Starting from the Thai border, this tour will take you immediately though beautiful mountains to the sleepy Karen state capital, Hpa An, surrounded by karst limestone peaks that jut out from lush green paddy fields. After taking a boat downstream to the exotic former capital of the British Lower Burma, head inland to the thousands of temples of Bagan, historic Mandalay and beautiful Inle Lake, high in the Shan hills.
Deluxe Hotel Supplement:
US$30 per day
Starting from the Thai border town of Mae Sot, with its strong Burmese influences – both in the people and the stupas that you see in the surrounding countryside – you will cross the border to Myawaddy, where you will be picked up by car and traverse the Dawna Mountain range that separates Myanmar from Thailand. Head down the other side to the scenic and laid-back Karen State capital, Hpa An, with its surrounding karst mountain scenery and enormous Buddhist caves. In the evening, feast yourself on the great local food, a mix of Thai-Chinese-Burmese-Karen fusion.
After some more exploring around Hpa An, take a relaxing boat trip down the Salween River to the former British capital of Lower Burma, Mawlamyine. Then known as Moulmein, this quiet, relaxing city is also a fascinatingly diverse place, with churches, mosques and temples (as well as many other colonial-era buildings) to explore.
Next day, take a day trip to the world’s largest reclining Buddha at Mudon, to the south of Mawlamyine, then return to catch a beautiful tropical sunset from the Kyaik Than Lan Pagoda – witnessing the view that inspired Rudyard Kipling’s poem Mandalay. For dinner, wolf down a delicious barbeque meal from one of the outdoor restaurants that line the Strand Road riverfront at night.
Take a car to Yangon, stopping off briefly at Bago, home to a large number of pagodas and large Buddha images. Arrive in Myanmar’s commercial capital in time to catch sunset at the Buddhist heart of Myanmar, the magnificent Shwedagon Pagoda, and have a meal at one of the city’s increasing number of classy restaurants.
In the morning, fly north to the thousands of temples on the plains of Bagan and, after settling at your hotel, start exploring at the Ananda pagoda, dating from the 12th century and famed for its gilded sikhara tower at its peak. Take a bicycle, car or horse and cart to explore the plains and, later in the day, view one of Bagan’s famously unique sunsets.
The next day, we can arrange a short cruise on the Irrawaddy or a sunrise hot-air balloon ride that will give you spectacular sunrise views of the Bagan plain (additional charge and must be booked in advance). Finish your day by enjoying some Myanmar wine over dinner by the pagodas.
Fly to Mandalay and 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. 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.
Further to the south at Inwa, take a horse and cart around the quiet meandering roads that once made up a powerful kingdom’s capital city. Across the Irrawaddy River, climb up the stupa-studding hills of Sagaing, home to a number of old, living monasteries with views down to the river and plains.
Across the Irrawaddy River, climb up the stupa-studding hills of Sagaing, home to a number of old, living monasteries with views down to the river and plains.
Fly to Heho airport and transfer via car to characterful Nyaung Shwe, the gateway to Inle Lake. 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. 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).
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.
Would you like some down time to finish off your tour at Ngwe Saung beach on the Bay of Bengal? 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|
|Hpa An - Hotel Zwekabin||Hpa An - Hpa An Lodge|
|Mawlamyine - Attran Hotel||Mawlamyine - Strand Hotel|
|Yangon - Clover Hotel||Yangon - Chatrium Hotel|
|Bagan - Floral Breeze Hotel||Bagan - Bagan Lodge|
|Mandalay - Hotel Rama||Mandalay - Mandalay Hill Resort|
|Inle Lake (Nyaung Shwe) - Hupin Hotel||Inle Lake - Amata Garden Resort|
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.