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Myanmar: A Cultural Journey through Burma

12 days
Myanmar has kept one foot firmly in the past—city dwellers stroll the streets in traditional longyi, while canoes and horse-drawn carriages remain preferred means of transport. It’s this slower style of life that affords ample time to take in the country’s staggering number of temples and pagodas.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Maximum tour group size: 22 travelers

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Your tour includes

  • 10 nights in handpicked hotels

  • Breakfast daily, 2 lunches, 4 three-course dinners with beer or wine

  • Private deluxe motor coach

  • Multilingual Tour Director

  • Guided sightseeing and select entrance fees

Overnight Flight 1 night

Day 1: Travel day

Board your overnight flight to Southeast Asia today.

Bangkok 1 night Hotel info

Day 2: Arrival in Southeast Asia

Arrive in Bangkok, Thailand this evening and transfer to your hotel.

Yangon 2 nights Hotel info

Day 3: Flight to Yangon

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Take a short flight to Yangon, Myanmar this morning.  Later, kick off your trip at a welcome dinner with your Tour Director and fellow travelers.

Day 4: Sightseeing tour of Yangon

Included meals: Breakfast

Explore Yangon’s Colonial District with your Tour Director. The former capital of Myanmar, this eclectic city remains the country’s largest by far and is considered a cultural and economic hub. International architecture abounds, as 19th-century British colonial styles mix with Chinese, Indian and local influences. 

• Visit the majestic Sule Pagoda in Yangon’s Colonial district, named for the powerful spirit Sularata

• Admire the iconic Reclining Buddha and the palatial Karaweik Royal Barge on the eastern shore of Lake Kandawgi

• Learn about Myanmar’s Buddhist tradition at the Kalaywa Monastery

• Watch the sun set over the gilded Shwedagon Pagoda

Bagan 2 nights Hotel info

Day 5: Sightseeing tour of Bagan & home-hosted dinner

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

This morning fly to Bagan—home of the largest and densest collection of Buddhist temples, stupas, pagodas and ruins in the world—where your guide will walk you through thousands of years of history.

• View the gilded Shwezigon Pagoda, crumbling Gubyaukgyi Temple, Htilominlo Temple and Ananda Temple 

• Ride pony carts through temples and villages not accessible by motor vehicle and watch the sunset over the temples

• Meet a local family and share a traditional meal in their home

Day 6: Nyang Oo Market, cooking class & sunset cruise

Included meals: Breakfast

Continue your exploration of the local culture and flavors of Bagan.

• Walk through a local market at Nyang Oo to learn about local life

• Stop at a lacquerware workshop to see the ancient art in action

• Visit a home in Phwar Saw Village to discover traditional weaving, husbandry and food processing techniques

• Sip tea as you take a sunset cruise on the Irrawaddy River

Mandalay 2 nights Hotel info

Day 7: Sightseeing tour of Mandalay & Mandalay Hill

Included meals: Breakfast

Fly to Mandalay and witness the city’s history with your Tour Director leading the way.

• Stop at a silk weaving factory to learn about the production process

• Visit Mahumuni Pagoda, the Golden Palace Monastery and Kuthodaw Pagoda, known as the world’s largest book

• Ascend Mandalay Hill by small trucks and escalator to watch the sunset

Day 8: Free day in Mandalay

Included meals: Breakfast

Enjoy a full free day in Mandalay or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Mingun Monasteries & the U Bein Bridge $69*pp Details

Take in panoramic views of the Sagaing hills on a drive to Amarapura, the Mandalay township known for its production of high-quality goods in bronze, silk and cotton. Stop at the Mahagandayon Monastery for a glimpse of monastic life before a visit to the U Bein Bridge. The longest teak bridge in the world, it stretches almost 4,000 feet across the Irrawady River. After an included lunch, embark on an hour-long float up the river toward Mingun, where you’ll visit the massive ruins of Mingun Paya. Construction on this stupa began in 1790 and intentionally frittered out when a prophecy promised ill fortune for the king upon its completion. Gaze west to catch a sight of the seven circular terraces of the ethereal Myatheindan Pagoda, modeled after the mythological Mount Meru. Your day concludes at the 90-ton Mingun Bell. At 12 feet tall, the bell is second in size only to the 116-ton Bell of Good Luck in China.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $79)

Inle Lake 3 nights Hotel info

Day 9: Flight to Inle Lake

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Fly to Heho, where you’ll transfer to tranquil Inle Lake. Then, embark on a guided tour of the lakeside town of Nyaung Shwe, including a visit to the Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery.

