Now is the right time to visit this beautiful and still untouched corner of South East Asia. Offering the absolute best of Myanmar, this wonderful journey will take you right into the heart of a friendly land where genuine hospitality abounds. Our adventure begins in the charming colonial city of Yangon, before flying to Bagan, which is considered by many to be the finest collection of temples in Asia, and we have ample time to explore this incredible area by foot and by bike, which is an experience not soon forgotten. We then take another flight to the beautiful Shan Hills, undertaking light trekking through small villages, pine forests and tea plantations, witnessing daily life, before arriving at our final destination - the stunning Inle Lake and its surrounds. This is an adventure to get excited over!
These trips involve trekking or walking, cycling, rafting or sea kayaking for up to five or six hours a day at a slow but steady pace and should never be misinterpreted to mean they are easy trips. These trips do not spend time at altitudes above 4000m and are usually a week in duration. You will need a reasonable level of fitness and good health.
Suggested preparation: 30 minutes of aerobic type exercise, (either cycling or jogging) three times a week for three months leading up to your trek. For trekking, hill walking with a daypack in variable weather conditions is also recommended. For a cycling adventure, road cycling twice a week for three months prior to departure is recommended.
THIS IS JUST A SAMPLE ITINERARY - IT CAN BE TAILORED TO YOUR SCHOOL’S REQUIREMENTS.
Mingalarbar! Upon arrival in Yangon, you will be welcomed by your World Youth Adventures tour leader and transferred to your hotel for check-in. After a trip briefing and Welcome Meeting, around 14:00, the group will gather in the lobby for an afternoon excursion of Yangon. Begin with a visit to Kyaukhtatgyi Pagoda, home to a 70-metre long reclining Buddha. A visit to Kyaukhtatgyi provides a great overview of Buddhism with murals depicting the life of Buddha, the feet of the statue carved with traditional symbols and often many locals gathering to pay homage and pray.
From here, we continue to downtown Yangon to explore the fabulous mix of colonial architecture and religious monuments. We will take a short walking tour past the most famous buildings such as City Hall and the Post Office. Depending on the time there is the option to stop at a local tea shop to experience an integral part of Burmese life: drinking tea! Select from an array of snacks and enjoy a coffee or tea as you sit amid businessmen, friends and families who gather at the tea shop to socialize or conduct business. The tea shop is also unique in the way they prepare the tea, so be sure to have your camera ready.
Return to your hotel for a chance to freshen up. Late this afternoon, visit Shwedagon Pagoda, the most revered Buddhist temple in Myanmar. The central stupa, a gleaming bell dome structure that dominates the city’s skyline, is 90 metres tall and gilded with gold leaf. Legend states that the sacred hairs of the Buddha are enshrined here. The Shwedagon is an iconic symbol of Myanmar, and a sight not to be missed. As the sun begins to set enjoy the breathtaking views of the Pagoda and surrounding skyline before transferring back to your hotel for an official Welcome Dinner.
Overnight at Clover City Centre Hotel – Superior
We have an early start today and after breakfast at the hotel, we transfer to Yangon airport for the flight to Bagan. On arrival, we are transferred to our hotel for a quick check in before we begin our exciting full day sightseeing of Bagan!
A full day sightseeing tour by private vehicle, with an experienced guide through Bagan will show you the best known temples of the area. We start the day climbing a pagoda to get a first impressive view over the whole area. From here the guide plans his way to some of the other amazing temples that have been here for hundreds of years. Places like the Ananda, Dhammayangyi, Sulamani, and Thatbyinnyu will certainly impress you.
The dry zone (as the area around Bagan is called) is not known for its fertile lands as the main crops grown are rice, peanuts, sesame seeds and tamarind. The food created from it is delicious though, and your lunch today consists of these beautiful local ingredients and served to you inside a traditional monastery. Around 4pm we continue the tour by horse cart to Pyathagyi pagoda for sunset.
Dinner at local restaurant.
Overnight at Bawga Theiddhi Hotel – Superior
Bagan is a stunning landscape of ancient temple ruins that seem to be spread around randomly in between toddy palms and bamboo huts. During this half day tour on a bike, your guide will show you some of the most spectacular ancient temples and best of all, you can stop any time, any minute, to take beautiful pictures as there is no rush. Todays cycle is on flat, dusty pathways and all at an easy pace. The ride will also lead us to small hidden neighbourhoods and trails to experience authentic local life of Bagan, plus some of the lesser known temples as well as some of the most famous sights of Bagan.
