Private Tour

Myanmar Explorer - 16 Days / 15 Nights

This itinerary is designed for those who have a bit more time to get off the beaten path and experience some unique rural culture of Myanmar. You’ll not only see the iconic historic sights in Yangon, Bagan, Inle Lake and Mandalay but also explore some tribal villages in Loikaw that hardly see any visitors. Enjoy easy short hikes near the charming old British hill station of Kalaw and a meaningful visit at a responsible elephant camp.

Private, Local Guides!

We use the best guides available! Our local guides will be your cultural connection to the country. Whether you are a single person, a couple, or a group, you'll have your own guide and driver for all airport pickups, drop offs, and daily excursions.

Seamless Logistics!

Leave to us to handle all of the logistics and safety considerations for your trip so you can enjoy the food, culture, and your limited time.

Choose Your Dates!

Just let us know the dates that work best for you and we will arrange everything. This is not a fixed-departure-date tour and can be arranged for when it will suit you best.


Want more time? Less time? Want to see or do something that isn't included? The options are unlimited, so talk to us about the different possibilities and our recommendations.

Great Accommodation!

We've scouted the best hotels in the best locations of all categories. We'll recommend accommodation to suit your budget and travel style.
  • Ancient Capital Cities of Sagaing & Amarapura
  • Premium Sunrise Hot Air Balloon Ride over Ancient Temples
  • Easy Day Hikes around Colorful Tribal Villages
  • Ancient Pagoda complex of Kakku from the 3rd Century BC
  • Interact with "Long Neck Ladies" at Padaung Villages in Loikaw
  • A Fun Day at Green Hill Valley Elephant Camp
Private Tour

Myanmar Explorer - 16 Days / 15 Nights

Enjoy visiting the iconic historic sights in Yangon, Bagan, Inle Lake and Mandalay but also explore some lesser known tribal villages in Loikaw that hardly see any visitors. Enjoy easy short hikes near the charming old British hill station of Kalaw and a meaningful visit at a responsible elephant camp.

  • Day 1Arrive Mandalay

    Upon arrival, you will be welcomed and transferred to your hotel. Rest of the day is free to rest up from your long flight. 

    Overnight at Mandalay 

  • Day 2Mandalay City Highlights

    Explore typical local life in this bustling city with a rickshaw ride 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 throughout the country. Then, continue to Shwe In Bin Monastary, a famous old monastery 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. Stop by 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.  

    Afternoon visit two historic monasteries in the city. Built in 1878 by King Thibaw Min, Shwenandaw Monastery was originally part of the royal palace at Amarapura but was moved to Mandalay and is now the last remaining structure of the palace in Mandalay. This beautiful monastery is famous for its traditional Burmese architecture with teak carvings of Buddhist myths. 

    Kuthodaw Pagoda, also known as ‘the world’s biggest book’, this pagoda features 729 marble slabs on which the entire Tripitaka (the collection of texts which form the foundation of Theravada Buddhism) has been inscribed. Each slab is housed within its own individual stupa. Your final stop is a spectacular sunset view from Mandalay Hill before returning to your hotel.  

    Overnight at Mandalay 

  • Day 3Sagaing & Amarapura Ancient Cities

    This morning journey to Sagaing, a sacred area covered with 600 white-painted pagodas and monasteries. Sagaing hill is widely regarded as the religious center of Myanmar and is home to about 6,000 monks and nuns with 100 meditation centers. Visit Myasetkyar Monastery, famous for its giant (and we mean huge!) standing Buddha statue. Here you will observe the monk’s lunchtime parade and ritual at 10:30am. You can also visit the Padamya Zedi that dates to 1,300 AD and Umin Thong-ze (‘Thirty Caves’) Pagoda that features a crescent-shaped colonnade of Buddha Images. This area is particularly photogenic for its landscape dotted with pagodas. Close by is Ywa Htaung village you can watch local artisans creating silverware.  

    After lunch, continue to ancient capital city of Amarapura ”meaning city of immortality”. It was the capital of the Konbaung period during 1783–1821 and 1842–1859. Visit the unique 200 years old U Bein wooden bridge, the world’s longest teak bridge.  

