Myanmar's Leg Rowing Festival

10 days from $4,110 per person*
  • Take part in one of the world’s most fascinating festivals, Myanmar’s Hpaung Daw U.
  • Soar high over the ancient temples of Bagan in a hot air balloon.
  • Marvel at the sights of the Leg Rower's Running Race.
  • Experience the immense culture of Inle Lake with private guide.
  • Featuring expertly selected hotels.
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Cruise the waters of time back to a tradition evocative of Southeast Asia centuries ago with a pilgrimage to Hpaung Daw U – otherwise known as Myanmar’s leg rowing festival. Held upon the shores of Inle Lake, a trip to this spiritual 18 day pageant is true cultural nirvana. Watch as a golden barge holding four Buddhas is towed by ornamented leg-rowers from your own private boat with expert guide. Go ashore to take part in the eclectic festivities with monks & locals alike, from magic shows, dancing, leg rowing races and fireworks to fortune tellers, blessings and Burmese banquets. To amplify your experience, plan your visit to coincide with Thadingyut, the festival of lights!

This year the Myanmar’s leg rowing festival will be held between October 30th and November 6th.

Day
Activities Hotel & Meals
Hotel & Meals
  • Day 1 Yangon
    Yangon
    • Transfer - Private - Airport - Vehicle/Guide
    Breakfast
  • Day 2 Yangon to Inle Lake
    Yangon to Inle Lake
    • Tour - Private - City Tour with Lunch - Vehicle/Guide/Driver
    • Transfer - Private - Airport - Vehicle/Guide
    • Yangon - Inle Lake [(1hr)] - Economy
    • Transfer - Private - Airport - Vehicle/Guide
  • Day 3 Inle Lake
    Inle Lake
    • Leg Rowing Festivities - Boat/Guide
  • Day 4 Inle Lake
    Inle Lake
    • Tour - Private - A Day on the Lake with Lunch - Vehicle/Guide/Driver
  • Day 5 Inle Lake
    Inle Lake
    • Tour - Private - Indein Ruins & Local Lunch - Vehicle/Guide/Driver
  • Day 6 Inle Lake to Bagan
    Inle Lake to Bagan
    • Tour - Private - 1/2 Day Experience Shan Culture with Lunch & Wine Tasting - Vehicle/Guide/Driver
    • Transfer - Private - Airport - Vehicle/Guide
    • Inle Lake - Bagan [(1hr)] - Economy
    • Transfer - Private - Airport - Vehicle/Guide
    Breakfast
  • Day 7 Bagan
    Bagan
    • Ballooning over Bagan - Vehicle/Guide/Driver
    • Tour - Private - Bagan Explorer with Lunch - Vehicle/Guide/Driver
    Breakfast
  • Day 8 Bagan
    Bagan
    • Tour - Private - Markets, Monasteries, Boat Ride to 12th Century Hidden Cave Temple with Lunch - Vehicle/Guide/Driver
    • Tour - Private - Sundowners on a Sandbank - Vehicle/Guide/Driver
    Breakfast
  • Day 9 Bagan to Yangon
    Bagan to Yangon
    • Tour - Private - 1/2 Day Picnic in Minnanthu - Vehicle/Guide/Driver
    • Transfer - Private - Airport - Vehicle/Guide
    • Bagan - Yangon [(1.5hrs)] - Economy
    • Transfer - Private - Airport - Vehicle/Guide
    Breakfast
  • Day 10 Yangon
    Yangon
    • Transfer - Private - Airport - Vehicle/Guide
We can customize this private tour just for you. Any element can be tailored – activities, length, hotels and destinations.
Call us at 1 888 903-2001 or request a quote.
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Day 1: Yangon

Meet your driver for an airport transfer with a private vehicle.

Accommodation: Strand Hotel (5*)

Built in 1901 the Strand Hotel endures as a Myanmar landmark with its three-stories of Victorian colonnaded charms. This luxury resort offers large suites with lazily whirring ceiling fans, teak floors, and luxurious bathrooms. All rooms are tastefully furnished with a touch of colonial style and are equipped with up to date amenities. Adding to the splendid old-world ambience is a valuable private collection of local art and antiques. From the famous Strand Bar, move on to The Café that peers onto the street or to the famous Strand Grill with its elegant Bagan prints, chandeliers, and glass roof. Take pleasure in an afternoon tea or enjoy Burmese music in the Lobby Lounge.

