Golden Hills of Myanmar Trek - 14 Days
This unique tour combines time in three of Myanmar’s most culturally rich cities - Yangon, Bagan and Mandalay, with an off-the-beaten-track 7 day trek into the Chin Hills, gaining an insight into the lives of the ethnic Chin people and culminating with the ascent of Mt Victoria.
Yangon - Bagan. Early in the morning we take a short flight to Bagan, one of the great wonders of the world. Scores of exotic Buddhist temples are scattered across a vast dusty plain, making Bagan one of the most remarkable sights in Southeast Asia. Sitting on the banks of the Irrawaddy River, the temple-filled plain contains over 4,400 temples, pagodas and stupas. We will wander its dusty tracks visiting magnificent temples and towering pagodas. Perhaps the most impressive and inspiring monuments are Thatbinnyu, Ananda, Gawdanpalin, Dhammayangi and the Shwezigon Pagoda.
In the afternoon we climb up onto one of the ruined pagodas for a breathtaking view of the sun setting over the mighty Irrawaddy and the plain filled with countless temples and pagodas. Lacquerware is a traditional local art and we'll also visit a workshop to see how it's made.
Overnight: Bagan | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
The Pontaung Mountains
Bagan - Mindat. Bidding farewell to Bagan we drive across the mighty Irrawaddy River and continue on rugged and dusty dirt roads passing through dry hills and the velvet plains of rice fields into the Pontaung Mountains. We drive on to Mindat, passing through tropical lowland forest, eventually reaching our destination which is impressively perched on a hillside at 1480m above sea level. Mindat is the main administrative town for the Southern Chin State.
Overnight: Mindat | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Upon arrival at Yangon airport make your own way to the start hotel. A single group airport transfer is offered (please refer to the Trip Notes for details). At dinner you will meet your guide and be briefed about the week ahead. This evening enjoy a visit to the incredible Schwedagon Pagoda.
Overnight: Yangon | Dinner
Trek to Amlong
There is lots to see in Mindat early in the morning, as the monks collect alms and the children head off to school and we’ll also visit the local markets to make any last-minute purchases before the start of our off the beaten track 7 day trek into the Chin Hills.
We transfer to the trailhead in local jeeps and begin our walk through forest and tea plantations, down to the village Khone Eai where we have lunch. Then we head up hill through thick forest to a ridge where we can admire the views before descending to Amlong (1307m) where we spend the night at a local village homestay. Today is one of the longest in our trek, covering 23 kms.
Overnight: Amlong (homestay) | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
A valley hike to Kyar Aei Nuu
Amlong - Kyar Aei Nuu. This morning we hike steadily downhill to a suspension bridge crossing the River Chi. From the bottom of the valley it’s all uphill to the village of Kyar Aei Nuu (1430m) but the path is never too steep and we reach our home for the night around about lunchtime. This afternoon is free to wander around the village and perhaps enjoy a game of football with the locals.
Overnight: Kyar Aei Nuu (homestay) | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Trek to Kyardo
Kyar Aei Nuu - Kyardo. It's a long day of hiking today as we cross two big valleys and have several ridges to traverse. En route we'll pass several animist graves, which are small stone structures where the ashes of the deceased are placed inside family specific tombs. On our hike we'll pass through the village of Oumlong, which is on one of the ridge crests and the village of Madat where we have lunch.
This afternoon we set off to the village of Kyardo which is approximately 2 hours away on a steadily undulating path. There is plenty of village life to see along the way with a good example of the Animist wooden sacrificial poles, used to hang offerings. Kyardo is our home for the night and the male villagers often come out in force in the evenings to show off their dancing skills.
Overnight: Kyardo (homestay) | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Hike to Aye Monastery
Kyardo - Aye. Today we trek to Aye, initially retracing our steps to the valley floor and the river. Then it's a steep uphill hike for an hour until the path becomes easier underfoot, opening up to the north and east to offer wonderful views of the plains below. We have lunch at a newly-built monastery before another steep hike uphill through heavily forested areas en route to the town of Aye (1845m). This evening we can sample a local beer and enjoy the panoramic views to Mindat and beyond.
Overnight: Aye (homestay) | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Trek to Do Nuu
Aye - Do Nuu. Our trek today takes us to the remote village of Do Nuu (2211m). There are two routes to the village, a straightforward village trail which allows us to reach Do Nuu by lunchtime or a more challenging trek with steeper climbs. The guide will decide which is most appropriate for the group. Depending on time we will stay in the village of Do Nuu itself or in a building on its own sitting on a ridge by a road leading to Kampalat.
