A unique country that has long been shrouded in mystery, Burma is emerging as one of the Far East’s must-see destinations. This small group tour provides the perfect introduction to Burma and focuses on showcasing the nation’s fascinating historic, natural and cultural treasures. Discover all of this as you journey by road and air, cruise along rivers and lakes, and ride traditional horse and carts.

• Rangoon (Yangon): 1 night
• Mandalay: 3 nights
• Bagan: 3 nights
• Inle Lake: 2 nights
• Rangoon: 1 night

12nights Escorted Small Group Tour
NATURE
CULTURE
ACTIVE

Burma (Myanmar) is a unique and mysterious country with some of the most beautiful landscapes in the Far East. This small group tour provides the perfect introduction to Burma and focuses on showcasing the nation’s fascinating historic, natural and cultural treasures. Discover all of this as you journey by road and air, cruise along rivers and lakes, and ride traditional horse and carts.

• Rangoon (Yangon): 2 nights

• Maymyo: 1 night

• Mandalay: 2 nights

• Bagan: 3 nights

• Inle Lake: 2 nights

12nights Escorted Small Group Tour
NATURE
CULTURE
ACTIVE
 
 
ITINERARY

Day 1: UK to Rangoon Depart from the UK on your overnight flight to Burma.

Day 2: Rangoon On arrival, transfer to your hotel and enjoy an evening at leisure. Stay: Sule Shangri-La (or similar).

Day 3: Rangoon to Mandalay After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your domestic flight to Mandalay (approx. 1½ hours). Take a tour of Burma’s last royal city, visiting spiritual sites including the finely-carved teak Golden Palace Monastery and the Kuthodaw Pagoda which houses 729 marble slabs inscribed with the Buddha’s teachings. Continue to Mandalay Hill, a major pilgrimage site for Buddhists and a fantastic place to enjoy views at sunset over the city’s hills which are speckled with shining temples and pagodas. Enjoy a welcome dinner at the 'A Little Bit of Mandalay' restaurant. Stay: Mandalay Hill Resort (or similar). B, D.

Day 4: Mandalay to Mingun After breakfast, discover the buzzing Jade Market and see how gems can be cut and polished, and watch Chinese and Burmese wholesale buyers wander around the market looking for their best deal. In the afternoon, an excursion by boat on the Ayeyarwady River will take you to Mingun, about 1 hour upriver from Mandalay. Visit one of the world’s largest bells, the 90 ton Mingun Bell, as well as the Hsinbyume Paya and the unfinished Mingun Paya, which was meant to become the largest stupa in Myanmar, constructed by King Bodaw Paya. After visiting Mingun you'll embark on your boat, enjoying the beautiful sunset on the river and observing the lively local life on the banks. Stay: Mandalay Hill Resort (or similar). B.

Day 5: Mandalay This morning, join a traditional ceremony of giving alms to local monks. Return to your hotel for breakfast before visiting the Mahamuni Pagoda, one of Burma’s most important Buddhist pilgrimage sites – male devotees apply gold leaf to the Buddha statue as a sign of respect. Drive to the historic city of Inwa (formerly called Ava), known as the ‘City of Gems’. This former capital has a tranquil rural setting and is scattered with remains of monasteries, palace towers and pagodas. Take a short boat ride over the river, then soak up the atmosphere as you explore the small city in a traditional horse-drawn carriage. Visit the Nanmyint Watch Tower – the remains of the ancient palace building, as well as the Maha Aungmye Bonzan and Bargayar monasteries before continuing to Sagaing Hill, a tranquil Buddhist retreat. Keen photographers have the chance to capture U Bein Bridge, the world’s longest teak bridge which was built in 1782 and stretches across the Taungthaman River. Enjoy the sunset with a boat ride on the lake. Stay: Mandalay Hill Resort (or similar). B.

