Days
14
Price from
$4,667USD

Discover the ancient grandeur of Myanmar (Burma) on this immersive independent trip. Whether driving, flying or walking across the ‘Golden Land’, you’ll encounter a new facet of culture and history at every turn. Begin in Yangon, where the golden Shwedagon Pagoda looms, then travel to Mandalay and continue to historic Bagan via the Ayeyarwaddy River. At Inle Lake you’ll encounter its unique waterscape, Indein ruins and myriad traditional cultures that comprise Myanmar’s rich melting pot.

Independent Journeys

Independent travel, without the stress. Peregrine’s Independent Journeys are a range of Peregrine's best-selling group tours, available for 1-3 people. They depart on any day and are accompanied by a Peregrine guide in each location and 24/7 support from the local Peregrine office. 


Start
Yangon, Myanmar (Burma)
Finish
Yangon, Myanmar (Burma)
Country
Myanmar (Burma)
Style
Independent Journeys
Code
PABRJ
Physical rating
Ages
Min 5
Group size
Min 1, Max 3

Why we love this trip

  • Whether commuting as the locals do in a long-tail boat or hiking through bamboo forest, you'll see this 'Golden Land' from many angles

  • Support communities directly, from the hill market of Myanmar's "vegetable garden" to the hospitality training initiative of Friends-International

  • Visit the best of Bagan's 4000 temples and monasteries, plus the nearby Mt Popa

  • The Inle Lake region exudes tranquillity and will enable you to sample the hospitality of the Shan people, one of many groups that contribute to the ethnic diversity of this colourful country

  • Enjoy plenty of time to explore Yangon, home to one of the world's true religious jewels, Shwedagon Pagoda

Is this trip right for you?

  • Our accommodation in Kyaiktiyo is more basic than the rest of our trip as there is limited accommodation at the summit. Every effort will be made to secure the best available option. Additionally transport to the summit on bench seats in trucks is the only transport available. However, the experience of seeing the Golden Rock is more than worthwhile.

  • Entering or climbing the temples of Bagan will require you to remove your footwear and socks. Some of the temple steps are very steep, and without railings.

  • The optional climb to the top of Mt Popa is also steep, with 777 steps in total, and you will be barefoot part of the way. So you will need to step with caution before taking in the views.

  • Suitable footwear will be required for uneven terrain, especially when walking around Indein and to the Shan Village.

  • Myanmar is a vast country, so to save time travelling we do include 3 internal flights on this trip. Bear in mind that these may be in smaller aircraft.

  • It is important to be prepared for the elements – between March and October the heat and humidity can be intense. However, your local leader will adjust activities to suit the local conditions and the needs of the group.

Itinerary

Welcome to Myanmar. An airport arrival transfer is included. This transfer is only valid if arriving on Day 1 or if you have booked pre-trip accommodation through Peregrine. Please provide your flight details at the time of booking, or at a minimum of 15 days prior to travel (we may not be able confirm requests made within 15 days of travel). Once you have provided your details, a transfer representative will be booked to meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel.

Your adventure begins with a Welcome Meeting at 6 pm on Day 1. You can arrive at any time during the day as there are no activities planned until this important meeting. Please check with the hotel reception where and when it will take place, or check the reception notice boards. If you can't arrange a flight that will have you arrive at the hotel by early evening, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you, subject to availability. If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. Your insurance details and next of kin information will be collected at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader.

