- Day 1: Arrival Mandalay – Visit Mandalay Hill
- Day 2: Mandalay City tour
- Day 3: Mandalay – Ayeyarwady River Cruise – Mingun
- Day 4: River Cruise – Sagaing – Yandabo Village – Downstream to Sagaing
- Day 5: Ayeyarwady River Cruise – Bagan
- Day 6: Bagan – Chauk – Salay
- Day 7: Bagan – Flight to Heho/ Nyaung Shwe – Transfer to Inle Lake
- Day 8: Inle Lake – Indein
- Day 9: Nyaung Shwe – Transfer to Heho – Flight to Yangon – Shwedagon Pagoda
- Day 10: Yangon – Train Ride – Sule Pagoda – Colonial Walking Tour
- Day 11: 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 Mandalay – Visit Mandalay HillDay 1
Upon your arrival in Mandalay, get welcomed by your tour guide and transferred to your hotel for check-in. This evening, enjoy a commanding overview of the city from Mandalay Hill.
Overnight in Mandalay
Mandalay City tourDay 2
Visit Mahamuni Pagoda, the second most sacred image in Myanmar next to the Shwedagon Pagoda. Continue to visit local artisan’s workshops of gold leaf making, woodcarving and marble carving. Next, visit Golden Palace Monastery famous for its intricate woodcarvings.
After lunch, 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
Mandalay – Ayeyarwady River CruiseDay 3
After breakfast at the hotel, enjoy your day at leisure until transfer to the jetty. The embarkation time is at 12.00 hrs at Gawein jetty. Then, enjoy welcome cocktails in the saloon.
Upstream to Mingun
Lunch will be served at 13.00. The sailing time is about 2 hrs. Your English speaking manager (or your private guide) will assist the guests during the visit of the Mingun Pagoda Complex.
Moor Overnight at a sandbank mid-stream. After dinner, guests can enjoy a dance and drama performance by the Mandalay Arts School on the sundeck (if available).
Overnight on board
Ayeyarwady River Cruise – Sagaing – Yandabo Village – Downstream to SagaingDay 4
Early in the morning, cruise downstream. During the 2 hour journey, passengers can admire the natural beauty of the river and the life on its banks while relaxing on the sundeck or just sitting outside their own cabin. Enjoy the sunrise over Sagaing Hill.
You will go ashore to visit Sagaing with the assistance of your Ship Manager or their own guide.
Downstream to Bagan. Cast off time is at 11.15 hrs and then lunch.
You will stop at Yandabo, a village specializing in pot-making and where the peace treaty of the First Anglo-Burmese war was signed on Feb. 24, 1826. Cruise all day and moor overnight near the river village of Shwe Nann Tint.
Overnight on board
Ayeyarwady River Cruise – BaganDay 5
Proceed downriver to Bagan early in the morning. After breakfast (if time permits) you will visit another typical river village.
Enjoy the sunrise near Bagan. Disembark at Aye Yar jetty around 10.15 hrs. Then your private guide and driver will pick you up and transfer you to the hotel to check in. The rest of the day will be free at your leisure.
Overnight in Bagan
Bagan – Chauk – SalayDay 6
Begin with a drive south, parallel to the Irrawaddy River, en route to Salay. After one hour, you’ll make a stop in Chauk which has a colorful morning market to explore. Few tourists visit this market and it is a great place for local interaction and photos.
Continue to Salay (30 minutes) an important center of Buddhism in Myanmar with many active monasteries. Salay, many years ago, created its own unique style of Bagan-era architecture. While visiting Salay you will learn more about monastic life, Burmese Buddhism and this unique architectural style as you visit several sites including Yoke Sone Kyaung monastery, one of the oldest wooden halls in the area.
Wind our way back to Bagan. The remainder of the day will be free at your leisure.
Overnight in Bagan
Bagan – Flight to Heho/ Nyaung Shwe – Transfer to Inle LakeDay 7
After breakfast, fly to Heho, a gateway to Inle Lake. From Heho drive to NyaungShwe where you board your boat & transfer to your hotel for check in. Enjoy the full-day tour by private boat in Inle lake. Visit the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, the holiest religious site in southern Shan State. Be amazed by the local handicrafts, silk weaving, wooden handlooms and traditional blacksmith methods along the way.