Day 6: Mandalay to Bagan Today’s journey is a real highlight. Cruise along the Irrawaddy River – dubbed the ‘Road to Mandalay’ by the British – to the ancient city of Bagan. During your 8-10 hours on board (times vary depending on river levels), lunch will be served as you pass regions largely untouched by modern civilisation. In Bagan, a truly spectacular vista awaits with centuries’-old pagodas rising from the plains to create a majestic skyline. Approx. journey time: 8-10¼ hours, 135 miles. Stay: Myanmar Treasure Resort (or similar). B, L.

Day 7: Bagan This morning, hop on a horse and cart for a half-day tour of the city’s most important temples including the 11th-Century Shwezigon Pagoda which was built by King Anawrahta to enshrine sacred relics of the Buddha. According to local legend, if you visit all four replicas in one day then good luck and prosperity will ensue. Later, visit a number of temples including Gubyaukgyi, famed for its murals of Jakatas (tales of Buddha) and Ananda Temple with its four standing Buddha statues, before enjoying the sunset from a lookout point. An optional hot-air balloon ride at sunrise offers enchanting views of vast plains dotted with golden temples (available October-March). Stay: Myanmar Treasure Resort (or similar). B.

Day 8: Bagan Learn a little more about local culture during a cycling excursion, passing temples and monasteries on your way to Myinkaba Village where you’ll visit a farmer’s house and traditional barber’s shop. In the village lacquerware and bamboo fence makers line the streets and the locals go about their business giving you a glimpse of their day-to-day lives. The rest of your day is at leisure. Stay: Myanmar Treasure Resort (or similar). B.

Day 9: Bagan to Inle Lake After breakfast, board a 45-minute morning flight to Heho. You’ll then travel to the town of Ayetharyar for a wine tasting and lunch at one of the region’s vineyards. Next, drive to Nyaung Shwe, visiting the Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery en route. A boat excursion takes you to a silk weaving workshop and silversmith’s in the village of Inn Paw Khon (approx. 3 hours) before you continue to Phaungdaw Oo Pagoda, home to five small Buddha images which sit hidden beneath infinite layers of gold leaf applied by devotees. Approx. journey time: 4¼ hours, 33 miles. Stay: ViewPoint Eco Lodge (or similar). B, L.

Day 10: Inle Lake This morning, ride a boat to the lakeside village of Maing Tauk and walk (approx. 1 hour) to a meditation centre. A local monk will teach you the ways of meditation; afterwards, enjoy time to reflect on your own. Enjoy a local lunch then walk to the Nga Phe Kyaung Monastery. Another boat journey takes you to one of the lake’s most impressive sites, Shwe Indein Pagoda. Ascend an ancient stairway to find this hauntingly beautiful complex containing hundreds of pagodas, crumbling and foliage-covered, beside their fully restored neighbours. Stay: ViewPoint Eco Lodge (or similar). B, L.

Day 11: Inle Lake to Rangoon Begin your return to Rangoon via boat to Nyaung Shwe and transfer to Heho airport for your flight to Rangoon (approx. 1¼ hours). Spend your last full day exploring Rangoon’s important landmarks, including Burma’s largest Catholic church, the High Court and Rander House before enjoying high tea at the heritage hotel The Strand. Approx. journey time: 2 hours, 31 miles. Stay: Sule Shangri-La (or similar). B.

Day 12: Rangoon This morning you will visit one of the city’s most striking landmarks, the octagonal-shaped 2000 year old Sule Pagoda which has a 152-foot golden dome reputed to contain a hair from Buddha. Continue to the Shwedagon Pagoda, a glorious golden pagoda which is also believed to house strands of Buddha’s hair. Transfer to the airport for your flight to the UK, arriving the following day. B.


Stay longer

2019

Cambodia & Laos Explorer 9 nights

A captivating tour of Cambodia and Laos’ cultural and historic sights.

Singapore 2 nights

Spend some time exploring multicultural Singapore, known as the 'City in a Garden'.

2020

Ngapali Beach 3 nights

Visit this lesser-known area of Burma, a palm-dotted stretch of sandy coastline on the country's west coast.

