Call us: +44(0)1453 844400Email us: info@mountainkingdoms.com

Worldwide Small Group and Tailor Made Adventure Travel

What’s included

  • An English-speaking Burmese leader throughout
  • Economy class return air fares from the UK (flight inclusive option)
  • Single, timed group airport transfers on arrival and departure for international flights
  • All internal flights and domestic airport transfers
  • Savoy Hotel in Yangon, bed & breakfast and twin-share basis
  • Outside of Yangon, comfortable hotel accommodation on full board, twin-share basis.
  • All road transport by private vehicles
  • Sightseeing where specified
  • Carbon offsetting with the Ecoan Tree Planting Project (for clients taking our flight inclusive option)
  • A free Mountain Kingdoms Water-to-Go bottle
  • Opportunity to join one of our pre-trip meets in the Cotswolds

Golden Trails of Burma

Walking & Trekking

Burma (Myanmar) | Walking & Trekking

Golden Trails of Burma
Gentle

Suitable for people who enjoy easy-paced walks or exploring the countryside on foot.

Find out more...

Grade: Gentle ? Gentle
Duration:  16 days from the UK  
Walks on: 7 days
Private Departures Available

Flight inclusive from £2,945,
Land only from £2,195

Book now or call 01453 844400

Gentle walks, cultural highlights and comfortable accommodation, our Burma holidays are the best way to discover this remarkable country.

Highlights

  • Visit Burma’s three major cultural centres: Mandalay, Bagan and Inle Lake
  • Cruise along the Ayeyarwady River from Mandalay to Bagan
  • Walk across U Bein's Teak Bridge
  • Take gentle walks to villages, temples, Buddhist monasteries and old palaces
  • Stay in comfortable hotel accommodation

Reviews          

The trip was all that we could have hoped for. The itinerary was excellent. The organisation was faultless, the transport modern and comfortable and the accommodation was of a high standard everywhere.
Mr D S, Dorset

This holiday visits a great variety of locations. It was lovely to see the tourist sites and also to see how people live and to get close to the local people. Nyi Nyi was an excellent guide. He made all the organisation look effortless and he was really knowledgeable about his country.
Ms S H, Somerset

The Bagan, Mandalay, Inle Lake itinerary couldn't fail to impress with the history, culture, scenery & amazing pagodas. Our guide was knowledgeable, enthusiastic & seemed to know everyone in Burma, so he would stop & chat & introduce us to all sorts of people along the way. He gave us an insight into the everyday life of the villagers that most tourists don't get the chance to experience.
Mr S, Essex

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Alongside the magnificent golden Shwedagon Temple and historic colonial buildings in Yangon (Rangoon) there are three “must see” areas for the first time visitor on their holidays to Burma: Mandalay – the cultural heart of the country and inspiration to a myriad of writers and artists; Bagan – a vast plain filled with beautifully crafted temples and monuments; and Inle Lake where floating villages are home to fishermen and farmers with a way of life little changed from centuries ago. We have carefully designed this itinerary not only to discover these areas on your holidays in Burma but also the hidden gems of Pyin Oo Lwin and Kalaw; two historic British Hill stations set in beautiful countryside. Mountain Kingdoms Burma holidays take care to include all the most noteworthy sights and experiences of this incredible country, and we’ve used our years of experience to put together the best walks for you.

Walks will be taken at a relaxed pace, in keeping with the itineraries of our Burma holidays, and enable us to see day-to-day life at first hand. Whilst in the hill villages we’re likely to meet locals on their way to market, be approached by curious school children eager to practice their English, and see crimson robed monks collecting alms. There’s plenty to see and experience on holidays to Burma and all the vibrancy of life in this fascinating country is on offer. In the busy more touristed areas we’ve also taken time to ensure you get the most from your holiday by visiting off the beaten track sights and carefully timing visits to major sights such as the Shwedagon Pagoda and U Bein bridge, the longest teak bridge in the world. We believe that our unique walking holidays in Burma offer you the chance to discover both the cultural splendours and the enduring traditions of this remarkable ‘Golden Land’.

For accommodation, we have carefully selected hotels that are independently owned and that offer a good level of service and comfort for your holidays. Burma’s beauty, culture and hospitality await - book now to begin your journey of discovery.

Private Departures

Golden Trails of Burma Private Departure

We can also offer Golden Trails of Burma as a private departure, following the same itinerary on dates that suit you. Prices vary by season but start from £2,595 per person, land only. International flights are available from £700. Please contact us for further details or to book your private departure.


Call 01453 844400 or Email us


At a glance

Grade: Gentle
Gentle

Duration:  16 days from the UK  
Walks on: 7 days

Guaranteed to run for a minimum of 4 clients

Maximum group size: 12

Land only joining city: Yangon

Accommodation types: Hotels

Meal arrangements: Bed and breakfast in Yangon (Rangoon) and full board elsewhere. Lunches and dinners, where included, will be taken in a mixture of local restaurants and your overnight hotels.

