Tribes and Heritage Tour of Myanmar

Find yourself drawn in by the allure of one of Asia's most mysterious countries on this journey into Myanmar. You'll explore the marvels of Myanmar's history and local culture as you're transported to glittering pagodas, enigmatic ruins, and handicraft workshops on your Myanmar Tour.

The best time to visit Myanmar/Burma is the dry winter season from November to February.

Touring style: Professional English speaking guide and driver, private basis.

Prices are seasonal, include hotels, breakfast, professional touring and transfers. Starts from:
GBP 1660 per person sharing a twin room, Standard Class Hotels
GBP 1800 per person sharing a twin room, Superior Class Hotels
GBP 1990 per person sharing a twin room, Deluxe Class Hotels.
International and domestic airfares are extra.

Tribes and Heritage Tour of Myanmar at a glance
  • Day 1-4: Yangon
  • Day 5: Pyin Oo Lwin to Mandalay
  • Day 6: Mandalay
  • Day 7: Mandalay to Pindaya
  • Day 8: Pindaya to Inle Lake
  • Day 9: Inle Lake to Kengtung
  • Day 10-11: Kengtung
  • Day 12: Kentung to Yangon
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Day 1: Yangon

Arrive Yangon, check-in at leisure.

Distance and journey time: 14 km, 30 mins

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Day 2: Yangon

Formerly the British colonial capital of Rangoon, Yangon remains Myanmar’s largest and most important city. Everywhere the eye rests upon the golden stupas of the pagodas. A drive past vernacular wooden architecture cheek by jowl with the colonial, the modern, leads you to the centre of Yangon, and the gold octagonal stupa of the Sule Pagoda.

A further short drive to the National Museum introduces you to the priceless art and artefacts of this ancient kingdom, charts the history and culture of Myanmar. A change of pace brings you to the vibrant and bustling Bogyoke Aung San Market, formerly Scott’s Market, where you can barter for crafts, gems, fabrics, from every corner of Myanmar.

Easing the pace once more, the Botataung Pagoda, dedicated to those who 2000 years before escorted relics of the Buddha from India, leads you to the giant seated Buddha of Ngadatkyi Paya. Continue finally to the highlight of the day, the Shwedagon Pagoda, Myanmar’s most sacred site. Illuminated at night, the golden stupa dominates Yangon’s skyline.

Overnight in Yangon.

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Day 3: Yangon

Following breakfast, cross the Yangon River by bustling local ferry to Dala. The pace today is relaxed, the scenes on the jetties and along the shores timeless. On the Dala side, a trishaw will transport you through the fish market into lush greenery, past teashops, and workshops to the Shwesandaw Pagoda. Following lunch, take a leisurely drive on local roads to Twante and the third tallest Pagoda in Myanmar, also called Shwesandaw. Wander the town at leisure to observe cottage industries such as bamboo raft making, unchanged in centuries. Experience a demonstration of traditional pottery techniques in the potter’s quarter of Oh Bo. On the return journey, complete the day with a visit to the Indian-inspired Pagoda of Paung Daw Gyoke. Overnight in Yangon.

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Day 4: Yangon to Mandalay and Pyin Oo Lwin

Take an early morning flight to Mandalay and continue by road to the hill station of Pyin Oo Lwin. Established by the British due to its cool and pleasant climate, even during the hot season, Pyin Oo Lwin remains populated by Nepalis and Indians descended from the colonial era. Overnight in Pyin Oo Lwin.

Distance and journey time: 69 km, 1 hr

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Day 5: Pyin Oo Lwin to Mandalay

Following breakfast, explore the colonial-era town of Pyin Oo Lwin. Wander the Botanical Garden, established by Turkish prisoners of war during World War 11. From the hill at Naung Kan Gyl Paya enjoy a bird’s eye view of Pyin Oo Lwin, from the Purcell Tower, housing the town clock, to the 100-year-old Church of the Immaculate Conception. The church, featuring a large, brick-built sanctuary, is notable also for the vaulted wooden ceilings and beautifully detailed interior of its bell tower. Drive to Mandalay for an overnight stay.

Distance and journey time: 69 km, 1 hr

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Day 6: Mandalay

Following breakfast, take a leisurely drive to the former royal capital Amarapura and the imposing Mahagandayon Monastery. Take time to linger on the U Bein bridge, extending a kilometre across Taungthaman Lake before arriving at Myanmar’s most venerated image, the Mahamuni Paya. The gold leaf covering the image is laid to a thickness of six inches.

After lunch drive to Mandalay to visit the Shwenandaw Kyaung, otherwise known as the Golden Teak Monastery. Continue to the monumental seated Buddha at Kyaukawgyi, carved from a single block of marble, and the elegant gold stupa of Sandamani Paya. Your day is completed by a walk through the thirteen-acre site of Kuthodaw Paya, where the avenues of stone tablets recording sacred Buddhist texts are also known as the world’s largest book.

Overnight in Mandalay.

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Day 7: Mandalay to Pindaya

Fly to Heho and head by car to the limestone ridge overlooking the lake at Pindaya. Step out of the heat, to the cool of labyrinthine caves housing more than 8000 Buddha images before returning to the ridge, and the cluster of low stupas nestling below at Shwe U Min Paya. Overnight in Pindaya.

Distance and journey time: 

Heho Airport to Pindaya: 50 km, 2 hrs

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Day 8: Pindaya to Inle Lake

Following breakfast travel by car to the jetty at Inle. Take an exhilarating fast canoe ride to the edge of the lake. Motor vessels are not permitted to shatter the peace of Inle Lake, so marvel at the leg-rowing technique of a local Intha fisherman as in silence he completes, against the backdrop of the high hills of Shan State, your transfer through floating gardens to check-in.

