Day 1 - Arrival
After arriving at Yangon International Airport and transferring to ourhotel, we get acquainted and unwind over lunch. We then set to explore the colonial heritage of one of Southeast Asia's most impressive capitals, basking in its unique spiritual atmosphere. With its broad, tree lined avenues, bustling waterfront and teeming markets, Yangon is a treat to explore. We walk around the old colonial centre with its impressive buildings before visiting Trinity Cathedral with its memorials to Regiments that fought in Burma. We then continue to Shwedagon Pagoda to enjoy the sunset. Rudyard Kipling called Shwedagon "a Golden mystery…a beautiful twinkling wonder." The 2,500 year-old Shwedagon Pagoda is said to be the world's richest golden stupa, or Buddhist spiritual monument. Also considered the most sacred of all Buddhist sites in Myanmar, the golden dome rises 323 feet above its base and is covered with 60 tons of pure gold. As the last rays of the setting sun cast a brilliant light on the domes we observe local pilgrims and monks offering their devotions.
Day 2 - Yangon - Sittang
Day trip to visit Taukkyan war cemetery and Sittang Bridge. This road trip will last most of the day. We drive through interesting countryside for 3 ½ hours to Sittang Bridge. This was the scene of much fighting as the Japanese entered Myanmar and it was likewise the bridge from which the defeated Japanese army left Myanmar. Lunch will be in Bago. On the return journey we visit the war cemetery which is beautifully maintained and includes 6374 named graves and a memorial to 27000 others.
Day 3 - Yangon - Mandalay
In the morning, we transfer to the airport for the flight to Mandalay. Upon arrival we drive to the base of Mandalay Hill which we can either drive or walk up. There are memorials to the actions that to Regiments that took part in the battle along the way. This will be followed by a visit to Fort Dufferin where the re built Mandalay Palace stands. There are a few reminders of the war. After lunch and check in at the hotel, we drive to Ava Bridge (around one hour) and board our private boat for the two hour cruise on the IrrawaddyRiver back to Mandalay.
Day 4 - Mandalay - Maymyo
Today we leave Mandalay and drive for 3 hours to the old British Colonial hill station of Maymyo. On arrival we check into the hotel. In the afternoon we will visit the Botanical gardens which were established by the British in the 19th century. They are the Kew gardens of Asia. Beautifully maintained and a joy to walk around. Dinner tonight will be at a local restaurant.
Day 5 - Mandalay - Bagan
After breakfast, we drivethe centre of the town with its famous Clock Tower. We also visit All Saint’s Church with its memorial to Gurkhas and other Britons that served in the area. We will then stop at a local tea shop which is followed by the drive back to Mandalay to catch an afternoon flight to Bagan, which takes around 40 minutes. Bagan is considered one of the greatest sites of Asia! Located on the lush delta plain, Bagan was once a great Royal Located on the lush delta plain, Bagan was oncea great royal city with over13,000 temples. Although the majority of the temples have been destroyed,ancient temples still dot the landscape as far as the eye can see. Hundreds of temples and pagodas, from simple to magnificent are spread over 40 square kilometres. Much fighting took place around here. We start our exploration of Bagan on foot. We begin at the Shwesansaw Paya. We then zig zag our way along quiet trails, visiting the Dammayangyi Pahto and Sulamani Pagoda. Along the way, we are likely to see cows drinking at watering holes and farmers harvesting sesame seeds. We end our walk by climbing to the top of the Pyathada Pagoda for stirring sunset views.
Day 6 - Bagan
Guests who book the balloon flight are picked up early in the morning to enjoy a spectacular sunrise over Bagan and the Ayeyarwaddy River. Gentle winds not exceeding 15 miles per hour guide the balloon, allowing passengers a serene, bird's-eye view of ancient temples drifting by. On average the flight lasts between 45 minutes to 1 hour. Those not on a balloon flight will visit the small 13th-century Gubyaukgi Stupa, which is known for its fine frescoes. We then stop at the Ananda Temple, one of the largest, best preserved, and most revered temples in Bagan. We also visit a local lacquer ware workshop, where we watch men and women ply their craft using traditional methods. We reunite at the hotel for breakfast before embarking on a walk through the Paya-thone-zu group of temples (a short ride to the east of our hotel). Midday we enjoy lunch at a local restaurant situated on the banks of the Ayeyarwaddy River before a visit to the archaeological museum, home to a collection of world-class Buddha images from the Bagan region.
After our visit to the museum, we start our hike through Old Bagan, walking by the oldest stupa and the tallest temple. We admire frescos at the Thamya Temple and climb to the top of the Swegugyi Temple. Our walk concludes at Bagan's ninth-century gateway, which is guarded by brother and sister spirits Late afternoon we take a short ride to the jetty and set out for a sunset cruise on the lower Ayarwaddy River Before returning to our hotel for dinner.
