15-Day Best of Myanmar

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Tour type

Tour Level: Relaxed / Easy

Tour Comfort: Standard

Tour Period: 15 Days

tour highlights

  • Walking tour with Yangon historical colonial buildings sightseeing
  • Cycling and Sunset Boat in Bagan
  • 2 Days River Cruise from Bagan to Mandalay
  • A Boat Trip to the mystic Phaung Daw Oo pagoda and observe the handmade Burmese cigars production
  • Explore the Elephant home and hiking tour in Kalaw
  • Relaxing at one of the most beautiful Beaches in South East Asia

tour details

Your tour begins at Myanmar’s most famous attraction – the Shwedagon Pagoda – before continuing to other sights including Yangon City Hall, Custom House and even a local orphanage. You’ll then proceed to Bagan where you’ll visit numerous amazing temples including the Ananda Temple, Dhammayazaka and Sulamani. Be sure to make the trip to the “Glass House” Monastery as the views over Bagan are breathtaking. Next you’ll travel to Mandalay where you’ll board the RV Mingun/RV Inwa for a relaxing sailing adventure. Over the next few days you’ll see the Pahtodawgyi pagoda, the legendary Mingun Bell and the picturesque Sagaing Hill. Other tour highlights include wine tasting at the Red Mountain Estate, seeing the amazing ‘leg rowers’ on Inle Lake and trekking through remote pine forests in Kalaw.

Meet on arrival at Yangon International Airport and transfer to hotel.
Mid afternoon, we depart for tour to the heart of Yangon: Firstly stop at the Bahan Market and then walk to the stairway at the eastern entrance of the Pagoda. The Shwedagon's eastern entrance comes in off of the street bazaars below. This staircase is the one closest to all of the vendors selling books, good luck charms, shrines, marble, wood, bronze statues, monk accessories and shop carts selling street food etc. There are 118 steps, and the area suffered much damage during the British attacks in 1852. There are even teahouses on the stairway along this entrance. Enjoy the sunset at Shwedagon Pagoda - its golden stupa is the 'heart' of Buddhist Myanmar. The Pagoda is believed to be 2,500 years old and the central stupa in surrounded by dozens of intricately decorated buildings and statues. It is always full of people praying and making offerings, and is a fascinating place to spend time watching the world go by.
Accommodation at Ibis Style Yangon Stadium Hotel (Superior Room) or similar, Yangon.
Today, transfer from your hotel to Yangon City Hall, located at the heart of the colonial-era city. Built in 1936 by Myanmar architect U Tin, it is a massive building with traditional tiered roofs, a combination of European design and engineering technology with traditional Myanmar flourishes. Nearby is the former Immigration Department. This building was designed in 1910 to be the country's most upmarket department store, Rowe & Company. With its corner tower and top-floor balconettes, the structure retains an air of its former opulence. Proceed to the High Court, a 1911 brick building designed by the architect John Ransome, and another outstanding example of the grand Imperial style. Continue to Strand Road, home to the three-storey former New Law Courts, built in 1931 with an imposing colonnade of Ionic columns. Next stop is the 1916 Custom House, a large building with an elegant white tower and double-faced clock above the entrance. The Art Deco period Myanma Port Authority is noted for its imposing square corner tower, wave-inspired stuccowork, and bas-relief sculptures of sailing vessels. The former Irrawaddy Flotilla Company's graceful white building and colonnaded fa'e7ade is another landmark. Walk past the red brick General Post Office to the luxurious Strand Hotel, built in 1901 by the Sarkies brothers, Armenian hoteliers. Lunch at Union Bar.
In the afternoon, cross the Yangon River by local ferry (10 minutes). Upon arrival on the other side, a trishaw driver takes you through local villages and plantations to a monastic school (not possible in Summer holidays March to May), where you can meet the children and teachers - the children always enjoy seeing and interacting with foreign visitors. This is real local rural life, not to be compared with the busy streets of nearby Yangon. Return by local ferry.
Accommodation at Ibis Style Yangon Stadium Hotel (Superior Room) or similar, Yangon.
Transfer to Yangon domestic airport for departure flight to Bagan. Arrive at Bagan and transfer to the starting point near Ananda Temple. Begin your cycle ride on a sandy track near Ananda Temple ('bd Km). Your first stop is at Dhammayangyi ('bc Km), a massive temple dating from 1170 which is visible for kilometers' around. This imposing structure is famous for its interlocking mortarless brickwork. Continue cross country to Dhammayazaka (2 Km) where you may choose to ascend the temple for a panoramic view. Rejoin a paved road, turn left, and if you wish, pause for refreshment at a restaurant ('bd Km). Stop at Phwa Saw, a quintessentially Myanmar village of rattan houses, busy with bullock carts, zebu cattle and local craft industries. Proceed to Minnanthu monastic complex and village ('bd Km). Here your ride offers uninterrupted views (no pylons) of Bagan's awesome monuments, acacia, toddy palm trees and wandering goats.
Arrive at Sulamani (2 Km) one of Bagan's most attractively constructed temples famous for its ornamental work and interior frescoes. The tour ends 1 Km away at Ananda Temple, from where you transfer to Green Elephant Nandawun Restaurant to enjoy Myanmar cooking demonstration and lunch. After lunch, transfer to your hotel for check in.
In the late afternoon you are transferred from your hotel to the jetty where you board a private wooden boat. Travel 30 minutes upstream, turning to glide downriver while watching the sun lower towards the horizon and set peacefully over the Ayeyarwady River. A cocktail and light snacks will be served on board. Return to hotel.
Accommodation at Shwe Yee Pwint Hotel (Bagan Room) or similar, Bagan.
Optional: There is no better or more spectacular view of the ancient kingdom of Bagan than from a hot air balloon. This world-famous archaeological site of more than a thousand Buddhist temples scattered over a plain is at its best when seen from a bird's eye vantage, as the sun comes up gently over the Ayeyarwady River. You will be collected from your hotel and provided with a light breakfast and safety briefing while the balloons inflate, before enjoying a dawn flight lasting just under one hour. Flights operate daily from October through March.

