Myanmar Culture Tour
Central, Myanmar (Burma)
Central, Myanmar (Burma)
Pindaya Caves in Myanmar (Burma) is a Buddhist pilgrimage site in the country’s Shan State. Located above Pindaya town, on a limestone ridge, the caves are known for its over 8,000 Buddha images, some dating back to the 18th century. Pindaya town located along a picturesque lake is known for traditional Shan paper umbrellas that are manufactured here. Pindaya can be visited on a day trip from Kalaw and takes around 2-hours to get there.
This cultural tour to Mayanmar, begins with a comprehensive tour of Yangon. Travel to Bagan to view its Buddhist temples that date back to 11th and 13th centuries. Transfer to Mandalay, the cultural heart of Myanmar and visit cultural sites including Sagaing Hill, Amarapura, Mahamuni and Kuthodaw Pagoda, the 'world’s largest book'. Travel east to visit Pindaya caves with thousands of Buddha images. Then visit villages of ethnic Pa-O and Intha inhabitants around the Inle Lake.
TRAVEL UNTAMED ON THIS 12-DAY COMPREHENSIVE TOUR OF BURMA...
And, experience off-the-beaten track destinations of Amarapura & Minguin.
Myanmar sits at the crossroads of Asia’s great civilisations of India and China, and stretches from the islands of the Andaman Sea in the south up into the Eastern Himalayan mountain range. There are still large regions that are thickly forested and thinly populated. In between are magnificent and ancient Buddhist temples of rich and glorious heritage spanning more than two thousand years.
Begin your private tour in Yangon, the capital city of Myanmar. Travel to the awe-inspiring Bagan, where thousands of pagodas and temples stretch from the Ayeyarwady River out across miles of arid plains. Tour the structures, built between the 11th and 13th centuries when Bagan was a major Buddhist centre of Southeast Asia, and learn about the history carved in their layered facades, painted in their interior frescoes and sculpted in their Buddhist statues.
Travel to Mandalay, the real heart of Myanmar (Burma), for this was the capital until the British captured and exiled King Thebaw in 1885. Here, they feel, their culture centres, as it once did in earlier capitals - in Amarapura, Sagaing, Ava, and classical Bagan. All of which we will visit.
Next, visit the magnificent Pindaya Caves, set in a limestone ridge overlooking a picturesque lake. Then continue to the massive fresh water Inle Lake, rimmed with high hills, stilted villages and crumbling stupas. Its calm waters are dotted with floating gardens of fruit and vegetables and fishing canoes known for its unique “leg rowers” – the Intha people row standing up with one leg wrapped around an oar.
Continue to the massive fresh water Inle Lake, home of the Intha people. Rimmed with high hills, stilted villages inhabited by the Intha people, known for leg-rowing their flat-bottomed boats. For many travellers, Inle is heaven on earth, a place to while away the days canoeing, cycling and walking through the lush countryside. For others, it is a place to meditate.
Finish the tour in Yangon that still maintains its colonial charm with wide tree lined avenues, tranquil lakes, and gracious turn of the century architecture. With your private guide visit the magnificent Shwedagon Pagoda that dominates the city skyline and visit many shops of Scott Market, to buy Myanmar’s precious stones – rubies, sapphires and jade. And we know a good place to go at night time, when Chinatown comes alive with its pungent aromas and delicious street food.
Myanmar Culture Tour This is the most comprehensive tour of Myanmar (Burma) and includes the country's most popular destinations.
Yangon, Bagan, Mandalay, Pindaya, Inle Lake, Yangon
(12 Days – Travel Any Day)
Day 1 – Arrive Myanmar
Yangon Meet and greet on arrival at Yangon International Airport and transfer to your hotel. Stay for 2 nights stay. The rest of the day will be dependent on your flight time and rest.
The Governor’s Residence (Nil)
Day 2 – Tour
Yangon With your private guide, take a comprehensive tour of the city’s most famous religious monuments; the gilded Sule, the huge reclining Buddha, the Botathaung on the Yangon River. Explore ancient pagodas and monasteries and take an extended tour of Shwedagon Pagoda, with its dome covered with 60 tonnes of pure gold and the city's most spectacular landmark.
The Governor’s Residence (B, L, D)
Day 3 – Transfer
Bagan Today transfer to the Yangon airport for your flight to the awe-inspiring Bagan; where thousands of pagodas and temples stretch from the Ayeyarwady River out across miles of arid plains.
After rest, explore with your private guide the Buddhist temples, built between the 11th and 13th centuries when Bagan was a major Buddhist centre of Southeast Asia, and learn about the history carved in their layered facades, painted in their interior frescoes and sculpted in their Buddhist statues. Then ride through the villages on a horse-drawn carriage as the sun sets in the distance.
Thiripyitsaya Santuary Resort (B, L, D)
Day 4 – Explore
Bagan Today you have a full day to explore Bagan and its hundreds of temples. Avoid the temple fatigue with an afternoon lunch break at a riverside local restaurant. Then explore famous monasteries like the Nat Htaung Kyaung, famous for a collection of ancient Buddha statues and lacquer boxes. Explore local markets for souvenirs or take a boat on the Ayeyarwaddy River to enjoy the sunset.
Thiripyitsaya Santuary Resort (B, L, D)
Optional: Balloons Over Bagan. Enjoy Bagan from a different perspective – take a balloon ride to get a magnificent birds-eye view of thousand year-old pagodas, temples and the mighty Ayeyarwaddy River. The champagne flights at sunrise last just under one hour and take off daily from October through March. The balloon is guided by gentle winds not exceeding 24 km/h. Eight passengers plus a pilot fit into the balloon’s basket.
