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Trip Extensions

Ngapali Beach

Duration: 4 days

Myanmar, in addition to its fantastic culture, also offers beautiful beaches that are great for relaxation and sunbathing. This beach extension takes you to the lovely Sandoway Resort on Ngapali Beach located on the Bay of Bengal. This is an isolated... read more

Day 1: arrive yangon

The market is a great way to see the local interactionsThe market is a great way to see the local interactions

Mingalabar and welcome to Myanmar! The former capital Yangon, also known as Rangoon, is Myanmar's largest city as well as the country's most important commercial hub and gateway for most of its international visitors. Its colonial background and religious legacy make it one of the most mesmerizing and genuine places in all of Southeast Asia. Upon arrival at the airport, you will be warmly welcomed and transferred to you hotel for check in.

Your hotel is located on the shores of the tranquil Kandawgyi (Royal) Lake which is surrounded by a lovely nature park. The park is a great place to take an evening stroll or an early morning jog.

Meals
None
Lodging
Kandawgyi Palace Hotel or similar

Day 2: markets, reclining buddha, and shwedagon

Buddhist temples are an important part of the cultureBuddhist temples are an important part of the culture

After breakfast, you’ll be met in the hotel lobby and taken downtown to begin your tour on Mahanbandola Road where the Immanuel Baptist Church, originally built in 1830, is located. You'll pass a couple of alleyways crammed with food stalls and markets selling second-hand and photocopied books followed by the High Court Building, the grand Inland Water Transport offices and even grander Myanma Port Authority building. Also walk past the Customs House and the Law Court, an impressive-looking colonnaded building and the twice rebuilt City Hall.

This afternoon, visit Botataung Pagoda, a famous pagoda that was first built by the Mon around the same time as the Shwedagon and thought to contain a sacred hair of Gautama Buddha. Next, visit Chaukhtetkyi to see the reclining Buddha, one of the most revered reclining Buddha images in the country. It is one of the largest Buddha images in Myanmar at 217 feet long. 

Before returning to your hotel, visit  the magnificent Shwedagon Pagoda where many local Buddhists come to worship each morning. Witness the colors transform on the 325 foot-high chedi which is literally enclosed in over 40 tons of gold leaf. Shwedagon is largely considered to be the most important religious site for the Burmese. 

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch
Lodging
Kandawgyi Palace Hotel or similar

Day 3: yangon's city life

City of YangonCity of Yangon

Today you will have the opportunity to get a glimpse into the daily activities of the locals that make Yangon their home. Your guide will meet you at the hotel and transfer you to Yangon’s Central Station. Embark upon the local “Circular Train”, which runs from Yangon’s main railway station around various neighborhoods in town as well as the borders surrounding the city itself. This train travels at a deliberately slow pace, which provides you with time to really enjoy your surroundings and get a clear overview of the city (train ride is about 20-30 minutes. Please note that these trains are very simple, and are used by many locals during the day. Disembark at Kyee Myin Daine station, one of the most beautiful station buildings remaining in Yangon. From here you’ll take a short 10-minute walk through a local neighborhood. At this hour of the morning you will find a vibrant hive of activities with children heading off to school, folks grabbing a bowl of noodles on their way to work and nuns and monks collecting alms door to door. This middle-class neighborhood allows you to get a glimpse into the lives of the locals. Continue on to the Shan Road market where you will find interesting merchandise. Walk among the stalls filled with colorful fruits, green vegetables and fresh meat while chatting with friendly vendors. When you are finished you’ll return by car to the city via the main road. After a lunch break at a local restaurant, return to your hotel where the rest of the afternoon is free.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch
Lodging
Kandawgyi Palace Hotel or similar

Day 4: flight to heho & drive to kalaw

Children passing the time on the farmChildren passing the time on the farm

After breakfast you will be transferred to the airport for your domestic flight to Heho. From here, proceed by road to Kalaw, a hill station founded by the British civil servants fleeing the heat of the plains. Today, Kalaw still feels like a holiday resort - clean air, calm atmosphere, leafy and green streets and some of the best trekking characterize this unique settlement. Spend some time exploring Kalaw's colonial buildings, built by the British in the early 20th century and the market. Visit Pinmagon Monastery, which houses the famous Nee Paya (Bamboo Buddha) image, thought to have been built during the Ava period some 500 years ago. Also visit Anglican Church, which was one of the many buildings built by the British in the 1900's followed by the historical Kalaw Railway Station. 

Check-in at the Kalaw Hill Lodge, a charming lodge tucked away in 30 acres of land along the hillside of the Shan Plateau. This is an ideal location for those who enjoy nature and peaceful surroundings. The lodge even grows its own organic vegetables from the garden. The rooms are architecturally influenced by the local mud-house style and are built in harmony with the environment. Each room is equipped with modern amenities along with a fire-place and private balcony offering breathtaking views of the Blue Mountains. 

