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Finding the raw beauty of serene Myanmar

14/Days  Flexible & Private Tour
 YangonBaganPakkokuYandabo villageAvaMandalayKalawInle Lake
Only From
$3322 $3020
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Finding the raw beauty of serene Myanmar Finding the raw beauty of serene Myanmar Finding the raw beauty of serene Myanmar See all 12 photos
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Book with comfort, Travel with smiles


Venturing around the enchanting Burma at leisure speed, you are to take the best advantage of time to savour slowly the most of every single place we pass. Joining this fortnight journey formed by an integration of land and cruise sections, you are able to discover a deeply spiritual and traditional way of life that has just opened up to the outside world. From South to North, you will gradually explore the country’s diverse way of life from vibrant Yangon to gloriously ancient Bagan, splendid Mandalay city to the idyllic Inle Lake. Beside the interesting land excursions through all significant sights not to be missed such as glistening Shwedagon, series of ancient red-brick monuments in Bagan, thrilling boat trip in Inle Lake or scenic hill trek in Kalaw, a relaxed river cruise in middle of the trip will offer you excellent chance to access more of less known beauty which could only touched through waterway such as quiet remote villages Yandabo or peaceful farming and fishing sceneries up and down the lazy-flowing Irrawaddy river. Let us help you leave everything behind and relish every moments of peace in your carefree holiday.

Highlights

  Meditate in the wonderous Shwedagon pagoda over the sunset

  Discover series of treasure ancient monuments in Bagan archaeological zone

  Stroll around the quiet village of Minanthu

  Absorb the spectacle of peaceful riverside upstream the Irrawaddy from Bagan to Mandalay with Pandaw cruise

  Explore all spiritual beauty around the royal Mandalay

  Venture the indigenous tribe villages in Kalaw hill

  Refresh out in the serene Inle Lake

Tour Summary

By Day Transfer Destinations Activities Meals
Day 1 Yangon Arrive Yangon, check in hotel and relax
Day 2 Yangon Travel around Yangon's highlights: Botataung Pagoda, Sule Pagoda,... B
Day 3 Bagan Morning fly to Bagan, visit Nyaung U market and all key ancient... B
Day 4 Bagan Visit Minanthu local village on foot B
Day 5 Bagan Transfer to jetty and join ship for lunch on board, afternoon visit... B, L, D
Day 6 Salay Sail to visit Salay, walk to Yoke-Sone Kyaung, drive up to visit... B, L, D
Day 7 Pakkoku Visit Pakokku market and local workshop by Tuk Tuk B, L, D
Day 8 Yandabo village Tour around Yandabo village, explore pottery workshop and local school B, L, D
Day 9 Mandalay Disembark cruise, visit more key sites of Mandalay including... B
Day 10 Kalaw Morning fly to Heho, drive to Kalaw, en-route visit Pindaya cave,... B
Day 11 Kalaw Trek to hill villages in Kalaw B, L
Day 12 Inle Lake Drive to Inle Lake, en-route visit , en-route visit Shan umbrella... B
Day 13 Indein Discover Indein village, pagoda and stupas, explore local traditional... B
Day 14 Yangon Fly back to Yangon, depart B
  • Transfer:
  • Activities:

    Arrive Yangon, check in hotel and relax

Welcome to Yangon. Upon your arrival, you are warmly welcomed by guide and driver then transfer to hotel for check-in and relaxation.

Meals are on your own account.

  • Transfer:
  • Activities:

    Travel around Yangon's highlights: Botataung Pagoda, Sule Pagoda, French colonial buildings, Mahabandola Garden, Kandawgyi Lake & Shwedagon Pagoda

After breakfast, we start a day trip to visit Strand Road, Yangon River and Botataung Pagoda. Next up, we head to Sule Pagoda which houses a hair given by the Buddha to two Burmese merchants. Surrounding the pagoda are small shops and all the familiar non-religious services such as astrologists, palmists and so on. Then, we stroll down nearby French colonial buildings and visit Mahabandola Garden. After lunch break, spend your time to stop and relax at the picturesque Royal Palace (Karaweik) & Kandawgyi Lake. To call it a day, find the way to World famous Great Golden Shwedagon Pagoda and see it magically lit at night.

Lunch and dinner are on your own account.

