Simply Myanmar

Travelling from north to south, our Simply Myanmar holiday showcases this remarkable country's classic highlights, along with plenty of downtime. Admire Mandalay’s U Bein Bridge, explore Bagan’s extraordinary temples, discover the communities of Inle Lake, relax on Ngapali Beach, and bathe in a gilded sunset at Yangon’s Shwedagon Pagoda.

At a glance
  • Cruise towards the Ayeyarwady Delta
  • Bathe in a Bagan sunrise
  • Sip a cuppa in a traditional teahouse
  • Marvel at the Buddhas in Pindaya Caves
  • Unwind on Ngapali’s golden sands
  • Graze at Shwedagon Pagoda’s night market
Itinerary
Price & Hotels

Mandalay - 2 nights

Mandalay, the ‘City of Gems’, is Myanmar’s second largest city, and its glittering economic centre. Named after the pagoda-covered hill that rises above its streets, Mandalay is a thriving hub of commerce, history and tradition. Its name still evokes images of British colonial rule and poetic romance, due in part to Kipling’s love affair with the city. Glinting glass towers spring up regularly in its dynamic centre, sitting comfortably alongside lavish Buddhist stupas, the historic Royal Palace citadel, and traditional arts and crafts workshops that produce everything from gold leaf to distinctive kalaga tapestries.

Day 1 - Arrive Mandalay, sunset over U Bein Bridge

On arrival in Myanmar, you'll be met by your private guide, who will accompany you to your Mandalay hotel.

Welcome to Selective Asia! This level of personal service (such as private transfers, private tours etc) is what you can expect throughout your trip. A few services (eg boat cruises) will be shared, but we'll always make sure you're aware of these.

Make an afternoon visit to the iconic U Bein teak bridge. Built in 1782, when Amarapura (now a township within Mandalay) was the royal capital, this impressive piece of engineering claims the title of 'world's longest teak bridge' and is still very much in use. Settle on the riverbank to watch the sunset (making sure you get there early to secure a good spot!), then enjoy an evening at leisure exploring the night market and the city’s fabulous eateries.

Day 2 - Mandalay city tour, Sagaing sunset

Includes:

Explore the city’s key sights with a personalised guided programme. We recommend the eclectic stalls at Zaycho Market, the Kuthodaw Pagoda at the foot of Mandalay Hill, the Mahamuni Paya (where devotees add gold leaf to the Mahamuni Buddha) and the historic wooden palace of Shwe Nan Daw. Board a chartered boat at Mandalay Port and cruise along the Ayeyarwady River to Mingun for a walking tour of King Bodawpaya’s unfinished temple, the mighty Mingun Bell, and the enchanting Hsinbyume Pagoda with its wave-like roof. Drive to Sagaing, a monastic centre on the Ayeyarwady River, to visit some of the pagodas that cover the hillsides; get a scenic overview from the steep Shin Pin Nan Kaing Hill; or visit the 98 foot high Kaung Mu Daw stupa and a nearby paper doll workshop. End the day on a high by watching the sunset from one of Sagaing’s many viewpoints.

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Ayeyarwady River Cruise - 1 night

Flowing for 1,350 miles through Myanmar, from Kachin State in the north to its mouth at the Andaman Sea, the Ayeyarwady (also spelled 'Irrawaddy') is Myanmar's largest river, providing a picturesque route between Yangon and the historic cities of Pyay, Bagan, Mandalay and Bhamo. Across the delta, the Meinmahla Kyun Wildlife Sanctuary protects 50 sq miles of mangrove habitat, home to creatures ranging from dolphins and crocodiles, to Sambhur deer, jungle cats, White-Bellied Sea Eagles, Vernal Hanging Parrots and several kingfisher species. Cruise at your own speed, and see local boatmen fish in harmony with the Irrawaddy Dolphins.