Experience the tranquillity of Inle Lake as you float between islands, past villages raised on stilts above the water. Step off your boat to wander past women weaving garments from silk and lotus, rolling cigars, men beating iron in the hellish heat of the forge. Overnight in Inle Lake.

Distance and journey times:

Pindaya to Jetty: 70 km, 2 hrs

Jetty to Hotel on Inle Lake: 20 km, 45 mins

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Day 9: Inle Lake to Kengtung

Fly to Kengtung in the Shan State. Surrounded by villages ethnically distinct from one another, Kengtung is important as a centre for Khun culture. As you wander through the villages surrounding Naung Tung lake, experiencing the differences in customs and dress, note British colonial architecture crumbling in step with Buddhist temples.

Overnight in Kengtung.

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Day 10: Kengtung

Following breakfast, continue your exploration of Kengtung by visiting the 19th-century temple of Wat Pha Jao Lung, marvel at Wat Jong Kham, a tall gilded zedi, or stupa hung with tiny gold bells, inlaid with silver, rubies, diamonds, sapphires and jade. After lunch, visit the water buffalo market, before a visit to see traditional Shan pottery making at Yan Gone village.

Overnight in Kengtung.

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Day 11: Kengtung

Following breakfast, visit an Akha village. The lack of any written language has resulted in a rich oral tradition, legends, proverbs and rituals being handed down from one generation to the next. Continuing to the Lahu, experience women weaving cloth on treadle looms as they have for centuries, producing fine and detailed embroidery. After lunch, the better known Wa offer another contrast. Darker, and more stocky than the other ethnic groups of Ho Kyn, headhunting until recently featured in the Wa’s fertility rites.

Overnight in Kengtung.

Day 12: Kentung to Yangon

Transfer to the airport. Why not include a few days of relaxation on the beach?

 

Not quite right? This itinerary is just to give you an idea of what is possible. Need some more inspiration? Please get in touch at 01473 214305 or email sales@eastravel.co.uk.  We welcome your questions. We're here to help!

Highlights

Inle Lake: Picturesque and magical

Against the green backdrop of the Shan mountains, the peace and tranquillity of Inle Lake will transport you to an inner calm

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Kengtung: trekking in the Shan state

Kengtung’s remote location in an area of outstanding natural beauty makes it the natural trekking gateway to Myanmar’s mountainous and little explored Shan State

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Mandalay: last royal capital of Burma

The last Royal Burmese capital, Mandalay remains the artistic and cultural centre of Myanmar

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Oriental Ballooning

From the colonial splendour of Mandalay to the magnificent temples and stupas of Bagan – from the magical waterways and mountain scenery of Inle to the glittering blue waters of the Bay of Bengal at Ngapali, your view from the gondola beneath a hot air balloon will stay with you forever.

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Pindaya Caves

Set within a limestone hill above Inle Lake, these extraordinary caves are sacred to Burmese Buddhists.

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Pyin Oo Lwin: Maymo

Founded during the British colonial era, the hill station of Pyin Oo Lwin, 3,000 feet above sea level, provided cool respite for the pukka sahibs from the heat and humidity of Mandalay

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Yangon: Golden stupas and glittering pagodas

The many shady green spaces, golden stupas and glittering lakes of this former Burmese capital lend Yangon a unique charm

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Accommodation

Inle Lake, Deluxe Class
Inle Princess Resort

Inle Princess Resort rests on the eastern shore of Inle Lake within the blue treetop ranges of the Shan Hills

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Inle Lake, Deluxe Class
Villa Inle Resort & Spa

Spread over more than 20 acres on the eastern fringe of Inle Lake near Maing Thouk Village

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Inle Lake, Speciality Lodging
Thahara Inle Heritage

Enjoying a location in the middle of Inle Lake, this unique property is accessible only by a one hour boat journey from Nyaung Shwe

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Inle Lake, Superior Class
The View Point Lodge

Situated between rice paddy fields and the main canal leading from Nyaung Shwe to Inle Lake

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Kengtung, Standard Class
Princess Hotel

Located an easy walk from the town’s lively market, and close to the old East Gate, the hotel is friendly and welcoming.

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Mandalay, Superior Class
Mercure Mandalay Hill Resort

Mercure Mandalay Hill Resort lies at the foot of Mandalay Hill with a panoramic view of a myriad of pagodas and its beautiful moat

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Mandalay, Superior Class
Hotel by Red Canal

The Hotel by Red Canal is a cosy boutique hotel located in a quiet part of the city, minutes away from Mandalay Hill

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Mandalay, Standard Class
Yadanarpon Dynasty Hotel

Yadanarpon Dynasty Hotel is a 10 minute walk to the Mandalay Royal Palace situated in the peaceful, silent zone of 65th Street

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Pindaya, Speciality Lodgings
Thahara Pindaya

Located on the edge of the small town of Pindaya, this traditional Shan farmhouse is set amid a timeless rural landscape.

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Pyin Oo Lwin, Standard Class
Hotel Pyin Oo Lwin

Conveniently situated for the railway station, this delightful hotel is 10km from the National Botanical Garden at Kandawgyi, and a similar distance from the magnificent Pwe Gauk waterfall.

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Yangon, Deluxe Class
Belmond Governor’s Residence

Belmond Governor’s Residence is an imposing teak mansion dating from the 1920s within the elegant Embassy Quarter

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Yangon, Deluxe Class
The Strand

The historic Strand Hotel built in 1901 by the Sarkies Brothers has long been recognized as one of Yangon's landmarks

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Yangon, Superior Class
PARKROYAL Yangon

The PARKROYAL Yangon encapsulates the charm of colonial Myanmar in a modern setting

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