    Evening explore the busy Yadanar night market to explore the lively vendors selling beer and BBQ skewers. A great opportunity to mingle with local crowds and sample some local snacks before retiring for the evening.

    Overnight at Mandalay 

  • Day 4Drive to Bagan via Wildlife Sanctuary

    About 1.5 hours’ drive from Mandalay, visit Minzontaung Wildlife Sanctuary that has done an excellent job with breeding the endangered Burmese Star Tortoise and releasing them back in the wild. Take a walk with the park rangers for about an hour to track some of the tortoises in the forest. Stop by their breeding center to learn more about their work and see more tortoises up close. Your visit will include a contribution to the sanctuary and help with their conservation efforts.  

    Continue with a 2hour drive to a small provincial town of Pakokku. Explore a fascinating local fresh produce market that is also the biggest Thanakha market in Myanmar. Thanakha is a cosmetic paste made from ground bark and is an ancient beauty treatment in Myanmar, said to treat wrinkles and prevent sun damage. This town is also famous for its colorful hand woven blankets. Take a short break at a small tea shop with snacks before driving an hour more to Bagan. 

    Overnight at Bagan 

  • Day 5Bagan Ancient Temples

    Spend the day exploring famous ancient temples that Bagan is renowned for. Depending on your interests, you can discuss with your guide on number of temples.  

    Your exploration starts at Kyansitha Umin (‘The Cave of Kyansitha’) with fine murals that depict scenes of ancient daily lives in Bagan and Mongolian invaders who made repeated incursions into Myanmar during late 13th century. Continue to Htilominlo, one of Bagan’s largest temples and Ananda, widely regarded to be one of the country’s most beautiful temples, as well as Shwesandaw, the very first of Bagan’s great monumental stupas. Other sights include Tharabar Gate, the last remaining ancient gate in Bagan and Nathluang Kyaung, Bagan’s only Hindu temple.

    At sundown, your guide will recommend the best locations for spectacular sunset views of the temples.

    Overnight at Bagan 

  • Day 6Balloon Ride, Buddhist Offerings, Artisan Villages

    Rise early this morning for a premium hot air balloon ride (8 people max). The flight time is around 45min to an hour depending on the wind conditions. A light breakfast with pastries and fruits will be served after landing.  

    Later continue to a small local monastery in the outskirts of Bagan where you will perform a religious offering ritual. Stop first at a market to buy some seasonal fruits which you will offer to the head monk and 4 other monks. Meet friendly locals at their village home and help to prepare the fruit offerings for the monks. At around 10.30 am, you will have a chance to receive the monks’ gracious blessing of good luck and happiness for your offerings. 

    Afternoon visit villages to see some traditional crafts famous in this region. See the making of wooden clogs used by farmers and a black bean paste used as a condiment by Anya Atha people. Continue to Myingabar village, home to family-run lacquerware workshops for generations. You can visit at least a dozen workshops and storefronts are scattered around temples and stupas from the early Bagan period. Learn about the long and arduous process of making bowls and trays that often take months to complete. It is believed Japanese Buddhist pilgrims obtained the secrets of lacquering from local artisans in Bagan during ancient times, hence the common usage of lacquer ware for serving Japanese bento meals since then. 

    Overnight at Bagan 

  • Day 7Fly to Inle Lake

    Take a short flight this morning to Heho before driving about 45 minutes to Inle Lake. On the lake, the Intha people have been living for many centuries in villages built entirely on stilts over the lake. Enjoy a special lunch served on a private boat on the lake before visiting various highlights including the floating gardens, a cheroot workshop where Burmese cigars are made, a lotus weaving workshop and the famous Nga Phe Chaung Monastery. 

    Overnight at Inle Lake 

  • Day 8Hilltribe Market & Easy Village Hikes

    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. This morning visit a colorful market frequented by Shan and Pa O people living nearby.

    Then continue to pass a small creek in the western part of the lake to Indein village. Visit a complex of about 1,000 stupas of varying sizes built between the 17th and 18th centuries. Embark on a short trek to Nay Daw village (3 miles, about 1 hour) and visit the Pa O tribal residents. Visit the local farmlands and a bamboo forest. Trek about a mile (about 30min) back to Indein village, enjoy very scenic countryside views along the way. From here, transfer back to your hotel by motorboat. Rest of the afternoon is free for you to relax at your resort with splendid lake views from your room.