This morning's trip takes you across the Ayeyarwady River by local ferry to a relatively unexplored hillside. Once across the River, your guide will arrange a truck or car to take you up a winding dirt track to the "Glass House" Monastery (Tan-chi taung). Perched on top of a hill, this small monastery offers stunning panoramic views over the Ayeyarwady River and the entire site of Bagan. Enjoy a relaxing stroll around the Monastery and, perhaps, take the time to chat with some of the resident monks. Return down the hill on foot, or by truck/car, and take the ferry back to Bagan. Explore some sand banks and local farm. Lunch at Ayeyarwaddy River Terrace Restaurant.
In the afternoon, visits to a selection of the most important pagodas and temples such as Shwezigon, Bagan's most important reliquary shrine - look out for images of the 37 'nats' (spirits) housed in a small hall - and Gubyaukgyi (Wetkyi-Inn village), a 'cave' temple with fine frescoes of the 'Jataka Tales'. Next stop is Htilominlo, the last Bamar-style temple built in Bagan, which boasts old murals and friezes. Return to hotel.
Accommodation at Shwe Yee Pwint Hotel (Bagan Room) or similar, Bagan.
Transfer to Bagan airport for departure flight to Mandalay. Arrival at Mandalay Airport and proceed to enjoy a comprehensive tour of Mandalay, a highlight of which is the Mahamuni Pagoda, home to a spectacular Buddha image covered with thick layers of gold leaves. Near the river lies visit Shwe-im-bin, a wooden monastery over 100 years old which is known for its lovely carving. Stop at local workshops to see kalaga tapestries being made, gold leaf being beaten into paper-thin pieces, stone carving and bronze casting. Lunch at Daung Lann Gyi Restaurant.
Later, transfer to the jetty to board the charming boat RV Mingun/RV Inwa. Check in and embark at Mandalay jetty at 16:00, enjoy welcome drinks and settle in your cabin. The boat slowly sails towards Mingun for approximately 1h30. While cruising along the fascinating scenes of Irrawaddy, enjoy an aperitif on the upper deck to watch the sunset on the river.
Dinner and overnight on on board RV Mingun/RV Inwa, near Mingun.
Breakfast will be served on the sun deck from 07:00. At 08:00, visit the village of Mingun before other tourists arrive from Mandalay. Visit Pondawphaya, Settawya, Pahtodawgyi pagodas and the legendary Mingun Bell (which weighs around 90 tons) one of the largest intact ringing bells in the world. The bell was destined to King Bodawpaya's Pahtodawgyi brick pagoda which could have been the highest in the world if the project had not been halted because of the King's deep superstitions. Around 11:00, back onboard cruise towards Ava, Lunch during navigation. Disembark at 15:00 to visit the Island of Ava by horse carriage including stops at famous Bagaya Kyaung & Me Nu Oak Kyaung Monasteries. After the day's visits, navigate towards Sagaing Hill for an exclusive BBQ Dinner on the River Beach facing the hilltop dotted with white and gold pagodas.
Dinner and overnight on board RV Mingun/RV Inwa .
Breakfast on board, cruise back to Mandalay and disembark at 10:00. Drive to Mandalay city and take a trishaw ride to Kuthodaw Pagoda, where the Theravada Buddhist scriptures are inscribed on 729 marble slabs, giving rise to its nickname 'the world's largest book'. Next visit beautiful teak-carved Shwenandaw Monastery, the only Royal Palace building to survive World War II bombing. Lunch at Golden Duck Restaurant.
Mid afternoon, transfer to the airport for the afternoon flight to Heho. Arrive Heho and transfer to Nyaungshwe.
Accommodation at Hotel Nyaung Shwe (Deluxe Room) or similar, Nyaungshwe.
This morning, we stroll through the morning market at Nyaunghswe before we drive up to the Red Mountain Estate vineyard and winery. Located near Inle Lake, The Red Mountain Estate produces the best wines of the country. You arrive at the vineyard and enjoy wine-tasting with light food. The small outdoor tasting room provides a commanding view over the terraced vineyard as well as a wonderful breeze. Beyond the rolling green hills you can see shimmering Inle Lake, and on a clear day you can also enjoy the surrounding mountain landscape. Return to Nyaung Shwe and take the boat to your exotic boat lunch.
Early afternoon, transfer by boat to your hotel to enjoy the rest of the day at leisure at the hotel.
Accommodation at Golden Island Cottages, Nampan (Superior Room) or similar, Inle Lake.
Today, take a boat trip on Inle Lake - a photographer's dream, its calm waters are dotted with floating vegetation and fishing canoes, to which scenic high hills provide the perfect backdrop. See the lake's unique "leg rowers" - the Intha people row standing up with one leg wrapped around an oar. Visit Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, the holiest religious site in southern Shan State and Nga Phe Kyaung Monastery, one of the oldest monasteries on the lake. One can see ancient Buddha statues which are more than 200 years old.