Yangon
Yangon
Strand Hotel
Strand Hotel

Day 2: Yangon - Inle Lake

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 only seen a few westerners. During the day you will visit the Sule Pagoda, colonial downtown, the harbor, The Strand, and one of the colorful 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.

Meet your driver for an airport transfer with a private vehicle.

Fly from Yangon to Inle Lake. Flight time is approximately 1 hour.

Meet your driver for an airport transfer with a private vehicle.

Accommodation: Villa Inle Resort (4*)

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 Thauk, the property features 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, Wi-Fi access and lakefront balconies. The hotel restaurant and bar is the ideal place to unwind at the end of the day, sipping a cocktail or eating the Shan or Inle Lake traditional food as the sun sets above the lake.

Inle Lake
Inle Lake
Villa Inle Resort
Villa Inle Resort

Day 3: Inle Lake

The Leg Rower’s Running Race is extremely unique at Inle Lake, especially during the Inlay Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival. It is one of the most attractive events in this region that is a sight not to be missed by anyone visiting Myanmar. These famous leg rowers compete against each other, dressed in their full pageantry and ceremonial splendor while skillfully navigating the lake by rowing in a standing position on the prow of their long, flat bottomed boats, with one leg wrapped around an oar that is pivoted on their hip. This is the same way these fishermen fish on a daily basis, by posing very sturdily so as to plunge a fish trap into the shallow waters beneath their boat. Women still row in a customary style, holding the oars while sitting in the boat. This type of rowing technique takes some serious balance and coordination and people from nearby villages come to pay homage and witness this phenomenal act during the festivities.

Accommodation: Villa Inle Resort (4*)
Leg Rower's
Leg Rower's

Day 4: Inle Lake

Inle Lake 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'll 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 colorful market frequented by Shan and Pa O 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.

Accommodation: Villa Inle Resort (4*)
Village on the Lake
Village on the Lake

Day 5: Inle Lake

In the south of the lake, the ruins of Indein are certainly worth a visit. Partly covered by vegetation, the area looks like a pagoda forest. You will walk about an hour to enjoy a fantastic view over the lake and visit a school in Tha Ley village. A homemade cooked lunch is served by a local family in their house. Continue towards the Nam Pan village like the locals, in a small canoe. Whenever you are tired peddling yourself you can continue by motorboat back to your hotel.

Accommodation: Villa Inle Resort (4*)
Indein Ruins
Indein Ruins

Day 6: Inle Lake - Bagan

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 gives 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.

Meet your driver for an airport transfer with a private vehicle.

Fly from Inle Lake to Bagan. Flight time is approximately 1 hour.

Meet your driver for an airport transfer with a private vehicle.

Accommodation: Aureum Palace (4*)

Set within Bagan Archaeological Preservation Zone amongst the ancient temples of The Kingdom of Bagan, Aureum Palace is a resort with a luxury spa set amidst 27 acres of tropical landscaped gardens which offers the ultimate in relaxation for guests seeking a unique experience for the historical traveler. Antiques, artifacts and local arts uniquely adorn each property, complementing the majestic ambiance of the resort and surroundings. Bedrooms are spacious and elegant with all modern facilities: bathrooms are large and lavishly equipped with luxurious amenities. Indoor or al-fresco dining options and bars, cultural entertainment or rest by the poolside for ultimate repose.

Bagan
Bagan
Aureum Palace
Aureum Palace

Day 7: Bagan

One of the many highlights when visiting Myanmar is taking a hot air balloon ride. In the 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 the 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 start the day climbing a pagoda to get an impressive view over the whole area. From here your 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. Around 4:00PM, you will continue the tour by horse cart to Pyathatgyi pagoda to catch the sunset with some refreshing drinks served. 

Accommodation: Aureum Palace (4*)
Bagan Temple
Bagan Temple
Ballooning over Bagan
Ballooning over Bagan

Day 8: Bagan

This is an ideal excursion in Bagan when you feel like you've seen most of the temples (or at least enough) and also want to discover a bit more of the Myanmar countryside. Go by private car to Kyauk Gu Ohnmin cave temple that rarely sees foreign visitors. Continue to Pakkoku and visit a local slipper factory, the market, and see where the famous Pakkoku blankets are made. A private boat is ready for you at the jetty in Pakkoku for a leisurely two hour trip downriver while lunch is being served on board. In the afternoon your guide and driver will take you to see local village life in the dry zone and later in the day, visit a lacquer ware workshop in Myinkaba village.   

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 Ayeyarwady 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.

