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Myanmar Adventure - 16 Days/15 Nights

Yangon - Lashio - Hsipaw - Kyaukme - Pyin Oo Lwin - Mandalay - Bagan – Kalaw – Inle Lake - Yangon

This itinerary is for the more active traveler doesn't mind a bit more rustic accommodation on occasion. You'll hike and bike your way through some of the most spectacular rural landscapes in Myanmar, exploring old British hill stations, off-the-beaten-path hill tribe villages, archaelogical sites, and ancient capital cities. Enjoy an exhilarating train ride over the Gokteik Viaduct constructed in 1901 by the Pennsylvania Steel Company, once considered to be the second highest railway bridge in the world. Learn to be a mahout at an elephant conservation camp in the jungles and meet villager elders.

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, but the rest of your time is free to explore!

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.

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Trip Highlights

  • Circular train ride in Yangon
  • Hiking to traditional Shah villages
  • Bike through secluded Pa O villages
  • Discover remote ancient temples by bike
  • Taste unique cuisine the local style


Day 1: Yangon
Upon arrival at Yangon International Airport, you will be welcomed by our representative and transferred to your hotel for check in. Afternoon, experience the full history of the famous Shwedagon Pagoda, the daily lives of local people living in the immediate surroundings and a deeper insight to the local spiritual beliefs in Nats – the Myanmar spirits. The tour begins from the bottom of the hill, passing local workshops, markets and monasteries. Participate in popular local activities that include offerings to the pagoda, a visit to a traditional medicine shop, and a chat with a fortune teller. Overnight in Yangon.

Day 2: Yangon
Start early this morning at 6.30 am with a visit to the bustling fish market on the Yangon River. Continue to a vegetable market and sample the famous Burmese breakfast called Mohinga, a mild fish soup with noodles and crackers. By this time, the monks are walking through the streets to collect their alms and you have the opportunity to donate some food to them. Head back to your hotel for a full western breakfast and later, explore the different faces of Yangon from famous landmarks to the hidden markets that have seen few westerners. Starting from a famous tea shop in the 1960s, you will visit the Sule Pagoda, colonial downtown, the harbor and the historic Strand Hotel. Stop over at the reclining Buddha before taking the famous circular train which takes you right behind the Bogyoke Aung San market. Overnight in Yangon. (Breakfast, lunch)

Day 3: Yangon to Lashio to Hsipaw
Transfer to the airport for your morning flight to Lashio. Upon arrival at Lashio, you will be met by our representative and proceed to drive about 1.5hours to Hsipaw. If time permits, you will take an easy walk in a nearby village. Overnight in Hsipaw. (Breakfast)

(There are no daily flights to Lashio. If your flight is not available, you will fly from Yangon to Mandalay and take a scenic 6 hours drive to Hsipaw with stops along the way).

Day 4: Hsipaw
After breakfast, take a boat ride up the Dokthawaddy River through amazing scenery of mountains, plantations and rural village life. You will get out of the boat for an hour’s walk to visit a 150 years old Shan monastery in the forest. If desired, you may swim at the river confluence. On the way back to Hsipaw, visit a charming traditional Shan village and learn more about their culture. In the afternoon, walk through a panoramic scenery of paddy fields and other seasonal crops. Passing by small creeks, Shan villages, local schools, the grave of the first prince of Hsipaw, a local nunnery as well as a wooden monastery. Learn about the life of Shan people around Hsipaw and see some home-based industries like cheroot (cigar) rolling and bamboo weaving. Hear why each Shan village has a spirit house built at the entrance of the village. Overnight in Hsipaw. (Breakfast)

Day 5: Hsipaw to Kyaukme

This morning, visit the local market in Hsipaw and continue by car to Kyaukme for about 1 hour. On arrival, start trekking through the mountains surrounding Kyaukme. You will get an insight to the life of the Palaung people living in the hills. Enjoy lunch in one of the Palaung villages where you can still find people who have never seen a western foreigner and live by century old traditions. Overnight in Kyaukme in a very simple guest house. (Breakfast, Lunch)

Day 6: Kyaukme to Pyin Oo Lwin
In the morning you have some free time to explore the town with its colonial buildings and a colorful market. Transfer to the train station and board the train for a 3 hour ride to Pyin Oo Lwin, crossing the mighty Gokteik Viaduct which was constructed in 1901 by constructors from the Pennsylvania Steel company and was once the second highest railway bridge in the world. The train will also pass by spectacular mountain scenery and small villages where vendors will enter the train to sell drinks and local snacks. At around 2pm, you will disembark from the train and continue another hour by car to Pyin Oo Lwin. Visit the botanical gardens and some of the colonial houses this town is famous for. Overnight in Pyin oo Lwin. (Breakfast)

