Culture & Coast in Myanmar
This is the perfect holiday for first-time visitors to Myanmar who want to experience the Golden Land’s authentic culture and the idyllic coastline of Ngapali Beach. Interactions with local people throughout make this tour one of the most immersive offers we have.
|Departure Time||Pick up place|
|Your arrival time||Mandalay Airport|
Who would love this tour?
Family, Friends, Couple, Senior
- Reviews 1 Review5/5
- Vacation Style Holiday Type
- Activity Level Moderate
- Group Size Small Group
The highlight of Culture & Coast in Myanmar
- Visit local communities and experience the authentic cultures of ethnic groups in different parts of the country.
- Explore ancient temples in archaeological Bagan, Myanmar’s famous UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Experience the watery world of Inle Lake where you can see unique floating villages in the middle of the lake.
- Tour Myanmar’s most iconic landmark, Shwedagon Pagoda, and see the other highlights of Yangon’s colonial downtown area.
- Treat yourself to a relaxing stay on unspoiled Ngapali Beach, one of Asia’s most beautiful coastal areas.
- 13 Nights (3/4 stars) accommodation with daily breakfast (Twin/ double sharing based)
- Transfer and sightseeing by air con car as mentioned in itinerary
- 4 domestic flights as mentioned in itinerary (Bagan-Heho-Yangon-Ngapali-Yangon)
- Entrance fees for the visit as in itinerary
- Fantastic boat trip in Inle lake and Indein village
- A taste of Inle wine of one glass
- unforgettable sunset on a boat in the Irrawaddy river near Bagan
- English speaking (station) tour guide service for 9 days (No guide service for Day 4, 6, 11, 12, 13)
- Meals: mentioned Breakfast (B), lunch (L), dinner (D) as in itinerary (7 lunches, 1 dinners)
- International air tickets and airport departure tax
- Visa fees and arrangement
- Personal expenses and mini bar charges at hotels
- Camera fees and other expenses not mentioned in itinerary
- Guide service for Day 4, 6, 11, 12, 13
- Lunch and dinner unless specify
- Early check-in and late check-out charges at hotels
- Drinks and beverages
- All activities and services in Ngapali except accommodation
- Day 1 Mandalay arrival
You will be picked up at Mandalay International Airport by our guide and transferred to your hotel for check-in (early check-in may be subject to a surcharge).
After freshening up, meet in the lobby to start your evening tour. First, explore Kuthodaw Pagoda, a UNESCO Cultural Heritage Site, renowned for being home to the world’s largest book. Spend some time here learning about the story and scriptures from your knowledgeable guide. Then, head to Mandalay Hill nearby and ascend to the top at a height of 790 feet for a magnificent view over Myanmar’s second-largest city and former capital. The ascent is made with the assistance of a vehicle and escalators. From the top visitors can see the square of Mandalay’s former Royal Palace, several pagodas dotted around the area, and the Irrawaddy River running through agricultural land surrounding the city. It is a peaceful place where many friendly locals come to view the sunset.
After the sun has set return to your hotel for a good night’s sleep to recover from your international flight.
Overnight in Mandalay.
- Day 2 Sagaing-Inwa (Ava) - Amarapura. (B, L)
After breakfast embark on a full-day tour of the three ancient royal capitals surrounding Mandalay for a journey back in time: Ava, Sagaing, and Amarapura.
Start driving towards Ava where you will take a short boat ride across the river and board a horse-cart for a leisurely ride around the capital city from the 14th to the 18th century. Stop off for visits to the remains of the old wooden Bagaya Monastery and the famous Maenu’ brick monastery. Then, return to the car and drive towards Sagaing, crossing a bridge over the Irrawaddy River. Sagaing is widely regarded as the religious centre of Myanmar and this is evident upon observing the hundreds of white and gold Stupas covering the green of Sagaing hill – a truly enthralling representation of the importance of religion in this country. Sagaing is also home to more than 3,000 monks and over 100 meditation centres.
Along the way enjoy lunch at a local restaurant in either Ava or Sagaing.
