Myanmar’s Ancient Highlights

This exclusive, small group journey takes us across Myanmar, the ‘Hidden jewel of Southeast Asia,’from the historic former capital, Yangon, to the picturesque shores of Inle Lake. Unique cultural experiences, local encounters and breath-taking scenery are some of the highlights during our 11-days travelling through this enthralling ancient land.

Yangon – Bagan – Mandalay – Inle Lake – Yangon

12 APR 2019 - 22 APR 2019

US$ 3,573

28 JUL 2019 - 7 AUG 2019

US$ 3,262

Yangon – Bagan – Mandalay – Inle Lake – Yangon

12 APR 2019 - 22 APR 2019

US$ 3,573

28 JUL 2019 - 7 AUG 2019

US$ 3,262


  • Discover Ayeyarwady river life on a four-day voyage, on luxury Anawrahta Cruise Ship
  • Ride a canoe boat alongside floating villages and leg rowers on Inle Lake
  • Explore Mandalay’s most revered, centuries-old pagodas
  • Learn how to make a traditional clay water pot taught by local villagers
  • Take a personal tutorial from a marionette master to create a Burmese three-string puppet
  • Day 1-2: Yangon | City Sights and Night Market Culinary Delights

    As Myanmar’s largest city and burgeoning hub, Yangon reflects the nation’s recent rapid developments. However, as Myanmar’s former capital, Rangoon, Yangon still bewitches with ancient cultural and historic sites and colonial-era architecture – some of which we explore. One of Myanmar’s most sacred Buddhist sites and a pivotal force in Yangon’s daily life,Shwedagon Pagodahouses a magnificent 99m (325ft)-high golden stupa and allegedly, the eight hairs of the Gautama Buddha, besides relics of three former Buddha’s. Continue to Sule Pagoda, a 2,000-year-old golden temple and Chaukhtatgyi Pagoda, one of Myanmar’s most revered reclining Buddhas. At 70m (230ft)-long, this is also one of the country’s largest. Take an early evening stroll through Yangon’s atmospheric, tree-lined streets, heading for vibrant Chinatown and Yangon Night Market. Come dusk, these old streets come alive with street food stalls dispensing diverse dishes. Sample authentic Burmese street food at this popular night food market and mingle with the local diners.

  • Day 3-4: Bagan – Pakkoku – Mandalay | Riverside Ports and Pagodas

    We arrive at Bagan, the ancient capital of powerful Burmese Kingdoms that constructed up to 4,400 temples between the 11th and 13th centuries.Today, approximately 2,200 of Bagan’s original temples remain standing, mainly contained within the stupendous Bagan Archaeological Zone.  We board the Anawrahtacruise ship, a luxurious ‘floating home,’ designed with a gracious blend of Burmese and British Colonial elegance. Our amazing four-day cruise takes us along the Ayeyarwady River, Myanmar’s largest river, which reveals an extraordinary timeless quality. The Anawrahta cruises to Pakkoku, an old trading port town boasting Myanmar’s longest bridge. A guided tour brings us to the local bustling market and small cottage industries, such as traditional Burmese cigar production (‘cheroot-making’), of which Pakokku is famed for. Continue to Shwegu Temple, containing intricate carvings created from rare Yamanei wood and a majestic  Buddha image seated on a lotus throne.

  • Day 5: Pakkoku – Yandabo | Cruising the Ayarwaddy and Create a Clay Water Pot

    Indulge in an early morning yoga session on the sun deck, as Anawrahta cruises northwards passing the confluence of the Ayeyarwady and its’ greatest tributary, Chindwin River. We sail to Yandabo, where the King of Ava signed the 1826 Treaty of Yandabo, signaling the end of the First Anglo-Burmese War. On a guided tour we explore on foot this riverside village, renowned for its pottery making skills and producing a unique water pot crafted from the surrounding riverbank clay. These pots are reputed to keep water cooler than any other pottery variety. Assisted by friendly villagers, we try our hand at creating our own  traditional pots. Evening onboard entertainment features a fascinating presentation on Burmese history and culture.  


