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Myanmar Overview

From Mandalay to Yangon and further south to Dawei beaches discover the many faces and smiles of local Burmese people. Explore the ancient capital of Bagan and Mandalay, visit responsible elephant camp in Kalaw and cross Inle Lake to meet with the local Inthar people. Covering the iconic sites and hidden villages, get to know all about Burmese history, culture, traditions and the people’s warm and friendly nature. Wrap up your exploration with a short leisurely beach break in the beautiful beaches of Dawei.


Various activities on sites

  • Exploring the city of Mandalay, Bagan, and Yangon and learning about its unique culture & history
  • Interacting with some nature conservation project such as Star Tortoise Conservation Project or Green Hill Valley Elephant Camp
  • Cruising the giant Inle Lake and admiring the life of local Intha fishermen
  • Admiring the amazing view from the top of Kyaiktiyo Golden Rock Temple

Unforgettable moments

  • Admiring the amazing panoramic view from the peak of mount Popa whilst the sun is setting over the horizon
  • Admiring the sea of temples in the ancient city of Bagan & surrounding area
  • Admiring the Intha fishermen at work whilst cruising the giant Inle Lake.
  • Admiring various sacred temples especially the incredible Kyaiktiyo Golden Rock.

Nature exploration

  • Admiring the blissful nature of Bagan whilst joining the morning hot-air balloon flight
  • The refreshing nature of Inle Lake and its surrounding area
  • Admiring the nature of Kyaiktiyo and its surrouding area from the Golden Rock temple
  • The virgin nature of the Dawei & its beaches whilst exploring the surrounding area

Culture experience

  • Explore the various sacred temples and learn about its significance of Buddhism on Myanmar culture
  • Visit various villages to learn about the culture & history in Myanmar.
  • Learn more about the life & customs of people living in the rural area of Myanmar


Detailed schedule

Day 1 - Welcome to Mandalay

Meet the guide and driver at the airport and transfer to the hotel.

After Yangon, Mandalay is Myanmar's second city and its cultural heartland. Originally established by King Mindon as the focal city for the teachings of Buddhism, Mandalay did not survive the name of the ‘Golden City’. But, it remains an important cultural hub of Myanmar with sights such as the Mandalay palace, Mandalay Hill, the U-Bein bridge (the oldest teakwood bridge in the world), and stunning pagodas. Manadalay is also home to 300,000 monks.  With investment from neighbouring China, Mandalay has undergone significant developments in recent years, drawing in visitors from all over the world. The three ancient capitals of Amarapura, Inwa (Ava) and Sagaing, as well as the town of Mingun, are all within reaching distance of Mandalay's centre.

Late this afternoon, take a tour of Mandalay with a visit to Kuthodaw Pagoda, whose 729 marble stone slabs of Buddhist scriptures have earned it the title ‘World’s Biggest Book’. Continue to Shwenandaw Monastery, the only remaining building from the 19th century Royal Palace. This grand teak building is known for its exquisite woodcarving.

Head to the top of Mandalay Hill as the sun begins to set to enjoy magnificent views of the city and Irrawaddy River.

Overnight Mandalay.

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Day 2 - Mandalay - Sagaing

OPTIONAL ACTIVITY: Mahamuni Face Washing - Wake up early this morning (around 0400) and catch a local taxi to Mahamuni Pagoda. Every morning before dawn, the monks wash the face of the ‘lumpy’ Buddha image with special fragrant water and brush its teeth. The ritual takes around one hour and is a unique insight into Buddhism.

Return to the hotel around 0730 for breakfast.

This morning the tour starts at 08:00.

Begin today’s sightseeing tour of Mandalay with a visit to Mahamuni Pagoda. This pagoda is home to one of the country’s most revered Buddha images which, over the years, have been covered with gold leaf giving it an almost ‘lumpy’ texture. Mandalay is well known for its skilled craftsmen and during a tour of the traditional workshops, learn more about the city’s cottage industries. Observe the production of wood carvings, kalaga tapestries, and gold-leaf where the techniques remained unchanged from those used centuries ago to craft items for the Royal Court.

Afterwards, cross a bridge over the Irrawaddy River to Sagaing. Covered with 600 white-painted pagodas and monasteries, Sagaing Hill is widely regarded as the religious center of Myanmar.  It is home to 3,000 monks and 100 meditation centers, visit pagodas such as Swan Oo Pon Nya Shin and U Min Thone Sae.

