(Yangon, Bagan, Mandalay, Inle Lake, Ngapali Beach)
Enjoy an afternoon picnic on a blanket to a backdrop of Minnanthu’s deserted temples as the sun sets on the mysterious land of Myanmar.
Formerly known as Burma, Myanmar has emerged from its difficult past to offer foreign tourists a glimpse of a charming rural lifestyle practically untouched by western development. Explore the crumbling colonial architecture, vibrant local markets and pleasant tree-lined lakes of Yangon. Visit the former capital – Bago – and see its impressive temple zone from a sunrise hot air balloon ride, and climb to Buledi Pagoda for the photo opportunity of your dreams. And don’t miss the grandeur of the former royal capital of Mandalay, the traditional Shan villages of Inle Lake, and a relaxing getaway to the pristine sands of Ngapali Beach.
From five-star beach resorts to lovingly restored palace hotels, you’ll discover the many faces of Myanmar in the lap of luxury. Your private guides and drivers will help you get the best out of the experience as you are offered a rare insight into a land that has been off limits to westerners for decades. Learn about traditional medicine, discover the ancient secrets of Burmese skin care, visit a fortune teller and enjoy a traditional meal among locals.
Enjoy a personalized vacation that best suits your needs, developed by one of our experienced destination experts. Relax during your trip with our 24/7 support and expert local guidance.
Meet your driver for an airport transfer with a private vehicle.
Yangon is a sprawling city with a relatively small downtown area including several markets, colonial buildings, the Yangon River, and a very green area with tree-lined streets and several lakes. During this full day tour you will be shown the different faces of Yangon from the landmarks to the hidden markets that have seen only a few westerners. During the day you will visit the Sule Pagoda, colonial downtown, the harbour, The Strand, and one of the colourful local markets. The reclining Buddha will be visited just before taking a tasteful lunch of typical dishes from tribes from all over the country like Kachin, Shan, and Rakhine. A local market will lead you to a small station where you will take the famous circular train that will bring you right behind Bogyoke Aung San market before heading back to your hotel. The tour includes a drink at the Strand Hotel and lunch at a local restaurant.
Religion has always been very important for the Burmese and apart from paying respect to Buddha there are many different ways to try to give your body and soul a bit more “peace of mind”, to build up karma or to get directions on what to do or what to avoid in life. During this full day tour the principles of mediation are explained to you at a one of the famous meditation centres. A foot massage is given in a school before a traditional lunch. You will get some deeper insight in the Burmese traditional medicine at a local traditional medicine shop and find out the secret of the beautiful Burmese skin. End the day with a visit to a traditional fortune teller who will read your palm. Today’s lunch is vegetarian.
As a member of the luxurious Orient Express hotels, The Governor's Residence is a striking two-story teak mansion hotel dating from the 1920's. Situated within the elegant Embassy Quarter of Yangon, this Burmese establishment is close to the spectacular Shwedagon Pagoda. The Governor's Residence offers beautiful guest rooms and suites, luxuriously decorated with teak furniture, tropical cottons, and silks. Each room is surrounded by a lush lotus garden and includes a large handmade, free-form bath. There are fantastic dining options and an enticing selection of gourmet delights can be had at Mandalay Restaurant and Mindon Lounge. The Governor’s Residence emanates style and history in a delightful setting and is a perfect retreat for guests to simply relax and rejuvenate.
Bago (about 1, 5 hour drive from Yangon) used to be the capital of Myanmar under King Bayinnaung (till 1819). It is an excellent place to visit and see the remains of a former capital, especially if you don’t have enough time to visit Mandalay or Bagan. In the morning we stop at a local market in Insein Township just north of Yangon to buy some fruits and snacks for on the way and we pay respect to the thousands of allied soldiers buried at the Taukkyan War cemetery. In Bago city we will visit the Kyatkha Wain monastery, which is one of the largest in the country. We will try to arrive in time to see the preparations from the monks for lunch. Our own lunch is taken at a local restaurant. During the afternoon we visit Shwemawdaw Pagoda as well as the Shwetalyaung Buddha and the remains of the former palace. We return to Yangon by train to see a different way of local live and country side.
Fly from Yangon to Bagan.
Minnanthu is probably the most favourite temple area amongst frequent Bagan visitors and you know why? It’s quiet, it’s a beautiful area, and the temples here are often completely deserted. Your guide will bring you by car to this forgotten part of Bagan and will spread out a blanket and serve you a great picnic lunch in this historical setting before or after visiting 2 or 3 ancient temples ruins in this area.
Stay at least 2 nights in Bagan, one to see the sun go down from the top of an ancient temple, the other one to take a boat ride on the mighty Ayeyarwaddy River and have some sundowners on a sandbank in the middle of the river (if the river is not too high). A private boat tour on the river during sunset time will hopefully show you a spectacular sunset while your guide will be serving cocktails and some snacks.
