Myanmar Discovery


A land of dazzling pagodas, crumbling temples and age-old customs, this Immerse Yourself Tour delves deep into the magic and mystery of Myanmar. You'll explore cultural treasures, try your hand at traditional crafts and meet some of the country's diverse local people.

Places Visited

New Zealand - Yangon (2N) - Bagan (2N) - Mandalay (2N) - Pindaya (1N) - Inle Lake (2N) - Loikaw (2N) - Yangon (1N) - New Zealand

Day 1-2: Fly to Yangon
Fly to the vibrant city of Yangon for a two-night stay.
Day 1-2: Fly to Yangon
Day 3: Discover Yangon
Start the day exploring the atmospheric Shwedagon Pagoda. Myanmar's most sacred Buddhist site, it is said to have four relics of Buddha enshrined within. Continue to browse the exhibits of the National Museum before taking a ride on the Yangon Circle Train, the authentic, local way to see the city. Learn about national hero General Aung San at a museum housed in his former home before heading into downtown Yangon to stroll through the street markets and colonial architecture. End the day with a cocktail at the Strand Hotel – built in 1901 it is still one of the city's grandest hotels. (B,L,D)
Day 3: Discover Yangon
Day 4: Temples of Bagan
Fly to Bagan. Your first experience of the glorious temples will be Ananda. Built in 1091, this temple has been in constant use ever since and exudes a wonderful atmosphere. Take to the waters of the Irrawaddy and cruise to Kyun Thiri village, where you'll visit the monastery for tea and snacks. Returning to Bagan, visit a lacquerware shop before taking a horse and cart ride among the temples. Dinner includes a cultural show. (B,L,D)
Day 4: Temples of Bagan
Day 5: Mt Popa
Travel to Mt Popa, an extinct volcano rising out of the Myingyan Plain, where you'll ascend a volcanic plug to visit the temple on its summit. The views from the top are incredible! Returning to Bagan, stop at a toddy palm plantation to learn about this family enterprise. Later, cycle to the 11th century Shwezigon Pagoda and on to the secluded Kauk Gyu cave temple to examine the exquisite stone carvings. (B,L)
Day 5: Mt Popa
Day 6: Mahamuni Buddha
Fly to Mandalay. Learn about the traditional industry of goldbeating and learn how to hammer gold yourself, before visiting the Mahamuni Buddha, one of the most revered Buddha images in the country. It's also the perfect place to see where what happens to all that hammered gold! Continue to magnificent teakwood Shwenandaw monastery and Kuthodaw pagoda, home to the world’s largest book. Take a relaxed cruise down the Irrawaddy to the monumental Mingun Pagoda, which dominates the river bank. (B,L,D)
Day 6: Mahamuni Buddha
Day 7: Sagaing and Inwa
Today begins at a nunnery nestled in the Sagaing Hills, before a short boat trip over to Inwa, the ancient imperial capital set on an island. A horse and cart will take you around the sights. Next, walk with the locals over U Bein Bridge, the world’s longest teak bridge – the setting is beautiful. Finally, sit back and enjoy a sunset cruise on Lake Tautaman, with cocktails on hand. (B,L)
Day 7: Sagaing and Inwa
Day 8: Pindaya Caves
Fly to Heho, in the Shan highlands, and transfer to Pindaya to discover the Shwe U Min limestone caves, a famous Buddhist pilgrimage site. Later, visit the skilled artisans who make Myanmar’s iconic paper umbrellas in their workshop. The umbrellas are still made solely by hand in many beautiful shades. (B,L,D)
Day 8: Pindaya Caves
Day 9: Trekking in Pindaya
Set out on foot to explore the landscapes of the Shan highlands. Wander through a tea plantation and pass through villages where you’ll be able to see local communities going about their daily lives. This afternoon, transfer to Inle Lake. The lake is best known for the extraordinary Intha people, who live on and around the water, and are renowned for their unique leg rowing technique. (B,L)
Day 9: Trekking in Pindaya
Day 10: Explore Inle Lake
Discover the overgrown forest of stupas and pagodas at Indein, before taking to the waters of Inle Lake to explore. You'll float through stilt villages, stopping at the workshops of local industry – silk weaving, silver smithing and cheroot making. Stop to look at the resourceful floating gardens and keep an eye out for fishermen going about their business in Inle’s unique style. (B,L)
Day 10: Explore Inle Lake
Day 11: Visit an Intha House
Enjoy a morning walk through a local market before visiting an Intha house for a cooking class with a local chef. You’ll get to enjoy the dishes you create for lunch. This afternoon see Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, the temple at the heart of the lake community, then head onto dry land to take a tuk tuk to the Red Mountain winery. Here, you’ll have a tour of this wine making facility including a tasting. (B,L)
Day 11: Visit an Intha House
Day 12: Loikaw
Take a boat to Loikaw, a place that offers a glimpse of wonderfully authentic Myanmar. Make stops en route at local villages to see pottery makers and rice wine producers as well as the picturesque partially submerged pagodas at Sagar. Disembark at Pe Khone, an area where Shan, Pa O and Intha ethnic groups make their homes, and travel to Loikaw. (B,L)
Day 12: Loikaw
Day 13: Explore Loikaw
Visit more of Myanmar’s ethnic minority groups in Pan Pat village, home to the Kayah Padaung people. The women of this group are famous for elongating their necks by wearing bronze rings – they are one of Myanmar’s most iconic images. Back in Loikaw, visit the Kayah State Cultural Museum and a colonial house from 1912, used by the Shan royal family, and Taung Kwe pagoda. (B,L)
Day 13: Explore Loikaw
Day 14: Depart Yangon
Transfer to the airport and fly back to Yangon. There will be time to visit Bogyoke market to pick up a few more souvenirs and, time permitting, Botataung pagoda and Nanthida jetty. A farewell meal this evening will be at The House of Memories. In the building where General Aung San once had his office, the restaurant is filled with fascinating old mementos. (B,L,D)
Day 14: Depart Yangon
Days 15-16: Yangon to New Zealand
Enjoy the morning at your leisure before you are transferred to Yangon airport to board your flight to New Zealand, arriving home the same or following day. (B)
Days 15-16: Yangon to New Zealand

