Temples in Bagan, Myanmar

Discover Myanmar (Burma)

14 days
from
1 965 €
Loading...
Traveller ratings
4.6 / 5 from 125 reviews >
Trip code: 
AON
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Tailormade Adventures
Activity:
Culture & Discovery Holidays
Min age:
16
Group size:
4–16

Myanmar's highlights using internal flights to avoid any long drives on bumpy roads

A mystical country only recently accessible, Myanmar is still both enigmatic and exciting. Bagan is a plain with over a thousand temples, enough, surely for even the most avid culture addict . Curious 'leg' fisherman perpetuate an 'angling' style not seen anywhere else in the East and Yangon has the largest number of colonial buildings in South East Asia. Mandalay, the last capital of Myanmar is also included. In order to maximise time at each destination there are three short internal flights.

Highlights

  • The mystical temples of Bagan
  • Glittering Shwedagon Pagoda
  • U-Bein Bridge at sunrise
  • Inle Lake's one-legged fishermen
  • Kalaw Hill Station trek
  • Internal flights avoiding notoriously bumpy roads and long drives

Key information

  • 13 nights mix of standard and comfortable hotels
  • Travel by private bus
  • Three internal flights
  • One moderate daywalk and a short cycle ride (optional)

What's included

  • 13 breakfasts and 3 lunches included
  • All accommodation (see below)
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
  • Three internal flights

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call us on
015 407 558
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Yangon (Rangoon).

    The day is free to recover from the flight or start to explore the teeming city of Yangon. There will be a welcome briefing this evening with an optional group dinner at a local restaurant.
    Grand United Hotel or similar

  • Day 2

    City tour including the incredible Shwedagon Pagoda and old colonial areas of this former capital.

    Yangon sits under the shadow of the magnificent Shwedagon Pagoda. It is 2,500 years old and the most religious site in Myanmar that is said to contain eight hairs of the Buddha as well as 5500 diamonds and other precious stones. As the golden stupa glitters overlooking the city, life goes on in the busy streets below. To the south we will explore dilapidated colonial edifices and busy side streets on our city tour. Downtown Yangon with its unpaved streets lined with old wooden shuttered houses, medicine shops, temples and the more colourful markets offers plenty of photographic opportunities. Close by, we visit Shwe Bontha, perhaps the most photogenic of all streets in the city, with its leafy sidewalks, pavement tea-shops and magnificent colonial buildings. We will have a break for lunch and in the late afternoon we will head to Lake Kandawgyi to view the Karaweik replica of the Royal Barge, before ascending to Shwedagon Pagoda for impressive sunset views over Yangon.
    Grand United Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    Fly to Bagan (Pagan) with its ancient temples and pagodas; free time to explore until sunset.

    This morning we leave early for our short flight to the ancient wonder of Bagan (Pagan), where we will do a short orientation walk on arrival. There are over 2000 temples and pagodas in many shapes and sizes to explore amongst the 25 square miles of brick that compare to the Angkor kingdom of Cambodia, Chichen Itza and Machu Picchu as one of the world's most spectacular archaeological sites. This is where Buddhism, Hinduism and Nat worship come together in an array of different shrines. There is free time to explore the area by bike or on foot (optional) before this evening's visit to Shwezigon Paya one of Bagan's most famous temples. This is the only temple which is a Buddhist Temple as well as a Nat Shrine in the same compound, and reflects the local beliefs here which combine both religions. This evening we have the chance to enjoy an optional group dinner at a local restaurant with a traditional string puppet show performance.
    Yarkhin Tha Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    Full day tour to explore the largest temples as well as some of the smaller ones.

    A full day spent exploring the temple complex spreading out as far as the horizon with its peaks of brick stupas that dot the skyline in many shapes and forms. After the former Kings of Bagan introduced Theravada Buddhism in the mid-11th century building commenced, a string of Kings followed building temples to worship their gods. Ananda Pahto with its bejeweled umbrella (hti), Dhammayangyi pahto and Shwesandaw Paya are the largest and most impressive sights we will visit along with the smaller hidden gems well away from the main tourist route which offer unique opportunities to delve deeper into the history. We will finish the day with sunset at Shwe Sandaw Temple with its stunning 360 degree views, don’t forget to look behind as the sun hits the many temples nearby, a truly magical experience and a photographer's paradise. For those that would like to do the optional balloon ride on day 4 or 5, please consult the Optional Extras section.
    Yarkhin Tha Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 5

    Morning sightseeing at Bagan; free afternoon.