The Aureum Palace Hotel & Resort offers a little piece of tranquil paradise in Bagan. This unparalleled Resort and Spa set amid 27 acres of tropical landscaped gardens offers the ultimate in luxury for guests seeking an exceptional and unique vacation experience. Museum quality antiques and artifacts adorn each villa, complementing the majestic ambiance of the resort. Bedrooms are spacious and elegant while bathrooms are large and lavishly equipped with five-star amenities. Indulge yourself in the culinary pleasures of The Shan or The Veranda restaurants, or privately dine on your villa’s terrace for al-fresco dining. Allow yourself to unwind and feel at peace with yourself and with nature in this serene and awe-inspiring setting.
Simply a must-do when visiting Bagan. Early morning before sunrise you will be picked up at your hotel and driven to the launch site for a spectacular hot air balloon ride over the temple zone in Bagan. The mostly British balloon pilots are operating each balloon under highest UK safety standards and the views you will get are breathtakingly spectacular. After floating in the air and following the wind you will land safely and be welcomed back on the ground by a smiling crew serving cold champagne before taking you back to your hotel.
A full day tour by car, with an experienced guide through Bagan will show you the best known temples of the area. You will begin the day climbing Buledi Pagoda to get a first impressive view over the whole area. From here the guide plans his way to some of the other amazing temples that have been here for hundreds of years. Places like the Ananda, Dhammayangyi, Sulamani, and Thatbyinnyu will certainly impress you. Lunch will be taken at a local restaurant and around 4:00PM, you will continue the tour by horse cart to Pyathagyi pagoda to catch the sunset with some refreshing drinks served. The best part of this tour; whenever you see a temple you like, just ask your guide to stop to have a look at it.
Fly from Bagan to Mandalay.
During this half day tour you will be taken to the most famous monuments of Mandalay starting with a drive by pickup truck to the top of Mandalay hill for a great view over the Mandalay fort. Next, continue onward to Atumashi and the Shwenandaw monasteries which are excellent examples of the architecture and crafts work of this region. The tour will end with a visit to Kuthodaw Pagoda with the white marble slabs. The Kuthodaw Pagoda is often referred to as the “World Biggest Book” in tourist guide books but is actually a place of worship, rather than a place to read the religious text as it would take 450 days to read this “Book”.
The Rupar Mandalar Resort is a romantic boutique hotel in an exotic atmosphere surrounded by nature. The hotel has 16 rooms with modern facilities, swimming pool, tennis court, and a health & beauty spa.
Mandalay and the other former royal capitals around it have all been capital cities for a while for one major reason: they are all situated on the Ayeyarwaddy River. Feel the breeze of the river and imagine how it must have been to arrive by boat in Mingun or at the court of Ava. From the jetty in Mandalay you will be taken upstream to Mingun and visit the Mingun Pagoda with the big crack caused by an earthquake and the giant bronze bell. Take a leisurely boat cruise for about 3 hours downstream to Ava. A simple lunch packed in rattan baskets will be served while cruising down. Arriving in Ava, horse carts are ready to take you around this magnificent site with various ancient temple ruins that used to be majestic buildings during the 400 years that Ava was the capital. Return to Mandalay by car.
Fly from Mandalay to Inle Lake.
As described in many books, the Shan culture is very interesting and rich and especially in Nyaung Shwe you still get a bit of the feeling of the former Shan kingdom of Nyaung Shwe. Begin with a visit of the Buddha museum which is housed in the former “Haw” (palace) of the last Shan prince of Nyaung Shwe (Mr. Sao Shwe Thaike, who later became the first prime minister of Myanmar after independence). Enjoy a nice Shan lunch at the Viewpoint restaurant and then continue the tour to the local market looking for some traditional Shan cotton and Shan traditional dresses. A visit to the ancient teak wooden Shwe Yan Pyay monastery with the oval windows is certainly giving the opportunity for some great pictures. You will be peddled around some small canals and pass floating gardens in a small wooden boat for about half an hour to see more of the local Shan life from the water. End the tour with a visit and some wine tasting of the excellent wines at the Red Mountain winery in Nyaung Shwe.
Villa Inle Resort & Spa is located beside the cultural and natural icon that is Myanmar’s Inle Lake. Spread over more than 20 acres on the eastern fringe of the lake near the village of Maing Tauk, the property features 16 secluded lakeside villas. All villas at Villa Inle Resort & Spa are designed to harmoniously blend in with the natural environment and feature hand-selected local paintings and antiques, high wooden ceilings, spacious living areas and well appointed bathrooms. Rooms include king size beds, air conditioning with heating facility, LCD television, WiFi access and lakefront balconies. Hotel Restaurant serves Western & Shan, Myanmar and Inthar cuisine. The hotel also features a spa services on site.
