Myanmar is home to some of the most creative artists and artisans in the region; from marionette puppetry and theatre to political statements made via acrylic on canvas, Myanmar’s artists have found wonderfully distinctive ways to express themselves. Long oppressed by military rule, there has been an awaking in arts and culture that this fascinating tour will guide you through.
Deluxe Hotel Supplement:
US$60 per day
After settling into your hotel, wander downtown to take in the Muslim, Chinese and British colonial architecture that make up this vibrant city. Here there are a proliferation of galleries to take your pick from, including the River Gallery at the historic Strand Hotel and the two Pansodan contemporary art galleries on Pansodan Street, where you will get to meet artists and gallery owners. For sunset, head to the magnificent Shwedagon Pagoda, the Buddhist heart of Myanmar. Overnight stay at hotel in Yangon.
Fly up to historic Mandalay, often referred to as the centre of Bamar culture. After checking in at your hotel, visit the last royal palace of the Konbaung dynasty and recount the final days of Thibaw and his queen, Supayalat, before they were expelled to India by the British. Visit the sacred Mahamuni Pagoda and receive a blessing for auspicious travels. Squeeze in a quick turn around Kuthodaw Pagoda that houses the largest book in the world and then climb the 1729 steps up Mandalay Hill (or catch the lift up!) to be rewarded with a stunning sunset.
In the evening, take in a local marionette show or visit the politically-charged comedy show by the Moustache Brothers.
Just to the south of Mandalay, take a stroll down the longest teak bridge in the world, the iconic U Bein bridge in Amarapura. The town of Amarapura is full of textiles stores and small metal works factories, where you can watch master craftsmen cast Buddha statues in bronze or visit a weaving factory to see how fabrics are made.
At Inwa, you can take a horse and cart around the quiet meandering streets that once made up a powerful kingdom’s capital city. Stop by at the Bagaya Kyaung, a living monastery that is still the centre of many local activities, including lively games of football in the afternoons; it’s a real pleasure to watch everyone come out to support their teams, and even the novice monks forget their strict codes to cheer the players on.
Fly to Bagan, where the thousands of ancient temples are a stunning example of how religious devotion inspires some of the most beautiful and timeless art. For example, the Ananda temple, dating from the 12th century, is famed for its intricately gilded sikhara tower at its peak and the Gubyaukgyi pagoda has extensive murals of the Buddha in his previous lives.
Bagan is also renowned for its lacquerware, so take a chance to learn about its intricate manufacture and do a bit of shopping. In the afternoon, climb up the Gawdawpalin or Bupaya pagodas to witness one of Bagan’s famously stunning sunsets (we can arrange hot-air balloon rides that will give you spectacular sunrise views of the Bagan plain for an additional charge).
Fly to Heho for the picturesque Inle lake, high in the Shan hills, has inspired much artwork and photography and has become synonymous with the romanticism of Myanmar. The local people of this area, the Intha, are also renowned craftsmen, making exquisite hand-crafted jewellery and textiles – as well as being famous for the traditional one-leg rowing technique their fishermen employ.
After breakfast the next day, visit the ancient lakeside stupas at Indein and, if the time is right, see the floating markets that are a photographer’s dream. Finish up your day with sunset wine tasting at Red Mountain Estate vineyard and then dinner on the lakeshore.
If you go for the superior hotel option, a boat will take you to your hotel on the lake (standard hotels are in the characterful town of Nyaung Shwe).
Fly to Yangon and drive to Ngwe Saung beach, visiting the Irrawaddy town of Pathein, famous for being the home of parasol making in Myanmar – you will find a vast array of colourful examples on its quiet streets. Take the chance to relax in total tranquility at Ngwe Saung, one of the many stunning strips of sand on the Bay of Bengal coast.
Travel back to Yangon by car. Explore some of the smaller art galleries such as Nawaday Tharlar and Gallery 65 and head to the huge and historic Bogyoke (Scott) Market.
|Standard hotels for above program||Deluxe hotels for above program|
|Yangon - Clover Hotel||Yangon - Chatrium Hotel|
|Mandalay - Hotel Rama||Mandalay - Mandalay Hill Resort|
|Bagan - Floral Breeze Hotel||Bagan - Bagan Lodge|
|Inle Lake (Nyaung Shwe) - Hupin Hotel||Inle Lake - Amata Garden Resort|
|Ngwe Saung - Eskala Hotel Resort||Ngwe Saung - Aureum Palace Hotel|
To get prices for this tour with luxury accommodation or basic accommodation, please enter a query in the ‘Any further queries’ field when you submit your tour booking form (link below).
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The above itinerary is indicative and some details may change according to conditions and availability; you will always be informed of such changes.
There may be changes to estimated prices depending on air fuel cost, domestic airfares, US$ exchange rates and festive season surcharge. All supplemental cost to be advised.
 Price per person based on two person tour (twin hotel room sharing basis) during high season (October to April). Larger groups will pay less per person, single person purchase will mean a higher price.