On this 10-day tour of Myanmar, learn about the history and culture of this Southeast Asian gem. Begin in Yangon to visit colonial streets, markets, and Shwedagon Pagoda. Next, fly to Bagan to explore the ancient temples—there are more than 2,000, total—and enjoy a cooking class hosted by a local cook. Then, check in to the eco-friendly Arakan Nature Lodge in Gwa, and enjoy the beach. The trip concludes in Ngapali Beach, with its iconic palm trees and fresh seafood.

Highlights

  • Explore the local markets, colonial buildings, and Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon
  • Tour the ancient temples and take a cooking class in Bagan
  • Go snorkeling in the blue waters surrounding the Arakan Nature Lodge
  • Mingle with the friendly locals and take in the sunsets along Ngapali Beach

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival in Yangon Yangon
Day 2 Yangon - City Tour Yangon
Day 3 Fly to Bagan and Explore the Ancient Temples Bagan
Day 4 Bagan - Cooking Class and Sunset Irrawaddy Cruise Bagan
Day 5 Fly to Thandwe and Transfer to Arakan Nature Lodge Gwa
Day 6 Arakan Nature Lodge - Free Day Gwa
Day 7 Arakan Nature Lodge - Free Day Gwa
Day 8 Drive to Ngapali Beach Ngapali
Day 9 Ngapali Beach - Free Day Ngapali
Day 10 Departure From Yangon  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Yangon

Welcome to Myanmar!
Welcome to Myanmar!

Welcome to Myanmar! The holiday begins in Yangon, the country’s former capital and largest city. A guide will greet you at the arrivals terminal and transfer you into town to check-in.

There are no planned activities today, giving you time to recover from your international flight.

Day 2: Yangon - City tour

Colonial buildings in Yangon
Colonial buildings in Yangon

Embark on a morning tour of the former capital of Yangon with an expert, local guide. Experience Southeast Asia and its rich blend of heritage, culture, and charm.

Explore the diversity of downtown with its colonial buildings, leafy side streets, and bustling street markets. Learn the stories behind some of the colorful facades and gain a deeper understanding of the recent changes in daily life for Yangon residents. Pop into the famed Strand Hotel for a cup of tea or coffee before returning to the riverside to check out the action along the Yangon River. 

During the day, visit Sule Pagoda, the city’s tranquil lakes, and enjoy a lunch of local flavors. A ride on the slow-moving commuter train will also be included in the tour, giving you a chance to see quieter, residential corners of Yangon.

At the end of the tour, return to your hotel, and enjoy the evening at your leisure.

Day 3: Fly to Bagan and explore the ancient temples

Sunrise over Bagan
Sunrise over Bagan

Wake up early and transfer to the airport for a morning flight to Bagan. Upon arrival, your local guide will be waiting to greet you.

Spend a full day exploring the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Bagan. With more than 2,000 temples and other religious monuments to discover, today is pegged as one of the major highlights of your journey through Myanmar.

The day's visits can be done by car or electric scooters, which allow you to access some of the smaller laneways that cross the temple plains. Stops will be tailored to personal interests but will include the most famous monuments and some lesser-known sites. There is also time to stop in a lacquerware workshop to see the labor-intensive craft being made by hand.

Following the day of exploration, the evening in Bagan is at your leisure.

Day 4: Bagan - Cooking class and sunset Irrawaddy cruise

Home cooked lunch at May's house
Take a cooking class with a Bagan chef

Start the morning with a cooking class hosted by an inspiring local cook. Around 07:30 am, depart from your hotel for the drive to New Bagan Market to meet your host. Together, you will shop for ingredients for lunch. Then, 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 feasting on your dishes at lunch, return to the hotel for a swim or siesta to skip the midday heat. Late in the afternoon, head to the banks of the Irrawaddy River for a private sunset cruise with cocktails and local snacks. Enjoy watching life unfold on the river as the sun begins its descent.

Day 5: Fly to Thandwe and transfer to Arakan Nature Lodge

Thandwe
Thandwe

Transfer to Bagan airport after breakfast for the flight to Thandwe. Upon landing and exiting the airport, a hotel representative will greet you and transfer you to Arakan Nature Lodge. The drive takes 3-3.5 hours and passes through farmland and small coastal villages. Upon reaching Arakan Nature Lodge, a late lunch will be served.

Following lunch, take some time to relax on the secluded and quiet beach. The evening is at your leisure, as well.  

Day 6: Arakan Nature Lodge - Free Day

Arakan Lodge
Arakan Nature Lodge

Enjoy a free day relaxing on the beach. Laze on a hammock with a good book, or take a walk along the water. Perhaps enjoy snorkeling, standup paddleboarding, or kayaking, depending on your preference.

The evening will be at your leisure, as well.

Day 7: Arakan Nature Lodge - Free Day

Sunset over the beach in Myanmar
Sunset over the beach in Myanmar

Today is another free day at your leisure. Feel free to kick back and relax on the beach, or enjoy the water via snorkeling and paddling.

Enjoy the evening at your leisure, before departing the Arakan region tomorrow.

Day 8: Drive to Ngapali Beach

Blue skies and swaying palms at Ngapali Beach
The iconic palm trees in Ngapali Beach

After a leisurely morning at Arakan Lodge, pack up and transfer to Ngapali Beach, which is a 3-3.5-hour drive. Check into your seaside hotel, and then the rest of the day will be at your leisure.

Enjoy the blue water and soft, white sand along the 4.3-mile beach stretch. Ngapali Beach is known as one of the most iconic beaches in the region. Feel free to rent a bicycle to tour the area early in the day—before the heat of the afternoon sets in. If you’d like to do some biking at sunset, low tide makes it possible to bike along the actual sand.

Following some exploration, enjoy the evening on your own.

Day 9: Ngapali Beach - Free day

Sunset at Ngapali Beach
Sunset at Ngapali Beach

Today is also at your leisure to continue exploring Ngapali Beach. Go snorkeling to get acquainted with the underwater marine life In addition, you can take a boat tour to a local fishing island—and do some snorkeling there. You can also mingle with the friendly locals and buy fresh fruit from the women. Take in the views of the iconic palm trees—and snap some photos—and bookmark the incredible sunset.

For lunch and/or dinner, be sure to indulge in fresh seafood, including fish, calamari and shrimp.

Day 10: Departure from Yangon

Sunset at Ngapali
Farewell, Myanmar!

After breakfast, transfer to the Thandwe Airport for your flight to Yangon. Upon arrival, make your way to the international airport for your onward flight home. Shuttle buses or taxis are available and are recommended for international flights departing after 4 pm. Safe Travels!

Map

Map of Explore Myanmar: Yangon, Bagan, Gwa, & Ngapali - 10 Days
Map of Explore Myanmar: Yangon, Bagan, Gwa, & Ngapali - 10 Days