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Kalaw Hill Lodge or similar

Day 5: elephant camp

Learn how to interact with the elephantsLearn how to interact with the elephants

After breakfast, continue on to the Green Hill Valley  Elephant Camp in Magwe village (drive takes about 45 minutes). Upon arrival, a specialist guide from the camp will greet you and transfer you to the main camp base. Enjoy a welcome drink while you're briefed on the days activities and the history of the elephants in Myanmar. Then embark on a short walk to reforestation project set up by the camp and local villagers. The elephants will most likely be enjoying a refreshing swim in the stream and you can join in the bathing of these gentle animals. Enjoy a picnic lunch at the camp followed by the chance to explore around the forest area to spot the butterflies, birds, and orchids within the conservation area. Afterwards, say good-bye to the elephants and mahouts and return to your hotel for dinner.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Kalaw Hill Lodge or similar

Day 6: kalaw & inle lake

Stilt house on Inle LakeStilt house on Inle Lake

After breakfast, visit a local Buddhist monastery and visit a library donated by the lodge and interact with locals over a cup of tea. From here you'll walk to Nanthe (Nepalese) village where you'll have the chance to explore and visit a household that makes rice and plum wine. You'll even have the opportunity to taste some plum wine! Return by minivan to Kalaw to complete this unique experience.

This afternoon, head out to Pindaya Caves, a Buddhist pilgrimage sit located on a limestone ridge. There are thousands of Buddha images in various shapes and styles and from different eras from the early Konbaung dynasty to the present. From here, continue on to Nyaung Shwe, gateway village to Inle Lake and board a private motorboat for a ride out onto Inle Lake, one of Myanmar’s most spectacular and breathtaking sights. Its calm waters are dotted with floating vegetation and fishing canoes, with scenic hills providing the perfect backdrop. Arrive at your hotel for dinner and overnight. Overnight stay in Inle Lake.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch
Lodging
Pristine Lotus or similar

Day 7: inle lake

Inle Lake at sunsetInle Lake at sunset

In the morning, board a wooden motorized boat and head out onto Inle Lake. Pay a visit to the lake’s morning market (the market is open every day apart from dark moon and full moon calendar days). The market’s location rotates between the lake’s villages in a 5 day schedule and is also visited daily by the lake’s inhabitants as well as the surrounding natives who also come to sell and trade their wares. Along the way you will pass several villages that are built on stilts over the lake, which are inhabited by the local Intha people. Observe the daily activities of the local leg-rowing fishermen and see their "floating gardens", which are built up from strips of water hyacinth, earth and anchored to the bottom of the lake with bamboo poles.

You'll stop at the Phaungdawoo Pagoda and Nga Hpe Chaung Monastery. The Phaungdawoo Pagoda houses five small gilded images of Buddha, which have been covered in gold leaf to the point that their original shapes cannot be seen. The Nga Hope Chaung Monastery houses many early Shan Buddha Images and was once known for its "jumping cats" These days there are only a few felines roaming around and none are jumping any more. Yet the Buddha images are still worth the visit.

There are  many traditional crafts originating on Inle Lake and, if you like, you can stop for a visit to one making incredible woven items from lotus silk, boat builders (depending on the time of year), a cigar making workshop, blacksmiths or even silver smiths.

Return to your hotel where you'll have a chance to relax and freshen up before dinner.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch
Lodging
Pristine Lotus or similar

Day 8: inle lake cultural exploration

Leg rower at Inle LakeLeg rower at Inle Lake

After breakfast, head out on a one hour boat ride down a small canal to the Pa-Oh village of Indein, positioned on the western shores of Inle Lake. Take a leisurely stroll around the village before ascending the moss-covered stairway to the top of a hill. Once you’ve arrived at the summit, you will be greeted buy an iconic Buddha image which sits enshrined among hundreds of stupa ruins and overgrown shrubbery. Here, from the peak, you will also be rewarded with mesmerizing views of the placid surroundings. The Indein Pagoda complex is undoubtedly one of the most amazing sites around the shore of the lake and it consists of hundreds of small stupas which are overrun by moss and greenery. If you lake, take a 45 minute trek to Sae Ma village and enjoy the natural beauty and panoramic vistas of the area while basking under the shade of the bamboo grooves in the area. Upon arrival at the village, observe the daily lifestyles of the rural inhabitants. On your boat ride back, should time allow, you'll stop at the Inthar Heritage House to learn more about the history and culture of the lake's indigenous people and enjoy a delicious coffee and cake (snack break not included). As an exciting day comes to close transfer back to your hotel for some well deserved relaxation. Lunch will be at a local restaurant.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch
Lodging
Pristine Lotus or similar

Day 9: flight to bagan

Riverside templeRiverside temple

Breakfast will be served at your hotel before transfering to the Heho Airport (1-1.5 hr) for a short flight back to Bagan. Welcome to Bagan, known to be one of the greatest architectural sites in Asia. When Bagan was the center of Myanmar from the 11th to 13th centuries, the monarchs built multitudes of massive stupas and pagodas, scores of which are still present on the shores of the Irrawaddy River. The majesty of Bagan with more than 2,000 red brick temples on a plain of the size of Manhattan Island, is perhaps one of the highlights of your visit. Upon arrival at the airport you will be warmly welcomed and transferred to you hotel for check in. The balance of day is free at your leisure to simply relax or explore around at your own leisure. You can also opt to exxplore on your own by bicycle.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch
Lodging
The Hotel@Tharabar Gate or similar

Day 10: village visit, monuments, and ruins

Explore Bagan by horsecartExplore Bagan by horsecart

The day begins with a visit to the renowned Shwezigon Pagoda, constructed by King Anawrahta in the early 11th century as a religious memorial. Next, visit visit the Wetkyi Inn Gubyaukgyi Temple to observe the 12th century mural paintings, frescoes, and bas relief works depicting the entire life of the Buddha and his disciples. You'll also visit Ananda Temple, constructed in an earlier “Mon” style and houses two distinctive Buddha images. Their expressions appear to transform, according to the space from which the statue is seen. We will ensure that your tour reaches this point before the majority of tourist arrive, enabling you to enjoy the splendor of the temple in relative tranquility.

