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Classic Myanmar Tour

Peaceful pagodas with shiny pointed stupas, temples in beautiful teak and awe-inspiring sunsets – discover these delights and more on our classic Myanmar tour. You’ll also observe ancient Myanmar crafts including silk-weaving and tapestry-making in action on this six day trip, where you’ll be warmed by the genuine hospitality of the locals.

Your trip to this less-frequented country starts in Yangon, where you can admire impressive colonial buildings and iconic Buddhist pagodas, then visit the Bogyoke Market to pick up souvenirs. Moving north to Bagan, your tour of this historical town covers the most important pagodas and temples including the Shwezigon Paya. You’ll also pop into a lacquer craft workshop so you can see this ancient craft being carried out. Your next stop during this tour, which is perfect for couples, honeymooners and families, is Mandalay – home to a spectacular teak bridge and a gold leaf covered Buddha at the Mahamuni Pagoda.

The next two days will be spent in and around Lake Inle, a beautiful expanse of freshwater that stretches 14 miles long and 7 miles wide. Exploring on a long-tailed boat, we’ll float past hydroponic farming systems on drifting rafts and visit atmospheric floating markets. You will continue your discovery of Myanmar’s extraordinary Buddhist heritage at Shwe Inn Thein Paya, a complex of over a thousand 17th and 18th century stupas, and the wooden stilted Nga Phe Kyaung monastery. You’ll then fly back to Yangon to catch your onward flight, with some time dedicated to any last-minute purchases or visits you wish to make before leaving.

Book your classic tour of Myanmar the experts at Hayes & Jarvis. We’ve been planning bespoke luxury holidays around the world for over 65 years.

Duration
6 days
Best time to go
November to February
Options
Private basis, Escorted
Start your journey
Balloons over Bagan

Trip highlights

  • Admire stunning redbrick Buddhist temples and pagodas alongside the magnificent 1,243 mile-long Ayeyarwady River in Bagan
  • Marvel at religious artwork and watch local artisans create incredible tapestries in Mandalay
  • Relax as your long-tailed boat glides past the floating gardens of breath-taking Lake Inle
  • Discover the varied fauna and flora and enchanting populations of this mystical country
Myanmar

Your tour begins in Yangon, the country’s largest city, which is brimming with temples and colonial architecture. After flying into Yangon International Airport and being taken to your hotel, you’ll kick off with a sightseeing tour beginning at the historic Strand Road, which contains many government buildings including the British Embassy. Moving onto the harbour area, visit the stunning Botahtaung Pagoda where, in keeping with Buddhist tradition, you will need to remove your shoes and socks before entering.

You’ll then be driven through the colonial district, giving you a chance to admire these spectacular buildings, as well as the colourful Chinatown and Indian quarter. The 2,000 year-old Sule Pagoda is also on your itinerary for today, as well as a trip to the famous Bogyoke (Scott) Market. Here you can enjoy your first glimpse of Myanmar handicrafts, including wood carvings and tapestries. The pretty Kandawgyi Lake is a lovely spot for taking some snaps towards the Karaweik, a palace on its eastern shore, and the Shwedagon Pagoda, with its golden stupa – this spot is especially beautiful at sunset.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Eastern Hotel (Deluxe)
Myanmar

Head to Yangon Airport this morning to take a domestic flight some 400 miles north to Bagan, which was once the capital of an ancient kingdom. Upon arriving, you’ll start your sightseeing itinerary with at trip to the bustling Nyaung U market.

It’s then time to begin your exploration of the town’s most significant temples and pagodas, including the Shwezigon Paya – the town’s principal religious site, and the Gubyaukgyi - an Indian-inspired cave temple in old Bagan. Admire old murals and friezes at Htilominlo Temple then continue to Ananda Temple, with its beautiful standing Buddhas and finally the 61 metre high Thatbyinnyu Temple.

Next, you’ll learn about the ancient art of lacquerware at the Moe Moe factory, before proceeding to three more temples – the 11th century Mon style Manuha Temple, the sandstone Hindu Nanpaya Temple, and Gubyaukgyi, a UNESCO World Heritage site containing ancient murals. This second day wraps up with a view of the sunset over the Ayeyarwady River.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Hotel Umbra (Deluxe)
U Bien Bridge

Today it’s time to fly north east from Bagan to Mandalay, which is just over 100 miles away. You’ll head straight to Amarapura to wander along the famous one kilometre long U Bein Bridge, which is crafted from local teak and crosses the Taungthaman Lake. It’s then onto Sagaing, a Buddhist pilgrimage centre, where you’ll find plenty of beautiful pagodas and monasteries.

