Get ready to experience the wonders of Myanmar. Featuring encounters with native tribes and peaceful bike rides through rice paddies, this two-week trip takes you to Mandalay, Bagan, Inle Lake, and Yangon, wrapping up with a beach break at Ngapali, one of Southeast Asia's most beautiful stretches of shoreline.

Highlights

  • Learn to cook regional dishes at a cooking class in Bagan
  • Peer into the caves of Pindaya to see gilded Buddha statues
  • Explore the floating gardens and stilted villages of Inle Lake on a boat
  • Kick back on the white sand at Ngapali Beach

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival in Yangon Yangon
Day 2 Yangon: Discover the city on foot, by car & by train Yangon
Day 3 Yangon: Explore Magical Shwedagon Pagoda- Fly to Bagan Bagan
Day 4 Bagan: Full Day exploring Ancient Temples Bagan
Day 5 Bagan: Cooking Class & Free Afternoon Bagan
Day 6 Fly to Mandalay- City Highlights Mandalay
Day 7 Mandalay - Visit Mingun, Afternoon at Leisure Mandalay
Day 8 Fly to Heho - Drive to Pindaya & Inle Lake Inle Lake
Day 9 Inle lake: Full day by boat Inle Lake
Day 10 Inle Lake- Heho- Fly to Thandwe Ngapali
Day 11 Ngapali Beach: Sea, Sun and Sand Ngapali
Day 12 Ngapali Beach: Sea, Sun and Sand Ngapali
Day 13 Ngapali: Morning at Leisure, Fly to Yangon Yangon
Day 14 Yangon: International Departure  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Yangon

A nighttime scene in Yangon
A nighttime scene in Yangon

Welcome to Myanmar! Upon landing at the Yangon International Airport, your guide will be waiting to greet you and transfer you into the city.

Day 2: Yangon: Discover the city by foot, by car and train

Sightseeing in Yangon

Set off for a full day exploring the former capital of Yangon with an expert local guide. First, you'll explore the diversity of downtown with its colonial buildings, leafy side streets, and bustling street markets. Pop into the famed Strand Hotel for a drink before returning to the riverside to check out the action along the Yangon River.

During the day, you will also visit Sule Pagoda, the city’s tranquil lakes, and stop for lunch before an afternoon trip on the city’s 'Circular Train’, a commuter train that slowly moves around the city, offering plenty of opportunities to observe local ways of life.

Day 3: Yangon: Explore Magical Shwedagon Pagoda - Fly to Bagan

Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar
Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar

Spend an insightful morning in and around Myanmar’s most holy site: Shwedagon Pagoda. You'll learn about the beliefs of the Myanmar people on a guided tour of the site.

After lunch, continue to the airport for a domestic flight to Bagan. Your guide and driver will be waiting to greet you and transfer you to your hotel.

Day 4: Bagan: Full Day Exploring Ancient Temples

Photo taken by Tack S
One of Bagan's many temples

Spend a full day exploring the UNESCO Heritage Site of Bagan with your local guide. With thousands of temples and other religious monuments to discover, today is sure to be one of the highlights of your journey through Myanmar.

The day's visits can be done by car or electric bike. Your visits will be tailored to your personal interest, but are sure to include the most famous monuments and some lesser-known sites.  If you wish, there is also time to stop in a lacquerware workshop to see this labor-intensive craft being made by hand.

Day 5: Bagan: Cooking Class & Free Afternoon

Home cooked lunch at May's house
Take a cooking class in a local home

Start the morning with a cooking class hosted by an inspiring local cook. You'll depart early from your hotel for the drive to New Bagan Market to meet your host. Together, you will shop for ingredients for lunch. From there, it's a short walk to the host’s family home, including a chance to see what life is like beyond Bagan's temple-filled plains. 

Spend the morning cooking and chatting, as you learn about the local culture and culinary secrets of Myanmar. After lunch, return to the hotel for a swim or siesta to skip the midday heat. The rest of the day is at your leisure.

Day 6: Fly to Mandalay - City Highlights

Kuthodaw Pagoda, Mandalay
Kuthodaw Pagoda, Mandalay

An early morning flight takes you to Mandalay, the last royal capital. On the drive into town, stop at Mahamuni Pagoda, home to one of Myanmar's most famous Buddha images. Explore an area filled with artisan shops—you'll see marble carving, bronze casting, and more, learning about the techniques used to create these local crafts.  

