The mountainous and dusty trail from India to Myanmar is one that has seen few foreigners, but you can now take this tour to explore a fascinating and culturally rich part of Myanmar, driving down through Kalaymyo and on to Monwya and Mandalay. Hop on a boat down the mighty Irrawaddy River to Bagan; witness scenic Inle Lake; and end your journey on streets of bustling Yangon.
Deluxe Hotel Supplement:
US$28 per day
Cross from India (for which you will need a permit which we will arrange in advance) and take the chance to explore the border trading town of Tamu. You will then be taken by car southwards along the scenic mountain road to Kalaymyo, getting the chance to meet the locals of this remote region along the way.
Kalaymyo is a fascinating town on the border of Sagaing Division and Chin State; divided 50/50 straight down the middle between ethnic Chin (on the west side) and the national majority Bamar (on the east), you will find churches on every street corner on one side and pagodas and temples on the other. This doesn’t mean tension, however – you will find the locals very welcoming. After exploring the town, take the chance to cool off at the beautiful Kyauk Ta Lone swimming area, located in a valley to the west of town, just over the border in Chin State.
Drive further south, on the way taking in the huge double river bend at Kalewa and try some locally made palm toddy (htan ye in Burmese), fermented from the sap of the same trees used to make sugar.
Arrive in the afternoon at Monywa, affording you time to explore the markets of this bustling trade town situated on the banks of the Chindwin River.
The next day explore Hpo Win Daung; the 947 caves that make up this complex were built between the 14th and 18th centuries, and contain ornate mural paintings and hundreds of Buddha statues. On your way east towards Mandalay, witness the huge Bodhi Tataung Laykyun Sekkya standing Buddha (at 116 metres, it is the second tallest statue in the world) and the Thanboddhay Pagoda, which houses over 500,000 Buddha images and features many hundreds of golden spires.
After you have settled at your hotel in Mandalay, visit the last royal palace of the Konbaung dynasty, recalling the days of Thibaw and his queen, Supayalat, before they were expelled to India by the British, and take in the sights from Mandalay Hill. 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.
Start early and have complimentary breakfast on the boat to Bagan; enjoy the beautiful Irrawaddy riverside views and take this time to relax, read a book or write those postcards back home. We recommend you bring warm clothing for the early morning and sun protection as the day grows hotter. Arrive in Bagan in time for one of its famously stunning sunsets.
Start a full day exploring at the Ananda pagoda, dating from the 12th century and famed for its gilded sikhara tower at the top of its structure. Gubyaukgyi pagoda has extensive murals of the Buddha in his previous lives. Choose from bicycle, car or horse and cart to get around the thousands of temples on the plain. Bagan is also renowned for its lacquerware and artisan crafts, which make perfect souvenirs or gifts. In the afternoon, climb up the Gawdawpalin or Bupaya pagoda for perfect panorama views.
On your second day in the area, head south east of Bagan to explore the spectacular monastery at Mount Popa, which sits precariously on top of a volcanic plug. In the evening, enjoy some Myanmar wine over dinner by the pagodas in Bagan.
If you would like to take a spectacular air balloon trip over the temples at sunrise, then we can arrange that for you (must be booked in advance; not included in standard tour package).
Fly to Heho airport and transfer via car to characterful Nyaung Shwe, the gateway to Inle Lake. If you go for the superior hotel option, a boat will take you to your hotel on the lake (standard hotels are in the Nyaung Shwe). There will be plenty of time in the afternoon to relax or for sightseeing around the lake to see the local Intha fishermen employing their traditional one-leg rowing technique.
After breakfast the next day, visit the ancient lakeside stupas at Indein and see handicrafts in Nampan village. 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.
Fly from Heho Airport to Yangon. Take time in the afternoon to see some of the sights, including the downtown area and its beautiful colonial-era buildings and the bustling Indian and Chinese quarters. Head over to the magnificent Shwedagon Pagoda for sunset and, after breakfast at your hotel the next day, depart for your international flight the next day.
Would you like to extend your tour to the beautiful and relaxing Ngapali Beach or the haunting ruins of Mrauk U? Our travel advisors will be able to arrange this for you, along with any other travel, accommodation or activity requirements you may have. Just fill out the ‘Any further queries’ box after you have clicked on the ‘Book Tour’ button.
|Standard hotels||Deluxe hotels|
|Kalaymyo - Taungzalat Hotel||Kalaymyo - Taungzalat Hotel|
|Monywa - Monywa Hotel||Monywa - Win Unity Resort|
|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|
|Yangon - Clover Hotel||Yangon - Chatrium 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 low season (May-Sep). Larger groups will pay less per person, single person purchase will mean a higher price.