Starting in Yangon with its dramatic pagodas and bustling markets, this magnificent family experience takes you first by boat to the pottery town of Twante. Following this, a short domestic flight will take you and your family to the delights of Bagan to visit its Buddhist monasteries and monastic schools and some of its many caves. Keeping Bagan as your base, you will have a chance to explore the inactive volcano of Mount Popa and later enjoy one of the true highlights of your trip as you take to the skies for a hot air balloon flight. Your last port of call is Inle Lake. Here you will witness all manner of fascinating sights including the bizarre leg rowers and the ingenious floating gardens.
9 Days Family Fun thoughout Myanmar
Itinerary and Info
Arrival in Yangon
Upon arrival at Yangon Airport you will be welcomed by our Myanmar Diaries guide and transferred to your hotel of choice. After a break we’ll start things off with a trip to Kyaukhtatgyi Pagoda to see a 70 meter long reclining Buddha statue around the size of a blue whale. Afterwards, you’ll be trekking uptown in order to make a quick stop by the Royal Lake where it is possible to catch a view of Karaweik Hall which is positioned near this placid lake. No Myanmar expedition can be considered truly great if it’s lacking a visit to the legendary Shwedagon Pagoda. Ready for an amazing experience? The visual delights present there alone, are worth the trip. Witness the colors transform on the 100-meter chedi which is literally enclosed in over 40 tons of gold leaf. Shwedagon is largely considered to be the most important religious site for the Burmese; most visitors report that the trip is extremely memorable and still etched into their minds.
Yangon - Twante - Yangon
After consuming your breakfast be sure to transfer to the Pansodan jetty for and exquisite and fun boat journey to Twante, a quiet and relaxing town on the bank of the Twante channel. It is placed 14 ½ miles (23.2 km) from Yangon and the boat journey takes approximately 2 hours to complete. There will be plenty of time however along the way to observe river life, as well as the fishing techniques practiced there. Lunch will be served onboard the vessel during the course of the journey.
When you arrive in Twante, transportation will be provided by way of a rickshaw ride throughout the entire village. We will stop by the local market as well as Shwesandaw Zedi. Your last stopover of the day will be to some pottery families. Twante is recognized for manufacturing incredible pottery, and your kids and you can observe the tradesmen here applying their customary methods for producing their goods.
Afterwards, you’ll be transferred back to Yangon where you can spend the rest of the day at your leisure in the comforts of your hotel.
Yangon - Bagan
After breakfast you will be transferred to Yangon Airport for a domestic flight to Bagan. Upon arrival it’s off to the vibrant Nyaung Oo Market, where the locals come to trade fresh produce and other goods daily. Afterwards, you’ll visit the golden stupa of Shwezigon Pagoda for a closer look at Bagan’s affluent past.
This particular afternoon adventure will begin with a trip to a traditional lacquer workshop. Here you can watch the manufacture of one of Myanmar’s most familiar handicrafts. Afterwards we’ll continue to Ananda Temple, which is considered to be an architectural work of art and is certainly one of Bagan’s most gorgeous temples. Constructed in an earlier “Mon” style, Ananda houses two distinctive Buddha images. Their expressions also appear to transform, according to the space from which the statue is seen. From this location we will journey on by horse cart for an excursion that passes Thatbyinnyu, the tallest temple in Bagan, gigantic Dhammayangyi Temple noted for its remarkable brickwork, and of course, Sulamani Temple. Take pleasure in an extraordinary sunset over the plains, which will be viewed from the higher verandas of one of these 3 temples.
After a filling breakfast, we’ll jump on over to Ngat Pyit Taung Monastery and investigate the caves at hand, we might even possibly learn more about the local customs and values. This will be followed by a visit to the monastic primary school where we will see some neighborhood children in their classrooms. Most of these children come from severely disadvantaged environments; yet they remain hopeful.
Following lunch, we’ll investigate the settlement of Nyaung U and the adjacent villages where you will gain knowledge of the customary occupations in this locale. Investigate the fascinating procedure used to create poneyay (pea powder paste) and also observe how plum jam is refined. Additionally, we will visit the workshops and observe the creation of some of the region’s most admired merchandise (lacquer ware and wood crafts). You can also find out how customary bullock carts are made which are still being used by farmers all over the nation. Today’s activities are focused towards hands-on activities and the neighborhood craftsmen don’t seem to mind sharing their tricks of the trade with guests.
