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Trekking Tribes & Tradition of Myanmar

Explore Myanmar’s melange of traditional villages, ethnic groups and rich culture. Encounter a diverse mix of hill tribes in remote Kengtung, come face-to-face with Asian elephants in Kalaw and trek through the sweeping highlands around Inle Lake. Then take a challenging trek to remote Chin State rich in wildlife, flora, nature, diverse ethnic tribes, and culture. Learn, appreciate, and respect the beliefs of the Chin people surrounding spiritual sites of totem poles and a stone cemetery. Meet the local villagers who practise the ritual of tattooing faces. Full of fabulous landscapes, this adventure is sure to amaze at every turn.


Various activities on sites

  • Trekking through the various ethnic villages in rural area of eastern Myanmar
  • Taking the cruise along the giant lake of Inle and admiring the local fishermen at work
  • Visiting various temples in Yangon and Bagan and learning about Buddhism
  • Beach break and enjoy the sun, sand, and sea of Ngwesaung Beach

Unforgettable moments

  • Visiting various colorful ethnic village in eastern Myanmar and admiring their culture and tradition
  • Cruising along the giant Inle Lake admiring the local Intha fishermen controlling the paddle with one leg
  • Admiring the sea of temples in the ancient city of Bagan and surrounding area
  • Enjoying the refreshing beach of Ngwesaung with white sand and shining sun

Nature exploration

  • Exploring the rural area of eastern Myanmar and surrounding area
  • The refreshing nature of the giant Inle Lake and the nearby area
  • The nature of Bagan and the nearby remote area whilst trekking through various local villages

Culture experience

  • The bustling culture of Yangon with the effect of western culture waves
  • The colorful culture of various ethnic villages along the trekking routes in rural eastern Myanmar
  • The friendly culture of local people living in ancient city of Bagan


Detailed schedule

Day 1 - Welcome to Yangon

Upon arrival at Yangon International Airport, picked-up and transferred to your hotel in town by our Sonasia Holiday’s guide.

Though no longer the capital, Yangon remains Myanmar’s commercial heart and also the core of its spiritual life, thanks to the glorious Shwedagon Paya (Pagoda), while its colonial-era buildings (decaying as many of them may be) give the downtown area a historical charm which new capital Nay Pyi Taw - and Mandalay for that matter - will never possess. Whether you get lost in the city’s animated markets, seek out beer and barbecue in Chinatown, visit Hindu temples or take an eye-opening ride on a commuter train, Yangon’s streets provide a vibrant and engaging introduction to the country.

Free for the rest of the day for your own exploration.

Overnight in Yangon

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Day 2 - Yangon // Kengtung

After breakfast, transferred by our guide and driver to the Yangon airport for the domestic flight to Kengtung.

Upon arrival in the early afternoon, we will take a short orientation tour in Kengtung. The town is in a lush valley and most of the city’s buildings reflect the traditional architectural styles of the Shan people, such as wooden houses with balconies. Explore the city streets and the Maha Myat Muni pagoda before continuing to the hotel for check in.

Overnight in Kengtung.


Transfer to Yangon airport: up to 1 hour

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Day 3 - Kengtung - Hokyin - Akhar Village

After breakfast, visit Kengtung’s local market. This daily market is visited by villagers from the surrounding area who come to sell their products and barter for goods. Visiting the market, we will see minority hill tribes in their traditional dresses.

Then depart by road to Hokyin area the starting point of today’s trek. The trek begins with a 1.5-2 hour walk to an Akha village. Spend some time in the village and interacting with the locals to discover more about their unique customs and daily lifestyle.

Resume trekking to Na Phi Phank village, a further 30-45 minutes, which is home to Lahu people who are famous for their blacksmithing. Then loop back to where our car is waiting possibly passing a Wa village en route. During the trek a picnic lunch will be served in a scenic spot or village.

Return to Kengtung by car this 

Overnight in Kengtung.


Transfer from Kengtung hotel to Hokyin area: up to 45 mins Trekking up to: 3 hours Difficulty: Easy

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Day 4 - Kengtung - Pin Tauk - Hwe Lon - Ann Village

We will wake up early this morning for a colorful and enchanted local market in Kengtung, observing the local people from surroundings hill tribes who buy, sell and trade the various kind of stuffs. It is a unique place to soak in this busy atmosphere to discover the local life.

