- 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 the Mandalay Hill.
Overnight in Mandalay
Mandalay City tourDay 2
Visit Mahamuni Pagoda, the second most sacred image in Myanmar next to the Shwedagon Pagoda. Contine 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 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 villageof 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 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 is 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 is 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 most holy 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 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 are met and transferred to the hotel in down town to check in.
After a short rest you will enjoyed a guide tour of this fascinating city. Visit the famous Chauk Htat Kyi, home to a 70-meter long reclining Buddha. The feet of the statue are carved with traditional symbols and often many locals gather here to pay homage and pray.
Next is 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 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.
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 email@example.com 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.
"It truly was an amazing experience"
For my husband’ birthday he wanted a trip to Vietnam. From north to south, Indochina Pioneer took care of everything. We had wonderful tour guides, and the trip kept getting better, and better. Something we couldn’t imagine, as each destination was amazing. Our hotels were great, food was awesome, and the culture we received was something we will never forget. Our tour guides, Mr. Tony in Ha Noi, Ms. Lindh in Hoi An, and Mr. Som in Ho Chi Minh City, were the best! I cannot imagine seeing and doing all we did without their guidance. It truly was an amazing experience!
"The tour was excellent"
We asked Lam at Indochina Pioneer to arrange a tour for 2 couples that would include a week in Cambodia, a week in Laos and 2 weeks in the northern part of Vietnam. We had done the southern part of Vietnam 2 years ago. We were not disappointed.
The tour was excellent, we had a private mini bus with driver and an English speaking guide, that was from each area we visited. All flights, pickup / drop off at of each the airports within these countries was arranged by our tour representative, as well as hotels and any admission to tourist sites.
The tours were very impressive, we got to see the so many great attractions from amazing ancient heritage sites to country and mountain vistas.
There were no hiccups in our time touring these countries, everything flowed smoothly, and we were in control of our time. If we had seen enough temples for that day then we would cut it short and pick something else to see or just call it a day. The guide and drivers were very flexible to meet our needs.
We have passed on Lam’s name and Indochina Pioneer contact data to several friends, and 1 couple has used them recently to visit Thailand and Vietnam and after talking with them they were very impressed with the service.
I am sure we will be using Lam again in the future.
"Enjoy the Indochina Pioneer Experience"
I have used this company twice to book a trip to Viet Nam and a 2nd trip to Viet Nam and Cambodia.
I have also recommended this company to many local friends. I was so happy and pleased with meeting my agent Kata Tran. She is wonderful person, extremely organized and so trustworthy. All of the recommendations that I made to friends were also thrilled with Kata’s service and the professionalism of Indochina Pioneer.
Not only do they provide competitive prices but they have private drivers and guides who are locals. As a result, tourists get a local perspective from very well trained professional guides. The accommodations, food and cars were top notch. Please don’t miss the Indochina Pioneer experience you will not be disappointed.
"An amazing trip"
In my younger years I spent months backpacking on the cheap around Asia. I now have more money, less time and a family. I found Indochina Pioneer on-line and contacted Mr Lam for our recent trip to Cambodia. He was full of information, answered all of my many questions, suggested great ideas, incorporated my changes and organised all smoothly.
I wanted airport transfers and to organise hotels before we left. Mr Lam suggested a range of hotels to choose from all of which were good. Internal transfers and flights were also organised. We only wanted tours for Angkor Wat and The Killing Fields which Mr Lam arranged. Our other days were left free for us to choose what we wanted. The tour consisted of myself, my husband and twin sons which was perfect. The tour guides were knowledgeable and helpful, as were the drivers.
Mr Lam suggested we get a speed boat from Chau Doc, Vietnam to Phnom Penh up the Mekong River which was a great way to travel. The crocodile farm on the way was well worth the lunch stop.
I would recommend Indochina Pioneer as a great tour company for families. My in-laws are travelling with them later in the year. I am currently planning another trip to Laos using Indochina Pioneer again.
For someone who doesn’t like or do package tours having a private tour for my family was just perfect.
