Myanmar Off the Beaten Track

10 Days / 9 Nights

  Yangon - Inle Lake - Bagan - Pindaya

10 Days / 9 Nights

Myanmar Off the Beaten Track

  Yangon - Inle Lake - Bagan - Pindaya

Get off the beaten track and discover Myanmar’s diverse local life and natural beauty on a series of immersive and active adventures. In ten days, escape busy Yangon and explore a nearby rural town; experience everyday life in a unique island village on the Irrawaddy River; trek through the picturesque countryside of Pindaya; and visit small communities along Inle Lake on a cycling tour. Get to know people of different ethnic groups, learn about traditional Burmese crafts and stop at some of the country’s most impressive landmarks, including the Shwedagon Pagoda and the temples of Bagan, along the way.

JOURNEY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Experience a different side to Yangon and discover the close-by rural town of Dala
  • Get a taste of local life and visit a small village on Kyun Thiri Island
  • Hike through the remote Pindaya countryside
  • Meet people from Myanmar’s various ethnic groups and learn about their fascinating cultures
  • Explore the traditional stilted villages on Inle Lake on a cycling and canoe adventure  

 

TOUR INCLUSIONS

  • Accommodation at selected hotels with daily breakfast
  • Meals as mentioned
  • English-speaking guides in each destination
  • Tours as mentioned and air-conditioned transfers
  • Sightseeing fees and permits during guided time
  • Boat rides while on tour
  • Bicycle ride
  • Flights as program (Yangon-Nyaung Oo-Heho-Yangon)
  • Drinking water
  • Refreshment tissues
  • Service charge and current government VAT tax    

TOUR EXCLUSIONS

  • VISA - Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam visa must be arranged for non-ASEAN citizens
  • Please make sure you have 6 months passport validity. We can help for visa on arrival if request.
  • Early/late check in/out service at hotels (surcharge if request)
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Services and meals if not mentioned in itinerary
  • All drinks, including soft drinks and alcohol on all included or optional excursion
  • Laundry, telephone calls and expenditure of a personal nature
  • Travel Insurance (Compulsory)

ITINERARY

DAY 1

Yangon

DAY 1 - Yangon

Welcome to Myanmar! Arrive at Yangon airport and transfer to the hotel to check in. Relax for a little while before joining a heritage walking tour of downtown Yangon. See the golden Sule Pagoda and visit some of the surrounding colonial-era establishments, including the grand City Hall and the iconic High Court Building. Hear about the history of the city and listen to interesting anecdotes to understand what makes modern day Yangon such a fascinating place. After this first glimpse into the rich Burmese heritage, return to the hotel for a good night’s rest.

DAY 2

DAY 2 - Yangon

After breakfast, transfer to Pansodan Jetty and take the ferry across Yangon River to Dala Township. Despite its close location, life in the village is a whole world away from the busy city life. Hop on board one of the iconic rickshaws and meander through the streets and alleyways of the rural town. Get a taste of the local culture, whizzing past bustling markets, ancient pagodas, local workshops and fishing villages, and stop for a cup of green tea and traditional tea leaf salad with the rickshaw drivers.  

Next, visit Chu Chu Workshop. This social enterprise is run by six families who create products from recycled plastics, contributing to an eco-friendlier and more sustainable lifestyle. Browse through their beautiful handicrafts, including wallets, belts and bags – all made from materials that would have otherwise been thrown away. Continue the tour and visit a local school monastery and community centre where 800 children are educated. Give a small donation to the students and receive blessings from the chief monk in return.

Transfer back to the hotel around noon and spend a few hours relaxing before heading out again in the evening. When the temperatures have dropped slightly, explore Bogyoke Aung San Market (also known as Scott Market), a bustling bazaar selling antiques, handicrafts, art and clothes. After, take a short walk to one Myanmar’s most significant landmarks, the Shwedagon Pagoda. Rising high into the sky, the gilded stupa is topped with a diamond encrusted spire and serves as an important place of worship. Take some beautiful photos before driving back to the hotel.  

DAY 3

DAY 3 - Yangon – Bagan

In the morning, transfer to the airport and fly to Bagan, an ancient city boasting more than 2,000 remaining temples and pagodas scattered across its plains. Upon arrival at Nyaung Oo Airport, directly embark on a fascinating temple tour, starting at Nyaung Oo Market. Visit a series of ancient structures, including the impressive Shwezigon Pagoda and the bulbous-shaped Bupaya Pagoda as well as the Bagan’s second tallest temple, Gawdawpalin Temple, and the famous Ananda Temple. After sightseeing, stop for a well-deserved lunch at a local restaurant and drive to the hotel for an afternoon’s rest.

