Exciting Days, Comfortable Nights

Best of Myanmar

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12 Days  |  Starts/Ends: Yangon  |  from USD $2,965  |   Guaranteed Departures  3 reviews

Discover Myanmar, an exotic land of tradition and sacred sites from the awe-inspiring religious monuments of Yangon to evocative Mandalay and its Royal Palace, the spectacular stupa-filled plains of Bagan and heavenly Inle Lake with a few surprises along the way.

Itinerary
Prices & Dates
Hotels
Inclusions
Reviews

Itinerary

Day 1

Yangon

Saturday. Welcome to Burma, ‘quite unlike any place you know about’. Arrive Yangon with included airport transfer to your hotel where later in the day a Welcome Meeting will be held.
Overnight: Yangon

Day 2

Golden Pagodas, Tea rooms & Fair Trade markets

Today we explore the fascinating city of Yangon and its famous religious monuments. We begin at the waterfront, the heart of the city and home to many impressive traditional and colonial buildings including the Sule Pagoda, Maha Bandoola Park with Independence Monument, the City Hall and the High Court. We also visit the gold, hollow Botahtaung Pagoda, originally built over 2500 years ago, and the giant 70 metre-long reclining Buddha of Chaukhtagyi Paya at Chaukhtagyi Pagoda whose serene features are topped by a crown encrusted in diamonds and other precious stones.

We enjoy a break for lunch at the Lucky Seven Tea Rooms for a traditional cuppa and maybe a side of crispy gourd or flaky-pastry savoury buns before browsing the handicrafts of Pomelo, a fair trade marketplace for small Myanmar producers. Later this evening we visit the most revered Buddhist temple in Myanmar, the magnificent Shwedagon Pagoda, where locals gather to make offerings and prayers. Standing at 90 metres tall, the gold leaf central stupa dominates the city’s skyline and turns vivid hues of yellow, orange and red when the sun begins to set.
Overnight: Yangon  |  Breakfast

Day 3

Fly to Mandalay, cruise to Mingun

Yangon – Mandalay. This morning we fly to Mandalay, Myanmar’s last royal capital. Upon arrival we take a boat ride upriver to Mingun to visit the remains of what could have been the world’s largest pagoda. Intended to reach a staggering height of 152 metres, work on the pagoda stopped after the death of King Bodawpaya in 1819. Dramatically split by an earthquake in 1838, the monumental structure is still incredibly impressive. We also visit the huge Mingun Bell and the beautiful white Myatheindan pagoda nearby.

Returning by boat to Mandalay the afternoon is spent exploring the Royal Palace, the teak carvings of the historic Shwenandaw Monastery and the world’s largest book at the Kuthodaw Pagoda. Our day concludes with Mandalay Hill and depending on the time, a spectacular sunset with vistas across the city.
Overnight: Mandalay  |  Breakfast

Day 4

Amarapura, the U-bein bridge & Inwa

As a former capital of Myanmar, the ancient city of Amarapura is rich in sights and this morning we visit the largest teaching monastery in the country, the Mahagandayon Monastery. Everyday hundreds of monks queue to receive their daily alms from the people. We also visit the longest teak bridge in the world, the U Bein Bridge set over the enchanting Taungthaman Lake, and the Mahamuni Temple, home to an ancient bronze Buddha image. We’ll also have the opportunity to visit a local handicraft workshop to see bronze sculpting, gold leaf beating and marble stone carving.

The afternoon is spent at the historical city of Inwa where a horse-drawn carriage brings us to the stone Maha Aungmye Bonzan Monastery, a fine example of Burmese masonry, the Mainu brick monastery and the old watchtower.
Overnight: Mandalay  |  Breakfast

Day 5

Irrawaddy River Cruise to Bagan

Mandalay – Bagan. Transferring to the jetty this morning we board a boat for a scenic cruise on the Irrawaddy River taking us to Bagan. Sit back and relax as the vessel plies its course past rolling fields of green. Arriving into Bagan later this evening we transfer to our hotel.