Driving along the Ayeyarwady River in the afternoon, catch a glimpse of local life as you watch women washing clothes and boats being loaded up. Pop into the incredible Mahamuni Pagoda, which contains an image thought to be a true likeness to Buddha. Witness Kalaga tapestries being made from gold leaf at local workshops, then head to Kuthodaw Pagoda where Buddhist scriptures are inscribed into over 700 marble slabs. You’ll then visit the spectacular Shwenandaw monastery, an intricate structure made of teak.

Sunset this evening will be enjoyed from the top of Mandalay Hill, where the views are breath-taking.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Ayeyarwaddy River View Hotel (Deluxe City View Room)
a man standing next to a body of water

Catch a flight in the morning to Heho, some 140 miles south, where your trip will take on a more rural feel. Head straight to the 14 mile-long Inle Lake, a gorgeous stretch of water with a mountainous backdrop.

Your first waterside destination is Nyaungshwe, where you’ll continue by boat to your hotel. From there, you’ll take a spectacularly beautiful trip on a long-tailed boat to Indaing, a scenic village on the lake’s western end. On the way, pass through Ywama, a busy lake village, and you’ll have a chance to admire and take photos of tall teak houses on stilts.

In Indaing Village, disembark your boat and take a short walk towards the ruins of the Nyaung Ohak Pagoda, which is a very atmospheric sight. You’ll then have the opportunity to pick up some postcards and souvenirs on the way to the Shwe Inn Thein Paya - a complex of over a thousand zedi (stupas) from the 17th and 18th centuries. Back on the water at Sema, float downstream towards Yethar Village, then back to Phaung Daw Oo Paya monastery.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Nyaung Shwe City Hotel (Royal Deluxe)
a man sitting in a boat on a body of water
Ngapali Beach

Today you’ll have the chance to pick up locally-made produce and crafts at a floating market (certain days only), with sellers from the Pa-O, Danu and Intha communities coming to sell goods from their boats.

It’s time to then embark on a relaxing full day boat excursion on the calm waters of Inle Lake. You’ll have a chance to learn more about life on the lake as you glide past floating vegetable gardens and observe the Intha fishermen as they row using a generations-old technique standing on one leg.

Visit the Phaung Daw Oo Paya monastery, plus a silk-weaving workshop using traditional-style wooden handlooms and a blacksmith. At the Nga Phe Kyaung monastery, which sits on stilts among the floating vegetation, you can view a 200 year old Buddha statue.

This last full day ends with the peaceful return boat trip to your hotel – take your final snaps and glances at this beautiful watery spot as the sun goes down.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Nyaung Shwe City Hotel (Royal Deluxe)

After a boat ride from your hotel to Nyaungshwe, you’ll continue to Heho Airport for a domestic flight back to Yangon, where your tour started. Here you’ll have a day to spend as you please before flying home or onto your next destination. To finish off your trip, you could head back to one of the pagodas visited on the first day, take a stroll in the city’s People's Park, or do some shopping at Junction City Mall or Myanmar Plaza Shopping Center.

Included

  • International flights and airfare taxes
  • Cost of accommodation (double room based on two people sharing) for a total of 5 nights (alternative but similar accommodation may be used at certain times of the year)
  • Board basis is Half Board: breakfast, lunch, including lunch upon arrival in Yangon
  • Filtered drinking water and wet towels during the tour
  • Private/small group (air-conditioned) transport / transfers
  • Assistance and porterage: meeting and assistance on arrival/departure at airports and hotels
  • Boat trips as specified
  • English-speaking local guides for all guided excursions as illustrated in the itinerary
  • Entrance fees (excluding video camera fee) for all guided excursions as illustrated in the itinerary
  • Taxes

Not included

  • Visa arrangements and fees
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal expenses, such as alcoholic beverages, telephone calls, laundry, camera fees, spa and business facilities in the hotel
  • Video and professional still camera fees during excursions
  • Gratuities for drivers, local guides, naturalists and hotel staff
  • Meals (unless specified)
  • Optional attractions and excursions (unless specified)