1 612 869 8502 

Temples and Tribes of Myanmar

15 days 14 nights

Code MTT146

Category Myanmar Classic Tours

  • Group Size 2-10 Person
  • Difficulty Level 1
  • Rating Non-Touristic
  • Trip Starts From Yangon, Myanmar
  • Trip Ends At Paro, Bhutan
  • Type Tours
  • Destination Yangon Bagan Pyin Oo Lwin Mandalay Pindaya Inle Lake Keng Tung
Dates & Prices
Please, contact us for the price and the dates for this trip


On this trip of a lifetime, we explore the temples, pagodas, markets, and arts and craft workshops in the major towns of Yangon, Bagan, Mandalay, and around. We visit the former capitals and appreciate ancient history, architecture, and the culture of this old place. We visit the former British Hill Station of Puin Oo Lwin, explore the cave temples of Pindaya, and explore the ethnic minority villages in the shores of Inle Lake.

A breath-taking flight to the northeast — over the endless series of green mountains and river gorges, interspersed with cultivated fields and small towns and villages — brings us to Kengtung, the capital town of Shan state. With the base in Kengtung, we explore the villages of Wa, Intha, Pa-O, Lahu, Akha, and dozens of other minority people, each with their own culture and language.

From Kengtung, we fly back to Yangon and bid farewell to the Golden Land of Myanmar.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 01~Arrival in Yangon

After clearing immigration and custom, our local guide and driver will meet you outside the terminal with transport to our hotel. The rest of the day is yours for rest, relaxation, or initial explorations.

Overnight hotel in Yangon.

Day 02~Visit the highlights of Yangon

After a leisurely morning breakfast, we embark on our exploration of Yangon. Situated in the fertile delta of southern Myanmar, on the broad Yangon River, the city is full of shaded boulevards with towering stupas floating above the treetops. Yangon became the capital of Burma in 1885 when the British took control of Upper Myanmar, and also the last Burmese monarchy ended in Mandalay.

We begin the day from Botataung Pagoda that lies in the heart of the town and contains the relics of Buddha. The pagoda is named after the 1,000 military leaders who carried the relics of Buddha. Next, we visit Chaukhtatgyi Pagoda that houses an enormously large reclining Buddha image, which is more than 200 feet long and more than 50 feet high.

Next, we will visit the Sule Pagoda temple, a shiny octagonal pagoda that stands at the heart of the city. The stupa is believed to be more than 2,500 years old. The pagoda got its name from a powerful nat (spirit) who resided in the site where the pagoda stands today.

For students of Burmese history and culture, we recommend a stop in the National Museum (closed on Monday, Tuesday, and public holidays). One highlight: a 26-foot-long throne 'Simhasana' of the last Burmese King.

We also recommend a stroll through the Bogyoke Aung San market, also called Scott Market, with more than 2,000 stalls of gems, stones, fabrics, handicrafts, and paintings. Even you are not buying, it's interesting to browse the fantastic selections.

Late in the afternoon, we will want to visit the magnificent Shwedagon Pagoda, the most famous sight in Yangon. The pagoda, which houses the eight hair relics of Lord Buddha, is among the most revered shrines of Myanmar and so draws a significant number of devout Buddhists and foreign travelers. The golden stupa reflects the changing colors of twilight.

Overnight hotel in Yangon.

Meals : Breakfast
Day 03~By flight to Bagan

Following breakfast, transfer to the airport for flight to Bagan. It's about 1 hour 20 minutes long flight. Upon arrival, meet your Bagan guide and driver and transfer to the hotel. After wash and change, visit the attraction of Bagan.

This morning, a brief 80-minute flight to Bagan, where our local crew will whisk us to our hotel. After wash and change, we can begin our exploration of the city’s grand antiquity.

Bagan is a marvelous plain extending away from the Ayeyarwaddy River, marked with thousands of 800-year old temple ruins. Although human civilization at Bagan dates back almost to the beginning of the Christian era, Bagan's golden era began with the conquest of Thaton in 1057 AD.

We begin the day from Shwezigon Paya that enshrines a sacred relic of Buddha. Initially, the pagoda marked the northern fringe of the city. The temple has a graceful bell structure that became a model to all other bell shapes in other Myanmar temples.

