Why You'll Love This Trip
- We have explored most parts of the country and handpicked the best sites and experiences.
- "We've never seen any happier people than the Burmese" quoted by one of our guests and we will introduce you to this happy people.
- We know about the weather and climate, carrying on your trip in a good balance of sightseeing and relaxing as well as great flexibility.
A Taste of Myanmar: 10-Day Myanmar Classic Tour
This tour is designed based on our travels and only the sites and experiences that excite us are written down. However, review it as a suggestion and it can be customized to your own taste.
Make your entry to Myanmar's biggest city, the former capital, Yangon. Our local tour guide and driver will be waiting for you outside the lobby.
On the way from the airport to your hotel, you will pass by Aung San Suu Kyi's house, where she was held under home arrest for over 15 years.
- Yangon and Mandalay have regular services between Singapore, Bangkok, Kunming, Guangzhou and Hong Kong. Considering the visa policy, Bangkok might be the easiest way in.
- Gatsby's hotel recommendation: Pan Pacific Yangon, north-facing rooms have nice view of Shwedagon Pagoda.
The sun rises earlier in Myanmar and you will greet a tropical morning with a fresh coffee. Hop on Yangon’s circular train and ride with the locals. The train is local Burmese’ primary choice for transportation, as it runs throughout the city and the fare is cheap. It is a good way to blend in with the locals and observe their daily life. The entire route is about 4 hours but we will stop at a station near a local market. Right time for their first sales and great for photos and people watching.
Enjoy a buffet lunch at Sule Shangri-La and visit Sule Pagoda. Set at the heart of the city, besides being the oldest pagoda in Yangon, it also holds important political meanings as a rallying point in major historical events.
Relax at the Strand Hotel’s bar with a high tea. During the days of the British Empire, this bar was the favorite choice for author Rudyard Kipling to spend his afternoons.
Evening is always the best time to appreciate Shwedagon Pagoda’s unique beauty. You will be among the locals who are doing their evening rituals at the pagoda.
- Normally we will only include one or two meals throughout the itinerary and leave the rest free at your exploration. As your first lunch in a strange country, we think an international buffet would be better than local curry-based cuisine.
Catch an early morning flight to Nyaung U, the airport town for the world-famous archaeological site of Bangan. Transfer to your hotel.
The afternoon will be totally free at your leisure. Enjoy a cool dip or cold drink at your hotel.
Around 0300pm, your private tour guide and driver will pick you up for a sunset watch. We have chosen a secluded location to avoid the crowds. This old pagoda is smaller in scale yet its passages and halls are unblocked, allowing you to explore like you own it. When you are done exploring, get to the top and enjoy a nice sunset over Bagan plains.
- Early morning flights are fairy frequent in Myanmar. However, we will scheduel you to a later one if available. Some mid-day flights are flying every other two days.
- Gatsby's hotel recommendation: Aureum Palace Hotel & Resort, awesome view of the pagodas over its infinity pool
Over 10,000 temples, pagodas and monasteries used to dot the plain but now only 2,000 some remain. Still, Bagan is Myanmar’s postcard icon: air balloons floating over the pagodas, what a view!
In the early morning, you will be taken to our chosen location for balloon watching. Capture this magical vista either by your eyes or lens. Return to your hotel for a proper breakfast.
We will set off later for an Indian Jones ride over Bagan’s plains. Not on horseback, though. You will first learn how to ride an Ebike (electric scooter) and your guide will lead your way among the pagodas. He will choose a couple of significant ones for you to visit.
Return by the evening.
- Although ox cart might look pretty authentic and "being-in-Rome", we wouldn't want you to be covered in dirt and the roads are too bumpy to enjoy.
- Launch site of the balloons changes accroding to the wind direction. We will choose some less-visited temples in the central area allowing you the best possible view of the balloons. This would also mean a little bit of driving in dirt from your hotel. Grab something to eat on the way. Balloon watching will be over before 0700am.
Take an early morning flight to Mandalay. Transfer to your hotel.
After a short break, we will hit the road again towards Mahagandayon Monastery. You will arrive just in time for their alms-rounds. Monks and nuns at all ages walk in line receiving alms offered by the locals. Silent and orderly, this daily routine somehow looks quite mysteriously sacred to outsiders.
Monks have lunch before noon and fast for the rest of the day. Now it’s time for your own lunch.
Venture to Amarapura, which is more widely known for the teak wood bridge U Bein Bridge. You will get a private boat and row on the river for a peaceful sunset.
- It is totally ok to take photos or make videos of the group dining but sticking your lens to a monk's face or using flashlight is a big No no.
- Water is lower during the dry season and there is a small island on the riverbank where you can set up your tripod for a good photo of the bridge at sunset. However, first come first served.
- Gatsby's hotel recommendation: Hotel Hilton Mandalay, recently renovated and has views of both Mandalay Hill and the Royal Palace.
Early morning flight to Heho, the airport town for Inle Lake, just one-hour ride away. Settle down in your hotel and free at leisure till lunchtime.
Your lunch is served at Inle Heritage House, an organic restaurant, cat sanctuary, specialty lodge, and a training center at the same time. The friendly owner and her young chefs would prepare a lovely meal for you. Chat with them and learn about their stories while supporting the locals.
Inle Lake is much cooler than other areas in Myanmar due to the altitude. An afternoon boat ride is in order. We will row through paddies of floating gardens and see how they grow all kinds of vegetables, even fruits over water.
- Despite being an ancient capital and primary Buddhism academy, Mandalay’s glory days are long gone during wartime and earthquakes. We just plan one day in Mandalay for the best experience, however, your stay can be longer if affection grows.
- Gatsby's hotel recommendation: Pristine Lotus Resort Inle, or Novotel, boat house by the water, wide-open vistas of the lake.
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