17-Day Active Myanmar Adventure

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Tour type

Tour Level: High Level

Tour Comfort: Standard

Tour Period: 17 Days

tour highlights

  • Heritage walk in Yangon and discover its historical colonial buildings
  • Cycling around Magnificent Mandalay and U Bein Sunset Ride
  • Take the public Chinese style ferry from Mandalay to Bagan
  • Exploring ancients Bagan Pagodas and Temples and traditional horse cart ride
  • Hiking tour in Kalaw and exploring local villages
  • Visit Green Hill Valley Elephants Camp in Kalaw
  • A Boat Trip to Phaung Daw Oo pagoda and a cheroot factory for its handmade Burmese cigars
  • Learn about the unspoiled culture and traditional life-style of the local ethnic groups around Sagar
  • Drive to Kakku via Taunggyi to visit a fascinating range of pagodas

tour details

Commencing in Yangon, your tour begins with visits to the vibrant Bogyoke Market and Shwedagon Pagoda before you make your way to Mandalay. Here you’ll drive to Amarapura, take a stroll on the U Bein Bridge and visit the impressive Shwenandaw Monastery. From here you’ll make your way to Bagan, home to Dhammayazaka, the Nandamannya Temple and the village of Minnanthu. As you continue to Mount Popa and Kalaw, you’ll see some of the beautiful scenery Myanmar has to offer. You’ll also visit the Green Hill Valley Elephant Camp, explore nearby ethnic villages and trek through enchanting landscapes. Finally, you’ll discover the fascinating temples, monasteries and pagodas of Inle Lake – a truly serene and peaceful experience. You’ll conclude your tour in Sagar before returning to historic Yangon.

Arrive Yangon and transfer to Hotel. Check in time is at 14:00 hours. Rest of the day at leisure.
Accommodation at Ibis Style Yangon Stadium Hotel (Superior Room) or similar, Yangon.
Yangon retains one of the most complete ensembles of colonial architecture in the world. This walking tour in Yangon reveals some of the heritage buildings and the rich history of their functions and inhabitants up to the present day.
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. Here you'll enjoy well-earned refreshments (non-alcoholic) in the Bar, and later, transfer back to your hotel. Lunch at Linkage Restaurant.
An afternoon, visit to Bogyoke (Scott's) Market gives you the opportunity to see Myanmar's wide range of handicrafts. Stop alongside Kandawgyi (Royal) Lake to take photographs over the lake towards Karaweik Hall and Shwedagon. Enjoy the sunset at Shwedagon Pagoda, famous worldwide - 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. There are always many Myanmar people praying and making offerings at Shwedagon, and it's a fascinating place to spend time watching the world go by.
Accommodation at Ibis Style Yangon Stadium Hotel (Superior Room) or similar, Yangon.
In the morning, transfer to Yangon airport for the domestic flight to Mandalay. Pick up from Mandalay airport and drive to Amarapura and take a stroll on U Bein Bridge, which at over a kilometre is believed to be the longest teak bridge in the world. From here, visit picturesque Sagaing, perhaps the living centre of Buddhist faith in Myanmar today. The hills here are dotted with numerous pagodas and monasteries. Lunch at Daung Lann Gyi Restaurant.
In the afternoon, drive along the busy Ayeyarwady River where you see many boats loading goods as well as women washing laundry. The visit Mahamuni Pagoda, home to a spectacular Buddha image covered with thick layers of gold leaves. Stop at local workshops to see Kalaga tapestries being made, gold leaf being beaten into paper-thin pieces, stone carving and bronze casting. From here, we go 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. Atop Mandalay Hill lie glittering glass-studded temple walls which reflect the evening glow as you watch the sunset.
Accommodation at Shwe Inn Gyinn Hotel (Superior Room) or similar, Mandalay.