Visiting Inle Lake is not just about being on the water, but also about discovering the Shan and Intha villages on the banks of the river. Pass the endless floating gardens, houses, monasteries built on stilts on the lake. Proceed to the village of Nampan and see a local cheroot factory (where the Burmese cigars are made) and canoe carving.
Overnight in NyaungShwe
Inle Lake – IndeinDay 8
Begin your day with a visit to a market. This market, which rotates locations every five days, is frequented by the hill tribe people dressed in colorful, traditional who come here to barter for goods and produce.
You will continue your sightseeing in Inle Lake, maneuvering by boat though long, scenic channels. You will visit the fascinating village of Indein, with its complex of ancient shrines and stupas and walk though exotic colonnades of stairways and shop stalls. You’ll also visit the “long neck” tribal women, and weaving and craft villages perched on stilts. See the lake’s unique “leg rowers” – the Intha people row standing up with one leg wrapped around an oar. It is a feast for the senses and a photographer’s dream.
Overnight in NyaungShwe
Nyaung Shwe – Transfer to Heho – Flight to Yangon – Shwedagon PagodaDay 9
Morning flight back to Yangon.
Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to the hotel in downtown to check in.
After a short rest, you will enjoy a guided tour of this fascinating city. Visit the famous Chauk Htat Kyi, home to a 70-meter long reclining Buddha. The feet of the statue is carved with traditional symbols and often many locals gather here to pay homage and pray.
Next will be the photo stop at the Karaweik Hall royal floating barge. Nothing will prepare you for Shwedagon Pagoda with its glittering gold stupa. At the pagoda, observe local pilgrims and monks offering their devotions and enjoy the amazing sunset view at Shwedagon pagoda.
Overnight in Yangon
Yangon – Train Ride – Sule Pagoda – Colonial Walking TourDay 10
After breakfast, drive to the train station for the train ride for about 1 hour. Enjoy the real lifestyle of locals and see the beautiful scenes. Then, enjoy a 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.
Continue with a walking tour of the colonial street. You’ll start at the post office – a lovely historic building, pass by the Strand Hotel, the Buddhist landmarks of Sule Paya, Mahabandoola Garden and Independence Monument along the way.
Overnight in Yangon
Yangon – DepartureDay 11
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.
"A Foodie & Adventure Trip to Vietnam with Friends"
I took a trip to Vietnam with 3 girlfriends in September and we had an absolute blast. Although we only went for 10 days we filled every moment with adventures and experiences across 5 different destinations in Vietnam. Where this could have been an exhausting nightmare, it wasn’t due to the expert travel arrangements done for us my Kata at Indochina Pioneer.
Our English speaking guides were incredible, the arrangements flawless and the hotels chosen and experiences suggested by Kata were spot on. Thank you Indochina Pioneer
"Wonderful family holiday – exceptional customer service"
Our family of four (myself, husband and two boys) just returned to Australia from a wonderful 16 day trip to Vietnam. Kata organised and tailored a trip in line with the places we wanted to see and organised transport, private tour guides, drivers and excellent accommodation for each place. It was our great pleasure to see beautiful Vietnam from the north to the south and we came back with many fond memories of the sights and the people, including our wonderful, knowledgeable, English speaking tour guides. Kata was always available to help and assist with any queries before and during our trip. Her fantastic organising, advice and outstanding service helped ensure we had an amazing trip. We highly recommend Indochina Pioneer. Highlights were the enchanting Halong Bay, Sapa and Mekong Delta (Can Tho). Thank you, Kata!
"Professional & Excellent Customer Service"
I have had the pleasure of working with Ryan for the last few weeks to get an itinerary down for a trip to Vietnam. Due to unforeseen circumstances we had to postpone the trip, but I was extremely impressed with the amount of time and detail Ryan put into making our itinerary. Fingers crossed we are able to make a trip work in the future!