Uncover the diverse history and culture of Yangon

Welcome to Yangon - the biggest and most bustling city in Myanmar, a unique city in Southeast Asia with all nostalgic colors of time and culture reserved over centuries. If you are interested in colonial era architecture, a stroll down Yangon's colonial buildings will definitely blow you away by well-reserved images from the 20th century, with decaying facades filled with old paint and small trees squeezing through those little cracks. Moreover, proud of rich cultural tradition, Yangon will amaze you with plenty of spiritual relics where you can experience the importance of Buddhism to the Burmese’s lives: tranquil Chaukhtatgyi Temple containing an over-200-feet-long reclining Buddha, the octagonal-shaped 2500 year old pagoda Sule Pagoda located in the heart of the city, and especially the legendary Shwedagon Pagoda - the massive 99 meter high gold plated pagoda with the diamond studded spire on top of a small hill in downtown Yangon. And don’t miss chance to meditate in pagoda’s mystical atmosphere beautifully lit up after dark.(Note: Selected schedules will be appropriately handpicked according to specific package)

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  • Meals:

    Breakfast

  • Transfer:
  • Activities:

    Morning fly to Bagan, visit Nyaung U market and all key ancient monuments: Htilominlo Temple, Shwezigon Pagoda, Gubyaukgyi Temple, Thabinnyu Temple, Myinkaba village, Ananda Temple, Shwesandaw Pagoda

After breakfast at the hotel, take morning flight to Bagan. Land in Bagan, we start to visit the colorful Nyaung U Market; Shwezigon Pagoda and its magnificent golden stupa; Htilominlo Temple masterfully decorated with carvings from sandstone and plaster; Gubyaukgyi Temple, with superb mural of Jataka tales; Myinkaba village to experience one of Myanmar's best-known handicrafts, traditional lacquer-ware; Ananda Temple, an architectural masterpiece of the early century temple style with four impressive standing Buddha statues; Thabinnyu Temple, the highest temple in Bagan. Wind down with the sun setting over the far horizon, from the upper terrace of the magnificent Shwesandaw Pagoda.

Lunch and dinner are on your own account.

Discover local values and historical treasures in the ancient kingdom of Bagan

Bagan - among the most significant archaeological South East Asia sites is one of the densest concentrations of temples and pagodas with about 2,000 monuments remain in various states of repair. Once arriving in Bagan, grasp a terrific chance to see how local life is going through in Nyaung U market: the atmosphere in a Burmese market, regional products, fresh veggies, fine rice, unique local suncreen, etc. Continue the visit to important Buddhist constructions of Bagan: Shwezigon pagoda - the huge gold plated pagoda which is believed to enshrine a bone and tooth of Gautama Buddha, Ananda temple - a gorgeous white temple with coppery golden top - the finest and most beautiful temple in Bagan. Moreover, the further exploration in the legendary Gubyaukgyi, Htilominlo and Sulamani Temples will truly be a step back in time between historical architecture, old murals, plaster carvings and glazed sandstone decorations.   After a long day, soothe your soul in peace and enjoy the sunset along the Ayarwaddy River. 

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  • Meals:

    Breakfast

  • Transfer:
  • Activities:

    Visit Minanthu local village on foot

Drive to Minnanthu village and take a stroll and explore real local life and culture. See how the villagers go about their day to day activities like collecting sesame seeds, weaving cloth and spinning cotton. There is also a silversmith shop where they make their own silver jewelry. You are to keep on walking to Lay Myat Hnar complex to experience the layout of brick monastery compound and monastic life in Bagan.

Warm note: From October to March, you can request a hot-air balloon ride which takes you above the charming Bagan plain and the impressive Ayeyarwaddy River to watch sunrise. Remember to get up early.

Lunch and dinner are on your own account.

Excellent insight into authentic Minanthu village

Minanthu village, to the east of Bagan, is the place which gives you an excellent insight into the traditional daily life of local people. Taking a walk in the village and you will see people in their daily work: collecting water from well, harvesting sesame seeds, weaving cloth, spinning cotton, making cheroot & silver jewelry, etc.  Don't hesitate to say "Mingalabar" (which means "Hello" in Burmese) and the friendly villagers will always be very happy to share you their ways of living through inside stories. It is also nice to visit the nearby temple Lay Myat Hnar monastic complex. The shining white exterior with old paintings coverring interior walls will surely leave you a great lasting impression.

