It's a new era for this extraordinary and complex land, where the landscape is scattered with gilded pagodas and the traditional ways of Asia endure. Come and immerse in adventure with one of the best Myanmar tour packages.
‘This is Burma', wrote Rudyard Kipling. ‘It will be quite unlike any land you know about.’ Amazingly, over a century later, Myanmar retains the power to surprise and delight even the most jaded of travellers. Be dazzled by the 'winking wonder' of Shwedagon Paya. Contemplate the 4000 sacred stupas scattered across the plains of Bagan. Stare in disbelief at the Golden Rock at Mt Kyaiktiyo, teetering impossibly on the edge of a chasm. These are all important Buddhist sites in a country where pious monks are more revered than rock stars.
Thankfully, the pace of change is not overwhelming, leaving the simple pleasures of travel in Myanmar intact. Drift down the Ayeyarwady (Irrawaddy) River in an old steamer or luxury cruiser. Stake out a slice of beach on the blissful Bay of Bengal. Trek through pine forests to minority villages scattered across the Shan Hills without jostling with scores of fellow travellers. Best of all, you'll encounter locals who are gentle, humorous, engaging, considerate, inquisitive and passionate – they want to play a part in the world, and to know what you make of their country. Now is the time to make that connection.
As a relative newcomer to adventure travel, exploring the mysterious nation of Myanmar often feels like setting foot on a foreign, untouched planet. With few other travellers to contend with, the natural and man-made wonders of this underexplored part of Southeast Asia often feel like they’ve been placed here just for you. And what wonders they are: Inle Lake’s unique floating gardens, the staggering imperial ruins of ancient Bagan, the incomparable palaces of Mandalay, and enveloping forests throughout. Unknown pleasures await , this 14 days tour will allow you to find them.
After your arrival to Yangon take part in a welcome meeting
Start the day with a visit to the famous golden stupa of the Shwedagon Pagoda, the "heart" of Buddhist Myanmar.
Later, travel through the delta and over the Sittang River to Kyaikhtiyo. From Kinpun, the pilgrimage road runs 10km to the 1200m high pagoda on the famous Golden Rock. Take a typical Myanmar passenger truck to a camp. Walk about one hour from here to the Golden Rock.
At the summit, a simple but well located hotel awaits. Hop in the this typically Myanmar truck from the base camp village to the starting point of the hike. Overnight stay on Golden Rock.
Start the descent from Golden Rock in the early morning to retrace your steps back to Yangon before travelling to Bago.
Fly to Mandalay and visit the famous Golden Monastery (Shwenandaw), the only building still standing from the one hundred plus that once stood on the palace grounds. From here, visit the Kuthodaw Pagoda and look at its 729 marble slabs displaying the entire Buddhist canon.
After lunch, explore the Mahamuni Temple which houses the country´s holiest Buddha image, the 3.5m tall Arakan Buddha, made of bronze and gold leaf.
Later, visit the workshops of gold leaf and marble carvers. Opt to climb to the top of Mandalay Hill for a bird's eye view and a visit to the Shwe Kyin Monastery for sunset.
Head out in the morning to visit the former capital of Amarapura (Sanskrit for "Beautiful Town"). Walk over the world´s longest teak bridge, U Bein, and visit Sagaing Hill for fascinating views over the pagodas and monasteries dotting the landscape down to the Ayeyarwady River.
In the afternoon travel by boat along the mighty Ayeyarwady River, enjoying sights of washerwomen, buffalo carts, and daily life along the riverbank. Visit the village of Mingun before returning to Mandalay for the evening.
Enjoy a slower pace as you travel by local public boat along the Ayeyarwady River, Myanmar's 'Super Highway'. Sightseeing from the boat before arriving in Bagan. When water levels are insufficient for the boat, we will use a bus for this part of the journey.
In the morning, wander through the marketplace of Nyaung Oo and get a glimpse of the lifestyle of the Myanmar people. Next, visit Shwezigon Pagoda, the only golden pagoda in the Bagan area. Continue to the caves of Kyanzittha Umin.
In Gubyaukgyi, a perfect Indian-style temple, view hundreds of frescoes illustrating stories of the Buddha. Finally, visit the huge Htilominlo Temple.
In the afternoon, explore Manuha Temple before checking out the elaborate stone engravings at Nanpaya Temple.
Head to south to witness the beautiful Abeyadana Temple and finally the Lawkananda Pagoda, a landmark of Ayeyarwady fishermen.
Visit traditional manufacturers of unique Bagan lacquerware and relax at one of the pagodas as the sun sets over Bagan.
If you plan to take a hot air balloon ride in Bagan, this is the best day to do it. Keep in mind this should be reserved in advance and the ballooning season is from Oct 1 to March 31 every year.
Leave early to reach Kalaw. Journey through sun-parched plains sprinkled with Palmyra palms to the 'Mountain of Deities', Popa. Climb a staircase (about 20 mins) up the huge volcanic rock to see shrines for Nats (celestial spirits of Myanma mythology) and small temples dedicated to the Buddha. On the climb up, pass many food stalls and shops selling herbal remedies. Continue to Kalaw for the evening.
Explore the countryside whilst enjoying the cooler air at 1320m above sea level. Pass through tea plantations, citrus groves and tribal villages. Enjoy free time in the afternoon to explore Kalaw.
Enjoy a free morning to explore Kalaw's vibrant market or visit Aung Chan Tha Zedi, with its sparkling gold and silver glass mosaics, or the Hnee Pagoda with its 500-year-old bamboo Buddha.
After lunch, jump on board the local train to Lake Inle for an immersive journey through rural stations, stunning mountain scenery, and village life. Transport: Take the slow train for a scenic trip through Myanmar's rural stations with views of the stunning mountains and village life. Local train (3.00-3.50 hours) Arrive to Nyaungshwe, the largest village in the Inle Lake area. Private Vehicle (0.50-0.75 hours)
Travel through a small creek by longtail boat to enjoy one of the most scenic boat tours in Inle Lake. The boat tour will go to Indein, at the western end of the Lake, where farmers can be observed cultivating their produce. Visit some of the intriguing floating villages and investigate the great Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda with its five holy Buddha images.
After breakfast, board a flight back Yangon. The afternoon is free to explore the markets and sights of Yangon with plenty of time for some last minute shopping before dinner together at a G Adventures-supported project.
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