Discovering Ancient Myanmar - Yangon, the Temples of Bagan, Colonial Burma and Village Life on Inle Lake [Pioneer Exclusive] - Awesome Experiences

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Discovering Ancient Myanmar - Yangon, the Temples of Bagan, Colonial Burma and Village Life on Inle Lake [Pioneer Exclusive]Myanmar

From £1,548 per person for 6 nights (based on 2 adults sharing)*
Closed off from tourism until very recently, this country offers one of Asia’s warmest welcomes and a fascinating glimpse into centuries-old ways of living.

Perfect for:

Pioneers ClubYoga & Spiritual Extraordinary & Secret Places
Summary

Myanmar

Only reopening to tourism in 2015 after 15 years behind closed doors, Myanmar still feels like a journey into a fascinating, unspoilt land, making for a unique, one-of-a-kind experience. It's temples, monasteries and remote villages are among Asia's most captivating. As is the capital, Yangon, which comes filled with colonial terraces that are punctuated by grand old landmark buildings and street sellers. Beyond Yangon, you’ll delve further into Burmese life at Bagan, Myanmar’s vast, temple strewn ancient city, then spend some time on Inle Lake, a biosphere reserve where the pace of life is slow and enchanting and customs are centuries old.

 AWESOME ELEMENTS INCLUDED IN THE TOUR PRICE: 

  • Trishaw around Yangon on a 3 course restaurant tour
  • Help illuminate thousands of candles during an oil lamp lighting ceremony at Shwedagon Temple
  • Whizz around the huge Bagan temple complex by electric bike, refuelling with a home cooked lunch in a local village
  • Sail the Irrawaddy river at sunset with a cocktail in hand on a traditional burmese river boat
  • See the vast scale of Bagan’s temples from way up high, during a stunning sunrise hot air balloon trip over its pagodas (optional)
  • Visit Inle Lake's village homes on stilits and sleepy canals by private motorboat
  • Adventure through traditional fishing villages by kayak

Myanmar Summary

This once in a lifetime trip to Myanmar has been exclusively designed to help you experience the country’s slow-paced way of life and traditional cultures and customs. One of our favourite things about Myanmar is the people, who are keenly enthusiastic to show you the country and their day-to-day lives, having been kept in isolation for over a decade. 

We’ve included a kayak trip along the narrow canals and waterways of Inle, because that way you’ll meet locals way off the tourist trail, passing children on their way to school and fisherman casting off their nets. There’s opportunity, together with your private guide, to see different facets of everyday life on a walk with pilgrims to the mountain monastery of Taung Kalat or in the busy neighbourhood market of Yangon. No trip to Myanmar is complete without visiting the huge temple complex of Bagan – you’ll get to grips with its incredible scale on an optional sunrise trip by hot air balloon (seasonal), explore by day on electric bikes, and in the evening you’ll cruise the length of the complex on the Irrawaddy river, sipping on a cocktail as you watch the sun go down. 


Please click the Full Itinerary tab for the full daily itinerary, details of what's included and information about children and solo travellers. 


BOOK ONLINE below now, or CALL 0208 432 0885 9am - 5pm Mon - Fri for assistance with booking

Please use your unique Pioneers Club code (sent by email) at checkout to confirm your 20% discount.

Please have your passport and Debit/Credit card to hand. International flights are not included.


GETTING THERE

Typical return Economy flights from London cost around £600 per person and take approximately 15 hours depending on exact flight configurations and layover times. Please check the current prices and availability using the ‘Search for Flights’ link below and ensure that your flight arrival and departure times and dates align with the start and end dates and airport locations shown on the Experience itinerary. Please do not book flights until your Experience booking is confirmed.

Experience start point: Yangon [RGN]. Suggested arrival by 9am.

End point: Yangon [RGN]. Suggested departure after 2pm.

Search for flights to Yangon

Map
Full Itinerary

See below for your hotel options

You will get a choice of hotel options for the duration of your experience:

Classic ★★★

Classic hotels provide mid-range accommodation (minimum three-star rated), with comfortable rooms and private facilities. We’ve selected these hotels based on positive client feedback.

Premium ★★★★

Premium hotels are typically upper mid range (usually four star), with more amenities than our classic choices. They all have comfortable rooms with private facilities and have received good client feedback.

Deluxe ★★★★★

Deluxe hotels are luxury hotels with excellent facilities and service, usually categorised as 4.5 or 5 star. Clients rate them extremely highly.