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  • Meals:

    Breakfast

  • Transfer:
  • Activities:

    Transfer to jetty and join ship for lunch on board, afternoon visit lacquerware workshop, Payathonezu, Dhamayangyi & Taung Guni temples

After breakfast, pack up your luggage and get ready for a life on board wirh Pandaw. Meet up your guide for then we drive to Ayar Jetty in Bagan and check in cruise around 12:00 pm for lunch. In the afternoon, visit a Lacquerware workshop to explore the process of making lacquer handicrafts which is the specialty craft of Pagan. Continue to the unique Payathonezu, three inter-connected temples with a narrow passage built in the late 13th century. End the day with a visit to Dhamayangyi from AD 1170, the widest and largest temple in Pagan. Watch the sunset from the top of Taung Guni temple before returning to the ship.

All meals are included on board.

Pandaw's touching sailing to hidden charms of Myanmar

Irrawaddy river – proud as one of symbolic feature shaping the serene beauty of Myanmar. A journey up and down the mighty river will offer you wonderful experience to capture all precious moving images of maybe white oxen herd resting under palm trees’ shade somewhere in an isolated sleepy village, local people finding their life meaning in pagodas, or the big red sun falling down into the water while someone is catching fish under. Pandaw cruise is gingerly picked out to gather all travel enthusiasts for the meaningful journey by heart and soul from the best to least known beauty of Myanmar along Irrawaddy river. With dedicated crew, creative itinerary and knowledgeable guides, we hope everyday is a new amazing experience of you getting to know more local cuisines, different cultural nuances, unusual tourist tracks and cheerful residents.   

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A new search of ancient Bagan

Take a glimpse of the wonders and unique culture of ancient Bagan upon the very first day sightseeing. Joining the crew sightseeing with knowledgable guide, you will be lead to witnessing the dedicated process of making the Myanmar’s most qualified and beautiful lacquer handicrafts in a selected local workshop. In the follow up by a visit to series of outstandingly quaint ruined temples including Payathonezu, Dhamayangyi before cherishing peaceful sunset moment from the upper terrace of the remote but stunning Taung Guni temple.          

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  • Meals:

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Transfer:
  • Activities:

    Sail to visit Salay, walk to Yoke-Sone Kyaung, drive up to visit Tant-Chi-Taung mountain, enjoy traditional paper-mache elephant dance in Tant-Chi villages

Set sail early morning to Salay, a small town which was once a bustling trading port, now a sleepy village filled with colonial architectural treasures and timeless teak monasteries. Walk to Yoke-Sone Kyaung, the best-known teak carved monastery in Burma, stopping at Salay House on return.Sail upriver to the Ayardaw charity clinic supported by Pandaw then drive up the winding road of the Tant-Chi-Taung mountain to visit the hill-top stupa. Late afternoon, watch the traditional paper-mache elephant dance performed by the villagers from Tant-Chi. Moor overnight near Nyaung U.
All meals are included on board.

A sense of tranquility in quiet wonder of Salay

On the river way along the mighty Irrawaddy river, you are lead towards exploring a wonder like no other named Yoke-Sone Kyaung, an amazingly carved monastery located in Sale village. The whole place is like a unusual museum in which ancient people wrote many interesting historical and cultural stories in fabulous wood carvings.          

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  • Meals:

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Transfer:
  • Activities:

    Visit Pakokku market and local workshop by Tuk Tuk

Explore Pakokku, experiencing the local market and town centre by Tuk Tuk. Pakkoku is a city of about 100,000 inhabitants located 30 km from Pagan. Main produce are tobacco, cotton, peanuts, Thanatkha (traditional make-up and sun lotion) and textiles. Visit Pakokku’s main market by Tuk Tuk. Stop at a cheroot workshop and discover how traditional cheroot cigars are made. Moor overnight at Aung Pan Chaung near the Chindwin confluence.
All meals are included on board.

Experience the simple working life in quiant Pakkoku

One of the most interesting experiences one could expect in any Irrawaddy river cruise is tuk tuk shore excursion, A lovely ride around the sleepy town of Pakkoku will get you to experience real Burmese working towns and villages. Witnessing how local necessities like tobacco, peanuts, Thanatkha and tradditional cheroot are made is wonderful chance to mingle with locals and see how they enjoy their daily working life. 

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  • Meals:

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Transfer:
  • Activities:

    Tour around Yandabo village, explore pottery workshop and local school

Explore Yandabo village, famous for its production of terracotta pottery from the river bank clay. This village is well-known as the place where the first Anglo-Burmese war ended by the peace treaty signed in 1826. Morning walking tour and a visit to a pottery workshop to see first-hand the production process. This is a hands-on experience which you are welcome to try. Visit the Pandaw supported Yandabo School (if no school holidays). Afternoon sailing and moor overnight at Pauk-taw Pauk-myaing village near Ava.
All meals are included on board.

