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Myanmar Highlights tour

Myanmar Highlights

Great Value Vacations
4.3 . Great
93%
Travel Style: You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level: Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level: Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
9 days
From: $ 2,527 $ 281 / day
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Overview

Highlights

  • Explore the spiritual heart of Myanmar at the golden-covered Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon.
  • Ascend the top of Mount Popa outside of Bagan, an extinct volcano that can be compared with Mount Olympus in Greece!
  • Hop from one fascinating pagoda to the next in Mandalay, Myanmar's last royal capital.
  • Watch local fisherman glide gracefully across Inle Lake, then visit villages and ancient temple sites surrounding the lake.
  • Burmese cuisine is an amalgam of Indian, Thai and Chinese flavors; taste your way through the country and try the local specialties!

Short Description

The many mysteries of Myanmar await! Spend 8 nights traveling across the major cities of Yangon, Mandalay and Bagan while you explore golden pagodas, temples, markets, villages and more.

Trip Type N/A
See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Lodging Level Value - 3 star
Flights & Transport Airfare included
Start City Yangon
End City Yangon

Trip Includes

  • Round-trip economy class airfare to Yangon (RGN)
  • All airport transfers
  • 2 nights in Yangon at the Clover Hotel City Center, or similar
  • Hidden Treasures by Circular Train Tour (with lunch)
  • Visit to Botataung Pagoda
  • Visit to Chaukhtatgyi Pagoda
  • Spirit of Myanmar Tour
  • One-way, economy class flight from Yangon (RGN) to Nyaung U Airport (NYU)
  • 2 nights in Bagan at the Bawga Theiddhi Hotel, or similar
  • Full-day Bagan sightseeing tour
  • Excursion to Mount Popa and Salay
  • One-way, economy class flight from Nyaung U Airport (NYU) to Mandalay (MDL)
  • 1 night in Mandalay at the Bagan King Hotel, or similar
  • Full-day Mandalay sightseeing tour (with lunch)
  • One-way, economy class flight from Mandalay (MDL) to Heho (HEH)
  • 2 nights at Inle Lake at the Amata Garden Resort, or similar
  • Boat excursion on Inle Lake
  • Boat excursion to Sangkha and Thakong Pagoda
  • Boat excursion to Indein and Sae Ma Village
  • One-way, economy class flight from Heho (HEH) to Yangon (RGN)
  • 1 night in Yangon at the Clover Hotel City Center, or similar

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Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to Yangon!

Welcome to Myanmar! Upon clearing customs and immigration, you will meet a guide carrying an ICS Travel Group sign with your name. You'll be presented with a welcome packet including all necessary documentation, vouchers and contact information of your guides and the local offices.

Transfer to Yangon hotel

Day 2: Yangon

Today you will have a full day of tours in Yangon. Hop on a train and visit an abandoned glass factory, see two fascinating spiritual hubs, and end the night at the glittering Shwedagon Pagoda!

Hidden Treasures by Circular Train Tour (with lunch)

Hop on Yangon's circular train and discover some of the city's best kept secrets! From the colonial Yangon Railway Station, buy a circular train ticket to Hledan Station. As the train rumbles along the bumpy track, gaze out onto the passing landscape and watch food hawkers hop on and off. On arrival in Hledan, walk to the bustling local market and admire the array of fresh vegetables, flowers and other produce on sale.

From the market, travel by vehicle to the surreal ruins of the Nagar Glass Factory, torn to shreds by the Nargis Cyclone in 2008. A winding overgrown path leads you to the remains of this forgotten glass factory with piles of glittering glass scattered on the ground. Pick up what you like and hand it to the Burmese lady who will recondition the glassware for you. As the factory is no longer operational, you can be sure you have purchased a one-of-a-kind souvenir.

Then visit Seinn Lann So Pyay garden and restaurant, hidden between Inya Lake and Inya Road. Gaze upon the beauty of the lake and garden as you enjoy lunch at the restaurant before being transferred back to your hotel.

Visit to Botataung Pagoda

Walk inside the hollow interior of Botataung Pagoda, named after the 1000 military leaders who escorted relics of the Buddha brought from India over 2000 years ago. Completely destroyed during WWII, this ancient monument was rebuilt after the war but left completely hollow inside, allowing visitors to walk right through it. Glass containers showcase jewel-encrusted artifacts and religious relics that were rescued from the site of the previous pagoda. Once outside, observe the stands selling coconut and banana offerings meant to appease Burmese folk spirits called nats.

Visit to Chaukhtatgyi Pagoda

See the reclining Buddha at Chaukhtatgyi Pagoda, housed in a large metal-roof shed on Shwegondaing Lan and only a short distance north-east beyond the Shwedagon Paya. Surprisingly, this huge figure is little known compared to the more famous Shwethalyaung Buddha in Bago.

