Discover the history of the ancient kingdom of Myanmar with this unforgettable tour. Explore Yangon with visits to its historical buildings, the famous Chauk-Htat- Kyi and the astonishing Karayouik Hall royal floating barge. Make unforgettable memories when flying high on the sky on Bagan with spectacular views from your balloon. Wander between the striking architectural masterpieces and local villages in Bagan and ride on a wooden boat to cruise down the Irrawaddy River to Shyouzigon Pagoda. Visit the cultural capital Mandalay with abundance of historic sites, including Golden Palace Monastery, Kuthodaw Pagoda, the giant Mingun Bell, the magnificent Sagaing Hill and the ancient city of Ava.
- Day 1: Arrival Yangon
- Day 2: Yangon City tour
- Day 3: Yangon – Flight to Bagan
- Day 4: Bagan Balloon Ride – Explore local Villages
- Day 5: Bagan – Flight to Mandalay – Amarapura
- Day 6: Mingun – Ava – Sagaing
- Day 7: Mandalay – Flight to Yangon
- Day 8: Yangon – Departure
- This itinerary is a privately guided tour, designed just to show you what is possible.
- We can tailor this trip, it's inclusions and the accommodations, to meet your requirements, budget, and interests.
Arrival YangonDay 1
After your arrival in Yangon, you will be collected by your private guide and then driven in a private van to your chosen hotel in downtown. The rest of the day you’ll be able to explore the city at leisure.
Overnight in Yangon
Yangon City tourDay 2
Enjoy the private tour and drive through downtown to explore the city centre and its fabulous mix of architecture and sites. The streets are filled with historical buildings, many of which have a faded colonial charm not seen elsewhere in Asia. You’ll start at the post office – a lovely historic building, passing by Strand Hotel, Mahabandoola Garden and Independence Monument along the way. Then, visit the famous Chauk-Htat- Kyi, which houses one of the most revered reclining Buddha statues in the country. The Buddha statue is 66 metres (217 ft) long, and one of the largest in Burma. The feet of the statue, carved with traditional symbols, often have many locals gathering around them to pay homage and pray.
Continue to visit the stunning Karayouik Hall royal floating barge, a great photo stop. Nothing has quite prepared you for Shyoudagon Pagoda, with its glittering gold stupa. At the pagoda, observe local pilgrims and monks offering their devotions and enjoy the amazing sunset view at the picturesque Shyoudagon Pagoda.
Overnight in Yangon
Yangon – Flight to BaganDay 3
Transfer to Yangon Airport to take a short flight to Bagan.
Upon arrival, you will be met by your private guide and driver. Then transfer to the city. You begin your exploration by visiting a busy local market and gaining an insight into Bagan’s bustling market atmosphere. You will spend the day exploring the architectural masterpieces of this amazing town with visits to a diverse selection of the most important pagodas and temples.
You will climb to the top of the Temple for sunset views. Sit back, relax and be amazed by the beauty of Bagan as you watch the sun slowly set behind the ancient pagodas.
Overnight in Bagan
Bagan Balloon Ride – Explore local VillagesDay 4
Optional: A sunrise flight over Bagan is a unique experience offering unforgettable views. Depart the hotel before sunrise and transfer to the departure point (depending on the wind). While sipping coffee/tea and having a croissant, observe how the crew inflates the balloons. A thorough safety briefing follows before you take off for a 45-minute to 1-hour flight. Upon landing, vehicles will be on hand to serve sparkling wine and refreshments before a transfer back to your hotel. The whole excursion door to door normally lasts between 2.30 – 3.00 hours.
More than just temples, your tour introduces you to and provides a great overview of Bagan’s history, culture and local lifestyles.
You will observe the authentic day-to-day lives of Myanmar people by visiting villages near Bagan to view the local lifestyle. Explore Bagan from a different perspective as you explore the area by pony cart. The cart can explore areas that cars are unable to enter offering a more authentic feel of Bagan.