Explore the captivating Yandabo village on foot

On the water route passing countless landscapes and typical Ayeyarwady villages, one that cannot be miss would say Yandabo village – best known as Burma's qualified pottery-making centre. As up to now, the village is hardly accessed by car, only cruise guests have chance to visit this endearing place. When visiting the village you will be able to see a lot of unglazed pottery made out of the river bank clay. Taking  a pleasant and interesting walk on dirty soil roads, you are to come across many cottages and welcoming villagers who are willing to share you their ups and downs in life and how they get on well with pottery making for so long. 

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  • Meals:

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Transfer:
  • Activities:

    Disembark cruise, visit more key sites of Mandalay including Shwenandaw Monastery, Mahamuni Pagoda, Kuthodaw Pagoda, Sanda Muni Paya Pagoda and Mandalay Hill

After early breakfast, disembark at Mandalay Sagaing Jetty. Our guide and driver will wait and pick you up for a round tour starting right then. Firstly, we head to Shwenandaw Monastery - one of the best examples of traditional Burmese style wooden monastery building in the country, followed by Mahamuni Pagoda to contemplate huge and impressive statue. Then we move towards Mandalay Hill, first drop at Kuthodaw Pagoda where contains the world’s largest book. Next up, Mandalay Hill appears right in front of your eyes, take a short climb up and enjoy perfect view of sun setting. Lastly, we move a bit towards the Sanda Muni Paya Pagoda, wander around and you might feel lost in time and space here. Later we get in car and drive back to your hotel for check-in and relaxation.
Lunch and dinner are on your own account.

Enchanted by Mandalay - the city of fine arts

Surrounded by dozens of monasteries and pagodas, Mandalay is described for a long time as the city of arts, architecture and significant charms  in Myanmar. The further you go, the more likely you are to fall in love with this land. Passing the 40km-long way by car and boat to Pahtodawgyi Pagoda, your mind will soon be filled with all surprise and excitement when visiting Mingun Temple with the giganic Mingun Bell (you can gong it for some luck). On the way back from the charming pagoda, it is time for a peaceful walk exploring Mandalay Palace where the last King lived in and the nearby finely carved teak wooden Shwenandaw Monastery, followed by a visit the local workshop and learn how fine and thin gold leaves are made then plastered on to temples and Buddha statues. Let’s save the best for last by getting lost in the white field of 729 shrines lining up straightly before enjoying tranquil sunset from the top of Mandalay Hills and looking back all the places you passed along the busy but wonderful day.     

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  • Meals:

    Breakfast

  • Transfer:
  • Activities:

    Morning fly to Heho, drive to Kalaw, en-route visit Pindaya cave, check in hotel and relax

After early breakfast at the hotel, get in car and transfer to Mandalay airport then take mid morning flight to Heho. On arrival, head to Kalaw (a winding hilly road to the Shan hills to Kalaw, a fresh and delightful hill station, on the rim of the Shan plateau) for hotel check-in and relaxation then.

Lunch and dinner are on your own account.

  • Meals:

    Breakfast

  • Transfer:
  • Activities:

    Trek to hill villages in Kalaw

Warm up your morning with an exhilarating trek up and down the hilly routes through beautiful plantation growing a large variety of vegetables, fruits, flowers, teas, etc. It is also a good chance for you to get more immersive experience with hill friendly villagers from Danu, Pa-O, Taung Yo and Palaung ethnic groups. Reaching the hilltop, stop by a guest house for a cup of local tea and have your picnic lunch, you are warmly invited to have a house tour and get to know more about daily activities and practices here. Later on, we trod down hill through another steepy path to initial starting point and connect a car ride back to hotel then. Enjoy your relaxed time then.
Lunch and dinner are on your own account.

Jump in an epic trek in Kalaw

Take part in an epic trek in Kalaw or there is no better ways to not only discover the amazing landscape but also get an insight into the real cultural life with our experienced trekking local guide, who is always open to any of your question on Burmese life.Situated on the eastern edge of Shan Plateau, Kalaw is a picturesque hilltown dotted with tribal villages - an ideal destination for adventurous spirits to grab a hold of beautiful nature settings as well as breathe the ethnic lives. Starting your trek from the centre of town after breakfast, you will gradually sneak your way up towards the elevated plains above Kalaw and target to indigenous Shan village of Pein Hne Pin. Every part in the trekking route is an amazing discovery of changing landscape that will blow you away when going through: mountain, valley, plantations, etc. 

