Burma in Depth

Burma in Depth – is a great trip for the first time visitor to Burma with time to fully explore and discover this vast, diverse and deeply fascinating country. Our privately guided, bespoke holiday allow you to experience Burma slowly, fully and at your own pace. Discover the Burma – Myanmar as a popular ‘new’ destination.

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Tour duration: 21 days 20 nights
Start: Yangon – Finish: Yangon
Tour type: Cultural, Adventure, Cruise
Tour operates: Year round/Upon request
Activity level: Moderate
Tour Route: Yangon – Golden Rock – Mawlamyine –
Bagan – Mandalay – Pyin Oo Lwin – Hsipaw – Pindaya – Kalaw – Inle Lake
Price: Contact us
      Highlights of the tour

  • Immerse yourself in the religious and cultural heritage of Mandalay and Bagan.
  • Train ride through the hills to the colonial Hill Station of Kalaw.
  • Enjoy the vibrant life and waterways of Lake Inle.
  • Unwind on the idyllic white sands of Ngapali beach.

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Day 01: Yangon Arrival

Upon arrival at Yangon airport, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Visit the Sule pagoda and the bustling downtown area, taking in the rich colonial architecture and bustling streets and markets. Return to the hotel for rest and free to discover the city at night.
Accommodation in Yangon
Meal: Welcomed dinner

Day 02: Yangon City Tour

After breakfast, stroll along the banks of Kandawgyi Lake in the centre of the city before we come to visit the unique Botataung Pagoda. When we walk inside the pagoda, we can see many ancient relics and artefacts displayed. Continue to discover the Chinatown area.
In the afternoon we make our way to the Chaukhtatgyi Pagoda, which is home to a huge Colossal Reclining Buddha. The highlight of the day is a visit to the magnificent Shwedagon Pagoda, the most outstanding and revered Buddhist pagoda in Burma, whose golden stupa dominates the skyline of Yangon. This is also the most ideal spot from which to watch the sunset in Yangon.
Accommodation in Yangon
Meal: Breakfast

Day 03: Yangon – Bago – Golden Rock

After breakfast, drive 190 km east of Yangon to Kyaikhtiyo. On the way, we stop to visit Bago, the ancient capital of Mon Kingdom in 15th century. The most highlights of Bago including Shwemawdaw Pagoda, Shwethalyaung Reclining Buddha, Kyaikpun Pagoda with its 28 meter high huge Buddha Image, Myo Ma Local Market, Chinese Kwanyin Temple and the Kanbawzathardi Palace of King Bayinnaung. In the afternoon, we continue make our way to Golden Rock. Once arrival, we, as well as others, normally have two options to go up the Golden Rock. One way is to walk along the twisting 10km, on the footpath through a bamboo forests. The second way is to travel to the rock by small open trucks, taking one hour.
Accommodation in Golden Rock
Meal: Breakfast

Day 04: Drive to Mawlamyine

Proceed to Mawlamyine via the town of Thaton. If road conditions allow, we stop off the way, visiting Kawtgoon Cave, which has many intricate Buddha images carved into the walls, before continuing on to Mawlamyine. Once the former capital of British Burma, Mawlamyine today is the metropolitan capital city of Mon State and the gateway to Burma’s little visited south-eastern region. In the early evening we make visit to the 9th century Kyaikthanlan Pagoda, the highest structure in the city for the spectacular sunset it offers.
Accommodation in Mawlamyine
Meal: Breakfast

Day 05: Morning ferry to Bilu Island

After breakfast, take a local ferry across to Bilu Gyun (Ogre Island) to visit some of the local communities that lie along the Thanlwin River. Spend time exploring some of the villages and watch traditional craftsmen at work before heading back to Mawlamyine for a visit to other attractions. In the afternoon, we can either visit the old monastery of Seindon Minbaya Kyaung or leisurely stroll along the Strand Road to relax.
Accommodation in Mawlamyine
Meal: Breakfast

Day 06: Mawlamyine – Drive back to Yangon

We spend the day returning to Rangoon overland. On the way, we stop for some photo opportunities, including a visit to the Htaukkyant Allied War Memorial Cemetery in Taukkyan which commemorates over 30,000 British Commonwealth soldiers who died in Burma during the time at the World War II. There are over 6000 beautifully well-kept graves in all. If the time permits, we will have a short visit to Thanlyin, formerly known as Syriam.
Accommodation in Yangon
Meal: Breakfast