Next, we visit the 13th-century Gubyaukhyi Temple at Wekyi-Inn. It features excellent colorful paintings depicting the past life of Buddha, and the temple's architecture is noticeably different than other temples of Bagan. From here, we advance to the Ananda Patho, which is among the finest, most extensive, best-protected, and most revered of the Bagan temples. This early 11th-century temple perfectly reflects the transition of the stylistic end of the early Bagan period to the middle period.

We continue to another Gubyaukhyi Temple at Myinkaba. This temple is known for its well-preserved Stuccos from the 12th century on the outside walls. The magnificent murals paintings date from the original construction of the temple and are considered to be the oldest original paintings in Bagan.

Next stop: the Manuha Temple, built in the mid-11th century by King Manuha of Thaton. This temple houses three Buddha images, both seated and reclining.

Our last temple stop will be at Shwesandaw Paya, which was built by King Anawratha after his conquest of Thaton. It introduced the exterior stairways leading up to the round base of the Stupa.

The villages around Bagan are famous for producing the most elegant lacquerware in Myanmar. So, we wrap up the sightseeing at one of the lacquerware workshops and learn about the complicated process of its making and decoration.

In the evening, we can enjoy a panoramic view of the sunset over the Bagan plains from the pavilion of one of the temples.

Overnight hotel in Bagan.

Meals : Breakfast
Day 04~Excursion to Salay and Mount Popa

Up early, we set out for an excursion to Mount Popa, with a stop in Salay town. It’s a little more than 30 miles from Bagan and takes about one and a half hours to get there. Please, refrain on this day from wearing red, green, or black, and please do not bring any meat items. Local superstitions believe those items provoke the nats (the spirits dwelling in the hill).

On the way, we will stop to see a colorful morning market at Chauk, which is skipped by many tourists. Next, we stop in Salay town and visit the temples, including Yoke Sone Kyaung monastery, one of the oldest wooden halls in the area. Salay is an important Buddhist Center in Myanmar, and an opportunity to learn about Burmese Buddhism and monastic life.

We then head to Mount Popa, an extinct volcano standing 4,980 feet high. Mount Popa is compared with Mount Olympus in Greece. Burmese people believe that Mount Popa is the home of Myanmar's most powerful spirits, called nats. So, it's a famous pilgrimage for devout Burmese. We climb more than 700 steps to reach the hilltop. The temples here are architecturally not so appealing, but the views are super!

Late afternoon, we drive back to our hotel in Bagan.

Overnight hotel in Bagan.

Day 05~Flight to Mandalay and transfer to Pyin Oo Lwin

After breakfast in the hotel, we transfer to the airport for a flight to Mandalay- the last capital of Royal Burma. It's 1 hr 25 minutes long flight (nonstop). Depending on availability, sometime we may stop in Bagan or Heho, and the flight duration can be a little longer. Upon arrival in Mandalay airport, meet your local guide, and then we continue on-road travel to Pyin Oo Lwin (2 hrs.).

We check in our hotel and after wash and change, set out to explore the town that gives the flair of the British colonial era. Initially, a Shan Danu Village, Pyin Oo Lwin, is dominated by South Asian immigrants, mostly Indians and Nepalese, who came during the British Era. So we can see the mixed culture here. The former British Hill Station, Pyin Oo Lwin, is pleasantly cool and has fresh air and provides colonial flairs.

We have a 90-minute morning flight to Mandalay, the last capital of Royal Burma. It’s usually a nonstop, but sometimes we might have an intermediate stop. That would make the trip a little longer. In any event, in Mandalay, our local guide will greet with arrangements for a two-hour drive to Pyin Oo Lwin.

Once we resettle in our new hotel, we can set out to explore the town that gives the flair of the British colonial era. Initially, a Shan Danu Village, Pyin Oo Lwin, is dominated by South Asian immigrants, mostly Indians and Nepalese, who came during the British Era. This is a mixed culture. The former British Hill Station, Pyin Oo Lwin, is pleasantly refreshing with fresh air and colonial flair.