Also go to Sagaing’s local market, a typical Burmese market that few tourists visit. Here, find a range of items for sale including locally made pottery, silver and other handicrafts. Then, stop at a small pottery village to see the process of making the ubiquitous water pots found throughout Myanmar.

Return to Mandalay this afternoon.

This evening, cruise out to see the comedic styling of local legends, the Moustache Brothers. A mixture of comedy and traditional Burmese dance, this show is quite bizarre and absolutely unique to Mandalay. Jailed for telling jokes against the government 20 years ago, the Mustache Brothers have been entertaining Westerners from their garage since their release.

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Day 3 - Mandalay - Star Tortoise Project - Mt. Popa

This morning the tour begins at 08:00.

Meet with the Sonasia Holiday guide and driver at the hotel and set off to explore some fascinating sites between the famous destinations of Mandalay and Bagan. After around 2.5 hours of driving in a southerly direction stop to visit the Burmese Star Tortoise Conservation Centre at Minzontaung Wildlife Sanctuary. This species is classified as highly endangered by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) and can be found only in Myanmar. Although this tortoise is now thought to be ‘ecologically’ extinct in the wild, with the technical support of the WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) and TSA (Turtle Survival Alliance) towards captive breeding efforts, a  remarkable increase in numbers has resulted, and as of  late 2017 there were 2,815 Star Tortoises.

Sonasia Holiday is starting to bring travellers to the forest area where the rehabilitation program is taking place. This is a responsible ecotourism project because the contribution from the visit will be used to feed the tortoises, to hire guards to safeguard the tortoises from illegal poaching for food, medicine and pet markets, and to protect the breeding area from habitat destruction. From an educational point of view, visitors will have a chance to take part in a guided forest walk to observe natural breeding, acquire general knowledge on wild species and ultimately reintroduce this extinct species to the community.

After this truly unique experience drive a short distance and take a break with lunch at a local restaurant before continuing the overland adventure with a 2.5 hours drive towards Mount Popa National Park. Arrive at the hotel in time for check-in and a sunset view of both Mount Popa and Taung Kalat, the volcanic plug nearby.
Overnight at Popa Garden Resort.


ECOLOGICALLY RESPONSIBLE TRAVEL: The visit to the Star Tortoise Conservation Centre includes a contribution to the centre to help with its conservation efforts.

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Day 4 - Mt. Popa - Magyeekan Village - Salay

This morning the journey continues at 08:00.

After breakfast take a very short transfer to Taung Kalat, the volcanic plug that is believed to be the home of the nats. Since ancient times, the people of Myanmar have believed in nats, or 37 spirits who serve as guardians. As Taung Kalat is the home of the nats, it is a very popular pilgrimage spot. Get a glimpse into this unique aspect of Myanmar culture at a small museum where statues of each nat are displayed. Then climb the stairs to the top of the shrine, joining local pilgrims on the way. On the way, learn more about the nats and the role they play in Myanmar society. Upon reaching the top, relax and enjoy the views.

Note: The climb to the top involves 777 steps, many of which have to be climbed barefoot to respect the site’s spiritual significance; monkeys might also be present during the walk up but the guide will advise on how to keep them at a friendly distance

Descend back down to the base and return to the vehicle for the onward drive to Magyeekan Village, a traditional Burmese village close to the town of Salay. The drive takes around 1.5 hours and allows time to enjoy the scenery from the comfort of the vehicle. Upon arrival in the village the local community will serve a delicious Burmese meal. Then, learn about the villagers’ lives while wandering through dusty paths leading from house to house in the small but charming village.
Afterwards drive 10 minutes to the former colonial port town of Salay.

In the early 20th century, large oil deposits were found here and the city became one of the most important ports on the Irrawaddy. Today, the industry has moved upstream to the town of Kyauk, leaving Salay a sleepy town full of colonial charm. After arriving in Salay the first stop is Yoke Sone Kyaung Monastery, one of the oldest wooden halls in the area. Exquisitely carved, the monastery is one of the finest examples of Burmese craftsmanship in the country.

Note: Yoke Sone Kyaung Monastery is closed on Mondays and public holidays

Then, take a short 30-minute walking tour through Salay. Walk under the shade of 100-year old trees while exploring the faded colonial buildings. Along the way, pass by several monasteries and ancient pagodas before arriving at Salay House. This colonial building situated by the Irrawaddy River has been renovated into a restaurant and museum. Start by taking a tour of the museum for some historical background on Salay. Then head next door to the beautiful guest house which will be home for the night.

