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HomeFar East Holidays & ToursMyanmar/BurmaHighlights of Myanmar/Burma
Myanmar/Burma | 11d/8n:

Highlights of Myanmar/Burma


Highlights of this tour:

Yangon, the Plains of Bagan, Mount Popa, Mandalay, Ayeyarwaddy River, Amarapura, Sagaing Hill, Ava, Pindaya Grotto, Lake Inle.

This package holiday includes the following:

  • Return flight from the UK to Yangon
  • Domestic flights in Myanmar:
    Yangon – Bagan – Mandalay – Heho – Yangon
  • Welcome pack, comprising postcards, a welcome book and a traditional bag
  • 8 nights at 3 and 4-star hotels
  • Local, English-speaking guide to accompany you on the tour
  • 8 x breakfast (days 3–10)
  • 7 x lunch (days 3–8)
  • 1 x dinner (day 2)
  • Excursions by car or minibus with air conditioning
  • Emergency hotline staffed 24/7 throughout your trip
  • ATOL certificate included

Comprehensive package of excursions included:

  • Sule Pagoda
  • Shwedagon Pagoda
  • Plains of Bagan
  • Lacquerware factory
  • Shwezigon Pagoda, Nathtaukkyaung Monastery, Ananda Temple
  • Mount Popa
  • Sailing tour along the Ayeyarwaddy River to Mingun Pagoda and the Mingun bell
  • Shwenandan Monastery
  • Amarapura and Mahagandayon Monastery
  • Horse and carriage ride at Ava
  • U Bein Bridge
  • Pindaya Grotto
  • Sailing tour on Lake Inle, visiting the floating villages
  • Admission and fees for the sights and attractions mentioned

Our promise to you:

  • The top highlights along this travel route
  • A well-constructed travel itinerary. No time wasted & world class
  • Guaranteed price, with no hidden surcharges
  • Departure guarantee – the tour will take place regardless of the number of participants
Single room supplement £340
Discount for children under 12 years
Discounts for large groups
Choose this tour because…

Myanmar is a land of temples and monks, local markets and small villages – as well as statues of Buddha, large and small, old and new … in their thousands. Myanmar is a country of farmers toiling under heavy yokes, and paddy fields planted by hand; smiling, giggling women, and openly inquisitive children; dusty gravel tracks through the countryside, and magnificent colonial buildings in the cities.

Myanmar presents verdant landscapes and breath-taking sunrises, with equally stunning sunsets featuring a full spectrum of colours, from brilliant yellow to blood red and baby pink. For all these reasons and many, many more, Myanmar is your passport to a truly unforgettable experience.

Detailed Itinerary
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Day 1: Flight to Yangon
Day 1: Flight to Yangon

Departure day, where you will fly to Yangon with connecting flights along the way.

Day 2: Arrival and sightseeing in Yangon
Day 2: Arrival and sightseeing in Yangon

After arriving in Yangon, you will pass through immigration before collecting your luggage. You will be met in the arrivals hall by a guide holding an Asiatours sign, who will accompany you to your hotel where you will be spending the night.

Myanmar can, with some justification, be called ‘The Far East of Yesterday’. Viewed from this perspective, Yangon is a modern metropolis. But compared to other places in South-East Asia, Yangon is an unusual city in many ways: there are no skyscrapers, the city is liberally sprinkled with green areas, and there are a great many shady trees here – including some veritably ancient teak trees. The city is only around 150 years old, and is imbued with that special charm which is generated when churches and other buildings from the colonial age stand shoulder to shoulder with Hindu temples, Buddhist stupas and Muslim mosques, and when it is all bound together by a wonderful population of around 6 million souls.

Following a little time to rest and relax, you make a start on your wonderful experiences in Myanmar with a sightseeing tour of Yangon. The tour takes you to Botahtaung Pagoda, which is actually a combination of a stupa and a temple; the colonial quarter; Sule Pagoda, the hallmark of Yangon; Chaukhtatgyi, the Reclining Buddha; and, as one of the absolute highlights, Shwedagon Pagoda. The beautiful, gold-clad spire atop this magnificent pagoda stretches up to an enormous height and can be seen from all over Yangon. The 2,500-year-old pagoda is one of the holiest places of all for Buddhists as it houses eight sacred hairs from Buddha himself. A captivating atmosphere of peace and humility permeates the pagoda, which is the perfect place to witness Buddhists at prayer and making offerings of everything from flowers and boiled rice to pure water.

The day winds up with a dinner of welcome at a local restaurant.