Then head to a local tea shop for a chance to sample traditional Mandalay dishes and sweet tea. After checking in to your hotel, explore Kuthodaw Pagoda, a collection of engraved marble slabs referred to as the ‘World's Biggest Book’ and Shwe Nandaw Kyaung, the last remaining building of the Royal Palace. If you wish, head to the top of Mandalay Hill to watch the sunset.

Day 7: Mandalay - Visit Mingun, Afternoon at Leisure

Mingun pagoda, Myanmar
Mingun pagoda, Myanmar

This morning, join your guide and travel to the banks of the Irrawaddy River to board a private boat to Mingun. Cruise for an hour along Myanmar's largest river, enjoying the views along the way. Upon reaching Mingun, go ashore to see the remarkable sites built by King Bodawpaya. A walking tour takes you to Mingun Paya, a massive bell, and the white-washed Hsinbyume Pagoda. Return to the boat and cruise back to town, stopping for lunch at a riverside cafe.

Day 8: Fly to Heho - Drive to Pindaya & Inle Lake

The Shan Hills, one of Myanmar's most scenic regions

It’s an early start this morning for a domestic flight to Heho. You will depart the big city and fly southeast to the Shan Hills, one of the most beautiful parts of Myanmar. Upon landing, your Shan local guide will be waiting to escort you to the car. Take the scenic road for the drive into Pindaya, stopping to take photos of the patchwork-quilt style farms. If you're lucky, you'll see hill tribe farmers in their traditional dress.

Pindaya is a charming town inhabited by the Danu, Pa Oh and Shan ethnic groups. Visit the Pindaya Caves, ancient limestone caverns filled with thousands of Buddha statues. If you wish, you can also visit a local workshop making traditional umbrellas and paper by hand. Then return to the car and drive to Inle Lake to check in to your hotel on the lake's shores.

Day 9: Inle lake: Full day by boat

Traditional fishing methods on Inle Lake

Your guide will greet you at the hotel after breakfast. Take a short walk to the hotel jetty and board a wooden motorboat for a full day's excursion on Inle Lake. 

Explore villages built on stilts and floating gardens, getting a chance to learn about the life and culture of the lake’s residents. Stop into workshops to see local artisans making hand-woven silks and fabrics with the fibers of the lotus flower, then visit Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda where you can join local devotees as they come to pay homage to this sacred site.

Day 10: Inle Lake - Heho - Fly to Thandwe

White sandy coastline on Ngapali Beach
White sandy coastline on Ngapali Beach

After breakfast, transfer to the Heho airport for your flight to Thandwe, the nearest airport to Ngapali Beach.

A representative from your hotel will greet you and transfer you to the hotel for check-in. Relax for the rest of the afternoon at the hotel or on the beach.

Days 11 & 12: Ngapali Beach: Sea, Sun and Sand

Sunset at Ngapali Beach
Sunset at Ngapali Beach

The next two days are free at your leisure to enjoy beautiful Ngapali Beach. You can book a snorkeling or diving trip through the hotel or one of the many vendors on the beach, go for a bike ride to nearby villages, sunbathe on the sand, or relax in a hammock.

Note that underwater life is very colorful here. The pristine Pearl Island is especially worthy of a visit. The sands are sparkling white, the water amazingly clear, and the water is warm. If you already thought Ngapali Beach was chilled out and unspoiled, you're in for a treat on Pearl Island! There's only one restaurant/bar on the island, but you should make time to enjoy a drink there.

Day 13: Ngapali: Morning at Leisure, Fly to Yangon

 Yangon City Hall
 Yangon City Hall

The morning is free at leisure until it is time to depart. Sleep in and enjoy a leisurely breakfast before your hotel provides a transfer to the Thandwe Airport.

Once landing in Yangon, you will be picked up by a driver and taken to your hotel for check-in. Take some time to explore the city at night and go out for dinner and drinks. 

Day 14: Yangon: International Departure

Today, you'll say goodbye to Myanmar. Your driver will collect you in time to transfer to the international airport for your onward flight. Safe travels!