Overnight at Salay River View Inn.


SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE TRAVEL: The lunch at Magyeekan Village is arranged by a community-based tourism enterprise ensuring that the economic benefits are shared throughout the village.

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Day 5 - Salay - Bagan

After an early breakfast head back to the vehicle to transfer to Bagan at 08:00.

Drive on a road adjacent to the Irrawaddy River to Bagan. From the 11th to 13th centuries, when Bagan was the capital of Myanmar, rulers constructed thousands of huge stupas and temples, many of which are still standing today on the banks of the Irrawaddy River. 

The drive lasts around 1.5 hours and there is the chance to visit Kyauk market along the way for those that are interested. Upon arrival in Bagan transfer to the hotel (early check-in dependent on availability) and the rest of the day is at leisure, or available to begin exploring the ancient rich cultural heritage.

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Day 6 - Bagan - Exploration

OPTIONAL ACTIVITY: Balloon Experience Over Bagan - Start the morning with an incredible hot-air balloon flight over Bagan’s temple-studded plains. Pastries, croissants, coffee and tea are provided while the balloon is inflated.  Climb aboard before gently rising above thousands of gilded stupas and earthen temples all back-dropped by the impressive Irrawaddy River.  A truly unforgettable and unique experience. (Note: available only from late- October to late-March; all flights weather permitting

Today the sightseeing begins at 08:00 with a visit to an elevated viewpoint for a panoramic view of the magnificent plains of Bagan. Continue with a visit to the golden stupa of Shwezigon Pagoda for an introduction into Bagan’s rich history. Then, visit to nearby Wetkyi-In Gubyaukgyi, a cave temple with exquisite jataka mural paintings and the elegant Htilominlo Temple, noted for its fine plaster carvings and glazed sandstone decorations.

For lunch today, transfer to a typical Burmese village to have lunch at a local home. With the guide as an interpreter, chat with the locals or just enjoy the peaceful surroundings.  The lunch itself will be typical Burmese food catered by a restaurant in town.

This afternoon begins with a visit to a traditional lacquer ware workshop to observe the production of one of Myanmar’s best-known handicrafts. Continue to Ananda Temple, an architectural masterpiece and one of Bagan’s most beautiful temples.  Built in the early Mon-style, Ananda contains two unique Buddha images whose expressions seem to change depending on the distance from which the statue is viewed.

From here, travel by horse cart for a tour passing Thatbyinnyu, the highest temple in Bagan, massive Dhammayangyi Temple, noted for its remarkable brickwork, and Sulamani Temple.

Enjoy an unforgettable sunset over the plains from the one of the viewpoints.

Overnight in Bagan.

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Day 7 - Bagan - Heho - Kalaw

This morning, transfer to the airport for a flight to Heho in the Shan State. From Heho, take a two- hour drive to Green Hill Valley Elephant Camp in Magwe Village. Upon arrival, a guide from the Green Hill will show the way to the main camp. Enjoy a welcome drink while receiving a briefing on the day’s activities, the background of the camp and the history of elephants in Myanmar.

Following this, embark on a short walk to the river, passing through a reforestation project set up by the camp and villagers. Be greeted by the elephants – the guide will explain their name, age, and how they ended up retiring at the camp. Trays of bananas and sugarcane will be brought out and some time will be enjoyed feeding the elephants. Afterwards, get dressed in traditional Shan garments to prepare for bathing the elephants. Walk to a natural pool, located between two small falls in the stream, and join the elephants for a bath. 

OPTION FOR SHORT TREK: This morning, transfer from Kalaw to the Wet Pyu Ye Junction where a guide from the Green Hill Valley Elephant camp will be waiting. Embark on a walk to the camp. The walk is mostly downhill and passes through a variety of forest types - teak, bamboo, etc - which is home to a variety of flora and fauna.  After 45-90 minutes of walking, encounter the camp’s elephants. The elephants will likely be enjoying a refreshing swim in the stream. Join the mahouts to bathe these gentle animals. Enjoy refreshments here or by a waterfall.

Return to the reforestation area to plant a tree before heading to the main camp for lunch. There is time in the afternoon to explore more on foot with the local trekking guide or interact with the elephants.

In the late afternoon, say goodbye to the elephants and mahouts and transfer back to Kalaw.