When booking an experience, please remember that the hotel category you select is for the whole tour. The table below displays the hotels listed for each category. Please note that the actual hotel selection will be driven by availability at time of booking.


Click on the accommodation names to find out more from the hotel websites:

Classic: Premium: Deluxe:
Best Western Green Hill Chatrium The Strand
Shwe Yee Pwint Areindmar Bagan Lodge
Golden Island Cottages Pristine Lotus Resort Villa Inle

Itinerary

Day One

Yangon Life 

Welcome to Myanmar’s most cosmopolitan city, Yangon – seething with life and busy with newly-opened bars, boutiques and restaurants. You’ll get straight in on the action, heading from the airport to the heart of downtown with your private guide, to see its exotic mix of temples, skyscrapers and old colonial landmarks. Then you’ll do as the locals do and take a cuppa and snack in one of the city’s popular tea shops. Enjoy some free time for lunch, then check in to your hotel. Later, you’ll take to the skies in a tethered helium balloon in leafy Kandawgyi Park, to see incredible views over the glittering Shwedagon Temple and the rest of the city. Then transfer to the 21st-floor Yangon Yangon bar to watch the sunset from on high, cocktail in hand. Afterwards, you’ll cruise past some of Yangon’s biggest landmarks by trishaw, bound for a three-course meal by relay: first stop, light, bright Pansuriya, where meals are served amid antiques and pictures that are all for sale. Have your starter, then it’s time to move on to the famous Monsoon for your main course. Finish off with pudding at Rangoon Tea House, a chic, updated version of the classic corner caff. Then it’s back to the hotel for the night.

Overnight in Yangon

Meals included: Dinner

Kandawgyi Park


Day Two 

City Life

Take another day to get acquainted with this intriguing city, starting with a ride aboard the Yangon Circle Train, which chugs through city centre neighbourhoods bound for the suburbs. You’re heading for Insein Township, home to one of Yangon’s best food markets which comes packed with rickety stalls vending fruit, veg and meat – and friendly locals who love to stop for a chat. Return to the city centre at lunchtime, ready to visit Shwedagon Temple this afternoon. This gilded pagoda is the most sacred Buddhist shrine in the country, soaring to 99 metres and swathed in gold leaf. You’ll be taking part in a oil lamp lighting ceremony just as the sun dims: help to illuminate thousands of lamps in the cool of the evening, and savour the atmosphere of a temple shining in the flickering light. Tonight, you’ll have dinner at Seeds, a fine dining restaurant set by a lilypad-laden lake. 

Overnight in Yangon

Meals included: Breakfast; dinner

Shwedagon Temple


Day Three

Begin Bagan

A quick breakfast and you’re off to the airport for your onward flight to the temples of Bagan. The thousands of stupas and pagodas here were built between the 11th and 13th centuries, when Bagan was the capital of Myanmar. You’ll explore them by electric bike, ticking off some of the main attractions including Dhammayangyi, the largest temple built by King Narathu in the 12th century, and Ananda, famous for its four standing buddhas. Your e-bike also allows you to explore some lesser-known temples that are inaccessible by car, and really understand the huge scale of Bagan. Leave your bike at lunchtime, to dine on home-cooked food in a village house. There’s time for a visit to a lacquerware workshop, then you’ll travel by horse and cart on a short ride past some of Bagan’s temples. As the sun goes down, you’ll board a private traditional boat and cast off along the Irrawaddy River to cruise the entire length of the Bagan temple complex, enjoying cocktails and snacks as the sun dips below the ruins. You’ll disembark and return to the hotel in time for dinner (not included). 

Overnight in Bagan

Meals included: Breakfast; lunch

Bagan Temples


Day Four

Up and Away

Soar high above Bagan by hot air balloon, just as the sun rises over its pagodas on this optional extra activity*. You’ll have a starlit picnic of pastries as you watch the balloons being filled before taking off in the golden light of dawn. Afterwards, you’ll skirt the Irrawaddy River on the drive to Salay, one of the country’s most significant Buddhist centres. More than 50 monasteries are scattered about this tiny town, and you’ll get the chance to explore them as well as Salay House, a beautifully preserved colonial building. After a picnic lunch on the banks of the Irrawaddy, you’ll continue onwards to Mount Popa, an extinct volcano that soars to 1500m. Here, you’ll visit the incredible monastery of Taung Kalat, marooned atop a volcanic plug that’s believed to be home to 37 spirit guardians (nats). Climb to the top of the shrine alongside its pilgrims (and some very naughty monkeys), for incredible views over the surrounding countryside. You’ll return to Bagan in time for dinner.