Transfer to a jetty where a private wooden river boat is waiting. Sitting under the shade or on the open-deck, you’ll be treated to fabulous views as you cruise down the Irrawaddy River to Shyouzigon Pagoda. A private riverboat tour during sunset will hopefully allow you to enjoy the most spectacular part of the day in serenity. Relax and enjoy the scenery.
Overnight in Bagan
Bagan – Flight to Mandalay – AmarapuraDay 5
Transfer to the airport for your flight to legendary Mandalay, a city of great cultural importance. This morning, visit the second most sacred image in Myanmar. Next to the Shyoudagon Pagoda is the Mahamuni Pagoda. Visit local artisan’s workshops of gold leaf making, woodcarving and marble carving.
Continue to visit Golden Palace Monastery famous for its intricate woodcarvings. Continue to the Kuthodaw Pagoda, which is known as the world largest book due to the Buddhist scripture carved on 729 marble slabs. Before sunset, visit a 200-year-old teak bridge, the most photographic site in Myanmar.
Overnight in Mandalay
Mingun – Ava – SagaingDay 6
After breakfast, you’ll board a private local boat for a trip up the Irrawaddy to Mingun (45 min each way). Visit the Mingun Bell which weighs more than 87 tons and is the world’s largest intact bronze bell and the unfinished MingunPaya (built with the intention of being the world’s biggest pagoda). Mingun’s other highlight is the Hisnbyume Pagoda, a white-washed temple built to resemble Mount Meru. Throughout Mingun there are small neighborhoods crafting traditional basketry and other artistic items.
Cross a bridge over the Irrawaddy River to Sagaing. Covered with 600 white-painted pagodas and monasteries, Sagaing Hill is widely regarded as the religious center of Myanmar. It is home to 3,000 monks and 100 meditation centers. You will visit pagodas such as Swan OoPonNya Shin and U Min ThoneSae. You’ll also visit Sagaing’s local market, a typical Burmese market that few tourists have the opportunity to visit. Here you will find a range of items for sale including locally made pottery, silver and other handicrafts. You will also stop at a small pottery village to see the process of making the ubiquitous water pots found throughout Myanmar.
Continue to visit the city of Ava, the capital from 14th to 18th century, where a short ferry ride will take us across the river to where your horse and carriage are waiting. Visit the old wooden Bagaya Monastery and the remains of the Royal Palace and Fort. There are many small villages located amid Ava’s ruins and as you travel by horse and cart, you’ll get a glimpse of local life in the Burmese countryside.
Drive back to Mandalay and transfer to your hotel in the evening.
Overnight in Mandalay
Mandalay – Flight to YangonDay 7
Transfer to the airport for a short flight back to Yangon.
Upon returning to Yangon, you will enjoy a visit to Scott Market, a sprawling 75-year-old market. At the market, you will find a wide variety of interesting Burmese souvenirs, from lacquer ware to gems & jewelry – bargain at the stores to fully experience the Burmese market atmosphere!
Drive through the city and observe the influences of other cultures in the region. Interspersed throughout the tour are various religious sites such as St. Mary’s Cathedral, built in 1899, the Buddhist landmarks of SulePaya, and over 100-year-old beautiful Rangoon Synagogue. In there you will have the opportunity to meet with Trustee of the Synagogue to learn about Jewish Life in the Pagoda Land. Then, visit Little India and Chinatown – stop to greet the vendors and let them introduce you to their wares – some familiar, some exotic.
Overnight in Yangon
Yangon – DepartureDay 8
After breakfast, day at leisure until your private driver collect you from your hotel and transfer you back to Yangon airport for your International departure flight.
Inquire this trip
We are a member of:
We are a fully licensed company:
License No: 01-327/2014/TCDL-GPLHQT
This tour is built upon our firsthand knowledge & experience, offering you the best choices available. The price of this trip varies depending on the number of people in your party, dates of departure, and availability of ground services.
Please click on REQUEST A FREE QUOTE (above) and supply the required information, enabling us to send you your personalized quote within 24 hours!
Note: Amendments CAN be made to this tour to suite your requirements, but may incur price changes
- Accommodation with daily breakfast at selected hotels
- Private Vehicles and Drivers
- Private English Speaking Guides (Other languages if available, upon request)
- Meals as mentioned in the itinerary (B= Breakfast, L= Lunch, D= Dinner)
- Domestic flights within Myanmar
- Entrance fees for all mentioned sights visited
- Service Charge & Government Taxes
What’s Not Included?
- Your International Flights to and from Myanmar (Burma)
- Myanmar entry Visa Fees (contact us for further information)
- Personal Expenses (such as laundry, telephone, drinks, etc.)
- Any bank fees or charges at your end
- Meals other than those mentioned in the itinerary
- Personal Travel Insurance
- Tips for guides and drivers
How to Plan a successful Trip to Myanmar, Step-by-Step
Why to Visit Myanmar
Where to Go
When to Go
Obtain a Myanmar Visa
How to book a tour
Packing and Luggage Allowance
Why to Visit Myanmar
Myanmar (previously known as Burma) is a perfect destination for travelers looking for a unique get-away to a beautiful and exotic locale. This tropical country offers travelers an amazing landscape and a rich cultural heritage, influenced by Southeast Asia’s traditions. However, as a country that has only just recently opened its doors to tourism, Burma still retains an air of mystery, making it all the more intriguing.
With nearly 2,000 miles of coastline and a handful of mountain ranges, Myanmar has more than its share in natural beauty. Trek through the rolling green hills, discover Sagar to the south of Inle Lake, cycle to markets and ruins, boat around floating villages, sample well-spiced Burmese cuisine, and visit mysterious temples. You will get to not only discover, but also really live in this unique cultural atmosphere.
In exploring Myanmar, you will also enjoy the perfect combination of luxury and adventure.
Where to Go
Most popular sites of Myanmar
• Breathtaking Bagan bags a well-deserved top spot on this list of the best places to visit in Myanmar. Seeing Bagan by the hot-balloon is becoming increasingly popular, and offers a truly unique view of this 26-square-mile land of temples.
• The Shwedagon Pagoda, also known as the Golden Pagoda, is a gilded stupa located in Yangon, Myanmar. The 99-meter-tall (325 ft) pagoda is situated on Singuttara Hill, to the west of Kandawgyi Lake, and dominates the Yangon skyline.
• Inle Lake – for an excellent view of the verdant, bucolic side of Myanmar.
• U Bein Bridge – the longest and oldest teakwood bridge in the world
• Kyaiktiyo Pagoda (Golden Rock ), a small pagoda built on the top of a granite boulder covered with gold leaves pasted on by its male devotees.
• Shwenandaw Monastery is a historic Buddhist monastery located near Mandalay Hill, Mandalay Region, Myanmar.
• National Kandawgyi Gardens – home to over 500 different flower species
• Bagaya Kyaung – a 200-year-old Buddhist monastery
When to Go
Like most Southeast Asian countries, Myanmar has two main seasons: dry and wet.
The dry season runs from October to May, and the wet season from June to October. Generally, most people prefer to travel during the drier months, but even during the wet season, the northern and central regions of Myanmar are cooler and drier than the southern parts, making year-round travel possible.
Obtain a Myanmar Visa
Most foreign nationals require a visa to enter Myanmar. Visa-free travel for 14 days, or longer in some cases, is permitted only to citizens of Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia, Brunei, Cambodia, and Laos.
In addition to getting visas at embassies and consulates, Myanmar has an online e-visa system. It is designed to make the process of application simpler for visitors – particularly those from countries that do not have a Burmese embassy. For e-visa applications, please visit the official Ministry of Immigration e-visa website.
E-visas are currently only valid for entry at Myanmar’s three main international airports: Yangon, Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw, as well as overland travel to Myanmar via the Thai-Myanmar border points of Mae Sai / Tachileik, Mae Sot / Myawaddy and Ranong / Kawthaung only. The e-visa is not valid for China, India, Thai or any other land border entry points.
Tourist visas are valid for 28 days and costs around USD$50, which can be extended an extra 14 days at a cost of USD$3 per day, plus a one-time USD$3 administration fee. It is important to be ready with the correct change at your departure point as change will not be provided. Bear in mind that if you overstay, you might encounter some difficulties booking travel and/or hotels during your overstay period, as not all service staff are aware of the overstay allowance.
Do not apply for your visa too early: the period for visa validity (i.e. your Burmese entry date) may range from 1 to 3 months.
Do not apply for your visa too late: embassies and consulates can take 2 weeks or more to process your application, but this varies from country to country. If you are from a country that does not have a Burmese embassy or consulate, it will take longer still.
If you wish to apply for a physical visa, the visa photo criteria are 5 cm high x 3.5 cm wide on a white background, no glasses and no smiling.
You must have a passport that is valid for at least six months after your departure from Myanmar.
How to book a tour
Booking your holiday with Indochina Pioneer cannot be easier! Follow our 3 simple steps:
Step 1: Browse our website www.indochinapioneer.com for tours, cruises and other destination information.
Should you find something that matches your interest, fill in the REQUEST A FREE QUOTE forms. Can’t find something that fits your needs? Then fill the BUILD YOUR OWN TRIP or CONTACT US form and click SUBMIT.
Then sit back! One of our travel experts will get back to you shortly with our customized package and most favorable offer!
In a hurry? Don’t like filling forms? Then call +84 982 116 630 (Mr. Lam) or +84 983 145 799 (Mr. Quyen). We’re available 24/7 and would be more than happy to talk! Certainly, your request will be carefully noted and a nicely crafted package with a pleasant price will follow!
Step 2: Reviewing/ Customizing our offer!
It’s your holiday so everything should be exactly what you want! We encourage your careful review of what we offer, letting us know what changes you would like to make. We’ll be more than happy to fine-tune the tour to fit best your interests, budget and time! This step may require several emails/call exchanges until perfect!
Step 3: Confirming/Paying/ Packing for the trip!
Once you’re satisfied with the customized tour, please let us know and Indochina Pioneer will need a few working hours to place reservations for all of the tour services. As soon as the availability and reservations of the services are confirmed, we will request a deposit. Please refer our Payment Guide for more details.
Once your deposit is received by Indochina Pioneer, we will send you the service voucher which confirms all the services of the tour and provides ground contact details and a guide for the final payment schedule.
And then you start counting down the day for your most fabulous trip!
Booking Amendment & Cancellations:
Booking Amendment: Flexibility is our strongest point. You can amend your booking even after it is made. Just contact your salesperson or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your booking number. Our reservations team is glad to amend your booking with your preferable alternatives. Please kindly note that you will be responsible for any change of the final price caused by your amendment requests.
Travel smart with Indochina Pioneer!
Packing and Luggage Allowance
Packing Checklist – Be sure to check them all 😉
- Travel documents (passport, visas, travel insurance certificate, air tickets, tour voucher)
- Money (cash, credit card, debit card, traveler’s cheques and money pouch)
- Day pack for your personal needs during the day
- Camera and extra memory cards and batteries
- Cell phone and cell phone charger
- Laptop charger (if you are bringing your laptop)
- Travel plug/international adapter
- Medication (including a doctor’s letter if you are carrying a large amount of medication)
- Prescription glasses / contacts and if necessary, contact lens solution
Best to bring along
- First aid kit
- Insect repellent
- Refillable water bottle with filter
- Comfortable walking shoes
- Comfortable clothing, either light or heavy options, depending on the season you are travelling
- Clothes suitable for visiting temples (long pants / skirts, long sleeved tops)
- Waterproof jacket / raincoat / umbrella
- Hat & sunglasses
- Bathing suit
- Ear plugs & eye mask
- Sleep sheet for home stays / trains
- Lightweight travel towel
- Local language phrasebook
We are committed to giving our customers unforgettable experiences in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and beyond, not just something staged for tourists. Read reviews written by our customers about their experiences in Indochina after they have returned home. These include the ratings and comments on attractions, guides, activities, hotels and food.
"Laos, Cambodia, Thailand"
We needed a 2-week break after a freezing and miserable Melbourne winter and visit Asia – but not VN, Bali, etc. Laos was suggested by Helen at Indochina (found her in an ad) and we had 12 nights through the region in excellent hotels, with great guides. Nothing went wrong really – one minor glitch was fixed with a Whatsapp message. So good planning and great real-time support available.
"Help with the Vietnam trip planning"
I am visiting Vietnam in the first week of Jan 2020. I reached out to Indochina Pioneer for help planning my trip. Though I did not eventually engage them due to my shortened vacation plan, Indochina Pioneer was very helpful and professional in providing all the insights into the trip. Especially Ms. Phuong who has been very patient with all my questions. I even offered to pay them a token amount for all their help which Indochina Pioneer politely denied. I wish to engage them in my next trip to Vietnam.
Kerri SMaryland, USA
My visit to Thailand and Vietnam was a trip of a lifetime! Lizzie diligently worked with me to create a trip that included everything that I wanted to see and do—-learn about the country, culture and foods. Everything about the trip was perfect. Hotels, tours and most especially the tour guides! The tour guides were so knowledgeable and flexible and I feel so blessed to consider them my friends now. They really made the trip for me!
Lizzie Pham, I can’t sing your praises enough for your attention to detail! You and everyone I met along my adventure have a special place in my heart. You opened my eyes to amazing places and people. I can’t wait to explore more countries with you!
This is the second time we used Indochina Pioneer. Earlier this year we used them for a great tour of Thailand and this time for another great tour in Vietnam. We are very lucky to of worked with Kata Tran, and she spent much time in helping us customize a tour based on the amount of time we wanted to spend in Vietnam. We really feel spoiled that we can arrange a private tour and customize the tour further throughout the tour. We have been so happy to have private tours as tours are the most efficient but we were always turned off by large tours and everyone following someone carrying a flag. With a private tour, we can call the shots as there will be a place that we want to spend more time and places we want to spend less time. The tour guides and driver coordinate perfectly so as we finish one place, our van would be waiting for us with the air condition on and cold water. I actually asked one of the tour guides that were subcontracted by Indochina Pioneer and was very pleased when they said that really enjoyed working with Indochina Pioneer because they can see that Indochina Pioneer really wants the best for their customers and that to ensure that, they hire the best subcontractors and take care of them also so everyone is happy. I hope Indochina Pioneer and Kata Tran prosper and grow larger and there are other places that we want to travel and would like to use Indochina Pioneer again and again.
Trish WBig White, Canada
"Superb Travel Agency and Consultant Kata Tran"
We have just returned from a 17-day excursion in Southern Vietnam, Bangkok and Chiang Mai. Kata Tran was EXCELLENT to deal with. She listened to what we wanted to do for our tour and she delivered! The guides and drivers were great. The guide’s knowledge of the sites and English was very good and the drivers were timely and caring. They always had a cold bottle of water and a cleansing towel ready for us when we returned from visiting a site. The whole tour unfolded on time and without a hitch. The highlight of our trip was visiting the Patara Elephant Park outside of Chaing Mai, Thailand, where we spent a full day with the elephants: learning about them and being taught how to communicate with them; feeding them; watering them; riding them in the jungle for 45 minutes; then bathing them. It was WONDERFUL. Kata recommended this particular Farm for an elephant experience and we were so happy because we had heard from others about their disappointment at some other elephant sanctuaries/excursions. Patara Farm is associated with the Veterinary Department of Chiang Mai University so you know the animals are well cared for and it shows.
We were disappointed with our hotel in Bangkok and Kata and the guide did everything they could to ensure our happiness and they definitely accomplished their goal.
I would HIGHLY recommend Indochina Pioneer and Patara Elephant Farm
John MMelbourne, Australia
"BRILLIANT TRAVEL AGENCY AND CONSULTANT (MS HIEN PHAM)!"
In 21018 we visited the southern half of Vietnam and loved it so much that we decided to do a 16-day tour of the north in March 2019.