This is also a great opportunity to compare the diverse styles of dress unique to each individual village next to one another. Later this morning, we will become more intimate with these different tribes and customs as we walk into the hills and enter their villages. During our cultural treks through the Shan Hills, it is highly likely that we will encounter languages so unique that only a handful of villages still use them to communicate. 

Later in the morning, we will transfer to Pin Tauk village, the starting point of today’s trek.  Set off on foot, trekking 45 minutes to 1 hour to the Akha village. Spend some time in the village and interact with the locals to discover more about their unique customs and daily lifestyle.

After a picnic lunch, resume trekking to an Ann Village (approximately 30 minutes). The Ann minority is known for their traditional black dress and blackened teeth.  After walking around the town and having a tea at a family home, we will incline to the top of Lone Tree Hill for panoramic views of our surroundings.

After a long day trekking to remote hill tribe villages, our private transport will be waiting to take us back to the city of Kengtung.

Overnight in Kengtung.


Transfer to the start point: up to 1.5 hours Trekking: up to 2 hours Difficulty: Very Easy

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Day 5 - Kengtung // Heho - Pindaya

After breakfast at the hotel, this morning is at our leisure to explore Kengtung. If time allows, visit a traditional Shan lacquerware workshop in Kengtung.

Then transfer to the Kengtung airport for our onward flight to Heho. Upon reaching Heho, drive to Pindaya and this evening will be at leisure.

Overnight in Pindaya


Transfer from Heho to Pindaya: up to 2 hours

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Day 6 - Pindaya - Green Hill Elephant Camp - Kalaw

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel followed by a visit to the famous ‘Buddha Caves’. This multi-chambered cave system is filled with hundreds of Buddha statues and is a popular pilgrimage spot for locals.

We then visit a local workshop making umbrellas and paper from the mulberry tree. This is one of the few areas in Myanmar still practicing this fast disappearing craft.

Then it’s time to venture into the forest for a unique encounter with Myanmar’s wildlife. Begin with a 1 hour transfer to a typical small Shan village where a guide from the camp will greet us. We will enjoy a light trek through the woods, during which time the guide will point out the indigenous flora and fauna as well as explain more about the local lifestyles in this region.

We will then come face-to-face with the Burmese Elephants. Formerly working as logging elephants, these gentle giants have been given the chance to live freely in their natural environment, giving visitors a unique opportunity to interact. Feed and help wash the elephants and learn about the history of elephants in Myanmar. 

In the early afternoon we savor a delicious lunch prepared using traditional methods and ingredients from the camp’s organic garden.

This afternoon return to Kalaw.

Overnight in Kalaw.


Transfer from Pindaya to Elephant Camp: 2 hours Trekking up to: 2.5 hours Difficulty: Easy

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Day 7 - Kalaw - Naung Tayar - Saung Khar

Our adventure trekking begins this morning with a scenic 90-minute drive which leads us to the small town of Naung Tayar, the starting point of our trek.

The scenery is remarkably different from middle Burma and the air temperature is generally much cooler than the rest of the country. We meet with our trekking team, set off on foot and trek along the trail filled with seasonal agriculture.

After lunch at local family house in traditional style, we continue our scenic trek. On the way, we will have plenty of opportunities to stop and interact with the friendly locals. We reach our overnight stop village of Saung Khar in the evening. Tonight we stay in a house with a local family which gives plenty of opportunity for more interaction and learning about the local people’s way of life. 

Overnight in Saung Khar Village.


Transfer from Kalaw to Naung Tayar: 1 hr 30 mins Trekking up to: 4 hours Difficulty: Easy

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Day 8 - Saung Khar - Thayar Gone - Samkar

Departing Saung Khar early, we say farewell to our host family and continue our trek towards Inle Lake. This morning trek offers great views of bamboo forest, valley and overview of the villages. Our first stop is Naung Mon old Monastery and village where we can learn about monastic life in Myanmar and day to day village life. The monastery also serves as a community center and is an important part of rural Burmese life.

Continuing onwards and downwards we descend to our final destination of Tharyar Gone, a short stroll from the shores of Inle Lake.

Depending on progress made our lunch will be served either in a village or at a restaurant in Tharyar Gone. This also lends the opportunity to observe the making of local rice wine.

