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Highlights of Myanmar (Burma)

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ends on 26 Sep 2018
This tour is operated by
Highlights of Myanmar (Burma) - Exodus Travels
Highlights of Myanmar (Burma) - Exodus Travels
Excellent
15 reviews
Starts
Yangon
Destinations
+7
Ends
Yangon
Map

Highlights

  • Explore the temple complex in Bagan
  • Enjoy the cruise on the Irrawaddy River
  • View the impressive Inle Lake
  • Visit small vilages and cottage industries
Age range
16 to 80 year olds
Accommodation
Hotel
Max Group Size
16
Transportation
Coach / Bus
Travel style
In-depth Cultural, Adventure
Start and end in Yangon! With the in-depth cultural tour Highlights of Myanmar (Burma), you have a 9 day tour package taking you through Yangon, Myanmar (Burma) and 6 other destinations in Myanmar (Burma). Highlights of Myanmar (Burma) is a small group tour that includes accommodation in a hotel as well as an expert guide, meals, transport.

15 Reviews

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  • Highlights of Myanmar (Burma) reviewer 1
    Written on November 9, 2013
    5.0 - Excellent

    I thought this was a fantastic tour which represented very good value for money given how much you will see in a short time. If your time is limited and you want an introduction to this wonderful country, then this is the tour for you. I found Myanmar to be a very friendly and culturally interesting place to visit, and I am very, very glad I went. As this country is opening up, I would go now as many of the places you will visit are still untouched in their original form without the influences of commercialism. This represented to me the biggest charm of the place - it was so as it was and in todays developed world, a real find. I was simply overwhelmed by the place and would return again. Put it this way, as a keen photographer who has been travelling in one form or another for most of my life, there were times when I didn't know where to point my camera as there was so much to see! What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?There were so many but to me the people, who were very friendly.Bagan was also special as I was lucky to have been there during the Festival of Lights as there were celebrations in the streets and the temples were lit up with candles. We watched a fireworks display in front of an ancient temple, which was awesome. I loved it! I have never seen so many ancient structures in my life as that place. Everywhere I looked there was a temple or monastery.In terms of other places being on lake Inlay and the cave of a 1000 Buddha's are also worth a mention. What did you think of your group leader?Our guide Min was excellent and took good care of us. He was always on hand to help us no matter what time of the day and was a good ambassador to his country. The tour itself was very well organised.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?One thing that surprised me was the intensity of some of the people trying to sell you things at some of the sites you visit. There were times when I found this a bit annoying as I wanted to explore the area without being approached, so be prepared for this. There were occasions when it did actually upset me on the insides when I did ignore them knowing how much we have compared to what they've got. :( This is also a demanding trip in that involves a lot of traveling, which can be tiring but well worth it given what you will see. Is there anything else you would like to add?I would like to have spent some time in the rural areas. The drive to the cave of a 1000 Buddha's was interesting in that I saw so much of the agricultural countryside that I would like to have visited or at the very least added to the itinerary.As was fortunate enough to be on a very small group - there were only 4 of us - I don't think I would have enjoyed it as much with a bigger group of say 16 as it would have been too impersonal. I believe the group size should be kept small to no greater than 8 for that reason.

  • Highlights of Myanmar (Burma) reviewer 2
    Written on October 2, 2013
    5.0 - Excellent

    A very well organised and run tour in a country which has only recently opened up to tourists and in which facilities for tourists are still rudimentary.What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?The cave of 8000 Buddhas near Inle Lake was a real find. It was clearly an important and well-developed local attraction which has so far attracted almost no foreign tourists at all. I have been to many similar sites in my wife's country (Malaysia). In most of them the religious statues are rather cheap, tacky and vulgar and detract rather than add to the natural beauty of the cave. This was not the case here. The cave had a genuinely spiritual feel and had an integrity derived from its importance to the local people.What did you think of your group leader?Jopseph was absolutely brilliant. His advice and instructions were always absolutely clear and unambiguous. The way in which he organised the tips kitty was brilliant and prevented a lot of unfairness and embarrassment. Other tour guides could learn from this.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?Go now before important sites like Bagan are completely overrun and access is limitedIs there anything else you would like to add?Excellent value for money.

