Our 12 day Highlights of Myanmar Tour with Ngapali Beach Stay provides an opportunity to see the best of Myanmar followed by a relaxing break at one of the country’s best beaches. You’ll visit the grand cities of Yangon and Mandalay, see the temples looming over the plains at Bagan, and swim in the azure-blue Bay of Bengal.
Myanmar, formerly Burma, is one of the least-travelled nations in Southeast Asia. Over the centuries it’s been a melting pot, its culture influenced by India, its neighbours on the Malay Peninsula and the legacy of its former British colonial rulers. This diversity is reflected in its food, architecture and culture.
In Yangon you’ll see one of the finest surviving colonial-era centres in all of Asia alongside the towering Shwedagon Pagoda and Sule Pagoda. Bagan is an ancient landscape of almost 4,000 soaring Buddhist temples and charming villages. And in the former royal city of Mandalay vast palaces announce the power of Myanmar’s legendary kings.
Leaving the cities behind, head for Inle Lake in the Shan Hills. Travelling by boat between idyllic villages, floating gardens and bustling markets you’ll settle into the rhythm of rural life. A visit to the white sand and palms of Ngapali Beach is the perfect way to round off your journey.
The magic of Myanmar awaits. Our Hayes & Jarvis Destination Specialists have decades of experience in helping travellers craft their dream itineraries around the globe. Want to make the most of your trip? Let’s get started today.
- Marvel at the incredible temple-strewn plains of Bagan
- Wander the streets of Mandalay, a former imperial stronghold
- Get in touch with nature at spectacular Inle Lake, high up in the Shan Hills
- Relax in a tropical paradise at Ngapali Beach
Start your Journey
Land at Thandwe Airport and head to your hotel in Yangon. Once you’ve checked in, you’ll meet your guide and head out for a sightseeing tour.
The city of Yangon is famed for its striking architecture. Both the breath-taking Sule Pagoda and Shwedagon Pagoda tower over the impressive British colonial-era centre. Your guide will show you around bustling Bogyoke Market, where you can pick up local handicrafts. Gaze upon the impossibly vast Chauk Htat Gyi reclining Buddha. Finish your afternoon with photographs at the Karaweik Hall royal floating barge.
This evening you might wish to take a trip to the Night Market on Strand Road for a taste of the local cuisine.
Yangon – Dala – Yangon
After breakfast you’ll take the ferry across the Yangon River, arriving in Dala.
It may only be 10 minutes away by boat, but this laid-back place could not be further from the hustle and bustle of downtown Yangon. Hire a rickshaw driver and take a tour of the region, exploring winding, dusty roads, charming villages and quiet temples. After a stop at the Indian Market, where you can enjoy some quality local delicacies, you’ll take the scenic circular train back to Yangon.
End your day with a visit to the spectacular Shwedagon Pavilion.
Yangon – Bagan
This morning head to Yangon Airport for your flight to Bagan.
Bagan is an ancient city and one of the world’s most amazing historical sites, with 3,800 temples spread across the plains. You’ll meet your local guide at Bagan Nyaung-U Airport and explore some of the most important temples, including the vast golden stupa of the Shwezigon Pagoda, the cave temples of Kyansittha and Gubyaukgyi, and beautiful 12th century Htilominlo.
In the late morning you’ll check into your hotel, before visiting a lacquer craft workshop in the pretty village of Myinkaba. From here you can visit the Manuha, Nanbaya and Myingaba Gu Byaukgyi temples.
Today is your opportunity to spend a full day exploring the beauty of Bagan with its ancient temples.
From your hotel, take a traditional horse and cart to Min Nan Thu Village and the temples of Tayoke Pyay, Phaya Thone Zu and Nandamanya. The latter is famous for the quality of its 13th century carvings.
Get in touch with your inner peace at the Kyat Kan cave monastery, where monks have meditated for centuries. The day will end at the Maung Aung Myin lacquerware factory, where you can see skilled craftspeople produce the area’s celebrated tableware.
Bagan – Mandalay
It’s time to head back to Bagan Nyaung-U Airport for your flight onto Mandalay.
Mandalay is a grand city that was once the royal capital of the kingdom of Myanmar and the centre of power during the British colonial era. Your tour starts straight from the airport with a tour of the Mahamuni Pagoda. Inside sits a Buddha, covered with leaves crafted from delicately-hammered gold. You can watch as skilled craftsmen make the leaves and buy a couple yourself to place on the Buddha for luck.