Last up, we visit the Thar Khaung Pagoda Complex before transferring by long tail boat to Samkar located on the opposite shore.

Overnight in Samkar. 


Transfer by boat to Samkar: 10 mins Trekking up to: 4 hours Difficulty: Easy

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Day 9 - Samkar - Inle Lake - Nyaung Shwe

After breakfast we check-out and embark on a scenic boat journey to Nyaung Shwe by crossing Inle Lake, one of Myanmar’s most spectacular sights.

This afternoon set off on a sightseeing tour of the town. Travel by local trishaw down to the bustling canal which is a hive of activity in the morning as boats from the lake come in to unload tomatoes and other vegetables for distribution to the markets around the country. Watch as baskets laden with produce are transferred from boats to trucks and bikes.

Hop back on the trishaw and wind through quiet streets. Make a stop at the ‘tomato house’, a warehouse-like structure where the tomatoes are sorted and priced for sale. Then continue past some of the many monasteries and nunneries in the town, stopping for photos as you go.

Check in to your hotel in the mid afternoon. If we can still have enough time to catch sunset, there is an opportunity to visit Red Mountain Estate, one of Myanmar’s top vineyards. Enjoy wine tasting with expansive views of the lake below. Then, transfer back to the hotel.

Overnight in Nyaung Shwe.

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Day 10 - Inle Lake - Exploration

After breakfast, head to the jetty for a full day excursion on Inle Lake.

Begin visit the lake’s morning market. The market rotates its location around the lake’s villages in a 5 day rhythm and is visited by lake inhabitants and surrounding hill tribes who come to sell and trade their wares. (Note: market is daily except on dark moon day and full moon day).

Pass villages built on stilts over the lake, inhabited by the local Intha people. Observe the leg-rowing fishermen and see their floating gardens built up from strips of water hyacinth and mud and anchored to the bottom with bamboo poles. Visit Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, the lake’s main sanctuary, which contains five sacred Buddha images covered in gold leaf. 

At midday, stop to prepare our lunch with a local family! This cooking course is a fun and interesting way to learn about the traditional flavors and preparation techniques of Burmese Cuisine.  Join a local Inthar family in their kitchen to cook local dishes then sit on the floor at a round table and dine in the local way.

Then continue to explore the local crafts of Inle Lake with a stop at the weaving village of Inpawkhone and a cheroot factory, where the typical Burmese cigars are made by hand. Then, come back to Nyaung Shwe by boat.

Overnight in Nyaung Shwe.

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Day 11 - Nyaung Shwe - Heho // Bagan

We will take the morning flight from Heho to Bagan.

Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel in town.

In the afternoon, set off for a half-day exploration of Bagan. Experience a true taste of local culture today. 

Start with a visit to the Nyaung U market and wander with the locals who come each day to shop. Browse the array of items on offer, learning about the exotic fruits and unique spices grown in the area.

Continue to a nearby teashop. Teashops serve as social hubs in Myanmar and are thus an important part of daily life. Enjoy a cup of tea and soak in the atmosphere. See local families, groups of friends and businessmen huddled over steaming cups and discussing the day’s news. 

Then take a closer look at Bagan’s spiritual side. Transfer to Hngat Pyit Taung Monastery, a site rarely visited by tourists. Learn about monastic life and explore the temple’s caves to better understand the spiritual beliefs of the Burmese.

Finally discover the artistic talents of Bagan’s residents. Visit workshops producing lacquerware and wood crafts, two traditional crafts of the town. Witness skilled artisans create handmade works using techniques handed down from generation to generation.

Having gained a deeper appreciation for the rich culture of Myanmar, return to the hotel.

Responsible Travel: This tour gives you a chance to see the local life of the Burmese people, an opportunity to interact with the locals, support local craftsmen.

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Day 12 - Bagan - Mindat - Hpwi Village

After breakfast, begin the journey to Mindat. First, drive along Ayeyarwaddy River and sightsee at a morning market on the way. Then, cross the river via Anawyahtar Bridge driving in the dry zone before arriving at Kyaukhtu, a small administrative town.

Observe how sceneries change along the drive. Have a chance to take some pictures from stopovers during the drive.