Overnight stay Panorama Hotel 

Day 3: Yangon – Bagan and sightseeing on the Plains of Bagan
Day 3: Yangon – Bagan and sightseeing on the Plains of Bagan

After breakfast, you will be driven to the airport to catch your flight to Bagan. You will be picked up at the airport and taken to your hotel, where you will be spending the coming two nights.

A visit to Bagan is one of the most captivating experiences Myanmar has to offer. Bagan is situated by the Ayeyarwaddy River and was actually the capital of the first Myanmar kingdom. During its golden years around 1,000 years ago, the city covered more than 40 km2. This is a good size for a city today, but back then it was an almost unprecedented expanse. Today, Bagan itself is just a small provincial town, but you can still sense the immense riches of ages past when, bathed in the soft light of the sunset, you stand at the top of a pagoda or temple, look out over the Plains of Bagan, and see the spires of hundreds of religious buildings reaching for the sky. On the dusty gravel tracks, horse-drawn carriages carry tourists, while ox carts transport the farmers’ fine produce to market. The ravages of time and, in particular, numerous earthquakes have destroyed many monuments, but the authorities are working hard to keep the most important ones in good condition.

The day’s delights start at a local market before proceeding to a lacquerware factory that manufactures wonderful, smooth items that are unique to Bagan. On the Plains of Bagan, you will visit sights including Shwezigon Pagoda, Nathtaukkyaung Monastery (which is built of teak), Ananda Temple and Dhamayangyi Temple.

Overnight stay Shwe Yee Pwint Hotel 

Day 4: Excursion to Mount Popa
Day 4: Excursion to Mount Popa

Today, you will be heading off to Mount Popa, approx. 50 km from Bagan. Popa is an extinct volcano, whose peak is around 1,500 metres above sea level. Popa stands proudly and majestically as a solitary column in the landscape, and can be clearly seen from miles and miles away. When you arrive at the bottom of the mountain, you will encounter a flight of 777 steps leading up to the temple complex at the top. From the mountain peak, there is a truly magnificent view out over the otherwise flat landscape. The temple complex comprises a host of temples to specific ‘nat’ (spirits), which the faithful Myanmar Buddhists believe live here in Mount Popa. (This is one of the points that differentiates Myanmar Buddhists from others of the Buddhist faith).

En route to Mount Popa, you will pass through fertile agricultural land, stopping in several places to visit some of the small cottage industries that produce goods such as ‘palm candy’. You will almost certainly see women carrying goods suspended from yokes that they bear across their shoulders, as well as land being cultivated using ox-drawn tools, and farmers hoeing weeds in their fields by hand. You will also visit a village to experience life as it is lived by a great many people in Myanmar. The day finishes off with a sailing tour along the mighty waterway: the Ayeyarwaddy River.

Overnight stay Shwe Yee Pwint Hotel 

Day 5: Bagan – Mandalay, excursion in Mandalay
Day 5: Bagan – Mandalay, excursion in Mandalay

In the morning, you will be driven to the airport to catch your flight to Mandalay, the second ‘capital’ of Myanmar. It was the last capital of the Kingdom of Myanmar, and serves today as a hub of culture and self-awareness. It is the city that will bring you closest to the lifeblood of Myanmar from both historical and spiritual perspectives. Almost half of the Buddhist monks in Myanmar live in or around Mandalay. On account of its location in the heart of the country and next to the mighty Ayeyarwaddy River, the city has developed into a commercial centre for the whole country.

On arrival in Mandalay, you will be accompanied to the Ayeyarwaddy River to embark on a sailing tour to Mingun. The tour takes about an hour, giving you the chance to admire not only the magnificent landscape that lines the banks of the river, but also the boats on the river with their colourful sails. When the boats tie up at temporary jetties, local women rush up to them to offer the passengers their wares.

Mingun Pagoda is the unfinished edifice that King Bodawpaya started work on back in 1790. Only the foundations were completed. The remainder was never built because an astrologist predicted that the king would die once the pagoda was finished. Mingun Pagoda would have been the biggest pagoda in the world, had it been completed. Instead, the foundations were destroyed by an earthquake in 1839. Next to the Mingun site stands a 90-tonne cast iron bell that was to have been installed in the stupa. The Mingun Bell remains the biggest bell in the world to this day.