Day 3 - Ayeyarwady river cruise stopping at Yandabo village

Includes:

Start early aboard the luxurious RV Paukan for your overnight cruise from Mandalay to Bagan, passing dramatic scenery and unforgettable snapshots of daily life along the Ayeyarwady’s banks. Disembark for several shore excursions, including a wander around the village of Yandabo, known for its pottery, and as the historic site where the Treaty of Yandabo was signed, formally ending the first Anglo-Burmese War. Enjoy dinner in the dining room back on board, before mooring overnight along the river bank near the village of Shwe Nann Tint.

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Bagan - 2 nights

Sometimes written ‘Pagan’, Myanmar’s 9th century capital is one of the most significant ancient cities in South-East Asia, right up there with Angkor Wat. Now, 25 years after it was first nominated, Bagan has been recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With literally thousands to choose from, it's no easy task selecting which temples and pagodas to make a beeline for, so get recommendations from your guide, and perhaps indulge in a bird's eye view from a hot air balloon. If you’re in danger of becoming ‘templed out’, wander through interesting nearby villages, discover Nyaung U’s excellent restaurant scene, and find the lively market and tea shop culture in New Bagan.

Day 4 - Bagan sunrise & temple tour

Includes:

Watch the sunrise over Bagan - one of Myanmar’s most beautiful sights - from the deck of the Paukan, before disembarking and either heading to your hotel or beginning your tour of the temples. Whichever temples you choose to focus on, in true Selective Asia style we have a couple of gems up our sleeve, well off the tourist radar, which our guides will be eager to show you. With your head full of spires, visit a lacquerware shop to learn about this age-old process the region is famous for, and allow your guide to recommend somewhere for lunch. In the afternoon you may wish to visit the iconic temples of Ananda, where 1424 Buddhas line the walls, and Shwezigion Pagoda with its magnificent golden stupa. End the day with sunset over the temples, and return to your hotel for a well-earned sundowner.

Day 5 - Chauk tea shops, Salin tunnel tour

Includes:

Drive out of Bagan, passing fields and rural villages en route to the town of Chauk. Famous for oil and natural gas production, the town has grown from a tiny village to a thriving regional centre, and several ‘nodding donkeys’ punctuate the skyline. Mingle with locals in the vibrant central market, and enjoy a cuppa or two in the tea shops. Continue to the ancient town of Salin on the eastern Chin Hills. The area is dotted with pagodas, and the wide lake near the centre of town is covered with thousands of huge lotus flowers, creating quite the dramatic first impression on this important trading town. Explore the hidden tunnels at U Ottama Monastery, used by the monks during its time as U Ottama Fort; see the ornately-carved Salay Yoke Sone Monastery nearby; and wander between produce stalls at Salin central market.

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Pindaya - 1 night

Pindaya, a small town in Shan State, exemplifies the gentle rhythms and routines of rural Myanmar. Driving through the landscape, you’ll have time to drink in the scenery as you pass farmers bringing crops to the roadside by ox-cart, where they’ll be scooped up by wholesalers and sold as far afield as Yangon and China. The town takes its name from the legend of a princess rescued from a giant spider in the nearby Pindaya Caves. Trek to these famous caverns and see over 8000 sculpted Buddha images which have been left there over the centuries.

Day 6 - Fly to Heho, Flat Mango Village visit

Includes:

Fly into Heho, then hit the road to Pindaya, stopping en route at Tha Yet Pyar (Flat Mango Village). Just 15 minutes from Pindaya town, this charming, well-kept village, is home to a Danu Shan community. Meet the villagers and learn about typical rural life in the region, spending time in homes, and seeing how the locals earn a living making brooms and cheroots to sell at nearby markets. Visit the village school and monastery, receive a blessing from the Head Monk, and learn more about Buddhist meditation. Head to a hilltop stupa for sweeping views of the village and surrounding countryside, then enjoy a traditional Shan lunch. The rest of your day will be at leisure to explore Pindaya town centre and Pone Taloke Lake, take time out at a terrace restaurant, and browse the interesting boutique shops.

