Our Essential Burma tour takes you to the heart of this wonderful country. On this tour, you’ll visit Bagan, an ancient city with more than 2,000 Buddhist monuments. You’ll also visit the last royal capital, Mandalay, bustling Yangon and tranquil Lake Inle. Burma is full of both natural and man-made wonders, and we can’t wait to show you round.
Depart London or regional airports for your flights to Yangon.
Arrive in Yangon and transfer to Sedona Hotel. After check-in, begin a sightseeing tour of colourful downtown Yangon, including Chaukhtatkyi, a colossal reclining Buddha, a scenic photo stop on beautiful Kandawgyi Lake, and the Shwedagon Pagoda, one of the world’s most impressive temple complexes and a 'must see' highlight.
An early morning flight to Mandalay, the last royal capital of the Burmese kingdom and a city rich in history and culture. On the way, we stop at the ancient royal capital of Amarapura, and enjoy a walk on the U Bein Bridge, the oldest and longest teakwood span in the world which stretches 1.2 kilometers over Lake Taungtaman. Then, take a short ferry ride to the nearby small island of Inwa, a royal capital for nearly 400 years.
We travel by pony cart down tree-lined paths to see old palace walls; a watch tower now called ‘the leaning tower of Ava', the Maha Aungmye Bonzan, a beautiful brick-and-stucco monastery, and the elegant teakwood monastery Bagaya Kyaung, one of the few surviving teakwood monasteries in Myanmar where young monks still study. You then stay at Sedona Hotel. (B)
A city sightseeing tour of Mandalay that includes gold leaf hammering, the Mahamuni Pagoda, Shwenandaw Monastery, noted for its exquisite wood carvings, and Kuthodaw Pagoda, renowned as the world’s largest book for its stone slabs of the entire Buddhist scriptures. End the day with a sunset view from Mandalay Hill. (B)
An early morning departure (6am) from Mandalay to Bagan by modern ferry boat service. A pleasant way to spend the day as you travel down the fabled Ayeyarwaddy or Irrawaddy River. Arrive in Bagan by late afternoon, in time for evening sightseeing. You’ll stay at Aye Yar River View Hotel. (B)
After breakfast, we begin our visit to one of Asia’s most stunning archeaological destinations. Bagan has more than 2,000 pagodas dotting the plains along the legendary Ayerwaddy River. See the bustling Nyaung Oo local market and then travel 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 pagodas in all Myanmar, which contains four tall standing Buddhas within.
Afternoon sightseeing highlights include the Sulamani Temple built by King Narapatisithu, Dhammayangyi Temple, a massive later period temple with the finest brickwork in Bagan, and Thatbyinnyu Temple, which towers above other monuments of Bagan. We can also visit a Thanaka museum, dedicated to the tree bark and root of the Thanaka tree used in making a fragrant white coloured paste which Myanmar women wear for skin beauty and protection from the sun. As the sun goes down, we will be at one of the ideal temple-top viewing sites selected by our expert guide. (B)a
Begin an early morning start for a flight to Heho and drive to the magical Inle Lake. Situated 900 meters above sea level, and 22km long by 11km wide, this large shallow lake is in an idyllic setting surrounded by mountains. It’s home to the Intha people, renowned for their floating gardens and the unique one-legged rowing style of their fishermen. We travel by a small private boat on the lake, visiting the famous Phaung Daw Oo pagoda, with its five famous Buddha images (four of which are carried in great ceremony around the lake during the Phaung Daw Oo festival).
You also visit the 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, visit traditional crafts-making areas such as blacksmithing, cheroot (local cigar) rolling, and boat making. Then, enjoy a boat ride through the Kaylar village observing the many houses on stilts and the ways of life. We will see the floating gardens up close. Finally, you’ll then visit the ‘Ngaphae Chaung Monastery’ which is an interesting old traditional monastery on the lake. Once this busy day is over, you’ll stay at the Myanmar Treasure Resort. (B)
Continue the Inle Lake sightseeing tour on day eight, with a memorable visit to Indein village and its idyllic 17th-century pagodas. To reach Indein and the nearby village, we take a boat ride up a small scenic creek that runs into Inle Lake. A few Indein pagodas are being restored, but most of them still lie in an overgrown setting. Later, we will visit more local crafts on the lake. (B)
Travel on a morning flight to Yangon. Upon arrival, transfer to the Sedona Hotel to relax. In the afternoon we visit Botahtaung Pagoda on the Yangon river. You’ll then visit the sprawling Bogyoke (Scott’s) Market built in 1926, that is filled with a large collection of local handicrafts and other items. It makes for an excellent last-minute shopping spree! (B)
Transfer to airport for flights back to UK, arriving during the morning of Day 11. (B)
OPTIONAL BEACH EXTENSION to Ngapali Beach. Spend some days relaxing after the end of your tour on the palm fringed golden sands of Ngapali beach - please enquire for details and prices.
PLEASE NOTE: B = Breakfast at Hotel
Our friendly team provide a range of tours in Burma. View the current options that we provide: