11 days from £1795pp plus international flights.
This holiday shows you the many faces of Burma, from thriving cities to plains filled with temples, floating markets to scenic hill towns. Burma is an intriguing blend of ancient and modern, tradition and change. For so long inaccessible, now is the perfect time to visit.
Your holiday begins in the country's largest city and former capital, Yangon. Here you'll see your first golden pagodas and colonial mansions, a glimpse into Burma's rich and varied past. In Bagan you'll marvel at the sight of thousands of temples, rising, mist-shrouded in the early morning, from the valley floor. Mandalay, the last royal capital and long-time colonial city, is filled with pagodas and monasteries, testament to the country's strong Buddhist faith. In the hill town of Pyin Oo Lwin you'll have time to relax, take in the fine views and enjoy the fresh mountain air, while at Inle Lake you'll see the famous leg rowers and wooden houses on stilts.
All along the way you'll be greeted by smiling faces and the people you meet will make a deep and abiding impression, just as great as that of the scenery and culture. You'll come away with an understanding of this multi-faceted country and a prized collection of photos to share with family and friends.
You'll be met by an English-speaking guide at Yangon airport and driven to your hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to relax after your journey.
After breakfast you'll be collected for your guided tour of the city. This starts at the colonial quarter where you'll see several examples of the architecture of the time plus Sule Paya stupa, dating back over 2,000 years and still much used today. Next you'll see the tranquil Kandawgyi Lake, with its glistening, gilded royal barge, in fact a 20th reconstruction which houses a restaurant. On to the lively Bogyoke market, where everything from gemstones to clothes is traded. The day culminates in a visit to the famous hill-top Swedagon pagoda, gleaming gold in the light. Breakfast
Leaving Yangon behind you'll fly to the temple city of Bagan. Your tour will take in several temples including Swezigon stupa, reputed to contain a tooth of the Buddha, the 13th century cave temple of Gubyaukgyi and Htilominlo where you'll learn about the art of Burmese sand painting. You'll also see the 4 standing Buddhas at Ananda temple. Finally you'll be taken to Shwesandaw pagoda to observe the sunset over the Irrawaddy River. Breakfast
You'll have more time today to learn about the cultural and historical heritage of the area. At Myingaba village you'll see the production of the lacquerware items that are so popular throughout the country. In a local temple you'll observe some of Bagan's best preserved religious murals. Other temple visits will show you different architectural styles and are all a testament to the importance of the Buddhist religion in Burmese life. Breakfast
You'll board a domestic flight bound for Mandalay this morning. On arrival you'll have a tour of the city's highlights including Mahamuni pagoda, which has one of the most valued Buddha images in the country which has been much fought over in past centuries between opposing Burmese kingdoms. You'll see the golden palace monastery, the only royal palace building still standing in Mandalay. The tour concludes with panoramic views over the city from Mandalay Hill as the sun sets. Breakfast
Today you'll see the sites of some of the ancient kingdoms of Burma and Mandalay. Starting with a one hour cruise on the Irrawaddy River, you'll arrive in Mingun, where there's a huge pagoda which shows a dramatic crack caused by an earthquake in the 19th century. You'll also see the famous bronze bell, believed to the largest, uncracked bell in the world. You'll then cruise back to Mandalay, where you driver will take you the 65kms to the hill station of Pyin Oo Lwin, also known as Maymyo.Breakfast
You'll have a full day in and around this lovely hilltop town. Your first stop is the bustling morning market where local farmers gather to trade their produce. It's fascinating to watch the bartering taking place. There's a change of pace as you take a gentle walk around the botanical gardens, modelled on the famous gardens at Kew. You'll then head out of town to the Peik Chin Myaing cave and the picturesque waterfall at Pwe Kauk, before returning to your hotel. Breakfast
You'll be driven back to Mandalay and over the river to Sagaing, a former kingdom where there are innumerable pagodas. You'll also visit a monastery for an insight into monastic life. The journey continues to Amarapura, another ancient capital these days better for its thriving textile industries. You'll have the chance to witness weaving first hand. Your last destination is the beautiful teak bridge at U Bein, over Taungtaman Lake, where you can opt for a boat ride, and will see the sunset. Breakfast
You'll fly to Heho and be driven on to the lovely lake at Inle, passing photogenic rice paddies and views of the Shan mountains. Having checked in to the hotel, you'll be collected for a tour of the lake, taking in Phaungdaw Oo pagoda with a beautiful golden Buddha, and on to a weaving village to see gorgeous linens and silks. At Nampan village you'll see the packing and rolling of Burmese cheerots, and will then return to your hotel. Breakfast
This morning you'll take to the water with a boat ride along a narrow river to the impressive pagoda complex at Indain. It's like stepping back in time as you follow a trail though bamboo groves which suddenly give way opening onto a stunning vista of countless pagodas, stretching out before you. Many of these date back over 1,000 years. You'll then board the boat back to your hotel at Inle Lake. Breakfast
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before your driver collects you for the one hour ride to Heho airport, where you'll board a flight to Yangon. On arrival you'll visit White Elephant Park and Kyauk Taw Gyi pagoda. The white elephants symbolise peace and prosperity and were brought to this park to be protected. You'll then be transferred to the airport for your onward flight. Breakfast
Guide price from (pp sharing): £1795 (ex. international flights)
Price notes: October 2016 - 30 March 2017: £1795 pp sharing based on roughly 3* hotels. For a higher grade of hotel this would be another £425 pp.
Twin-share accommodation; private transfers in an air-conditioned vehicle; domestic flights as per the itinerary; tours as per the itinerary; entrance fees to sites mentioned in the itinerary; English-speaking local guides; boat ride on Inle Lake; 2 bottles of water and 2 refreshing towels per person per day; breakfast on days 2-11
International flights and taxes; visas; vaccinations; travel insurance; meals not specified; drinks; tips; laundry; items of a personal nature
Getting there: This holiday starts and ends in Yangon. Return flights from the UK will cost from around £700 per person, depending on season and availability. We will be happy to book flights for you.
Departure dates: This is a tailor-made holiday and can depart on the day of your choice, subject to availability.
A lovely lakeside hotel with deluxe rooms and suites, a multicuisine restaurant and a spa.
A hotel in Old Bagan, built for the Prince of Wales in 1922 and now welcoming guests from all round the world.
This charming resort is made up of traditional style chalets set by the shores of Inle Lake.
A contempory resort on the banks of Inle Lake, with lovely villas and cottages set in gardens, and a high quality spa.
A high quality hotel on the shore of the royal lake in Yangon, with a wide range of facilities and room types.
A small hotel set in pretty gardens a stone's throw from the royal palace in Mandalay
A large hotel in Mandalay with a choice of restaurants, pool, spa and gardens and several types of rooms.
A modern, 65-room hotel in central Yangon offering comfortable, en-suite accommodation.
5/5 from 2 reviews
Find the best time to visit Burma
Time: GMT + 6hrs 30mins
Flight time: There are no direct flights from the UK to Yangon (Rangoon). The flight time is at least 14 hours.
Language: The official language is Myanmar (Burmese). English is widely spoken in major tourist destinations.
Visas: At least 6 months from the end of your trip, and with plenty of room for entry and exit stamps. A visa is required for British travellers and most nationalities.
Health: Yellow fever vaccination is compulsory. Recommended vaccinations include diptheria, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, rabies, tetanus, cholera & typhoid. Malaria prophylactics recommended for some parts of Burma.