This guided tour will introduce you to the cultural highlights of Central Myanmar, starting from Mandalay, the cultural capital of the country and with visits to the temple plains of Bagan and beautiful landscapes of Inle Lake.

On this guided Myanmar journey you will have the opportunity to experience the ancient capitals near Mandalay, magnificent temples of Bagan and charming Inle Lake and Shan state inhabited by minority people.

Experience some of the most impressive sights of Myanmar on this guided journey. Our trip starts from Mandalay exploring the Ancient Capitals of Myanmar (Burma) all situated near current Mandalay City. We visit; the last remaining palace building; centuries old teak wood monastery; the sacred Mahamuni Buddha’s temple; observe traditional gold leaf pounding, carving, tapestry and weaving in local workshops. We explore ruins of AVA kingdom by horse carriage and enjoy Ubein teak bridge scenery known for its spectacular sunsets. From Mandalay we journey to Ancient Kingdom of Bagan, the greatest archeological treasure of Myanmar with over 4000 pagodas and temples ruins by the Irrawaddy river. Bagan was during its heyday one the greatest kingdoms in the World and is truly magical destination to visit. From Bagan we continue to rural Shan State and beautiful Inle Lake region inhabited by minority peoples and visit markets, floating gardens on the lake and vicinity. From Shan State we fly back to Mandalay for last night.

DURATION:8 Days / 7 Nights
TOUR STYLE:Cultural & Heritage
DESTINATIONS:Mandalay, Bagan, Inle
DEPARTURES:Daily (Private Departures)
STARTS:In Mandalay
ENDS:In Mandalay
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At a glance


  • Visit the royal capitals of Myanmar and cultural Mandalay
  • See the temples of ancient Bagan and enjoy spectacular sunsets
  • Experience more authentic local life in Mandalay at Zegyo market
  • Visit the Bagaya Teak Monastery in Ava
  • Discover the ancient Kingdom of Sagaing, located across the mighty Ayeyarwaddy River
  • Explore the ancient capital city, Amarapura, famous for its weaving and textile industries
  • Visit Bagan with visits to the Manuha Temple and Thanaka Museum
  • Drive to Lake Inle through the valley and enjoy views of the Shan mountains and rice paddy fields
  • Visit the Red Mountain Estate to tour of the lush vineyard and taste Myanmar’s premiere wines
  • Visit the Inn Thein Pagoda complex and much more!

Itinerary in Brief

  • Day 1: Arrival & Mandalay City Impressions
  • Day 2: Royal Kingdoms Ava (Inwa) – Sagaing – Amarapura & Ubein Bridge
  • Day 3: Bagan Temples
  • Day 4: Bagan Local Life
  • Day 5: Inle Lake & Red Mountain Estate Wineyard
  • Day 6: Inle Lake & Inn Thein
  • Day 7: Inle Lake – Mandalay
  • Day 8: Departure

Tour Details

Upon arrival at the Mandalay airport, you will be welcomed by your guide and transferred to your hotel. Today we enjoy a stroll through the lively Zegyo Market in the heart of the city to experience more authentic local life in Mandalay. We continue to the Artisan Quarters, where some of the oldest craftsmanship is showcased dating back to last kingdom of Myanmar. We observe the process of pounding gold leaf, detailing teakwood carvings and embroidering Myanmar tapestry. We also see how bronze and marble Buddha statues are carved, cast and molded.

Next, we proceed to the highlights of Mandalay: the sacred Mahamuni Pagoda, housing one of the most significant Buddha images in the country, covered in several tons of gold leaf and the crown prize in long past wars between competing Myanmar kingdoms; the Golden Palace Monastery, the only surviving Royal Palace building in Mandalay, offering a glimpse of the original style and architecture of the Myanmar royals; and lastly, the Kuthodaw Pagoda, a compound housing Buddha’s teachings carved in the sacred Pali script on stone slabs and regarded as the world’s largest book in terms of surface area. We end our day with sunset panoramic views over city skyline on Mandaley Hill, the highest point of the city.

Overnight stay in Mandalay in hotel.

After breakfast at the hotel, we embark on a journey to the Ancient Kingdoms of Myanmar near Mandalay. We transfer 15km to Ava (Inwa), the ancient capital of the Shan and Burmese Kingdoms for over four centuries. We cross over the Myint Nge River by ferry and explore the small roads of Ava by horse cart. We visit the Bagaya Teak Monastery, over three hundred years old yet well preserved and still in use by local monks; the Nanmyin Watch Tower the last standing structure of the Ava dynasty palace compound also known as the “Leaning Tower of Ava”; and the Maha AungmyeBonzan Monastery building with its graceful curves and archways.

We continue to the ancient Kingdom of Sagaing, located across the mighty Ayeyarwaddy River. From the Sagaing Hills. We enjoy magnificent views overlooking the river and hill side covered with countless pagodas. We visit a monastery in Sagaing to learn about the life of Buddhist devotees and continue to well-known Silversmith Village near Sagaing. We continue to another beautiful ancient capital city, Amarapura, famous for its weaving and textile industries. There, we visit a cottage industry workshop to learn how Myanmar longyis and traditional fabrics are constructed. We continue to the Ubein Bridge, a simple yet strong teak structure that spans 1,2km over Taungtaman Lake. The bridge silhouetted by the setting sun is one of the most magical experiences in Myanmar and a photographer’s dream.
Overnight stay in Mandalay in hotel.

