatisithu, and Dhammayangyi Temple, a massive later period temple with the finest brickwork in Bagan. As the sun goes down, we will be at one of the ideal viewing sites selected by our tour guide for a panoramic sunset view of the temples. (B)
This tour begins with a morning drive to Mt. Popa (about a one-hour drive), famous as the abode of the Nats (Spirit Gods) and for its panoramic view of the local tropical region. There is a volcanic plug with a temple on top that we can climb up to. On the way to Mt. Popa, visit a local toddy palm farmer and see how toddy palm juice and sugar are produced. From Mt. Popa, we drive to Kalaw, passing through Meikhtila with several photo stops on-route. The trip may take about 9-10 driving hours (about 170 miles). (B)
After breakfast at the hotel, begin today's trekking which takes us to visit a village of the Palaung people (about 2 to 5 hours walking). The trail takes you through mountains with the view of tea plantations along sides of the hills and the vegetables gardens with villager’s houses located all along the ravines. Return to the hotel in the late afternoon. (B)
Breakfast is served at the hotel, and then we drive to the Red Mountain Winery (one and a half hour drive). You may be welcomed by Francois Raynal, the resident wine maker, if he is available. He or one of his staff will accompany you on a visit through the winery and explain the process of wine making and how they store the finished products in the wine vats. You also have a chance to taste their genuine Western-style Myanmar wines. Then, we’ll drive to the unique and magical Inle Lake, located around 900 meters above sea level. You’ll arrive Nyaung Shwe Jetty and transfer to your hotel. (B)
Choose a scrumptious breakfast at your hotel then visit the enchanting 17th-century pagodas of Indein. To reach Indein village, we take a boat ride up a small scenic creek that runs into Inle Lake. In the afternoon, our Inle Lake sightseeing includes fisherman rowing in the one-legged style that is characteristic of Inle Lake boatmen, and gardens of grass and earth floating on the surface of this shallow lake, which are floating strips of ‘land’ for growing vegetables. Another attraction besides the enjoyment of the scenery is a visit to the Ngaphae Chaung monastery, Phaungdaw U Pagoda, and a silk weaving experience. (B)
Enjoy a delicious breakfast at your hotel then transfer to the airport for a flight to Yangon. After Yangon, begin sightseeing on the beautiful Kandawgyi Lake. You’ll then travel to the Yangon downtown area and walk along the Pansodan street, which has many large colonial buildings. These buildings are often still in use, and they are surrounded by bustling sidewalk markets, including those selling old books and magazines. Afternoon sightseeing includes the colossal reclining Buddha Chaukhtatkyi, and we finish our tour with a visit to the awe-inspiring Shwedagon Pagoda which towers over all of Yangon. (B)
Enjoy last minute shopping at the famous Scott Market before a transfer to an airport for your flights back to UK, arriving on the morning of day 12. (B)
PLEASE NOTE: B = Breakfast at Hotel
Explore the amazing country of Burma with the help of our English-speaking guides. Here are other tours that we offer: