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- Day 1: Arrival in Yangon
- Day 2: Yangon – Mandalay Ancient Capital
- Day 3: Mandalay – Mandalay Royal Palace
- Day 4: Madalay – Pyin Oo Lwin – Mandalay
- Day 5: Mandalay – Monywa – Po Win Daung – Monywa
- Day 6: Monywa – Pakkoku – Bagan
- Day 7: Bagan Temple Plain
- Day 8: Bagan Local Life
- Day 9: Bagan – Heho – Pindaya Sightseeing
- Day 10: Pindaya – Kalaw Trekking Day
- Day 11: Heho – Inle Lake Sightseeing
- Day 12: Inle Lake – In Dein
- Day 13: Heho – Yangon – Golden Rock
- Day 14: Golden Rock – Bago – Yangon
- Day 15: Departure Yangon
Arrival in YangonDay 1
Mingalabar! Welcome to Yangon, Myanmar.
Upon arrival at Yangon Airport, your private guide and driver are waiting to meet you, holding up a welcome signboard with your names on it and take you directly to your hotel in the downtown. While every effort is made to have your room available upon arrival, check-in time is at 02:00 pm; your room may or may not be ready before this time. Your tour guide will provide additional details regarding your stay, and you will be able to ask any questions you may have. The rest of the day is at leisure.
If we arrive in the morning, we have time to visit the world-famous golden Shwedagon Pagoda in the afternoon, a breath-taking and colorful sight visited by Buddhists from all over Myanmar.
Evening culture show with dinner at Karaweik palace in Kandawgyi Park
Overnight in Yangon.
Yangon – Mandalay Ancient CapitalDay 2
Early morning transfer to Yangon’s Mingaladon Airport for the flight to Mandalay.
Upon arrival, our tour guide and private car pick up from the airport for a full day sightseeing. The day begins with a visit to the 18th-century capital, Amarapura. Attend the daily meal of over a thousand monks at the country’s largest monastery Mahagandayon. Visit a silk weaving workshop, the craft specialty of Amarapura.
Proceed to Ava, the capital from 14th to 18th centuries and visit by horse and carriage the old wooden Bagaya Monastery and the remains of the Royal Palace and fort.
In the afternoon cross the bridge over the Irrawaddy River and continue to Sagaing. Covered with 600 white-painted pagodas and monasteries, Sagaing Hill is widely regarded as the religious center of Myanmar and is home to 3,000 monks and 100 meditation centers.
Finish the day with a walk at sunset over the 200-year-old U Bein Bridge, constructed entirely from teak.
Overnight in Mandalay.
Mandalay – Mandalay Royal PalaceDay 3
After breakfast, transfer to the jetty and board private chartered boat for a cruise over the Irrawaddy River towards the former capital of Mingun. After a 45-minute cruise, arrive in Mingun famous for its huge unfinished pagoda also home to the Mingun Bell, considered as the world’s largest uncracked ringing bell. Also, visit the beautiful white Hsinbyume Pagoda.
Return Mandalay for lunch.
In the afternoon visit the Kuthodaw Pagoda with its 729 marble stone slabs of Buddhist scriptures (known as the world’s biggest book), Shwenandaw Monastery, noted for its exquisite woodcarving and the impressive Kyauktawgyi Pagoda with it’s huge sitting Buddha.
Enjoy the sunset from Mandalay Hill.
Madalay – Pyin Oo Lwin – MandalayDay 4
Drive-up into the hills from Mandalay (80km, about 2 hours) for a full day visit of Pyin Oo Lwin (Maymyo), a former British hill station. Visit the local market and drive through the charming town in a horse-drawn ‘stagecoach’, giving you the chance to admire the red brick and half-timbered houses, complete with English-style gables, turrets, and chimneys.
In the afternoon, visit the tiny Forestry Museum (if open) and the National Botanical Kandawgyi Gardens, which were laid out by Sir Harcourt Butler, a former Governor of Burma – the flower beds are similar to those you would find in an English country garden! Take a short jungle walk on a wooden walkway in the gardens. Then drive back to Mandalay.
Overnight in Mandalay.
Mandalay – Monywa – Po Win Daung – MonywaDay 5
Leave Mandalay for a 3-hour drive to Monywa, a typical Burmese town on the banks of the Chindwin River.
On the way, visit Thanboddhay Pagoda, where more than 500,000 Buddha images cover every wall and archway of this huge Buddhist temple. Also visit Boditahtaung Pagoda and the largest reclining Buddha image in Myanmar, 100m long and 27m high.
Then cross the Chindwin River by ferry, proceed to Po Win Daung by local open jeep. This extraordinary complex consists of 947 sandstone caves dug out of the hills and contains what is considered by archaeologists to be the richest collection of mural paintings and Buddhist statues in South East Asia. Recently opened to foreigners, Po Win Daung with its unique, precious frescoes, some dating from the early 17th century, is a must to see for anyone with an interest in Buddhist Arts.