Spirit of Myanmar Tour

Spend an evening watching the glowing colors of Shwedagon Pagoda, Myanmar's most famous landmark with a history stretching back over 2,500 years. Its bell-shaped superstructure, resting on a terraced base, is covered in about 60 tons of gold-leaf that shimmers in the sunlight. Every evening, Yangon's residents assemble at the pagoda to meditate and pay their respects to the Buddha.

At the temple, watch the flickering lights of the candles, smell the delicate aroma of incense, and observe the saffron-clad monks passing through the temple. Join in a very special and unique ceremony with an offering of oil lamps, followed by a meeting with the Head of Board of Trustees of Shwedagon Pagoda for a personal tour of the temple and the chance to ask many in-depth questions.

Day 3: Yangon - Bagan

In the morning, transfer to Yangon airport and fly north to Bagan. Upon arrival, embark on a full-day sightseeing tour of Bagan's many beautiful temples nestled in the countryside. End the day watching the golden sunset dip under this stunning landscape!

Transfer to Yangon airport (RGN)

Fly to Bagan!

Transfer to Bagan hotel

Full-day Bagan sightseeing tour

The spectacular plain of Bagan stretches away from the Ayeyarwaddy River and is dotted with over 2,000 temple structures dating back over 800 years. Spend the day exploring and learning the fascinating history behind these imposing structures. You will also visit a lacquerware workshop to learn about the intricate process of lacquerware making and decoration. At the end of the tour, enjoy a panoramic view of the sun setting over the plain of Bagan from one of the ancient pagodas.

Temples you will visit include:

  • Shwezigon Paya, a beautiful golden pagoda containing relics of Buddha. The site was started by Anawrahta but not completed until the reign of Kyanzittha between 1086 and 1090. The pagoda's graceful bell shape served as a prototype for later stupas built throughout the country.
  • Gubyaukhyi Temple at Wetkyi-Inn, an early 13th-century temple with an Indian-style spire. The ceiling is covered with paintings depicting the previous life of Buddha.
  • Ananda Pahto, one of the largest, most beautiful and best preserved of the Bagan temples. It was built around 1105 by King Kyanzittha who was inspired by Indian architecture. During the 1975 earthquake, Ananda suffered considerable damage but has been completely restored.
  • Gubyaukhyi Temple at Myinkaba, a 12th-century Buddhist temple famous for its well-preserved frescoes, considered to be the oldest original paintings in Bagan.
  • Manuha Temple, which was built, according to inscriptions, by the captive Mon King Manuha in 1067. It contains three seated Buddha images along with an image of Buddha entering Nirvana.
  • Shwesandaw Paya, a graceful white pyramid-style pagoda dating back to 1057. This 328-foot-high imposing structure rises high above the plains of Bagan.

Day 4: Bagan

Today you will take a day trip from Bagan to Mount Popa and the village of Salay. Begin your tour atop the volcano of Popa rising over 3,000 ft above sea level. Visit several Nat temples and relics before heading to Salay, long known as a key religious center in Myanmar.

A Tip For Your Trip: Please note: The Wood Carving Monastery Museum is closed on Mondays and public holidays

Excursion to Mount Popa and Salay

An extinct volcano rising sharply from the surrounding plain, Mount Popa is considered the home of Myanmar's most important nats (spirits). Ascend a winding covered staircase encircling the mountain and keep your eyes peeled for curious monkeys that populate the area. At the top you will find a monastery and temple complex with shrines to the 37 nats, plus a spectacular view over Bagan.

You will then visit the unspoiled Burmese town of Salay. See the Yoke Son Kyaung, the oldest surviving wooden monastery, with beautiful carvings of court life and scenes from the Ramayana. Continue wandering around the town and the market before stopping at Mann Paya, a modern pagoda housing a gold Buddha made of straw lacquer. As the story goes, the Buddha image was originally located near Monywa but was washed downstream during an 1888 monsoon all the way to Salay. Ask for a peek inside from the latched door out the back.

Day 5: Bagan - Mandalay

Today you will fly to Mandalay, the last royal kingdom of Myanmar and the country's second-largest city. Upon arrival, embark on a full-day sightseeing tour taking you to local markets, temples and pagodas.

Transfer to Nyaung U airport (NYU)

Fly to Mandalay!

Transfer to Mandalay hotel

Full-day Mandalay sightseeing tour (with lunch)

The last royal capital of Myanmar, Mandalay is still one of the largest cities in Myanmar and a cultural and spiritual center. Neighboring city of Sagaing is home to over 60% of the country's monks, while the artisans of Mandalay continue to turn out the finest crafts in Myanmar.

