Treasures of Myanmar - 13 days/12 nights
Yangon – Mandalay – Bagan – Inle Lake – Ngapali Beach – Yangon
This itinerary is similar to our Highlights of Myanmar tour, but with a visit at the end to the serene and beautiful beaches at Ngapali. It's best to include a visit to Ngapali if you're traveling between October through April because some resorts are closed during the off-season and the monsoon rains can make transportation a bit unreliable.
In this classic itinerary, you'll experience a culture in harmony with its religion, temples, history, and beautiful landscapes. Go back in time as locals painstakingly attach gold-leaf to Buddha statues and temples, as monks make their morning rounds for alms, and as fishermen toss their nets in the rivers and lakes. Your private local guides will involve you in the local Burmese culture, cuisine, and customs of this devoutly Buddhist country in an itinerary designed to have a balance between seeing the major sights and experiencing the local culture.
Privately-Guided! Whether you are a single person, a couple, or a group, you'll have your own guide and driver for all airport pickups, dropoffs, and daily excursions.
Choose your own dates! This is not a fixed-departure-date tour. Just let us know the dates that work best for you and we will arrange everything.
Customizable! Need more time? Less time? Want to see or do something that isn't included? Just let us know, and we will arrange it for you and let you know the change in costs.
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- A ride on the Circular Train in Yangon
- Yangon's Shwedagon Pagoda
- Boat trip to Mingum on the Ayerwaddy River in Mandalay
- Ancient Bagan and its thousands of stupas
- An optional hot air balloon ride over Bagan
- Colorful 5-day hill tribe market in Inle Lake
- Beautiful beaches of Ngapali
Day 1: Yangon
Upon arrival at Yangon International Airport, you will be welcomed by our representative and transferred to your hotel for check in. Afternoon, experience the full history of the famous Shwedagon Pagoda, the daily lives of local people living in the immediate surroundings and a deeper insight to the local spiritual beliefs in Nats – the Myanmar spirits. The tour begins from the bottom of the hill, passing local workshops, markets and monasteries. Participate in popular local activities that include offerings to the pagoda, a visit to a traditional medicine shop, and a chat with a fortune teller. Overnight in Yangon.
Day 2: Yangon
Today, you will see the different faces of Yangon from famous landmarks to the hidden markets that have seen few westerners. Starting from a famous tea shop in the 1960s, you will visit the Sule Pagoda, colonial downtown, the harbour, the historic Strand Hotel and the Kandawgyi Lake. Stop over at the reclining Buddha before taking the famous circular train which takes you right behind the Bogyoke Aung San market. Overnight in Yangon. (Breakfast, Lunch)
Day 3: Yangon to Mandalay
Transfer to the airport for your morning flight to Mandalay. On arrival, you will be welcomed by our representative then, depending on the time available, you'll visit various sights of Mandalay including the temple ruins of Paleik. The snake temple in Paleik is known for the three pythons sleeping at the Buddha statue, which is seldom visited by tourists. After, visit Amarapura, the 18th century capital of Myanmar. Visit the Mahamuni pagoda, the most sacred temple in Upper Myanmar. Continue to the Mahagandayon monastery complex with thousands of monks and visit a small weaving factory. Walk over the famed U-Bein Bridge, a 158 year old teak wood bridge - the longest teak bridge in the world. Overnight in Mandalay. (Breakfast)
Day 4: Mandalay
Start the day at the top of Mandalay hill for a great view over the Mandalay fort. Continue to Atumashi and the Shwenandaw monasteries which are excellent examples of the architecture of this region. Visit the Kuthodaw Pagoda, often referred to as the “world’s biggest book.” Afternoon, you will take a boat excursion to Mingun village on the banks of the Ayarwaddy River. Visit the Mingun Pagoda with its big crack caused by an earthquake and the world’s largest ringing bronze bell. Return to Mandalay on the one-hour boat ride while wine and snacks are being served. After a brief rest at the hotel, go to a sunset viewpoint near the Ayeyarwaddy River for a cold Mandalay beer. Continue to the busy Yadanar night market to have some traditional snacks and a walk around before heading to the excellent Mandalay marionettes theatre for dinner and a show performed by a mix of traditional dancers, musician and puppeteers. Overnight in Mandalay. (Breakfast, Dinner)
Day 5: Mandalay to Bagan
Transfer to the airport for your morning flight to Bagan. On arrival, drive to Mt. Popa (4,981ft), stopover at a palm tree grove to watch local farmers extracting palm juice to make traditional candy and liquor products. Lunch at the Popa Mountain Resort, then visit the stunning Taung Ka Lat shrine and the Popa temple. Afternoon visit the century’s old village of Salay which houses several old teak monasteries as well as some charming colonial buildings from the British period. End the day with sundowners on the sand bank and spectacular sunset views over the river. Overnight in Bagan. (Breakfast, Lunch)
Day 6: Bagan
An optional hot-air balloon ride at dawn is available, but pre-booking is required (does not operate between April 1st and October 15th). Enjoy breathtaking views of the temple-studded landscape of Bagan, which was once the capital of several kingdoms in Central Myanmar. The dry, arid conditions have uniquely preserved more than 3000 stupas and temples built here between the 11th and 13th centuries.