We visit the 237-acre Botanical Garden, built by Turkish prisoners of war during WWII. The garden features vast expanses of manicured grass, large flower beds, natural forest, rose gardens, and an orchid house. We climb the tower in the garden and enjoy the views over the town. Another attraction of Pyin Oo Lwin is the clock tower, called Purcell Tower, which stands near the entrance of the city. Burma received this in a gift from Queen Victoria. The identical tower exists in Cape Town, South Africa.

The final stop of the day will be at the Church of the Immaculate Conception, a century-old church that features a large brick sanctuary with a bell tower and cruciform floor plan. The vaulted wooden ceilings and well-appointed interior are impressive.

Overnight hotel in Pyin Oo Lwin.

Meals : Breakfast
Day 06~Return drive to Mandalay

In the morning, first thing, we can cover the sights we missed the previous day. Then we bid farewell to this beautiful hill resort and head back to Mandalay, the last Royal Capital of Burma.

Mandalay is famous for its traditional arts and craft shops. We will visit a gold-leaf making workshop. It's interesting to watch the backbreaking process of gold-leaf-beating into tissue-thin squares. We will also attend the workshops of bronze-casting, marble-carving, wood-carving, or puppetry.

The afternoon will begin at Shwenandaw Kyaung- the Golden Teak Monastery. As the name suggests, the entire monastery is built of golden teak and exhibits a very intricate carving of the wood. Initially, the monastery was a part of Mandalay Palace, and King Mindom and his chief queen used it as their private residence.

Next, we visit Kyauntawgyi Paya that houses a giant marble Buddha image in a seating posture. We continue to Kuthodaw Paya, often called the world's most massive book — 729 marble slabs with inscriptions of entire Tripitaka, the holiest Buddhist Scripture. Now, we advance to the base of the Mandalay Hill, take a sneak peek of Shwe Kyin Old Monastery and then climb the steps leading to the top of the hill. Once on the top, we enjoy the panoramic views over the palace, Mandalay, and surroundings dotted with the temples.

Overnight hotel in Mandalay.

Meals : Breakfast
Day 07~Visit the three former capitals-Amarapura, Sagaing and Ava

If you are an early riser, we recommend an early morning visit to the Mahamuni Paya, which houses probably the most sacred Buddha image. A 15 cm gold leaf covers the image. Every morning at 4 a.m., local Burmese devotees flock into the temple to watch the face-washing ritual of the image.

After breakfast, we drive seven miles to visit Amarapura, the city of “Immortality.” Amarapura, the former capital of Burma, is now famous for traditional silk and cotton weaving, as well as bronze casting. We will visit the Pahtodawgyi – a stupa built by King Bodawpaya in the early 19th century; Bagaya Kyaung – an incredible wooden monastery. And the ruins of the former palace that houses the tombs of King Bodawpaya and King Bagyidaw.

Our next destination is Sagaing, the spiritual heart of Myanmar. Sagaing Hill boasts several hundred stupas, monasteries, nunneries, and temples. Roughly 60 percent of the country's monk and nun population make Sagaing their retreat for meditation, learning, and practicing Buddhism. We will stop in some of the temples, such as Sun U Ponya Shin Paya, U Min Thonsel Paya, and Kaung Hmu Daw Paya.

Now, we take a ferry across the Irrawady River and visit Inwa, also called Ava. Once a vibrant royal capital, Inwa is now a quiet rural sanctuary, living with the reminiscence of its past glory. We explore the pristine countryside by horse, visit Bagaya Kyaing, a beautiful teak-wood monastery, and other temples such as Maha Augmyay Bonzan Kyaung and Nan Myint Tower. En route, we can stop and take a sneak peek of a workshop that makes the iron alms bowls.

At dusk, we visit U Bein's Bridge, an appealing teak wood bridge over the Taungthanman Lake, a local favorite place to gather for the sunset in the evening.

Overnight hotel in Mandalay.

Meals : Breakfast
Day 08~Flight to Heho and transfer to Pindaya Caves

After breakfast, a car will transfer you to Mandalay airport. A 30-minute flight whisks us to Heho, where we meet our local guide and driver. They will take us to Pindaya, about 43 miles and two hours away. Upon arrival, check-in hotel and set out to explore the caves.

