Experience the colonial heritage, the vibrant culture, the beautiful nature and the hospitable people during this journey that takes in the classic sights of Myanmar – Burma as well as an iconic cruise along the important Irrawaddy River – this is Myanmar in a nutshell! Learn more about Myanmar on findjobdescriptions.
Begin the journey in Yangon where Myanmar’s colonial past is mixed with the present. Discover the city on a unique fast food tour before heading on to the countryside. In the surroundings of Kalaw you get to walk through the beautiful countryside and meet one of the country’s many minority people. Explore the shiny Inle Lake which is known for its villages built on stilts around the lake and iconic fishermen who row their boats with one leg.
Mandalay will be the next stop where ancient royal cities and the world’s longest teak bridge are among the main sights. From here you embark on a river cruise that takes you along the Irrawaddy River to Bagan, a two-night trip with many outstanding experiences. The plains of Bagan are impressed with their thousands of temples and pagodas – here you can also add a wonderful hot air balloon ride to see it all from above! Finish back in Yangon with a farewell dinner, before heading back home.
This is the complete journey for you who want to discover Myanmar’s different faces – travel from cities to rural areas, see the rich cultural heritage not only from the colonial era but which also stretches back thousands of years and on top of all this you can also travel along the iconic and significant Irrawaddy River.
Day 1: Departure from Scandinavia
Departure by flight from Scandinavia to Yangon.
Day 2: Arrival in Yangon, Myanmar
Mingalabao – Welcome to Myanmar! Upon arrival in Yangon, you will be met and driven to your hotel and can then start exploring the city on your own. Take a walk through the streets of Yangon where the colonial era has left its mark. Although many facades are falling apart, the old buildings are being restored more and more, and the beautiful houses are being restored to their former glory. See the stone lions sitting on guard at the top of the High Court building and the impressive town hall whose design is a typical example where east-meets-west. Wander through the Indian Quarter where fast food cooks pancakes and chickpea snacks – under British rule, more Indians than Burmese lived in Yangon.
Day 3: Yangon “foodie tour” – flight to Heho and transfer to Kalaw
In the morning, you will have a unique experience in Yangon – an exciting “foodie tour” that introduces you to many of the local dishes. Hop aboard the bike-rikshan and let yourself be taken in among the atmospheric city streets with your guide. You will explore some of the best local fast food restaurants and see more of the colonial architecture and fascinating neighborhoods that you do not have time to see on foot. The excursion and the money you spend on fast food restaurants support not only the local food suppliers but also the riksha drivers who have seen their income decrease as the number of taxis in the city has increased. In the afternoon it is time to fly to Heho, where you will meet on arrival and be driven to the small mountain town of Kalaw. With its quaint little houses and its colonial heritage, Kalaw is almost reminiscent of a small English village. (F )
Day 4: Hike around Kalaw – transfer to Inle Lake
After breakfast, set out with a guide on a hike in the countryside around Kalaw. You walk over hills, past tea plantations and through rice fields, stopping along the way for pictures and to enjoy a picnic lunch. After about two hours you arrive at a minority village where the Paluang people live in the traditional way and wear their traditional clothes – both men and women dress in red longyi (a Burmese garment consisting of a piece of cloth wrapped around the hips, like a dress or skirt) with a distinct woven belt at the waist. Learn about the Paluang people’s way of life, their culture and traditions over a cup of tea and a chat. After the visit to the village you return to Kalaw. Here you will be picked up by your driver who will drive you to Nyaung Shwe, on one side of Inle Lake. ( F )
Day 5: Excursion on Inle Lake
Get a glimpse of everyday life on the great Inle Lake as you travel today by long boat to surrounding villages and pagodas. Pass floating gardens and see the lake’s iconic fishermen balancing standing in their boat and rowing with one leg. Today’s first stop is the Paung Daw Oo Pagoda, known for its five Buddha statues that have been covered in so many gold leaves that they now look like golden footballs from what they were originally depicted. Then travel on to one of the villages that stand on stilts at the edge of the lake. Here, traditional skills such as cigar rolling and silk weaving are still performed by hand. In the afternoon, the tour continues to Intha Heritage House for a unique experience in the form of a cooking class. The chef guides you through the recipes, and the food is prepared with ingredients that come from the organic garden. Typical dishes include potato curry, chicken with fried spring onion, bean salad and fish soup. After the course, you can of course enjoy what you have cooked, followed by a tour of the property, which has a small museum and craft shop. (F )
Day 6: Excursion to Indain – flight to Mandalay
Tucked away on the west shore of the Inle Lake is Indain, an area of 17th-century temples and stupas. Climb the stairs, which of course are lined with souvenir vendors, to the top which offers a beautiful view of the surroundings. While some of the stupas have been rebuilt, most have been left abandoned and nature takes over more and more with each passing year – trees find their way into the cracks and grow together with the old ruins. In the afternoon you will receive a transfer back to Heho Airport and fly to Mandalay. You will be met on arrival and driven to your hotel. ( F )