Overnight: Do Nuu (homestay) | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Trek to the summit of Mt Victoria
Do Nuu - Mount Victoria. Today we hike to the summit of Mount Victoria which was named after the Queen by the British. The mountain's name is Khawnuthone in Chin and Natmataung in Burmese, meaning mother of spirits. After 3 hours on wide paths and sections of jeep trail we reach 'Base Camp', the junction for Kampalat. The path then becomes more scenic winding up to the summit at 3053m, the highest point in the area. There is a flagpole and golden pagoda at the summit from where we can enjoy the views. Tonight we will camp below the summit and enjoy a spectacular sunset over the Chin Hills panorama.
Overnight: Mount Victoria (camping) | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
A final sunrise trek
Mount Victoria - Kampalat. We rise early this morning to watch the sun rising over the plains to the east. After our last breakfast on trek we retrace our steps back down to Base Camp where our jeeps will be waiting for the short drive to Kampalat. Kampalat is a former British Hill Station, dating back to the days of the Raj. After the tips ceremony and bidding farewell to the support team have lunch in Kampalat. This afternoon there's time to wander around this lively town with its bustling monastery and market.
Overnight: Kampalat | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Return to Bagan
Kampalat - Bagan. We drive down through the Chin Hills back to Bagan today (approx 6 hours), leaving the cool hillstations behind and returning to the heat and humidity of the plains. En route we stop at the village of Saw for lunch and then continue the drive to Kazunma, a small village situated between the Chin highlands and lowland Myanmar. We should arrive into Bagan by mid afternoon with time to relax on the lawn with a well deserved beer over the ever golden sunset. For those who wish to explore more pagodas, there should be time to do so before dinner.
Overnight: Bagan | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Bagan - Mandalay. Early this morning we take a short flight to Mandalay, the former capital of Myanmar. Today we enjoy a full day of sightseeing, visiting Maha Ganayon Kyaung Monastery where the procession of Monks collecting alms at 10.30am every day is quite a spectacle. From the monastery we stop off at one of the many woodcarving workshops and weaving co-operatives for a spot of souvenir shopping. We drive to the boat jetty at Ava to make the short ferry crossing to lunch in the shade of mango trees. After a leisurely rest we take a horse cart to visit the impressive Bagayar huge teak wood monastery, Maha Aungmye Bonzan Menu brick Monastery and its watch tower. Then we take the ferry back across the river to enjoy sunset under the iconic U Bein Bridge, the longest teak bridge in the world.
Overnight: Mandalay | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Mandalay & Mingun
Mandalay - Yangon. We have another day to see the highlights of Mandalay today. Touring starts with a visit to the 19th century Royal Palace, which offers an impressive and fascinating insight into a bygone era. Then we visit Shwenandaw Kyaung, one of the most intricate temples in Myanmar. After lunch we take a boat to Mingun, on the other side of the Irrawaddy River. Here we'll see the world's largest ringing bell, which weighs in at a colossal 90 tons, and the unfinished and ruined temple of Mingun Pahtodawgyi. The temple was King Bodawpaya’s failed attempt to build the world's largest Buddhist stupa. Our flight to Yangon will depart in the late afternoon or early evening, and we head off for our final dinner directly from the airport before returning to our hotel.
Overnight: Yangon | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Our adventure in Myanmar comes to an end today. A single group transfer to Yangon airport is offered this afternoon (please refer to the Joining Arrangements & Transfers information after the itinerary for details).
Is This Holiday For You?
Generally, the trekking conditions on this Myanmar holiday are relatively easy, following good paths between villages at a relatively moderate altitude throughout. The maximum altitude is 3055m above sea level, at the summit of Mt Victoria. This is not a difficult or sustained trek and on average you will be walking for 5 to 6 hours per day. Please note that the Chin Hills are a remote area, where few tourists have travelled before. Accommodation and sanitation throughout the trek is at a very basic level. Whilst the Chin Hills are cooler than the plains, the climate is warm and relatively humid even in the later winter months which is something to take in to account. The route connects several valleys separated by ridges, so there is substantial height gain and loss for most days. You should be comfortable with walking for 5 or 6 hours each day at a moderate pace over 7 days. This holiday should be well within the capabilities for anyone of good fitness. Please read the Trip Notes for further information about this trip including the distance and duration that you'll be trekking each day.
Prices & Dates
Prices shown are per person travelling. 'Twin/Double' prices per person apply when there are 2 people travelling, sharing a room.Read More