Itinerary overview
Day Activity
1-2
Fly to Yangon (Rangoon). Sunset visit to Shwegadon Pagoda.
3
Fly to Mandalay then drive to Pyin Oo Lwin. Carriage ride and visit Kandawgyi gardens.
4-5
Visit coffee plantation and return to Mandalay. Sightseeing, walks and visit Ubein Bridge.
6
Full day Cruise on Ayeyarwaddy River to Bagan.
7-8
Explore Bagan’s temples on foot.
9-10
Fly Heho and drive to Kalaw for two nights with walks and sightseeing.
11
Market visit in Kalaw and drive to Heho. Walk to Yaebel village on Inle Lake. Transfer to hotel.
12-13
Walking and sightseeing around Inle Lake.
14
Fly to Yangon (Rangoon), walking tour.
15-16
Transfer to airport and fly to London
Leader: Local leader, Burma
Local leader, Burma

Your trip will be escorted throughout by an English speaking Burmese guide. Our Guides are all licensed to guide throughout the country and receive regular ‘top-up’ training. In addition to English, many guides will speak the dialects used by some of the ethnic groups you will encounter in rural areas – further adding to the interest and enjoyment of your holiday.


  1. Day 1 - Depart London.

    Fly London to Yangon by overnight flight.

    Overnight iconOvernight: In flight
  2. Day 2 - Arrive Yangon. Sunset visit to Shwedagon Pagoda.
    golden trails of burma day 2 shwedagon pagoda yangon sh.

    You will be met and transferred to the Savoy Hotel - a stylish, boutique hotel furnished in colonial style - an excellent place to relax after the long flight from London. International flights normally arrive by midday so after some time to rest, you will make a sunset visit to the Shwedagon Pagoda.

    Famous worldwide, the golden stupa of Shwedagon ("shwe" means golden) is considered the 'heart' of Buddhist Burma. The Pagoda is believed to be 2,500 years old and the central stupa is surrounded by dozens of intricately decorated buildings, shrines and statues. There are always many Burmese people praying and making offerings at Shwedagon and it is a fascinating place to spend time just watching the world go by. The transformation from late afternoon light to evening, further adds to the spectacle and atmosphere of this wonderful temple complex.

    Overnight iconOvernight: Savoy Hotel Or Similar, Yangon
  3. Day 3 - Drive to Pyin Oo Lwin - 2 hours. Carriage ride, town sightseeing and garden visit.

    You will make an early start today, transferring to Yangon (Rangoon) Airport for a domestic flight north to Mandalay (approximately 1½ hours). The airport here is some distance from the city and your drive into the hill country to the west bypasses the city completely. The road winds steeply through flower, fruit and vegetable gardens, a journey of around 2 hours, to reach Maymyo, a former British Hill Station, now known as Pyin Oo Lwin.

    On arrival at this bustling market town you visit the main market before you take a tour in one of the local horse drawn 'stage coaches' used by locals and visitors alike. Outside the central area the influence of the British becomes more apparent as you see the brick and timber houses complete with English style gables, turrets and chimneys. The Candacraig Hotel (formerly the British Club) is one such house, made famous by Paul Theroux's book, 'The Great Railway Bazaar.' Sadly this property (now owned by the government and renamed 'Thiri Myaing Hotel') has fallen on hard times, and whilst not without charm, is quite run down, although there are plans for a total renovation.

    In the afternoon, you will visit the tiny Forestry Museum (if it is open) and continue on to the National Kandawgyi Botanical Gardens. Set in over 400 acres, these fine gardens were established in 1915 by an Englishman, Alex Rodgers, a British forest officer. The gardens, which are modelled on Kew Gardens, feature attractive landscaped parkland with 514 species of indigenous trees, 74 foreign species and 75 species of bamboo, along with lawns and flower beds such as you might find in an English country garden. There is also an enclosure of endangered animals including Takin, a weird animal which is the national animal of Bhutan, and a butterfly museum.

    Later you will have time to stroll around the streets of this charming small town.

    Overnight iconOvernight: Royal Park View Hotel or Similar, Pyin Oo Lwin
  4. Day 4 - Visit Coffee Plantation and drive to Mandalay. Sightseeing.

    After breakfast you will drive to the Sithar Coffee Estate, located near Anisakan, on the Mandalay to China Highway (a 20 minute drive). Conditions here were discovered to be ideal for coffee growing and this farm was founded in 1996. Their objective is to increase income for local coffee farmers and to upgrade their living standards, while raising the quality of Myanmar coffee to international standards. You will have a tour of the plantation and learn about the farm's farm-to-table principles and have the opportunity to taste one of the country's premier coffees. During your visit you will walk through the 40 acres of lush tree-shaded coffee fields where you will see coffee being grown and harvested. The local farmer will show you the process of milling coffee beans. You will have the chance to strap on a picking basket and try your hand at picking the really dark red ripe beans and tasting a cup of freshly roasted coffee.

