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Tailor-made Myanmar Art & Culture Tour

Destinations : Bagan, Inle Lake, Mandalay, Yangon

Duration: 12 days

This private Myanmar Art & Culture tour is the perfect itinerary for the curious traveler. Interspersed with the main sites of Myanmar, this tour includes specially-designed excursions focused on art, music, culture and heritage. During the 2 weeks, travelers will discover the richness and diversity of Myanmar’s talented artisans, both past and present.

The detailed program

Day 1 : Yangon Arrival

Mingalabar and welcome to Myanmar! Start your tailor-made Myanmar tour in Yangon. Formerly known as Rangoon, it is the former capital and its colonial background and religious legacy make it one of the most mesmerizing places in all of Southeast Asia. Upon arrival at the airport you will be welcomed and transferred to your hotel for check-in (Note: check-in time at most hotels is 14.00 and early check-in is subject to availability). Ease your way into your holiday with High Tea of the Burmese or the Western treats at the famous Strand Hotel. Built in 1901, this British-era hotel is situated on the edge of the Yangon River and is a nice retreat from the heat and buzz of the city.

Lunch and dinner on your own.
Overnight stay in Yangon.

Day 2 : Yangon

Delve into Myanmar’s arts and culture scene with a full-day centered on traditional and contemporary Myanmar fine arts. Through this day’s outing, you will gain a much deeper insight and understanding into the regional arts and culture scene. Visit a few of the city’s best art galleries in the morning followed by lunch in a historic and architecturally fascinating building. The afternoon will be spent browsing antique showrooms and discovering traditional dance and music at a nonprofit community music center.

Lunch at the House of Memories and Dinner on your own.
Overnight stay in Yangon.

Day 2 : Yangon

Delve into Myanmar’s arts and culture scene with a full-day centered on traditional and contemporary Myanmar fine arts. Through this day’s outing, you will gain a much deeper insight and understanding into the regional arts and culture scene. Visit a few of the city’s best art galleries in the morning followed by lunch in a historic and architecturally fascinating building. The afternoon will be spent browsing antique showrooms and discovering traditional dance and music at a nonprofit community music center.

Lunch at the House of Memories and Dinner on your own.
Overnight stay in Yangon.

Day 3 : Yangon

We begin today with a walking tour of downtown Yangon to study the variety of colonial buildings and historical sights in the former capital. A visit to a local NGO working on preserving these wonderful landmarks is a great way to wrap up the morning’s tour. Then, head to the famed Shwedagon Pagoda for the sunset. Myanmar’s holiest monument and perhaps its most recognized landmark, visiting the Shwedagon Pagoda in the late afternoon is an unforgettable experience.

Lunch and dinner on your own.
Overnight stay in Yangon.

Day 4 : Yangon – Bagan

A morning flight takes you to Bagan, home to more than 2,000 Buddhist monuments dating back from the 9th – 14th centuries. Spend the day with a local guide exploring the temples and discovering the rich history, Buddhist symbolism, and archeological wonders of Bagan. An afternoon boat trip along the Irrawaddy river affords gorgeous views of the temple plains and you will stop at the unusual cave-like Kyauk Gu Temple before returning to Bagan in the early evening. Round out your first day in Bagan with a dinner accompanied by a traditional puppet show.

Lunch on your own
Dinner at a local restaurant with a puppet show.
Overnight stay in Bagan.

Day 4 : Yangon – Bagan

 

A morning flight takes you to Bagan, home to more than 2,000 Buddhist monuments dating back from the 9th – 14th centuries. Spend the day with a local guide exploring the temples and discovering the rich history, Buddhist symbolism, and archeological wonders of Bagan. An afternoon boat trip along the Irrawaddy river affords gorgeous views of the temple plains and you will stop at the unusual cave-like Kyauk Gu Temple before returning to Bagan in the early evening. Round out your first day in Bagan with a dinner accompanied by a traditional puppet show.

Lunch on your own
Dinner at a local restaurant with a puppet show.
Overnight stay in Bagan.