Once you’ve checked into your hotel, you’ll visit the magnificent Shwenandaw Monastery, which was once the home of King Mindon (1808-1878) - one of Myanmar’s last imperial rulers. From here, tour the Kyauktawgyi Pagoda and Kuthodaw Pagoda, before rounding off your day with a view of the sunset from Mandalay Hill.
In the evening you can visit the Shwe Kyin Monastery to observe evening prayers.
Mandalay – Amarapura – Mandalay
Start your day with an amble around Jade Market, where the highly-prized jade stone is traded and carved into endless beguiling forms, before taking a ferry to Inwa.
Inwa was once the capital of the mighty kingdom of Ava. A horse and cart will carry you around the site, which features the vast stone Maha Aungmye Bonzan monastery and the wooden Bagaya Kyaung monastery.
After lunch, it’s time to drive out to Saigang Hill – a promontory studded with temples that offers fabulous views over the river.
Your final destination is Amurapura, with its gorgeous U Bein Bridge, a hand-built, 150-year-old teak structure that spans a mile across the Taungthaman Lake and is at its best at sunset.
Later that evening, you’ll return to your hotel in Mandalay.
Mandalay – Heho – Inle Lake
This morning it is time to head to Mandalay Airport for your domestic flight to the town of Heho.
On arrival you’ll be driven to Nyaungshwe, the gateway to Inle Lake, with a stop at the handsome Shwe Yan Pyay monastery. At the shore you can charter a boat to take you to your lakeside accommodation.
Inle Lake is a beautiful spot, situated in the Shan Hills. The local Intha fisherman are known as ‘leg rowers; for the way they wrap one leg round their oars to keep their hands free. You’ll see them perform this impressive feat of balance as you pass.
To the north of the lake you’ll be taken to beautiful Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, the holiest site in Shan state, Lae Gyae Village – home to a centuries-old monastery – and the Nga Phe Kyaung Monastery on the edge of the lake.
Then it’s time to return back to your hotel via boat, taking in the stunning floating gardens on the way.
Today you’ll experience one of Inle Lake’s five day markets. They’re so named because they move between villages over a five day rota, changing location each day. The local Pa-O, Danu and Intha people attend dressed in their finery and offering their wares, ranging from home-cooked food and handicrafts to household items.
Afterwards you can take a boat ride to the village of Maing Thauk and climb the hill to the temple overlooking the lake. There are some excellent hikes in the area.
Later, take a scenic boat trip to Indaing at the lake’s western edge, returning to your hotel in the late afternoon, when you can unwind for the evening.
Inle Lake - Ngapali Beach
You’ll be taken by boat to Nyaungshwe and then on to Heho Airport for your flight to Thandwe Airport. On arrival you’ll head to your resort in Ngapali Beach. With its coconut palms, white sands and azure-blue sea, this is a truly relaxing place to spend a few days after witnessing Myanmar’s treasures.
Wake up when you like and spend the day swimming, sunbathing or wandering the shore. You’ll find plenty of excellent restaurants and bars close to your hotel.
Spend the day at your leisure. If you’re in the mood to explore then you can charter a boat to nearby Pearl Island. The waters here are crystal-clear and rich with marine life, making it the perfect place to snorkel, dive and fish.
Ngapali Beach – Thandwe – Yangon
This morning it’s time to head back to Thandwe Airport and fly to Yangon, where you’ll connect with your onward flight.
- International flights and airfare taxes
- Cost of accommodation (double room based on two people sharing) for a total of 11 nights (alternative but similar accommodation may be used at certain times of the year)
- Board basis is Half Board: breakfast, lunch/dinner; Breakfast only in Ngapali
- Domestic flights including taxes
- Private/small group (air-conditioned) transport / transfers
- Assistance and porterage: meeting and assistance on arrival/departure at airports and hotels
- English-speaking local guides for all guided excursions as illustrated in the itinerary
- Entrance fees (excluding video camera fee) for all guided excursions as illustrated in the itinerary
- Visa arrangements and fees
- Travel insurance
- Personal expenses, such as alcoholic beverages, telephone calls, laundry, camera fees, spa and business facilities in the hotel
- Video and professional still camera fees during excursions
- Gratuities for drivers, tour directors, local guides, naturalists and hotel staff
- Meals (unless specified)
- Optional attractions and excursions (unless specified)
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