    After your visit, which will take about 2 hours, you will have lunch at the Pan Taw Win Restaurant where you can enjoy beautiful views of the property.

    You will then drive to Mandalay, a journey of around 2 hours. Mandalay is Burma's last royal capital. In contrast to the images evoked by its name in literature and song, first impressions of Mandalay can be a little disappointing. It is Burma's second largest city, with a population of over one million and the hub of economic activity across the north of the country. The roads are busy with trucks and cars, and streets are lined with functional, but characterless buildings housing every type of commerce. However, Mandalay remains the cultural centre of Burma with over 700 pagodas and a number of key palaces, temples and monasteries: all supported by a wealth of crafts including wood carving, marble statuary, weaving, tapestry, and the creation of gold leaf.

    You will visit Mandalay's most significant sights, beginning with Mandalay Palace. Other monuments you will see today include Shwenandaw Monastery, an ancient wooden building with intricate carvings, which was once the home of King Mindon, Mandalay's founder. Continuing on you will see the 'world's largest book' a complete set of the Buddhist scriptures inscribed onto 729 marble slabs at Kuthodaw Pagoda. Dominating the town centre is Mandalay Hill, offering far reaching views right across and around the city and some interesting glass-studded temples.

    Your day ends with a visit to Shwe Kyin Monastery just before sunset to see student monks beginning their evening prayers.

    Overnight iconOvernight: Ayeyarwaddy River View or Similar, Mandalay
  5. Day 5 - Visit Mahamuni Pagoda and walk in Shan Kalay Kyun village. Drive to Amarapura. Visit the Saigang Hills and U Bein Bridge.
    golden trails of burma day 5 kuthodaw pagoda mandalay ld.

    This morning you will visit Mahamuni Pagoda, home to Mandalay's holiest Buddha statue. Here the lower parts of the 4m/13ft high statue, i.e. those within reach of the pilgrims, are now encrusted with a layer of gold leaf around 15cm/6" thick. You will stop to see the stone carvers, seated on the pavement and in small open yards, producing fine marble statuary despite their seemingly less than perfect work conditions. At a workshop for gold leaf, small nuggets of gold, collected from rivers around the North of the country, are beaten into wafer thin pieces. Sold to pilgrims outside temples and pagodas, these small squares of gold are typically placed on shrines and figures of Buddha as an offering.

    You will then travel out into the countryside to explore some of the historic sites outside Mandalay, starting at Shan Kalay Kyun Village, located south west of Mandalay on an island. During the rainy season Shan Kalay Kyun is surrounded on all sides by water, but in the dry season water levels drop and the fertile soil is used to grow peanuts, corn, water melon, cucumber and many other vegetables. You'll enjoy a short walk here (up to one hour) and in and around some of the houses you will doubtless spot a number of local crafts in progress, from the sewing of tapestry and puppet costumes, to the carving of intricate decorative wooden panels, doors and windows.

    After lunch at a local restaurant, you will head up into the Sagaing Hills, a popular retreat for Buddhist devotees, where you can enjoy a magnificent view over the surrounding area. An interesting temple to see here is Umin Thounzeh, which is built in a crescent shape and houses 45 sitting Buddhas in a vibrantly coloured colonnade.

    You drive back to Amarapura, 10 miles (15 kilometres) out of Mandalay town to see the sunset at U Bein Bridge. In 1851, at the time when Amarapura was still the royal capital, U Bein Teak Bridge was built. Stretching some 1,200m/3,900ft across Taungthaman Lake this impressive structure is the world's longest teak bridge, supported by over 1,000 separate wooden posts. After time to walk out to the centre of the bridge and perhaps enjoy some refreshments at a tea stall, you return to Mandalay.

    Overnight iconOvernight: Ayeyarwaddy River View or Similar, Mandalay
  6. Day 6 - Full day river cruise to Bagan – approx. 8 hours.

    After an early breakfast at your hotel you make the short 20 minute transfer to the banks of the Ayeyarwaddy River to board your boat for a full day river cruise to Bagan. You will travel aboard one of two boats that ply this route, either the Shwe Keinnery or the Malikha. On board you will find a lounge cabin with comfortable seating, outside seating areas on two levels (including shaded areas), a small café and toilets.

    The scenery along the Ayeyarwaddy is timeless - oxen working the fields, water buffalo wallowing in the mud, golden pagoda spires, fishermen, villagers bathing in the river and, of course, every type of boat and river craft imaginable. Although dedicated to carrying foreign tourists your river boat may also be carrying some cargo and it's possible that you'll pull in to shore two or three times to unload/load bundles of crops, fuel or other supplies. The boat travels at a very slow pace and this journey normally takes a full day, allowing you to enjoy a relaxing break from your itinerary of walking and sightseeing. Assuming your boat runs to schedule there may be time upon disembarking to watch the sun set over the Bagan temples, before driving on to your hotel.