Day 1: Rangoon to Ngapali Beach

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight to Thandwe (approx. 1 hour), where on arrival you'll transfer to your hotel. Spend the rest of the day at leisure and soak up some sun on the powdery sands of Ngapali Beach. Stay: Sandoway Resort (or similar). B.

Days 2-3: Ngapali Beach

Make the most of beautiful Ngapali Beach. Go swimming and snorkelling, head out on a boat trip to explore offshore islands or rent a bicycle to discover local fishing villages and markets. The beach is west-facing, so you should have the chance to take in superb sunsets over the Bay of Bengal. Stay: Sandoway Resort (or similar). B.

Day 4: Ngapali Beach to Rangoon

Transfer to Thandwe airport for your flight to Rangoon, where you will take your flight back to the UK. B.

Day 1: UK to Rangoon Depart from the UK on your overnight flight to Burma.

Day 2: Rangoon On arrival, transfer to your hotel and enjoy an evening at leisure. Stay: Sule Shangri-La Hotel (or similar).

Day 3: Rangoon After breakfast you’ll visit one of the city’s most striking landmarks, the octagonal-shaped 2000-year-old Sule Pagoda – it has a 152-foot golden dome reputed to contain a hair from Buddha and is surrounded by buzzing streets, colonial buildings and the city hall. Continue to the Shwedagon Pagoda, a glorious golden pagoda which is also believed to house strands of Buddha’s hair, before strolling through Bogyoke (Scott’s Market, closed on Mondays and public holidays). Enjoy a welcome dinner at a local restaurant. Stay: Sule Shangri-La Hotel (or similar). B, D.

Day 4: Rangoon to Maymyo Transfer to the airport for your flight to Mandalay (approx. 1½ hours). Soak up the scenery during the drive (approx. 2 hours) to the former British hill station of Maymyo (Pyin Oo Lwin). Discover the sights of this charming town from a horse-drawn carriage as you ride past the colonial buildings and markets. Visit the National Kandawgyi Park, the town’s botanical garden. Approx. journey time: 2 hours, 50 miles. Stay: Aureum Palace Resort (or similar). B.

Day 5: Maymyo to Mandalay After breakfast you’ll drive back to Mandalay. On arrival, take a tour of Burma’s last royal city, visiting spiritual sites including the finely carved teak Golden Palace Monastery and the Kuthodaw Pagoda which houses 729 marble slabs inscribed with the Buddha’s teachings. Continue to Mandalay Hill, a major pilgrimage site for Buddhists and a fantastic place to enjoy views at sunset over the city’s hills which are speckled with shining temples and pagodas. Check in at your hotel later today. Stay: Mandalay Hill Resort (or similar). B.

Day 6: Mandalay This morning, join a traditional ceremony of giving alms to local monks. Return to your hotel for breakfast before visiting the Mahamuni Pagoda, one of Burma’s most important Buddhist pilgrimage sites – male devotees apply gold leaf to the Buddha statue as a sign of respect. Drive to the historic city of Inwa (formerly called Ava), known as the ‘City of Gems’. This former capital has a tranquil rural setting and is scattered with remains of monasteries, palace towers and pagodas. Take a short boat ride over the river, then soak up the atmosphere as you explore the small city in a traditional horse-drawn carriage. Visit the Nanmyint Watch Tower – the remains of the ancient palace building, as well as the Maha Aungmye Bonzan and Bargayar monasteries before continuing to Sagaing Hill, a tranquil Buddhist retreat. Drive to Amarapura, where keen photographers will have the chance to capture U Bein Bridge – this is the world’s longest teak bridge which was built in 1782 and stretches across the Taungthaman River. Enjoy the sunset with a boat ride on the lake. Stay: Mandalay Hill Resort (or similar). B.

Day 7: Mandalay to Bagan Today’s journey is a real highlight. Cruise along the Irrawaddy River – dubbed the ‘Road to Mandalay’ by the British – to the ancient city of Bagan. During your 8-10 hours on board (times vary depending on river levels), lunch will be served as you pass regions largely untouched by modern civilisation. In Bagan, a truly spectacular vista awaits with centuries’-old pagodas rising from the plains to create a majestic skyline. Approx. journey time: 8-10¼ hours, 135 miles. Stay: Myanmar Treasure Resort (or similar). B, L.