Inle Lake in southern Shan State is a vast natural lake surrounded by traditional Shan villages. On the lake itself the Intha people have been living for many centuries in villages built entirely on stilts on the lake. Today, you will be taken by a private motorboat around the lake to discover its natural beauty, visit the floating gardens and hopefully see some of the famous leg rowers as well as enjoy tea time at a local family’s house. On and around the lake, traditional markets are held in different villages according to a 5-day rotating schedule and today you will visit a colourful market frequented by Shan and Pao people living nearby. Afterwards, visit a local cheroot factory (where the Burmese cigars are made), floating tomato gardens, Intha Heritage house where the Burmese cats are bred, and if wanted you can visit a weaving factory. Return to your hotel around 4:00 PM, in time for sunset.
In the southern part of the lake the ruins of Indein are certainly worth a visit. Partly covered by vegetation, the area looks like a “pagoda forest”. Your guide will take you on a walk for about one hour to enjoy a fantastic view over the lake where you will then visit the primary school in Sae Ma Village. A home-made cooked lunch is served in a local house before continuing onboard a local canoe in the direction of Phaung Daw Oo pagoda. Whenever you are tired peddling yourself, you can continue by motorboat to the pagoda. From Phaung Daw Oo pagoda you will proceed by motorboat to your hotel.
Fly from Inle Lake to Ngapali Beach.
Nestled against coconut palms on the pristine beach frontage of Ngapali Beach in the Bay of Bengal, Myanmar, the luxurious resort consists of 56 villas & cottages, scattered throughout the 6 acres of 450 metres long beach frontage and tropical gardens, most with ocean views. The resort is designed in traditional South East Asian elegance and is constructed in local materials of various kinds of hard wood, stone carving, and marble.
Enjoy time at leisure to explore at your own pace, or relax at your hotel.
Fly from Ngapali Beach to Yangon.
Enjoy the usage of a private vehicle with English speaking driver and guide at leisure for a half day in Yangon.
Bob Feldman ,
November 19, 2013
"I wanted to let you know that our trip to China was great! Everybody enjoyed themselves. When planning a trip I am always concerned about the itinerary, the vehicles and the guides. All 3 of these were great. The guides were particularly good and in this case really made the trip a pleasure. Overall a great trip. Thanks for all you did."
Gloria DeWeese ,
October 10, 2013
"A wonderful trip and everything went like clockwork. Thank you so very much for all your assistance. I hope I will have a chance to work with you again."
Wayne Gavioli ,
September 04, 2013
"We just returned from our thailand/cambodia trip. It was fantastic. You did a great job. The guides were excellent as was the drivers. We loved the Victoria Hotel you selected in Siem. Wish we had more time. Thailand met our expectations but our expectations for Cambodia were low and they exceeded them. Loved the places selected for the included lunches. Certainly would use Kensington again"
Santo Filice ,
August 30, 2013
"Thank you for arranging our guided trip to Thailand - Vietnam. It was a memorable, and pleasant trip - a 1st for us with Kensington tours and a most enjoyable one. We found that we were able to maximize our visit of the the area without the concern of booking hotels, airline, finding parking and understanding the local language. "
Tim Mesarch ,
August 02, 2013
"Alexis helped us fit in all of the sites we wanted to see on our trip to Thailand and Cambodia, and suggested some more. It was valuable talking with someone who had been there and done that. The planning went pretty smoothly, and so did the trip. The local guides were all top-notch! "
July 25, 2013
"I highly recommend Kesington Tours. The planning of our trip to Cambodia was outstanding. Our advisor Alexis Mayer was unbelievably patient, knowledgeable and responsive. We planned the trip in every possible detail and Alexis was extraordinary during the whole process. Once we were in Cambodia, we had a tiny issue with the car. I was able to get in contact with Alexis right away and the problem was instantly solved. The trip itself was fantastic. Everything was very well planned and perfectly organized. The local guides and drivers were great. The hotels were very well chosen.
Great trip. I would definitely travel again with Kensington Tours."
Pennie Quintana ,
August 07, 2013
"Thank you so much for the amazing trip we enjoyed!! All our guides were fantasy. Joseph in Jakarta, July in Jojakarta and Deon in Borneo!! Wow!! Bless you for all your attention to detail and the outstanding communication to all my questions. You made me feel so taken care of and tended too!! "
Denise Abadi ,
June 21, 2013
"We have just returned from our trip to Malaysia and wanted you to know how much we enjoyed the itinerary you put together for us. Our guides were personable and very knowledgeable about the various places we visited. We were amazed by the sights, sounds and friendliness of the people we encountered. Needless to say, it was a most memorable trip and one of the
highlights of our traveling careers!
July 11, 2013
"Sunita, my wife and I had a wonderful time in China. The hotels were superb. Our guides were excellent. They spoke good English, were knowledgeable, and flexible. It was a wonderful trip. We particularly enjoyed the Yangtze River cruise. We will certainly consider your firm for international travel in the future."
Debbie Selden ,
June 14, 2013
"We had a great time and our guide in Bejing was fantastic! Thanks much for all your help."
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