    Bagan
    Whilst there are conflicting accounts of the number of temples located across the 16 square miles (41 square kilometres) of Bagan (varying from 1,800 to 4,000) the importance and splendour of this archaeological site is indisputable. Indeed, it is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The majority of monuments that you see today, date from between the 11th and 13th Centuries, when Bagan was the capital of the first Burmese Empire. Although with a cursory glance it may appear that one architectural form dominates there is actually a fascinating variety, from giant monolithic structures to small stupas standing not much taller than a human and with interiors filled with statues, or with walls adorned in beautiful paintings. The original settlement in Bagan was famously 'cleared' by the government during the late 1980s/early 1990s. Villagers were forced to relocate to 'New Bagan.' Today, therefore, apart from temples 'Old Bagan' is primarily the site of a few hotels, tourist restaurants and the grandiose (if somewhat out of place) archaeological museum. The other main settlement in this area is the river port of Nyaung U.

    Overnight iconOvernight: Hotel @ Tharabar Gate Or Similar, Bagan
  7. Day 7 - Bagan temple visits and sunset walk - 2-3 hours.

    Located in Burma's dry zone, temperatures in Bagan are typically higher than in areas such as Mandalay and Inle Lake. The best time to explore on foot is therefore in early morning, or late afternoon. Today you will have an early breakfast with the aim to start a morning walk at around 8.30am.

    Before starting your exploration of the site you will first pay a visit to the busy local market near the jetty where your boat docked yesterday. Fish and other river produce are much in evidence here, but also vegetables, household goods and clothing. From the market it's a short walk to the large gilded Shwezigon Pagoda built by King Anawrahta in the early 11th Century. Moving on you will visit Ku Byauk Gyi, a temple with exquisite murals of Buddhist folklore (Jataka) scenes, and Ananda Temple with four huge standing-Buddha images and numerous seated figures arranged around its interior gallery.

    After lunch at a local restaurant there will be a little time to relax before taking an afternoon walking tour. Walking is perhaps one of the best ways to explore Bagan, offering the chance to get away from other visitors and see less visited temples and other points of interest. The Bagan plain is scattered with acacia and toddy palm trees, bullock carts, zebu cattle, goat herds and villages: the opportunities for taking great photographs are unlimited. The area you will explore this afternoon lies to the east of the site and a 2 to 3 hour walk will take you from Old Bagan via a couple of pagoda complexes to reach the massive Dhammayangyi Phato. Built by King Narathu in the 12th Century, legend has it that he dictated that mortar should not be used to build the brick structure and that furthermore the bricks must fit together so as not to allow a pin to pass between them - see what you think of the craftsmanship. Your walk starts with a visit to Minnan thu Village, then to Lay Htaung Kan pond, and on to reach the Lamyetnha group of temples. You continue to the Paya Thone Zu pagoda complex, Sin Byu Shin complex, Sue La Ma Ni Pathto, and then to Dhammayangyi Phato. You will reach Shwe Nan Yi Taw for sunset.

    Overnight iconOvernight: Hotel @ Tharabar Gate Or Similar, Bagan
  8. Day 8 - Morning temples walk - 3-4 hours. Afternoon visit to Nat Htaung Kyaung.

    You begin your walk today by passing through the ruined city walls of Old Bagan at Tharabar gate. In the niches on the eastern side of the gate you will see two statues representing Nat (spirits). A total of 37 Nat are worshipped in Burma and you will see local people stopping here to make small offerings before continuing on their way. Within the city walls you will see Pitaka Taik, originally built as a library, before walking across to Thatbyinnyu Temple, the tallest in Bagan. Close by is Nat Hlaung Kyaung the only Hindu Temple in the group and opposite Nga kywe Nadaung, one of the oldest stupas in Bagan dating from the 10th Century; the glazed green bricks used are still very much visible and it is a perfect example to show the evolution of the stupa. The final temple before exiting the city walls on the southern side is the 11th Century Pahto Tha Myar where natural lighting illuminates a Buddha statue and some wonderful 11th Century frescoes can be seen. Reaching Mee nyein Gon, you make an easy ascent up to a platform on the temple for some fantastic views of the surrounding countryside and pagodas.

    At times skirting the main road and other times following sections of it, you arrive in Myinkaba Village, the centre for lacquer craftsmanship, perhaps Bagan's most famous export (apart from sunset photographs of temples of course). Here there is a chance for refreshment at a local tea-stall before visiting Mahua Paya, a Mon period temple with a large reclining Buddha almost hidden away at the rear of the temple and nearby Nan Paya. You will meet your vehicle here and return to your hotel for lunch.

