Spend an afternoon touring the temple town of Bagan by bicycle. This is a fantastic way to see the thousands of spectacular temples, stupas and pagodas.. Join a homegrown master of Burmese cuisine as you stock up on market ingredients, cook up a storm in a cooking class, then feast on the results – all the while supporting a community library initiative.. Enjoy an action-packed activity schedule in Mandalay. Visit the magnificent Mandalay Palace, tour a local village and monastery, and discover the hill-top pagodas of Sagaing.. Explore Inle Lake on a peaceful canoe trip, followed by a boat tour of its floating islands and local village industries.
Discover the magic and myth of Myanmar on a nine-day journey through some of its very best sights. Bookend your adventure in beautiful Yangon, where the golden Shwedagon Pagoda glitters in the sunset, and experience the many facets of Myanmar’s heart and soul in between – tranquil temples, home-cooked cuisine, grassroots culinary wizardry, floating lake islands and the local handmade industry. Many modes of transport, from plane to bike to canoe, make for a convenient, exhilarating and authentic adventure across this enchanting land, as you discover a country that embodies the South East Asia of twenty years ago.
Breakfast Included: 8 Lunches Included: 2 Dinner Included:
Mingalaba! Welcome to Myanmar. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. If you have free time to explore before the meeting, we recommend stepping out onto the streets of Yangon. Why not take the Circle Line train for a 3-hour journey around town, or head over to Bogyoke Market and haggle with the locals? There’s also Sule Pagoda, a 2000-year-old golden temple, and the Gems Museum, which houses some of the world’s largest sapphire, ruby and jade pieces. After the meeting, there's an optional group dinner – a great chance to chat with fellow travellers and enjoy sumptuous Myanmar cuisine, which draws variously on Mon, Indian and Chinese flavours.
Take an early morning flight to Bagan (approximately 1.5 hours). This famous archaeological site, located on the banks of the Ayeyarwady River, is where Theravada Buddhism was first introduced to the Kingdom. It was once the site of 10,000 temples, pagodas and monasteries – it still boasts a staggering 2000 brick and gilded ruins. After arriving this morning, your leader will take you on a half-day bicycle tour of the stunning UNESCO site. Seeing these marvels on two wheels is ideal, as the site is quite spread out and you'll get to witness the grandeur of Ananda Temple and more.
Take a cooking class with a friendly, community-minded culinary expert this morning. Visit the local market to stock up on produce, then head to the kitchen to cook up a storm. Take the opportunity to ask your host about any mysterious ingredients you might see in the marketplace – she's a wealth of knowledge. As well as a chance to cook and taste real home-cooked Myanmar cuisine, it's a good cause, with part of the proceeds going towards a local children's library initiative. Enjoy the fruits of your labour for lunch, followed by a free afternoon and evening.
Prepare for a long day of travel as you drive to Mandalay by private minibus (approximately 5 hours). Make sure you’re stocked up on snacks and your devices are fully charged for the journey, or perhaps take the time to get to know your fellow travellers. Though it's mostly a hub for day trips, the enchanting and evocative former royal capital of Mandalay has many lovely churches, temples and mosques to discover. Enjoy free time exploring or simply relaxing this afternoon.
Embark on a morning boat trip up the famous Ayeyarwady River to Mingun (approximately 1 hour each way). Here you will find a small handful of impressive pagodas and unique sites, as well as the foundations of what had the potential to be the largest temple in the world. Spend some time exploring, then return to Mandalay. This afternoon, visit the impressive Mandalay Palace and Shwenandaw Monastery before heading out of the city to witness an awesome sunset over the U Bein Bridge.
Today is a full day of travelling by private bus to Nyaungshwe (approximately 9.5 hours). En route, stop and visit the community-based tourism village of Meiktila. Wander through the village and learn about the culture and traditions of the villagers and the inspiring work done here to improve the lives of the locals, before enjoying a hearty home-cooked lunch. This evening arrive at Nyaungshwe, your gateway to Inle Lake, and a picturesque and culturally fascinating area. Settle into your hotel, then enjoy free time to perhaps visit the bustling night market or enjoy a drink in one of the local bars.
This morning, explore the lush waters of Inle Lake by canoe, then continue by motorised boat for a sightseeing tour. Stop by to see the local cigar makers, silk and lotus weavers, and see the unique floating gardens. This tour is a fascinating insight into local handmade traditions, even the floating gardens require considerable manual labour to landscape – local farmers collect weeds from the depths of the lake, then fashion them into gardens with the help of bamboo poles as anchors.
Catch a morning flight to Yangon. After settling into your hotel, head out to see the holiest shrine in the country, the Shwedagon Pagoda. This gilded pagoda is studded with nearly 5000 diamonds and a number of gems and is said to contain eight hairs of the Buddha. It’s a particularly impressive sight at sunset when the stupa begins to shine in the fading light of the day. This evening, why not head out for a final group dinner to toast to your adventure.
Your trip comes to an end today and you are free to depart at any time.