At 7:00 a.m. you are picked up from your hotel and transferred to the starting point. Begin your cycle ride north-east through the back lanes of Mandalay, passing through vegetable markets and lively neighbourhoods'. Soon you are in the countryside where farmers tend to their fields and villagers go about daily rituals that have remained unchanged for decades. Water buffalo roll lazily in the mud, goats nibble at foliage, and friendly locals respond to a wave or a smile. Stop first at a market to learn about the different produce on sale, and continue your ride to see bamboo (rattan) weaving - this typical material is used to construct everything from roofs and walls to fans. You also see a much sought-after bean curd being produced, and listen to the owner who will have you convinced it is the best quality bean product in the country. We take a walk through a typical central Myanmar village and learn about rural life and the different crops being grown. On the way back to town stop at a tea shop for some delicious snacks. Arrive back at the starting point 11:30 a.m. - noon. Transfer back to hotel. Lunch at Mingalabar Restaurant.
At around 14:00 hours you are picked up from your hotel and driven south from Mandalay. The city gives way to country, where thanks to ancient canals, inhabitants can still sustain an agricultural livelihood. From the starting point begin a leisurely ride through farmland and villages where locals respond to a friendly wave or greeting.
Along the way we stop in the little-known birth place U Bein, after whom the famous bridge is named, and learn about a Muslim community that has lived here for the last two hundred years or more.
We explore shady paths on the former royal island capital of Innwa (Ava) and finish our ride in Amarapura at U Bein Bridge, which at over a kilometre in span is believed to be the longest teak bridge in the world. It was reportedly built by local headman U Bein of teak salvaged from the former royal palace after the capital moved to Mandalay in 1859. Whilst the bridge has been repaired from time to time, the pillars are still original. After relaxing in the last light of the day, drive back to Mandalay, arriving around 19:00 - 19:30 hours.
Accommodation at Shwe Inn Gyinn Hotel (Superior Room) or similar, Mandalay.
Early morning, transfer to the Jetty where you take the public Malikha 3 ferry to Bagan. Sailing on the Irrawaddy river is a peaceful journey - you watch the local life ashore - a fascinating path into a different world.
Arrive Bagan early evening and transfer to your hotel. Lunch is served on board.
Accommodation at Shwe Yee Pwint Hotel (Bagan Room) or similar, Bagan.
Transfer from your hotel by car to Old Bagan and begin your 2-3 hour walking tour. Pass the ruined walls of Tharabar Gate, the only surviving gate to Old Bagan, where in the niches you will see two statues of guardian 'nats' (spirits). Walk to Pitaka Taik, originally built as a library for Buddhist scriptures, before continuing to Thatbyinnyu, the tallest temple in Bagan and at over 61 metres, a truly impressive monument. Close by is Nat Htaung Kyaung, the only Hindu temple in the group. Opposite sits Nga Kywe Nadaung, dating from the 10th century. Its glazed green bricks are still very much visible, and as one of the oldest stupas in Bagan, it shows how Bagan architecture evolved over time. The final temple before you exit the city walls on the southern side is the 11th century Pahto Tha Mya, where natural light falls inside on a Buddha statue and some wonderful 11th frescoes. Reaching Mee Nyein Gon, make an easy ascent up to a platform on the temple for some fantastic views of the surrounding countryside and pagodas. At times skirting the main road and other times following sections of it, we arrive in Myingaba village; the centre for lacquer craftsmanship in Bagan. Here there is a chance for refreshment at a local tea stall if needed, before visiting Manuha, a Mon period temple with a large reclining Buddha almost hidden away at the rear of the temple. Visit nearby Nanpaya before a short stroll brings you to a lacquerware workshop to see how Bagan's famous craft is made. Return to your hotel. Lunch at Sunset Garden Restaurant.
In the afternoon, you will explore Bagan by horse cart (or) horse carriage for about 2 hours in the late afternoon before sunset. Transfer by car to Dhammayazaka, built in 1196 and the largest pentagonal-based stupa in Bagan. From here your carriage takes you to Lemyethna Temple, topped by an Indian-style apex. Visit the Payathonzu Complex (if open), a set of three interconnected shrines linked by passages and adorned with Mahayana-style or Tantric mural paintings. Nearby is Nandamannya Temple with fine frescoes and an unexpectedly erotic mural. Wander through the village of Minnanthu to see how local people live. Finally, proceed to a temple (by horse carriage or car, depending on the distance) which you may choose to climb for a view of sunset over Bagan.
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.