Arrive at Mindat in the afternoon and tuck-in to a late lunch. Meet with the local team and continue on a short transfer to the starting point of the trek. Trek for two hours through the jungle to our night stop at a village called Hpwi.

Enjoy a home-cooked dinner prepared by local team and village host family.

Overnight at village house in Hpwi village.


Transfer to 8 mile point: up to 6 hours Trek up to 2 hours Difficulty: Easy

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Day 13 - Hpwi - Hunter Waterfall - Htel Pan - Am Laung

Wake up in the middle of nature! After breakfast pack up and take an hour-long trek down to reach the bottom of Hunter Falls, a nature waterfall in the jungle. Get a chance and take a relaxing swim in the waterfall.

Continue on a short trek to Htel Pan Village where lunch will be served at a local’s home.  Then, proceed to Am Luang Village, our rest stop for the day.

Arrive at the village in the afternoon and relax. Dinner will be served by the village’s host family.

Overnight in Am Laung Village.


Trekking up to 6 hours (include 2 hours for the waterfall) Difficulty: Medium

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Day 14 - Am Laung - Kyar Ein Nu - Ma Dat

After having a filling breakfast, say goodbye to the villagers and the beautiful Am Laung Village. Hike down to the river bridge and have some refreshments before climbing up the other side of the mountain to the village Kyar Ein Nu, where a tasty lunch will be served.

The afternoon hike gets us to our overnight village called Ma Dat, which is about a 3 hour long trek passing local villagers.

Relax on arrival and wait to see the menu for today’s dinner!

Overnight in Ma Dat village.


Trekking up to 7 hours Difficulty: Medium

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Day 15 - Ma Dat - Kyardo - Loute - Mindat

Today is the last day of this trekking adventure and the most challenging one too. Trek downhill pass steep declines and get a chance to visit and rest at some local houses along the way. We will also see the Konjac plantation and the cultivation process.  

Arrive at the last village called Loute Pel to have lunch. It has been a terrific learning journey of different cultures and customs of the villages!

Take the final steps out of this valley to the ending point, Creek River. Enjoy the peaceful sound of the water before being transferred back to Mindat. Spend the afternoon at leisure, stroll around Mindat or rest until dinner time. .

Dinner and overnight at a hotel in Mindat.

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Day 16 - Mindat - Pakokku - Bagan

Take a short visit to the Mindat Market before leaving to Bagan. Say goodbye to this hilly Chin state and return to the dry zone. On the drive back, stop to capture amazing photos of the landscape.

Arrive in Bagan this afternoon and have a delicious lunch. 

Free for the rest of the afternoon for your own exploration.

Overnight in Bagan


Transfer to Bagan: up to 5 hours

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Day 17 - Bagan // Ngapali Beach

Free to stroll around for your own exploration before taking the flight to Ngapali Beach.
Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel near the beach.

Free to enjoy the sun, sand, and sea by yourselves.

Overnight in Ngapali Beach


Get a bird’s-eye perspective of the famous temples with this balloon tour over Bagan. Take a sunrise hot air balloon flight, an unforgettable way to see Myanmar’s famed archaeological site.

Enjoy a cup of tea or coffee and a light snack while watching the crew inflate the balloons. Once ready, the pilot will give a detailed safety briefing and introduction to the ballooning experience. Climb aboard and take off! Rise slowly above the tree line and see the pagodas come into view. Be enchanted by the site of the temples being illuminated by the sun’s early morning rays.

The duration and balloon path are dependent on the wind conditions, but generally the balloon tour over Bagan lasts about 45 minutes to one hour. Descend to ground level where the crew will be waiting. Raise a glass of sparkling wine to celebrate the flight and enjoy a light breakfast while the balloon is packed up. Then transfer back to the hotel.

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Day 18 - Ngapali Beach - Leisure Day

You are free to stroll around the town of Ngapali for your own exploration.

There are plenty of water activities if you want to spend the night.

Overnight in Ngapali Beach

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Day 19 - Ngapali Beach - Leisure Day

You are free to stroll around the town of Ngapali for your own exploration.

There are plenty of water activities if you want to spend the night.

Overnight in Ngapali Beach

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Day 20 - Ngapali Beach // Yangon - Departure

Free to enjoy the beach before taking flight back to Yangon to connect with another onward flight back 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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