Please note: Boats do not operate between 01 April and 23 October 2017/2018 (dates can vary dependent upon the river water level). If travelling when boats are not in operation we have included the cost of a flight between Mandalay - Bagan within our tour price. Day 5 arrangements during this period are morning at leisure in Mandalay before transferring to the airport for your flight to Bagan
Overnight: Bagan  |  Breakfast

Day 6

Bagan's famed Stupas & sunset cruise on the Irrawaddy

Nothing can quite prepare you for the spectacular sight of stupa-upon-stupa that fills the green, dusty plains of Bagan. Over 2000 temples and pagodas dating back some 800 years create one of the most impressive skylines to be seen in Southeast Asia. Our sightseeing today begins with a visit to the town of Nyaung-U to see the local market and Bagan’s most important reliquary shrine, the Shwezigon Pagoda, and the simple Kyansittha Cave Temple with interesting 12th century frescoes.

We continue to the Manuha Temple to see the gigantic Buddhas housed inside and the sandstone carvings of the nearby Nanpaya Temple, and on to the Ananda Temple, a whitewashed masterpiece of Mon architecture with four standing gold-leaf Buddhas. We stop for a photo opportunity at the towering Thatbyinnyu Temple before visiting the Dhammayangyi Temple, a massive structure famous for its brickwork, and the Mingalarzedi Pagoda, the last of the large pagodas built in the 13th century, representing the pinnacle of Bagan’s architectural skills. At a local lacquer workshop we witness how local craftsmen skilfully prepare Bagan’s most famous handicraft before enjoying a tranquil sunset boat ride on the Irrawaddy River.
Overnight: Bagan  |  Breakfast

Day 7

Mt Popa & Colonial Kalaw Hill Station

Bagan – Mount Popa – Kalaw. Today we travel to the popular hill station of Kalaw with a stop en route at the extinct volcano of Mount Popa. The mountain is believed to be the abode of legendary Nats (spirit gods) and at the summit are numerous monasteries, pagodas and shrines in various architectural styles. Arriving into Kalaw, (approx. 7 hrs drive) a former British hill station perched on the western edge of the Shan Plateau, we enjoy breathtaking views and the serenity of the surrounds. Late this afternoon we visit Thein Taung Pay pagoda.
Overnight: Kalaw  |  Breakfast

Day 8

Danu Hill Tribe & Pindaya Caves

Kalaw – Palaung Hills – Pindaya. An early morning start allows us to enjoy a light trek into the Palaung Hills. Meandering through small ranges of rice paddies and tea plantations we arrive to Painaebin village, home to the indigenous Danu people. Walking back to Kalaw we drive to the quiet town of Pindaya set amidst beautiful countryside and famous for its extensive cave network. Highlights of our sightseeing tour today include the carved Buddha images of the Pindaya caves, the ancient Banyan tree and small local factories producing Mulberry paper and bamboo hats.
Overnight: Pindaya  |  Breakfast

Days 9-10

Inle Lake & Paungdaw Oo pagoda

Pindaya – Inle Lake. After breakfast on day 9 we drive to the wonderful watery world of Inle Lake home to floating gardens, stilted villages and crumbling stupas. We tour the lake by boat and witness the unique rowing techniques of the local fishermen before visiting the unusual Nga Pe Chaung monastery and Inle Lake’s largest pagoda, the Paungdaw Oo pagoda. The remainder of the day and evening offer free time.