After exploring Mingun, you will return to Mandalay and visit some of the small traditional industries such as that of the goldsmith who hammers gold leaf intended for sale as an offering at the temples. During your sightseeing tour of Mandalay, you will visit: Kuthodaw Pagoda, where you can see the biggest book in the world, comprising 729 double-sided stone pages; Shwenandaw (The Golden Palace) Monastery, which is one of the most beautiful carved wood monasteries in Myanmar and was once covered in gold leaf, inside and out; and, finally, Mandalay hill, where you can stand on top and admire the view as the sun sets over the city and the Plains of Shan.

Optional excursion: How about viewing the Plains of Bagan from the air? Soar through the sky in a hot-air balloon, high above the hundreds of religious temples and pagodas as the sun gently sinks below the horizon. It is a truly enchanting experience. Interested? Make sure to book in good time, as balloon flights are extremely popular.

Overnight stay Gold Yadanar Hotel 

Day 6: Excursion to Amarapura, Sagaing and Ava
Day 6: Excursion to Amarapura, Sagaing and Ava

The day’s delights start in Amarapura, one of the old capitals of Myanmar, located just 10 km or so from Mandalay. The city is famous for its silk-weaving factories and the Mahagandayon Monastery, where you can watch more than 1,000 Buddhist monks go about their daily lives, studying sacred texts and carrying out their chores. From here, the tour moves on to Sagaing, which was the capital city for a short period following the collapse of Bagan. From Sagaing Hill, you can look out over a fascinating landscape featuring the Ayeyarwaddy River and more than 700 monasteries and nunneries that stand close to the hill and the plains. Leaving Sagaing behind, you proceed to Ava and climb into a horse-drawn carriage for the tour to Maenu Okkyaung Monastery, the Nan Myint Tower and Bargaya Monastery, which rests on a total of 267 teak poles. For the final treat of the day, you return to Amarapura to admire the sunset from the U Bein Bridge, which is made of teak.

Overnight stay Gold Yadanar Hotel 

Day 7: Mandalay – Heho – Pindaya – Inle
Day 7: Mandalay – Heho – Pindaya – Inle

The day starts with a flight to Heho, from where you will be accompanied to Pindaya, which is around 45 km from the airport. As you will notice, you have arrived in one of the hilly regions of Myanmar. The landscape here is dominated by vegetable fields, some of which are on terraces cut into the hillsides. In Pindaya, you have the opportunity to visit the grottoes, which are home to 8,094 Buddha figures. You will also call in at a small workshop that manufactures paper umbrellas. It is then time to make the 100 km tour to Inle, stopping on the way at Shweyanpye Monastery, a typical Shan monastery built of wood around 500 years ago.

Overnight stay Paramount Inle Resort 

Day 8: Inle
Day 8: Inle

The whole day is devoted to experiencing Lake Inle, one of the absolute highlights of your tour. The lake is 22 km long, 11 km wide, situated at an elevation of 900 metres above sea level, and surrounded by mountains in all directions. It is one of the most beautifully situated lakes in the world, and its waters are almost always as calm as a mill pond.

Rich in nutrients, the lake is full of aquatic plants, which have an interesting effect on life in a number of ways. For example, it is impossible to use ordinary methods for rowing on or fishing in the lake. The locals have developed a very advanced rowing technique to help them make their way across the water. The rower stands with one leg in the stern of the canoe and one leg wrapped around an oar, and pushes his way forwards. The water in the lake is very shallow, so wherever you go, you are sure to meet fishermen using a unique fishing style. They cannot fish with standard nets on account of the numerous aquatic plants, which are actually considered a resource rather than a problem. The plants are fished up from the lake, converted into elongated, floating ‘fields’ up to a metre wide, and used to cultivate tomatoes, cucumbers, melons and other delicious fruit and vegetables. You will also visit villages built on stilts, silk weavers, the unique lotus leaf weavers, and the Phaungdaw Oo and In Thein pagodas.

Overnight stay Paramount Inle Resort 

Day 9: Inle – Yangon
Day 9: Inle – Yangon

Today, you will be driven to the airport in Heho to catch your flight back to Yangon. On arrival at the hotel, you will have time to check in and freshen up before heading off to experience the Bogyoke market and enjoy a stroll through Chinatown. The rest of the day is yours to do with as you wish.

Overnight stay Panorama Hotel 

Day 10: Return journey from Yangon
Day 10: Return journey from Yangon

The day is yours to do with as you wish until it is time to depart. You will be picked up and driven to the airport for your flight from Yangon to the UK, which will include connecting flights along the way.

Day 11: Arrival back in the UK
Day 11: Arrival back in the UK

Arrive back in the UK after a fascinating holiday in Myanmar, packed with wonderful experiences.

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