Morning at leisure.
In the afternoon, we drive out of Bagan to visit Mount Popa, home to Myanmar's intriguing 'nats'. The steps and path wind steeply up Mount Popa - an energetic climb rewarded by fabulous views from the top. Dinner at Mount Popa Resort.
Accommodation at Popa Mountain Resort (Superior Room) or similar, near Mount Popa.
Morning, depart Popa and proceed to Kalaw. The road goes via flat land until Thazi where the road starts to climb up into the hill states of the Shan Country. In Magwe, visit The Green Hill Valley Elephant camp (45 minutes -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. In the afternoon, drive onwards to Kalaw.
Accommodation at Kalaw Princess Hotel (Deluxe Room) or similar, Kalaw.
Early morning, walk to the market to meet your trekking guide and buy all the provision for your forthcoming 3 days trek. This morning we enjoy a walk through the hills. First, we walk up and down for about 3 hours to reach Myin Daik, have lunch there. And 30 minutes' walk to railway station and you can see the people are selling flowers, fruits and vegetables And then walk to Ywar PU about 40 minutes and walk up to Sha Pin Village about 1 hour. After that walk down to Laming Village about 1 hour and we would stay overnight there.
Accommodation at a local house, Laming village.
Today we have a tough day with steep hikes. From Laming to Paw Kai Village ,
Pa O Village, have to walk about 3 hours. And then to walk down to Kone Hla, Da Nu Village, about 1 hour. On the way, you can see the plantations of Chili, potatoes, cabbage and cauliflowers and rice fields. Lunch at Kone Hla.
And then one and half hour to Pattu Pauk Village where we stop for tea break. You can see the different kinds of weaving baskets with Bamboo. The whole village they make the extra money from weaving the baskets. And then walk to Hti Taing for 40 minutes. You can also observe the life of the villagers.
Accommodation at the Monastery of Hti Taing.
This morning we walk to Kyaung Su village for about 1 hour and continue to Than Kha Mauk, another 1 hour walk. From Than Kha Mauk, we enjoy a pleasant stroll down to the lake. We arrive at Indaing, at the western end of the Lake. Light lunch on the way. Here we board our boat and drive to our hotel on the lake.
Accommodation at Golden Island Cottages, Nampan (Superior Room) or similar, Inle Lake.
Explore a 5-day rotating market (if your visit coincides with the schedule) which offers an insight into the life of the ethnic Pa-O, Danu and Intha people who come to these markets to sell and buy goods. Enjoy a full day boat trip on Inle Lake - a photographer's dream. Its calm waters are dotted with floating vegetation and fishing canoes, to which scenic hills provide the perfect backdrop. See the lake's unique 'leg rowers' - Intha fishermen who row standing up with one leg wrapped around a single oar, leaving their hands free to manipulate the conical fishing net. Stop at Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, the holiest religious site in southern Shan State. Lunch at Mr Toe's Restaurant.
Visit a traditional silk-weaving workshop which uses wooden handlooms, and a blacksmith's forge. Pass endless floating gardens, where Intha lake dwellers grow fruit and vegetables. Continue by boat to visit Nga Phe Kyaung Monastery, one of the oldest on the lake, where you can see exquisite Buddha statues which are more than 200 years old. Return to your hotel by boat as the sun lowers and the light softens over the lake.
Accommodation at Golden Island Cottages, Nampan (Superior Room) or similar, Inle Lake.
From your lakeside hotel board a boat to Sagar, in the southern part of Inle Lake, a journey of about 2'bd hours, drinking in the view of the landscape as you go. This pretty, unspoiled village is known for its wheelwrights, and this afternoon you'll visit a workshop and see how wagon wheels are made. Stroll through the village, observing daily life, and meeting friendly locals of the Pa-O, Shan and Intha ethnic groups. Visit Tha Gaung Relic Pagoda, where numerous stupas make an impressive sight, and see other ancient religious monuments. Lunch at Little lodge in Samkar.
Accommodation at A Little Lodge of Samkar (Sagar House) or similar, Sagar.
Enjoy a relaxing morning in this quiet village before you take the boat back to Inle. In the afternoon, we go to the Pwe Za Kong Monastery from where we start an easy 2 hours walk through the back waters of the lake. You will pass through villages where you can see rice mills, rice paper production and you end your walk at the May Nigone Monastery where you can have a relaxing talk with the monks. Lunch at Golden Kite, Nampan. Return to hotel.
Accommodation at Hotel Nyaung Shwe (Deluxe Room) or similar, Nyaung Shwe.
Pick-up from your hotel from where you drive up through pine-clad hills to Taunggyi (about 1 hour, 31 km), the capital of southern Shan State and a former British hill station. Visit the local market where ethnic minority people sell their produce, and a cheroot maker's where skilled young women can make hundreds of cheroots in a day. Approximately 2 hours' drive from Taunggyi in countryside inhabited by the Pa-O people lie the 'lost' ruins of Kakku, a pagoda encircled by dozens of small stupas. Little is known about the origins of this unusual place - the Pa-O believe that the original pagoda dates back some 2,000 years. Wander through the stupas which are decorated with fine stucco work and Buddha images - some in good repair, others not. Lunch at Hlaing Khone Restaurant. Visit a Pa-O village and a large monastery on the way back to Taunggyi. Continue from here to Nyaung Shwe and back to your hotel.
Accommodation at Hotel Nyaung Shwe (Deluxe Room) or similar, Nyaung Shwe.
In the morning, transfer to Heho airport for departure with the domestic flight to Yangon. Arrive Yangon and transfer to your hotel. Rest of the day at leisure.
Accommodation at Ibis Style Yangon Stadium Hotel (Superior Room) or similar, Yangon.
Day at leisure until departure time to the airport for your international 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
  • Boat fees
  • Transfers and tours with English-speaking locally-stationed guides
  • Trekking guide
  • Bicycle
  • Service charges, room tax and baggage handling
  • Accommodation at hotels as above mentioned or similar
  • Filtered drinking water and wet towels during the tour


Not included are:

  • Domestic airfare (Yangon-Mandalay, Heho-Yangon)
  • Myanmar visa fee
  • Surcharges for throughout guides (English and other languages)
  • Optional Balloons flight
  • Personal expenditure, such as drinks, souvenirs, laundry, camera fees, communications, postage, gratuities etc.
  • Meals and services other than mentioned in the programme
  • 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.

    For The Hiking Tour The Following Items Are Essential:

  • Sleeping bag
  • blankets are provided
  • Good walking shoes
  • Warm jacket and cloths (nights can be cold)
  • Sarong and towels
  • First aid kit
  • Long cotton trousers and long sleeve shirt/blouse
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Small day back bag

    Hiking Level
  • Moderate
Tour code: MMR17SAG

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