Entrenched in a limestone ridge, Pindaya Caves are overlooking the lake. The cave preserves more than 8,000 Buddha images made of alabaster, teak, marble, brick, lacquer, and cement. We also visit Shwe U Min Paya, just below the ridge near the Pindaya Caves. In the afternoon, we can take a relaxed stroll in the local market and visit the paper umbrella workshops.

Overnight hotel in Pindaya.

Meals : Breakfast
Day 09~To Inle Lake

We’ll travel by vehicle from Pindaya to Inle Lake, a distance of 60 miles that we’ll cover in about three hours. Upon arrival, we’ll settle into our hotel and, when we’re ready, we can proceed for the boating trip on the lake.

Inle Lake, located in Shan State, is beautiful, with calm waters dotted with patches of floating vegetation and fishing canoes. High hills surround the lake. There are more than 17 villages with houses built on stilts, mostly inhabited by Intha ethnics, on the lakeshore and the islands. In this magnificent scenery, we can watch the skilled fisherman using their leg-rowing technique to propel themselves around the lake. We’ll also visit the floating gardens and markets.

We will also visit the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, Inn Paw Paw Khon Village, and Nga Phe Kyaing Monastery.

Overnight hotel in Inle Lake.

Day 10~Inle Lake

This morning, an excursion by boat on Inle Lake to Indein and Sae Ma Village. On the western shore of the lake, here is a stairway leading to a 10-minute walk to the hidden Indein temple. This temple complex is situated on the lakeshore and consists of hundreds of small stupas overgrown by moss and greens. From here, we head to the Sae Ma Village, about 45 minutes away through the rice fields and villages, meeting local people in the villages and also visit a monastery.

Overnight hotel in Pindaya.

Meals : Breakfast
Day 11~Flight to Keng Tung

We start with a one-hour drive to the Heho Airport, then a two and a half hour flight to Keng Tung and greeting by our local guide and driver for our transfer to the hotel. After the usual resetting and refreshment, we can set out to explore the attractions of Keng Tung. Also called Keng Tung, it is far from the tourist crowds. It lies in a broad, beautiful valley in remote Eastern Shan State, midway between the borders of Thailand and China. The people of this area are predominately Shan, or ‘Tai Khun,’ and speak a language very similar to Thai. The surrounding hills are the abode of various hill tribes that carry on a traditional, agricultural way of life unchanged for centuries.

After some rest, we visit the striking Wat Jong Kham, a tall gilded zedi topped by gold with silver, rubies, diamonds, sapphires, jade inlays, and decorated with tiny gold bells. It is believed that the temple was built at the time when Lord Buddha visited Burma.

Next, we visit Thit Ta Pin Taung, a 245-years-old Diefero Capus Tree, which was planted by King Alaung Phaya, the founder of the Third Myanmar Dynasty. The site affords a great view of the town.

The rest of the day is open for a stroll, relaxation, or exploration on your own.

Overnight hotel in Keng Tung.

Meals : Breakfast
Day 12~Sightseeing in Keng Tung and around

After breakfast, we begin the day with the colorful and vibrant Keng Tung Market. Here you can find almost everything — spices, tea, fresh produces, dry peppers, medicines, curio items. And you will also find some strange things that you have never seen or heard. We’ll also see village women dressed in their traditional attire. The market packs up by noon.

Next, we visit Naung Tong Lake, situated in the middle of the town. Take a pleasant stroll around, soak up the atmosphere of this sleepy town. Marked with colonial architecture and numerous tea stalls, this is the place where the local people come to sip tea and chat at the end of their working day. From here, we head to Wat Pha Jao Lung, a 19th Century temple that houses the replica of Maha Myat Muni Buddha of Mandalay. The interior is highly decorated in a lot of burgundies and gold paint and has ornate Buddhist paintings on the walls.

Next, to Yan Gone Pottery Village to watch the traditional Shan method of pottery making.

Overnight hotel in Keng Tung.