Day 07: Yangon – Bagan

This morning, fly to Bagan. This city is no doubt one of the most impressive sites anywhere in Asia. Begin to visit the vibrant Nyaung Oo Market, the economic center of Bagan. Local people gather at this bustling market daily, to buy and sell a variety of goods, from fruit and vegetables to clothing, china, and lacquerware. Continue to the gold-plated Shwezigon Pagoda, Bagan’s greatest reliquary, built to house relics of the Buddha brought from abroad. From here, drive to the small village of Wetkyi-in to see the wonderful Kubyaukgyi Temple, renowned for its ancient murals then Ananda temple, one of the most reserved monuments in the entire Bagan. Your morning excursion also includes the Htilominlo Temple, which houses four Buddha figures on the ground floor and four more on the first floor. After lunch, continue your exploration of the city’s treasure trove of Buddhist art and architecture.
Accommodation in Bagan
Meal: Breakfast

Day 08: Bagan – Mount Popa Day Trip

We then drive to Mount Popa, an extinct volcano with its shrines dedicated to animist spirits known as “Nats”. For the energetic, time to climb up the 777 steps to the shrine at the top of the volcanic plug. Then drive back to Bagan then spend the rest of the day exploring the other temples of Bagan which consists of more than 2500 temples and pagodas. This archaeological site brings us to the scared history of ancient Bagan capital with the development of Buddhism including Mahabodhi, Dhammagangyi, Sulamani, Nandamannya, Thatbyinnuy. Enjoy sunset on a cruise along Irrawaddy river.
Accommodation in Bagan
Meal: Breakfast

Day 09: Bagan – Pakkoku – Monywa

This morning we enjoy a scenic boat ride along the Irrawaddy River to Pakkou, the Burma’s bustling tobacco trading centre. Once the boat disembarks, we continue overland drive for about 3 hours to Monywa in the Chindwin Valley. Arrive in Monywa then check in the hotel. In the afternoon, we visit the colourful Thanbuddhyi Pagoda which is home to more than 500,000 images of Buddha and the Hiaungdawmu Buddha, the second largest reclining Buddha in Burma.
Accommodation in Monywa
Meal: Breakfast

Day 10: Monywa Sightseeing – Mandalay

This morning we visit the cave chambers of Pho Win Daung and Shwe Ba Daung. The Po Win Hills houses a system of nearly 500 sandstone caves, with some 450,000 paintings, statues and carvings.
After that, we direct to Mandalay, Burma’s historic and cultural capital for many, for many. En route we stop in Monywee Kayemon village to visit a blacksmith and a local cottage industry to explore the tactics they make slippers.
Accommodation in Mandalay
Meal: Breakfast

Day 11: Mingun River boat – Royal Ancient Palace

Start your sightseeing today with a boat ride upstream to Mingun, home to Mingun pagoda, Pahtodawgyi, the huge Mingun Bell, Hsinbyume. Our local expert will be pleased to introduce you the life of people who live on the banks of Irrawaddy River. After lunch, we travel back to Mandalay city centre to explore Mahamuni Image Pagoda then the Royal Mandalay vestiges and relics covering Imperial Palace, Golden Palace Monastery, well-known for its exquisite wood carvings and Kuthodaw Pagoda also known as the world biggest book. The highlight of this day is the panoramic sunset from the peak of Mandalay Hill.
Accommodation in Mandalay
Meal: Breakfast

Day 12: Mandalay Ancient Capitals

Today we travel outside the city to the Buddha land of Sagaing. This religion hub presents the education for monks with different level. Visit Sagaing University, followed by another visit to Buddha cave and U Min Thonze Pagoda, Soon U Pon Nya Shin Pagoda, Tupayon temple where you can enjoy the great view of Mandalay. This afternoon we will travel to Ava, Amarapura to discover the Maha Aungmye Bonzan, Gabaya Monastery, Leaning Nam Myint Tower and the nearby attractions. Enjoy a walk over U Bein bridge, the longest teak wood bridge in Myanmar. Transfer to the airport for your flight to the ancient capital of Bagan, one of Asia’s most extraordinary destinations.
Accommodation in Mandalay
Meal: Breakfast

