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12-Day Myanmar Discovery & Ayeyarwaddy River Cruise

Tour route: Yangon - Heho - Inle Lake - Kalaw - Bagan - Mandalay

  • Tour code: MOT-MM-005
  • Tour Style: Private Tour (No Join-in Group Tour)
  • Price inclusions: All transportation mentioned in itinerary (flight, train, ship, private car, etc.); private guides & drivers, hotels, meals (based on your meal plan), and all service charges & taxes.
  • Travel date: private tour with flexible travel date
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  • Reviews(4)
Day 1: Arrival, Yangon

Welcome to Yangon! Upon arrival, your guide will wait for you at the airport and pick you up to the hotel. After freshening up, visit the Sule Pagoda which is about 2,500 years old and contains a hair relic of the Gautama Buddha. And then head to Chaukhtatgyi Buddha Temple, a beautiful temple devoting to the revered reclining images of Buddha. Followed is a visit to Kandawgyi Lake by a Royal floating barge.
In the afternoon, you’ll transfer to the Shwedagon Pagoda, the most sacred and impressive Buddhist site for the people of Myanmar.

Overnight: Yangon

Day 2: Yangon - Heho - Inle Lake, Bogyoke Aung San Market

Today, you will board the "Circular Train" (about 20 minutes) to immerse yourself in the daily life of Yangon and get off at KyeeMyinDaine, one of the most beautiful stations in Yangon. Later, visit Bogyoke Aung San Market (closed on Mondays and holidays), which was formerly known as Scott Market selling all kinds of interesting stuff, including local fabrics, jewelries and handicrafts.
After that, fly to Heho and then transfer to NyaungShwe, the gateway to Inle Lake (about 1 hour). You will enjoy the picturesque scenery that borders the rolling road.Upon arrival on the shore of the lake, embark a canoe to reach your hotel located on Inle Lake.

Note: The "Circular Train" is very basic-equipped and many people take it during the day.
Overnight: Inle Lake
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 3: Inle Lake, Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda
Take a motorized canoe to Khaung Daing Village. This traditional village is famous for its tofu production based on yellow split peas, as well as for its rice cakes and fried beans. Next, admire Nga Hpe Chaung Monastery with its collection of ancient Buddha statues.
After lunch, continue to Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, the main sanctuary of the lake that houses five sacred Buddha statues covered with gold leaf. Later, tour to Inpawkhone Village known for its weaving of lotus fibers and canoe builders.

Overnight: Inle Lake
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 4: Inle Lake, Village Highlights

This morning, you will take a canoe to reach Sagar Village (about 2.5-3 hours), one of the most beautiful places in Shan State. Continue to Thaya Gone Village to watch rice wine-making, the best known skills of the village people. You can try the rice wind for an authentic experience of Myanmar’s alcohol. Another stop will be SaeKhaung Village to see how craft pottery is made as well as natural ovens used by villagers. Get ready to be amazed by how talented those people are!

Overnight: Inle Lake
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5: Inle Lake - Kalaw

Your journey today begins with a visit to a local market. After that, move to Thaleioo Village and stop at a local school. Continue your walk to Alae Myaung Village, where agriculture is omnipresent and vegetables being cultivated abundantly. You will have the chance to meet farmers and join them to pick up vegetables. Later, you’ll departure for Kalaw (about 2 hours’ drive) through the landscapes of Shan State.

Note: Market is closed for the new moon and full moon days. Besides, the market varies from Mondays to Sundays and the location of the market changes daily.
Overnight: Kalaw
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 6: Kalaw - Popa - Bagan

In the morning, discover MOUNT POPA (about 6 hours), a volcano which rises up to a height of 1,518 meters. On the top of the mountain locates the Taung Kalat. You can get a spectacular view of the area and visit a small museum devoted to the Nats.
After lunch, you’ll transfer to Bagan (about 1.5 hours’ drive) and the rest of the day is free for you. 

Overnight: Bagan
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 7: Bagan, Pagoda & Temple Highlights

Riding a hot air balloon to overlook the world-famous archaeological site in the morning is an optional activity highly recommended for you (Available only from October through March).
In the morning, visit the bustling Nyaung U Market, where locals come everyday to exchange fresh produce and other merchandise. Transfer to Old Bagan to visit the famous Shwezigon Pagoda erected at the beginning of the 11th century. Continue to the GuByaukGyi Temple, which houses magnificent Jataka murals. Followed is Bu Lei Thee Pagoda, which offers a beautiful panoramic view of the area. Your next stop will be the stylish Htilominlo Temple with sculptures and stunning stone decor.
In the afternoon, continue your visit to Minnanthu Village, one of the least-visited areas of Bagan. You will discover temples like Payathonzu, Lemyentha and Nandamannya. Also, visit Kyat Kan Monastery which is an extremely important meditation place.