A few hundred meters from the caves is Shwe Ba Daung, another very interesting site where monasteries and temples are carved out rocky narrow cliffs.
Return to Monywa.
Overnight in Monywa.
Monywa – Pakkoku – BaganDay 6
After breakfast at the hotel, leave Monywa along the rarely visited east bank of the river passing traditional villages where farmers climb the palm trees to extract the juice from which they produce palm tree sugar.
Stop in Pakkangyi to visit one of the oldest surviving wooden monasteries in Myanmar. Continue 20 km south to Pakokku. A lively, typical Burmese city with a strong craftwork tradition producing colorful woven blankets, paper-mâché toys, and the traditional sandals.
Continue by boat and cross the river to arrive in Bagan at the end of the day.
Overnight in Bagan.
Bagan Temple PlainDay 7
After breakfast at the hotel morning sightseeing of Bagan features the colorful Nyaung Oo Market, the Shwezigon Pagoda, and its magnificent golden stupa, Wetkyi-In Gubyaukgyi, a cave temple with exquisite jatakas murals paintings and the elegant Htilominlo Temple noted for its fine plaster carvings and glazed sandstone decorations.
In the afternoon, visit Ananda, an architectural masterpiece of the early-style temple with two original standing Buddha images whose facial expression change depending on the distance the statue is viewed from. The Ananda Okkyaung is one of the few surviving brick monasteries from the early Bagan period and the next temple to be visited, Thatbyinnyu, is the highest in Bagan, rising to 61 meters.
End the day with a horse and carriage tour among the temples passing by the traditional village of Taungbi, Sulamani Temple, and the massive Dhammayangyi Temple noted for its remarkable brickwork.
Enjoy the sunset on the mighty Irrawaddy river by slow cruise.
Overnight in Bagan.
Bagan Local LifeDay 8
Optional: In the early morning, we take a sunrise Balloon flight over the plains of Bagan. From above looking down, Bagan is beautiful as a watercolor picture. Along two banks of the gentle Ayeyarwady River are small villages hiding in the bamboo trees. The top of golden pagodas glistens under the sunlight. The flight surely gives you an interesting and unheard-of experience of the country of Myanmar.
After breakfast at the hotel, proceed to Myinkaba village and observe the process of traditional lacquerware, one of the best-known Myanmar handicrafts and a specialty of Bagan. Visit the monuments of Myinkaba village, Gubyaukkhi, an early period Pyu-style temple of Hindu influence with some of the oldest mural paintings in Bagan, Manuha, and Nanpaya temples.
In the afternoon, enjoy an excursion to the countryside village Shwe Hlaing and enjoy the local cooking school restaurant before the visit of Minnanthu, and the least visited temple area in Bagan. Observe the local farmers‘way of life together with a visit to some of the most interesting temples such as Payathonzu, with its unusual architecture and Tantric Buddhism influence, Lemyethna, and Nandamannya temples.
Enjoy the sunset from the top watching sunset area.
Overnight in Bagan.
Bagan – Heho – Pindaya SightseeingDay 9
In the morning transfer to the airport for the flight to Heho.
From Heho, enjoy a scenic drive to Pindaya through the picturesque countryside of Shan State. Visit Pindaya’s limestone cave with its maze of chambers displaying more than 8,000 Buddha statues and local handicraft workshops producing Shan Paper made from mulberry bark and traditional umbrellas made from the same paper that is used by monks all around the country.
Overnight in Pindaya.
Pindaya – Kalaw Trekking DayDay 10
After breakfast, take 2 hours drive to Kalaw, the hill station that remains the charm of British Colonial with styled houses and gardens. Reach the junction of the trekking way.
After 30 minutes walk, you will cross the rain forest and reservoir. Near the reservoir, you can see the various kinds of tropical birds. After the forest and a 2 hours walk, you will reach Hin Khar Gone (Palaung) village. On the way, you can see the cheroot leaf, Orange trees, and some tea leaf garden.
One hour walk you can see the railway road and after cross the railway road you reach the Myin Sine Gone (Danu) village.
Lunch at Myin Sine Gone and excursion in the village. If you are lucky, you can see the cherry flowers, between December and February. At that time so many cherry flower are blooming on the trees.
After lunch go back to Kalaw by another way (30min), later you maybe reach to the railway station of Myin Taik and then proceed to the Kalaw
Overnight in Kalaw.
Heho – Inle Lake SightseeingDay 11
From Kalaw, enjoy a scenic drive to Inle Lake, one of Myanmar’s best-known sights. The Intha people, a tribe of Mon descent, mostly inhabit the lakeshores and floating villages.
On arrival at Nyaung Shwe village, transfer by boat to start a sightseeing tour of Inle Lake including a chance to see the leg-rowing fishermen. Continue to see the floating gardens, built up from strips of water hyacinth and mud and anchored to the bottom with bamboo poles. There are also floating villages like Ywama, the lake’s downtown, where a floating market is held every five days.
