AITO: The Association of Independent Tour Operators
Myanmar Tribes and Heritage Tour

Myanmar Tribes and Heritage Tour

Myanmar Tribes and Heritage Tour Overview

Find yourself drawn in by the allure of one of Asia's most mysterious countries on this journey into Myanmar. You'll explore the marvels of Myanmar's history and local culture as you're transported to glittering pagodas, enigmatic ruins, and handicraft workshops on your Myanmar Tour.

Tribes and Heritage Tour of Myanmar

Find yourself drawn in by the allure of one of Asia's most mysterious countries on this journey into Myanmar. You'll explore the marvels of Myanmar's history and local culture as you're transported to glittering pagodas, enigmatic ruins, and handicraft workshops on your Myanmar Tour.

Best time to visit Myanmar/Burma is the dry winter season from November to February.

Touring style: Professional English speaking guide and driver, private basis.

Day 1: Yangon

Arrive Yangon, check in, at leisure.

Distance and journey time: 14 km, 30 mins

Day 2: Yangon

Formerly the British colonial capital of Rangoon, Yangon remains Myanmar’s largest and most important city. Yangon is low rise, spread wide between the blue of lakes, the green of parks and open spaces, bisected by waterways and wide boulevards. Everywhere the eye rests upon the golden stupas of the pagodas, the tallest structures to break the canopy of teak. Following breakfast, a drive past vernacular wooden architecture cheek by jowl with the colonial, the modern, leads you to the centre of Yangon, and the gold octagonal stupa of the Sule Pagoda.

A further short drive to the National Museum introduces you to the priceless art and artefacts of this ancient kingdom, charts the history and culture of Myanmar. A change of pace brings you to the vibrant and bustling Bogyoke Aung San Market, formerly Scott’s Market, where you can barter for crafts, gems, fabrics, from every corner of Myanmar.

Easing the pace once more, the Botataung Pagoda, dedicated to those who 2000 years before escorted relics of the Buddha from India, leads you to the giant seated Buddha of Ngadatkyi Paya. Continue finally to the highlight of the day, the Shwedagon Pagoda. A reliquary of the Buddha, the pagoda is Myanmar’s most sacred site. Illuminated at night, the golden stupa dominates Yangon’s skyline.

Day 3: Yangon

Following breakfast, cross the Yangon River by bustling local ferry to Dala. The pace today is relaxed, the scenes on the jetties and along the shores timeless. On the Dala side, a trishaw will transport you through the fish market into lush greenery, past teashops, and workshops to the Shwesandaw Pagoda. Following lunch, take a leisurely drive on local roads to Twante and the third tallest Pagoda in Myanmar, also called Shwesandaw. Wander the town at leisure to observe cottage industries such as bamboo raft making, unchanged in centuries. Experience a demonstration of traditional pottery techniques in the potter’s quarter of Oh Bo. On the return journey, complete the day with a visit to the Indian-inspired Pagoda of Paung Daw Gyoke. Overnight in Yangon.

Day 4: Yangon to Mandalay and Pyin Oo Lwin

Take an early morning flight to Mandalay and continue by road to the hill station of Pyin Oo Lwin. Established by the British due to its cool and pleasant climate, even during the hot season, Pyin Oo Lwin remains populated by Nepalis and Indians descended from the colonial era. Overnight in Pyin Oo Lwin.

Distance and journey time: 69 km, 1 hr

Day 5: Pyin Oo Lwin to Mandalay

Following breakfast, explore the colonial-era town of Pyin Oo Lwin. Wander the Botanical Garden, established by Turkish prisoners of war during World War 11. From the hill at Naung Kan Gyl Paya enjoy a bird’s eye view of Pyin Oo Lwin, from the Purcell Tower, housing the town clock, to the 100-year-old Church of the Immaculate Conception. The church, featuring a large, brick-built sanctuary, is notable also for the vaulted wooden ceilings and beautifully detailed interior of its bell tower. Drive to Mandalay for overnight.

Distance and journey time: 69 km, 1 hr

Day 6: Mandalay

Following breakfast, take a leisurely drive to the former royal capital Amarapura and the imposing Mahagandayon Monastery. Take time to linger on U Bein bridge, extending a kilometre across Taungthaman Lake before arriving at Myanmar’s most venerated image, the Mahamuni Paya. The gold leaf covering the image is laid to a thickness of six inches.

After lunch drive to Mandalay to visit the Shwenandaw Kyaung, otherwise known as the Golden Teak Monastery. Continue to the monumental seated Buddha at Kyaukawgyi, carved from a single block of marble, and the elegant gold stupa of Sandamani Paya. Your day is completed by a walk through the thirteen-acre site of Kuthodaw Paya, where the avenues of stone tablets recording sacred Buddhist texts are also known as the world’s largest book.

Overnight in Mandalay.

Day 7: Mandalay to Pindaya

Fly to Heho and head by car to the limestone ridge overlooking the lake at Pindaya. Step out of the heat, to the cool of labyrinthine caves housing more than 8000 Buddha images before returning to the ridge, and the cluster of low stupas nestling below at Shwe U Min Paya. Overnight in Pindaya.

Distance and journey time:

Heho Airport to Pindaya: 50 km, 2 hrs

Day 8: Pindaya to Inle Lake

Following breakfast travel by car to the jetty at Inle. Take an exhilarating fast canoe ride to the edge of the lake. Motor vessels are not permitted to shatter the peace of Inle Lake, so marvel at the leg-rowing technique of a local Intha fisherman as in silence he completes, against the backdrop of the high hills of Shan State, your transfer through floating gardens to check in.

Experience the tranquillity of Inle Lake as you float between islands, past villages raised on stilts above the water. Step off your boat to wander past women weaving garments from silk and lotus, rolling cigars, men beating iron in the hellish heat of the forge. Overnight in Inle Lake.

Distance and journey times:

Pindaya to Jetty: 70 km, 2 hrs

Jetty to Hotel on Inle Lake: 20 km, 45 mins

Day 9: Inle Lake to Kengtung

Fly to Kengtung in the Shan State. Surrounded by villages ethnically distinct from one another, Kengtung is important as a centre for Khun culture. As you wander through the villages surrounding Naung Tung lake, experiencing the differences in customs and dress, note British colonial architecture crumbling in step with Buddhist temples.

Overnight in Kengtung.

Day 10: Kengtung

Following breakfast, continue your exploration of Kengtung by visiting the 19th-century temple of Wat Pha Jao Lung, marvel at Wat Jong Kham, a tall gilded zedi, or stupa hung with tiny gold bells, inlaid with silver, rubies, diamonds, sapphires and jade. After lunch, visit the water buffalo market, before a visit to see traditional Shan pottery making at Yan Gone village.

Overnight in Kengtung.

Day 11: Kengtung

Following breakfast, visit an Akha village. The lack of any written language has resulted in a rich oral tradition, legends, proverbs and rituals being handed down from one generation to the next. Continuing to the Lahu, experience women weaving cloth on treadle looms as they have for centuries, producing fine and detailed embroidery. After lunch, the better known Wa offer another contrast. Darker, and more stocky than the other ethnic groups of Ho Kyn, headhunting until recently featured in the Wa’s fertility rites.

Overnight in Kengtung.

Day 12: Kentung to Yangon

Transfer to the airport. Why not include a few days relaxation on the beach?

Find out more about the Myanmar Tribes and Heritage Tour