Enjoy Inle traditional cooking demonstration and lunch at Inle Heritage House.
In the afternoon, visit Indaing, at the western end of Inle, for one of the most scenic trips on the Lake. Passing through the busy village of Ywama, the largest on the Lake, with many channels and tall teak houses on stilts; enter a long, often tree-lined canal, either side of which farmers cultivate their land against the backdrop of the Shan Hills. Disembark at the jetty and walk for 15 minutes through Indaing village to reach the 14th - 18th century pagoda ruins of Nyaung Ohak. Many pagodas here remain charmingly unrenovated, with plants and even small trees growing out of them, making the area very atmospheric. A covered walkway popular with souvenir stallholders leads up to Shwe Inn Thein Paya, a complex of weather beaten 17th - 18th century zedi; some newly reconstructed. Returning to the river we walk along a lovely shady path for 30 minutes to the Intha village of Sema, from where we continue downstream by boat past Yethar village, watching local life on the banks and birds in the trees until rejoining the Lake near Phaung Daw Oo Paya. Return to hotel.
Accommodation at Golden Island Cottages, Nampan (Superior Room) or similar, Inle Lake.
Leave your hotel by boat and then transfer to Kalaw. On the way stop at the hills of Magwe village, the Green Hill Valley Elephant camp (45 mins-1 hour). Receive a welcome from the team with refreshment and a briefing about the project. A short walk brings you to the river, where you can join in feeding and bathing the elephants - they love the water and being scrubbed and washed clean. You are welcome to join in the camp's forest conservation programme by planting a teak tree here.
Walk back to the camp lodge and enjoy a delicious lunch, with a view of the valley and the opportunity to see butterflies, birds and orchids. Continue drive to Kalaw, the former British hill station of Kalaw (approximately 1 hour 15 minutes) a charming town featuring British-style bungalows set in leafy surroundings.
Accommodation at Dream Mountain Resort (Deluxe Room) or similar, Kalaw.
Start walking from Kalaw about 3'bd hours to Myinmahti village, mostly inhabited by the ethnic Danu minority. The route takes you first through the pine forest, which opens out after to 1 hour to potato farms, mountain rice paddies and huge vegetable plantations. In this traditional rural environment farmers still work with oxen and buffalo rather than machines. Enjoy the natural beauty of the area.
Continue to the Myinmahti limestone cave (312 metres deep from entrance to exit). This natural cave has existed for thousands of years, and there are many small caves on either side of the entrance and exit. The main cavern contains numerous pagodas and statues, brought here over the last 2300 years since the reign of King Thiri Dhamar Asawka. Their artistic details are intricate and unique. According to the archaeological research, some of the statues were built earlier than 17 AD or 18 AD. At the entrance to the cave, there are many stalactites where cool water is dripping steadily. At the end of your visit you meet your car here, and return by road to your hotel. Lunch at a local restaurant.
In the afternoon, visit the little town, the tiny railway station and perhaps walk up the hill to see the Catholic church (if open).
Accommodation at Dream Mountain Resort (Deluxe Room) or similar, Kalaw
Transfer to Heho Airport. Domestic flight to Thandwe and transfer to hotel at Ngapali Beach. Day at leisure.
Accommodation at Thande Beach Hotel (Thande Partial Sea View - Deluxe Bungalow) or similar, Ngapali.
Escape to a tropical paradise today with a full day beach safari. You'll be picked up from Thandwe airport or your Ngapali hotel and drive to meet your local boat and guide. Cast off and sail across blue seas from Ngapali's shores to the beach at St Andrew's Bay, a journey of around 1 hour.
On arrival in the fishing village of Maung Shwe Lay walk to a local house under the coconut palms on the beach. Bury your toes in the white sand, while sipping a refreshing coconut drink. After a brief orientation of the Bay and Maung Shwe Lay village, the day is yours to do as you please. We recommend joining your guide on a walk through this typical rural fishing village to see the Buddhist monastery, elementary school, community library and local houses. A home-cooked lunch will be served at midday.
The afternoon is at leisure. Explore more of the village, spend time with the local school children or relax in a hammock on the beach and swim or snorkel. Around 15:00 hours we'll set sail for the white sands of Ngapali where you will be dropped at your hotel.
Accommodation at Thande Beach Hotel (Thande Partial Sea View - Deluxe Bungalow) or similar, Ngapali.
Day at leisure.
Accommodation at Thande Beach Hotel (Thande Partial Sea View - Deluxe Bungalow) or similar, Ngapali.
Transfer to Thandwe Airport. Domestic flight to Yangon and transfer to transferred to Yangon International Airport for departure.