Day 10 is spent at leisure. You could take advantage of the lush surrounding countryside and partake in canoeing or cycling, or alternatively you could opt for an excursion to an Indein village to learn more about the ethnic tribes of the region or to Kakku, a valley of more than a thousand stupas to admire the intricate ancient carvings. Other options include a visit to Taunggyi - capital of the Southern Shan state and former British hill station or to Sagar to see the sunken stupas that lay under water for part of the year with local village visits along the way (bookable and payable locally).
Overnight: Inle Lake  |  Breakfast x 2

Day 11

Fly to Yangon & free time

Inle Lake – Heho - Yangon. After breakfast we leave the lake and transfer to the Heho airport for our flight back to Yangon. Once back in Yangon, the remainder of the day offers free time for you to further explore this delightful city or sit back, relax and enjoy the hotel facilities.
Overnight: Yangon  |  Breakfast

Day 12

Yangon

Wednesday. Today marks the end of our Burmese adventure with hotel check out and airport departure transfer.
Breakfast

Ngapali Beach break

Opt to extend your stay and enjoy some rest and relaxation at Ngapali Beach, a pristine stretch of unspoiled, palm-fringed coast on the beautiful Bay of Bengal with our 14 day Best of Myanmar & Beach tour.

Prices & Dates

Prices shown are per person travelling. 'Twin/Double' prices per person apply when there are 2 people travelling, sharing a room. The 'Single supplement' applies for single travellers who require their own room and needs to be added to the 'Twin/Double' price. If you are happy to be paired up with another single traveller of the same sex on your tour, this can be arranged, thus avoiding the single person supplement.

Departure dates noted with a 'G' are guaranteed to operate. All other departure dates can be guaranteed with a minimum of 2 persons.

Guaranteed Departure
4+ places available
Limited places
Sold out
On Request (Please Contact Us)
2017
Price/Person
Single Supp.
USD $3415
USD $1490
28 Jan - 08 Feb
10% off
G
USD $3415
USD $1490
USD $3415
USD $1490
11 Mar - 22 Mar
10% off
G
USD $3415
USD $1490
USD $3415
USD $1490
USD $3415
USD $1490
USD $2965
USD $940
USD $3325
USD $940
USD $3325
USD $940
USD $3325
USD $940
USD $3325
USD $940
USD $3325
USD $940
2018
Price/Person
Single Supp.
USD $3415
USD $1490
USD $3415
USD $1490
USD $3415
USD $1490
USD $3415
USD $1490
USD $3415
USD $1490
USD $3415
USD $1490
USD $3415
USD $1490
USD $3415
USD $1490
USD $2965
USD $940
USD $3325
USD $940
USD $3325
USD $940
USD $3325
USD $940
USD $3325
USD $940
USD $3325
USD $940

This tour is also available on a private basis - for details please see the Supplementary Prices above.

Hotels

The hotels listed below are ones which we frequently use on this tour. We reserve the right to substitute these hotels to ones of a similar standard when necessary.

Summit Park View, Yangon

Our Category: Standard   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

The Summit Park View features a quaint Myanmar style architecture frontage, set within manicured gardens that faces the lush, green People’s Park. The newly renovated guest rooms are comfortable with a good selection of amenities including complimentary high speed WiFi.

Ayeyarwaddy River View Hotel, Mandalay

Our Category: Standard   |   Regional Category: 3 Star Hotel

Overlooking the Ayarwaddy River, this newly built hotel offers wonderful river views from its front-facing guest rooms as well as the Sky bar on the roof top, the perfect place to enjoy a sundowner. The well-sized rooms feature pleasant wooden furnishings with all mod-cons. Opened in 2011, Ayarwaddy River View Hotel is just 15 minutes from Mandalay center and flower market and 60 minutes from the airport. Ideally located in a prime area of Northern Mandalay, the hotel has easy access to the city's myriad attractions and landmarks.

Thande Hotel, Bagan

Our Category: Standard   |   Regional Category: 2 Star Hotel

Built in 1922 to facilitate the arrival of the British Prince of Wales, the Bagan Thande Hotel is the only colonial era building in the city. Rooms are furnished to a high standard with beautiful teakwood, fine fabrics and traditional handicrafts. An Al-fresco dinner overlooking the Ayeyawaddy River facing numerous pagodas is a great way to spend evenings at this wonderful Burmese retreat. The hotel is perfectly situated by the river in Old Bagan and is surrounded by beautiful gardens and temples as far as the eye can see.