Accommodation: Aureum Palace (4*)
Ayeyarwady River
Ayeyarwady River
Lacquer Workshop
Lacquer Workshop

Day 9: Bagan - Yangon

Minnanthu is probably the most favorite 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.

Meet your driver for an airport transfer with a private vehicle.

Fly from Bagan to Yangon. Flight time is approximately 1.5 hours.

Meet your driver for an airport transfer with a private vehicle.

Accommodation: Strand Hotel (5*)
Bagan
Bagan

Day 10: Yangon

Meet your driver for an airport transfer with a private vehicle.

Accommodation:
We can customize this private tour just for you. Any element can be tailored – activities, length, hotels and destinations.
Call us at 1 888 903-2001 or request a quote.

Trip Terms & Conditions

  • Your deposit is due immediately on booking (30% of program price, minimum $350). The balance is due 90 days prior to departure.
  • Cancellations of confirmed bookings 90 days or more prior to departure will receive full refund minus a $350 (per person) administrative fee and any non-refundable paid fees (e.g. non-refundable airfare, cruise or hotel deposits). 60-89 days will be subject to loss of 30% of program price. 30-59 days will be subject to loss of 50% of program price. 29 days or less will be subject to loss of 100% of program price.
  • Tour quotes do not include airfare to/from the trip start point unless noted on the itinerary
  • Cost increases in currency exchange, government fees, taxes, surcharges or hotel/lodge tariff increases between quote date and start date are payable by the client.
  • Availability cannot be guaranteed until booked. We will exercise best efforts to book hotels per the itinerary, however, in busy seasons and with client bookings made within 90 days of tour date we may be forced to offer substitutes.
  • Payment of the program price constitutes your acceptance of the terms and conditions set out at www.kensingtontours.com/terms-and-conditions
  • Living Standards and practices at destination may differ from those in North America with respect to provisions of utilities, services and accommodation.

Strand Hotel (5*): Yangon

Built in 1901 the Strand Hotel endures as a Myanmar landmark with its three-stories of Victorian colonnaded charms. This luxury resort offers large suites with lazily whirring ceiling fans, teak floors, and luxurious bathrooms. All rooms are tastefully furnished with a touch of colonial style and are equipped with up to date amenities. Adding to the splendid old-world ambience is a valuable private collection of local art and antiques. From the famous Strand Bar, move on to The Café that peers onto the street or to the famous Strand Grill with its elegant Bagan prints, chandeliers, and glass roof. Take pleasure in an afternoon tea or enjoy Burmese music in the Lobby Lounge.

Strand Hotel
Strand Hotel

Villa Inle Resort (4*): Inle Lake

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 Thauk, the property features 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, Wi-Fi access and lakefront balconies. The hotel restaurant and bar is the ideal place to unwind at the end of the day, sipping a cocktail or eating the Shan or Inle Lake traditional food as the sun sets above the lake.

Villa Inle Resort
Villa Inle Resort
Villa Inle Resort
Villa Inle Resort

Aureum Palace (4*): Bagan

Set within Bagan Archaeological Preservation Zone amongst the ancient temples of The Kingdom of Bagan, Aureum Palace is a resort with a luxury spa set amidst 27 acres of tropical landscaped gardens which offers the ultimate in relaxation for guests seeking a unique experience for the historical traveler. Antiques, artifacts and local arts uniquely adorn each property, complementing the majestic ambiance of the resort and surroundings. Bedrooms are spacious and elegant with all modern facilities: bathrooms are large and lavishly equipped with luxurious amenities. Indoor or al-fresco dining options and bars, cultural entertainment or rest by the poolside for ultimate repose.

Aureum Palace
Aureum Palace
We can customize this private tour just for you. Any element can be tailored – activities, length, hotels and destinations.
Call us at 1 888 903-2001 or request a quote.
We can customize this private tour just for you. Any element can be tailored – activities, length, hotels and destinations.
Call us at 1 888 903-2001 or request a quote.
  • Elizabeth W — June 24, 2015 — Asia

    Excellent trip. All of the guides were professional and top quality. We were able to see many sights due to their knowledge of the train system and they also taught us how to get around on our own. The guides also recommended places to see on our own time and all worth while. In addition they taught us local customs and foods that we needed to try in that region. Very helpful. Special day was with our guide on the Fish Market and sushi making tour, made sushi personally with her. She made it a very special day. Great tour for those who want guides but also some free time on our own. The guides were always on time, the transportation on time and everyone was so nice and helpful. We also appreciated not having to be in a large group of strangers and the one on one quality of the tour. Was not sure what to expect but the trip met all expectations and then some. Will use Kensington again and will refer friends.