  • Highlights of Myanmar (Burma) reviewer 3
    Written on May 15, 2013
    4.0 - Good

    A comprehensive short trip to a fascinating country.  Less rushed than many of these short tours as 2 days was spent in most locations and travel most of the time was by air.  Great introduction to Burma.What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?Taking a horse drawn carriage around the beautiful temples of Bagan was a wonderfully relaxed way to tour the area.  You  may not get as far around as in a bus, but its the way to do it.  Pingaya Caves, which are being removed from the itinerary, were fabulous.  Thousands of golden buddah's in a maze of caves.  In addition there was a visit to a local paper factory where they made paper products and parasols.  This was being removed based on customer feedback to spend more time at Inle Lake town.  We got there mid afternoon and had plenty of time there to see what there is of the small place.  It would be a shame if this was missed off future trips.Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon was simply stunning. What did you think of your group leader?Andrew (or Zo his local name) was excellent. He had a very appropriate laid back style, which suited the tour and was a reflection of the people of Burma. Do you have any advice for potential travellers?The river cruise from Bagan to Mandalay is 13 hours long and to be honest from my point of interest not really that interesting.  You also don't get any time in Mandalay to look round the city.  If this hasn't been changed to an internal flight by Exodus, you may want to consider paying for the flight from Bagan to Mandalay and re-join the party at the Mandalay hotel later in the day.  We took Qatar airways flights via Doha which are much shorter than the Malaysian airways flights which were the Exodus flights.   Is there anything else you would like to add?Great trip - definitely an introductory one to the country.  Will definitely go back as more of the country opens up to tourism. 

  • Highlights of Myanmar (Burma) reviewer 4
    Written on May 14, 2013
    5.0 - Excellent

    A well-planned tour under the supervision of a helpful careful leader. The best sights in South East Asia; at times there was a photo in every single direction. Friendly people and good food. All transfers throughout the trip went like clockwork.What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?The day trip by motor boat around Lake Inle, stopping at a beautiful river setting leading to the magical decaying stupas of IndeinWhat did you think of your group leader?"Andrew" was very committed to our safety, welfare and enjoyment. He had good relationships with staff and clients alike.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?Be prepared for a busy schedule with some very early morning starts. But it's all worth it to complete the circuit in 8 days: the longer (15 days) would probably be overwhelmingIs there anything else you would like to add?The Exodus system of clients contributing to a group kitty and the leader dividing it between the dozens of porters, hotel staff and drivers etc completely takes the hassle out of tipping.

  • Highlights of Myanmar (Burma) reviewer 5
    Written on February 13, 2013
    4.0 - Good

    If you are young and fit with limited time this is the trip for you.  All the main sights are covered burt the pace is very hectic with several early starts, eg leaving the hotel at 4.30am.What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?Seeing the sun set over the stupas and pagodas of Bagan, the sunrise at U Bein's bridge, and the Shwedagon Paya at Yangoon are the sights that stay in the mind.  I was also overwhelmed by the friendliness and openness of the people.What did you think of your group leader?Andrew was simply superb.  He was knowledge and informative and everything was extremely well planned.  He was especially kind and considerate to a fellow traveller who had mobility problems during the trip.  We had an early flight on the Saturday morning going home (not the group flight) and he got up to see us off at 5.45am and to negotiate the fare with the taxi driver.  He went that extra mile which not every guide does.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?Be prepared for a very hectivc tour with very little free time to do your own thing.  There are several very early starts.  If going in their winter (Dec - Feb) be prepared for some chilly mornings especially at Inle lake.  It was only truly hot in the middle of the day, otherwise the temperatures were very pleasant and we ate outside most evenings.  I would also advise booking some wind down time after the tour either in Yangon or - better - at a costal resort.  Exodus are not offering the Ngali extension at present but several of the group were going onto Thailand for a few days.Is there anything else you would like to add?I'm not sure that Exodus have the design of this tour quite right.  If designed for 30+s fair enough but on our group this was not the main age group.  Apart from two peple in their twenties we were all 50+.  Certainly for me the pace was too hectic.  An extra day at the beginning in Yangon to give time to recover from the flight and to see more of Yangon would be good.  As it was all we saw of Yangon was a tour from 3.30 pm on the first day and 4pm on the last day.  We could also do with an extra day in Mandalay to actually see the city itself.  As it was we saw the U Bein's bridge and a series of pagodas outside the city.

  • Highlights of Myanmar (Burma) reviewer 6
    Written on January 29, 2013
    5.0 - Excellent

    Wonderfully well organised trip providing a fantastic introduction to the people and culture of Myanmar. Delicious food.What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?Travelling down the Irrawaddy to MandalayWhat did you think of your group leader?Very professional and efficient.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?Take brand new 100 and 50 dollar notes

  • Highlights of Myanmar (Burma) reviewer 7
    Written on January 25, 2013
    4.0 - Good