Day 13: Pyin Oo Lwin – Anisakan Waterfall

Leave Mandalay for Maymyo, the former British hill station, now called Pyin Oo Lwin, after a scenic two-hour drive. You will find out many reminders of the colonial era still present now in Pyin Oo Lwin, including brick and timber houses. Lay back on a leisurely traditional horse and carriage ride through the town and walk around to see the beautiful recently renovated Botanical Gardens. You also have chance to visit the local market in the center of the town near to the clock tower. In the afternoon, we will take an excursion to the impressive Anisakan waterfalls, north of Pyin Oo Lwin. Overnight in Pyin Oo Lwin.
Accommodation in Pyin Oo Lwin
Meal: Breakfast

Day 14: Gokteik Viaduct – Overland drive to Hsipaw

Catch the Mandalay-Lashio train for a scenic but slow, bouncy and creaky 03-hour ride crossing the spectacular Gokteik Viaduct, which crosses a deep gorge. The Viaduct is 100 metres high and 700 metres long, making it the world’s second highest railway bridges at the time it was done. When the train suspends itself on the viaduct, you will be confronted by a spectacular scene, making it the ideal chance for photo capturing. We disembark at Naung Pain Village then proceed our way to the Shan State’s dusty Hsipaw town. Do some sightseeing in town, included a drive up to Thein Daung Pagoda for sunset view.
Accommodation in Hsipaw
Meal: Breakfast

Day 15: Hsipaw Sightseeing

Embark on a one hour cruise along the Dutawaddy River admiringing beautiful scenery along the way. We then walk for 30 minutes to a remote old Shan Monastery passing through pineapple, papaya and orange plantations. After that, we return to the boat and cruise back to Hsipaw where we continue to explore the daily life of the ethnic people. The trip finishes at lunchtime. Free at leisure.
Those who are still interested in further exploration can walk along nearby villages to see some of the cottage industries in the area.
Accommodation in Hsipaw
Meal: Breakfast

Day 16: Drive back to Mandalay

This day we travel back to Mandalay overland. It is no better chance for any tourist to capture the beautiful shots along the way.
Accommodation in Mandalay
Meal: Breakfast

Day 17: Mandalay – Pindaya Caves – Kalaw

Fly to Heho in the Shan state in the morning. Upon arrival, drive to Pindaya to visit the fascinating Pindaya caves with more than 8,000 Buddha images. Later we get to know about the method the local people in Shan state make the umbrellas from cottage material. Overnight in Pindaya. Drive to Kalaw in the afternoon, formerly the charming British Colonial cool retreat. The remainder of the day is free.
Accommodation in Kalaw
Meals: Breakfast

Day 18: Kalaw Sightseeing – Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda

Explore the best attractions of this marvellous hill town, including the gold lacquered bamboo Buddha of Nee Paya, the Catholic church of Christ the King.
Continue on by road to Inle Lake. Skimming along the waterways in a long-tail boat, catch a first glimpse of floating gardens, stilt houses, and fishermen propelling their skiffs with one leg wrapped around an oar. Visit the infamous Phaung Daw U Pagoda, which enshrines five Buddha images believed to have been carried to this area by the widely-traveled 12thcentury King Alaungsithu then Nga Phe Chaung Monastery or Jumping Cat Monastery in other words.
Accommodation in Inle Lake
Meals: Breakfast

Day 19: Indein Ruined temples – Nampan village

Boating to western part of the lake where we will be encountered by the ruined Indein, situated on the southwestern corner of the lake. Here you can wander through a typical lakeside village and observe local people in their daily activities. From the top of old Shwe Inn Dein, an impressive collection of ancient and unrestored Shan style stupas, enjoy a stunning view out across the lake and beyond.
We then ride our boat to the Nampan and Innpawkhone villages. Here we get an ideal chance to see some traditional cigar making and silk weaving, and hopefully some local fishermen practicing their uniquely distinctive rowing technique.
Accommodation in Inle Lake
Meals: Breakfast

Day 20: Fly back to Yangon

Return to Yangon then continue to visit the busy 79-year old Scott market with its large collection of local handicrafts, souvenirs and other items.
Accommodation in Yangon
Meals: Breakfast

Day 21: Yangon Departure

Taking your flight back home with impressive memory of Burma.
Accommodation: Not available
Meal: Breakfast

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