Day 5 – Explore
Bagan We drive to Mount Popa, a place of pilgrimage for over 700 years that is believed to be the home of Myanmar’s powerful ‘Nats’, or Burmese spirits associated with natural features. We will also visit the Yokesone Monastery, the oldest surviving wooden monastery in Myanmar, built on 154 teak posts with beautiful wood carvings decorating the outer walls. Then continue to Payathonzu, a complex of three brick shrines with mural paintings from the Bagan period, and see Man Paya - a large lacquer Buddha image, said to date from the 13th century.
Thiripyitsaya Santuary Resort (B)
Day 6 – Transfer
Mandalay Transfer to the airport for your morning flight to Mandalay. Meet our representative at the airport and take a morning Mandalay sightseeing tour. As the cultural heart of Myanmar, Mandalay has many interesting temples; the Mahamuni Pagoda is the city’s holiest Buddha statue, the Shwenandaw Monastery, an ancient wooden building, was once King Mindon's home and the Kuthodaw Pagoda is the 'world’s largest book' of Buddhist scriptures.
Mandalay Hill Resort (B)
Day 7 – Explore
Mandalay After a morning visit to the impressive wooden monastery of Bagaya Kyaung, explore the picturesque Sagaing Hill, dotted with numerous pagodas and monasteries and perhaps the living centre of Buddhist faith in Myanmar today. Explore Amarapura; once a royal capital with hundreds of ancient monasteries where over a thousand monks live and Buddha images are covered with thick layers of gold leaves. Don’t miss the opportunity to capture the iconic 150-year-old U Bein teak bridge on your camera.
Mandalay Hill Resort (B)
Day 8 – Explore
Mandalay Take a boat trip on the Ayeyarwady River; an excellent opportunity to see all types of wooden boats and bamboo rafts, carrying goods up and down the river. Visit the Mingun Bell, at 87 tonnes the world’s largest intact bronze bell. There will be time to explore local markets, cottage industries and watch student monks at their evening prayers.
Mandalay Hill Resort (B)
Day 9 – Transfer
Pindaya Transfer to the airport for your flight to Heho. On arrival, transfer to Pindaya; an interesting drive into the hills and across the Shan Plateau, through fields of mountain rice.
In the afternoon visit the magnificent Pindaya Caves, set in a limestone ridge overlooking a picturesque lake, where thousands of different types of Buddha images are on display in the various cave chambers. Visit some local houses where families produce Shan paper and parasols.
Pindaya Inle Inn (B)
Day 10 – Explore
Inle Lake This morning, drive from Pindaya caves on the edge of Inle Lake (3hrs). Later, explore the Inle Lake – it is a photographer's dream, its calm waters are dotted with floating gardens of fruit and vegetables and fishing canoes, to which scenic high hills provide the perfect backdrop. See the lake's unique “leg rowers” – the Intha people row standing up with one leg wrapped around an oar.
We will visit the local market but the highlight is often visiting the traditional villages, ancient Pagodas, with over 200 year old ancient Buddha statues, monasteries including the Nga Phe Kyaung Monastery (known for Jumping cats). Cat lovers can stop for lunch at the Inthar Heritage House where you can see the legendary Burmese cats.
Local art and culture: There is a surprisingly high amount of very talented painters and artists in Myanmar. Some of them are known internationally. Their accomplishments can be admired and also bought in numerous Art Galleries and showrooms.
Inle Princess – Lake Front View Chalet (B)
Day 11 – Explore
Inle Lake Today we travel to a rarely visited area south of Inle Lake where we explore the daily market and visit local houses who manufacture items like earthenware pottery, Phongyi fabric from thousands of lotus stems and even a high degree alcohol fermented and extracted from bran rice. You will meet the locals and get an insight into the unspoiled culture and traditional life-style of the ethnic Pa-O and Intha inhabitants. And we you will enjoy the beautiful landscape, flowering trees and small settlements dotted along the way.
Optional: Drive to a selection of Art Galleries, Interior Design and Antiques shops. There is a surprisingly high amount of very talented painters and artists in Myanmar. Some of them are known internationally. Their accomplishments can be admired and also bought in numerous Art Galleries and showrooms.
Inle Princess – Lake Front View Chalet (B, L, D)
Day 12 – Depart
Yangon Transfer by boat to Nyaung Shwe and then proceed to Heho Airport (1 hour) for your flight to Yangon. Meet our representative who will escort you to your hotel. Lunch at hotel. Transfer to the airport for your onward journey
Make this your holiday
Getting There Myanmar has two international airports: In the capital Yangon and at Mandalay. Due to the lack of travel services in Myanmar most airlines fly to Yangon via Bangkok, Kaula Lumpur or Singapore. Also, there are flights connecting Chiang Mai (in Thailand) to Yangon and Mandalay. It is best to check prices for flights to Bangkok and from there to Yangon return as buying two tickets can be cheaper. We suggest that you book in advance to get the best rates for flights.
Visa British citizens travelling to Myanmar can get a Myanmar visa on arrival. The new e-visa application service allows applicants to fill in the e-form and submit the payment through a secure payment gateway with a credit card. This takes about 3 days to receive a visa approval letter that you can print and take with your passport to a designated airport.