  • Lynn m — June 18, 2015 — Asia

    We booked all accommodation ourselves so not rated on survey. Kensington did a perfect job for us customizing all our transportation needs at the airport, ferry, hotel or boat transfer. There was always someone waiting with a sing on the correct day, time and place. As well the guides we used were friendly, knowledgeable, enthusiastic and spoke English well. Our travel consultant Marc Sison was excellent always prompt returning my call or email as well as making fabulous suggestions like going to Oslob to snorkel with the Whale Sharks, an absolute highlight of our trip. Our trip to the Philippines was primarily to snorkel and we were not disappointed, the water was warm and clear with lots of fish, coral, sea snakes, sting rays and even a couple of black tipped reef sharks. Of course there were turtles but we have seem many in our past snorkeling. This has created another way of traveling. Thanks! All the categories on the survey I rate as 10.

  • Maynard Fossum — December 12, 2014 — Asia

    My trip to China proved to be an outstanding experience. Each location provided excellent learning and entertainment opportunities. The country was very impressive both in its deep history and in the huge modernization that has taken place in recent decades. The tour guides at each location were well informed and able to answer questions while also offering detailed information at all sites. It was a pleasure to be so well taken care of. The guides and drivers were always helpful. The meals on the tour were delicious and varied. I was pleased with the choice of restaurants. The hotels were comfortable and well located. I will recommend Kensington Tours.

  • FayeLaing — December 12, 2014 — Asia

    I was a bit nervous about visiting Myanmar. Thanks to the outstanding help and planning via Kensington Tours, everything went off without a hitch!! It was a fantastic experience, that I would recommend to anyone with a spirit of adventure.

  • Craig Gelman — December 12, 2014 — Asia

    Fabulous trip. Every aspect from the planning to execution was excellent.

  • Ruth Reinhard — December 12, 2014 — Asia

    The trip was fantastic!!!Each guide and driver gave us so much information and were so helpful. They made sure that they took good care of our well being and requests. My husband, who we all call "the reluctant traveler" said, halfway through the trip, where are we going next? He said if he can go with Kensington then he will go anyplace. Thanks for making our trip to China a memorable experience.

  • SixtoCastenada Jr. — December 12, 2014 — Asia

    100% satisfied! We had a wonderful trip. Our travel adviser, Tony Newman put together a tour that included everywhere we wanted to visit and within our very limited time frame. Conrad, who booked our transportation was very professional. The tour guides, hotel accommodations and transportation arrangements were all excellent. We will be using Kensington Tours again!

  • TerryCreighton — December 12, 2014 — Asia

    We were so impressed with all aspects of the trip that Kensington arranged for us - even at short notice. The itinerary was perfectly planned, full of extra activities like riding an elephant and a water buffalo cart ride. The guides were wonderful in all the places we went and the travel was easy between locations. Vietnam is a wonderful destination and Angkor Wat is amazing too. We loved the overnight on the boat in Halong Bay and the train ride to Sapa. The day we spent trekking between indigenous villages in the mountains of Sapa was one of the most interesting days of my life! We have travelled a lot and this was one of the best trips we have ever taken.

  • Olive Ramchand — June 03, 2014 — Asia

    I have to admit, this was the BEST vacation I ever had. The tour was nothing less than Fantastic! The hotels were great, the guides were great, the transportation was great, the places were great, the people were great, the food was great and last but not least China, itself was out of this world. I'm so glad I booked this tour and would recommend this to anyone. Thanks so much for all your help, your interest and your recommendations. Steve in China was so attentive, he called constantly to make sure everything was fine. We really had a fabulous time and even my jaded husband who normally only seems to care about where the nearest golf course is, was impressed and had a wonderful time.

    Thanks again, and unto the next vacation (although I don't know how we would top this one!!)

  • Jeanne Tarvin — April 21, 2014 — Asia

    The tour was absolutely fabulous. It all started with the planning. Kathryn graciously accommodated our tight schedule and multiple needs, including a mid-trip change in plans. The tour guides and drivers were all great and extremely knowledgeable. The accommodations and meals were fantastic. I was apprehensive about going to China not knowing the language but it worked out great!

We can customize this private tour just for you. Any element can be tailored – activities, length, hotels and destinations.
Call us at 1 888 903-2001 or request a quote.

* USD per person, double occupancy. Custom designed personal tour. Prices subject to change.

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