    Overnight at Inle Lake 

  • Day 9Drive to Loikaw via Kakku Pagodas

    This morning drive about 2 hours to the ancient pagoda complex of Kakku that features about 2,500 pagodas mostly from the 17th to 18th century. This ancient site may date back to as early as the 3rd century BC, when the Indian emperor Ashoka built a great number of pagodas and monasteries across South East Asia.  

    After continue about 2 hours by car to Loikaw, the picturesque capital city of Kayah State and home to several ethnic groups. Visit Taung Kwe Zedi “Broken Mountain Pagoda” to enjoy nice sunset views over the town. 

    Overnight at Loikaw 

  • Day 10Padaung Tribal Villages

    Today drive about 1.5 hours to a cluster of Kayan villages where you will meet the famous Padaung people (popularly known as Long Necks for their brass rings around ladies’ necks). There are 4 villages where you can see the traditional lifestyles, Dawkaw, Kasae Ku, Sa Long kana and Pemsong. Each village is about 5min walking distance from each other. On arrival, enjoy local tea at a local home before walking around. Learn a few words of Kayan language and interact with these fun-loving and artistic people before enjoying a home hosted lunch.

    Return to the city to visit a local workshop on Loikaw weaving, see the steps of natural dyeing and different techniques of weaving. Alternatively, you can also visit Kayhtoebo site and Hunting Shrine, to learn about local beliefs and spiritual life. Have a hand at playing with a local “catapult”.

    Overnight at Loikaw  

  • Day 11Drive Loikaw to Kalaw

    Today drive about 4 hours along scenic roads to Kalaw, at 4,300 ft. above sea level. Kalaw was once a favorite hill station for British administrative officials and a summer resort for their family during the hot season. A peaceful town surrounded by pine forests, it is home to the Palaung, Pa-O, Taung-Yo, and Dha Nu hill tribes of the Shan ethnic group. 

    Afternoon explore the Central Market often filled with colorful ethnic tribes. Stroll around Kalaw town to see old colonial era houses, the Anglican Church built by the British in 1900s, the historical Kalaw Railway Station and lastly, the Pinmagon Monastery which houses the famous Nee Paya (Bamboo Buddha Image), estimated to have been built during the Ava Period over 500 years ago.  

    Overnight at Kalaw 

  • Day 12Green Hill Valley Elephant Camp

    Head to the Green Hill Valley Elephant Conservation Camp for a meaningful opportunity to learn about their conservation efforts. Spend the day with their elephants, including feeding and taking a bath in the river with them. The program is a group join-in excursion starting at 9:30am and ends about 4pm. 

    Overnight at Kalaw

  • Day 13Village Hike

    Start the day at village farmhouse where you will experience working with buffalo, milking cows and feeding farm animals. Then take easy short hike of about 20 min to various villages to interact with friendly locals over a cup of locally grown green tea. Stop by Nanthe (Nepalese) village to see the prices of rice and plum wine making. Enjoy some local brew wine before enjoying a delicious Nepalese lunch. Some villagers in Kalaw are descendants of Nepali migrant workers who were brought here by the British during the colonial era to work on the tea fields and construction of the railway lines. 

    Overnight at Kalaw

  • Day 14Fly Kalaw to Yangon

    Drive about an hour to Heho Airport for a short flight to Yangon, the former capital city of Myanmar.  

    Late afternoon visit the world famous Shwedagon Pagoda for a sunset experience. This is the most sacred temple in Myanmar and believed to be at least 2,500 years old. Here you will experience an Oil Lamp Lighting Ceremony, join local vicars and Buddhists to emblaze several small oil lamps in the dark. This is a traditional ritual practice locally to symbolize the transition from darkness to a brilliant future. Transfer back to your hotel after the experience.

    Overnight at Yangon 

  • Day 15Yangon City Highlights

    This morning visit a lively local market in Insein Township at the north of Yangon where vendors gather daily to sell a wide range of items, both food and dry goods. Enjoy exploring the market and meeting the friendly locals before returning to Yangon by a circular train. Arrive right behind the Bogyoke Aung San market where you can shop for souvenirs.