Day 10: Sightseeing tour of Inle Lake & cooking class

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Continue your exploration of Inle Lake by long-tail boat with your Tour Director as your guide.

• Visit the Phaung Daw U Pagoda, home to gold-leaf Buddha statues

•Enjoy a cooking class and lunch held in a stilted, waterfront house

• Stop in the silk-weaving village of Inn Paw Khone, where weavers create traditional longyi and other garments from the fibrous lotus root

• Enter a cigar factory in Nampan Village, where women hand-roll cheroot cigars

Day 11: Indein market visit & Inle Lake canoe ride

Included meals: Breakfast

Dive deeper into the culture of the region on today’s series of visits.

• Ride a long-tail boat to the five-day market, a nomadic shopping experience (Please note: The market visit may occur on day ten, depending on the schedule)

• Uncover the Indein Pagoda complex’s collection of gold stupas

• Head to a floating farm to learn how local farmers create their buoyant fields

• Climb aboard a canoe to take in the scenery from the water, as fishermen paddle by in the distinctive local style: standing, with one leg wrapped around the oar

Day 12: Scott Market visit & departure

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Transfer to Heho today to fly back to Yangon. Then, visit the Scott Market, where you can browse local products ranging from lacquerware to jewelry. Relax in a dayroom, then join your group for a farewell dinner before transferring to the airport to board your flight home. If you are continuing to Laos, you’ll fly to Luang Prabang tomorrow.

Overnight Flight 1 night

Day 13: Arrival at home

Arrive home today.

Add Laos $1,499 pp

This oft-forgotten corner of Southeast Asia is fast becoming one of the world’s most sought-after destinations. While the country boasts peaceful, untouched environments and centuries-old traditions, it’s the amazingly relaxed style of life that really creates an incredible travel experience for all.

Luang Prabang 3 nights

Day 13: Flight to Laos & night market tour

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

This morning, fly through Bangkok to Luang Prabang, a city tucked beneath temple-topped hillsides. Join the group for dinner at a local restaurant. Tonight, experience the Night Market, where local villagers showcase their handicrafts—and the easygoing Laotian attitude keeps the browsing low-pressure.

Day 14: Sightseeing tour of Luang Prabang

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Get to know the fascinating culture of Luang Prabang with your Tour Director.

• Visit Wat Xieng Thong, the Temple of the Golden City, located where the Mekong and Nam Khan Rivers join

• Board a riverboat for a trip up the Mekong toward the Pak Ou caves, where hundreds of Buddha statues overlook the water

• Stop at the village of Ban Xanghai to sample locally produced rice wine 

• This afternoon, visit the impressive That Makmo stupa at Vat Visoun before scaling Phou Sii hill for panoramic views of the city

• Transfer to the village of Ban Phanom, where residents rely on ancient weaving techniques to create patterns that have been worn for centuries

Day 15: Tak Bat, National Museum & picnic lunch

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Rise before the sun to experience the Tak Bat, the Buddhist monks’ morning rounds, then continue to explore the city.

• See the brightly robed monks silently file down the street collecting food and alms offered by residents who line up with bowls of sticky rice

• Learn more about Laotian culture and history at the National Museum at Haw Kham, a former royal palace

• Escape the city this afternoon for free time and a picnic lunch at the picturesque Kuang Si waterfalls

Vientiane 2 nights

Day 16: Flight to Vientiane

Included meals: Breakfast

Spend a free morning in Luang Prabang before boarding an afternoon flight to Vientiane, the sleepy Laotian capital on the banks of the Mekong River.

Day 17: Sightseeing tour of Vientiane

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Get to know Vientiane with a full day of sightseeing around the city. 

• Visit Wat Sisaket, the town’s oldest temple that was built in 1818 and today houses hundreds of Buddha images

• Explore the historic Haw Phra Kaew, the former royal palace and see the Patousay, the victory gate inspired by Paris’ Arc de Triomphe

• Learn about local charitable initiatives at COPE, a non-profit that provides services for survivors of land mine explosions and related accidents

• Stroll through the Xieng Khuan Buddha Park, a whimsical collection of statues depicting Buddhist and Hindu deities

• Stop at the Friendship Bridge, which connects with the Thai city of Nong Khai 

• Observe a local weaver at the Carol Cassidy Gallery & Weaver Workshop

Day 18: Flight home via Bangkok

Included meals: Breakfast

Fly to Bangkok this morning to relax in a dayroom before your evening or early morning flight home.

Overnight Flight 1 night

Day 19: Arrival at home

Arrive home today.

How's the weather?