Day 5 : Bagan

 

Should you wish, there is an option for an early morning hot-air balloon flight over Bagan. Otherwise start the day’s tour after breakfast with a visit to the vibrant morning market. Then, continue our temple discovery with an option to take a mid-day break for a cooking class at a local home. The afternoon will be spent traveling by horse-drawn carriage to more breath-taking monuments. The slower pace of the horse-drawn carriage and tranquil lanes make for a relaxing way to enjoy your final afternoon in Bagan.

Lunch and dinner on your own.
Overnight stay in Bagan

 

Day 6 : Bagan – Mandalay

Drive north to Mandalay (approximately 5 hours), an enjoyable journey through the dry zone and out towards the middle of Myanmar’s hillier terrains. The afternoon will be spent visiting some landmarks of the last royal capital including the marble Buddha at Kyauktawgyi, the “World’s Biggest Book” at the Shwenandaw Monastery, and finally, the Mahamuni Pagoda. If time allows, you can visit some of the workshops making traditional crafts of the royal era. Should you wish, you can attend a performance of traditional puppetry this evening.

Lunch and dinner on your own.
Overnight stay in Mandalay

Day 6 : Bagan – Mandalay

 

Drive north to Mandalay (approximately 5 hours), an enjoyable journey through the dry zone and out towards the middle of Myanmar’s hillier terrains. The afternoon will be spent visiting some landmarks of the last royal capital including the marble Buddha at Kyauktawgyi, the “World’s Biggest Book” at the Shwenandaw Monastery, and finally, the Mahamuni Pagoda. If time allows, you can visit some of the workshops making traditional crafts of the royal era. Should you wish, you can attend a performance of traditional puppetry this evening.

 Lunch and dinner on your own.
Overnight stay in Bagan

Day 7 : Mandalay – Sagaing – Ava – Amarapura

 

Head to the outskirts of Mandalay to discover the ancient cities surrounding the region. Start with a visit to Sagaing, the Buddhist Center of Myanmar, with more than 3,000 monks and 100 meditation shrines dotting its rolling hills. Continue to Ava, the capital from the 14-18th centuries, traveling by horse-drawn carriage to see the crumbling ruins of the palace, monasteries, and other buildings. The final stop of the day is Amarapura where we will enjoy the sunset along the banks of the Taungtaman lake and its famous U Bein Bridge made of teak.

Lunch and dinner on your own.
Overnight stay in Mandalay

Day 8 : Mandalay – Heho – Inle Lake

Leave Mandalay by plane and fly to central Shan State, a mountainous and fertile region. The first destination is Inle Lake where you will take a boat trip on the calm waters to see several villages that are built on stilts over the lake and which are inhabited by the local Inthar people. With luck, you will also see the famous leg-rowing fishermen and see the “floating gardens” along the way. A visit to some of the main pagodas and fascinating workshops, including lotus silk weaving, will also be included before continuing to the hotel for the evening.

Lunch and dinner on your own.
Overnight stay in Nyaung Shwe or at Inle Lake.

Day 8 : Mandalay – Heho – Inle Lake

Leave Mandalay by plane and fly to central Shan State, a mountainous and fertile region. The first destination is Inle Lake where you will take a boat trip on the calm waters to see several villages that are built on stilts over the lake and which are inhabited by the local Inthar people. With luck, you will also see the famous leg-rowing fishermen and see the “floating gardens” along the way. A visit to some of the main pagodas and fascinating workshops, including lotus silk weaving, will also be included before continuing to the hotel for the evening.

Lunch and dinner on your own.
Overnight stay at Inle Lake.

Day 9 : Inle Lake – Indein

 

The day starts with an excursion to the lake’s morning market, which changes location every five days. Continue to Indein, an adventurous 1-hour boat trip through small channels and canals to the Pa-Oh village of Indein. Take a leisurely stroll around the village before ascending to the top of a hill where you will have fantastic views over the lake and Indein’s numerous stupas. Continue with a hike through bamboo groves to a local village before returning to the boat. A stop will be made at a “heritage house” for tea and snacks before returning to the hotel in the late afternoon.

Lunch and dinner on your own.
Overnight stay at Nyaung Shwe or Inle Lake.