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  • Meals:

    Breakfast, LunchPicnic lunch

  • Transfer:
  • Activities:

    Drive to Inle Lake, en-route visit , en-route visit Shan umbrella workshop, boat trip to PhaungDawOo Pagoda and lotus weaving village of Inpawkhon

Morning drive to Nyaung Shwe jetty arrival, after that sail along Inle Lake for sight-seeing, witness the famous single-leg canoe rowing; traditional fishing way; floating gardens; simple village life and breath-taking scenery. Also visit Shan umbrella workshop and PhaungDawOo Pagoda, one of the main principle shrines in Myanmar, dating back to the 18th century and the lotus weaving village of Inpawkhon.
Lunch and dinner are on your own account.

Immerse in the wonderful floating life in Inle Lake

Upward the western of Shan state is the pictureque Inle Lake –  the Venice of Myanmar. Stepping off Nyaung Shwe marina, you will take a motorized boat to navigate through stilt villages, floating garderns and meet locals who spend their entire lives on the water. Passing Ywa Ma village and Kay Lar Village where Intha people built their unique houses with long straight wooden poles stretching into the lake bed, it is your tranquil time in relaxed atmostphere of thelocally significant Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda and get to unfold the interesting story of the five Buddhas inside. As the dawn is coming and the warm light turns the still surface of the lake a golden colour, just pause for a while and cherish true value of unforgetable moment.

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  • Meals:

    Breakfast

  • Transfer:
  • Activities:

    Discover Indein village, pagoda and stupas, explore local traditional Blacksmith workshop and Shan Cheroot (tobacco) making

After breakfast at the hotel, visit a 5-day lively floating market rotating every five days around five different villages around the lake. Boat trip to Shwe Inn Thein situated on west shore of Inle Lake, with a stair path leading to the mysterious Inn Dein Pagoda; discover local traditional Blacksmith workshop and Shan Cheroot (tobacco) making. Free afternoon at hotel and overnight in Inle Lake. 

Lunch and dinner are on your own account.

Indulge in a trip to the graceful Indein

Indein is a small village West of Inle Lake which is renowned for the floating market and impressive ancient stupas with Banyan trees growing out of them. From Inle Lake, by just a scenic 8-kilometer boat ride through a long narrow canal, you soon reach the lively floating ‘5-day market’ rotated every five days around five different villages in Inle. This is a beautiful opportunity to experience the diversity of Inle ethnic, witness their day-to-day life and make their unique fair on the water trading all local products. A drop-in visit to local workshops will excite your curiosity about lotus weaving, cheroot cigarettes making in various size and flavours and diligent hand crafted silver work. Lastly, don’t forget to discover old ruined pagodas dated back to the 13th century and admire their incredible beauty even in bad condition. The impressive image of stupas after stupas decaying due to constant exposure to humidity still pose irresistible charm will leave you with nothing but thrills. 

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  • Meals:

    Breakfast

  • Transfer:
  • Activities:

    Fly back to Yangon, depart

After breakfast, check out your hotel, transfer to Heho airport and take a flight back to Yangon. Find your way to connect departure flight home later on. Tour ends.

  • Meals:

    Breakfast

Inclusions

Meals
13 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 4 dinners
Accommodation
Hotel (9 nights), Cruise (4 nights)
Transport
Car, Plane, Walking
Flights
1. Fly from Yangon to Bagan (1 hour 20 minutes)
2. Fly from Mandalay to Heho (30 minutes)
3. Fly from Heho to Yangon (1 hour 10 minutes)
Included Services
  •   9-night hotel accommodation with daily breakfast
  •   4-night full board on Pandaw cruise
  •   Picnic lunch in Kalaw
  •   Private transport in air-conditioned vehicles
  •   03 domestic flights: Yangon - Bagan, Mandalay - Heho, Heho - Yangon
  •   Domestic airport & government taxes
  •   Baggage handling fees for airport in & out
  •   Road taxes
  •   Local English-speaking guides
  •   Purified water 0.5 ml (1) bottle & (1) wet towels on sightseeing day only.
  •   Zone fees, entrance fees, private boat Inle Lake
  •   Our personal assistance

Exclusions

  •   International flights
  •   Travel insurance
  •   Visa stamp fees
  •   Early check-in & late check-out surcharge
  •   Personal expenses
  •   Meals, drinks not mentioned
  •   Tips & gratuities for guide and driver
  •   Surcharge for Christmas or New year’s eve gala dinner at hotel (if required)