Meals : Breakfast
Day 13~Hike to Ho Kyin to visit Akha villages

We travel by vehicle outside Kentung and then trek for about an hour and a half to the Akha villages of Ho Kyin. You need to wear good walking shoes, and don't forget to bring small gift items such as soap, shampoo, candies, and medicines. After exploring the villages, continue for another half hour to Na Phi Phank village, home to both Lahu and Akha peoples. Continue past two more Akha villages and then by vehicle to the Khun village of Mong Zine to observe how local blacksmiths make traditional Lahu knives.

Akha has no written language, so their history was carried to this century through many colorful legends, proverbs, and rituals handed down from one generation to the other. Akha can at least recite the male line of their family back to the beginning.

We will have the opportunity to visit the houses, and sometimes the host offers us tea. Everywhere you go, you will see curious children and smiling and friendly people. We eventually return trek down the trail and ride our vehicle back to the hotel.

Overnight hotel in Keng Tung. 

Meals : Breakfast
Day 14~By flight to Yangon

After breakfast, we get transferred to the airport in time for a flight to Yangon. Assistance upon arrival for transfer to the hotel. The rest of the day is open.

Overnight hotel in Yangon.

Meals : Breakfast
Day 15~Yangon-Departure

Following breakfast, transfer to the airport for flight back home. 

Meals : Breakfast

Trip Map

Trip Info

Trip Includes

  • Accommodation in the listed or similar hotels on twin/double sharing basis.
  • Meals, as indicated in the itinerary (Daily breakfast).
  • All internal airfares within Myanmar.
  • English speaking local Guides.
  • Sightseeing admission fees.
  • All transfers and sightseeing by a private vehicle.

Trip Does Not Include

  • Lunch and dinner in Myanmar.
  • International airfares.
  • Drinks, tipping, laundry, phone, and other expenses of personal nature.
  • Extra expenses or loss due to nature and unforeseen events such as flight cancellation, road blockade, illness, accident, etc.
  • Travel insurance.
  • Emergency evacuation and medical transportation.

Best time to Travel

The best time to travel to Myanmar is from November through February. The weather is wonderfully cool both during the day and at night. You will enjoy beautiful sunny days. The country is vibrant green right after the long monsoon rains. The chances of rain are very slim or none. October and March are also beautiful but slightly warmer. The hottest months are April and May, temperature exceeding 100 °F, particularly the areas of Bagan, and in May, the humidity is also very high. The monsoon begins from mid-May or early June and lasts through early summer. During monsoon time, it's a bit cooler, but the roads become impassable.

Passport, Visa and Travel Documents

The remaining validity of your passport on the last day of your tour must be a minimum of six months. And make sure you have enough blank pages for visa stickers, arrival, and departure seals. You will need a valid tourist visa for travel to Myanmar, and you need to obtain it beforehand. Please contact the nearest Myanmar Embassy for a visa application.

Tour Start and Finish Points:

Tour starts and concludes at Yangon International Airport. After completing immigration and custom formalities, exit the airport and meet your guide and driver outside. You can arrange your international airfare to Yangon and return on your own or let us know if you need any help.

Note on the itinerary

We will try our best to adhere to the itinerary. But for various reasons such as flight cancellation, weather problems, or other causes beyond our control, the itinerary is subject to change. The hotels listed are our preferred properties and are subject to change.


You have options for superior and deluxe hotels in the cities. Superior hotels are usually mid-range properties, rated three or four-star properties by local standard. Deluxe hotels are generally four or five-star properties by local standards. We will use the best available where choices are limited. Hotels are usually small, and some of them resort-style with local architecture. You will have an en suite bathroom with running hot and cold water. The hotels are adequately comfortable. 

If the preferred hotels listed in the itinerary are not available at the time we initiate a reservation, we will book you in similar alternative hotels. Due to limited availability, sometimes we need to downgrade or upgrade the hotels, and we will advise you on the price adjustment and request for your cooperation. Recently, the tourist influx in Myanmar has remarkably increased, and there is a massive demand for accommodation.


The tour features daily breakfast in the hotels. Breakfasts are usually full breakfast, but some restaurants provide continental style half breakfast only. If you are on a long day excursion, then you are provided with the packed lunch.