Day 7: Mandalay and Amarapura
Mandalay is the last royal capital of Myanmar and is known for its ancient cities and its artisans who still use traditional manufacturing methods that have been handed down from generation to generation. Visit local craft shops where you can see buddha statues carved by hand from marble or traditional bronze making. Continue to Shwenandaw Monastery with its sweeping ceilings and highly decorative teak carvings. Also visit the Kuthodaw Pagoda which where you will find the world’s largest book – row after row of small white stupas each contains a marble slab etched with Buddhist scriptures, a total of 729. Later in the afternoon the tour continues to Amarapura to see the famous U-Bein bridge which is the longest teak bridge in the world! Jump on a small boat and enjoy a cocktail while cruising along the lake at sunset – this is the best time of day to visit the bridge, which then emerges as a sharp silhouette with the beautiful sunset in the background. (F )
Day 8: Two-night river cruise – departure from Mandalay
Today you leave Mandalay and board the RV Paukan Cruise. Boarding is at 12:00 at Gaweins jetty and half an hour later the boat launches. You are greeted with a cocktail in the saloon or on the sun deck and then lunch is served. After a couple of hours of sailing, you arrive at the Mingun Pagoda complex, which you can visit with the English-speaking guide and the boat’s other guests. In the evening, the boat moors at a sandbank in the middle of the stream. Dinner is enjoyed on board and then there will be a dance and drama performance by Mandalay Arts School. ( F , L , M )
Day 9: Two-night river cruise – second day on board
Early in the morning, the day’s cruise downstream along the Irrawaddy River begins. During two hours of calm sailing, you get a great start to the day and can take the opportunity to admire the river’s natural beauty and life on its shores. Enjoy the sunrise over Sagaing Hill. After breakfast there is the opportunity to visit Sagaing. The journey down the river continues at 10:30 with a day-long sailing. In the late afternoon, a stop is made at Yandabo, a village that specializes in pottery. It was also here that the peace treaty for the first Anglo-Burmese war was signed on February 24, 1826. Visit pottery and the local monastery. The boat is moored for the night near the village of Shwe Nann Tint. ( F , L , M )
Day 10: Two-night river cruise – last day, arrival in Bagan
Again, the day begins early when the boat launches for the last leg of the river cruise. Enjoy the sunrise near Bagan, before it’s time to get off at the Koe Lone Ye Kin pier around 09:30. You will be picked up by your English speaking guide at the pier and drive to your hotel in Bagan. Today you will visit the foremost of Bagan’s distinctive temples, including Shwezigon dazzling in gold, the fine painted roofs of Wetkyi-in-Gubyaukgyi and Ananda, the most revered of all, with its four standing Buddha statues. At sunset, take part in a ‘lamp-lightning’ ceremony, when hundreds of candles and small terracotta bowls filled with oil are lit at temples and pagodas as a sacrificial rite and a way of doing ‘merit’. Merit is an important Buddhist practice that reflects on your good deeds and determines the fate of your next life. ( F, L )
Day 11: Bagan
Today’s tour goes to the outskirts of Bagan and the small charming village of Salay with its collection of old colonial buildings and centuries-old wooden pagodas. Continue to Tamarind Village to get a glimpse into the lives of the Anyar people and see the traditional longhouses where they live. Over lunch, you will hear stories that have been told through the generations. End the excursion with a stop at a palm farm and watch as the farmers climb the trees to harvest the fruit. Watch the process as the fruit turns into palm sugar, and sample jaggary – a local candy or sweet snack, accompanied by some palm wine! Return to Bagan in the evening. ( F , L) Options: Early morning flight with hot air balloon over Bagan Start the day by witnessing how the burners ignite and the hot air balloons unfold and inflate, before you climb on board for an unforgettable ride at dawn! From a bird’s eye view, you get the opportunity to take in the entire fantastic landscape with its thousands of temples and pagodas. Upon landing, it is traditionally celebrated with a glass of sparkling wine. Bagan is a very popular place for ballooning with great views of the temples and the river.
Day 12: Bagan – Yangon
After breakfast, you will be picked up and driven to Bagan Airport for your flight back to Yangon. Upon arrival, you will be met for a transfer to your hotel, before having the opportunity in the afternoon to visit the famous Scott Market, a sprawling complex built in 1926 and known for its range of crafts, antiques, fine silk and gemstones (note: Scott Market is closed on Mondays and public holidays). In the evening, enjoy a farewell dinner at Le Planteur Restaurant, housed in an elegant century-old house tucked away on the shores of Inya Lake and belonging to the Mahn Ba Khaing family – one of the nine leaders in Myanmar who became martyrs. The restaurant is known for its fine French-Indochinese cuisine and has a chef with Michelin experience. The elegant surroundings and well-kept gardens create a beautiful background to the delicious meal you have in front of you. As a guest, you are invited to wear traditional Burmese clothing during dinner, a perfect end to your trip through Myanmar. (F , M )
Day 13: Departure from Yangon, Myanmar
After an eventful journey, you will be picked up from your hotel and driven to the airport, time for the return journey. ( F )
Day 14: Arrival in Scandinavia
Arrival in Scandinavia, the time depends on which airline you travel with.
10 nights at a boutique hotel
2 nights aboard a river cruise boat