Yangon (formerly Rangoon) is the country's biggest city, though no longer the capital. To get your bearings and a taste of this wonderful city, perhaps take a walk to Sule Paya, then down to the Victorian Strand Hotel to admire the colonial architecture and the bargaining excitement of Bogyoke Market.
Accommodation
  • Rose Garden Hotel or similar (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Yangon - Sule Pagoda - MMK3000
  • Yangon - Let Yangon Take You For a Ride Urban Adventure - USD41
  • Yangon - Bogyoke Market (Scotts Market) - Free
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
With an overnight bag, embark on the 6-hour drive to the base camp at Kinponsakan, and transfer to an open air truck with basic wooden bench-style seating. The next hour, towards the summit, will be bumpy. But the views are well worth it. The Golden Rock (Kyaiktiyo Pagoda) is a place of pilgrimage for Buddhists. The small pagoda (7.3 metres high) sits atop a gilded 25-metre boulder, which appears to balance precariously on a tabular rock. Legend has it that the boulder is held in position by a strand of Buddha's hair. Spending a night in Kyaiktiyo is one of Myanmar's most spiritual experiences.

Please be aware that the accommodation in Kyaiktiyo is more basic than in other destinations on this trip. Due to this being a very popular place of pilgrimage, hotels can often be overbooked and the site crowded. At times staying on the summit may not be possible, and we may stay back in the town at the base. Travel times vary, and the journey can be arduous in the wet. Your patience will go a long way toward your enjoyment here.
Accommodation
  • Mountain Top Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Kyaiktiyo - Golden Rock Temple
  • Bago - Shwemawdaw Paya
  • Bago - Shwethalyaung Buddha
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Enjoy a morning of strolling around Kyaiktiyo. After descending from the summit, we return to Yangon, retracing our path from yesterday. Along the way, stop at Bago (about 2 hours from Kyaiktiyo), an ancient centre of the Mon kingdom in the 13th century. Here you'll visit the Shwemawdaw Pagoda, which is even larger than the famous Shwedagon Pagoda, and the Shwethalyaung Buddha, one of the largest Reclining Buddhas in existence. After exploring Bago, you will make the roughly 2-hour journey back to Yangon to retire for the night.
Accommodation
  • Rose Garden Hotel or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Take a walking tour of downtown Yangon this morning. As you stroll through the streets lined with dilapidated colonial edifices and their restored neighbours, your leader will bring the past to life, as well as explain the present activity. On the way to the airport, you'll take in some more of Yangon's scenes. Departure time will vary depending on flight availability. The flight takes approximately 1 hour, with a further 1-hour drive to your hotel after landing in Mandalay. This evening may be a good opportunity to explore a local market and take in the vibrant atmosphere as you browse and bargain for wares.
Accommodation
  • Ayarwaddy River View Hotel or Similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Yangon - City Orientation Walk
Optional Activities
  • Mandalay - Moustache Brothers - MMK8000
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Discover the city’s lively waterfront, which offers an interesting backdrop for your boat trip upriver to Mingun – the site of the world's largest, albeit unfinished, pagoda. There is also the world’s largest unbroken bell, and temples dating back centuries. As the river is a major trading, communication and commuting route, you'll notice a myriad of different boats, barges and steamers as you pass through. The journey usually takes an hour (a little less on the way back).

Later in the afternoon, enjoy a guided exploration of the remnants of one of the once-great cities that surround Mandalay – Amarapura. This is 11 kilometres south of town. Weather permitting, you might also glimpse the breathtaking sunset over the 200-year-old U Bein wooden bridge.
Accommodation
  • Ayarwaddy River View Hotel or Similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Mandalay - U Bein Bridge
  • Mandalay - Mahamuni Buddha Temple
  • Mandalay - Gold leaf pounding workshop demonstration
  • Mandalay - Boat trip to Mingun
  • Mandalay - Shwenandaw Monastery
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
A 2-hour drive up into the hills today brings you to Myanmar's most famous hill station, Pyin Oo Lwin. This is a great escape from the heat of the plains. Established during the colonial era in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Pyin Oo Lwin today is a crossroad for traders visiting from China. With its colourful market, and hills lined with English-style country mansions and Chinese temples, you can see why this area is called the "vegetable garden" of Myanmar.