After lunch at a local restaurant, drive through Bagan’s countryside to a rustic village to learn about the daily life of the locals and the day with a beautiful sunset view of the entire ruins. Return to your hotel in Bagan for dinner and overnight.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch
Lodging
The Hotel@Tharabar Gate or similar

Day 11: mt. popa/bagan

Temple views at Mt. PopaTemple views at Mt. Popa

OPTIONAL - HOT AIR BALLOON RIDE OVER BAGAN ($300-350): The morning will start off with an exciting hot-air balloon ride above the Bagan countryside. You will observe one-of-a-kind views when the sun begins to rise over the Irrawaddy River and various stupas in the region. You’re simply not going to find many other opportunities like this on Earth. (Only available from November through March.)

After breakfast, depart on a two hour drive to Mt. Popa, located about 30 miles from Bagan.  Enroute, stop at a palm village along the way to learn how palm products are traditionally processed into making palm sugar, palm oil, and palm wine. Mt. Popa is thought to be the core of an extinct volcano and is considered the home of most powerful Nats (spirits) as well as an important Nat worship center. It is also a major pilgrimage site. From Mt. Popa, there are stunning views of Popa Taungkalat Monastery, which sits atop an outcrop.

Upon your return to Bagan, visit the vibrant Nyaung Oo Market where the locals come to trade fresh produce and other goods daily. 

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch
Lodging
The Hotel@Tharabar Gate or similar

Day 12: flight to mandalay & spiritual sagaing

Visit with the nuns in SagaingVisit with the nuns in Sagaing

A short flight takes you to Mandalay, the second largest city in Myanmar. This ancient royal capitals is often perceived and described in literature as "Asia at its most traditional, timeless and alluring", but those who go meet a booming and vibrant city. Despite its energy and thriving business, this is the cultural heart of Myanmar where music, dance and drama traditions are still alive.

On arrival, you'll make your way across the Irrawaddy River to Sagaing. With 600 ivory colored pagodas and monasteries, Sagaing is generally seen as the spiritual hub of Myanmar and home to around 3,000 monks and nearly 100 meditation shrines. Explore Sagaing’s local market before heading over to a small pottery village recognized for its water pots that can be found all over Myanmar. You'll observe the traditional methods of pottery making. Continue on to Sagaing Hill and visit Swan Oo Pon Nya Shin, U Min Thone Sae or Shin Pin Nan Gyaing Pagodas. Sagaing, as one of Myanmar’s most spiritual places, is perhaps the perfect location to delve into the traditional Myanmar meditation techniques. Sagaing is also home to several nunneries that receive few visitors. Their simplistic lifestyles and peaceful compounds make the nunneries a fascinating place to visit. Zay Ya Pheingyi Nunnery, home to about 160 nuns, is located up a narrow road. As a small donation you can distribute a small bowl of raw materials like tomatoes, lettuce, cabbage, etc. to the nuns while receiving a blessing chant and be rewarded with a simple, but delicious vegetarian lunch cooked by the nuns. An incredible experience while at the same time helping the nuns to ensure a brighter future! Bear in mind that the nunneries rely on donations to sustain themselves. Many of the nuns are orphans or girls from disadvantaged families who send their daughters for education and a place to live. Afterwards, transfer to your hotel located at the foot of Mandalay Hill with a view of pagodas and the Royal Palace.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch
Lodging
Mandalay Hill Resort or similar

Day 13: mingun

The impressive Mingun PagodaThe impressive Mingun Pagoda

Head off to Mandalay jetty and embark on a private boat for a relaxing one hour journey on the Irrawaddy River to Mingun. Experience the sights and sounds of Mingun, beginning with the celebrated Mingun Paya, which would have been the world’s largest if King Bodawpaya hadn’t died before it was finished. An earthquake that hit in the 1800’s, split the monument and reduced it to partial ruins. From the flat top you have a fine view of the Hsinbyume Paya, Mingun village and the river. Next, visit the gorgeous alabaster Hsinbyume Pagoda, thought to be a representation of the Sulamani Paya which, according to the Buddhist plan of the cosmos, stands atop Mount Meru (the mountain that stands at the center of the universe). See the impressive the Mingun Bell, a 90 ton bell claimed to be the world’s largest hung, uncracked working bell. Before returning to Mandalay by boat there’ll be enough time to explore the small neighborhoods throughout Mingun to see the locals weaving traditional baskets and mingle with the friendly craftsmen and vendors. Dinner will be on your own. Overnight in Mandalay.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch
Lodging
Mandalay Hill Resort or similar

Day 14: ancient cities

U Bein Teak BridgeU Bein Teak Bridge

Today you'll visit the former capitals of Ava and Amarapura. Beginning in Ava, the capital from the 14th-18th centuries, you'll cross the small river by ferry and travel in a traditional horse and carriage to the wooden Bagaya Monastery renowned for its extraordinarily elaborate woodcarvings. See the Nanmyint Watch Tower - also called “the leaning tower of Ava“ - remnants of the ancient palace and Maha Aungmye Bonzan Monastery. Continue on to Amarapura “City of Immortality” and stop at a silk weaving workshop known for their exquisite merchandise. Visit Mahagandayon Monastery, home to more than 1,000 young monks and renowned as a center for monastic study and strict religious discipline. Once the sun starts to set, you’ll want to take stroll along the legendary U Bein Bridge, built in 1782 when Amarapura was the Royal center. It spans almost 3/4 of a mile across the shallow Taungthaman Lake and is said to be the longest teakwood bridge worldwide. Enjoy this very special atmosphere as the late afternoon sun casts long shadows and illuminates the local people heading home. Return to your hotel in Mandalay for the night.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch
Lodging
Mandalay Hill Resort or similar

Day 15: mandalay/onward

Leave Myanmar with fond memoriesLeave Myanmar with fond memories

Time permitting, spend the morning doing some last-minute sightseeing or shopping before you are transferred to the airport for your onward  flight. Journeys services end.