This afternoon the journey continues to Amarapura, the royal capital from 1783 until 1859. Highlights here include a visit to a traditional silk-weaving workshop and the world’s longest teak foot bridge – U Bein Bridge, which crosses the shallow Taungthaman Lake. This is a fantastic place to take beautiful photos and enjoy a leisurely stroll along the bridge as the sun sets before returning to your hotel in Mandalay.
Overnight in Mandalay.
- Day 3 Mandalay City (B, L)
This morning transfer from your hotel to the jetty and take a boat down to Mingun village on the banks of the Irrawaddy River. After a 45-minute scenic ride, you will arrive at Mingun pier from where you can view the Mingun Pahtodawgyi, an enormous stupa which would have been the biggest in the world if it was completed. Take some time to look around this magnificent site and then walk to the Mingun Bell, the world’s largest ringing bell, which is believed to weigh some 200,000 pounds. Crawl underneath the bell to crouch beneath this massive structure if you dare. Then continue on foot to the white-washed Hsinphymae Pagoda with its notable architecture and history. A visit to Mingun’s unique pagodas and historical relics will surely be one of the highlights of your time in Mandalay.
Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant in Mingun during your visit.
After discovering Mingun return to Mandalay by boat and spend the rest of the afternoon meeting members of the local artist community for an in-depth cultural experience. You will have the opportunity to meet traditional dancers, musicians, and puppeteers at local homes. This is a great activity to learn from these talented artists, ask questions and contribute to traditional arts to help preserve the culture.
If time permits you can also learn about the city’s gold-leaf making industry, visit Mahamuni Pagoda, a marble workshop, and other handicraft shops.
Optional Activity: We can arrange for traditional Marionette artists to join you for the boat ride to and from Mingun. The traditional art of puppetry is one that is slowly dying so help safeguard this tradition and enjoy an extraordinary display. The artists will also teach you their skills.
Note: The additional charge for this activity puts money directly into the hands of the local artist (15,000 Kyats per artist – there are usually four artists).
Overnight in Mandalay.
- Day 4 Mandalay - Bagan (B)
This morning continues your adventure from Mandalay to Bagan by private car (or take the option of going by boat if your travel date is between October and March). Making this journey by car takes approximately 4 hours (going by boat would take the entire day from 6.00 am to 5.00 pm) and gives you plenty of opportunities along the road to observe the life of local people outside of the cities in the various village you pass by. You will have the freedom to stop wherever you like along the way for a break or a scenic photograph. Travelling overland is an eco-friendly alternative to travelling between these two destinations by plane and does not take much more time in total.
Enjoy lunch (on your account) at a local restaurant in a scenic setting during the drive.
You will arrive in Bagan in the afternoon and have the rest of the day to relax or explore independently. This ancient capital is famed for the thousands of temples on its plains and is one of Asia’s most stunning archaeological sites.
- Day 5 Bagan (B, L)
Start early this morning to avoid the heat for an exploration of the most beautiful and historically significant temples with your tour guide, who will give you detailed insights and stories about the most iconic sites, as well as the lesser-known areas that those without a guide would struggle to find. Highlights of the morning include Ananda Temple, one of Myanmar’s most revered temples, and Shwezigon Pagoda, a centre of prayer and reflection.
During your tour of the temples, you will notice that it is now forbidden to climb the temples at this UNESCO World Heritage Site in order to help conserve them. Don’t worry though, your guide will take you to one of the other elevated viewpoints dotted around the temple complex for a panoramic view of this ancient site.
Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant close to the temples of Bagan.
In the afternoon you will have a chance to visit a traditional lacquerware workshop and buy unique, finely-crafted, locally-produced handicrafts. Later on, enjoy a fantastic sunset from a boat on the Irrawaddy River with your guide who will happily point out sites from earlier in the day. This is the most relaxing and beautiful way to end a day in Bagan. Drinks and snacks will be served on board to create an unforgettable evening experience.
Overnight in Bagan.
- Day 6 Bagan Leisure day (B)
Today is a free day for you to either continue exploring this gorgeous area by yourself or simply relax by the pool at your hotel and let your mind wander.