    The pagodas and the boat trips were as extraordinary as I had thought but I didn't expect Myanmar to be so comfortable hotel-wise!What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?I loved the Inle Lake at dawn shrouded in mist (and wrapped in the blanket provided) and at dusk, sweeping (rather too quickly) along the floating gardens with their tomatoes, marrows & strawberries - how do they manage that?And cruising up the Irrawaddy - peaceful but always something to see, from dredging for gold to a hazardous  transfer of a pilot between boats in mid river, to agricultural activity on the banks, to huge bridges and finally the magic of the golden pagodas & temples of Sagaing gleaming and sparkling on their hill against the dark blue night sky.What did you think of your group leader?Min Zaw Lin was extremely well organised and efficient, very safety-conscious and wanting us to see everything possible - including little surprises not in the book! He provided us with local maps for any free time and made sure we knew where we were going. He loved making little jokes, with a grin that stretched from ear to ear. His English was quite good and he told us a lot about his country and of course about Buddhism. Do you have any advice for potential travellers?When the trip notes say to have warm clothing for Inle Lake, TAKE THEM SERIOUSLY!and beware, the lake is a tourist trap - the only downside to the trip. Is there anything else you would like to add?Our guide swapped part of the first day for the last, so we finished, not separately with a complete free afternoon, but by visiting together the magnificent Shwedagon Pagoda. I think that on the first day after a long journey we would not have appreciated it as much, it was a fitting end to a great trip. 

  • Highlights of Myanmar (Burma) reviewer 8
    Written on January 24, 2013
    5.0 - Excellent

    A wonderful experience, Burma is a country that is just opening up but it's people are so friendly.What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?The amazing number of Buddhists monumnents testifying to the spirituality of the people. The availability of wonderful, cheap priced food.What did you think of your group leader?Min was amazing, he was always there for us, never late. The trip would have not been half as worthwhile without his unobtrusive leadershipDo you have any advice for potential travellers?Be prepapared for early starts! The trip notes were comprehensive but the early starts were the one thing I wasn't prepared for.Is there anything else you would like to add?I recommend anyone to visit Burma NOW before it becomes commercialised.

  • Highlights of Myanmar (Burma) reviewer 9
    Written on January 23, 2013
    4.0 - Good

    Brilliant organisation ensured that we saw the best of the classic sights with the minimum of hassle. Myanmar is in a state of rapid change and our tourism dollars were well spent encouraging individual enterprises.What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?The pagodas are still the centre of social life and provide islands of serenity that feel a million miles away from the stress and bustle of modern life. Although the tourism infrastructure is rudimentary, staff in local hotels go out of their way to provide service and create a good impression of their country.What did you think of your group leader?A model of efficiency and charm, Min guided us confidently and kindly through a culture which is often very alien to a westerner.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?Be prepared for very early morning starts and long days.Is there anything else you would like to add?Remember that Myanmar is one of the least countries in the world: don't pack any expectations and you are likely to be charmed and delighted with your trip experiences.

  • Highlights of Myanmar (Burma) reviewer 10
    Written on December 9, 2012
    5.0 - Excellent

    A full on and exhausting trip, but worth it for the amount crammed in and the amazing sights and experiences.  Now is a great time to go before it gets too 'touristy'.What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?There were two highlights of the trip for me:1)  The optional sunrise hot air balloon ride over the temples at Bagan.   It was absolutely stunning and very well run, with a champagne breakfast with croissants and fruit after landing.2)  The day on Inle Lake.  Again, the scenery was stunning and there were lots of interesting places to stop off at.  It was very hot in the middle of the day though and some people were flagging a bit. What did you think of your group leader?Ko Ko did a great job of steering us round the country to a tight timescale, and dealing with changes to the itinerary (flight to Mandalay rather than boat).  He also did his best to keep the group happy - when we were split between wanting to do the Mandalay tour on a local truck or air conditioned bus, he organised one of each and we paid according to which option we wanted.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?If you are interested in doing the Bagan balloon ride, book it as far in advance as possible.  A lot of people on our trip were disappointed not to get a place - the only two of us who managed to do it booked 4 months in advance.  It is very popular and there is a significant waiting list every day.  It also depends on the weather - we were very lucky as it hadn't run the previous 3 days.Take ear plugs and an eye mask - some of the hotels suffered from outside noise and only had thin curtains.Research the temperature at Inle Lake at the time you are going - we all took woolly hats etc as advised in the trip notes, but while it was definitely cooler at night than most places, I was fine with a thin cardigan (and I feel the cold!)  My fleece was useful for the start of the boat ride on the lake though as its a bit chilly with the wind when the boats are moving fast.  Other (less wimpy) people were fine without coats though. Is there anything else you would like to add?Most tourist restaurants have a mix of Chinese, Thai and Burmese food and a lot have some western food such as chicken/fish and chips or pasta.  I can't eat chillies but had no problem - they often ask you how spicy you want dishes when ordering and it was easy to get them just to leave the chillies out.Be prepared for a bit of a mix in the standard of accommodation.  The hotel in Rangoon was very clean and comfortable but some of the others were quite basic with not everything working.  The hotel at Inle was mixed - some people had really nice rooms whereas the solo travellers had small more basic ones.  Most of the hotel bathrooms were wet rooms so it would be worth taking some flip flops to wear in there (if you don't want to use the ones provided which have seen better days and have obviously been worn by many people!)The money rules were starting to relax when we were there, but you're probably still safest taking mint condition USD.  People on our trip did manage to change non mint dollars in some places though.  Changing money is easy at most of the hotels and airports.There are quite a few very early starts, especially if you also do the balloon ride (three days were pre 5am).  Also, with so much to pack in, the morning activities often ran over and we didn't really end up with the free afternoons listed in the itinerary.  We often didn't stop for lunch till 2 or 3 so it would be a good idea to take some cereal bars or similar as it was often a long gap between breakfast and lunch.