NOTE:  For the wellbeing of the animals, elephant riding is not allowed.

Overnight in Kalaw

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Day 8 - Kalaw - Pindaya - Inle Lake

This morning the journey continues at 08:00.

Embark on a scenic drive through Shan State, first stopping at Pindaya before continuing on to Inle Lake. The route is stunning, and there will be time to stop for photos along the way.

Upon arrival, visit to the Pindaya Market, a typical rural market selling an array of food and dry goods.

Then, take a short drive east of Pindaya and, upon arrival, continue on foot to a small village. In the village, observe the daily activities of local people. If it is dry season it is possible to see the drying of cheroot leaves or weaving of cotton. In the rainy season, activities such as the weaving of wood or bamboo mats and making of brooms can be seen. This quaint village is filled with friendly locals and some curious kids offering a welcome to their town.

Next, continue to a local farm for an interactive cooking demonstration. Learn about the local ingredients used in some of the regional cuisine (Danu, Shan and Pa-Oh) and the techniques used to cook the tasty dishes of the Shan State. Have a chance to visit a small plantation where some herbs or other ingredients are being grown.

After cooking, sit down to enjoy a delicious lunch of freshly prepared dishes.

After lunch, head to the Pindaya Caves to explore this incredible complex. Then, transfer to Nyaung Shwe, the gateway to Inle Lake, and on to the hotel for a good night’s rest.

Overnight in Nyaung Shwe or Inle Lake

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Day 9 - Inle Lake - Exploration

Today the sightseeing begins at 08:00 and embark on a day trip around Inle Lake.

Start with a visit to the morning market, which rotates locations on a 5-day basis (note: there are no markets on full moon or dark moon days). This daily market attracts people from all over the lake’s shores who gather to buy and sell their wares. In one day it’s possible to see Pa-Oh, Inthar and Shan people all in their traditional outfits. Wander amid the stalls and listen to the guide’s explanation of local produce and goods that are sold there.

Then continue across the lake, passing through villages with stilted houses and floating gardens built up from strips of water hyacinth and mud and anchored to the bottom with bamboo poles. Along the way, see the famous leg-rowing fishermen who steer their boats with incredible balance.

Afterwards, head to Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, the lake’s main sanctuary, which contains five sacred Buddha images and houses several royal barges used during the pagoda’s annual festival.

Proceed to the village of Inpawkhone to observe the traditional silk-weaving techniques of Inthar people. Inpawkhone is also known for weaving with the stems of lotus flowers, a time-consuming process that results in high quality materials famous throughout the country. Also visit a cheroot factory where local Burmese cigars are rolled by hand.

Next, stop at Inthar Heritage House to learn more about the history and culture of the lake’s indigenous people and enjoy a beautiful Shan lunch.

The afternoon will be at leisure. Continue sightseeing on the Lake, take a stroll through one of the lakeside villages, or return to the hotel to relax.

Overnight on Inle Lake

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Day 10 - Inle Lake - Sadar - Loikaw

Today the journey continues at 08:00.

Set off this morning for Sagar, the far southern region of Inle Lake. Very few tourists make the trip down to this region yet it is one of the most beautiful places in the Shan State, with the mountains forming a backdrop for the small villages and fishermen on the water.

The boat journey takes 2.5-3 hours but is full of fabulous views and glimpses of exotic species of birds. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride!

Upon arriving in Sagar there are several stops that will be made (the order will depend on the time, other tourist boats and activity in the villages). The main highlight for many travelers are the ‘sunken’ stupas of Sagar- 108 stupas from the 16-17th centuries that are partially underwater for a few months a year. There is also a local monastery and village that can be visited here.

Continue to the village of Thaya Gone, home to Pa-Oh, Shan and Inthar people and known for its production of local rice wine. Watch the process of distillation and then sample some of the local brew. In Thaya Gone there is also the chance to climb to the top of a small hill which provides great views of the lake and surrounding villages.

Another stop is made in Sae Khaung Pottery Village to see the crafting of oil and water pots as well as the natural, underground kilns used by the villagers. On the western shores of the Sagar area is Tar Kaung, a series of more than 200 stupas which also makes for a fabulous photo stop.

Lunch will be arranged along the way (either picnic lunch or local lunch at a small restaurant)

Around 14:30, the boat continues down the lake to the small town of Phe Khone. Here, transfer to a car for the final hour drive to Loikaw.