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Inle Lake region - 2 nights

As you approach the vast expanse of Inle Lake, the narrow tributary channels widen and before you know it you’re crossing the broad, tranquil water, with hills and mountains surrounding you in every direction. The panoramic view is beautiful, and the scale is breathtaking. As you take it all in, you’ll see passing fishermen move their boats swiftly over the lake using their unique foot-rowing technique. The region is home to several traditional tribal communities who live in stilted homes over the water, tending floating vegetable gardens and making a living from the lake.

Day 7 - Explore Pindaya Caves, vineyard tour, boat to Inle Lake

Includes:

Set out for the area’s top highlight: the Pindaya Caves. Walk deep into the caves, high in the hills, passing among thousands of Buddha statues and stalactites, and once outside again, enjoy panoramic views across Pindaya. Pause at the market then drive to Nyaung Shwe on the shores of Inle Lake. Stroll through the nearby Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery to wonder at this unique teak building, richly decorated with religious mosaics and golden ornaments. Continue out of the town to the picturesque Red Mountain Vineyards & Winery, close to the lake’s shore, to learn about the history of wine production in the region, sample the tipples, and order another glass of your favourite to accompany lunch. Return to Nyaung Shwe to board a small boat and cruise onto Inle Lake, passing local fishermen and taking in the stunning scenery, before settling into your resort and enjoying the sunset.

Day 8 - Visit In Dein & Ywama pagodas

Includes:

Spend a morning on the water, cruising in a southerly direction along the western bank as far as In Dein and Ywama, then navigating a narrow canal to a small Pa’O village. Disembark at the central marketplace and follow the old covered path to a 13th century monastery, and the evocative ruins of over a hundred ancient pagodas hidden by the lush deep vegetation all around. At the main hilltop stupa, pause to enjoy sensational views of the surrounding mountains, and Inle Lake in the distance. The remainder of your day will be at leisure to relax and soak up the unique atmosphere of the lake.

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Ngapali Beach - 3 nights

Ngapali is one of the most impressive beaches in South-East Asia, with long bays of fine white sand leading down to crystal clear waters. Rows of rustling palm trees are punctuated by a few bungalow-style resorts that have sprung up as the country’s tourist industry has flourished, but it still enjoys a relaxed fishing-village vibe, free from noisy beach bars. Rise early to watch the fishermen bring in their daily catch, then float over the coast in a hot air balloon, taking in the panoramic views of jungle clad mountains, meandering rivers and temples as the morning mist lifts.

Day 9 - Journey to Ngapali Beach by boat, plane & car

Includes:

Fly from Heho to Thandwe, and take a shared transfer to Ngapali Beach where you can unwind with a few days at leisure exploring, relaxing and laying back on those golden sands...

Days 10 & 11 - Relax on Ngapali Beach

Includes:

Enjoy a few days at leisure to relax and reflect on your experiences.

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Yangon - 2 nights

Yangon (formerly Rangoon) was Myanmar’s capital until 2006 and remains the country's largest and most influential city. Its dusty streets are lined with an intriguing array of traditional wooden homes, imposing colonial-era relics, buzzing tea houses, and modern - although often already decaying - office blocks. Yangon’s skyline remains far more low-rise and green than many other South-East Asian cities, leaving space to enjoy the views. Rivers, lakes, parks and tree-lined streets separate the built up districts, and the gleaming spire of Shwedagon Pagoda - one of Myanmar’s most iconic sights - towers above the city.

Day 12 - Fly to Yangon, Shwedagon Pagoda, Yangon by night

Includes:

Once in Yangon, your day will be at leisure until a late afternoon visit to the magnificent Shwedagon Pagoda: the perfect spot to enjoy the Yangon sunset. Explore the surrounding shrines as the city’s residents make their daily prayers at this incredible landmark; investigating the makeshift food markets that spring up as evening draws in, for a taste of Yangon cuisine. As night falls, the pagoda is brightly illuminated; its golden surface shining against the dark night sky. Continue to Little India, where lively eateries tempt you in with delicious scents. Visit the Tamil-built Shri Kali Hindu temple, and wander through Chinatown to the Cantonese Kwan Yin (or Guanyin) temple, before finally reaching 19th Street, lined with restaurants and street food stalls. Settle here with a cold beer and a selection of street food while you watch life go by, or choose from a wide array of restaurants for dinner.