"Fun family vacation in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos"
We had a great experience with Indochina Pioneer. Elly was our travel consultant and helped us plan a family-friendly trip. She tailored our itinerary and made numerous modifications based on our questions and suggestions. Our family of six, with kids ages 5-13 all enjoyed activities that included basket boat, foot massages, lantern making in Hoi An; Cu Chi tunnels and Mekong Riverboat ride near Saigon; elephant riding, waterfall, bear sanctuary in Laos; Angkor Wat, waterfall and floating houses in Cambodia. Hotels were great. The guides all spoke English well and were accommodating for any itinerary changes based on kids preferences. And the price was very reasonable for what we received. I highly recommend them.
"Great Experience in Vietnam and Cambodia"
Our family of five just got back from a wonderful experience exploring Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hoi An, Saigon, the Mekong Delta, and the Angkor temples. Kata Tran customized a tour based on our interests (and not only kept in touch with us via WhatsApp during our visit but also took the time to meet us in Hanoi), the local guides were knowledgeable and spoke excellent English, and the drivers delivered us safely to our destinations (no small feat given the often challenging traffic patterns) and kept us hydrated. Highlights were the Hanoi street food tour with Trang, visiting the Ba Na Hills Golden Bridge with Snow, biking through rice fields with Toan and a cooking class at the Kumquat Hoi An restaurant, crawling through Cu Chi tunnels and exploring Saigon and the Can Tho floating markets with Hiep, and ascending to the “Heaven” level of Angkor Wat with the assistance of Mister Pasquale.
We wanted a trip for 2 of us, somewhat last minute, and didn’t feel like putting in all the effort to plan it. Hien skyped with us and put together a trip that was AMAZING. We loved Cambodia, but suggest 2 half-day tours of the temples instead of one or two all-day tours. You will get templed-out. Everything will blur together. Definitely try The Bug Cafe. It’s definitely something to talk about later. Our favorite city in Vietnam was Hoi An and we wouldn’t have thought of it if it wasn’t for Hien. Bring your favorite dress and they will remake it for you in 48 hours, buy leather, and try all the delicious food. We highly suggest adding on a cooking class or a lantern class. Hien even came and met up with us at the end of our trip to meet with us personally.
All excellent. Fantastic travel agent. Elena was fantastic and very kind. A great professional. No doubt highly recommended.
"Very enjoyable tour by Indochina Pioneer!"
Used agent Lizzie who looked after us very well from start to finish. We wanted boutique hotels with pools as like to steer clear of large multinationals and each one selected was superb. We had done our research prior so knew where we wanted to stay so Indochina Pioneer was flexible. Coming from NZ, we found Halong Bay disappointing – polluted water and too many boats. But loved Luang Prabang, Laos just a 45 min flight from Hanoi. It was the highlight for us. No large tour groups & lovely colonial French architecture. Quieter than Viet’s hot spots. Buddhist culture, elephant conservation, serene waterfalls.
Lizzie kept in touch the whole way & adapted our itinerary as requested. Our guides in Hanoi and Laos were excellent. Use a Vietnam based agent like Indochina Pioneer to plan your land content. Nothing beats the local knowledge and back up if things go wrong. Thanks Lizzie & Indochina Pioneer for a great trip.
"Fulfilled Promises – Use Indochina Pioneer when traveling to Asia"
For about a month, I solo traveled through Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia and enjoyed the most beautiful trips of my life. Although nervous about doing this trip alone, Mr. Lam Duong promised my safety came first. Each guide in each city took care of me like I was family. Everywhere I went throughout SE Asia, the guides and the locals make you feel at home. The sights are one thing, but the culture is true beauty. I had a blast every single day knowing I was safe, and knowing that I had a full itinerary every day. Each guide was flexible to the itinerary as well. If you are ever planning on traveling to Asia, I 100% recommend using Indochina Pioneer. My itinerary was fantastic, my guides took care of me, and the hotels were beautiful. Thank you again for all of your help Lam!
Must See Destinations: Hoi An, Sapa, Siem Reap, Luang Prabang.
Simon TeevanSaudi Arabia
"10 out of 10!"
Just back from a fantastic 2 weeks in Cambodia & Vietnam, all organised by the fantastic Kata Tran in Indochina Pioneer. Cannot recommend them highly enough. They gave us great options from which to choose in terms of places to visit, hotels to stay in, tours to take, etc. And, they were very flexible regarding any changes we wanted to make. All guides were great – all locals with great English and very knowledgeable. 10 out of 10!