    This afternoon you take an excursion to Nat Htaung Kyaung, a monastery famous for woodcarvings, built in 1781 by a group of monks. Here you can admire the monastery's collection of ancient Buddha statues and lacquer boxes, before taking a leisurely horse cart journey slowly across the plains as the sun goes down. Tonight you will take dinner at a local restaurant and have the chance to enjoy a traditional puppet show.


    Overnight iconOvernight: Hotel @ Tharabar Gate Or Similar, Bagan
  9. Day 9 - Morning flight to Heho. Drive to Kalaw. Afternoon walk to Nangthe - 3-3½ hours.

    You make the short transfer to Bagan Airport this morning for your onward flight to Heho (1¼-1½hrs). Your flight is likely to touch down in Mandalay en route, but you remain on board whilst other passengers disembark and new ones board. Upon arrival in Heho, you will be met by a new vehicle and driver for the short one hour drive up from the plains to Kalaw, like Pyin Oo Lwin a former British Hill Station, at an altitude of 1,325m/4,356ft. There will be time to stretch your legs with a walk around the town which is home to a large population of Nepali and Indian Hindus.

    This afternoon, you will take a walk into the surrounding countryside, to the village of Nangthe. From Ni Paya Monastery, above the town your walk begins with a downhill stretch before levelling out to pass through terraced fields of ginger, garlic, tomatoes, beans, cabbages and orange groves. The ethnic group here are mainly Taungyoe and en route you will see their traditional way of life and agricultural ways. The surrounding hills are forested with pine trees and at the half way point you reach a Nepali homestead, which differs in style from the hill-tribe homes: here the family earn their living from a herd of 100 dairy cows. Continuing on and enjoying some lovely scenery, you reach Nangthe Village, mainly inhabited by Danu people who like the Taungyoe are Buddhist. Stopping for a quick refreshment of green or black tea (Chai) at a Nepali teashop, you head back towards Kalaw to rendezvous with your vehicle for the short transfer back to your hotel. This walk will take around 3-3½ hours and involves about 250m/820ft of ascent/descent.

    Overnight iconOvernight: Kalaw Heritage Hotel Or Similar, Kalaw
  10. Day 10 - Morning walk to Myin Ma Ti - 3-3½ hours, approximately 300m/1,000ft of ascent/descent. Afternoon – optional walk or at leisure.

    The air is noticeably fresher and cooler in Kalaw and there's time to enjoy this lovely area with a further walk this morning and later either an optional walk around the town or an afternoon at leisure.

    After breakfast you drive a short way above Kalaw to near the Hilltop Hotel and set off walking along a track through pine forest with only the sound of birds keeping you company. After about an hour's walking you start to see signs of agricultural activity, passing through the villages of Ywa-pu, Lutpyin and Taung-gyi-chai where you will see fields of potatoes, mountain rice, tomatoes, beans and other vegetable plots all cultivated by hand, ox or buffalo. The ethnic population here are mainly Danu and the villagers of Myin Ma Ti are all farmers, earning one hundred per cent of their income from farming. This is a very scenic walk and you have many opportunities to see how the local people live and work and you will probably see villagers on their way to and from the market in Kalaw where they will trade their produce for other essential everyday goods. Your walk ends at the pagoda in Myin Ma Ti, which is well known for its 200m/660ft long limestone caves, which you will be able to visit. Your vehicle will meet you here for the return to Kalaw.

    You will have a late-ish lunch on arrival back in Kalaw and then you may further explore with your guide or have the afternoon at leisure.

    Overnight iconOvernight: Kalaw Heritage Hotel Or Similar, Kalaw
  11. Day 11 - Visit local market. Drive to Heho. Half day walk to Yaebel Village on Lake Inle.

    After breakfast you may pay a visit to Kalaw's bustling market. You will then drive towards Heho, where your vehicle will drop you at the start point of your walk, Inn Me Village. The route to Yaebel is very pleasant and off-the-beaten-track. Inn Me Village is home to members of the Danu ethnic group and you will firstly walk past their green fields where they farm beans, avocado, turmeric and cauliflower. Along the way you will see traditional farming with buffaloes, meet local bullock carts and see how local people make bio-fertilizers out of natural sources. Walking out of the village you will see large fields of sugarcane. Crossing over a small bamboo bridge, after a few minutes you come to pass by a refreshing natural waterfall and then after an uphill hike, you will be welcomed by a breath-taking panoramic view of Inle Lake. From this point you walk all the way down through banana plantations and fields of flowers, such as roses and asters. You will have a home cooked lunch on arrival in Yaebel, a village mostly inhabited by ethnic Intha people.

    You will then drive to your hotel at Inle Lake.
    In the afternoon there will be the option of a walk to Khaung Daing Village near hotel.