Loikaw, the capital of Kayah State, abounds with natural wonders, spellbinding tribes and unending wonders. Bisected by the Bilu River, Loikaw is blessed with rolling mountains, lakes, markets and hill tribes – the most famous being the Padaung or ‘long-neck’ ladies. The area was only recently opened to tourists in 2013, and is still very much off the beaten path.

On arrival check in to the hotel.

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Day 11 - Loikaw - Exploration

This morning the tour starts at 08:00.

If it is a market day, head about 30 minutes outside of Loikaw to the Demawso Market (Only open Mon, Wed, and Sat). This very local market attracts tribes from the surrounding area to sell their wares. Most interesting is the local khayung yai wine.  The local women line up with batches of homemade wine, each offering free samples to any interested customers. After deciding on a particularly tasty one, customers will make their purchase, filling up containers they brought from home. Quite often just an old water bottle, many are empty again before making the journey home.

Following the market, drive out to the countryside. From here, take an easy walk through local villages and farmland, with the mountains of Kayah state in the background. After an hour, reach Pan Phet village. Most of the inhabitants of Pan Phet are of the Padaung tribe. Locally referred to as “long neck ladies”, the Padaung women are famous for the many golden neck rings they wear. Though the tradition is dying out, most women over 40 in the village can still be seen wearing these heavy accessories.  There will be a chance to interact with these ladies while strolling through the simple village. A few roadside stalls have opened to cater to tourists, here there will be it is possible to buy some locally sourced souvenirs and refreshments.

After leaving the village, take the hour return back to the car and head for a late lunch.

Return to Loikaw for an afternoon at leisure. Shortly before sunset, head into downtown Loikaw to visit the Taung Kwe Pagoda. Perched on a spectacular rock formation, this pagoda is Kayah State’s most famous sight. The rock formation itself is said to be the origin of the town’s name (‘loi kaw’ is Shan for ‘Island of mountains’). With great views of the surrounding area, the pagoda is the perfect spot to end the day.

Overnight in Loikaw.

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Day 12 - Loikaw - Yangon

This morning, enjoy some leisure time before transferring to the airport for a flight to Yangon. Yangon, formerly known as Rangoon, is a relatively quiet and charming city. Its impressive colonial and spiritual heritage makes it one of the most fascinating and authentic cities of Southeast Asia.

From the airport, transfer downtown to embark on a half day of sightseeing in the colonial area.

Head to the heart of downtown, where East meets West with a mix of pagodas, monuments and colonial buildings.  Walk around Sule Pagoda, City Hall, Victory Monument and some of the nearby colonial buildings. Take in the Colonial charm of the city that was once the capital of British Burma.

After seeing the sights, take a food safari through downtown by local open-air trishaw and experience the culinary delights of Myanmar’s most bustling city. The tour begins at a local tea shop where guests enjoy Burmese tea and a taste of the city’s traditional culture. The tradition of drinking strong tea with condensed milk and sugar was brought to Myanmar by the British more than a century ago.

However, people still drink green tea, which is complimentary in most of the local tea shops, to wash away the sweet flavor. The tea shop visited today is popular with locals and serves a variety of traditional Burmese snacks and noodles, all of which can be sampled. Some of the famous dishes are mont pyar tha let (rice pancake), mont leit pyar (wanton-like parcels of bean and jaggery), shwe htamin (golden sticky rice), mohingar (rice noodles with fish soup - Myanmar’s national dish) and own noe khauk swe (yellow noodles with chicken and coconut soup).

Trishaws will be waiting outside to continue the evening journey. Everyone gets their own trishaw and local driver. Take a short ride through the downtown area and head past St Mary’s Church and the former Minister’s Office. Once known as the Secretariat, this beautiful red brick building was built by the British in the late 1800s and takes up an entire city block. Famous as the location where national hero General Aung Sang was assassinated in 1947, the inside of the building has been closed to the public for over 50 years.

After about a 15 minute ride, head down a small alley off the main road to get to one of the most famous noodle shops in Yangon, 999 Shan Noodle. It is possible to pick from a variety of dishes, though the restaurant is popular for its Shan noodles. Typically eaten for breakfast, Shan noodles can be had as a soup or salad and are fantastic any time of day.

From here, go on foot through the heart of downtown, past landmarks like Mahabandoola Park, city hall, and Sule Pagoda, each lit up like a beacon in the middle of town. This short stroll should work up an appetite for next stop, a local Indian restaurant. During British rule, Yangon was populated with more Indians than Burmese. Many of their descendants still live here today with their influence being seen on the local dishes. Try some of the Indian-influenced snacks that are still popular with Burmese people.

