Yangon and Bagan


The images of Burma are startling in their simple beauty—saffron-robed monks walking silently in single file, gold-spired pagodas glinting like jewels on faraway hills, rickshaw drivers in striped longyis (sarongs) peddling lazily through tree-lined streets. On this extension, visit nostalgic Yangon (formerly Rangoon), with its magnificent Shwedagon temple bustling with monks and pilgrims, and watch a golden sunset over a thousand temples on the great plain of Bagan. This tropical nation abounds with visual delights, but it is the encounter with Burma’s people—graceful and deeply spiritual—that lingers in the traveler’s mind long after journey’s end.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1

Morning arrival in Yangon, where you are met at the airport for a transfer to your hotel for check-in. After lunch at a local restaurant, meet with your guide and visit the National Museum, where you can admire some of its wonderful treasures, including the Lion Throne, royal regalia, and rare ethnic minorities costumes. (Note: The National Museum is closed on Monday and all Public Holidays.) Overnight at hotel...L

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Day 2

Start the day with a visit to the eight-sided Sule Pagoda, considered the heart of old Rangoon and dating back more than 2,000 years. Continue with a drive to Kandawgyi Lake and walk around, taking in the local life and culture. After lunch at a local restaurant, visit Chaukhtatkyi, known for the Reclining Buddha measuring 230 feet in length. You'll also visit spectacular Shwedagon Pagoda, one of the world’s most impressive and spiritual monuments, standing 300 feet high and covered with 60 tons of gold. Around the multi-roofed main shrine, there are countless other pagodas, temples, monuments, and giant Buddha images, as well as a continual parade of pilgrims and monks and nuns offering their devotions. Time permitting, also pay a visit to Chinatown to see the active and colorful street life. (Note: In Burma, all visitors to pagodas need to remove their shoes and socks.) Overnight at hotel...BL

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Day 3

An early morning flight brings you to Bagan (formerly Pagan), one of the most extraordinary sights in Burma if not in all of Southeast Asia. On your temple and pagoda visits today, visit some of Bagan’s most beautiful and unusual sites, reflecting the best of Bagan’s architectural styles, temple paintings, and historical significance. Some of the sites you will visit today include the famous Shwezigon Pagoda, one of the four most significant buildings in Bagan (it served as a center of reflection and prayer); Ananda, whose marvelous interior is filled with glazed terracotta tiles and a honeycomb of niches containing small stone Buddha images; Htilominlo Temple, famed for its original fine plaster carvings and glazed sandstone decorations that are remarkably well preserved; Mingalazedi Pagoda, one of the few temples in Bagan with a full set of glazed terra cotta tiles, and Dhammayangyi Pagoda, Bagan’s largest temple. The temple is a large square, single story, pyramidal temple with six monumental ascending exterior terraces. The brickwork is perhaps the finest that can be found around Bagan. Enjoy sunset from one of the most scenic spots in town and return to the hotel in the early evening. Overnight at hotel...BLD

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Day 4
Bagan / Mount Popa / Salay

Rising nearly 5,000 feet from the plains of the surroundings of Bagan, Mount Popa is considered the sacred home of the spirits. During our 1.5-hour drive there, we stop to visit a palm village along the way to gain an insight into how palm sugar (jaggery) is produced. Continue to Mount Popa and visit Taung Kalat, the temple that sits atop it like a plug in a volcano. The monastery holds significance in Burma’s history and religion, and is home to the 37 nats (spirits) of Burma, which are displayed at the base of the temple. The views from atop are incredible and may reach as far as Bagan on a clear day. Enjoy lunch and continue to the colorful old religious center of Salay, home to a large number of monasteries and colonial buildings. Visit Yoke-Sone-Kyaung, built in 1882 and nowadays a cultural heritage site. Situated on the eastern bank of the Irrawaddy River, the monastery is famous for its spectacular wood carvings. Return to Bagan in the late afternoon. Overnight at hotel...BLD

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Day 5
Bagan / Yangon

In the morning, visit the colorful Nyaung U market, full of all manner of goods including vegetables, fish, and beautiful textiles, and the Zayta Wun monastery, which also houses an orphanage. A walk around Min Nan Thu village allows you the opportunity to observe local life. After lunch, transfer to the airport for the late afternoon flight to Yangon. Transfer to hotel for overnight...BLD

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Day 6
Yangon / Depart

Transfer to the airport for homeward-bound flight...B


Length: 6 days
Cost From: $2495  
Arrive: Yangon, Burma
Depart: Yangon, Burma
Lodging: 5 nights in comfortable hotels
Meals: Meals as indicated (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Activity: Cultural Adventures
Trip Level:

Walking tours and cultural exploration

Visa Requirements

A visa is required for U.S. citizens visiting Burma (Myanmar). Your visa must be obtained prior to arrival.