Later, upon returning to Mandalay, you will visit various temples, notably Kuthodaw Pagoda, which claims to house the world's largest book. You need not worry if the walk up Mandalay Hill is too challenging – the escalators should be in operation. A clear day reveals beautiful sunset views from the summit, and a host of religious shrines are found en route.
Accommodation
  • Ayarwaddy River View Hotel or Similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Mandalay - Mandalay Hill
  • Mandalay - Kuthodaw Paya
  • Mandalay - Pyin Oo Lwin day trip
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Leave the hotel early this morning for the waterfront, where you will board our private ferry boat and cruise down the Ayeyarwady River to Bagan. This is a wonderful way to experience local Burmese life as you drift along the river. Usually the journey starts early and takes around 10 hours to reach the destination. Most time will likely be spent watching riverside life go by, though there are also allocated seats on the lower deck. Some ferries also have a cafe/bar on the upper deck for drinks and simple meals. Your leader will let you know in advance if you need to plan to bring any supplies. Along the way, take in the idyllic way of life that epitomizes parts of rural Myanmar – small fishing villages lining the riverbanks, and vast assortment of boats going about their daily rituals.

Note: due to the unpredictable nature of water levels on the river between February and May, during this time the boat trip is subject to late cancellations. If this is the case we will travel by road between Mandalay and Bagan.
Accommodation
  • Bagan Hotel River View or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Enjoy a full day of taking in Bagan's sights, travelling by private vehicle between temples sites. Among some 4,000 structures lie such historic temples and pagodas as the Gawdawpalin, Thatbyinnyu, Ananda and Shwezigon, each a vivid marker of a bygone past. In contrast to the silence of the temple-littered plains, Nyaung U's bustling market gives you a chance to mingle with local merchants. Enjoy lunch at the new restaurant run by Friends-International. The restaurant is a working hospitality training centre, with profits reinvested back into the training and education of youth in Myanmar, and further social enterprise projects. After visiting a local lacquerware workshop to gain insight into a craft this place is famous for, you might catch a glorious sunset from one of the ruins if weather permits.

An optional hot air balloon journey is available on either Day 8 or 9. With its breathtaking views above the stupa-studded landscape, followed by a light breakfast and champagne, this is a highlight for many travellers. Weather dependent, flights operate between October through to March. Advance bookings are highly recommended.
Accommodation
  • Bagan Hotel River View or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Bagan - Archaeological tour
  • Bagan - Shwezigon Paya
  • Bagan - Friends International Restaurant lunch
  • Bagan - Nyaung U Market
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Embark on a 1-hour drive to Mount Popa, an extinct volcano, home to local spirits or deities known as 'nats'. For the energetic, there is a chance to climb the 777 steps to the shrine at the top of the hill. On returning to Bagan, the afternoon is free to further explore this archaeologically rich area. You can hire a bicycle, or even take a horse carriage.
Accommodation
  • Bagan Hotel River View or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Bagan - Mt Popa Day Trip
Optional Activities
  • Bagan - Archaeological Museum - MMK5000
  • Bagan - Dandaree Culture Show - USD50
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today you will drive roughly 25 minutes to the nearest airport in Nyuang U, and take a 40-minute flight to Heho, the gateway to Inle Lake. Enjoy a drive across picturesque rolling hills to your final destination, Khaungdaing, situated on Inle Lake not far from the main township, Nyaungshwe. This journey takes around 45 minutes. Feel free to rent a canoe and row to Lin Kin village, with its famous floating garden.

