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: $4695  
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
2

Highlights

  • 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 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

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.

References

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 / Dhammayangyi Pagoda / Sunset Viewing

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 Htilominlo Pagoda, famed for its original fine carvings, the Mingalazedi Pagoda, one of the few temples in Bagan with a full set of glazed terra cotta tiles, and the monumental Dhammayangyi Pagoda. Watching a sunset from atop one of the temples is one of Bagan’s sublime experiences.

Days 5-6
Mandalay / Mahamuni Pagoda / Amarapura / U Bein Bridge

Mandalay’s attractions include Mahamuni Pagoda, the Golden Palace Monastery, and the Kuthodaw Pagoda, built in 1857 and home to “the world’s largest book,” some 700 inscribed stone tablets. You will also enjoy a sunset walk up Mandalay Hill, home to many shrines, visit the temples at Amarapura, and walk along U Bein Bridge, the longest teak bridge in the world and a great place for people-watching. On one day you travel by local boat along the peaceful Irrawaddy River to the lovely setting of the Mingun Temple, which houses the world’s largest ringing bell—weighing n at over 87 tons.

Days 7-9
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 10-11
Yangon / Depart

Fly back to Yangon for a final overnight, then depart on the morning of 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 September 30, 2015

First Class Option

$4695 per person, double occupancy
Single supplement: $1175
Internal airfare: $540 (subject to change)

Deluxe Option

$5495 per person, double occupancy
Single supplement: $1925
Internal airfare: $540 (subject to change)
Call for discounted rates for groups of three or more.

Note: A Holiday Surcharge will apply for travel between December 20 and January 10. The surcharge amount will depend on the exact dates of travel and availability of featured accommodations. Please note that there may be limited availability in November and December of 2015.
Prices are not guaranteed until services are confirmed.
more on pricing

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.).

Trip Payment Schedule*

At time of reservation: 20% of trip cost
120 days prior to departure: 20% of trip cost
60 days prior to departure: Balance

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

Cancellation and Transfer Fee Schedule*

Minimum fee: 20% of trip cost
90-46 days prior to departure: 40% of trip cost
45 days or less: 100% of trip cost

*Internal Airfare Payment, Change, and Cancellation Fee Schedule: In order to secure your seats on Internal Air flights, Wilderness Travel must request and confirm your tickets as soon as you sign up on the trip. Payment for Internal Air will be collected from each trip member at the time of reservation. Once issued, internal air tickets are subject to a $100 per person fee for any changes or cancellation until 60 days prior to the trip. Within 60 days of the trip, all tickets are non-refundable. The name on your tickets must match your passport exactly, and any name changes are subject to these same fees. We therefore request that you send us a scanned copy of your passport photo page immediately upon reserving your trip. Internal Air payments and cancellation fees are in addition to Trip Cost payments and cancellation fees as noted above.

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

Hotel 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:

Hotel 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:

Hotel 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:

Hotel 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.