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 enjoy VIP arrival service before being 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 Okyaung, 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. End your day watching the sunset at one of Bagan’s many pagodas.
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 the village of 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, trading in your vehicle for a traditional boat. 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.
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 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. Continue to Nam Pan Village, where you interact with locals, immersing yourself in village life. Visit a boat builder’s workshop; blacksmith shop; and cheroot-making factory, where you can try your hand at making the fabled Burmese cigar.
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.
Have your palms read by one of Yangon’s most experienced astrologers at the Sule Pagoda. It is the local custom to consult astrologers before weddings and funerals to determine which dates, colors and menus might bring good fortune.
TRADITIONAL INTHA BOAT RACE
Join the traditional fisherman of Inle Lake as they ply their distinctive, foot-powered rowing technique against one another in a fun-spirited regatta. After watching the opening races from a balcony viewing area, you may opt to spectate from a canoe or try your luck at the start line.
SHAN COOKING CLASS
Join an executive chef for a private cooking lesson revealing the secrets of Shan cuisine. Begin by gathering ingredients at Inle Lake’s iconic Five Day Market, then prepare your lunch in a private kitchen with expert advice from your instructor.
1,000 OIL LAMPS AT SHWEDAGON PAGODA
Attend the 1,000 Oil Laps ceremony at Shwedagon Pagoda, which illuminates this spectacular sacred site at dusk.
SPONSOR A BURMESE BOY’S NOVITIATION CEREMONY
Sponsor a shinbyu (novitiation ceremony), a coming-of-age ritual celebrating an aspiring young monk’s first entry to the monastery. Enjoy privileged access to this time-honored tradition and the village festivities.
Sit for a Photo Shoot in Burmese Wedding Attire
Known as mingala saung, or “occasion of good fortune,” Burmese weddings are deeply rooted in tradition, with many brides donning the ornate, heirloom gowns of their ancestors. Take center stage as you have your hair styled and select an outfit from the studio’s stunning collection of traditional wedding attire. Then, sit for a professional photo shoot and leave with a keepsake you won’t soon forget.
Create With a Celebrated Yangon Artist
With many of its works deeply rooted in politics and history, Burma’s contemporary art scene offers an unvarnished introspective on the nation’s identity. Draw on the passion of a celebrated local artist as Khin Zaw Latt and a handful of his contemporaries open the doors of his home studio for a hands-on creative workshop. After a brief overview of color theory, find your inspiration as you paint or draw under Latt’s expert guidance.