Discover the quintessential Myanmar in this whistle stop tour. Starting in Yangon with its dramatic pagodas and bustling markets we will make our next port of call Bagan, surrounded by awe inspiring plains and further examples of Myanmar’s ancient religious architecture to be seen. We move on to Inle Lake and a chance to witness the extraordinary leg rowers and floating gardens. The final part of the tour takes you to look around some of the local tribal villages and experience the lifestyle and culture of the indigenous Myanmar people.
5 Days Myanmar Must Sees
Itinerary and Info
Arrival in Yangon
Mingalarbar to Yangon! The former capital Yangon, also known as Rangoon, remains Myanmar largest city and continues to be the country's the most important commercial hub and gateway for most of its international visitors. Its colonial background and religious legacy make it one of the most mesmerizing and genuine places in all of Southeast Asia. Upon arrival at the airport you will be warmly welcomed by our Myanmar Diaries guide who will accompany you during the next days.
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. Head to Yangon’s bustling and vibrant city center. Be sure to make a photo stop at Sule Pagoda, downtown’s symbol whose construction dates back to over 2,000 years ago. And finally 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). 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 - Bagan
After breakfast you will be transferred to Yangon airport for a domestic flight to Bagan.
Today’s fantastic voyage will commence with a visit to Tayokye Pyay a towering temple that affords visitors outstanding views of the glorious surrounding Bagan plains. Then 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. Then it’s time to pay a visit to close by Wetkyi-In, Gubyaukgyi, a cave temple with beautiful jataka wall paintings and the stylish Htilominlo Temple revered for its excellent plaster carvings and glassy sandstone decor.
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.
Bagan - Inle Lake
After breakfast you will be transferred to Bagan airport for a domestic flight to Heho.
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.
Then it’s time to embark on a 1-hour trek to Sae Ma village. Along the way, you’ll enjoy the natural beauty and panoramic vistas of the area while basking under the shade of the bamboo grooves in the area. Upon arrival at the village, observe the daily lifestyles of the rural inhabitants before enjoying a nice picnic lunch in the village. After lunch, you’ll transfer back to Tharlay village via an exciting canoe boat ride (1 hour) which provides views of the picturesque Inle Lake, up-close interaction with the Intha people and the option of learning about their traditional one-legged rowing techniques firsthand. Afterwards you will transfer back to your hotel via a private motorboat for the night.
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 remainder of the day is at your leisure to do as you please until your departure flight. Guide and car are at your entire disposal.