Spend the day exploring Bagan and see the ancient temples that Bagan is renowned for. Visit Buledi Pagoda to get a first impressive view over the area, as well as other ancient temples like the Ananda, Dhammayangyi, Sulamani, and Thatbyinnyu. After lunch in a local restaurant, visit a small scale lacquer workshop and see how some of the world’s finest lacquerware is made. Early evening, take a horse cart ride to Pyathagyi Pagoda for sunset with some refreshing drinks served. Feel free to stop whenever you see a temple you like! Overnight in Bagan. (Breakfast, Lunch)
Day 7: Bagan to Heho to Inle
Transfer to the airport for your morning flight to Heho. On arrival, you will be welcomed by our representative and visit the ruins of Indein. Located at the south of the Inle Lake, these ruins are partly covered by vegetation and resemble a “pagoda forest”. You will enjoy fantastic view over the lake and visit a primary school in Sae Ma village. A home hosted lunch awaits you in a typical local house. After, visit a small Pa O village and continue by motorboat to the Phaung Daw Oo pagoda. Proceed by motorboat on the lake and check in at your hotel. Overnight in Inle Lake. (Breakfast, Lunch)
Day 8: Inle Lake
Inle Lake in southern Shan State is a vast natural lake surrounded by traditional Shan villages. On the lake, the Intha people have been living for many centuries in villages built entirely on stilts over the lake. Today you will travel by private motorboat around the lake to discover the natural beauty of the lake. Visit the floating gardens, hopefully see some of the famous leg rowers and have some tea at a local family’s house. On and around the lake, traditional markets are held in different villages according to a 5-day rotating schedule. You will visit a colourful market frequented by Shan and PaO people living nearby. Stop by a local cheroot factory (where the Burmese cigars are made), floating tomato gardens, a weaving factory and Nga Phe Chaung Monastery, one of the oldest and most beautiful on the lake. Overnight in Inle Lake. (Breakfast, Lunch)
Day 9: Inle Lake to Heho to Ngapali Beach
Transfer to the airport for your short flight to Thandwe. Upon arrival, you'll be met and transferred to your hotel in Ngapali Beach. Overnight in Ngapali Beach. (Breakfast)
Day 10: Ngapali Beach
Your day is free to relax at the beach and soak up the beautiful scenery. Overnight in Ngapali Beach. (Breakfast)
Day 11: Ngapali Beach
This morning, you will travel about one hour by a fisherman’s boat to Maung Shwe Lay, a village located south of Ngapali. Walk around this traditional fishing village where you can see a local market, village school, a library and a brick factory. Return to the village by ox cart and enjoy amazing snorkelling at the bay right in front of the village. A seafood lunch awaits you in a local house on the beach. After, return to your hotel in Ngapali the rest of the day is free. Overnight in Ngapali. (Breakfast, lunch)
Day 12: Ngapali Beach to Yangon
Transfer to Thandwe airport for your flight to Yangon. Upon arrival be met and transferred to your hotel. Enjoy your last day in Myanmar at leisure. Overnight in Yangon. (Breakfast)
Day 13: Departure from Yangon
Transfer to the airport for your departure flight home. (Breakfast)
-- End of Services --
Per Person Rates (based on double occupancy) start from: $3,950
Contact Us for advice on hotels and a quote based on your choice.
Please note that peak season supplements for stays over Christmas and New Years may apply.
- All airport transfers
- All tours and excursions as outlined in the itinerary
- In-country flights as outlined in the itinerary
- All surface transportation as per the itinerary by air conditioned car with water and cool towels
- Hotel accommodation with breakfast including taxes and service charge
- Meals as indicated in the itinerary
- Entrance fees to indicated sites
- Services of a local English speaking guide for all visits and excursions
Rates Do Not Include
- International airfare
- Visa fees
- Expenses of a personal nature
- Optional hot air balloon ride in Bagan
- Supplements for stays on Christmas or New Year's Eve and mandatory gala dinners at the hotels on those dates
To Book This Tour
Please call us toll free at 1-877-362-2793 and let us know that you would like to book this tour. Then follow these instructions:
- Download, print, and fill out the Reservation Form for each person.
- Fax the form to us at 206-529-4803, or mail it to:
Red Lantern Journeys
1000 N. Northlake Way, Suite H
Seattle, WA 98103
- Pay a non-refundable $500 per person deposit and we will initiate your reservations.
- Final payment is due 75 days prior to departure.
If your reservation is made less than 75 days prior to departure, the non-refundable deposit will allow us to initiate reservations. Full payment will be due immediately upon confirmation of all hotels and transportation services. If the services quoted cannot be confirmed, alternate accommodation or transportation will be arranged and the price will be adjusted accordingly.
Payments can be made by personal check, bank wire transfer, or credit card. Upon receipt of your deposit, we will initiate your reservations and send you a statement showing your payment. Approximately 4 weeks prior to your departure, we will send you a final confirmation package containing your itinerary and detailed information on the logistics of your trip.
Forms to Download (pdf file)
Reservation Form with Complete Terms and Conditions
- Cancel more than 60 days prior to departure - forfeit your deposit.
- Cancel between 30 and 60 days prior to departure - forfeit 50% of the tour cost.
- Cancel less than 30 days prior to departure - NO REFUND of tour cost.
- Cancellations must be made in writing and sent via mail, fax, or email to Red Lantern Journeys.
- Refunds will be processed within 30 days of receipt of your written request.
- No refunds are available for unused services or tours during your trip.