*Please note, due to the monsoon season, the optional extra hot air balloon flight over Bagan is only available from October to March and all flights are weather permitting.

Overnight in Bagan

Meals included: Breakfast; lunch

Bagan Hot Air Balloon


Day Five

Life on the Lake

Transfer to the airport after breakfast, bound for Heho, the gateway to huge Inle Lake. From here, it’s a one-hour drive to the water, with a stop-off at the fascinating teak monastery of Shwe Yan Pyay, home to novice monks from across the region. Arrive at the lake, and board a private motorboat to travel past villages built on stilts over the water and floating gardens where farmers tend their crops, en route to the sacred pagoda of Phaung Daw Oo. Then lunch in luxury on the boat – your food will be prepared and served from a nearby vessel. Afterwards, you’ll cruise Inle’s serene waters again, taking in local life at a village of weavers and a cheroot factory, before visiting the stunning Inthar Heritage House, a rebuilt traditional home that’s also a refuge for Burmese cats. Afterwards, you’ll be transferred to your hotel in time for dinner (not included).

Overnight on Inle Lake

Meals included: Breakfast; lunch

Inle Lake House


Day Six

Paddle Power

It’s an early start this morning, as you prepare to kayak along the lake before the heat of the day sets in. This is the best way to really get under the skin of Inle, and see local life (the locals may also be surprised to see you, as tourists are still few and far between here). Starting in the little village of Nampan, you’ll weave through the canals that serve as roads, passing villagers on their way to schools and shops, then you’ll head towards Mine Pyo village, passing fisherman who still use traditional techniques to catch fish in nets with their feet. At Mine Pyo, you’ll be welcomed into a family home for tea and snacks, then you’ll head off on the final leg of your kayak trip, to Se Sone village. Here, there’s another opportunity for drinks at a local home before lunching at a restaurant on the lake. After your meal, you’ll board another motorboat, to travel along a narrow canal to the village of In Dein, home to the Pa-oh people and strewn with ancient pagodas. Stroll through the village to see a unique, simple way of life and wander amongst the pagodas towards beautiful views over the lake. You’ll return to your hotel in time for dinner (not included).

Overnight on Inle Lake

Meals included: Breakfast; lunch

Inle Lake Fishing


Day Seven

Home Time

After a final breakfast, you’ll be transferred back to the airport for your return flight to Yangon, ready for your onward journey home.

Meals included: Breakfast


Overall meals included: 6 Breakfasts; 4 lunches; 2 dinners

What's included:

  • Private English-speaking guides unless stated otherwise
  • Private transfers and internal flights, unless stated otherwise
  • Meals as listed
  • Mandatory taxes and service fees
  • Entrance tickets and permits unless stated otherwise
  • Tethered helium balloon ride in Kandawgyi Park for views over glittering Shwedagon Temple
  • Kayak and motorboat equipment as stated

What's not included:

  • International flights to/from the start/end point of our experiences
  • Optional extras listed
  • Tips for guides, drivers, hotel and restaurant staff
  • Any visa, customs, airport taxes or similar charges before or after the tour
  • We cannot guarantee the included hotel breakfast for early departures
  • Drinks during meals unless stated otherwise
  • Personal expenses, such as laundry


For Home Office travel advice to this country, read more here

If you intend to travel solo, please click here


BOOK ONLINE below now, or CALL 0208 432 0885 9am - 5pm Mon - Fri for assistance with booking

Please use your unique Pioneers Club code (sent by email) at checkout to get your 20% discount.

Please have your passport and Debit/Credit card to hand. International flights are not included.


GETTING THERE

Typical return Economy flights from London cost around £600 per person and take approximately 15 hours depending on exact flight configurations and layover times. Please check the current prices and availability using the ‘Search for Flights’ link below and ensure that your flight arrival and departure times and dates align with the start and end dates and airport locations shown on the Experience itinerary. Please do not book flights until your Experience booking is confirmed.

Experience start point: Yangon [RGN]. Suggested arrival by 9am.

End point: Yangon [RGN]. Suggested departure after 2pm.

Search for flights to Yangon

Extras

Awesome Experience bonuses

Many of our experiences have optional features available at an added cost. Please see below for available extras for this experience. Please continue to checkout to select any optional extras and to see pricing information.

Optional Extras

To customise your experience, you can select any of theses extras at an additional cost during the basket stage.

Hot Air Balloon Flight over Bagan

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