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Highlights of Myanmar - 10 days/9 nights

Yangon – Mandalay – Bagan – Inle Lake Yangon

In this classic itinerary, you'll experience a culture in harmony with its religion, temples, history, and beautiful landscapes. Go back in time as locals painstakingly attach gold-leaf to Buddha statues and temples, as monks make their morning rounds for alms, and as fishermen toss their nets in the rivers and lakes. Your private local guides will involve you in the local Burmese culture, cuisine, and customs of this devoutly Buddhist country in an itinerary designed to have a balance between seeing the major sights and experiencing the local culture.

Privately-Guided! Whether you are a single person, a couple, or a group, you'll have your own guide and driver for all airport pickups, dropoffs, and daily excursions. 

Choose your own dates! This is not a fixed-departure-date tour. Just let us know the dates that work best for you and we will arrange everything.

Customizable! Need more time? Less time? Want to see or do something that isn't included? Just let us know, and we will arrange it for you and let you know the change in costs.

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Trip Highlights

  • Yangon's Shwedagon Pagoda
  • Rickshaw tour in Mandalay
  • Boat trip to Mingun on the Ayerwaddy River in Mandalay
  • Ancient Bagan and its thousands of stupas
  • An optional hot air balloon ride over Bagan
  • Colorful 5-day hill tribe market in Inle Lake
     

Itinerary

Day 1: Yangon
Upon arrival at Yangon International Airport, you will be welcomed by our representative and transferred to your hotel for check in. Overnight in Yangon.

Day 2: Yangon
This morning, explore the downtown area with a walking tour around some of the most spectacular colonial era architecture left in South East Asia. Learn about the cultural and religious diversity of Myanmar while visiting several historic monuments for the Buddhist, Christian and Muslim congregated within the same area. Then stop by the famous Strand Hotel built in 1901 for a refreshing lemonade at the Strand Bar, once frequented by famous writers and foreign dignitaries.

Afternoon, visit the Shwedagon Pagoda, the most famous and important Buddhist site in the country. Believed to be at least 2,500 years old, the Shwedagon Pagoda is covered with hundreds of gold plates and the top of the stupa is encrusted with 4,531 diamonds with the largest one being 72 carat. The pagoda also enshrines strands of Buddha's hair and other holy relics, attracting throngs of local worshippers every day. Overnight in Yangon. (Breakfast)

Day 3: Yangon to Mandalay
Transfer to the airport for a morning flight to Mandalay. On arrival, you will be welcomed by your guide. Depending on the time available, you'll visit various sights of Mandalay including the temple ruins of Paleik. The snake temple in Paleik is known for the three pythons sleeping at the Buddha statue, which is seldom visited by tourists. Later, head over to Amarapura, the former capital of Myanmar and visit the Mahagandayon monastery complex with thousands of monks and a small weaving workshop. Enjoy sunset views over the famed U-Bein Bridge, a 158 year old teak wood bridge - the longest teak bridge in the world.  Overnight in Mandalay. (Breakfast)

Day 4: Mandalay
After breakfast, explore typical local life in this bustling city by a local rickshaw. Starting first from ''Khaing Tan'' market, one of the largest here in Mandalay city. Near the market, visit an area where people are making robes and other accessories for monks in Mandalay and throughout the country. Then, continue to a famous old monastery, ''Shwe In Bin'' donated by U Set Shwin, a Chinese merchant in 1895. Take a break at a local tea shop and sample some local snacks. Continue by rickshaw to other residential areas where you can see how local people make a living. Then head over to the famous Mahamuni shrine where many pilgrims pay homage to a bronze Buddha statue cast in first century. If you are interested, you can continue to the artful quarters of Mandalay where you can see traditional handicraft skills in stone carving and bronze casting. Return to your hotel about noon time where you will take a rest and lunch break.

Later in the afternoon, take a boat excursion to Mingun village on the banks of the Ayarwaddy River. Visit the Mingun Pagoda with its big crack caused by an earthquake and the world’s largest ringing bronze bell. Return to Mandalay on a one-hour boat ride while drinks and snacks are being served as you enjoy sunset views on the river. Overnight in Mandalay. (Breakfast)

Day 5: Mandalay to Bagan
Transfer to the airport for your morning flight to Bagan. Spend the day exploring Bagan and see the ancient temples that Bagan is renowned for, including famous temples like the Ananda, Dhammayangyi, Sulamani, and Thatbyinnyu. If you're interested, visit a small scale lacquer workshop and see how some of the world’s finest lacquerware is made. Early evening, take a horse cart ride to Pyathagyi Pagoda for sunset with some refreshing drinks served. Feel free to stop whenever you see a temple you like! Overnight in Bagan. (Breakfast)

Day 6: Bagan
An optional hot-air balloon ride at dawn is available, but pre-booking is required (does not operate between April 1st and October 15th). Enjoy breathtaking views of the temple-studded landscape of Bagan, which was once the capital of several kingdoms in Central Myanmar. The dry, arid conditions have uniquely preserved more than 3000 stupas and temples built here between the 11th and 13th centuries.