Itinerary

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  1. Introduction
  2. Expand all
  1. Day 1: Arrive Yangon (Rangoon).
  2. Day 2: Fly to Bagan; free to explore temples and pagodas.
  3. Day 3: Full day tour to explore the largest temples as well as some of the smaller ones.
  4. Day 4: Transfer to Mandalay; afternoon free.
  5. Day 5: Visit U-Bein Bridge at sunrise; all day cruise visiting Sandamuni Paya and sunset at Mandalay Hill.
  6. Day 6: Fly to Heho and on to Inle Lake.
  7. Day 7: Cruise on Inle Lake; visit local craft industries and lakeside markets, Indein pagodas and see the famous leg-rowing fishermen.
  8. Day 8: Fly to Yangon; free afternoon; visit Shwedagon Pagoda for sunset.
  9. Day 9: Morning at leisure; depart afternoon.

What's included

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  • Accommodation

  • Guide

  • Meals

  • Transport

  • Insurance

  • Additional Services

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Highlights of Myanmar (Burma)

STARTENDSEATS LEFTSAVE NOW PRICE
  • Friday
    Nov 16, 2018
    from Yangon
    9 Days
    Saturday
    Nov 24, 2018
    to Yangon
    6 seats left
    $173
    $1,935
    -9%
    USD $1,762

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About the countries

Useful things to know before you go

Currencies

K
Kyat
Myanmar (Burma)

Plugs & Adapters

Myanmar (Burma)Myanmar (Burma)Myanmar (Burma)

Visa

Here is an indication for which countries you might need a visa. Please contact the local embassy for help applying for visas to these places.

Vaccinations

These are only indications, so please visit your doctor before you travel to be 100% sure.
Typhoid
Recommended for Myanmar (Burma). Ideally 2 weeks before travel.
Hepatitis A
Recommended for Myanmar (Burma). Ideally 2 weeks before travel.
Cholera
Recommended for Myanmar (Burma). Ideally 2 weeks before travel.
Tuberculosis
Recommended for Myanmar (Burma). Ideally 3 months before travel.
Hepatitis B
Recommended for Myanmar (Burma). Ideally 2 months before travel.
Rabies
Recommended for Myanmar (Burma). Ideally 1 month before travel.
Yellow fever
Certificate of vaccination required if arriving from an area with a risk of yellow fever transmission for Myanmar (Burma). Ideally 10 days before travel.
Japanese B encephalitis
Recommended for Myanmar (Burma). Ideally 1 month before travel.

Policies

Location
Start and end in Yangon.
Hold my space
TourRadar can request Exodus Travels to hold spaces for you for up to 48 hours without any credit card details.
Deposit
TourRadar only requires a deposit of 20% to confirm this Exodus Travels booking. The remaining balance is then payable 60 days prior to the departure date. For any tour departing before 22 November 2018 the full payment of $1,762 is necessary.
Cancellation policy
No additional cancellation fees! You can cancel the tour up to 60 days prior to the departure date and you will not need to pay the full amount of $1762 for Highlights of Myanmar (Burma), but the deposit of 20% is non-refundable.
Credit Cards
The following cards are accepted for Exodus Travels tours: Visa - Master Card - American Express

Destinations

Covering a total distance of approx 1,313 km.
  • Yangon (Myanmar (Burma))
  • 505 km
  • Bagan (Myanmar (Burma))
  • 155 km
  • Mandalay (Myanmar (Burma))
  • 11 km
  • Mingun (Myanmar (Burma))
  • 20 km
  • Sagaing (Myanmar (Burma))
  • 16 km
  • Mandalay (Myanmar (Burma))
  • 159 km
  • Heho (Myanmar (Burma))
  • 21 km
  • Inle Lake (Myanmar (Burma))
  • 425 km
  • Yangon (Myanmar (Burma))

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