Journey Through Burma
15 Days from £2739
Fifteen Days from £2739pp
An ideal combination of culture and relaxation. The Journey Through Burma combines our Majestic Myanmar tour of Burma’s impressive highlights, with a beach stay on the palm tree fringed sands of Ngapali Beach. This is a perfect way to unwind after your journey through Myanmar.
Also known as Rangoon, the former capital Yangon remains Myanmar’s largest city and gateway for most of its international visitors. Here you will find a mesmerizing colonial and religious legacy that makes it one of the most and genuine places in all of Southeast Asia.
No journey to Myanmar can be considered complete if it’s lacking a visit to the legendary Shwedagon Pagoda. The visual delights as colours transform on the 100‐meter chedi which is enclosed in over 40 tons of gold leaf is worth the trip alone.
Day 1 – Yangon
Upon arrival at Yangon International Airport you will be warmly welcomed and accompanied to your hotel for check in.
After some time to freshen up you will begin your Myanmar journey with a guided visit to the stunning Shwedagon Pagoda.
Day 2 – Yangon
Today you will get a real insight into the daily activities of Myanmar’s biggest city. The day begins at Yangon’s Central Station where you embark upon the local “Circular Train”, which runs around various neighbourhoods. This train travels at a deliberately slow pace which provides you with time to really enjoy your surroundings and get a clear overview of the city .
Next is a trishaw ride through a local neighbourhood which is vibrant with activities like locals grabbing a bowl of noodles on their way to work and nuns and monks collecting alms door to door.
You then continue on to the Shan Road market to walk among the stalls filled with colourful fruits and vegetables while chatting with friendly vendors.
From here visit the 72 metre reclining Buddha at Kyaukhtatgyi Pagoda before you continue through town to the Royal Lake, popular with local residents and you can catch a view of Karaweik Hall, a reproduction of a royal barge and enjoy a spectacular view of the Golden Shwedagon Pagoda.
After sunset head to Chinatown and the colorful Khen Hock Keong Chinese temple before soaking up the atmosphere of little China in Myanmar.
Bagan, known as one of the greatest architectural sites in Asia, was the centre of Myanmar from the 11th to 13th centuries. The country’s rulers built multitudes of impressive stupas and pagodas, scores of which are still standing on the shores of the Irrawaddy River. Majestic Bagan with more than 2000 red brick temples on a plain of the size of Manhattan Island is one of the highlights of your Burma holiday.
Day 3 – Yangon > Bagan
After breakfast at hotel, you will be escorted to Yangon domestic airport for your flight to Bagan. Once in Bagan you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel.
Today your excursion includes the temples of Bagan and introduces you to the Burmese culture by allowing you to see traditional craftsmen at work.
First you visit an elevated location amid the temple plains for a panoramic view of Bagan’s pagoda’s before exploring the Ananda Temple – one of Bagan’s best. Your guide will then choose a number of other temples for you to experience a variety of architectural and artistic styles. Travelling amid the temples you will get a taste of rural Bagan life in this ‘living museum’ where farmers and families work amongst the monuments.
Then you take to horse cart for an excursion that passes Thatbyinnyu, the tallest temple in Bagan and the gigantic Dhammayangyi Temple noted for its remarkable brickwork before watching one of the world’s most scenic sunsets.
Day 4 – Bagan
If you wish you can start your day early with an optional hot air balloon flight over Bagan which we can arrange for you at an additional cost.
After breakfast at your hotel, your guide and driver will collect you for a visit to the vibrant Nyaung Oo Market, where the locals come to trade fresh produce and other goods daily before you head to the renowned Shwezigon Pagoda.
From here travel over dusty lanes and tree shaded roads past temples and monasteries to a small village. Explore the village on foot, getting a glimpse of local lifestyles of Bagan’s residents and discover the traditional way of life in this farming community.
There is enough free time today to include some optional extras such as a Burmese cooking lesson and a traditional afternoon tea in the tranquil grounds of a Buddhist monastery or of course you could just head back to your hotel to relax.
Little has changed over the centuries on the banks of the Irrawaddy (also known as the Ayeyarwaddy) River. Farmers still work their land using ox cart amongst tall pagodas, teak monasteries and villages of stilted houses evidence of a deeply spiritual and traditional way of life.
The river flows 1348 miles from the Himalayas to the Andaman Sea and the two night cruise from Bagan to Mandalay takes in these sites plus a few stops to explore Burmese life, history and spiritual sites along the riverbank. There is also ample time to relax in the luxurious surrounds of you small ship river cruiser.
Days 5 – Irrawaddy River Cruise
After breakfast at your hotel you will be transferred to the Pagan Ayeya jetty to board your luxury river cruiser to begin the Irrawaddy River cruise. Later in the afternoon you will make a short stop at the port town of Pakokku for a guided trishaw tour of the pagoda, market and various local artisans.
Day 6 – Irrawaddy River Cruise
A relaxing day cruising the Irrawaddy River only broken by a stop at Yandabo village that played a key role in Myanmar’s history as the Anglo‐Burma peace treaty was signed here in 1826. Today Yandabo is a pottery village and you will see families crafting clay water pots using age‐old techniques.
Myanmar’s second largest city and the last royal capital, Mandalay, is now known for it’s cultural diversity and religious importance, half of Burma’s monks reside in Mandalay and surrounds.