Overnight: Bagan
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 8: Bagan Sightseeing

In the morning you’ll first discover the Tharabha Gate, and then visit the Ananda Temple, one of the most beautiful temples in Bagan. Later, you will participate in a traditional Buddhist ceremony in a monastery and make food offerings to the monks. In turn, you’ll receive a special blessing from the monks to render you good luck and happiness.
In the afternoon, you’ll head to explore the Manuha Temple and Nanpaya Temple. Next, go to a lacquer factory at Myinkaba Village.

Overnight: Bagan
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 9: Bagan - Cruise - Shwe Pyi Thar Village

This morning, board your cruise ship and departure in the direction of Mandalay. You will discover fishing villages, buffalos, wheat fields, floating markets and laundresses from the ship.
You will then reach Shwe Pyi Thar Village and visit its colonial-style monasteries. After that, back to the cruise to spend the rest of the day at leisure.

Overnight: Onboard
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Cruise: Shwe Pyi Thar Village - Yandabo Village

Today, continue sailing up the river. You’ll land at Yandabo Village, which is famous for its pottery crafts, and visit handicraft workshops. The village is also famous for being the site where the Treaty of Yandabo was signed on 24 February 1826, which ended the First Anglo-Burnese War. After that, continue cruising towards Mandalay.

Overnight: Onboard
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Cruise - Mandalay

Upon your arrival at Mandalay, you’ll first discover the Mahamuni Buddha Temple which is entirely covered with gold leaf deposited by devotees over the centuries. Later, visit Mandalay craft workshops, which are reputed to be the finest in the country. After that, you’ll leave for Ava and cross the river by a ferry.
In the afternoon, you will reach your carriage to go to the Bagaya Monastery. Continue to see Nan Myint Tower, one of the remains of the ancient palace. You’ll then visit the Maha Aung Mye Bonzan Monastery. Next stop is Amarapura, the penultimate royal capital of Myanmar. You will then start with a visit to Mahagandayon Monastery, which houses more than a thousand young monks, and walk across U Bein Bridge, the longest teak bridge in the world built in 1782. From the bridge, special atmosphere of the sunset will be seen and remember for good.

Overnight: Mandalay
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 12: Mandalay, Departure

Your day of discovery will start with the ascent of Mandalay Hill which overlooks the city at 240 meters and thus offering superb panoramas over the city. Located south of the hill, Kyauktawgyi Pagoda, here you can admire a gigantic Buddha carved from a single block of marble. Next, explore Kuthodaw Pagoda, also called the "greatest book of the world" for its collection of 729 marble plaques engraved with Buddha's teachings.
Your journey will end with a tour of the impressive Shwenandaw Monastery, the last structure of the Royal Palace to have survived since the 19th century, known for its remarkable woodcarvings.
Say goodbye to Myanmar after the tour. Transfer to the airport for your return flight home.

Meal: Breakfast

Recommended Accommodation for Your Journey

It is no doubt your journey enjoyment will be increased by a good choice of accommodation. Our well-established network with key hotel chains around Indochina area will bring you more benefits of competitive rates and guaranteed hotel quality with availability.

We pick hotels for you based on:

Location: most of properties we selected are either located in downtown area with main city attractions or close by main transportations. These conveniences will certainly improve your holiday experience.

Facility & Service Quality: all hotels are inspected strictly and regularly, must be with great performance on accommodating English speaking customers, and excellent feedbacks from our pervious clients as well.

Variety in Choice: many styles and grades of hotels are available for different budgets, tastes and culture backgrounds.

 

Hotel Standards

3-Star Class It will meet the basic requirements for a comfortable stay, good size and clean guest rooms with AC, TV, hot water, shower and private bathrooms. On-site restaurants with breakfast included and lunch or dinner at your own pick up. A small fitness center or spa can be expected.

4-Star Class Across Indochina, a wide range of comfortable boutique hotels are available with shopping, dining and entertainment facilities nearby. Featuring quality service, fully furnished rooms, restaurants, fitness center with spa (and swimming pool in most cases), the hotels are expected to offer an above-average accommodation experience.

5-Star Class Top-notch services and an extensive range of facilities for an excellent accommodation experience. Multiple restaurants on site and a wide range of choice for buffet breakfast, good size of swimming pool, fitness center and concierge service round out the experience.

Meals

Normally Indochina Odyssey Tours includes two meals each day during tour: Breakfast and Lunch. You will have the freedom to make your own dinner choice.