    Returning to the huge site of Bagan this morning we will visit more temples including Manuha Paya and the bas relief figures at Nan Paya. Away from the other temples we'll also see the 13th century temple of Wetkyi-In-Gubyaukgyi with its impressive frescoes. Later we'll visit a traditional lacquerware artisan, as this area is famous for these beautiful products. This afternoon there will be time to visit The Archaeological Museum, explore the town of Nyang U, take a trip to Mount Popa the home of Nat worship (see Optional Excursions),relax with a drink by the Irrawaddy River for sunset or continue to explore the temples - all optional.
    Yarkhin Tha Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Fly to Mandalay; visit Mandalay Hill for sunset.

    Following another short flight east to the former Kingdom of Myanmar we cross the plains and the great Chinese road before landing in Mandalay. Mandalay has one of the most evocative names in the world, epitomised by Kipling's poem and an adapted song 'On the road to Mandalay'. The former Kingdom of Myanmar was abolished in 1885 by the British in the 3rd and final Anglo-Burmese war, with the remnants being given away by the last King Thibaw Min. The remains now sit directly in the middle of a grid system similar to that of Manhattan. After checking into our hotel we will take a guided walk around the streets of downtown Mandalay where we will be able to see people going about their day to day lives in the local markets. After lunch we will visit a local cottage industry where gold leaf is made which is then used by people to place on Buddha statues.We'll then continue on to Mahamuni Pagoda, revered as the holiest site in the former Kingdom, where we will see local people applying the gold leaf onto the Mahamuni Buddha statue. We will continue onto Shwe In Bin Kyaung, the Teak Monastery, built in traditional Burmese fashion and one of the few buildings that has survived the test of time. Constructed in 1895 by Chinese merchants, the monastery consists of fantastically intricate woodcarvings and also contains a number of admirable works of art.

    After a short break at the hotel we will head to Mandalay Hill with its glittering stupas, mosaics and great lookout points, a must see for every visitor. Access to the top is via lots of steps (you should be prepared to remove shoes and socks for the climb). Once at the top you should be able to make a wish at Sutaungpyei (literally wish-fulfilling) Pagoda. With panoramic views of Mandalay we will watch the sunset over the old city walls and moat, and to the West the Minwun Hills and the Irrawaddy River. When heading back down the steps you will need your torch.
    Mandalay City Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    Visit U Bein Bridge at sunrise; day exploring the countryside visiting Mingun and Sagaing villages by boat.

    An early start as we head out to one of Burma's most iconic sights - U-Bein Bridge, built in 1849 by Mayor U-Bein. This teak bridge spans over a kilometre and is best seen at sunrise when villagers cross it to begin their journey to work and the fishermen prepare for a day on the water. This is one of the most photogenic sights of the country and not to be missed. We then drive back to the hotel for breakfast before heading down to the port area where we board our boat for a cruise on the Irrawaddy River. We'll explore the pretty riverside village of Mingun, home to one of the world's largest bells (weighing in at 90 tonnes) and the Hsinbyume Paya with its whitewashed terraces and staircases. From here we board our boat and cruise downriver to the township of Sagaing - known as a meditation centre for monks and nuns who wish to escape city life. Here we will find many stupas on its famous Sagaing Hill with leafy pathways leading to caves and shrines. Sagaing also boasts a monastic hospital and an international Buddhist University. We board our boat and take the scenic ride back to Mandalay.
    Mandalay City Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 8

    Scenic drive to Kalaw, a former colonial British hill station.

    Today we leave early driving through some of the region's beautiful countryside (approx 6 hours) until we arrive at the hill station of Kalaw. Situated in the Shan State, Kalaw is a popular, peaceful and quiet former British hill station. At an altitude of 1320m and nestled amongst impressive alpine scenery it is pleasantly cool (it can even be chilly in the evening or early mornings) and a great place to escape from the tropical heat. The town has retained its colonial atmosphere but has an eclectic mix of Shan, Bamar, some Indians and ethnic tribes such as Pa-O, Palaung and other tribal minorities from the surrounding plateau.