In the morning, visit several Mandalay markets to soak up the atmosphere and interact with the locals. Make your way to the Ayerawaddy River just in time to see the local fish market coming to life. Watch the trishaws, motorcycles and small trucks laden with rattan baskets full of silver fish push their way through the crowds to the market. Customers haggle for the best prices and best catch from the slippery piles of fresh catfish, grouper, snakehead fish and many other varieties found in the river. A visit to the colorful and fragrant flower market reveals a myriad of exquisite exotic flowers used as offerings for the pagodas and shrines. The next stop is at the vegetable market to see the locally grown produce.

Then head to Mahamuni Paya where the gold-covered Mahamuni image is perhaps the most venerated in Myanmar and worshippers flock daily at 4am to observe the unique face-washing ceremony. En route to the pagoda, stop to observe the laborious process of gold-leaf beating, where gold is painstakingly hammered into tissue-thin squares. Before lunch, visit a craft workshop specializing in one of the arts for which the city is famous: bronze-casting, marble-carving, wood-carving, or puppetry.

The afternoon's tour includes some of the city's most interesting temples and palaces. Begin at Shwenandaw Kyaung or the Golden Teak Monastery. Built entirely of golden teak, this intricately carved wooden monastery was once part of the Mandalay Palace, used as private apartments by King Mindon and his chief queen. Continue to Kyauktawgyi Paya, famous for its monumental seated Buddha carved from a single block of marble. Then visit Kuthodaw Paya, also known as "the world's biggest book." Around the central stupa are miniature pavilions, each housing 729 slabs of marble inscribed with the entire Tripitkata (Buddhist scriptures). Then see Shwe Kyin Old Monastery, an old monastery at the base of Mandalay Hill which was built during the period of King Mindon.

After sunset, head to a local restaurant and beer garden to relax over a glass of chilled beer and a delicious BBQ dinner. The evening's entertainment is provided by Mandalay Marionettes Theatre, a group of professional artists reviving the dying art of Burmese puppetry. Enjoy the incredibly life-like stringed wooden puppets as they recreate traditional tales and dances.

Day 6: Mandalay - Heho - Inle Lake

Leave Mandalay and fly south to Heho, where you will begin your 2-night stay at Inle Lake. Enjoy a boat excursion on the lake as you observe the unique fishing techniques and lifestyle of the locals. See a floating garden, silk-weaving villages and several temples.

Transfer to Mandalay airport (MDL)

Fly to Heho!

Transfer to Inle Lake

Boat excursion on Inle Lake

Experience the vast serenity of Inle Lake. Rolling high hills hug the lake on all sides, while the lake's shore and islands are home to 17 villages on stilts mostly inhabited by the Intha people. Take in the awe inspiring scenery and watch as local fishermen glide gracefully around the lake. Visit the enchanting floating gardens, a teeming market and an Intha village around the lake. The tour also includes visits to Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, Inn Paw Khon Village (a lotus and silk weaving village) and the Nga Phe Kyaung Monastery.

Day 7: Inle Lake

Today, hop on a boat and visit the village of Sangkha to observe the local culture and practices.

Boat excursion to Sangkha and Thakong Pagoda

Travel across Inle Lake by motor boat to Sangkha, a picturesque town inhabited by the Pa-O and Intha people. Explore this hillside village and observe the traditional culture and lifestyle of the different ethnic groups. Observe the local method of alcohol fermentation extracted from bran rice and witness the production of bullock cart wheels. This tour also includes a visit the market in the Shan village of Kyauk Taing with its display of earthenware pottery, and Thakong Pagoda.

Day 8: Inle Lake - Heho - Yangon

Before leaving Inle Lake, take an early morning tour of Indein temple complex with its cluster of ancient pagodas and Sae Ma village. Then transfer to Heho airport for your flight to Yangon. Spend your last night in Myanmar by trying a few Burmese delicacies like laphet thoke, or tea leaf salad.

A Tip For Your Trip: Please note this tour starts at 7:00 am

Transfer to Heho airport (HEH)

Fly to Yangon!

Transfer to Yangon hotel

Boat excursion to Indein and Sae Ma Village

Travel by boat to the western shore of Inle Lake and walk to the hidden Indein temple complex. Located on the shore of the lake, this site consists of hundreds of small stupas nestled among overgrown vegetation. Some have been restored, but most are in the crumbling state tangled with bushes. Continue on foot past rice fields and explore the village of Sae Ma. Meet village locals on the lake and travel to one of the nearby monasteries to observe its monastic activities.

Day 9: Depart Myanmar

It's time to say goodbye to Myanmar. At the appropriate time, transfer to the airport for your flight home.

Transfer to Yangon airport (RGN)

Fly home!