Day 8: Bagan This morning there’s the opportunity to take an optional hot-air balloon ride at sunrise, offering enchanting views of vast plains dotted with golden temples (available October-March, pre-booking is essential). Hop on a horse and cart for a half-day tour of the city’s most important temples including the 11th-Century Shwezigon Pagoda which was built by King Anawrahta to enshrine sacred relics of the Buddha. According to local legend, if you visit all four replicas in one day then good luck and prosperity will ensue. Later, visit temples including the three-storey red-brick Htilominlo, Gubyaukgyi which is famed for its murals of Jakatas (tales of Buddha) and Ananda with its four standing Buddha statues, before enjoying the sunset from a lookout point. Stay: Myanmar Treasure Resort (or similar). B.

Day 9: Bagan Learn a little more about local culture during a cycling excursion, passing temples and monasteries on your way to Myinkaba Village where you’ll visit a farmer’s house and traditional barber’s shop. In the village lacquerware and bamboo fence makers line the streets and the locals go about their business giving you a glimpse of their day-to-day lives. The rest of your day is at leisure. Stay: Myanmar Treasure Resort (or similar). B.

Day 10: Bagan to Inle Lake After breakfast, transfer to the airport for a 45-minute morning flight to Heho. You’ll then travel to the town of Ayetharyar for a wine tasting and lunch at one of the region’s vineyards. Next, drive to Nyaung Shwe, visiting the Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery en route. A boat excursion takes you to a silk weaving workshop and silversmith’s in the village of Inn Paw Khon (approx. 3 hours) before you continue to Phaungdaw Oo Pagoda, home to five small Buddha images which sit hidden beneath infinite layers of gold leaf applied by devotees. Approx. journey time: 4¼ hours, 33 miles. Stay: ViewPoint Eco Lodge (or similar). B, L.

Day 11: Inle Lake This morning, ride a boat to the lakeside village of Maing Tauk before travelling to a meditation centre. A local monk will teach you the ways of meditation; afterwards, enjoy time to reflect on your own. Enjoy a local lunch then travel to the Nga Phe Kyaung Monastery. Another boat journey takes you to one of the lake’s most impressive sites, Shwe Indein Pagoda. Climb an ancient stairway to find this hauntingly beautiful complex containing hundreds of pagodas, crumbling and foliage-covered, beside their fully restored neighbours. Stay: ViewPoint Eco Lodge (or similar). B, L.

Day 12: Inle Lake to Rangoon After breakfast, begin your return to Rangoon via boat to Nyaung Shwe and transfer to Heho airport for your flight to Rangoon (approx. 1¼ hours). Explore Rangoon’s important landmarks, including Burma’s largest Catholic church, the High Court and Rander House before enjoying high tea at the heritage hotel The Strand. Transfer to the airport for your flight back to the UK. B.


Stay longer

2019

Cambodia & Laos Explorer 9 nights

A captivating tour of Cambodia and Laos’ cultural and historic sights.

Singapore 2 nights

Spend some time exploring multicultural Singapore, known as the 'City in a Garden'.

2020

Ngapali Beach 3 nights

Visit this lesser-known area of Burma, a palm-dotted stretch of sandy coastline on the country's west coast.

Day 1: Rangoon to Ngapali Beach

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight to Thandwe (approx. 1 hour), where on arrival you'll transfer to your hotel. Spend the rest of the day at leisure and soak up some sun on the powdery sands of Ngapali Beach. Stay: Sandoway Resort (or similar). B.

Days 2-3: Ngapali Beach

Make the most of beautiful Ngapali Beach. Go swimming and snorkelling, head out on a boat trip to explore offshore islands or rent a bicycle to discover local fishing villages and markets. The beach is west-facing, so you should have the chance to take in superb sunsets over the Bay of Bengal. Stay: Sandoway Resort (or similar). B.