    Overnight iconOvernight: Inle Lake Resort or Similar, Inle Lake
  12. Day 12 - Inle Lake morning walk - 2½ hours. Afternoon boat tour.
    golden trails of burma day 12 inle lake sh.

    Inle Lake is a simply magical place; located at 1,000 m/3,300ft, its calm waters are dotted with Intha stilt house villages, floating vegetable gardens and fishing canoes against the back drop of the beautiful Shan hills which offer some delightful walks. Motorized boats are the means of transport across the lake although the Intha people get around in traditional flat bottomed boats using a unique and skilful form of leg rowing.

    Your guide will plan which walks to take today and tomorrow in light of the rota of the 'Five Day Market.' This market is a particular feature of life on Inle Lake and rotates between several villages on the lake, and as the name suggests, every five days. Depending upon the schedule during your visit you will make a market visit either today or tomorrow.

    A possible option this morning will take you initially to Thalee Oo Village, which in common with other lakeside villages has a water-based section as well as a land-based one, both with their own monastery. Navigating through the houses on stilts, you disembark at a jetty to begin your walk on a flat and shady bullock cart road through the heart of the village. Thalee Oo is an Intha village whose population lives mainly off the land growing peanuts, tomatoes, garlic, sugarcane, rice and vegetables. This walk is not only extremely pretty, with traditional bamboo houses on either side but also has good views across cultivated fields to Inle Lake and the Shan Hills behind. Stop and chat to some of the friendly Intha families whilst observing their day to day life. After 45 minutes walk through Thalee Oo, you stop at a local rice mill, made entirely from wood and see the process of separating grain, husk and bran. Climbing uphill for 30 minutes through a monastery, you reach the small Pa O village of Ywa Thit renowned for its weaving of bamboo baskets. After admiring the stunning view of Inle Lake and the Shan Hills from your vantage point, you descend for a few minutes before continuing along a flat path through the village of Alae Myaung back to the lakeshore and your boat. This morning's walk will take around 2-2½ hours and involve 200m/650ft of ascent.

    This afternoon, you will take a tour of the lake to see the many sights that make this such a picturesque area. These include: the famous leg rowers - local fishermen who use one of their legs to propel their small canoes across the water; typical floating gardens - built upon rafts of water hyacinth; entire villages built on stilts and of course shore temples and pagodas.

    An interesting stop you will make today is at Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda. This is the holiest site on the lake and houses five small Buddha statues so heavily covered in gold leaf that they appear more like golden footballs than golden Buddhas.

    Overnight iconOvernight: Inle Lake View Resort Or Similar, Inle Lake
  13. Day 13 - Inle Lake morning walk - 3-4 hours. Afternoon visit to Inthein.

    Today's walk may take you along the trails above Nyaung Shwe, or from a village on the western shore of the lake, such as Tone La or Than Taung. The hills above this side of the lake are home to the Pa-O people, an ethnic group sometimes referred to as 'dragon' people because of the bright red and orange head wear favoured by their women. Many Pa-O villages lie some 5 or more hours trek from the lake shore, so you are likely to see some villagers on their way to or from the lake shore. The Pa-O usually take firewood down from the hills to sell and trade at market. They use the money that this brings to buy household goods to take back to their village. This morning you will walk for around 3-4 hours, on a fairly flat trail.

    This afternoon your boat will take you to Inthein village on the western side of the lake. Access to this area is via a long channel leading inland from the main lake. The journey here is particularly scenic and during later afternoon you may well see farmers bringing their oxen, or buffalo down to the water to cool off. Above the jetty and small village stands a partly ruined pagoda complex (Shwe Inn Thein Paya), reached via a long covered walkway. There are good views from the top and you can descend via an alternative route, bringing you back to the village through a mature bamboo forest.

    Overnight iconOvernight: Inle Lake View Resort Or Similar, Inle Lake
  14. Day 14 - Fly to Yangon. Guided walking tour.

    There's a final boat trip across the lake this morning to return to Nyaung Shwe. A vehicle will meet you here and return you the short distance to Heho Airport (25km-1hour). It is then around a one hour direct flight back to Yangon (Rangoon). After checking in to your hotel your guide and driver will take you to the main downtown area in time for lunch.

    In the afternoon you will take a walking tour of the historic downtown area of Yangon (Rangoon), beginning at the river front. Facing the river are some of Yangon's most impressive colonial era buildings including, the Myanmar Port Authority, the General Post Office and the nearby Strand Hotel. Across the road, the banks of Ayeyarwaddy River are a hive of activity with porters loading huge sacks of rice, street vendors, trishaws and ferry passengers all going about their daily business. Moving on you enter Chinatown where unpaved streets are lined with old wooden shuttered houses and shop fronts. Here you will see Chinese medicine shops and the colourful vegetable, fruit, fish and meat markets. A short distance beyond lies the Indian Quarter, where the small side-roads are full of shops selling Indian spices and ingredients used in cooking.

