leg rowers and their boat at Inle Lake in Burma

Boat on Inle Lake

On Burma's Inle Lake, fisherman use long, slender boats to navigate the shallow channels. The local Intha people have lived, worked, and worshipped on the waters of Inle Lake for generations.

Photo by Brian McGilloway

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Burma Private Journey route-map

Trip Details at-a-Glance

Cost From: $4595  
Length: 11 days
Arrive: Yangon, Burma
Depart: Yangon, Burma
Lodging: 10 nights in First Class or Deluxe hotel
Meals: All breakfasts, 7 lunches, and 8 dinners included
Activity: Cultural Adventures
Trip Level: Cultural adventure with walking tours


  • Nostalgic Yangon, with its gold-spired Shwedagon Pagoda
  • Ancient Bagan and the valley of 2,000 temples
  • Mandalay and the Irrawaddy River
  • Inle Lake and highland hilltribes

Our guide just made the trip for us, with his knowledge and humor, and was always responsive to our needs and desires.Dee J.—Mt. Pleasant, SC

Choosing the Right Trip

We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please contact us.


We are proud to have an exceptionally high rate of repeat travelers. For more information, we would be happy to put you in touch with a client who has traveled with us.

Explore the sublime beauty of Burma, a legendary realm of golden pagodas, nat spirits, ancient monasteries, and a warm, welcoming people. This one-time port of call for Kipling, Orwell, and Somerset Maugham has recently opened up to the outside world and is full of wonders, from the revered Shwedagon Pagoda in nostalgic Yangon (formerly Rangoon) to the astonishing ancient city of Bagan, “land of 2,000 temples.” This Private Journey includes Yangon, where towering Shwedagon glints in the sun, a golden sunset over the soaring temples of Bagan, a journey by boat along the Irrawaddy River in Mandalay, the cultural heart of Burma, and the markets and hill tribes of beautiful Inle Lake in the highlands. Burma abounds with visual delights, but it’s your encounters with its deeply spiritual people that may linger in your mind long after journey’s end.

Itinerary at a Glance

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Days 1-2
Yangon, Burma / Shwedagon Pagoda / Kandawgyi Lake

With its wide streets, parks, and lakes, Yangon has the sleepy charm of a provincial town. Crumbling British colonial mansions stand beside glittering pagodas, including one of the most remarkable religious shrines in all of Asia—the magical Shwedagon Pagoda. Much of Yangon’s allure stems from its colorful street life: sidewalk vendors, rickshaw drivers in striped longyis (sarongs), and people drinking endless cups of sweet, milky tea at roadside tea stalls. Explorations include magical Shwedagon Pagoda, whose enormous golden stupa dominates the city’s skyline, Kandawgyi Lake, the venerable Sule Pagoda, over 2,500 years old, and Chaukhtatkyi, known for its huge Reclining Buddha.

Days 3-4
Bagan Valley

This ancient city in central Burma is reminiscent of other great ancient cities, such as of Angkor in Cambodia. It was the capital of several ancient Burmese kingdoms and more than 2,000 glorious pagodas still stand in isolation in the Bagan Valley. Visits include the monumental Dhammayangyi Pagoda and Mount Popa, considered the sacred home of the spirits. Watching a sunset from atop one of the temples is one of Bagan’s sublime experiences.

Days 5-6
Mandalay / Amarapura / U Bein Bridge

Mandalay’s attractions include the Kuthodaw Pagoda, built in 1857 and home to “the world’s largest book,” some 700 inscribed stone tablets. You will also visit the temples at Amarapura, Shwenandaw Monastery, and enjoy a sunset walk on the UBein Bridge, the longest teak bridge in the world, and Mandalay Hill, home to many shrines.

Days 7-8
Inle Lake / Floating Gardens / Kalaw

Vast Inle Lake is famous for its unique leg-rowers, who have perfected a style of rowing standing on one leg that requires remarkable balance. Enjoy a boat trip on the lake to  visit the fascinating “floating” gardens and market, and head out to visit the town of Kalaw,  a former British hill station at 5,000 feet that still retains is colonial architecture.