Day 13 - Experience Yangon's circle train & appreciate the colonial architecture

Includes:

Head for the bustling streets of India Town, at the heart of downtown Yangon, to explore the lively morning market, then hop aboard the ‘circular railway’ to weave your way through the city on this leisurely local commuter train, Disembark at Hledan, a University district, to visit the huge reclining Buddha at nearby Chaukhtatgyi Paya, then head to Sule Pagoda, one of the city’s great landmarks. Consult one of the pagoda’s fortune-tellers, and continue west to Mahabandoola Park and Burma’s Independence Monument to look out over the city’s grand colonial architecture. Pass along Pansodan Street to the jetty, as boat loads of people make their daily commute across the Yangon River, and see more colonial buildings including the General Post Office and the historic Strand Hotel. Head to a typical residential area, and stop to mingle with the locals over a cup of sweet chai.

Day 14 - Depart Yangon

Includes:

Enjoy a morning at leisure before heading to the airport for your onward flight.

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We only provide privately guided holidays - meaning that you will not be expected to share guides or transport for the duration of your visit. You can also start on any day you choose.

Please click on the hotel category buttons below to view hotel details. These are recommended properties only - we have many alternative options for you to choose from if you would prefer. You can mix hotel categories throughout your holiday.

Hotel class Price per person (based on total # travelling)
2 persons 3 persons 4 - 6
Standard £2,378US$3,115 £2,259US$2,960 £2,140US$2,804

Yadanarpon Dynasty Hotel

Yadanarpon Dynasty’s leafy location in the quiet zone of 65th street is hard to beat: a 10 minute walk from Mandalay Palace... See more

RV Paukan 2007

The RV Paukan 2007 is essentially a floating boutique hotel, a modern boat with a smart Colonial-influenced aesthetic, with wood-panelled walls and comfortable…   See more

Bagan Thande Hotel

Arranged along the riverbank, the Bagan Thande’s wooden bungalows are bright & elegant, their aesthetic traditional but modern enough to keep you comfortable... See more

Pindaya Farm House

Surrounded by a patchwork of fields as far as the eye can see, the Pindaya Farm House is a friendly, relaxed base from which to explore this rural region of Myanmar’s Shan State. The town of Pindaya, famous for its limestone caves, is... See more

Inle Resort

Perhaps the dark horse of our Inle Lake favourites, the Inle Resort just keeps throwing us surprises – of the good kind. Many are due to the recent arrival of the extremely... See more

Pleasant View Resort

Boasting a direct beach front location at the far southern end of Ngapali beach, the Pleasant View Resort enjoys a friendly and relaxed vibe... See more

Hotel G

Downtown Yangon bustles with street markets, food stalls and an upbeat atmosphere. Hotel G is conveniently located right in the centre of the action, just over a mile to Shwedagon Pagoda...

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First Class £2,449US$3,207 £2,331US$3,054 £2,211US$2,897

Bagan King Hotel

Located in the heart of Mandalay, just a 5 minute walk from Mandalay’s Royal Palace and moat, the Bagan King Hotel may look a little un-inspiring from the outside, but... See more

RV Paukan 2007

The RV Paukan 2007 is essentially a floating boutique hotel, a modern boat with a smart Colonial-influenced aesthetic, with wood-panelled walls and comfortable…   See more

Bagan Thande Hotel

Arranged along the riverbank, the Bagan Thande’s wooden bungalows are bright & elegant, their aesthetic traditional but modern enough to keep you comfortable... See more

Pindaya Farm House

Surrounded by a patchwork of fields as far as the eye can see, the Pindaya Farm House is a friendly, relaxed base from which to explore this rural region of Myanmar’s Shan State. The town of Pindaya, famous for its limestone caves, is... See more

Inle Heritage Resort

Enjoying a location in the middle of Inle Lake, this unique property is accessible only by a one hour boat journey from Nyaung Shwe. From the locally crafted room furnishings, to the traditional cuisine served in the restaurant...