Breakfast

It is normally served at the hotel where you stay. Depending on the hotel, the breakfast would be in western style, local style, or a combination.

Lunch

Lunches are usually set menu at handpicked local restaurant with comfortable dining environment where you can rest assure to taste the local flavor. All restaurants arranged by Indochina Odyssey Tours selected carefully and evaluated constantly based on customer feedback and our on-site inspection.

Dinner

Dinners will not be included in your meal plan unless you have that requirement. Enjoying the local food could be one of your best experiences in “tasty” Indochina area. This is why we provide you this flexibility of food choice. Your private guide will always give you good suggestions based on your preferences.

If you have certain food allergies or special requirements such as vegetarian food, let us know. We will do our best to accommodate your needs.

Private Guide & Transfer

You will have a private tour guide, private driver, and an air-conditioned vehicle escorting you at every destination you travel across Southeast Asia. This will provide you with maximized personal care, security, and flexibility

All tour guides of Indochina Odyssey Tours are qualified professionals and registered English Speaking Tourist Guides who are reassessed annually. All of our tour vehicles are clean and in excellent condition, manned with licensed & experienced drivers.

Private Tour Guide

You will always be greeted punctually on arrival at each destination airport. At every departure, you’ll be escorted & assisted until you have checked in and passed through the security checkpoint.

All of our tour guides in every destination are locals. Knowing the area well, they are good at guiding you around and telling background stories of the tour sites, as well as showing you the secret spots for best photos.

If any change of itinerary is needed for unexpected reasons, your private tour guides will be more than accommodating in suggesting alternatives to ensure that you always have a wonderful experience.

Private Vehicle & Licensed Driver

With our comfortable and safe private transportation, your tour will be more relaxing and less tiresome, keeping you in the best spirits to make the most out of your journey across Southeast Asia.

Your vehicle in each destination is air conditioned, insured, clean, and regularly maintained. Your private driver is licensed and always put your safety first.

Reviews on: Myanmar Discovery & Ayeyarwaddy River Cruise

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4 reviews sorted by date


Clients: chris_f195

From: Australia

Travel Consultant:
Monica Mo
We have used Odyssey Tours before which is why we used them again for Myanmar. Their execution is faultless. The supplied guides spoke English at a high level and knew a great deal about their culture. Apart form Yangon, we went to Bagan, Inle Lake, Heho. Every place was well worth seeing and provided quite a contrast in some ways. The accommodation and included meals were al truly top rate. This is to be highly recommended
Rating: July 13th, 2017

Clients: Jaxter12186258

Travel Consultant:
Allison Chiang
Well this year it was Myanmar and our third trip organised by Allison at IOT, having previously been to Cambodia and Vietnam. It is a wonderful country slowly adapting to mass tourism. My recommendation - visit sooner rather than later whilst relatively unspoilt.

A super trip starting in Yangon with the Schewedagon temple, colonial buildings and walks around the local markets. We then went on to Bagan with the many ancient temples and stupas. Best seen from a balloon ride at sunrise and the trip organised with Oriental Ballooning did not disappoint. T the end of the day there were super sunsets in the peace and quiet of the plains. Our final stop was Mandalay which included a lovely river trip and a visit to Mingun. 

The accommodation was first class with a special mention to the Belmond Governor’s Residence at Yangon which was excellent. Aureum Palace at Bagan with a lakeside villa came a close second.

All our guides had excellent knowledge which they were keen to share and all spoke excellent english. It was nice to have a couple of lady guides for a change. The local drivers were excellent. 

Food during the day was varied and dietary requirements easily accommodated. 

We can not speak highly enough of Allison and her organisational skills and desire to help and adapt situations to meet our needs and make this another memorable holiday. Thank you and to all those behind the scene at IOT. 

Would I recommend IOT to organise a holiday? Yes, yes, yes.

Rating: April 15th, 2017

Clients: jemanz

Travel Consultant:
Nikki Xia
This was part of a 2 week tour we did with Odyssey. Our guide (Maw Hein) and driver were great. Having a local who knew all the tips and info made such a difference to our experience. There is so much we would have missed without his expertise. Thank-you Nikki from Odyssey for putting together such a great tour for us.

Rating: April 12th, 2017

Clients: Karabak

From: Australia

Travel Consultant:
Joan Qin
These guys are professionals. You couldn't do better. We travelled with Indochina Odyssey Tours over 3 weeks in Myanmar and they didn't miss a beat. Very personable guides, punctual, polite - would definitely use them again

Rating: March 29th, 2017
( 1-4 of 4 Reviews ) 1
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