 

Day 10 : Inle Lake – Sagar

Our final day on the water takes you to Sagar, the far southern region of Inle Lake. The boat journey takes 2.5-3 hours but is full of fabulous views and home to many unique species of birds, both indigenous and migratory. Upon reaching Sagar, you will see the 108 “sunken” stupas of Sagar– 16-17th-century monuments that are partially underwater a few months of the year. Also, visit many of the small villages on the lake’s shore to observe their ways of life and see their crafts such as pottery and rice-wine making. You’ll return in the mid-afternoon with the setting sun casting a different light on the water and the mountains.

Lunch and Dinner on your own.
Overnight stay in Nyaung Shwe or at Inle Lake.

Day 10 : Inle Lake – Sagar

 

Our final day on the water takes you to Sagar, the far southern region of Inle Lake. The boat journey takes 2.5-3 hours but is full of fabulous views and home to many unique species of birds, both indigenous and migratory. Upon reaching Sagar, you will see the 108 “sunken” stupas of Sagar– 16-17th-century monuments that are partially underwater a few months of the year. Also, visit many of the small villages on the lake’s shore to observe their ways of life and see their crafts such as pottery and rice-wine making. You’ll return in the mid-afternoon with the setting sun casting a different light on the water and the mountains.

Lunch and dinner on your own.
Overnight stay at Nyaung Shwe or Inle Lake.

Day 11 : Inle Lake – Heho – Yangon

 

After breakfast return to the Heho airport for the flight to Yangon. You will be greeted at the Yangon airport and transferred to your hotel (Note: Check-in time is 14.00 and early check-in is subject to availability). The afternoon is free at leisure for additional sight-seeing, shopping, or relaxing.

Lunch and dinner on your own.
Overnight stay in Yangon.

Day 12 : Yangon Departure

Enjoy your breakfast leisurely at the hotel.
Don’t forget to explore the sprawling mess of Bogyoke Market, where you can glance through the extensive collection of Myanmar crafts and merchandise.

Depending on your flight schedule, it might be time to bid farewell to this amazing country. The remainder of the day is at your leisure to do as you please until your departure flight. With good time, your private car will transfer you to the Yangon International Airport.

Day 12 : Yangon Departure

 

Enjoy your breakfast leisurely at the hotel.
Don’t forget to explore the sprawling mess of Bogyoke Market, where you can glance through the extensive collection of Myanmar crafts and merchandise.

Depending on your flight schedule, it might be time to bid farewell to this amazing country. The remainder of the day is at your leisure to do as you please until your departure flight. With good time, your private car will transfer you to the Yangon International Airport.

Price Includes:
  • Accommodation in a shared twin room with a daily breakfast
  • Meals as mentioned in the program (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D= Dinner)
  • Activities and sight-seeing as mentioned in the program
  • Local English-speaking station guides (different guides in each destination – one guide per town)
  • Ground transportation with air-conditioned vehicles (where available) with drivers on touring days
  • Entrance fees for visits mentioned in the program (except camera fees)
  • Boat tour to Kyauk Gu Temple in Bagan
  • Horse-drawn carriage in Bagan
  • Private, motorized boat on Inle Lake
  • Drinking water and moist towelettes on touring days
  • 1 Book from the Yangon Heritage Trust Association per traveler

Price Excludes:
  • International airfare
  • Domestic airfares with neither Air Bagan, Air Mandalay, Yangon Airways, Asian Wings, Golden Myanmar Airlines, Air KBZ, nor Man Yadanarpon Airlines (please refer to the airfare table)
  • Visa fee for Myanmar
  • Tour options (quoted separately)
  • Transfer for dinners if meals are not included in the itinerary.
  • Drinks during meals
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal expenses (souvenirs, laundry, etc.)
  • Peak season surcharges (Myanmar Water Festival, Christmas, New Year, etc.)
  • Christmas and New Year compulsory dinner supplement (TBA at time of booking)
  • Early check-in and late checkout from the hotel
  • Tips for guides, drivers, and other suppliers
  • Any other services/items not mentioned in inclusions

yangon

Mandalay

Bagan

Inle Lake

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