From here, it’s back on the trishaws. Take a ride through Little India, with its colorful temples and make one last stop at Chinatown. Continue through a bustling night market before heading to 19th street. Famous for its barbeques, 19th street is a lively place to enjoy meat and vegetable satays, washed down with draught Myanmar Beer.

Transfer back to the hotel. Overnight in Yangon

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Day 13 - Yangon - Countryside Exploration

Today the sightseeing begins at 08:00.

Transfer to the Nanthida Jetty to board a ferry to cross the Yangon River to Dhala. The jetty is often buzzing with activity as a mini-street market is there to sell snacks and other items to the ferry passengers. The boat ride to Dhala takes 15 minutes and offers great views of the waterways. It is a fun chance to interact with the curious locals as they make their way across the river.

Upon reaching Dhala, travel by local trishaw through the town. The scenic town is remarkably different from nearby Yangon, with many trees, local neighborhoods and quiet side streets filling the area. While in Dhala, visit the market and have plenty of opportunities to stop and interact with the friendly locals.

After visiting the village and market, proceed to the monastery to learn about monastic life in Myanmar. The monastery also serves as a community centre and is an important part of rural Burmese life.

Return by boat to Yangon, observing life along the river and reflecting back on the excursion to Dhala. Upon returning to the Yangon jetty, transfer back to the hotel for an afternoon of rest.

An hour or so before sunset, continue to Shwedagon Pagoda, the most revered Buddhist temple in Myanmar and a fantastic spot to finish up two weeks in this amazing country. Although the origins of the pagoda are unclear, local legend states that the original structure was built 2,500 years ago then renovated several times until taking its current shape in the 15th century.

The 8-sided central stupa is 99 metres tall, gilded with gold leaf and surrounded by 64 smaller stupas. Take a tour around the massive complex, learning why this temple is so revered. Enjoy breathtaking views of the golden stupa from this vantage point as the sun sets -a truly memorable ending to an unforgettable journey through Myanmar.

Overnight in Yangon.

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Day 14 - Yangon - Bago - Kyaiktiyo Golden Rock

After an early breakfast in Yangon, drive to Bago, to the north.

First, visit the thousand-year-old Shwemawdaw Pagoda, with a spire even taller than that of the iconic Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon. Then, continue to Shwethalyaung Reclining Buddha (the second largest in the world) and the Kyaik Pun Pagoda

After that you head to Kinpun camp, located near the Golden Rock, today’s ultimate destination. The Golden Rock (or Kyaiktiyo Pagoda) is entirely covered in gold leaf. Its precarious location on a cliff-edge is a spectacular sight, but it is also a religiously significant spot, with a pagoda perched atop the rock.

To reach the pagoda you must travel in a local open-air truck along a winding road to the top of a hill. The views from here are breathtaking, and pilgrims chant, light candles and meditate throughout the night.

Overnight in Kyaiktiyo.

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Day 15 - Kyaiktiyo - Hpa An

Wake up early for lovely sunrise views and a quiet morning stroll. Breakfast at the hotel before descending back to the Kinpun base camp. We drive to the quaint Karen State capital of Hpa-An, visiting enroute Thaton, one of the ancient Mon kingdoms, and the Thamanya Monastery, the home of one of Myanmar’s most revered monks.

After Lunch we drive to Hpa An. Our first visiting point is Lumbini Garden with Mt. Zwekabin as a scenic backdrop. The 1000 Buddha statues and the 722 Meter high mountain are giving the place a mystic touch. We enjoy traditional Mon lunch at a nearby local restaurant. In the late afternoon we visit the bat cave, where more than thousands of bats come out every night to find food. The sky is darkening and it is said they fly as far as Mawlamyine to still there hunger.

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Day 16 - Hpa An - Exploration

After breakfast, proceed the sightseeing to Bayint Nyi cave, a beautiful nature cave on the mountain with views of paddy fields. There is a nature hot water spring where locals come to worship and pray for prosperity and good health. In addition to viewing the many Buddha statues you will see many beautiful stalagmites and stalactites which have formed naturally over the centuries.

