Experience the contrasts of Myanmar in just five days with this adventure in Yangon and the Shan State. Highlights include a visit to glittering Shwedagon Pagoda and the bustling street markets of the capital, interaction with ethnic groups in the town of Pindaya, a day trekking in the highlands, and a bike ride along the shores of Inle Lake.

Highlights

  • Discover Shwedagon Pagoda from a local's perspective
  • Enjoy the beauty and diversity of the Shan State with a trek in Pindaya
  • Bike along the shores of Inle Lake to the stupa-covered hills of Indein
  • Dine on traditional Inthar dishes in a family home on Inle Lake
  • Explore Inle Lake's villages and gardens by boat

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Yangon Arrival & Downtown Exploring Yangon
Day 2 Yangon: Explore Shwedagon Pagoda- Fly to Heho and on to Pindaya Pindaya
Day 3 Pindaya: Trek Highland Villages - Drive to Inle Lake Nyaung Shwe
Day 4 Inle Lake: Bike & Boat Nyaung Shwe
Day 5 Fly to Yangon; International Departure  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Yangon Arrival & Downtown Exploring

Colorful apartment buildings in Yangon
Colorful apartment buildings in Yangon

Welcome to Myanmar! After clearing customs at Yangon International Airport, your guide will be waiting to greet you. Transfer into town (30-50 minutes depending on traffic) and check in to your hotel.

In the afternoon, discover the diversity of downtown with its colonial buildings, leafy side streets, and bustling markets. Learn about the fascinating history of the city and get a taste for its modern side by popping into a tea shop popular with locals. After sipping a cup of sweet tea and sampling regional snacks, board Yangon's Circular Train, a slow-moving commuter train that takes you through several city neighborhoods.

Day 2: Yangon: Explore Shwedagon Pagoda - Fly to Heho and transfer to Pindaya

Colonial architecture is characteristic of several of Myanmar's cities

Spend an insightful morning in and around Myanmar’s most holy site: Shwedagon Pagoda. More than just seeing the monument, this insider's excursion will teach you about the beliefs of the Myanmar people. After lunch, transfer to Yangon airport for a late afternoon flight to Heho. Your Shan guide will be waiting to greet you for the scenic drive to Pindaya, a small town in the hills. 

Day 3: Pindaya: Trek Highland Villages - Drive to Inle Lake

Buddha statues in the caves of Pindaya
Buddha statues in the caves of Pindaya

Hit the trails and spend a full day trekking around Pindaya. Pass by tea plantations, fruit orchids and more as you wind your way higher in hills. Along the way, you will explore villages inhabited by the Danu people, getting a chance to learn about their customs and traditions.

After lunch, return to town along a different path, arriving mid-afternoon. Make a quick visit to Pindaya's Caves, a maze-like limestone cavern filled with thousands of Buddha statues, then continue by car to Nyaung Shwe, the nearest town to Inle Lake

Day 4: Inle Lake: Bike & Boat

A traditional fishing boat on Inle Lake
A traditional fishing boat on Inle Lake

Enjoy breakfast at your hotel before setting off on a full-day discovery of Inle Lake by bike and boat. Pedal from your hotel through Nyaung Shwe, stopping near the northern canal to see longtail boats unloading piles of tomatoes that will then be sorted and distributed throughout the country. Continue riding out of town, passing by a stretch of rice paddies before turning south toward the village of Indein. The road passes by several small villages, giving you the opportunity to see what life is like for those who live on the shores of Inle Lake.

When you reach Indein, hop off the bike. Explore the stupa-covered hills of this charming village, then board a boat to head out on to Inle Lake. Cruise past villages built on stilts and floating gardens, getting a chance to learn about the life and culture of the lake’s residents. You may wish to visit workshops where natives make hand-woven silks and fabrics using the fibers of the lotus flower. Alternatively, visit Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda.

A special lunch is arranged in a family house at mid-day day. Later in the afternoon, return to the shores of Nyaung Shwe and enjoy a short bike ride back to the hotel.

Day 5: Fly to Yangon; International Departure

Say farewell to the Shan State this morning. Transfer to the Heho airport and board a domestic flight to Yangon, where you'll connect to your international destination.

Connect onwards to your international flight.