Conqueror Hotel Resort, Pindaya

Our Category: Standard   |   Regional Category: 3 Star Hotel

The beautiful Conqueror Hotel Resort is perfectly integrated in to the stunning wilderness that surrounds it. Bamboo bungalows contain elegant and spacious bedrooms, complete with mosquito nets, satellite TV and tea and coffee making facilities. Delicious cuisine from Burma, China and Europe can be sampled in the magnificent dining area. After dinner, guests can head to the Venda Bar and indulge in a cocktail or two as they soak up the view of the setting sun and listen to the soft Burmese music floating through the air.

Ananta Resort, Inle Lake

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

The beautiful Ananta Resort is a traditionally built hotel with splashes of contemporary design and a high level of comfort. The guestrooms are spacious and bright with wooden flooring and furniture. When not spending time in their room, guests can wander around the lush gardens that surround the hotel, taking in the glorious views of the nearby river and mountains. Local, Thai, Chinese and European cuisine is served at the onsite restaurant, upon which guests can feast before watching the sunset from the pool. The property is located just 15 minutes from the centre of Mandalay.

Trip Highlights

Yangon – Botahtaung Pagoda, Sule Pagoda, Maha Bandoola Park, Chaukhtatgyi Pagoda, Shwedagon Pagoda, Lucky Seven Tea Rooms & Pomelo Fair Trade markets
Mingun – the remains of what could have been the world’s largest pagoda, Mingun Bell and Mya Thein Tan pagoda
Inwa - Maha Aungmye Bonzan Monastery, Mainu Brick Monastery and old watch tower
Mount Popa – extinct volcano with numerous shrines at the summit
Pindaya – the Pindaya Caves with Buddha images carved from the limestone rock, ancient Banyan tree and local factories
Cruise on the Irrawaddy River to Bagan
Mandalay – the Royal Palace, Shwenandaw Monastery, Kuthodaw Pagoda and Manadalay Hill
Amarapura - Mahagandaryone monastery, U Bein wooden Bridge and Taung- ta-man lake, Mahar Myat Muni Buddha Image
Bagan - Nyaung-U local market, Shwezigon pagoda, Kyansitta "Cave" temple, Manuha Temple, Nanpaya, Ananda temple, Thatbuinnyu, Dhamayangyi, Mingalarzedi and local lacquer workshop
Kalaw – peaceful hill station with the hilltop Thein Taung Pay pagoda and trekking opportunities to local villages
Inle Lake – local fishermen, floating gardens, stilted villages, Jumping Cat Monastery and Paungdaw Oo Pagoda

Included

11 breakfasts
Airport arrival and departure transfers on days 1 and 12
Cruise on the Irrawaddy River from Mandalay to Bagan OR economy flight when the boat is not running (this is usually between April and October, can vary dependent upon weather conditions)
All relevant transfers and transportation in private air-conditioned vehicles
Private boat on Inle Lake to explore the floating gardens and villages. Private boat trip to Mingun
10 nights 3-4 star hotels, 1 night simple country cottage
One way economy class flights from Yangon – Mandalay – Bagan and Heho (Inle Lake) – Yangon
Escorted by an English speaking tour guide (for groups of 6 or more) and specialist guides at some sights
Private sunset boat trip on the Irrawaddy River in Bagan

Not Included

International flights and visa
Entrance Fees: USD$80-90, paid in USD
Tip for your tour guides. We recommend you allow USD$3 - 6 per day, per traveller. Tipping your guides is an entirely personal gesture
Tipping Kitty: USD$45-55, paid in USD

Reviews

Scoring an average traveller rating of 4.67 out of 5 based on 3 recent reviews

What an amazing experience ! Daut was the perfect host, organized, helpful and truly passionate about his homeland. Everyday he surprised us with some authentic local experience whether it was stopping by a family home to sit on the porch and sip tea or taking us to the morning alms in a revered location. The tour offered the ideal balance of sightseeing in the morning and lazy afternoons to head out and explore independently or laze by the pool.