    After checking into our hotel the rest of the day is free. Options available include a walk up the many steps to Thein Taung Paya viewpoint for views over the surrounding plateau, a visit to the strange Nee Paya, a 500 year old gold covered bamboo statue or exploring some of the colonial architecture.
    Pine Hill Resort or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 9

    Day walk through Kalaw past minority villages.

    Amid gnarled pines, tea plantations and bamboo groves, and accompanied by local guides we explore the surrounding hills of Kalaw on foot. Our walk will take in the daily life of the local villages where we may have the opportunity to drink tea with a village chief and in season we should see the inhabitants planting or harvesting the local crop. The tracks we walk on are centuries-old trading routes used by the Pa-O, Palaung and Danu ethnic minorities for moving their cattle and harvesting their crops. The views of the surrounding countryside are spectacular which few westerners get the opportunity to see. The trek is moderate on well trodden undulating paths. However it can be hot. We will be walking for approximateky 5 to 6 hours in total but if needed there is the option to leave the trek halfway through at the lunch time view point and take a vehicle back to Kalaw. Approx 3 hours walking half day and 5 to 6 hours full day.
    Pine Hill Resort or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 10

    Drive to Inle Lake visiting Pindaya Caves en route.

    We leave after breakfast and travel east to Inle Lake. Our drive traverses undulating hills and dense farmlands, stopping at Pindaya caves where we will explore the caverns and tunnels en route to the magnificent Inle Lake. There are more than 8000 Buddha images within the Pindaya limestone caverns and meditation chambers. Pilgrims flock to the caves and install new Buddha images within this labyrinth of tunnels and chambers and there are many from around the world. We should arrive at the village of Nayaung-shwe at the north end of Inle Lake late afternoon.
    The Nyaung Shwe City Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 11

    Cruise on Inle Lake; visit local craft industries and lakeside markets, Indein pagodas and see the famous leg-rowing fishermen.

    An optional dawn start will usually provide the opportunity to witness the daily parade of saffron-robed monks receiving alms before breakfast. Afterwards we have a day on the lake visiting cottage industries, lakeside markets (if possible), monasteries, temples and small villages. We will see the famous leg-rowing fishermen casting their nets in the lake - this technique of standing up holding a long paddle in one hand with their leg wrapped around the paddle lower down leaves the fishermen free to cast their conical fishing nets. This unique style evolved because the lake is covered by reeds and floating plants making it difficult to see above them while sitting.

    There is a lakeside market that rotates through five different sites around the lake. Here the locals come to sell their traditional wares early in the morning and return to their village in the afternoon. The market serves most common shopping needs and depending on its location, we may be able to visit it. We will also visit Indein on the western banks of the lake, this intricate pagoda complex has hundreds of Shan style stupas clustered together on the hillside. Although this area is now being reclaimed and renovated following years of decline, walking amongst these hauntingly beautiful ruins intertwined with forest remains a highlight for many and has a very Indiana Jones feel- a fantastic photographic opportunity.
    The Nyaung Shwe City Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 12

    Cycle to minority villages around Inle Lake by support vehicle (if needed).

    This morning we head out on bikes visiting the villages and farmland that surround the lake. The ride is on undulating fairly quiet roads and we will cycle at a leisurely pace. Please be aware it can be hot and the bikes will be fairly basic models. Helmets are supplied locally. This is a great way to get about but only suitable for those who have cycled before. The roads are mostly surfaced but there are some potholes. Anyone not wanting to cycle can use the support vehicle for the day which will follow the same route and stop at the same villages. We cycle around the edge of the lake towards an Intha minority group village passing rice paddies, sugar cane and traditional wooden houses. We will stop en route at various villages and see what local products are being made or harvested depending upon the time of year. In Kaung Daing we will see the local specialty, Tofu, being made with split yellow peas instead of the normal Soya beans.