We had a fairly good idea of where we wanted to go and stay (eg. A few days in Ha Noi, an overnight cruise on Ha Long Bay, stay in a mountain village, visit Hoi An, etc, etc), but we had no specific hotels or tours in mind.
Enter Indochina Pioneer and Ms. Hien Pham who was assigned to us. I found the company on the internet and after checking a few Trip Advisor recommendations I contacted them and began putting the details of our tour together (based largely on Hien’s recommendations).
She was ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT!!! So patient, understanding and she left nothing to chance!!! And all at a very reasonable price (better quality – but cheaper than Australian package deals!!!) Everything (and I do mean EVERYTHING) went as she planned it. The great accommodation (eg. The Apricot Hotel in Ha Noi was outstanding – see my separate review), the tours, the local city guides, the transfers, etc, etc, all went well).
I can’t recommend Ms. Hien Pham and Indochina Pioneer highly enough. Book your tour with them – you won’t regret it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
"Best Cambodia/Laos/Vietnam trip"
We chose Indochina Pioneer and they put together the best-customized tour for us. The timings were well planned and it became one of the memorable tours for us. Hien from Indochina was very helpful in planning. We were very particular about places, and she helped us to plan what we want. We started from Cambodia (Siem Reap, Tonle Sap Lake), then Laos (Luang Prabang), and then to Vietnam (Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hue, Cu Chi Tunnels, Ho Chi Minh City, Mekong Delta, Thien Duong Cave, Ba Be, Cao Bang, Ban Gioc Waterfalls). Every day we had a blast. The service was really good. And I’m booking through them again to Vietnam, Myanmar and Indonesia. And that tells how good they are. Thanks to Indochina Pioneer and special thanks to Hien for planning the best trip for us.
"Best Myanmar trip"
We decided to choose Indochina Pioneer to plan a trip to Myanmar with our family. It was 17 days length trip only in Myanmar. This was an amazing experience and an excellent country to visit. Ms. Hien was very helpful to plan our itinerary, ad hoc to our needs. Tour guides have mostly good knowledge and good English. Especially Mr. Cho and Ms. Thin were really good tour guides, we liked them a lot.
"Splendid personalised tour of Vietnam and Cambodia"
Following a recommendation we chose Indochina Pioneer to put together our bespoke tour. Sales Manager Kata Tran took on board our requirements and offered a proposal which we then fine-tuned into an excellent itinerary. We had a really splendid holiday. Different guides at different locations were all good and three were outstanding. Our boutique hotels were mostly very good and we found the service offered was always delightful – the same for restaurants. The high spots of our holiday were the gentle trekking in Sapa, the wonderful Ha Long Bay cruise (outstanding food on our boat), Hanoi city and the street food, Hoi An so charming, exciting Saigon, the high-speed boat ride up the Mekong and the fantastic Angkor temples in Cambodia. We built two relaxation breaks into our tour, primarily to meet up with friends and family but this was also useful to catch breath in the middle of the tour. We were very pleased with the arrangements made by Indochina Pioneer although it would probably have been best to travel from Phnom Penh to Siam Reap by air rather than by bus. Cambodia was very, very hot at this time of year.
We would have no hesitation in recommending Indochina Pioneer for similar tours in Vietnam and Cambodia.
Jerry Ray BowlingUSA
"Worry-free Vietnam travel!"
Reliable and caring. You name it and Ryan has the know-how to plan it. From a hassle-free airport taxi to your place of relaxation, day trekking in Nhin Binh and rowing a Sampan in a National park and of course the 2-night Halong Bay Junk Boat. The quality of communication during planning, the freedom to ask questions, make changes and make even more changes were without pressure. Our day tour guide Cuong was simply wonderful in conversation and culture and share a few recipes with my wife!
This was my 1st experience using a tour service and I will honestly say… its the only way to travel Vietnam, see what you want to see, have reliable timely transportation, professional safe drivers and a plan. These agents and supporting cast are sincere in the duties to the customer and your experience in Vietnam.
On another note, I had forgotten an item. Contacted them, and both went out of there way to ensure my item was returned. So grateful
Next tour Sapa, Lao Cai, Hai Phong