• Submitted 03 Nov 2016
Tour
Guide
Country

Hi Caroline. This was yet another great trip. The itinerary, included airport transfers and accommodation was great and the local guides were excellent. This was our 5th time with On the Go!

• Submitted 03 Sep 2016
Tour
Guide
Country

The 12 day Best of Burma tour was inspirational in terms of the different cultures in the states that we visited, the religious buildings (Buddahs, Temples, Monasteries) and the activities and adventures undertaken. I was so pleased to be able to see this country while it is still developing and progressing after years of repression and before the tourism industry takes it over (5 million tourists expected in 2015). There were only three of us on the tour and we were all over 60 years of age! Being used to a lot of walking and other exercise at home I was able to climb steps and get on and off boats quite easily but the other two ladies in their 70's struggled a bit sometimes particularly with the "light" trekking in Kalaw. However, they were very determined and managed most activities.

The organisation of the tour ran smoothly and the first guide who met us at Yangon airport (Win) was helpful and informative when we were seeing various sights in the city. He also gave us quite a lot of information about Buddism in order that we could understand the reasons for so many archeological religious buildings.

The guide who met us at Mandalay was also very helpful and knowledgeable about the area and various stupas and temples. He noticed that the two older ladies needed help at times and was very helpful in getting them on and off boats.

The 11 hour boat trip from Mandalay to Bagan was very pleasant but too long and I think the concensus of opinion was that we would have rather have flown to Bagan and had more time for further sightseeing. The food on board was not very good and stomach upsets ensued!

We were met by our Bagan guide (whose name escapes me!) who was probably the most knowledgeable and helpful of all our guides. He took particular care to help the two older ladies in Kawlaw and when they decided not to attempt the steps at Mt Popa temple, he ensured that they were well looked after by the bus driver. He had a good sense of humour and kept us all cheerful. We were very sad to say goodbye to him at the jetty of Inle Lake but was then looked after by yet another guide (Sai) for the day. He gave us information of the Lake and accompanied us to the restaurant, a monastery and silk making factory before taking us to our water world hotel. At the end of our stay at Inle Lake, we were met by a Columbus driver who took us to Heho Airport for the return journey to Yangon.

Cost wise the tour was fairly expensive compared to the Vietnam/Cambodia tour as there were no meals included (apart from breakfast) and there were 5 guides to tip!! However, I appreciate that it is early days for tourism and that hotel costs may still be expensive. We were asked by OntheGo to take USD as there were no ATM's in the country but this was not correct in our experience. The restaurants/hotels were quite fussy about the state of the dollar bills and I had some refused on one or two occasions. Luckily I had no money stolen on this tour but there was an attempt to cut the strap of my shoulder bag whilst we were at the Indein market at Inle Lake which I discovered when getting back into the boat.

Altogether I loved this country and would return for a further tour should the north and western areas be more accessable in the future.

• Submitted 02 May 2015
Tour
Guide
Country

Tour Details
Starts
Yangon
Ends
Yangon
Departs
Saturdays
Hotel Rating
3 - 4 star
Local Payment
None
Tour Guide
Yes - escorted by a tour guide for groups of 6 or more
Meals
Breakfast: 11

Tour Bolt-ons

Enhance your trip with these amazing added extras and bolt-ons

Bangkok City Stay

USD $965 / 3 days

What an amazing experience ! Daut was the perfect host, organized, helpful and truly passionate about his homeland. Everyday he surprised us with some authentic local experience whether it was stopping by a family home to sit on the porch and sip tea or taking us to the morning alms in a revered location. The tour offered the ideal balance of sightseeing in the morning and lazy afternoons to head out and explore independently or laze by the pool.

Debbie Flintley
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