Visit Kaw Goon Cave also known as the Cave of the Ten Thousand Buddhas’; Walk through the hidden treasures Cave to see more than 2000 votive tables of Lord Buddha and Mon inscription. There are many culture heritage evidences in Kaw Goon Cave terracotta votive tables on its interior stone walls, carve status on limestone & sandstone Buddha status with mural paintings in ink inscriptions. (13th Century AD).

Ya Thea Pyan Cave was known in the colonial literature as P’agat Cave. The current name Ya Thea Pyan translates as Hermit Cave (as Ya Thea mean hermit). The Cave is in a hill next to Kaw Goon Cave. In the evening, right after the sunset, leave town for a while just across the Than-Lwin Bridge to witness thousands of Bats leaving their cave in groups for their night hunt. An amazing and fun experience.

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Day 17 - Hpa An - Mawlamyine by Boat

After breakfast, we take the boat to Mawlamyine (not 100% sure in June). Enjoy the scenic drive along the Thanlwin River. (Moulmein), the 4th largest city of Myanmar as well as 1st capital of British Burma, boasting of intact colonial era buildings. We visit the Mon Cultural Museum with its displays of bronze, silverware, ceramics and sculptures (closed on Sundays and Public Holidays).

After Lunch and check into your hotel we visit a Clay Pottery workshop nearby Mawlamyine. Until today it is the same method used for centuries. The clay from the rice paddies, craft-woman-ship and the burning are all the same. Moulmein is still a trading town. We take some time to visit old and the new market in Mawlamyine and have a chat with the shop keeper and a snack here and there.

We visit the a sunset from the Kyaikthanlan Pagoda, immortalized in Rudyard Kipling’s poem that begins: “By the old Moulmein Pagoda, lookin’ lazy at the sea/ There’s a Burma girl a-settin’, and I know she thinks o’ me…”.

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Day 18 - Mawlamyine - Ye

After breakfast we will leave for the 160 Kilometers we need to drive today to Ye. Our first stop will be Thanbyuzayat. It is located about 34 km from Mawlamyine and starting point of the Death Railway connecting Myanmar (Thanbyu Zayet Station) and Thailand (Bang Pong Station) with the Bridge over River Kwai, constructed by the Japanese during WWII. This Death Railways was started in May 1943 and official opened on 25th October 1943. The newly erected war Railway museum is well worth a visit.

After Lunch we leave for Ye. The roads become narrower and the villages along the way smaller.10 Miles before YE we will stop to visit the Banana Mountain from where you can overlook the whole Ye valley. The tower at the top with its nine levels and nine different decorations are well worth a climb.

After arrival in Ye we refresh at our hotel. If there is enough time we can enjoy a marvelous sunset from the Ye Railway Bridge.

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Day 19 - Ye - Dawei

After breakfast, we will start our journey over a stunning mountain range, which divides the Tanintharyi Division and the Mon State. Before we leave we will visit Ye’s Train Station, which tracks seem to lead only into the jungle. We will talk about the railway tracks, which have been only finished in 2003.

On the way we have the chance to cool our legs in the clear waters which run directly down from the mountains (seasonal). Proper bridgesh have been still built to replace the old Bailey bridges from colonial times. In the early afternoon we reach Dawei, which is the capital of Tanintharyi Division in the south of the Myanmar, formerly known as Tavoy.

Dawei was one of the first cities, where the English settled after the 1st Anglo-Burmese in 1826. The Tavoyian accent is remarkable. People from Yangon say they can’t understand a word. A traditional water pot dance, where girls balance 3 or more clay pots filled with water is one of the cultural highlights.

After check into your hotel for refreshments we go for a stroll along the river to stretch our legs. Local people do their washings and youngster as well as old play cane ball. Life can be so easy if you don’t stress yourself.

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Day 20 - Dawei & Its Beaches

After breakfast we will take a look around to get a picture of Dawei’s daily life and famous sights. On our tour we will have a little excurse in traditional Southern Myanmar medicine. A family owned cashew nut business with its ever-smiling workers will show us how much work it is to peel one nut (seasonal). We will stop by at old colonial buildings and get to know what their purpose was.

How people can make a living in Dawei is the question we will ask at the start of this day. By the end we hope you have all the answer you need. Most of the farming nowadays are rubber plantations. How the white rubber sheets are made we will show you at one of the uncountable plantations.

Beside the rubber trees there is another big industry, dried fish. How long fish has to lay in the sun we can find out at one of the fishing villages. Everywhere in Tanintharyi Division you can find beetle nut trees. They even export the beetle nuts to India. We take you out to San Maria Beach. The locals never heard of San Maria Beach as a foreigner named it that way. The reason is unclear, but it is said the real name Myawyik Beach is hard to pronounce.