Day 7: Pyin Oo Lwin - Mandalay
In the morning depart for Mandalay by car for about 1.5 hour.  Visit the exquisite Shwenandaw pagoda and Kuthodaw pagoda, often referred as the “world’s biggest book.” Hike up the Yankin Hill to see Nga Yant Min (King of Mudfish) Cave and receive meritorious prosperity by pouring water over the fish statues. Afternoon, you will check in at your hotel before exploring Amarapura, the 18th century capital of Myanmar on bicycles. Stop along the way at a local teashop and visit a colourful market. Continue to Mahamuni pagoda, the most sacred temple in Upper Myanmar. Visit a local weaving workshop and see how tiny bits of gold are flattened into thin gold leaves where locals paste them onto Buddha images. Walk over the famed U-Bein Bridge, a 158 year old teak wood bridge - the longest teak bridge in the world. Return to hotel by your bicycle. Overnight in Mandalay. (Breakfast)

Day 8: Mandalay
Start the day with 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. After, cycle 9 miles to Sagaing, the ancient capital in the 18th century and have a simple lunch with monks in a monastery. Later, you will cycle about 3 miles and cross a river by local ferry to Ava, another old capital in the 14th century. Cycle around the historic sites and transfer back to your hotel in Mandalay by car. Overnight in Mandalay. (Breakfast, Lunch)

Day 9: Mandalay to Bagan
Transfer to the airport for a short flight to Bagan, the most famous archaeological zone in Myanmar. Spend the day exploring the famous ancient temples. Spend the day exploring the ancient 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 10: Bagan
An optional hot-air balloon ride at dawn is available, but pre-booking required (does not operate between April 1st and October 15th). Enjoy breathtaking views of the temple-studded landscape of Bagan. The dry, arid conditions have uniquely preserved more than 4000 stupas and temples built here between the 11th and 13th centuries.

Explore the less visited temples today by mountain bikes along small unpaved lanes. Stops are made to enjoy some of the most spectacular views of ancient temples and you can stop whenever you wish for more photo opportunities. Arrive at noon at a temple in Minnanthu area where a picnic lunch is awaiting. After, continue by your bike to explore some of most famous temples before returning to your hotel. Overnight in Bagan. (Breakfast, Lunch) 

Day 11: Bagan to Heho to Kalaw
Transfer to the airport for your morning flight to Heho. Upon arrival, drive another 2 hours to Kalaw, at 4300 ft above sea level. Kalaw was once a favourite hill station for British administrative officials and a summer resort. On arrival in Kalaw, your guide specialized in elephant conservation will welcome you and start a half day trek through the forest. Along the way, learn about the different vegetation and animals in this area. Arrive in a local village and meet the village elders before helping to prepare a typical local dinner. Overnight in a local monastery in Kalaw. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 12: Kalaw
Wake up to a local village style breakfast in the jungle. This morning, you will visit an elephant camp and be a mahout for half a day. Learn the basic commands to give an elephant, help to feed and wash the elephants. After a simple lunch at the camp, you will drive back to Kalaw. Rest of the afternoon is free at leisure to explore this charming hill station. Overnight in Kalaw. (Breakfast, Lunch)

Day 13: Kalaw to Inle Lake 

Today you will cycle about 4 hours from Aung Ban to Indien, south of Inle Lake. The trip is mostly off-road and would require some uphill sections. (There will be a support vehicle if you wish to stop anytime.) You will bike through numerous Pa O villages where few foreigners are seen. Stop on the way to enjoy the fantastic views over the lake and the Shan countryside. Lunch is served in a local village before visiting the ancient ruins of Indein, which are partly covered by vegetation and resemble a “pagoda forest”. After, continue to your hotel by private motorboat and relax with a spectacular sunset view over the lake. Overnight Inle Lake. (Breakfast, Lunch)

Day 14: Inle Lake 
Inle Lake in southern Shan State is a vast natural lake surrounded by traditional Shan villages. 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 discover the natural beauty of the lake. Visit the floating gardens, hopefully see some of the famous leg rowers and have some tea at a local family’s house. On and around the lake, traditional markets are held in different villages according to a 5-day rotating schedule. You will visit a colourful market frequented by Shan and PaO people living nearby. Stop by a local cheroot factory (where the Burmese cigars are made), floating tomato gardens, a weaving factory and Nga Phe Chaung Monastery, one of the oldest and most beautiful on the lake. Overnight in Inle Lake. (Breakfast, Lunch)

Day 15:  Inle Lake to Heho to Yangon
Transfer to the airport for your short flight to Yangon. Upon arrival be welcomed and transferred to your hotel. In the afternoon, enjoy a 1 hour foot massage and continue to Bogyoke market for some last shopping. The rest of the day is free for your last night in Burma. Overnight in Yangon. (Breakfast)
Day 16:  Departure from Yangon
Transfer to the airport for your departure flight. (Breakfast)

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 Lashio, 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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