Our tour prices are included of:

  • All sightseeing tour and transfer services with private air conditioned car/coach as detailed in our itinerary
  • Meals as specified in the itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
  • All entrance fees for the places as mentioned in the programme
  • Transfers and tours with English-speaking locally-stationed guides
  • Service charges, room tax and baggage handling
  • Visit to Elephant camp
  • Beach Safari
  • Accommodation on RV Mingun/RV Inwa
  • Accommodation at hotels as above mentioned or similar
  • Filtered drinking water and wet towels during the tour


Not included are:

  • Domestic airfare (Yangon-Bagan-Mandalay-Heho-Thandwe-Yangon)
  • Myanmar visa fee
  • Surcharges for throughout guides (English and other languages)
  • Optional Balloon flight at sunrise in Bagan
  • Personal expenditure, such as drinks, souvenirs, laundry, camera fees, communications, postage, gratuities etc.
  • Meals and services other than mentioned in the programme
  • The use of a sedan chair to go up or down the mountain
  • Drinks with meals
  • Compulsory gala dinners during festive seasons and peak season surcharges which will be advised at the time of booking
  • (Peak season in general is between 15 December to 15 January and 13-17 April)
  • Early check-in and late check-out at hotels, if not mentioned in the programme
  • Travel insurance (cover against all cancellation costs, medical expenses, including repatriation, in the event of accident or illness)



  • Hotel prices for packages are quoted bases on hotels as mentioned or similar. Higher or lower categories can be requested and the price will be adjusted. The hotels featured in the package tour are subject to availabilities at the time of booking.
  • Meals at respective hotels are also included in the hotel prices if the itineraries mention lunch or dinner at hotel.
  • Additional charges during Festive Season: Christmas, New Year and the Water festival period may apply.
  • Supplements for compulsory Gala Dinners will be advised at the time of booking.
  • All hotels have special booking and deposit conditions and will be indicated at the time of booking. Nonrefundable deposits may be required.
  • Domestic airfares are quoted separately and subject to change in case of increases imposed by the airlines (ie. taxes, fuel costs, etc.).
  • There are 8 different airlines operating on the domestic route in Myanmar. Each company has slight different airfares and this pricelist is based on average airfare. Diethelm Travel will book the most convenient and direct routing. The final price can be confirmed once the tickets are booked and issued depending on available booking class and seat availability.
Tour code: MMR15ALT

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