    Shwe Bontha is perhaps the most photogenic of all the city centre streets, with its leafy sidewalks, pavement tea-shops and magnificent colonial buildings. This is the area where gold merchants buy and sell in a local version of a stock exchange. Walking through Mahabandoola Garden you will see Sule Pagoda and City Hall before walking north to Bogyoke (Scott) Market. Your walk will end at a café here, with time for those who wish to finish any last minute souvenir shopping in the market before your waiting driver takes you back to your hotel. If there was insufficient time on Day 2 to make the visit to Shwedagon Pagoda this afternoon's walk will be shortened slightly in order to allow for a visit today instead.

    Overnight iconOvernight: Savoy Hotel Or Similar, Yangon
  15. Day 15 - Depart Yangon (Rangoon).

    After breakfast you will be transferred to the airport for your international flight home.

    Overnight iconOvernight: In flight
  16. Day 16 - Arrive UK.

    Today you will arrive back in the UK.

Map

Map Key

  • AirportAirport
  • General point of interestPoint of interest
  • Mountain RangeMountain Peak
  • TrekDay walk in this area
  • FlightsFlights
  • Internal TransfersInternal Transfers
  • Trek routeTrek

2020

Dates Availability Land Only Flight Inclusive from
Sat 7 Nov - Sun 22 Nov 2020 Available£2195 Book£2945 Book

2021

Dates Availability Land Only Flight Inclusive from
Sat 6 Feb - Sun 21 Feb 2021 AvailableContact usContact us
Sat 6 Nov - Sun 21 Nov 2021 AvailableContact usContact us

2022

Dates Availability Land Only Flight Inclusive from
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Not quite ready to book? Why not call us on 0044 (0)1453 844400 to hold a no obligation place while you make up your mind?

 
Optional supplements
  • Single room supplement
    From £595
Insurance
  • Cover starts from £143
No Surcharge Guarantee

No surcharges will be applied to your holiday after you book. Prices on this website are updated regularly. The Flight Inclusive holiday price, or Land Only holiday price, will be confirmed to you at the time you make your booking. There will be no surcharges after your booking has been confirmed.

Flight inclusive holidays

The 'flight inclusive' holiday prices shown on this website are based upon our preferred airlines and the best priced economy class fares we are able to secure at the time of publication.

We will be able to advise on fares with alternative airlines, upgrades to Business Class, and the options for flights from regional UK airports, please contact us for more details.

Booking your holiday
  • deposit
    From £300

For the majority of our holidays, a deposit payment of £300.00 per person is required to secure your place(s), however a small number of holidays require a higher deposit - please refer to the holiday itinerary for more details. If the holiday departs within 60 days, a minimum deposit of £750.00 per person is required.

Book now!
  1. Book your small group holiday securely online – click the ‘Book’ button next to your chosen departure or visit our How to Book page
  2. Complete and return a Booking Form available to download here.
  3. Call us on 01453 844400 and one of our travel specialists will talk you through the booking process.

What’s included

  • An English-speaking Burmese leader throughout
  • Economy class return air fares from the UK (flight inclusive option)
  • Single, timed group airport transfers on arrival and departure for international flights
  • All internal flights and domestic airport transfers
  • Savoy Hotel in Yangon, bed & breakfast and twin-share basis
  • Outside of Yangon, comfortable hotel accommodation on full board, twin-share basis.
  • All road transport by private vehicles
  • Sightseeing where specified
  • Carbon offsetting with the Ecoan Tree Planting Project (for clients taking our flight inclusive option)
  • A free Mountain Kingdoms Water-to-Go bottle
  • Opportunity to join one of our pre-trip meets in the Cotswolds

What’s not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Visa fees for Burma
  • Lunch and evening meals in Yangon
  • Burmese airport departure taxes, if applicable
  • Kandawgyi Gardens entrance fee, Day 3 (payable locally)
  • Tips


Review your holiday

Reviews

Read holiday reviews by Mountain Kingdoms travellers.

Overall score:           (Based on 21 reviews)

Private Departure - Golden Trails of Burma and Bhutan          

Overall an excellent trip which was well organised. The guides were knowledgeable and took great care of our welfare and contributed greatly to our enjoyment of the holiday. The drivers were also very good and drove carefully on difficult roads. We learnt a great deal and now have a much greater appreciation for the 2 countries.

All that we could have hoped for          

The trip was all that we could have hoped for. The itinerary was excellent. The organisation was faultless, the transport modern and comfortable and the accommodation was of a high standard everywhere.

Great variety, great guide          

This holiday visits a great variety of locations. It was lovely to see the tourist sites and also to see how people live and to get close to the local people. Nyi Nyi was an excellent guide. He made all the organisation look effortless and he was really knowledgeable about his country.