Days 7 – Mandalay
Disembark the cruise in Mandalay and transfer to your hotel before starting the day’s site seeing. Today you will visit the Mahamuni Pagoda which is home to one of Burma’s most honoured Buddha statues that has new gold leaf applied daily. Then it’s off to Kuthodaw Pagoda to view the 729 marble tablets inscribed with Buddhist teachings. Directly south of Mandalay Hill stands the Kyauktawgyi Pagoda, home to a huge image of Buddha sculpted from one piece of marble which it’s said took 10,000 men to transport. Then it’s off to the golden monastery of Shwenandaw, celebrated for its remarkable woodcarvings.
Late in the afternoon, drive to the top of Mandalay Hill overlooking the city at 240 meters high that offers a wonderful panoramic view of the surroundings and a beautiful sunset.
Day 8 – Mandalay
After breakfast at the hotel it’s off to explore the old capitals of Amarapura, Ava and Sagaing. First stop is the spiritual hub of Sagaing with it’s 600 ivory coloured pagodas and monasteries and claims residence to around 3,000 monks and nearly 100 meditation shrines.
Next it’s on to Ava which was Burma’s capital from the 14th through the 18th centuries. Cross the small river by ferry and travel in a traditional horse and carriage to the wooden Bagaya Monastery renowned for its extraordinarily elaborate woodcarvings.
In the afternoon it’s on to Amarapura, Myanmar’s penultimate royal capital. Amarapura means “City of Immortality”, though its period as capital was relatively brief. First you’ll stop at a silk weaving workshop and view this traditional handicraft then continue to Mahagandayon monastery, home to more than a thousand young monks and renowned as a centre for monastic study. Once the sun starts to set, you’ll want to stroll along the legendary U Bein Bridge, which was built in 1782 when Amarapura was at it’s height. It spans 1.2 km across the shallow Taungthaman Lake and is said to be the longest teakwood bridge in teh world. Enjoy this very special atmosphere as the late afternoon sun casts long shadows and illuminates the local people heading home.
The 13.5 by 7 mile Inle Lake is one of Myanmar’s most spectacular and breathtaking sights. Its calm waters are dotted with floating vegetation and fishing canoes, to which scenic hills provide the perfect backdrop. Stilt- house villages, inhabited by the local Intha fishing people and Buddhist temples are built over the lake. Observe the daily activities of the local leg‐rowing fishermen and see their ‘floating gardens’, which are built up from strips of water hyacinth, earth and anchored to the bottom of the lake with bamboo poles.
Day 9 – Mandalay > Inle Lake
After breakfast, transfer to Mandalay airport for your flight to Heho and Inle Lake. On the way to your hotel you will have an opportunity to visit rural workshops that specialise in traditional Shan paper handcrafted umbrellas.
Later you will board a private motorboat and begin heading out onto Inle Lake to explore several villages with their stilt houses built over the lake and inhabited by the Intha people and watch the leg rowing fisherman go about their work.
There is also visit Nga Hpe Chaung Monastery, which houses many early Shan Buddha Images and in the past was known for its ‘jumping cats’.
Your next visit is to the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, the lake’s main haven, which contains five sacred images of Buddha decorated in gold leaf. There are also many handy crafts originating on Inle Lake and there will be a chance to see these being made in an age old traditional way.
Day 10 – Inle Lake
After breakfast you’ll pay a visit to the lake’s morning market where the area’s diverse peoples gather daily to buy and sell goods.
A one hour boat ride down a small and very scenic canal will take you to Pa‐Oh village positioned on the western shores of Inle Lake. Take a leisurely stroll through the village before walking to the top of a hill to be greeted by an iconic Buddha which sits enshrined among hundreds of stupas.
There is some free time today and you can chose either to do your own thing or book on an optional tour including kayaking on Inle lake and lunch on a traditional rice boat or both.
Pristine, palm tree fringed, white sand beaches do not get much more idyllic than Ngapali Beach on Myanmar’s west coast. This incredibly laid back and beautiful beach is the perfect spot to end a busy tour of Burma. You will share the beach with fishermen who head out each night onto the waters of the Bay of Bengal to return with a fresh catch to provide local markets and the beach’s guests.
Day 11 – Inle Lake > Ngapali Beach
After breakfast at hotel, transfer to Heho airport to board your flight to Thandwe airport where you will be met and transferred the short distance to your hotel.
Day 12 & 13 – Ngapali Beach
Two full days to completely unwind on the laid back beach of Ngapali. You can chill out on the white sand and swim in the crystal waters or ride a bike to the nearest village and stroll through the back streets while watching the lively and colourful locals going about their business.
If you want to encounter marine life there are options to join a boat trip and snorkel or dive close to one of the many islands off the coast.
Day 14 – Ngapali Beach > Yangon
After breakfast at hotel, transfer to Thandwe airport to board your flight to Yangon where you will be met at Yangon airport and transferred to your hotel.
There is time for a guided a walking tour of downtown Yangon past grand colonial government buildings and to Scott’s market for some last minute souvenir shopping and even a chance to have your fortune told!
Day 15 – Yangon > Tour Ends
Your tour ends after breakfast and you will be transferred to Yangon International airport to catch your onward flight.
Start your journey through Burma by telling us about your travel plans and a consultant will get straight back to you