Day 4: Ngapali Beach to Rangoon

Transfer to Thandwe airport for your flight to Rangoon, where you will take your flight back to the UK. B.

ABOUT THIS TOUR

Is this for you?

If you have a sense of adventure and are prepared for an intrepid experience, then this tour is perfect for you. Explore a land that for so many years lay behind locked doors.

Good to know

• For guests over 16 (unless travelling on a private journey)
• Average group size of 10 guests
• A maximum of 18 guests.

What to expect

• Some early starts, long days, a lot of walking and some cycling
• Time to get to know your tour group and local tour leader
• Unsuitable for anyone with walking difficulties.

Accommodation on tour

We have selected quality hotels that range in style from simple to elegant and are ideally located for local exploration. The Sule Shangri-La offers a taste of luxury and fine facilities in the heart of Rangoon – a great way to begin and end your tour. The traditional ViewPoint Eco Lodge boasts a stunning setting overlooking rice paddies and a canal that leads to beautiful Inle Lake, with bungalows built on stilts over a private lake.

Single travellers

Single room supplement from £746

Is this for you?

If you have a sense of adventure and are prepared for an intrepid experience, then this tour is perfect for you. Explore a land that for so many years lay behind locked doors.

Good to know

• For guests over 16 (unless travelling on a private journey, where the minimum age is 12)
• Average group size of 10 guests
• A maximum of 16 guests

• Journey times do not take into account stops or local traffic conditions

• We recommend travelling with no more than one suitcase and one day bag.

What to expect

• A pair of comfortable walking shoes is recommended

• Authentic local experiences

• Some early starts, long days and exploration on foot, by boat and some cycling

• Knees and shoulders need to be covered during temple visits.

Accommodation on tour

We have selected quality hotels that range in style from simple to elegant and are ideally located for local exploration. The Sule Shangri-La offers a taste of luxury and fine facilities in the heart of Rangoon – a great way to begin your tour. The traditional ViewPoint Eco Lodge boasts a stunning setting overlooking rice paddies and a canal that leads to beautiful Inle Lake, with bungalows built on stilts over a private lake.

Single travellers

Single room supplement from £746

DATES AND INCLUSIONS

Tour dates

2019 Nov 11

Included in price

• Quality accommodation
• Insightful local tour leaders
• Hand-picked itineraries
• Flexible arrival times
• Small groups and a relaxed approach
• Porterage and guide tips
• Meals where most convenient (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner), or the freedom to explore local restaurants independently
• All specified flights.

Upgrade your tour

Private tour Upgrade to a private tour with a local tour leader on the same itinerary, departing on the date of your choice from £639 per person, ref BU002

Excursions

Day 7: Balloons Over Bagan from £300 per person

Tour dates

2020 Jan 13; Feb 03; Oct 05; Nov 09

2021 Jan 11; Feb 01; Oct 04; Nov 08

Included in price

• Quality accommodation

• Insightful local tour leaders

• Hand-picked itineraries

• Flexible arrival times

• Small groups

• Porterage and guide tips

• Meals where most convenient (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)

• All specified flights.

Upgrade your tour

Private tour Upgrade to a private tour with a local tour leader on the same itinerary, departing on the date of your choice from £639 per person, ref BU002

Excursions

Day 7: Balloons Over Bagan from £300 per person

Burma Encounter

Kuoni highlights

This tour includes all of the highlights plus immersive local experiences; in Bagan you’ll explore the gleaming pagodas and also venture off the beaten track by bike to experience a taste of local village life. Highlights include high tea in Rangoon at the famous colonial heritage hotel, The Strand, and visits to the golden Shwedagon Padoga and the picturesque U Bein Bridge.

Kuoni highlights

This tour includes all of the highlights plus immersive local experiences; in Bagan you’ll explore the gleaming pagodas and also venture off the beaten track by bike to experience a taste of local village life. Highlights include high tea in Rangoon at the famous colonial heritage hotel, The Strand, visits to the golden Shwedagon Padoga and the picturesque U Bein Bridge, and cruising along the Irrawaddy River.

Request a brochure

Escorted Touring 2019