Days 9-11
Red Mountain Estate Vineyard / Yangon / Depart

Head to Red Mountain Estate Vineyard, located on the side of Inle Lake, in the southern Shan State. Red Mountain Estate produces some of the best wines of the country using locally grown grapes—all of the 400,000 vines have been imported from France and Spain. Enjoy a tasting of several varieties of wine with some snacks while taking in the beautiful view from the top of the hill. After your flight back to Yangon, enjoy your final evening at leisure. Depart on Day 11.

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

What the Trip is Like

This trip is Level 2, or Easy to Moderate, according to our trip grading system. Although not physically demanding, the trip will yield greater rewards if you are in good physical condition and able to stay on your feet for 6-7 hours per day. There is much to see each day, and a fair amount of walking is necessary to take it all in. All the hotels we use are privately owned and operated (not government-run). You will have porters to carry your luggage in most places. However there may be times when you need to carry your own luggage, so luggage with rollers work best.

Explanation of Trip Levels


When to go

November to February

For our Private Journey trips, you choose your own group and your preferred dates—there are no set departure dates. Private Journeys are available to groups as few as two people or as large as you like. Contact us for availability, questions, or to book your adventure!

Trip Cost

Prices valid through Spring 2016

First Class

$4595 per person, double occupancy
Single supplement: $860
Internal airfare: $540 (subject to change)


$5495 per person, double occupancy
Single supplement: $1820
Internal airfare: $540 (subject to change)

Prices are not guaranteed until services are confirmed.
more on pricing

Trip Payment Schedule

At time of reservation: $600
90 days prior to departure: Balance

Cancellation and Transfer Fee Schedule*

Minimum fee: $250 per person
61-90 days prior to departure: 25% of trip cost
46-60 days prior to departure: 50% of trip cost
45 days or less: 100% of trip cost

*Please note that this differs from our regular catalog departures.

Trip Cost Includes:

  • Services of professional English-speaking private guide 
  • Accommodations as noted in the Full Trip Brochure for First Class Option or Deluxe Option*
  • All admission fees and activities as described
  • All breakfasts, 7 lunches, and 8 dinners included
  • Arrival and departure airport transfers and land transport by AC vehicle in Burma
*Our preferred accommodations are described in this itinerary. Please note that while it is unlikely, we may occasionally have to make substitutions of similar properties when necessary.

Trip Cost Does Not Include:

International airfare; any meals not specified after each itinerary day in the Full Trip Brochure; optional activities; airport departure taxes; optional tipping or gratuities to staff; additional hotel nights made necessary by airline schedule changes or other factors; pre-trip expenses such as medical immunizations (if any), travel insurance, or passports and visas; and other expenses of a personal nature (beverages, laundry, etc.).

Hotels in Yangon

Days 1 to 2 (2 nights),
Day 10 (1 night), Yangon, Burma

In Yangon, we stay at one of the following properties based on availability and choice of accommodation:

Hotels in Bagan

Days 3 to 4 (2 nights), Bagan, Burma

In Bagan, we stay at one of the following properties based on availability and choice of accommodation:

Hotels in Mandalay

Days 5 to 6 (2 nights), Mandalay, Burma

In Mandalay, we stay at one of the following properties based on availability and choice of accommodation:

Hotels in Inle Lake

Days 7 to 9 (3 nights), Inle Lake, Burma

In Inle Lake, we stay at one of the following properties based on availability and choice of accommodation:

Note: Listed above are our signature accommodations for this trip. Although it is highly unlikely, we may make substitutions when necessary.

Client Comments

Our guide just made the trip for us, with his knowledge and humor, and was always responsive to our needs and desires. Dee J., Mt. Pleasant, SC
Our guide was excellent: prepared, informed, attentive to our needs and comfort, and very easy to be with. I especially appreciated his flexibility and ability to adapt the itinerary to the needs of the moment and of the group. Molly M., Boise, ID