If you do choose to continue touring the temples and villages within the Bagan complex you can do so by e-bike (electric scooter), bicycle or on your own two feet. E-bikes are a great way to get around without breaking too much of a sweat. They are also perfect for going down smaller paths which cars and buses cannot access. This allows you to get well off the beaten path and visit even more of the lesser-known sites of Bagan. Navigating your way around is quite straightforward and your hotel can provide a map.
End your memorable stay in Bagan with dinner at your hotel on the banks of the Irrawaddy River (on your own account).
- Day 7 Bagan-Heho-Pindaya -Inle Lake (B, L)
After breakfast transfer to Nyaung U Airport for a short flight to Heho. Upon arrival at this small airport in Shan State, you will be picked up by our tour guide and transferred to Pindaya, a peaceful lakeside town in the Shan hills. The drive takes around 1 hour and along the way you can visit the Pa-O and Danu tribal villages of Pwehla, and observe rolling fields of dry cultivated mountain rice and potato as far as the eye can see.
Arrive in Pindaya and visit the fascinating Pindaya caves set in a limestone landscape. The caves consist of more than 8000 Buddha images of various styles ranging from different periods. Pilgrims regularly flock to the caves and install new Buddha images within this complex of tunnels and chambers reaching 150 meters in length. Exploring the small pathways and hidden meditation chambers is a unique experience. Don’t miss your guide’s story about the significance of the statues of the giant spider and prince on the path leading to the caves.
Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant in the green town of Pindaya.
Afterward, head to Nyaung Shwe, the gateway town to Inle Lake. The drive lasts around 1½ hours and shows you another side of Shan State’s natural beauty. Continue a few kilometers outside of town up to the stunning Red Mountain Wine Estate to watch the sunset over Inle Lake while tasting locally-made wine. After a busy day of travelling it is time for the final stop – your beautiful stilted hotel in the middle of Inle Lake in Nam Pan village.
Overnight on Inle Lake.
- Day 8 Inle Lake (B, L)
This morning you will experience the unique life of a farmer on Inle Lake’s floating gardens. Our guide and comfortable motorboat will pick you up at your hotel and take you just north of Nam Pan village where the Inn-Thar (the name given to the people from Inle Lake) grow a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and flowers for their own consumption and for distribution all around the country. The tomatoes of Inle Lake are particularly popular and tasty. These gardens are an excellent example of local farmers harnessing nature to develop their livelihood activities. The gardens you will see are the work of many generations. You will have the opportunity to join these expert farmers in their daily activities and, if the season is right, even pick some fruits and vegetables yourself.
After seeing the source of many of the fresh ingredients you have been eating throughout your trip until now you will have built up quite an appetite so it is time to head to a local restaurant for lunch surrounded by the lake’s water.
After lunch, it is time to see some of Inle Lake’s other famous products in Inn Paw Khone village. Depending on your interest, we will visit a silversmith’s, lotus weaving and cheroot making a workshop for you to admire the intricate work done by local producers and pick up some beautiful, locally-made products to take back home. Once you’re done shopping it is time to head back to the hotel.
- Day 9 Inle Lake-Indein (B, L, D)
After breakfast, our tour guide will lead you on a boat tour to Indein village, which is famous for its numerous and significant small pagodas located in picturesque surroundings on the west bank of Inle Lake. Along the way, you will also have the opportunity to take part in a soft trek to discover the rural life of the people that call Kyae Paw Khon village home.
In the afternoon, you will further explore this unique living lake, full of atmosphere and fishers simultaneously fishing and rowing while balancing on one leg. Visit Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, a famous shrine in the middle of the lake housing five sacred Buddha images that have become almost round in shape due to the sheer volume of gold leaf applied by devotees. Producing gold and silverware is a long tradition of local people in this area. Other work done here includes lotus weaving and cheroot making – you can visit the workshops producing these handicrafts to learn how they are made close-up. Take a break for lunch somewhere in the Lake and rest awhile at your hotel after lunch. After a rest at your hotel, you will have to go to the place/restaurant near Inn Paw Khon village where you will be away from the noise of motorised boats. Relax there to reflect on the morning experience and spend time.
Activity options of the afternoon: Settle down in this restaurant, you can learn from a local fisherman the unusual technique of one-leg rowing, which involves impressive balance and has come to be the symbol of Inle Lake. Alternatively, you can take a relaxing canoeing trip on a quiet part of the Inle Lake.