This morning, drive to Mt. Popa (4,981ft), stopover at a palm tree grove to watch local farmers extracting palm juice to make traditional candy and liquor products. Lunch at the Popa Mountain Resort, then visit the stunning Taung Ka Lat shrine and the Popa temple. Enjoy some free time back in Bagan to relax at your hotel or explore more lesser known temples with your guide. Overnight in Bagan. (Breakfast, Lunch)

Day 7: Bagan to Heho to Inle
Transfer to the airport for your morning flight to Heho. Upon arrival at Heho Airport, you will be welcomed by your guide and drive about 45minutes to Inle Lake. On the lake, the Intha people have been living for many centuries in villages built entirely on stilts over the lake. Today you will travel by private motorboat around the lake to visit the floating gardens, see the famous leg rowers. Stop by a local cheroot factory where Burmese cigars are made, floating tomato gardens, a weaving factory and the famous Nga Phe Chaung Monastery. After, continue by motorboat on the lake to your hotel. Overnight in Inle Lake. (Breakfast)

Day 8: Inle Lake

Inle Lake in southern Shan State is a vast natural lake surrounded by traditional Shan villages. On and around the lake, traditional markets are held in different villages according to a five-day rotating schedule. You will visit a colorful market frequented by Shan and Pa O people living nearby. After, cruise by motorboat to the famous ruins in Indein that are partly covered by vegetation and resemble a “pagoda forest”. Your guide will make recommendations for lunch break before cruising back to your hotel. Rest of the day is at leisure to relax and enjoy the scenic views of the lake. Overnight in Inle Lake. (Breakfast)

Day 9:  Inle Lake to Heho to Yangon
This morning, transfer to the airport for a short flight to Yangon. Upon arrival, you'll be welcomed and transferred to your hotel. In the afternoon, wander through the chaotic bargain markets of Shwe Bontha Street famous for selling all sorts of used items. Continue towards Chinatown where street side vendors sell everything from gold to vegetables. Stop by a temple adorned with hundreds of images depicting mythological scenes. Heading on to 19th Street, discover vendors after vendors boasting charcoal grills, cooking up all sorts of meats, veggies, and marinades. This is the place to go for street food in Yangon, with lots of outdoor seating, bustling local life, and plenty of beer. Your guide will treat you to some of their favorite snacks and a beer to finish off the day before taking you back to the hotel. Overnight in Yangon. (Breakfast)
 
Day 10:  Depart from Yangon
Transfer to the airport for your onward flight.

 

Ngapali Beach Extension

If you have a few more days, you might want to consider an extension to Ngapali Beach. See our Treasures of Myanmar itinerary for rates.
 

Inclusions and Exclusions

Our Package Rates Include

  • Private airport transfers
  • Daily accommodation with breakfast
  • Private vehicle transportation for all excursions per itinerary
  • Meals as listed in above itinerary
  • Services of a local, English-speaking guide for all visits and excursions
  • All tours and activities mentioned in the itinerary, including entrance fees
  • Internal flights from Yangon to Mandalay, Mandalay to Bagan, Bagan to Heho and Heho to Yangon

Rates Do Not Include

  • International airfare
  • Myanmar visa application fees
  • Travel insurance
  • Tips for drivers and guides
  • Expenses of a personal nature
  • Optional hot air balloon ride in Bagan
     

To Book This Tour

Please call us toll free at 1-877-362-2793 and let us know that you are interested in this tour. To prepare a proposal, we'll ask questions about how many people are traveling, your preferred travel dates, standard and types of accommodation, and any special interests that we may be able to accommodate.

Once we have finalized a customized price quote for you, your agent will inform you a per-person non-refundable deposit to initiate reservations (typically 20% of tour cost). Final payment is due 75 days prior to departure.

If your reservation is made less than 75 days prior to departure, the non-refundable deposit will allow us to initiate reservations. Full payment will be due immediately upon confirmation of all hotels and transportation services. If the services quoted cannot be confirmed, alternate accommodation or transportation will be arranged and the price will be adjusted accordingly.

Payments can be made by personal check, bank wire transfer, or credit card. Upon receipt of your deposit, we will initiate your reservations and send you a statement showing your payment. Approximately 2 weeks prior to your departure, we will send you a final confirmation containing your itinerary and detailed information on the logistics of your trip.
 
Please review our complete terms and conditions:
Booking Terms and Conditions

Cancellation/Refund Policies

- Cancel more than 60 days prior to departure - forfeit your deposit.
- Cancel between 30 and 60 days prior to departure - forfeit 50% of the tour cost.
- Cancel less than 30 days prior to departure - NO REFUND of tour cost.
- Cancellations must be made in writing and sent via mail, fax, or email to Red Lantern Journeys.
- Refunds will be processed within 30 days of receipt of your written request.
- No refunds are available for unused services or tours during your trip.
 


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