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Thande Beach Hotel

Right on Myanmar's lovely Ngapali Beach, with direct access to the sand from its best bungalows, Thande Beach is very pleasant and brilliantly located... See more

Sule Shangri La

Formerly known as Traders, Sule Shangri La is something of a landmark in itself within Yangon - its 21 floors place it amongst the highest buildings in the city. The views from many rooms are sensational...

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Superior £2,593US$3,397 £2,475US$3,242 £2,356US$3,086

Mercure Mandalay Hill Resort Hotel

With commanding views in all directions, the Mercure Mandalay Hill Resort Hotel is located at the foot of perhaps Myanmar’s most iconic landmark - its sacred hill... See more

RV Paukan 2007

The RV Paukan 2007 is essentially a floating boutique hotel, a modern boat with a smart Colonial-influenced aesthetic, with wood-panelled walls and comfortable…   See more

The Hotel @ Tharabar Gate

Any hotel with a 12th century palace wall within its boundaries is likely to be impressive, and The Hotel @ Tharabar Gate is a case in point. The perfect, cool, airy retreat... See more

Pindaya Farm House

Surrounded by a patchwork of fields as far as the eye can see, the Pindaya Farm House is a friendly, relaxed base from which to explore this rural region of Myanmar’s Shan State. The town of Pindaya, famous for its limestone caves, is... See more

Inle Lake View Resort & Spa

Located on the western banks of serene Inle Lake, the Inle Lake View Resort is unquestionably amongst the pick of the region's accommodation choices... See more

Bayview Beach Resort

Tucked away amidst coconut palms, towards the northern end of pristine Ngapali beach, the Bayview Beach Resort enjoys arguably one of the best beachfront locations... See more

Sule Shangri La

Formerly known as Traders, Sule Shangri La is something of a landmark in itself within Yangon - its 21 floors place it amongst the highest buildings in the city. The views from many rooms are sensational...

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Deluxe £3,062US$4,011 £2,945US$3,858 £2,825US$3,700

Red Canal

Although they’re only a short taxi or trishaw ride into downtown Mandalay and the night market, most guests would quite rightly question the need to ever leave the Red Canal. Put simply, it’s delightful... See more

RV Paukan 2007

The RV Paukan 2007 is essentially a floating boutique hotel, a modern boat with a smart Colonial-influenced aesthetic, with wood-panelled walls and comfortable…   See more

Bagan Lodge

Providing stylish luxury accommodation just south of ancient Bagan, the Lodge strikes a tempting balance between modern comfort and historic Burmese elegance... See more

Pindaya Farm House

Surrounded by a patchwork of fields as far as the eye can see, the Pindaya Farm House is a friendly, relaxed base from which to explore this rural region of Myanmar’s Shan State. The town of Pindaya, famous for its limestone caves, is... See more

Inle Princess Resort

The charming Inle Princess Resort is located on the eastern lakeside, with many of its thatched, stilted cottages lining the water, while others, to the rear, offer views... See more

Ngapali Bay Villas and Spa

This small cluster of 32 villas is thoughtfully set in 'U' shapes - so that everyone has a view out across the Bay of Bengal. Directly beach front, the Ngapali Bay Resort... See more

Savoy Hotel

Being located just off Rangoon's very own ‘millionaire’s row’ can have its advantages, namely the great restaurants and shopping (or window shopping) opportunities the neighbourhood has to offer... See more

Solo travellers are always welcome - please contact us for a tailored quote.

These prices are shown in GBPUSD.
Selective Asia is a UK-registered company, but our client-base spans the globe, so we bank in both GBP and USD and can therefore provide a fixed price in either currency.
We also have payment facilities in Canada, New Zealand, Australia and the EU, and can typically offer better-than-bank exchange rates on the date of payment in these currencies (against a booking priced in GBP).