During Christmas and New Year Eve, hotels may enforce compulsory gala dinner that you will pay the hotel directly. In the towns, there are wide ranges of restaurant choices, and you can expect to spend $10-12 per meal in a decent tourist standard restaurant. Most of your hotels do have in-house restaurants.


The tour includes local English speaking Tour Guides. On short and independent trips, the tour guide will be different in different towns. They are local, college graduate, and knowledgeable individuals with a proven track record of highest customer satisfaction.


Depending on the group size, we use Japanese or Korean made Sedan Cars, SUV, Minivan, or coach. The vehicle will change as you fly from one town to the other.

Trip Difficulty Level

This is a motor vehicle-based tour, suitable for travelers of all ages with a normal health condition. There are some village hikes, which are comfortable and less than two hours with few exceptions. The trip also involves some boating experiences.

Booking and Cancellation

When you are sure you are traveling to Myanmar, please don't delay in booking. It's essential to book the trip as early as possible. We request a deposit of US$ 300 to initiate the reservation. You need to complete the trip registration form and provide us with a copy of the photo page of your passport. After the booking is processed, we come back to you with the confirmed list of hotels with adjustment in an invoice, in case of any circumstantial upgrade or downgrade of the hotels. Some hotels also ask for a non-refundable deposit. And some internal airfares will have to be instantly purchased. So, we will request the second payment that covers the domestic airfare and the hotel deposits.

Balance payment will be due 90 days before departure. Credit card payment, except on the initial deposit, attracts an additional fee of 3.5%. Personal checks or wire transfers are welcome. When you are making payment by check or credit card, it must be from the travelers' account.

Cancellation fee

  • One hundred eighty days prior departure: No penalty unless stated as non-refundable.
  • Ninety days prior departure: Administrative fee US$ 150 per person.
  • Sixty-Eighty-nine days before departure: US$ 300 or 25% of the land cost whichever is higher.
  • Forty-five days to Fifty-nine days before departure: US$ 450 or 50% of the land cost whichever is higher.
  • Thirty days to Forty-four days prior departure: US$ 600 or 75% of the land cost whichever is higher.
  • Less than Thirty days: 100%.

Travel Protection Plan

We plan and do our best to make your trip smooth and seamless. But there still may be chances of unforeseen events and conditions such as illness, accident, inclement weather, and flight cancellation or missed connection or loss of baggage, etc. It may cause interruption or delay or total cancellation of your trip, putting your hard-earned travel investment in jeopardy. It’s also possible that you may need medical assistance, emergency evacuation, or medical transportation when you are traveling in remote areas. Our trips do not cover any of these expenses or losses. We strongly recommend that you should protect yourself and your travel investment against those unfavorable conditions.



Yangon: Jasmine Palace or Rose Garden

Bagan: Bawga Theiddhi Hotel

Pyin Oo Lwin: Aureum Palace

Mandalay: Hotel Hazel or Bagan King

Pindaya: Conqueror Resort or Pindaya Inle Inn

Inle Lake: Ananta Inle Resort or Amata Garden Resort

Kengtung: Amazing Kengtung


Yangon: Chatrium Palace or Sule Shangrila

Bagan: Bawga Theiddhi Hotel 

Pyin Oo Lwin: Aureum Palace

Mandalay: Mandalay Hill Resort

Pindaya: Conqueror Resort or Pindaya Inle Inn

Inle Lake: Inle Resort and Spa

Kengtung: Amazing Kengtung

Note: Hotels listed above are our preferred properties and are subject to availability.


Add Ons

Inthar Home Cooking in Inle Lake

US$ 95

inthar cookingLearn traditional cooking in an Inthar family in Inle Lake. After breakfast at your hotel, transfer to a local home of Inthar and meet with the family in Pauk Par Village.

First, your host will lead you to one of rotational local markets around Inle Lake. Explore around the local market, where greenish vegetables, fresh meats, colorful fruits, local products and others. Buy some ingredients which are required for your cooking class and transfer back to the local Inthar home. Now, it's about time to learn and cook like an Inthar, the local family will explain about the cuisines you are about to cook and show you how to cook step by step. Discover and enjoy how local Inthar people prepare their meals. Enjoy the food that you cooked before you are transferred back to the hotel or continue sightseeing of the day.


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