    After visiting the village we may have the opportunity to spend a little time with the local monks at the monastery. We will return to our hotel by bike in time for a late lunch approx.1.30pm. For those who have opted to use the vehicle we will drive back. Cycling distances approximately 20km (round trip). Late afternoon we will take a sanglor (local styled vehicle) and visit a nearby vineyard and admire the beautiful views back over Inle Lake as the sun sets behind the mountains in the distance. The vineyard produces a range of red and white wines and has a tasting menu (optional). This evening we will have dinner at one of the many restaurants in Nyaungshwe.
    The Nyaung Shwe City Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 13

    Fly to Yangon; free afternoon.

    We fly back to Yangon, where the rest of the day is free for last minute sightseeing or shopping. The huge Bogyoke Market is worth a visit with food, clothing and handicrafts all on sale (closed on Mondays and public holidays), or visit the Strand Hotel with its historic past which was often visited by the likes of Rudyard Kipling and Somerset Maugham.
    Grand United Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 14

    End Yangon.

    End Yangon (Rangoon).

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Post-trip Extensions

Ngapali Beach

If you are keen to end your holiday on a very relaxed note, the following three‐night beach extension can be added to the end of the main itinerary. You can also choose to add on as many extra nights at the beach as you decide (your time here will be at leisure for you to do as you wish). Please note that you will be met and transferred between the airport and hotels but you are not escorted or guided. The extension does not operate during the wet season between May to September.

Please ask for prices.

 

Extension Day 1 - Fly to Thandwe; drive to Ngapali Beach.

Upon arrival at the beach, the rest of the day is free to explore the colourful reef offshore or simply relax and soak up the sun!

Pleasant View Hotel or similar

Meals included: Breakfast

 

Extension Day 2 - Free day.

Free day at the beach

Pleasant View Hotel or similar

Meals included: Breakfast

 

Extension Day 3 - Fly to Yangon.

Today we leave the beach and fly back to Yangon where the remainder of the day is free for some final sightseeing. Bogyoke Market and the Strand Hotel are both worth a visit.

Grand United Hotel or similar

Meals included: Breakfast

 

Extension Day 4 - End Yangon.

End Yangon.

Meals included: Breakfast

 

Non‐refundable payment

Please note that this extension request will be 'pending' until the point that Exodus confirm that the trip is operational ‐ never later than 6 weeks before departure and usually considerably earlier. Once confirmed to run, full payment for the beach extension will be required. Securing accommodation can be a genuine challenge in Myanmar and this additional extension payment will become non‐refundable. Should Exodus cancel your trip, the standard booking conditions apply.

Essential Info

Visas

Myanmar (Burma)

Nearly all nationalities require a visa to enter Myanmar (Burma), and this must be obtained prior to departure. Passengers without a visa will not be allowed to enter the country.
For further information see http://www.exodus.co.uk/assets/travelink/Burma.pdf
For nationalities where there is no Burmese embassy please contact the Exodus office for assistance.

Vaccinations

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements for this trip.

Recommended vaccinations for this trip are: Polio, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Typhoid, Hepatitis A.

The risk of malaria on this trip is slight, but you may wish to consult your GP or travel health clinic for further advice.

Dengue fever and/or Chikungunya are known risks in places visited on this trip. Both are tropical viral diseases spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for either, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

Eating and Drinking

13 breakfasts and 3 lunch included.

Myanmar’s food is a diverse blend of Chinese, Indian and South East Asian influences, with many regional variations of their 'standard' dishes. Rice is at the core of most Burmese food, and although vegetarian food is available the choice of dishes is often limited. Curries are very common as are noodles and soup. In the bigger hotels and cities and at Inle Lake some Western food is available. Please note that in Myanmar the availability of certain specialised products for restricted diets, e.g. gluten-free or dairy-free, is minimal or non-existent and we strongly recommend you bring these specialised dietary items from home. You should inform us of any special dietary requests before departure.

Weather

Yangon

Is this trip for you?