The nearby Myawyik Pagoda is connected by bridge to the mainland. We will have lunch overlooking the sea and continue to find a spot to listen only to the waves and the sand. Before we enjoy relaxed and uncrowded beach atmosphere at Maung Ma Gan Beach with a sun downer and a delicious seafood dinner, we have the chance to wash down the salt at the local hot springs. Return to Dawei after a fabulous sunset.

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Day 21 - Dawei - Leisure Day

You are free today for your own exploration or just relax by the beaches of Dawei.

There are plenty of water activities on spot if you want to spend your day. Check with your hotel or contact us for further detail.

Overnight in Dawei

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Day 22 - Dawei - Yangon - Departure

Free before taking the flight back to Yangon to connect with another onward flight to departure back for your home.

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We believe you have the right to arm yourselves with as much information as possible before making any decision.

Check below our detailed tips & guide for every places to visit in Myanmar, recommendation regarding the inclusion in each theme you prefer, and what you can do based on the time frame you have.

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Inle Lake
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Mergui Archipelago
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Ngapali Beach
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Check out all the must-see places and things to do & see

Luxury Holiday
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Unique experience combined with top-notch services

Wellness & Leisure
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Easy excursion combined with week-long beach break

Family Vacation
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The combination of fun and educational activities

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Reveal off-the-beatentrack routes, least explored destinations, and unknown tribe groups

Trek & Hike
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Explore the least visited destinations and unknown experience on foot

Cycling & Biking
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Explore every corners of the destination on two wheels

Honeymoon Vacation
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Easy excursions combined with unique experience making the long-lasting romantic memories

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The combination of some must-see experience and the cruise tour along the mighty rivers

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Taking a cruise on the fascinating Mekong River offers a unique and memorable travel experience. The Mekong River, one of the longest rivers in Asia, flows through several countries, including China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. Each destination along the river offers its own distinct cultural, historical, and natural attractions. In this article, we will go over what you can expect when cruising the Mekong River. 


Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Asian countries has taken the cautious approach to inbound travel and has had some of the strictest border restrictions and closures. At the moment, the nations of the region are in the beginning stages of reopening their borders for tourism, with every country introducing its own regulations.

The “unlocking” statuses vary widely. Travelers entering Asian countries may be required to do everything from going into quarantine, submitting negative COVID-19 test results, presenting proof of health insurance, and proof of vaccination (known a vaccine passports).

There is an understandable uncertainty with how you should travel to the Asian region if you are planning to. This is why we present you the list of 19 Asian countries, along with details on the current travel situation. As each country applies precisely defined regulations, you should always check the official websites listed in the article below for the latest government announcements.


Myanmar will resume international passenger flights from April 17, the military said on Saturday, lifting a two-year ban on foreign tourists.


Thanaka or  thanakha is a yellowish-white cosmetic paste made from ground bark. It is a distinctive feature of the culture of Myanmar, seen commonly applied to the face and sometimes the arms of women and girls, and is used to a lesser extent also by men and boys. The use of thanaka has also spread to neighboring countries including Thailand.

Within this article, we will learn everything about Thanaka and the benefits of its powder in making a secret beauty ingredient of Burmese women.


Burmese Longyi, along with the country’s longtime history, art, and heritage sites has contributed to the richness of the local culture that will grasp your attention whenever you find yourself in strolling around the streets of Myanmar. With just a piece of fabric grasping on the lower part of the body through time, the longyi has made it become an incredible pattern of Myanmar traditional costume for both men and women. In this article, we are going to find out the secret of Myanmar quintessence through Longyi, about why it has been worn for centuries by the Burmese people.

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A land of staggering natural beauty and cultural complexities, of dynamic megacities and hill-tribe villages, Vietnam is both exotic and compelling.
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Friendly and food-obsessed, hedonistic and historic, cultured and curious, Thailand tempts visitors with a smile as golden as the country's glittering temples and tropical beaches.
bee-white Cambodia
There's a magic about this charming yet confounding kingdom that casts a spell on visitors. In Cambodia, ancient and modern worlds collide to create an authentic adventure.
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Vivid nature, voluptuous landscapes and a vibrant culture collide with a painful past and optimistic future to make Laos an enigmatic experience for the adventurous.
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