Note: The additional charges for these activities put money directly into the hands of a local family (approximately 10000 Kyats per person) and allow you to have an immersive experience learning about local traditions.
After you have local experiences, enjoy watching the setting sun from this noiseless restaurant while tasting locally-made wine and then continue to have dinner there.
Return to the hotel after dinner and have well dream in your last night at the Inle Lake.
- Day 10 Inle Lake-Yangon by flight (B, L)
This morning transfer from your lake hotel to Nyaung Shwe by boat before switching to a private car for the 45-minute drive to Heho Airport. Fly to Yangon and be greeted upon arrival by a local guide and private car to visit the highlights of Yangon – Myanmar’s largest city and its culturally diverse commercial centre.
We will explore the downtown area of the city on foot. This is where most of Yangon’s colonial architecture is located, with each building telling its own interesting history of the city that exists today. Amongst others, discover City Hall, the post office and the Myanmar Port Authority building, all in the heart of the city.
After the tour of downtown enjoy a lunch of traditional Burmese cuisine at a local restaurant.
Following lunch, it is time to explore another part of the city which focuses more on the religious and spiritual side of it. First, we will go to Chaukthatgyi Pagoda which houses a 65-meter-long reclining Buddha image. This visit provides a great overview of Buddhism as various murals depict the life of the Buddha to give you a better understanding of his life on earth. Locals often gather here to pray and pay respects. Next, the guided tour goes to nearby Kandawgyi Park which is a popular hangout for local people on the weekend and offers beautiful views of Shwedagon Pagoda.
As the sun begins to set over Yangon, it is time to visit the city’s most iconic site – Shwedagon Pagoda. This is the most revered site for Buddhists in Myanmar, with each one making it their lifetime goal to pay their respects here at least once. Legend has it that the original structure was built over 2,500 years ago. It took its current shape in the 15th century and what you see today is a stunning, gold-plated pagoda that glitters in the Yangon sky. Despite the significance and popularity of this monument, the atmosphere is very peaceful and the slow burning of incense creates a sublime air of serene spirituality to end the day.
Overnight in Yangon.
- Day 11 Yangon – Ngapali by flight (B)
This morning, enjoy breakfast at your hotel in Yangon before being picked up and transferred to the airport for your flight to Thandwe, the access point for stunning Ngapali Beach. After landing and collecting your luggage it is time to sit back and relax as you are transferred to your hotel on Ngapali Beach for a few days of rest and relaxation in front of pristine sand and turquoise waters.
During your stay, we only include accommodation services but your hotel will be very happy to advise on meals and activities to give you the best possible experience while you are there.
Overnight in Ngapali.
- Day 12-13 Ngapli (leisure time) (B)
Rest and relaxation on the beach.
- Day 14 Ngapali-Ygn- International Departure (B)
This morning, take a domestic flight to Yangon. Our tour guide will meet you at Yangon airport to help you with check-in for your international departure flight.
We use excellent and perfect hotels for our valuable clients to secure in every condition except under some experiential and local activities. If in case, the mentioned following hotels are not available on your travel dates with the valid reasons, then we will try to maintain alternative hotels which are at the same level.
- Mandalay: 3 nights at Yadanarpon Dynasty hotel
- Bagan: 3 nights at Bagan hotel river view
- Inle Lake: 3 nights at Golden Island Cottages hotel
- Yangon: 1 night at Inya Lake hotel
- Ngapali Beach: 3 nights at Yoma Cherry Lodge (Ngapali)
If you request before you book the tour, we are happy to find decent HOTEL, to save your budget.
Note: If your travel dates are fallen during water festival (12-22 April), or in December, and in January, our tour price will be changed without the prior notice. Please contact us before you book. If you have any more question please contact us this email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
You are suggested to carry slipper and something to protect from the sun and the dusts.
If your travel date is in raining season (June to September) we suggest you to carry rain coat for you.
Regarding to our religious matter, Shorts or sleeveless tops and shoes are not allowed to enter place of Pagodas and Religious area.
We can arrange optional Balloon ride over the Bagan and Inle lake (only in cool season) depend on your request. Spaces are limited and advance booking is needed.