In the afternoon continue visit to Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, the weaving village of Inpawkhon and the Jumping Cat monastery. Check-in at the hotel in the afternoon.
Overnight at Inle Lake/ Nyaung Shwe.
Inle Lake – In DeinDay 12
After breakfast, excursion by motorized boat to In Dein, an off-the-beaten-track site in the south of the lake. The boat leaves the lake and enters a narrow canal with a beautiful natural environment to continue to a small Pa O tribe village.
From the market place of the village, follow an old covered path to a 13th-century monastery and the very impressive ruins of hundreds of ancient pagodas, some hidden in the vegetation. The main stupa-area on the top of the hill offers breath-taking views over the surrounding mountains and down to the valley and the lake in the far distance.
Return to the lake and finish the visits to the lake in the afternoon.
Overnight at Inle Lake/ Nyaung Shwe.
Heho – Yangon – Golden RockDay 13
After breakfast, transfer from Nyaung Shwe to Heho airport for a morning flight back to Yangon.
Upon arrival Yangon, enjoy a scenic journey by road to Kyaikhtiyo, 190km to the east. One of Myanmar’s great pilgrimage sites is the Golden Rock at Kyaikhtiyo, a huge boulder covered by gold leaf and delicately balanced on the edge of a cliff. The pagoda at the Golden Rock is said to hold a hair of the Buddha.
Late morning, arrive at Kyaikhtiyo base camp and transfer to the transit junction with one of the small open trucks in a 1-hour ride.
After lunch, start an easy one-hour walk up to the Golden Rock and enjoy the sunset from this unforgettable site.
Overnight in Kyaikhtiyo.
Golden Rock – Bago – YangonDay 14
After breakfast, return to the base-camp by open truck and head in the direction of Yangon for 110km to Bago, an ancient capital dating back to the 6th century.
Sightseeing in Bago includes the beautiful 55 meters long reclining Buddha called Shwethalyaung and the Mon style Shwemawdaw Pagoda, one of the most venerated in Myanmar. Its spire stands 114m high and is taller even than the Shwedagon Pagoda. Visit also the old Palace “Kambozathadi” and the huge 4 sitting Buddha’s “Kyaikpun”.
Return by road to Yangon, visiting the Allied War Cemetery near Htaukkyan, the final resting place for over 27,000 allied soldiers, and a local woven bamboo factory.
Transfer back to Yangon at the end of the day.
Overnight in Yangon.
Departure YangonDay 15
After breakfast finish the tour with a visit to downtown Yangon with its faded colonial atmosphere, Sule Pagoda, Mahabandoola Park, India town and bustling Chinatown.
Visits continue to Myanmar’s holiest monument, the Shwedagon Pagoda with its golden stupa covered with 60 tons of pure gold leaf.
In the afternoon there is free time for shopping at Bogyoke Market, formerly Scott’s Market before transferring to Mingaladon Airport for onward flight.
End of services.
Inquire this trip
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 suit your requirements.
- 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
- 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 [email protected] 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
Reviews on Our Service
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.
We had a wonderful 7-day trip last July; Kata was awesome to work with. So professional, reliable and helpful!
"Lifetime of Memories"
Lam did an amazing job putting together an itinerary based on phone/text conversations. We told him the where and what and he did the rest. The accommodations were beyond expectation, the guides were unbelievably friendly, and the places we were taken were spectacular. Having guides and drivers is worth every penny. So much time and money would have been wasted had we tried to accomplish this ourselves.
We got to experience so much more because of our guides local knowledge. Lastly, how great it was not to worry about how we were getting to the next adventure. Had we not used Indochina Pioneer I truly believe I wouldn’t have as many astonishing memories.
"Amazing 30 Day Journey with Indochina Pioneer"
If you are looking for a private tour of SE Asia, look no further than Indochina Pioneer. I recently returned from a 30-day private tour of Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand all arranged by Indochina Pioneer and could not have been happier with everything they arranged for me. They are top-notch from working directly with you on planning your trip, arranging visas, having individuals at the airports to meet and walk you through everything when entering the countries, having amazing tour guides and drivers as well as organizing everything for you on the ground and being there to help you all along the way if you have any questions or problems. My tour was amazing with not only the normal tourist sights, but many off the beaten track sights and with your own guides, you learn so much more from these individuals who actually live in the places you will visit. I can’t recommend this tour agency enough. If you are looking to travel to any of the locations Indochina Pioneer has tours, you must book through them, you will not be disappointed.
"Excellent from the very beginning"
We had 21 days on a private tour and every detail was perfectly arranged. Perhaps, the Spanish speaking skills of guides can ve improved, but overall they were very helpful and committed with their job. I want to highlight the performance of Juan (Hanoi), Miguel (Hoi An), Chao (Ho Chi Minh City) and La (Luang Prabang, Laos).
Hotels were as we asked and the timing for the visits was very good.
I recommend this travel agency!