Day 7 - Bagan - Yangon
Today we take a morning flight back to Yangon and transfer to the Sedona Hotel. In the afternoon, we visit Scott’s market and then walk via the famous Sule Pagoda to the Strand Hotel where you can have drinks at the famous long bar. Suggested dinner venue tonight will be an Italian restaurant located on the banks of Inya Lake, A fitting venue for a last night.
Day 8 - Departure
Transfer to the airport for your onward International flight. For those on an evening flight, a late checkout can be arranged and more time can be spent exploring this fascinating city.
1. Chin Hills - 2 Nights 3 Days
This program sees our guests being picked up at the border town of Tamu from where we drive to Gangaw. Here we spend the night. The next day we drive to the towns of Maawlaik and Kalewa where we spend the second night. From here we drive to Bagan which takes most of the day. This area saw heavy fighting during the re taking of Burma. This option is usually taken up by those first visiting Kohima and Imphal. From Bagan we fly to Mandalay for one night, then on to Maymyo before returning to Yangon for 2 nights to include the war cemetery and Sittangbridge.
2. Myitkyina and Mogaung - 2 Nights 3 Days
This was Chindit country and witnessed particularly heavy fighting around Mogaung. Our base for this trip will be Myitkyina which also witnessed heavy fighting particularly involving Stilwell’s Marauders. This area is accessed from Mandalay.
3. Mektila - 2 Nights 3 Days
This town witnessed heavy fighting during the offensive back into Burma. Our base will be in the town which is accessed from Mandalay.
Day 1 - Bagan - Inle Lake
After breakfast, we fly to Heho (approximate 30 minute flight) which is our gateway to Inle Lake. Known as the most beautiful lake in Myanmar, Inle Lake’s calm waters are surrounded by high hills and dotted with floating gardens and stilted villages. From Heho we take a car for a stunning drive (approximately 1 hour drive) which winds though heavily forested hills where we see a variety of trees including banyan, jacaranda, acacia, and rubber trees. Monasteries, stupa, and small lakes dot the hills. We descend to the flat plateau where most of the county's rice is grown along with a variety of fruits and vegetables and sugarcane. We stop at a local hotel for lunch before proceeding to a small jetty where we pick up our private boat for a 30-minute ride to our hotel, located on the shores of the lake. En route we may pass local Intha fishermen, known as “leg rowers” and famous for propelling flat-bottomed boats by standing on one leg and wrapping the other around the oar. After checking in at our beautiful lakeside hotel, we set off for a for a boat ride on the lake.
Day 2 - Inle Lake
After breakfast we set off by boat to the village of MaingThauk (a 20-minute trip) where we walk to the Forest Monastery along a trail shaded with tamarind trees, passing mango and sugarcane plantations. As we ascend into the jungle (approximate 750 ft. ascent), our trail saddles a deep gorge with a stream running below. Bird calls punctuate our journey, and we may spot monkeys swinging in the trees. We arrive at the Monastery in time to see the Buddhist monks gathering for their mid-morning lunch. Further along the trail from the monastery is a stupa, where we enjoy stunning views of Inle Lake and the surrounding hills. On the way back from the monastery, we have a chance to visit the village of MaingThouk, including an orphanage for pre-schoolers and a sugarcane farm where fudge and syrup are produced. We board our long tail boats for the 45-minute crossing to the southern end of the lake. The journey takes us through floating gardens of multi-coloured lotus flowers and hyacinths. The lake is also home to abundant waterfowl, including egrets and cormorants. We eat lunch at a local restaurant perched on tall stilts offering excellent lake views. After lunch, we board our boats for a leisurely return trip through the villages and vegetable gardens. We stop to learn about some of the traditional cottage industries, including lotus flower weaving, pottery, cigar making, and blacksmithing .We then enjoy the sunset as we return to the hotel by boat.
Day 3 - Inle - Yangon
Transfer by boat and plane to Heho airport and fly back to Yangon for departure.
Day 1. Ngapali Beach
Transfer to the airport and fly to Ngapali Beach, where we drive for 20 minutes to the hotel. Free afternoon to relax on the beach. [As with most flights you could fly via Yangon or Bagan but the plane only stops for 10 minute] The pristine beach of Ngapali stretches for 2-miles. Palm trees fringe clear, azure waters. Sea, sand and sun are the only distractions. No buildings are taller than palm-tree level and loud jet skis, souvenir vendors, and beachside bars are blissfully absent.Opportunities abound to engage with the uniquely charming local culture. Watch fishermen drawing their nets and women carrying baskets of fish to the resort, or simply make the acquaintance of people renowned for their friendliness. Outstanding seafood, a fabulous swimming and snorkeling beach, and a laid-back atmosphere make this an idyllic destination for capping off an unforgettable Myanmar adventure.
Day 2. Ngapali Beach
Four your own expense: Today you can relax, collect shells, stroll to the nearby fishing village, go for a bicycle ride, or take a half-day boat trip for snorkeling.
Day 3. Ngapali Beach - Yangon
Enjoy another relaxing morning on the beach before taking a late morning flight back to Yangon for departure.
*** N.B: Itineraries can be adjusted and updated in accordance with guests’ special requests.