After breakfast, transfer to Mandalay domestic airport for a 30min flight to Nyaung U / Bagan. We start our journey to Ancient Kingdoms of Bagan with a visit to Dhamayazeka Zedi for a panoramic view of the temple studded plains of Bagan. We continue to the magnificent gold gilded Swezigon Stupa purported to contain a holy tooth relic of the Buddha. We enjoy the most well preserved mural paintings in Bagan at Myingaba Gu Byaukgyi Temple. We learn how Bagan’s famous lacquerware crafts are produced in Myingaba Village. We visit Htilominlo temple and learn how Bagan sand paintings are made. We conclude the day’s sightseeing with a visit to beautifully symmetric Ananda Temple with its four standing Buddha images inside. We continue by decorated bullock cart to witness a magical sunset behind the temples (weather permitting).

Overnight stay in a hotel in Bagan.

We continue the exploration of Bagan with visits to the Manuha Temple, built by the Mon king in the 1300s to represent his time in captivity under the Bagan king. Continuing to the Thanaka Museum and a cigar work shop, we learn respectively about the traditional uses of the fragrant thanaka paste and how Burmese make the local cheroot cigars. A visit to the Nyaung U Market, the largest market in the Bagan region, gives us a glimpse into local life. We also see how cottage industries like brick making and are carried out with traditional methods. During a visit to a monastic school that provides disadvantaged children with free primary level education, we have the opportunity to interact with the school children.

*All touring schedules and activities can be adjusted according to guests’ wishes.

Overnight stay in hotel in Bagan.

Enjoy breakfast and then transfer to Bagan airport for the flight to Heho, a quiet transit town with one of the few airport links in the beautiful hills of Shan State. Visit the bustling main Heho market, the meeting point for different ethnic minority groups of the surrounding areas to trade handmade goods and locally grown produce (on market days only). En route to Inle Lake, we stop at a local family work shop to learn how Shan umbrellas and paper are made by traditional methods using the fibers of the mulberry tree.

Next, we take a 1-hour drive to Inle Lake that descends through the valley with views of the Shan mountains and rice paddy fields. Near Inle Lake, visit the Red Mountain Estate to tour of the lush vineyard situated on the side of mountain, taste some of Myanmar’s premiere wines, and observe the different aging methods completed in their cellar cave. After checking into the hotel, we embark on afternoon explorations of Inle Lake, populated with floating islands and gardens made from the naturally tangled roots of water hyacinth plants and reeds. Delight in the picturesque sights of fishermen who balance and row with one leg, a technique indigenous to the Inn Thar minority group who do this only on Inle Lake.

Overnight stay in a hotel built on stilts over the lake.

After breakfast we journey out by boat, following the currents of a small river to reach the Inn Thein Pagoda complex, a site that makes us feel as if we’ve stepped through a forgotten portal in time. To access the complex, we walk through verdant bamboo groves that open up to a field covered with the ancient pagodas constructed over 1,000 years ago. We boat back to the lake and visit Phaungdaw Oo Pagoda, the home of some of the country’s most sacred Buddha statues covered in gold leaf by devout followers. We also make a visit to the Inpawkhon Weaving village to learn how local silks, linens and lotus fabrics are handmade and crafted.

As an extra treat, we stop at a house for Burmese cats built over the lake, where we see the preservation efforts and reintroduction of this rare pure breed of felines to Myanmar. At Nampan village, local craftsmen show us how Burmese cigars, or “cheroots,” are traditionally packed and rolled. We end our day with magnificent sunset canoe ride with boatmen who gracefully navigate and row perched on one leg.

Overnight stay in a hotel built on stilts over the lake.

The morning is free for sightseeing on the Lake. We can make arrangements for a leisurely stroll to neighboring villages to observe local village life. Alternatively, we can make arrangements for a visit to Nyaung Shwe town to explore the quaint town or shop for local handicrafts. In the afternoon, we transfer to the Heho Airport for the next connecting flight to Yangon or Mandalay. Upon arrival transfer to hotel. Rest of the day is free at leisure.

Overnight stay in a hotel in Mandalay.

Free at leisure until transfer to Mandalay airport for your onward flight.


jasmine palace hotel deluxe room yangon hotels



Modern city hotel in Yangon with excellent location. Jasmine Palace Hotel presents good value and high standards is the perfect base for exploring the city’s highlights.


Bagan Umbra Hotel



Charming garden resort near Old Bagan. Hotel Umbra is one of our favourite hotels in Bagan. It was recently renovated and reconstructed. Particularly the Grand deluxe rooms are nice with modern and spacious facilities.

Inle Lake



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What's Included

  • Private tours and transfers with air-conditioned vehicles as specified in our itinerary
  • 2 bottles of water & 2 refreshing towels per passenger per day
  • Lodging with breakfast as specified in the itinerary
  • Luggage handling fees at airports
  • Entrance fees or zone fees
  • English speaking guide(other languages guide can be provide with additional charges)

What's Not Included

  • Visa to Myanmar (note that pre-arranged visa is required for tourists)
  • All entrance fees or zone fees
  • Domestic Airfares (always quoted and mentioned separately from tour package price)
  • International air fares
  • Meals or any other item not described in the itinerary
  • Peak season surcharges & Compulsory dinners during Xmas & New Year’s
  • Early check-in, late check-out. Normal check out time from hotels in Myanmar is 11am or 12 o’clock noon
  • Drinks during meals, hotel extras and expenses of personal nature
  • Camera & video fees. Some of the sites visited may ask small fees for photographing and video recording.

Tips & gratuities


Meet Jan our Myanmar Expert

Contact Jan to book this trip or to customise the trip in any way you like. We’re here to help.

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About This Tour

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The program worked out just great with fantastic guides and drivers, always on time and so friendly and knowledgeable. I will definitely recommend this to friends and colleagues who want to travel to Myanmar and are limited on time.


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