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Price From $ 2,527
Price Per Day: $ 281 per day
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6,665 Great Value Vacations Travel Reviews & Ratings

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Value
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Myanmar Highlights

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The customer service was excellent

5.0
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When I booked with Great Value I was nervous because it seemed too good to be true. Nope, just a really great deal. I was able to take my dream trip to Ireland and Scotland and it was within my budget. Everything was covered, my lodging, flights, and rental car. There was no hidden fees, or fine print that would nickel and dime me later on, as "good deals" usually have. I also had to change the date of my trip and the customer service was excellent and this change was simple. Thank you Great Value, I'll be using you every time I travel from now on
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Everything on the trip was excellent.

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Everything on the trip was excellent. The only concern with any services from GVV was initial communications ahead of the trip regarding when and how we'd receive all our travel vouchers, as some were available online, and some were to be picked up in country upon arrival. It took no less than 5 phone calls to learn some vouchers would be picked up in country. The trip was outstanding, exhausting, but gloriously beautiful. It was exhausting from the perspective of moving around the country and only a few places were 2 nights. But, we knew that going in, and we wanted to see ALL of Switzerland and this certainly checked those boxes. We saw majestic mountains, we saw countless waterfalls and glaciers. The trains in Switzerland were all clean and we felt safe. The hotels were good with delicious breakfasts each morning. Overall, I would recommend GVV to a friend or family member and I would personally book another vacation with GVV.
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Our trip was amazing!

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This was my first time planning a trip out of the country. I read previous reviews who had a good experience with Great Value Vacation. Our trip was amazing! The booking and reservations were easy to use with the vouchers provided. The staff was helpful. The only downside was I upgraded to have an automatic vehicle and they gave me a stick shift. It took a while to get sorted out but other than that I loved my trip! I will definitely use great value vacations again when I book my next trip. I opted for the additional wine tasting package and I did not regret it! I recommend adding those additional tours to get a more complete experience.
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Great customer service

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My wife and I recently booked our vacation through Great Value Vacations. We were a bit nervous to travel to Europe for the first time, but we are glad we did. Great Value Vacations took care of us. Great customer service. Seamless transactions. They booked the hotels and flights for us. All we had to worry about were the daily activities! I would highly recommended them. The hotels offered through the package were as advertised: nice and in great locations. The flights times were also convenient. The best part was the price. I am thankful for the experiences Great Value Vacation was able to provide for us!
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Really enjoyed both of my trips

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Really enjoyed both of my trips through Great Value Vacations. I went on one family trip to Ireland (Adare villa, rental car with trips out to Dublin, Cliffs of Moher and more) . The villa was very comfortable with a kitchen, three bedrooms, and proximity to the local shops /restaurants. We were able to upgrade to an automatic car and had fun navigating to each location on our itinerary. The trip as planned by the agency still leaves time for exploring on your own and since we picked a trip with our own transportation, we had flexibility on which tours we wanted to do and when.

My second trip was a solo trip to Scotland. I like to go on vacation by myself sometimes, but it can be hard to find ones where you aren’t penalized for being on your own. This train trip to Edinburgh, Inverness, and Glasgow worked out really well for me. The hotels were all near the train stations and in safe areas (good lighting, plenty of people, etc.). I got a good mix of options for sightseeing in each city. The hop-on, hop-off bus circuit was especially useful for getting around Edinburgh. I also added an extra tour on in Glasgow to see nearby castles and a distillery and was very glad to have done so as the views of the countryside were amazing!

Summary: Have enjoyed my previous experiences and would definitely use again
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Above and beyond our expectations

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Just got back from our trip to Italy booked through Great Value Vacations & was our dream come true! We could not have gone if it were not for their unbelievable rates. Each 4 Star Villa we stayed at was above and beyond our expectations...I cried after leaving each part of our journey. I am so glad I took a leap of faith and would HIGHLY RECOMMEND booking with them. Besides the Villas being beautiful, great locations, clean, and great staff; each place we arrived at actually said, "They said to give you a very nice room." (with a rate of just under $1,900 a piece for 9 nights not counting travel days at 4 stars Villas in Rome, Tuscany, & Venice including airfare and rent a car... a few friends told us to expect the worst rooms at the places we were staying ~ NOT the case! Our rooms had the best views...I could go on and on. Every step of the way was smooth with no worries whatsoever. Thanks again GVV! LOVED IT!
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Details

Flights & Transport

Airfare included

Group Size:

Intimate Group - 12 max

Accomodations

  • Clover Hotel City Center Plus
  • Bawga Theiddhi Hotel
  • Bagan King
  • Amata Garden Resort

Trip ID#:

greatvaluevacations-PK-GC4P-SH-MH-RGN

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