Overnight at Bawga Theiddhi Hotel
We depart early today as we transfer from Bagan to Kalaw, with a stop to visit Mt. Popa along the way to break up our journey. Mt Popa is one of the best places to be visited in the surroundings of Bagan as it is the birth place of the 37 “nats” of Myanmar which are the protective spirits. Lunch will be served at a local restaurant and afterwards we directly drive to Kalaw (about 6 hours), watching the mesmerising rural scenery whizzing by.
On arrival in Kalaw, we'll check into our hotel before enjoying dinner at a local restaurant.
Overnight at Dream Villa Hotel – Superior
We continue our already incredible journey today with a trek into the stunning Shan Hills and we will be immersing ourselves in the small villages that make up this rural area over the next two days. The trekking traverses an area north of Kalaw which doesn’t see many foreign visitors and offers stunning mountain panoramas. You will be walking through pine forests, orange and tea plantations, whilst passing through local villages, appreciating simple village life. We start after breakfast by visiting the morning market in Kalaw. On market days, the hilltribes of the surrounding villages gather to buy and sell their products and crops and the market is a fascinating mix of people and goods. Then, you will transfer to Baw Hnin Gone village (1 hour drive) to start your trek through the Shan Hills.
Today’s trek is around 4-5 hours (approx. 15kms) through beautiful scenery and it is quite an easy trek and mostly flat. The gently undulating terrain is dotted with the villages of the Palaung, Shan and Danu people as well as many other hilltribe groups. You’ll encounter friendly locals: farmers working in the fields, curious kids playing in the woods and villagers going about their daily lives. The first stop will be at a local community, living in the mountains and mainly dependant on agriculture, where a simple lunch will be taken in a local house. We continue walking for a few more hours passing tea plantations and by late afternoon, you’ll reach Htee Thein village - your overnight stop. You will either stay in a village monastery or in a family homestay. This is a great way to meet and learn more about the cultures and traditions of rural Burmese life.
Overnight: Htee Thein village, homestay (Note: Basic accommodation).
People who don’t want to join the overnight trekking will transfer by private vehicle to Kalaw (free day to walk around Kalaw), stay at Dream Villa Hotel and will go the next day with a guide on a day tour with private vehicle to visit Pindaya caves - no extra costs.
We awake early in the morning to the sounds of a small Palaung village in Shan state coming alive. The sun will slowly start warming the ground and a local traditional breakfast is served for you.
After breakfast, say goodbye to your hosts and continue trekking today, learning more about local agriculture methods. We pass through more stunning landscapes and rural farmlands, continuing our walk towards our final destination of Than Daung village. We will pass through Kyauk Su and Ngue villages with lunch being served in a village near the shores of Inle Lake.
Upon arrival at Inle Lake, we will transfer to our hotel in Nyaung Shwe by boat where your luggage has already been delivered into your room. We take some time to relax and freshen up before dinner at a local restaurant.
Today's trek is approximately 5 hours (approx. 14km)
Dinner at local restaurant
Overnight at Hotel Maine-Li – Superior
After breakfast, we visit the lake’s morning market for some last minute shopping. The market rotates its location around the lake’s villages in a 5 day rhythm and is visited by lake inhabitants and surrounding hill tribes who come to sell and trade their wares. (Note: market is daily except on dark moon day and full moon day). Explore the local crafts of Inle Lake with a stop at the weaving village of Inpawkhone. While the Shan and the Pa O people live around the lake, the Intha people traditionally live ON the lake, literally in houses built on stilts on the lake. A home-cooked Intha style lunch including noodles, salads, soup and exotic looking food wrapped in banana leaves is prepared for you in a pop-up restaurant created to support the Intha community. After lunch, you will transfer to Heho for your domestic flight to Yangon. Upon arrival at Yangon, transfer to your hotel and freshen up for a special farewell dinner tonight.
Your farewell dinner will take place in Taing Yin Thar - the only place in Yangon offering traditional food from all over the country. Taung Yin Thar means “tribes” and the food reflects that. We have pre-selected some of the best dishes for you including several salads from all over the country and Shan style grilled fish. Tonight will be a fantastic way to celebrate all that you have experienced and achieved over the past week, friendships made and memories created!
Overnight at Clover City Centre Hotel
A private transfer will take you from your hotel to Yangon airport for your flight home. Trip concludes on arrival at Yangon airport.
Per Person, Twin Share