  • Bangkok, Thailand
  • Yangon, Myanmar
  • Bagan, Myanmar
  • Mandalay, Myanmar
  • Inle Lake, Myanmar
  • Luang Prabang, Laos
  • Vientiane, Laos
Temperature Precipitation
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Passport & Visa Requirements

In order to enter Myanmar and Laos, U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport with an expiration date extending at least six months beyond the date of reentry. Additionally, U.S. and Canadian passport holders must obtain a visa in order to enter Myanmar and Laos. The visa for entry into Myanmar must be secured in advance, while you have the option to obtain a Laotian visa upon arrival. You may choose to obtain your individual visas in advance by applying directly to each country’s consulate or by using a visa provider, such as our partner company, VisaCentral. If you’re not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact each country’s consulate for your specific entry requirements. 

Baggage Allowance

Airlines have varying weight restrictions on luggage. Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage. Please contact your airline or refer to its website for detailed information regarding your airline’s checked baggage policies. Bear in mind that your luggage will probably weigh more on your return trip due to souvenir shopping. We allow only one suitcase per person. One carry-on bag is also permitted, provided that it does not exceed 45 inches (length + width + height). There may be times when you will have to handle your own bags, and you’ll find that lightweight luggage provides a distinct advantage. Make sure you label your baggage and carry valuables, medication and documents in your carry-on luggage.

Clothing and Packing Tips

To ensure you’re comfortable while out exploring, we recommend packing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that can be easily layered. Bear in mind that the climate of the countries on your tour has warm, humid weather. For sightseeing, we suggest bringing a sturdy pair of walking shoes or sneakers, as well as a lightweight sports jacket or rainwear. If you’re planning a visit to a high-end restaurant or performance, you may also want to bring dressier attire. Also, please remember that it’s preferable to avoid showing bare legs or shoulders during visits to religious sites (entrance may be denied on this basis).

Health

There are no major health risks associated with traveling to Myanmar and Laos. However, some of the diseases known to exist in Myanmar and Laos include hepatitis A and B, typhoid, Japanese encephalitis, malaria and rabies. Be sure to check with your doctor or healthcare provider for the latest updates and overseas travel requirements.

Cuisine

The cuisine of Myanmar reflects the country’s multicultural influences, blending flavors from China, India and Thailand. Seafood dishes are popular in coastal towns as well as inland areas, where freshwater fish and shrimp feature heavily on most menus alongside traditional beef and pork options. Popular dishes include rice, noodles and curries—and due to the region’s various religious dietary restrictions, most dishes can be prepared vegetarian upon request. Ngapi, a versatile paste made from fermented fish or shrimp, is present at most meals as a soup base, salad dressing or condiment. Laotian cuisine is strongly influenced by the neighboring northern Thailand, with sticky rice served with everything from spicy meat and vegetables to papaya salad.

Transportation

Round-trip flights arrive in Bangkok and depart from Yangon (or round-trip through Bangkok on the extension). Included transportation on this tour is by private motor coach. On the extension, there are internal flights from Yangon to Luang Prabang, from Luang Prabang to Vientiane and from Vientiane to Bangkok.

Electricity

The electrical current for Myanmar and Laos is 220–240 volts. Most sockets take two-prong round pins. It’s recommended to bring a universal adaptor and to use a power surge device if using a laptop computer.

Time Zones

Myanmar is 6.5 hours ahead of Greenwich meantime, and 11.5 hours ahead of Eastern Standard time. When it’s 9 a.m. in New York, it’s 8:30 p.m. the same day in Myanmar. Laos is seven hours ahead of Greenwich meantime, and 12 hours ahead of Eastern Standard time. When it’s 9 a.m. in New York, it’s 9 p.m. the same day in Laos.

Currency

The official unit of currency in Myanmar is the kyat (K). In Myanmar, most credit cards are accepted, and most shops accept U.S. dollars (USD). The official unit of currency in Laos is the Lao kip. ATMs are not widely available, so we recommend withdrawing money at the airport or in central Yangon. We advise that you take a combination of bank/ATM cards, USD and credit cards. We also suggest that you inform your bank and credit card company of your travel plans, so that they won’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.

Tipping

At the conclusion of your tour, it’s customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity. We recommend tipping in your tour country’s currency, the equivalent of $3USD/CAD per person per day for your driver and $6USD/CAD to $9USD/CAD per person per day for your Tour Director. If applicable, we also recommend the equivalent of $2USD/CAD per local guide. Tips can only be paid in cash. Please keep current local currency exchange rates in mind when tipping.

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