Bagan - Mount Popa - Bagan
You will disembark from your hotel for an outing to Mount Popa (50 km – 1 ½ h), an inactive volcano that provides brilliant views. This particular area is devoted to spirits known as ‘nats’. There are 777 steps leading up to the top of the shrine and the summit.
Afterwards, you’ll return to Bagan and stop by a characteristic village in addition to a toddy palm plantation.
Option: Hot Air Balloon Ride
The morning will start off with an exciting hot-air balloon ride above the Bagan countryside. You will observe one-of-a-kind views when the sun begins to rise over the Irrawaddy River and various stupas in the region. You’re simply not going to find many other opportunities like this on Earth.
Bagan - Inle Lake
After breakfast you will be transferred to Bagan Airport for a domestic flight to Heho/Inle Lake. From Heho, you will experience a lovely scenic one-hour drive (32km – 1 hour) which leads to Nyaung Shwe, gateway village to Inle Lake. Along the way, you will have an opportunity to visit rural workshops that specialize in traditional Shan paper and unique handcrafted umbrellas. Also, be sure to stop in at the teak monastery of Shweyanpyay to witness the intricate wood carving artwork and craftsmanship of the monks there.
Upon reaching the edge of the lake, you will board a private motorboat and begin heading out onto Inle Lake, one of Myanmar’s most spectacular and breathtaking sights. Along the way you will pass several villages that are built on stilts over the lake, which are inhabited by the local Intha people. Observe the daily activities of the local leg-rowing fishermen and see their ‘floating gardens’, which are built up from strips of water hyacinth, earth and anchored to the bottom of the lake with bamboo poles. You will also visit Nga Hpe Chaung Monastery, which houses loads of early Shan Buddha Images. This particular monastery is also famous for its unique ‘jumping cats’ which have been trained to jump through hoops in mid air. Then you’ll continue on to Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, the lake’s main haven, which contains five sacred images of Buddha decorated in gold leaf. Don’t miss to explore the local crafts of Inle Lake with a stop at the weaving village of Inpawkhone and a cheroot factory, where traditional Burmese cigars are handmade.
After a splendid breakfast, a 1-hour boat ride will take you to the Pa-Oh village of Indein, one of the small villages positioned on the western shores of Inle Lake. Take a leisurely stroll around the village and the neighborhood school before ascending the moss-covered stairway to the top of a hill. Once you’ve arrived at the summit, you will be greeted buy an iconic Buddha image which sits enshrined among hundreds of stupa ruins and overgrown shrubbery. Here, from the peak, you will also be rewarded with mesmerizing views of the placid surroundings. The Indein Pagoda complex is undoubtedly one of the most amazing sites around the shore of the lake and it consists of hundreds of small stupas which are overrun by moss and greenery.
Get ready for an experience unlike any other. You will actually travel by means of a customary leg-rowing canoe to an Intha family’s residence where you will lend a hand in the preparation of a customary feast. The Intha are an indigenous Burmese tribe living on Inle Lake. Most of the Intha are farmers, and spend their time nursing their hand constructed floating gardens that rest upon water hyacinth beds and are anchored to the lake bed by bamboo poles. The ingenious part of it all? The gardens actually raise and lower corresponding with the water level of the lake. They’ve also constructed their own man-made islands out on the lake; as well as canals. They love water and the lake especially, because they live on houses which are perched on stilts. Find out all about the ingredients and cooking methods employed by the Intha. Witness as your gracious host(s) prepare an appetizing banquet, right before your very eyes. Enjoy an enchanting meal with your own personal host(s) before eventually returning to your hotel.
Inle Lake - Yangon
After your breakfast, spend the morning around Inle Lake at your leisure. Then you’ll be transferred to Heho airport (32km – 1 hour) for a short flight back to Yangon.
The afternoon is at your leisure for your last minute shopping. Don’t forget to glance through the extensive collection of Myanmar crafts and merchandise located at the vivacious Bogyoke Market (the market is usually closed on Mondays as well as public holidays).
Depending on your flight schedule it's time to bid farewell from this mystic country. Your private car will transfer you to the international ariport for your departure flight.