Also Available

Tailor Your Tour

If you like most of the itinerary which we have suggested but you'd like to change the route and the accommodation, speak to our specialist Tailormade team, who can build your perfect itinerary based around where you would like to go, what you would like to see and how much you'd like to spend. Just call us on 0800 936 3998 and we'll help plan your dream holiday.

Tour prices are per person, twin share departing Auckland. Regional departures available on request. Additional charges: Tipping is payable on arrival in destination (see Additional Price Information below).

Additional Price Information:


Single Supplement from $1,250
Land Only (Yangon to Yangon) 14 days from $4,080per person twin share
Additional charges: Customary tipping US$86 per person (subject to change) payable on arrival.
Depending on airline schedules, you may depart and/or arrive on Day 2, or may require extra nights pre or post tour accommodation or stopovers at additional cost
Tour availability is updated each Monday. While every effort is made to ensure availability status is current, it is advisable to contact our reservations department on 0800 936 3998. Limited seats denotes 4 seats or less available.

A visa is required by all nationalities. A single entry visa should be arranged in advance of travel.
Unlike many other tour operators, we include your entry visas in the price of our tour. We handle the entire visa process – all you need to do is fill out the form and send your passport to us. We are always on hand to help you with any questions or queries you might have when completing the form. 

Phone Calls
International and domestic calls can be made from your hotel room. It’s a good idea to check call costs with hotel staff or your local guide before making calls, as this can be expensive. A service charge may also be involved. To call New Zealand – the international access code is 00, followed by the country code 64, then the local area code (omitting the first 0), then the number.
 
Mobile Phones
Mobile phones are quite popular and you will find high quality coverage, with active roaming agreements with most of the service providers. Please make sure you are aware of associated costs and have activated your international roaming prior to departure.
 
Internet & Email
Internet cafes can be found in all major cities and even in some small towns. This is often the easiest and cheapest way to stay in touch. Most hotels have a business centre with internet access, but at a slightly higher rate. Some hotels may have Wi-Fi which usually comes at an additional cost and may only be available in hotel lobbies. 

Tipping is an expected element in the tourism industry today and Burma is no exception. Many passengers are often uncertain of how much to tip so we have established a tipping system whereby every passenger gives a set amount to the National Escort who will distribute the amount appropriately. On multi-country tips, this amount will be paid in stages on arrival in each country. If there is no National Escort, you will need to give your money to your Local Guides and tipping amounts for each city will be shown in your final itinerary. The amount for the kitty is calculated for each tour depending on the length, group size, and services used during the trip.
 
We will indicate the tipping amounts in your final documents for guidance.

Shopping can be a fun and entertaining component to any travel adventure. In keeping with most people’s interests whilst on holiday, your tour will include a reasonable number of opportunities to shop for local goods and souvenirs.
 
We have included visits to establishments that not only provide an opportunity to purchase a locally produced, great-value souvenir; but you’ll witness first-hand how these local products are made, their history and how they support the local economy. We are aware that people like to take home souvenirs, so we endeavour to ensure the shops you visit have a reputation for quality, honesty, and authenticity – we do our best to ensure that you don’t get ripped off. 

The cost of all meals is included in your group tour cost. Breakfast is a combination of local and western food, usually served buffet style at the hotel you are staying in. Lunches and dinners consist of traditional cuisine and are served at reputable local restaurants. As is traditional in this region, lunch and dinner consists of small dishes of local cuisine which is then placed on the table for everyone to share so you can experience the variety of speciality dishes. The amount served is more than ample for the whole group. We aim to cater to the tastes of the majority of people and so the food is not too spicy or unusual in taste.
 
Drinks will be at each tour members’ own expense and paid for at the end of each meal. Beer is widely available and cheap. Western style wine is very expensive to import and is not widely available except at upmarket restaurants. Bottled drinking water, soft drinks, and fruit juices are also widely available – remember that you should only have ice or fruit juices from a trusted restaurant, where they will use boiled or bottled water.
Due to the French colonial influence in some Southeast Asian countries, black tea (commonly referred to as ‘lip-ton’ by the locals), coffee, and baguettes are available in most places. However, the local style is to have sweet condensed milk with their tea and coffee. Fresh dairy milk is not usually served but many restaurants will provide this if requested. ‘Cafe Sua-da’ (or iced coffee with milk) is a favourite choice amongst the locals.


Why Book This Tour?

It's an alternative and more in-depth exploration of Myanmar, offering the opportunity to delve deep into local culture with many exciting and active experiences, and to step off the tourist trail into lesser-discovered locations

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