  • Day 6: Yandabo – Ava – Mandalay| Compelling Attractions and Craft Industries

    The Anawrahta sails to Ava (orInwa), Myanmar’s royal capital of ancient kingdomsfrom the 14th to the 19th centuries. We explore some of Ava’s outstanding ancient monasteries and religious sites by traditional horse-drawn carriage. These include Bagaya Kyaung, a teak wood monastery originally built in 1834, which still serves as a monastic school. Burmese royals were educated here. We continue cruising northwards, arriving at Mandalay and sailing past Sagaing Hills, dotted with pagodas. The last royal capital, Mandalayis considered the nation’s spiritual hub. Our afternoon tour along the city’s amiable streets explores some of Mandalay’s most compelling sights and craft industries, such as traditional gold-leaf beating, silk-weaving and marble carving. At sunset, we sail in a small rowing boat around iconic U-Bein Bridge, the world’s longest teak bridge, dating back to 1782.

  • Day 7: Mandalay – Mingun – Mandalay: Impressive Pagodas

    Our morning tour explores Mandalay’s most impressive pagodas. Known as ‘The World’s Largest Book,’ Kuthodaw Pagoda houses hundreds of shrines with marble slabs inscribed with Buddhist teachings. Continue to Mahamuni Pagoda, one of Myanmar’s most important Buddhist pilgrimage sites, containing a deified Buddha image cast in bronze and weighing 6.5 tonnes. Built by the last Myanmar King, Shwenandaw Monasteryis renowned for its exquisite teak wood carvings and traditional architecture.  It is also part of the original royal palace.Cruising onto Mingun, we disembark at the monumental stupa of King Bodawpaya, modelled after mythical Mount Meru. The pagoda remains half-built due to an astrologer’s prediction that the king would die should it be completed. A walking tour brings us to a 19th century bronze bell weighing over 87 tonnes – the ‘World’s Largest Hanging Bell.’ 

  • Day 8: Mandalay| Create a Traditional Burmese Marionette

    Our grand voyage on the Anawrahta Cruise draws to a conclusion, but the excitement doesn’t stop at disembarkation. We drive to Mandalay’s highly-acclaimed Daw Ma Ma Naing Marionette Theatre, a consistent award-winner in Myanmar’s performing arts field. Here, we get a marvellous opportunity to learn how to create a traditional Burmese marionette, with a step-by-step tutorial from amarionette master.  Afterwards, the theatre’s co-founder and long celebrated marionette performer, Daw Ma Ma Naing,explains the ancient art of puppetry and history of this traditional and once popular art form, which she is committed to preserving and resurrecting. We also receive personal tuition on how to manipulate the Burmese three-string puppet on stage.

  • Day 9: Mandalay – Kalaw – Inle Lake | A British Colonial Legacy

    We visitKalaw, a former hill station during British colonial rule located at 1,320m (4,330ft) above sea level, on the western edge of Shan Plateau. Surrounded by mountains, colourful hilltribe villages and pine forests, this delightful town is  popular for its refreshingly cooler climes (why the British retreated here in the height of summer), the stunning nature and trekking possibilities. We visit Pinmagon Monasteryand its celebrated 2.5m (8ft)-tall Buddha imagemade from lacquered bamboo strips. This is believed to have been constructed during the Ava Period over 500 years ago. Strolling through town, observe the picturesquecolonial-era buildings, including churches such as Christ the King Catholic Church. A thirty-minute hike along narrow hill trails revealsmagnificent views of the lush mountainous terrain.  

  • Day 10: Inle Lake | Cruise a Magical Water World

    Enjoy a day of leisure at Inle Lake, one of Myanmar’s biggest draw cards. At 22km (13mi)-long and 11km (7mi)-wide, Inle Lake is Myanmar’s second largest lake and nestled in highlands, one of its highest. This serene freshwater lake is home to rich flora and fauna and more than 200 floating villages. Be sure to book a guided tour with Trails of Indochina, spending the day exploring this magical water world bya traditional wooden canoe. Leisurely glide past stilt-house villages and floating gardens tended by locals from small boats. Sail alongside Intha fishermen, who deftly row their boats with one leg wrapped around an oar. Other memorable attractions include Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, the lake’s most sacred site, containing five Buddha images entirely covered in gold leaf. The more adventurous can partake in cycling and kayaking tours.

  • Day 11: Departure

    Transfer to Yangon International Airport for your onward flight

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