Later in the day, grab a bike – choose between a regular bicycle or electric bike – and go for a relaxed afternoon ride. Leaving downtown Bagan, cycle to the viewing tower, passing temple after magnificent temple, and climb up to the outdoor rooftop terrace. Take in the magical, 360-degree panoramic views of the surrounding landscape and sip on a refreshing drink as the evening sun bathes the countryside in orange light. Cycle back to the hotel before the sky darkens and the stars light up the city.

DAY 4

DAY 4 - Bagan

Get a taste of local life and visit a small village on Kyun Thiri Island. From Bagan’s Lawkananda Jetty, hop on a boat to cross the Irrawaddy River and continue by ox-cart to the farming village. Peruse the colourful gardens, cultivating tomatoes, chillies, mustard, cauliflower and other seasonal vegetables, and look at the traditional houses on stilts; an important architectural measure to protect the homes during seasonal flooding. Visit the ancient wooden monastery and engage in a conversation with the head monk, learning about daily life in this unique island village. Before leaving, enjoy a home-cooked picnic lunch with a Burmese family at their house and return, full and content, to Bagan.

DAY 5

DAY 5 - Bagan – Heho – Pindaya

After breakfast, head to the airport and take to the skies. Touch down in Heho before continuing the journey on land to the small town of Pindaya, famous for its limestone caves. An important pilgrimage site, explore the main cave which is crammed with thousands of Buddha statues. Listen to the tales princesses and giant spiders that are part of the cave’s folkloric history whilst taking in the spectacular views over the countryside. On the way back to town, visit a local workshop to see how the beautiful Shan paper and iconic parasols are made.

DAY 6

DAY 6 - Pindaya

Enjoy a hearty breakfast at the hotel and embark on a scenic hike through the hilly countryside of Pindaya. After one hour, pass through Htut Ni Village, home to the ethnic minority Danu. Walk past their verdant fields of tea, tobacco, damsons and mangoes, which spread out over the hillside, and continue the trek across the valley. Arrive at the Danu village of See Kya Inn and refuel with a quick and simple lunch snack.   

After this short break, keep on walking and soak up the peaceful atmosphere of the remote countryside. Reach Taung Paw Gyi Village and try some pickled tea leaves before returning to Pindaya – with tired feet but a happy mind – for the night.

DAY 7

DAY 7 - Pindaya – Inle Lake

Start the morning at Kalaw’s lively central market; browse through the locally-made handicrafts, try some Burmese snacks and, maybe, pick up a souvenir or two. Next, visit the Hnee Pagoda, housing a 500-year old bamboo Buddha statue, before catching a train from Kalaw Railway Station. Traverse through the picturesque Shan State, passing through lush valleys and alongside verdant rice paddies at a leisurely pace. Speak to the friendly locals and get a taste of everyday life in this part of the country as the journey comes to an end in Shwe Nyaung – the gateway to Inle Lake. Transfer to the hotel and spend the rest of the day relaxing.

DAY 8

DAY 8 - Inle Lake

After breakfast, embark on a boat ride across Inle Lake and visit Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, home to five gilded Buddha images. Observe craftsmen at work, building wooden boats, creating Buddha images with dried flowers and hand rolling Burmese cigars, before travelling to the stilted weaving village of Inn Paw Khon, famous for producing precious lotus silk. Next, boat to Nga Phe Kyaung Monastery, also known as the ‘Jumping Cat Monastery’, referring to the performing cats that used to live there, and view the impressive collection of Buddha images before returning to the hotel.

DAY 9

DAY 9 - Inle Lake

Start the day with a morning cycling adventure touring some of the villages of Inle Lake. First, travel to the traditional village of Kyae Sar Gone, known for its stilted houses, floating gardens and production of soybean crackers and tofu cakes. Continue the tour and pedal uphill to the Taung Chay Taw Ya Monastery. Take in the panoramic vistas over the surrounding countryside before cycling north through bamboo forest to Than Taung Village. Experience the lifestyle of the Intha people, the ethnic group living on the lake and finish the bike trip back in Kyae Sar Gone Village.

Leaving the bike behind, cross the lake by boat and visit the beautiful floating gardens in Kayla Village. See where the farmers grow tomatoes and pumpkins on the water and find out how to construct such a floating farm. Next, head to Pauk Par Village and explore the sprawling waterways lined with stilted wooden houses on a canoe. Be welcomed by an Intha family and get to know them in the comforts of their home. Enjoy a traditional lunch together before saying goodbye and returning to the hotel. After this active and immersive day spend the last evening in Myanmar at leisure.

DAY 10

DAY 10 - Heho – Yangon

After breakfast, transfer to the airport and travel to Yangon before connecting to an onwards flight home or to a new destination.

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