There is also the optional extra of visiting local village houses for an insight into how traditional snacks are made. Note that the weather is cooler here due to the altitude. At certain times of the year, some of our trips will stay in an alternate hotel, located up in the hills in Taunggyi.
Accommodation
  • Khuang Daing Resort or similar (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Inle Lake - Red Mountain Estate Winery Tasting - MMK3000
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Enjoy a full day of exploring the lake area. The local Intha fishermen here are famous for their unique 'leg-rowing' technique. These people are different from the Shan and they originate from the south of the country. You will notice a wide array of bird-life including egrets, cranes, ducks, storks and various birds of prey. If it's a market day, you'll see the always fascinating long-tail boat commute in action.
Accommodation
  • Khuang Daing Resort or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Inle Lake - Lake and village tour by boat
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Travel to the Indein ruins complex after breakfast – about 45 minutes by long-tail boat. On disembarking you will see a pagoda and stupas that date back as far as the 8th century. Browse the shops along the corridor uphill, or simply marvel at the surroundings. You will cover some distance on foot today, walking through through farmlands, bamboo forest and valleys, visiting ethnic tribe villages, ancient stupas and a Buddhist monastery. Eventually you will meet up with your boat at Indein, and travel back to your hotel. Enjoy a traditional Shan dinner, sampling some of the local culinary specialties.

Note: the amount of walking advisable today will depend on individual and group fitness and wishes, and also the time of year. In the hotter months from March to October reduced distances are often advisable, and arrangements can be discussed with your tour leader the day before.
Accommodation
  • Khuang Daing Resort or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Inle Lake - Indein village visit and short hike
  • Inle Lake - Indein Temples Visit
  • Inle Lake - Traditional Shan Dinner
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Transfer to Heho Airport today for the hour-long flight back to Yangon. Departure time will depend on flight availability. With free time in Yangon, perhaps visit Bogyoke (Scott) Market and browse the local goods and handicrafts. There is also the optional extra of an excursion to the historic colonial hotel, The Strand, for high tea. Another is to take an afternoon stroll through vibrant Chinatown.

In the evening, after explore the banks of the centrally located Kandawgyi Lake on foot, you will discover one of Yangon's grandest sites, Shwedagon Pagoda. Some time will be spent exploring the complex and learning of its history. The mix of people it attracts – monks, pilgrims, worshippers, tourists – is almost as striking as the tower itself.
Accommodation
  • Rose Garden Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Yangon - Shwedagon pagoda candle lighting
  • Yangon - Kandawgyi Lake
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
The tour ends on Day 14 after breakfast. A transfer to the airport is not included but can be pre-booked with our reservations team. Your leader will be on hand to advise you on onward travel arrangements should you require.
Optional Activities
  • Yangon - Hands-on Yangon Urban Adventure - USD81
  • Yangon - Yangon's Streets By Night Urban Adventure - USD40
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

13 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 1 dinner

Transport

Ferry, Long-tail boat, Plane, Private vehicle

Accommodation

Comfortable hotel

Included Activities

  • Kyaiktiyo - Golden Rock Temple
  • Bago - Shwemawdaw Paya
  • Bago - Shwethalyaung Buddha
  • Yangon - City Orientation Walk
  • Mandalay - U Bein Bridge
  • Mandalay - Mahamuni Buddha Temple
  • Mandalay - Gold leaf pounding workshop demonstration
  • Mandalay - Boat trip to Mingun
  • Mandalay - Shwenandaw Monastery
  • Mandalay - Mandalay Hill
  • Mandalay - Kuthodaw Paya
  • Mandalay - Pyin Oo Lwin day trip
  • Bagan - Archaeological tour
  • Bagan - Shwezigon Paya
  • Bagan - Friends International Restaurant lunch
  • Bagan - Nyaung U Market
  • Bagan - Mt Popa Day Trip
  • Inle Lake - Lake and village tour by boat
  • Inle Lake - Indein village visit and short hike
  • Inle Lake - Indein Temples Visit
  • Inle Lake - Traditional Shan Dinner
  • Yangon - Shwedagon pagoda candle lighting
  • Yangon - Kandawgyi Lake

Dates & availability

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Important notes

1. An airport arrival transfer is included. Please provide your flight details at the time of booking.
2. Peregrine can book an optional sunrise balloon ride over the Bagan (operating October to March). Please see Days 8-9 for full details of this activity. Places are limited and we recommend advance booking with your agent.
3. Please provide passport details at time of booking with exact name as per passport for internal flight tickets

Essential Trip Information

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