    Afternoon explore the downtown area to see some of the most spectacular and last remaining colonial era architecture 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.

    Overnight at Yangon

  • Day 16Depart Yangon

    Transfer to airport for your onward journey.  

Private Tour

Myanmar Explorer - 16 Days / 15 Nights

Our private tours include the things that make it so you don’t have to worry about logistics for your trip.

This Tour Includes

  • Airport Transfers
  • In Country Flights
  • Accommodation, including all Taxes and Service Fees
  • Private, Local, English-speaking Guides for Tours and Activities
  • All Tours and Activities as described
  • Entrance Fees to Sights

This Tour Does Not Include

  • International Airfare
  • Visa Fees and Application
  • Travel Insurance
  • Tips for Guides and Drivers

Itinerary Extensions to Consider

Consider a pre- or post-tour extension to this itinerary in either Thailand or within Myanmar. It’s quite easy to add a couple of days in Bangkok to indulge in authentic local food at our secret locations or extend your trip with a relaxing stay at Ngapali Beach by a quiet coastal town.

Bangkok Getaway

Starting Price : $900 / Person

Explore authentic century old neighborhoods including one of the world's largest Chinatown established in 1782 and a Thai-Portuguese Quarter. Discover hidden small eateries known only to local foodies, sample unique snacks and dishes you will never find on your own!

Ngapali Beach Stay

Starting Price : $800 / Person

Unwind along pristine beaches by the Bay of Bengal with idyllic stretch of white sand and palm tree-lined coast. Ngapali is far less busy compared to popular beaches in Thailand and offers an interesting selection of charming boutique resorts.

Private Tour

Myanmar Explorer - 16 Days / 15 Nights

Here’s an explanation of what to expect and the planning process with a Red Lantern Journeys travel consultant.

The price for this trip will vary based on many factors including:

  • Dates of travel – high vs. low vs. shoulder season
  • Your preference of hotel standards – 3, 4, or 5-star categories. We’ve scouted the best hotels and the best locations in each category and will make our recommendations based on your budget and travel style. We’ll even try to book specific room categories to avoid street noise or other inconveniences.
  • The number of people in your group
  • Customization of tours and activities
  • How far in advance you book the trip
  • Personal Travel Consultant

    Your personal travel consult to work with you to prepare your itinerary, recommend tours and activities and accommodation and explain the reasoning behind every aspect of your tour.

  • Private Vehicles with Driver and Guides

    You'll have your own private, chauffeur-driven vehicle for all of your airport transfers and daily excursions. These will also include your personal, English-speaking guide who is licensed and will provide the insights to make each of your tours an exceptional experience.

  • Hotel Recommendations

    We've scouted the best hotels and the best locations in each category and will make our recommendations based on your budget and travel style. We'll even try to book specific room categories to avoid street noise or other inconveniences, or to get the best view from your balcony!

  • Activity Recommendations

    We have access to a wide range of activities to make your trip truly memorable. Activities range from visiting iconic sights to meeting local personalities and artists, adventure sports, and exclusive dining experiences!

Private Tour

Myanmar Explorer - 16 Days / 15 Nights

The best times to travel in Myanmar are from early November to early March when temperatures are cooler and the weather is typically good. It is still possible to travel other times of year, but it is very hot in April and May while June through early October is the monsoon season. However, crowds at places like Bagan Temples and Inle Lake will be much sparser during the off season.

Private Tour

Myanmar Explorer - 16 Days / 15 Nights

Customize This Itinerary

Starting From: $6300 / Person
Call us at 206-568-0710 or fill out the form below. We’ll get back to you within 1 business day!

Please provide as much information as you can to help us prepare before contacting you. For example:

  • Number of travelers – adults and children with ages
  • When you want to travel – are your dates fixed or flexible?
  • Destinations of interest – country or countries, plus destinations within a country
  • Activities of interest – like beaches, wildlife, hiking, shopping, art, local culture, adventure, etc.
  • Purpose of trip and Special Occasions – holiday, honeymoons, important birthdays, anniversaries, etc.
  • Approximate budget per person

Submit Your Inquiry Here

Have A Question?

Call us at 206-568-0710 or email us at Click Inquire Here to fill out and submit a form.

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