Meals
Breakfast
Lodging
None

Price and Date Details

Land Cost:
$3,950
- $4,500
Group size 4+: $3950 Group size 2-3: $4500 Plus domestic flights within Myanmar: $350 (estimated) Optional Balloon Ride Over Bagan: $300 (standard service)
Single Supplement:
$1,250
The single supplement is applicable if a roommate is not available or if single accommodation is specifically requested. While single accommodation is not available on all trips, we will try and honor this request whenever possible.
Privately on Request
Nov 1-15, 2016
Jan 23-Feb 6, 2017
Nov 6-20, 2017

Need to Know

Duration:
15 days
The number of days, or duration, in a destination corresponds with the itinerary as published. This is the time period covered by the land cost.
Comfort Level:
●●●○○
(see full descriptions)
Superior 4-5 star hotels
Activity Level:
●○○○○
(see full descriptions)
Easy walking & vehicle travel
Group Size:
2-12
The stated range indicates minimum required for guaranteed departure and maximum accepted on the scheduled dates. Exceptions can often be made for private departures.
Terms & Conditions: 

Myanmar

Included in costs: Meals as noted, each night in double occupancy accommodations, land transfers between components, English speaking guides, park or site entry fees, surface transport, equipment other than personal gear, government tax, airport transfer assistance, in-country ticket reconfirmation and check-in assistance (where permitted), complete pre-departure packet, toll-free pre-departure phone assistance.

Not included in costs: Meals not noted as included, gratuities, beverages (except tea or coffee at meals), international or domestic airfare unless specified, airport departure taxes not included with air tickets, visas, itinerary changes after confirmation, any services not included in itinerary, any costs incurred due to canceled or delayed flights, acts of nature or other happenings beyond our control, or other costs as are more fully described in Journeys Terms & Conditions.

Deposit and payment schedule: 30% of the land cost per person or the applicable amount based on the trip and the proximity of the departure date. A second deposit of $800 per person is due four months prior to departure, and final payment for land arrangements is due 90 days prior to departure. Any applicable permit fees required in advance are non-refundable as well. Airlines require full payment when tickets are issued. The deposit may be made by Visa, Master Card, American Express, or check, and the Reservation Form may be submitted by fax, mail, or via our website. Full payment schedule and cancellation penalties are described in our Terms and Conditions as noted in our Global Expedition Catalog, on our website, and elsewhere. Please request these if you do not have them before advancing a deposit.

Air fares: Journeys can make complete air arrangements applicable to your trip as noted in this itinerary. If you wish to redeem frequent flyer mileage or arrange flights directly with the airline, you may do so on your own at no penalty. If you do, please consult with us on exact arrival and departure dates and times before having your tickets issued to avoid errors.

Insurance: When you make your application, we strongly recommend the purchase of comprehensive travel insurance in case of emergency situations. Please contact us for a recommended policy.

Itinerary Change Fee: There will be a $40 fee for changes once an itinerary has been confirmed and approved. Additional cancellation penalties or change fees may apply as per our terms and conditions. The passenger is responsible for such fees.

Additional Notes: A surcharge may apply for peak season dates (Water Festival in April, Christmas, New Year, etc.)

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Nuns in Yangon
Nuns in Yangon
Shwedagon Pagoda
Shwedagon Pagoda
Padaung girl
Padaung girl
Village weaver
Village weaver
Inle Lake
Inle Lake
Leg rower at Inle Lake
Leg rower at Inle Lake
Basketweaver
Basketweaver
Locals convening along the lakeshore
Locals convening along the lakeshore
River cruise boat
River cruise boat
River temple
River temple
Bagan temples
Bagan temples
U Bein Teak Bridge
U Bein Teak Bridge
Puppet show
Puppet show
Meet the friendly locals
Meet the friendly locals
Watch the children at play near Pindaya
Watch the children at play near Pindaya
Explore Bagan by horsecart
Explore Bagan by horsecart

Ruins and Rivers

Sacred Buddhist sites and Irrawaddy River boat ride

overview

Visit sacred sites and sanctuaries, plus Yangon, Heho, Kalaw, and Inle Lake. Proceed at a more contemplative pace that offers more time for in-depth exploration and more opportunity for cross-cultural interaction. Your trip will feature our own fluent English-speaking Journeys Burmese guide. He or she will lead you to encounters with local places and people from all walks of life. You will feel a strong Buddhist character and tradition through participation in active pilgrimages and observation of temples or festivals. Your trip will reveal friendly people emerging from a history of totalitarian domination that has not affected their hospitality toward foreigners or their delight in making friends.

itinerary

See Trip Extensions
View Map

overview

Visit sacred sites and sanctuaries, plus Yangon, Heho, Kalaw, and Inle Lake. Proceed at a more contemplative pace that offers more time for in-depth exploration and more opportunity for cross-cultural interaction. Your trip will feature our own fluent English-speaking Journeys Burmese guide. He or she will lead you to encounters with local places and people from all walks of life. You will feel a strong Buddhist character and tradition through participation in active pilgrimages and observation of temples or festivals. Your trip will reveal friendly people emerging from a history of totalitarian domination that has not affected their hospitality toward foreigners or their delight in making friends.

Continue to detailed itinerary...

itinerary

  • Day 1: arrive yangon
    The market is a great way to see the local interactionsThe market is a great way to see the local interactions

    Mingalabar and welcome to Myanmar! The former capital Yangon, also known as Rangoon, is Myanmar's largest city as well as the country's most important commercial hub and gateway for most of its international visitors. Its colonial background and religious legacy make it one of the most mesmerizing and genuine places in all of Southeast Asia. Upon arrival at the airport, you will be warmly welcomed and transferred to you hotel for check in.

    Your hotel is located on the shores of the tranquil Kandawgyi (Royal) Lake which is surrounded by a lovely nature park. The park is a great place to take an evening stroll or an early morning jog.

    Meals
    None
    Lodging
    Kandawgyi Palace Hotel or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 2: markets, reclining buddha, and shwedagon
    Buddhist temples are an important part of the cultureBuddhist temples are an important part of the culture

    After breakfast, you’ll be met in the hotel lobby and taken downtown to begin your tour on Mahanbandola Road where the Immanuel Baptist Church, originally built in 1830, is located. You'll pass a couple of alleyways crammed with food stalls and markets selling second-hand and photocopied books followed by the High Court Building, the grand Inland Water Transport offices and even grander Myanma Port Authority building. Also walk past the Customs House and the Law Court, an impressive-looking colonnaded building and the twice rebuilt City Hall.

    This afternoon, visit Botataung Pagoda, a famous pagoda that was first built by the Mon around the same time as the Shwedagon and thought to contain a sacred hair of Gautama Buddha. Next, visit Chaukhtetkyi to see the reclining Buddha, one of the most revered reclining Buddha images in the country. It is one of the largest Buddha images in Myanmar at 217 feet long. 

    Before returning to your hotel, visit  the magnificent Shwedagon Pagoda where many local Buddhists come to worship each morning. Witness the colors transform on the 325 foot-high chedi which is literally enclosed in over 40 tons of gold leaf. Shwedagon is largely considered to be the most important religious site for the Burmese. 

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging
    Kandawgyi Palace Hotel or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 3: yangon's city life
    City of YangonCity of Yangon

    Today you will have the opportunity to get a glimpse into the daily activities of the locals that make Yangon their home. Your guide will meet you at the hotel and transfer you to Yangon’s Central Station. Embark upon the local “Circular Train”, which runs from Yangon’s main railway station around various neighborhoods in town as well as the borders surrounding the city itself. This train travels at a deliberately slow pace, which provides you with time to really enjoy your surroundings and get a clear overview of the city (train ride is about 20-30 minutes. Please note that these trains are very simple, and are used by many locals during the day. Disembark at Kyee Myin Daine station, one of the most beautiful station buildings remaining in Yangon. From here you’ll take a short 10-minute walk through a local neighborhood. At this hour of the morning you will find a vibrant hive of activities with children heading off to school, folks grabbing a bowl of noodles on their way to work and nuns and monks collecting alms door to door. This middle-class neighborhood allows you to get a glimpse into the lives of the locals. Continue on to the Shan Road market where you will find interesting merchandise. Walk among the stalls filled with colorful fruits, green vegetables and fresh meat while chatting with friendly vendors. When you are finished you’ll return by car to the city via the main road. After a lunch break at a local restaurant, return to your hotel where the rest of the afternoon is free.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging
    Kandawgyi Palace Hotel or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 4: flight to heho & drive to kalaw
    Children passing the time on the farmChildren passing the time on the farm

    After breakfast you will be transferred to the airport for your domestic flight to Heho. From here, proceed by road to Kalaw, a hill station founded by the British civil servants fleeing the heat of the plains. Today, Kalaw still feels like a holiday resort - clean air, calm atmosphere, leafy and green streets and some of the best trekking characterize this unique settlement. Spend some time exploring Kalaw's colonial buildings, built by the British in the early 20th century and the market. Visit Pinmagon Monastery, which houses the famous Nee Paya (Bamboo Buddha) image, thought to have been built during the Ava period some 500 years ago. Also visit Anglican Church, which was one of the many buildings built by the British in the 1900's followed by the historical Kalaw Railway Station. 

    Check-in at the Kalaw Hill Lodge, a charming lodge tucked away in 30 acres of land along the hillside of the Shan Plateau. This is an ideal location for those who enjoy nature and peaceful surroundings. The lodge even grows its own organic vegetables from the garden. The rooms are architecturally influenced by the local mud-house style and are built in harmony with the environment. Each room is equipped with modern amenities along with a fire-place and private balcony offering breathtaking views of the Blue Mountains. 

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Kalaw Hill Lodge or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 5: elephant camp
    Learn how to interact with the elephantsLearn how to interact with the elephants

    After breakfast, continue on to the Green Hill Valley  Elephant Camp in Magwe village (drive takes about 45 minutes). Upon arrival, a specialist guide from the camp will greet you and transfer you to the main camp base. Enjoy a welcome drink while you're briefed on the days activities and the history of the elephants in Myanmar. Then embark on a short walk to reforestation project set up by the camp and local villagers. The elephants will most likely be enjoying a refreshing swim in the stream and you can join in the bathing of these gentle animals. Enjoy a picnic lunch at the camp followed by the chance to explore around the forest area to spot the butterflies, birds, and orchids within the conservation area. Afterwards, say good-bye to the elephants and mahouts and return to your hotel for dinner.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Kalaw Hill Lodge or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 6: kalaw & inle lake
    Stilt house on Inle LakeStilt house on Inle Lake

    After breakfast, visit a local Buddhist monastery and visit a library donated by the lodge and interact with locals over a cup of tea. From here you'll walk to Nanthe (Nepalese) village where you'll have the chance to explore and visit a household that makes rice and plum wine. You'll even have the opportunity to taste some plum wine! Return by minivan to Kalaw to complete this unique experience.

    This afternoon, head out to Pindaya Caves, a Buddhist pilgrimage sit located on a limestone ridge. There are thousands of Buddha images in various shapes and styles and from different eras from the early Konbaung dynasty to the present. From here, continue on to Nyaung Shwe, gateway village to Inle Lake and board a private motorboat for a ride out onto Inle Lake, one of Myanmar’s most spectacular and breathtaking sights. Its calm waters are dotted with floating vegetation and fishing canoes, with scenic hills providing the perfect backdrop. Arrive at your hotel for dinner and overnight. Overnight stay in Inle Lake.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging
    Pristine Lotus or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 7: inle lake
    Inle Lake at sunsetInle Lake at sunset

    In the morning, board a wooden motorized boat and head out onto Inle Lake. Pay a visit to the lake’s morning market (the market is open every day apart from dark moon and full moon calendar days). The market’s location rotates between the lake’s villages in a 5 day schedule and is also visited daily by the lake’s inhabitants as well as the surrounding natives who also come to sell and trade their wares. Along the way you will pass several villages that are built on stilts over the lake, which are inhabited by the local Intha people. Observe the daily activities of the local leg-rowing fishermen and see their "floating gardens", which are built up from strips of water hyacinth, earth and anchored to the bottom of the lake with bamboo poles.

    You'll stop at the Phaungdawoo Pagoda and Nga Hpe Chaung Monastery. The Phaungdawoo Pagoda houses five small gilded images of Buddha, which have been covered in gold leaf to the point that their original shapes cannot be seen. The Nga Hope Chaung Monastery houses many early Shan Buddha Images and was once known for its "jumping cats" These days there are only a few felines roaming around and none are jumping any more. Yet the Buddha images are still worth the visit.

    There are  many traditional crafts originating on Inle Lake and, if you like, you can stop for a visit to one making incredible woven items from lotus silk, boat builders (depending on the time of year), a cigar making workshop, blacksmiths or even silver smiths.

    Return to your hotel where you'll have a chance to relax and freshen up before dinner.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging
    Pristine Lotus or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 8: inle lake cultural exploration
    Leg rower at Inle LakeLeg rower at Inle Lake

    After breakfast, head out on a one hour boat ride down a small canal to the Pa-Oh village of Indein, positioned on the western shores of Inle Lake. Take a leisurely stroll around the village before ascending the moss-covered stairway to the top of a hill. Once you’ve arrived at the summit, you will be greeted buy an iconic Buddha image which sits enshrined among hundreds of stupa ruins and overgrown shrubbery. Here, from the peak, you will also be rewarded with mesmerizing views of the placid surroundings. The Indein Pagoda complex is undoubtedly one of the most amazing sites around the shore of the lake and it consists of hundreds of small stupas which are overrun by moss and greenery. If you lake, take a 45 minute trek to Sae Ma village and enjoy the natural beauty and panoramic vistas of the area while basking under the shade of the bamboo grooves in the area. Upon arrival at the village, observe the daily lifestyles of the rural inhabitants. On your boat ride back, should time allow, you'll stop at the Inthar Heritage House to learn more about the history and culture of the lake's indigenous people and enjoy a delicious coffee and cake (snack break not included). As an exciting day comes to close transfer back to your hotel for some well deserved relaxation. Lunch will be at a local restaurant.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging
    Pristine Lotus or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 9: flight to bagan
    Riverside templeRiverside temple

    Breakfast will be served at your hotel before transfering to the Heho Airport (1-1.5 hr) for a short flight back to Bagan. Welcome to Bagan, known to be one of the greatest architectural sites in Asia. When Bagan was the center of Myanmar from the 11th to 13th centuries, the monarchs built multitudes of massive stupas and pagodas, scores of which are still present on the shores of the Irrawaddy River. The majesty of Bagan with more than 2,000 red brick temples on a plain of the size of Manhattan Island, is perhaps one of the highlights of your visit. Upon arrival at the airport you will be warmly welcomed and transferred to you hotel for check in. The balance of day is free at your leisure to simply relax or explore around at your own leisure. You can also opt to exxplore on your own by bicycle.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging
    The Hotel@Tharabar Gate or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 10: village visit, monuments, and ruins
    Explore Bagan by horsecartExplore Bagan by horsecart

    The day begins with a visit to the renowned Shwezigon Pagoda, constructed by King Anawrahta in the early 11th century as a religious memorial. Next, visit visit the Wetkyi Inn Gubyaukgyi Temple to observe the 12th century mural paintings, frescoes, and bas relief works depicting the entire life of the Buddha and his disciples. You'll also visit Ananda Temple, constructed in an earlier “Mon” style and houses two distinctive Buddha images. Their expressions appear to transform, according to the space from which the statue is seen. We will ensure that your tour reaches this point before the majority of tourist arrive, enabling you to enjoy the splendor of the temple in relative tranquility.

    After lunch at a local restaurant, drive through Bagan’s countryside to a rustic village to learn about the daily life of the locals and the day with a beautiful sunset view of the entire ruins. Return to your hotel in Bagan for dinner and overnight.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging
    The Hotel@Tharabar Gate or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 11: mt. popa/bagan
    Temple views at Mt. PopaTemple views at Mt. Popa

    OPTIONAL - HOT AIR BALLOON RIDE OVER BAGAN ($300-350): The morning will start off with an exciting hot-air balloon ride above the Bagan countryside. You will observe one-of-a-kind views when the sun begins to rise over the Irrawaddy River and various stupas in the region. You’re simply not going to find many other opportunities like this on Earth. (Only available from November through March.)

    After breakfast, depart on a two hour drive to Mt. Popa, located about 30 miles from Bagan.  Enroute, stop at a palm village along the way to learn how palm products are traditionally processed into making palm sugar, palm oil, and palm wine. Mt. Popa is thought to be the core of an extinct volcano and is considered the home of most powerful Nats (spirits) as well as an important Nat worship center. It is also a major pilgrimage site. From Mt. Popa, there are stunning views of Popa Taungkalat Monastery, which sits atop an outcrop.

    Upon your return to Bagan, visit the vibrant Nyaung Oo Market where the locals come to trade fresh produce and other goods daily. 

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging
    The Hotel@Tharabar Gate or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 12: flight to mandalay & spiritual sagaing
    Visit with the nuns in SagaingVisit with the nuns in Sagaing

    A short flight takes you to Mandalay, the second largest city in Myanmar. This ancient royal capitals is often perceived and described in literature as "Asia at its most traditional, timeless and alluring", but those who go meet a booming and vibrant city. Despite its energy and thriving business, this is the cultural heart of Myanmar where music, dance and drama traditions are still alive.

    On arrival, you'll make your way across the Irrawaddy River to Sagaing. With 600 ivory colored pagodas and monasteries, Sagaing is generally seen as the spiritual hub of Myanmar and home to around 3,000 monks and nearly 100 meditation shrines. Explore Sagaing’s local market before heading over to a small pottery village recognized for its water pots that can be found all over Myanmar. You'll observe the traditional methods of pottery making. Continue on to Sagaing Hill and visit Swan Oo Pon Nya Shin, U Min Thone Sae or Shin Pin Nan Gyaing Pagodas. Sagaing, as one of Myanmar’s most spiritual places, is perhaps the perfect location to delve into the traditional Myanmar meditation techniques. Sagaing is also home to several nunneries that receive few visitors. Their simplistic lifestyles and peaceful compounds make the nunneries a fascinating place to visit. Zay Ya Pheingyi Nunnery, home to about 160 nuns, is located up a narrow road. As a small donation you can distribute a small bowl of raw materials like tomatoes, lettuce, cabbage, etc. to the nuns while receiving a blessing chant and be rewarded with a simple, but delicious vegetarian lunch cooked by the nuns. An incredible experience while at the same time helping the nuns to ensure a brighter future! Bear in mind that the nunneries rely on donations to sustain themselves. Many of the nuns are orphans or girls from disadvantaged families who send their daughters for education and a place to live. Afterwards, transfer to your hotel located at the foot of Mandalay Hill with a view of pagodas and the Royal Palace.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging
    Mandalay Hill Resort or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 13: mingun
    The impressive Mingun PagodaThe impressive Mingun Pagoda

    Head off to Mandalay jetty and embark on a private boat for a relaxing one hour journey on the Irrawaddy River to Mingun. Experience the sights and sounds of Mingun, beginning with the celebrated Mingun Paya, which would have been the world’s largest if King Bodawpaya hadn’t died before it was finished. An earthquake that hit in the 1800’s, split the monument and reduced it to partial ruins. From the flat top you have a fine view of the Hsinbyume Paya, Mingun village and the river. Next, visit the gorgeous alabaster Hsinbyume Pagoda, thought to be a representation of the Sulamani Paya which, according to the Buddhist plan of the cosmos, stands atop Mount Meru (the mountain that stands at the center of the universe). See the impressive the Mingun Bell, a 90 ton bell claimed to be the world’s largest hung, uncracked working bell. Before returning to Mandalay by boat there’ll be enough time to explore the small neighborhoods throughout Mingun to see the locals weaving traditional baskets and mingle with the friendly craftsmen and vendors. Dinner will be on your own. Overnight in Mandalay.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging
    Mandalay Hill Resort or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 14: ancient cities
    U Bein Teak BridgeU Bein Teak Bridge

    Today you'll visit the former capitals of Ava and Amarapura. Beginning in Ava, the capital from the 14th-18th centuries, you'll cross the small river by ferry and travel in a traditional horse and carriage to the wooden Bagaya Monastery renowned for its extraordinarily elaborate woodcarvings. See the Nanmyint Watch Tower - also called “the leaning tower of Ava“ - remnants of the ancient palace and Maha Aungmye Bonzan Monastery. Continue on to Amarapura “City of Immortality” and stop at a silk weaving workshop known for their exquisite merchandise. Visit Mahagandayon Monastery, home to more than 1,000 young monks and renowned as a center for monastic study and strict religious discipline. Once the sun starts to set, you’ll want to take stroll along the legendary U Bein Bridge, built in 1782 when Amarapura was the Royal center. It spans almost 3/4 of a mile across the shallow Taungthaman Lake and is said to be the longest teakwood bridge worldwide. Enjoy this very special atmosphere as the late afternoon sun casts long shadows and illuminates the local people heading home. Return to your hotel in Mandalay for the night.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging
    Mandalay Hill Resort or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 15: mandalay/onward
    Leave Myanmar with fond memoriesLeave Myanmar with fond memories

    Time permitting, spend the morning doing some last-minute sightseeing or shopping before you are transferred to the airport for your onward  flight. Journeys services end.

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    None
    Show on a map

Price and Date Details

Land Cost:
$3,950
- $4,500
Group size 4+: $3950 Group size 2-3: $4500 Plus domestic flights within Myanmar: $350 (estimated) Optional Balloon Ride Over Bagan: $300 (standard service)
Single Supplement:
$1,250
The single supplement is applicable if a roommate is not available or if single accommodation is specifically requested. While single accommodation is not available on all trips, we will try and honor this request whenever possible.
Privately on Request
Nov 1-15, 2016
Jan 23-Feb 6, 2017
Nov 6-20, 2017

Need to Know

Duration:
15 days
The number of days, or duration, in a destination corresponds with the itinerary as published. This is the time period covered by the land cost.
Comfort Level:
●●●○○
(see full descriptions)
Superior 4-5 star hotels
Activity Level:
●○○○○
(see full descriptions)
Easy walking & vehicle travel
Group Size:
2-12
The stated range indicates minimum required for guaranteed departure and maximum accepted on the scheduled dates. Exceptions can often be made for private departures.
Terms & Conditions: 

Myanmar

Included in costs: Meals as noted, each night in double occupancy accommodations, land transfers between components, English speaking guides, park or site entry fees, surface transport, equipment other than personal gear, government tax, airport transfer assistance, in-country ticket reconfirmation and check-in assistance (where permitted), complete pre-departure packet, toll-free pre-departure phone assistance.

Not included in costs: Meals not noted as included, gratuities, beverages (except tea or coffee at meals), international or domestic airfare unless specified, airport departure taxes not included with air tickets, visas, itinerary changes after confirmation, any services not included in itinerary, any costs incurred due to canceled or delayed flights, acts of nature or other happenings beyond our control, or other costs as are more fully described in Journeys Terms & Conditions.

Deposit and payment schedule: 30% of the land cost per person or the applicable amount based on the trip and the proximity of the departure date. A second deposit of $800 per person is due four months prior to departure, and final payment for land arrangements is due 90 days prior to departure. Any applicable permit fees required in advance are non-refundable as well. Airlines require full payment when tickets are issued. The deposit may be made by Visa, Master Card, American Express, or check, and the Reservation Form may be submitted by fax, mail, or via our website. Full payment schedule and cancellation penalties are described in our Terms and Conditions as noted in our Global Expedition Catalog, on our website, and elsewhere. Please request these if you do not have them before advancing a deposit.

Air fares: Journeys can make complete air arrangements applicable to your trip as noted in this itinerary. If you wish to redeem frequent flyer mileage or arrange flights directly with the airline, you may do so on your own at no penalty. If you do, please consult with us on exact arrival and departure dates and times before having your tickets issued to avoid errors.

Insurance: When you make your application, we strongly recommend the purchase of comprehensive travel insurance in case of emergency situations. Please contact us for a recommended policy.

Itinerary Change Fee: There will be a $40 fee for changes once an itinerary has been confirmed and approved. Additional cancellation penalties or change fees may apply as per our terms and conditions. The passenger is responsible for such fees.

Additional Notes: A surcharge may apply for peak season dates (Water Festival in April, Christmas, New Year, etc.)

Trip Extensions

Ngapali Beach

Duration: 4 days

Myanmar, in addition to its fantastic culture, also offers beautiful beaches that are great for relaxation and sunbathing. This beach extension takes you to the lovely Sandoway Resort on Ngapali Beach located on the Bay of Bengal. This is an isolated... read more

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× comfort level
Choose accommodations and amenities that fit your personal style
●○○○○ Simple
Our most natural accommodations. Bath facilities often shared, sometimes rustic.
●●○○○ Delightful
Comfortable and especially personal. Small to mid-sized lodges, typically with private bath.
●●●○○ Superior
Lodges and hotels with additional amenities, refined artistry, or extra-special settings.
●●●●○ Deluxe
Exclusive or luxury lodges, hotels, or safari camps with fine dining options.
●●●●● Uncommon
The most indulgent accommodations arranged specially for private trips.
× activity level
Match the trip’s intensity to your ability and motivation.
●○○○○ Gentle
Easy walking, with opportunities for low-key physical activity.
●●○○○ Active
Energetic exploration with optional day hikes, leisurely cycling, or light canoeing.
●●●○○ Vigorous
Day-long active excursions and options for demanding activity in varied environments.
●●●●○ Challenging
Strenuous hiking or other intense activity that may be at high altitude or over rough terrain.
●●●●● Demanding
Multi-day trekking and other activities requiring endurance or strength. Steep trails. No technical expertise necessary.
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