An appropriate title.          

This was our first trip with Mountain Kingdoms and in all respects it exceeded our expectations. The group size, 8 in our case, was just right. The itinerary along with the walking enabled us to gain a good insight into life in Myanmar and helped understand the influence that religion plays in people's everyday activities. We would thoroughly recommend this trip.

Golden Trails of Burma (Myanmar) - Tailor Made Holiday          

We thoroughly enjoyed our first holiday both with Mountain Kingdoms and to South East Asia. The programme was packed and varied and we observed life in rural areas and in the busy cities as well as visiting numerous beautiful temples and pagodas. Our guide Zaw Zaw was very informative and friendly and patient and helpful when we fancied some retail therapy. Burma is a lovely place to visit as there is so much to see and the people were really friendly.


Extend your holiday

Hpa-An extension, Burma
  • Visit Hpa-An, the capital of beautiful Karen State
  • Stay in an idyllic boutique lodge at the foot of Mount Zwegabin
  • Take a boat trip on the Salween River and visit villages, temples and caves
  • Stop at the ancient city of Bago with its many pagodas and temples
  • Optional visit to the precariously positioned Golden Rock in Kin Pun

More Details

We are delighted to offer an extension in Burma to visit Hpa-An, the capital of Karen State lying south east of Yangon. Hpa-An is a charming town set on the banks of the mighty Salween River, one of the great rivers of south east Asia which rises in Tibet and flows down to the Andaman Sea. This is an incredibly beautiful region of green paddy fields and dramatic limestone karsts.

As an additional attraction extension you will stay at a charming boutique lodge, the Hpa-An Lodge, which offers a very high standard of accommodation in an idyllic setting.

During your stay in Hpa-An you will take a boat rip on the serene waters of the Salween River, stop at a village to see artisan weavers in action and also visit the richly-decorated Kawhnat Pagoda. On your return to Yangon you will stop at the ancient city of Bagon with its many pagodas and temples as well as the very moving Taukkyan War Cemetery.

We offer two versions of this extension, with one including a visit to the Golden Rock in Kin Pun.


Balloons over Bagan extension
  • Spectacular sunrise views over the temples of Bagan
  • Excursion lasts 2.5 – 3 hours and includes hotel transfers
  • A glass of bubbly to celebrate when you land
  • Balloons take off daily from October through to March

More Details

Visitors to Bagan now have the opportunity to enjoy spectacular, sunrise views of the ancient Kingdom of Bagan in a hot air balloon. The world-famous archaeological site of Bagan is known for its marvellous sunrises, mostly enjoyed from the top of one of the monuments but a balloon flight gives you the chance to see Bagan from a bird’s-eye view. We offer two levels service - Standard and Premium - both include hotel transfers and post-flight celebratory celebrations, whilst the Premium Service also includes an exclusive breakfast, a pre-launch balloon tour and a CD of in-flight photos.


Golden Rock, Burma - extension

Golden Rock, Burma - extension
  • Walk 4km to reach the top of Golden Rock, for an unforgettable sunrise or sunset
  • Three day extension visting pagodas and giant buddha's as well as the Golden Rock
  • Available to add to your Burma holiday between October and May

More Details

Extend your stay in Burma with a visit to the Golden Rock of Kyaikhtiyo, one of the most revered pilgrimage sites for Buddhists. Perched on the edge of a ledge at a height of 1,100m, the precariously positioned gold-plated boulder is said to maintain its balance thanks to a single hair of the Buddha being enshrined inside the pagoda.

During your three-day extension, you’ll also visit pagodas, stop off at the Allied War Graves Cemetery at Htauk Kyan, see reclining Buddhas and drop in at local villages before returning to Rangoon for your final night in what will have been a memorable trip to Burma.


Angkor Wat extension
  • Visit Angkor Wat, Ta Prohm, Angkor Thom, the Bayon and more. Each of these sites has its own individual charm.
  • Flights to Siem Reap from either Burma or Bangkok.
  • All entrance fees, guides and transport during your time in Cambodia.
  • Three nights stay at a lovely Boutique hotel with a pool and friendly staff.

More Details

Angkor Wat is the largest religious building in the world. The name translates to ‘The temple that is a city’ and after a visit to this amazing site you will understand why.

During your four days here you will have the chance to spend time not only at Angkor Wat but also the atmospheric ruins of Ta Prohm where the jungle has taken over the temple, the epic Angkor Thom, the enchanting Bayon and much more besides. Each of these sites has its own individual charm and will leave you with memories to last a life time. Angkor could be described as a giant game of one-upmanship with each successive king trying to out do the previous with a larger and more impressive temple, culminating in Angkor Wat. This four day extension can be added on to all our Burmese trips and any of our holidays ending in Bangkok.


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