Chris CLas Vegas, United States
"Family Fun in Thailand"
Amazing Vietnam private tour
We stayed in Bangkok (3 Nights), Chiang Rai (1 Night), Chiang Mai (3 Nights) and had a guide the entire trip from the airport for pick up in Bangkok to the airport on departure in Chiang Mai. The tour was very well put together and Lam with Indochina Pioneer was more than accommodating to our changes for what probably seemed like a million back and forth emails. Aurora (our guide in Bangkok) was absolutely amazing, not only for us, but also our children (3 and 7). everything we mentioned she made sure we did or at least knew how to do it when we were done for the day with our tour. Our guide in Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai (Tree) was also amazing in showing us more than we could have imagined in Northern Thailand.
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!
"Amazing Vietnam private tour"
This is the 1st time we’ve been to Vietnam and we absolutely love it.
Big thanks to Kata (our tour organiser), who has been very accommodating to our requests. The tour was well organised and everything flowed smoothly.
We stayed in Hanoi (2 nights), Halong Bay (1 night) and Hoi an (2 nights), wished we could have stayed longer. Great hotels with delicious breakfast, excellent halong bay cruise and friendly tour guides (Tony from Hanoi and Snow from Danang) and drivers.
Big thumps up to Indochina Pioneer.
"Fantastic trip amazing service"
Fantastic trip from start to finish. All our expectations were met and exceeded from the moment we booked the trip with Mr Lam to our last day.
We had one minor problem during our stay and it was sorted immediately with profession
And made our trip the most memorable holiday ever.
Mr Lam customised our trip to suit us and we loved all of our guides and drivers.
We were even lucky enough to be invited to the companies end of year party and got to meet everyone who made our holiday so special. I can’t recommend this company enough and that’s something coming from someone in the tourist industry. Well done indoctrination pioneer.
Hermish KumarUnited Kingdom
"Wonderful stress free tour of Vietnam"
We had such a great holiday with Indochina Pioneer.The whole trip was so much fun and we saw and experienced so many beautiful things. Our guides were great Viet in Hanoi was superb – he spoke and understood English really well and took us to some different local places as we had discussed with him Yao in Sapa also spoke and understood good English and was really helpful on the trek
Banh in Hoi An / Hue had good English and was very informative
Sam in Ho Chi Minh had average English but he is so knowledgeable, helpful and easy to be with.
Pascal in Cambodia was really great and took us to some great locations for different photo opportunities
The hotels were also very good.
Boss Legend Hanoi – great
Sapa – rooms were a bit cold and we had to request a heater but much better the second night
Halong Bay – a fantastic trip would have loved to have stayed for longer!
Hoi An – lovely modern hotel – superb location
Hue – originally we declined a room on the 9th floor which we had been told would be noisy and were given a room on floor 6 – this was dark and we were moved the next day to a balcony room on floor 8 which was perfect.
Ho Chi Minh – lovely hotel and location
Siem Reap – lovely hotel and pool area
Overall everything Indochina Pioneer had booked for us went really smoothly and made our trip so enjoyable
We have already passed your details on to several friends back in the UK who are also contemplating a trip to Vietnam
I hope we will be able to use ICP services again on our future trips to Myanmar, Laos and China
"Our fantastic Vietnam trip with Indochina Pioneer"
A couple of our close friends, my wife and I were planning to visit Vietnam for a while, but were not sure if we should do this on our own, or to use one of the travel agencies in Vietnam. A month or two later, a friend of my wife mentioned that she has just come back from Vietnam, used Indochina Pioneer to advise her on the itinerary and get trip organized. She told us she was totally impressed with them. Before contacting Nam Duong, we did some research and were fully impressed, as Indochina Pioneer’s reviews were outstanding. To make long story short, we asked Nam to prepare the itinerary for a two weeks tour of Vietnam. The response was prompt, we loved Nam’s proposal and two weeks later we were on our way.
Everything from the pickup at the airport, hotel choice, vehicles and especially the team of local guides were superb! We spent two weeks sightseeing and learning the history of Vietnam while visiting Saigon and Mekong delta, Hue, Hoi An, Danang, Hanoi and Ha Long Bay. We took millions of pictures and left with unforgettable memories of wonderful people we met during our trip and are grateful to Nam Duong and his team for getting this organized. We strongly recommend Indochina Pioneer. They did absolutely superb job. Thank you, Nam and your team!