Luxury Tailor Made Journeys depart on the dates that work for you and feature expert local guides throughout your journey. The itinerary below can be customized to your interests.
Arrive Yangon, Myanmar
Arrive in Yangon, where you are met and transferred to your hotel. After checking in, spend the rest of the day at leisure.
Yangon | Shwedagon Pagoda
Spend the day exploring Yangon. Walk inside the hallowed Botataung Pagoda, where a golden casket containing a hair and two other relics of Buddha were found. At the bustling Bogyoke Aung San (Scott) Market, wander amid 1,640 shops and stalls filled with everything from handicrafts to jewelry and clothing. After lunch at a local restaurant, pay a visit to the Reclining Buddha Pagoda, a pavilion housing a colossal 230-foot statue, the sole of its foot a glass mosaic representing the 108 special characteristics of the Buddha. Later, set off to see the sunset at the breathtaking Shwedagon Pagoda, one of the most beautiful — and sacred — sites in all of Myanmar. The exterior of the stupa is plated with 8,688 solid gold slabs, its tip set with 5,448 diamonds and 2,317 rubies, sapphires and topaz. A huge emerald sits in the middle to catch the first and last rays of the sun.
Bagan | Stunning Stupas
This morning, fly to Bagan. Explore Nyaung Oo Market, where the locals meet to buy and sell vegetables, clothing, china and lacquerware. Continue on to the Shwezigon Pagoda, erected to house the Buddha’s collarbone, frontal bone and tooth. Then, proceed to Kubyaukgyi Temple, renowned for its murals and pyramidal spire. After lunch, see the Htilominlo Temple, taking note of its murals, friezes and horoscopes, painted to protect the building from damage. Afterward, climb into a horse cart for a ride to the Ananda Temple, the best-preserved in Bagan. Discover Ananda Olkaung, the largely intact remains of a monastery complex with mural-adorned walls depicting Burmese life from the 11th through 13th centuries. Stop at a lacquerware workshop to discover how this art developed.
Bagan | Mount Popa
After breakfast, embark on an excursion to Mount Popa, a dormant volcano with a Buddhist monastery at its summit. The monastery is a popular pilgrimage site for the devout. Walk among them as you explore the sacred locale. After lunch, stop in ancient Salay to learn more about its unique style of wooden architecture and Buddhist monastic life. Return to Bagan, passing through small villages, where you observe the gentle pace of daily life.
Mandalay | Buddhist Relics
Fly to Mandalay, seeing Mahamuni Paya and its sacred Mahamuni Buddha image. An object of devotion, it has been covered in gold leaf by devout Buddhists. Visit a bronze casting workshop before enjoying lunch at a local restaurant. Continue to the carved, teak Shwenandaw Monastery. Donated to Buddhist monks in 1880, it is the only building from the original royal palace complex still standing after the destruction of World War II. Then, visit the Kuthodaw Pagoda, which features 729 marble slabs on which the entire Buddhist canon is inscribed. Later, pay a visit to Mandalay Hill, which soars above the surrounding countryside.
Inle Lake | Scenic Surrounds
Transfer to the airport and fly to Heho, where you are met and whisked to scenic, enchanting Inle Lake, its crystalline shores dotted with over 100 monasteries and 1,000 pagodas. Visit the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, with its five gold-leafed Buddha images, continuing to Ngaphechaung Monastery, built on stilts over the lake. After lunch, admire the fascinating “floating gardens,” a glimpse into how residents grow flowers and vegetables in unique fashion. Proceed to Inn Paw Khone Village, meeting with residents to witness traditional ikat weaving techniques firsthand. At Nam Pan Village, interact with locals as you immerse yourself in traditional village life, visiting a boat builder’s workshop, blacksmith shop and cheroot making factory, where you can try your hand at making a cheroot — a fabled Burmese cigar.
Inle Lake | Five Day Market
Begin your day at the lively, floating Five Day Market, where you see regional hill tribe people in traditional dress bartering for goods and produce. Held at five different sites on the lake itself, tools, ornamental carvings, textiles and cheroots are sold from small boats. This afternoon, visit charming In Dein village, reached by a beautiful pathway that leads to Shan-style stupas. The village is best-known for its many ancient pagodas, which were designed in an array of shapes and sizes and remain in varied states of preservation. While some have been restored, others exist in their original crumbling state.
Yangon | Explore Your Way
Fly back to Yangon, where you sit down to lunch, followed by sightseeing of your choosing alongside your guide.
Transfer to the airport and board your homebound flight.
Enhance your Journey
Elevate your experience with a host of options available for an additional cost.
Attend the 1,000 Oil Lamps ceremony at Shwedagon Pagoda, which illuminates this spectacular sacred site at dusk.
Sponsor a Young Monk
Assist a young Burmese boy becoming a Buddhist monk by sponsoring the novitiation ceremony, or shinbyu, which - joined with festivities in the village - marks his entry into the monastery.
Set out on a sunset cruise past teak dwellings on the Irrawaddy, followed by dinner and a cocktail on Bagan's picturesque sandbanks.