Itinerary additions

  • Add a few extra days to the end of your trip and spend some time relaxing on the stunning beaches of Ngapali or Ngwe Saung.
  • Kyaiktiyo, or 'the Golden Rock', is just five hours by car and makes for an excellent side trip from Yangon. Marvel at one of Asia's great Buddhist wonders.
  • Those with itchy feet may like to add a few extra days in the Inle Lake region. There's some great trekking close to the lake or over the higher trails to Kalaw or Loikaw.
Selective Asia is a tailor-made travel specialist, creating a range of personalised travel experiences for our clients. Whilst this holiday itinerary is ideal for many and can certainly be arranged in its current format (and at the price quoted) you may wish to make some alterations. Your consultant will be happy to advise you on these and to create a unique, tailor-made holiday programme.

The important stuff

Please note: During high season periods (such as Christmas and Burmese New Year) hotels often levy a surcharge and these are not included in the above prices. Your consultant will be happy to advise you of these.

Inclusive:

  • English speaking, local guide
  • All accommodation listed
  • Land transportation by private air-conditioned vehicles
  • Shared cruise including cabin accommodation & all meals
  • Any domestic flights listed (unless marked otherwise)
  • All admission fees at attractions, temples and activities as mentioned in the itinerary
  • All meals listed
  • International flight reconfirmation.

Exclusive:

  • Flights to/from Asia. We are an ATOL bonded operator and can arrange flights from the UK
  • Entry visas
  • International airport departure taxes
  • Any meals not listed in the itinerary
  • Drinks, other than water on activity days
  • Personal expenses (laundry, telephone, drinks, tip...)
  • Travel insurance
  • All other services not listed in 'inclusive'

Please note

All prices are correct at the time of publishing. They are liable to change and can only be confirmed upon submitting an enquiry.

 

Extras

Flights

We will arrange all internal flights used within our holiday itineraries. We can also arrange discounted flights from all UK airports to Asia and we are a fully bonded ATOL operator. If you would like a quote for your international flights then please complete the required section on the enquiry form.

Visa

You will require a visa to enter Myanmar. Your consultant will be happy to advise you on visa requirements.

Passport

Please ensure that you have a valid passport with at least 6 months validity remaining after your return date. You will also need at least one blank page for each of the countries you are visiting.

Insurance

You will require a comprehensive travel insurance that covers you for medical costs associated with hospitalisation, emergency travel and repatriation back to your home country. We offer our customers a specially discounted insurance policy, ideally suited to the needs that a trip such as this creates. Tick the insurance box in the enquiry form and we will send you a quote to suit your needs.

Vaccinations and Malaria Prevention

You will undoubtedly require vaccinations for your visit to Asia. Please consult your doctor or a vaccination clinic for the most up-to-date advice. They will also be able to advise you of the most suitable anti-malarial medication if required. It is important that you do this well in advance of your departure date.

Booking Procedure

Only once you are completely happy with any holiday itinerary we create for you will we ask for a payment. In order that we can secure availability for your booking we would typically require a deposit of 20%.

Travelling Responsibly

We care about the places and the communities that you will travel through. It is important to us that we travel as responsibly as possible throughout Asia and that we are giving something back to the regions and the people that make these journeys so special. Full details on our approach to responsible travel can be found on a dedicated section of this website.

Make it yours!

Call us on 01273 670 001

Get in touch

Dave – Myanmar tailor-made specialist

Myanmar promises a travel experience like nothing you will have had before. It exceeds expectations on every level.'

DaveMyanmar tailor-made specialist

Speak to Dave on 01273 670 001

Make it yours!

Call us on 01273 670 001

Get in touch

Our tailor-made service costs you no extra

This itinerary is designed to work straight off the peg, but we'll happily tailor it until it's a perfect fit for you, to ensure we’re making the absolute best of your time and funds. All you need to do is ask...

Your own private guides & drivers

You'll typically have your own private guides & drivers throughout your trip. When you will be sharing a service (eg a boat cruise) with others, we'll always let you know.

Book With Confidence

For peace of mind when booking your future holiday to Asia, we have introduced flexible booking conditions & full financial clarity.