You will find a country with a colonial past but that has changed very little and is still new to tourism. Thus the infrastructure is fairly underdeveloped for touristic purposes. Whilst travelling in the more remote or less developed regions patience may be required as the service in hotels and restaurants will be slower than you may be used to in other countries. This holiday is designed so that you can see the best parts of Myanmar in 14 days. There is a lot to see and some of the distances covered are large. Internal flights are used to maximise your time in the key destinations, whilst minimising hours spent on the notoriously bumpy local roads. On most travel days the average travelling time is between 2 to 3 hours. The journey between Madalay and Kalaw will be approx. 6 hours of driving. There will be regular stops and the route provides a great insight into rural Myanmar. Internet connection is now available at most of the accommodation, but can be intermittent. Mobile coverage is generally adequate and you should be able to use your phone in most areas. Accommodation standards can vary. Because of the recent surge in people visiting Myanmar certain areas are experiencing a shortage of hotels. This has increased the price of hotels and overall the standard should not be compared with hotels in neighboring south east Asian countries such as Vietnam and Cambodia. Please note you will be required to remove footwear and socks before entering temples in Myanmar. This will mean ascending and descending lots of steps barefoot. A basic level of fitness is needed for the trek in Kalaw and the cycle at Inle Lake, however both can be opted out of.

If you are travelling in April, please note that the Water Festival may be running at this time.  While this can be an exciting time to travel in Myanmar, because it is a public holiday you will also find that many museums, markets and some restaurants will be closed.  This may have some impact on how the itinerary will run.

Call us on
015 407 558
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotels

13 nights standard hotels, all en suite.

The accommodation is mostly in standard hotels. Because of the surge in tourism since 2011 some areas are experiencing a shortage of hotels. This has increased the price of hotels and the quality may vary considerably from night to night. Overall you should be prepared for the service and quality of hotels to be less than in neighbouring south east Asian countries such as Vietnam and Cambodia however most hotels are still of a good tourist standard. There is mesh on the hotel windows where needed. Internet connection is now available at most of the accommodation, but can be intermittent.

Single accommodation (available on request)

Call us on
015 407 558
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Experts

Contact a member of staff who has done this trip

Call us on
015 407 558
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

The mountains will always draw us back to this majestic country: and now, with the return of a very special trip, the

  • Reviewed August 2017
    Pippa Hyde

    Delightful Myanmar

    This trip was one of the most delightful holidays I've had. Myanmar/Burma is a beautiful country and the people welcoming. It's busy but always worthwhile, interesting and thoroughly enjoyable. I'd concur with other reviewers that it's good to get there soon - I hope the country stays as charming, but tourism is growing fast.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Difficult to choose. Bagan is beautiful, the sunset in Mandalay was glorious, and the boat trip in Inle Lake one of the best boat trips I've had. But every day had its great moments.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Min was terrific. He was always calm and organised, really cared that we had a good time and paid meticulous attention to detail. His colour-coded highlighted maps became a legend, and he paced the sights/restaurants etc with skill. He would solve problems before they became problems, and was careful to give us space to do things for ourselves, where appropriate. An excellent leader.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I believe monsoon departures can be problematic, but the weather for my trip wasn't hugely significant. Although the balloon ride isn't available, and the skies can be persistently cloudy and we didn't get any spectacular dawns, it wasn't as hot as it can be and there are fewer tourists, which I suspect is a real advantage. I've seen some criticism of the bike ride using main roads, but I didn't find it a problem, and the surface was much better than the minor road. It is bone-shaking to start off with, but happily not the whole way. Laundry was significantly cheaper in Bagan than subsequent places. There are early starts, but it's cooler than so I didn't find them inappropriate. Go, before Mayanmar changes!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I really loved this trip, and heartily recommend it.
  • Reviewed March 2017
    Colin Ford

    A packed, fascinating exploration of Myanmar.

    A packed, fascinating exploration of Myanmar.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Balloon trip over Bagan,

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Aung suffered by not having very strong English (compared to our guide on a previous Exodus trip). Some of our group really struggled to understand him. He was knowledgable but sometimes was unable (initially... until we reworded them) to interpret/answer questions (back to his English). Only rarely did we not keep to the schedule he published and that wasn't due to him but overstaying at one interesting venue. Transport was always where he said it would be when he said it would be. When members of the group had additional early start excursions, he was always there to ensure everything went smoothly, even at 5am! Can't fault his diligence but there were a few cultural differences which we coped with some some of the group didn't!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't pack anything white! Myanmar is very dusty and the, predominantly red, dust stains. Given the detail of the trip notes, I am surprised this isn't mentioned too.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Great trip - varied sights/sites.
  • Reviewed March 2017
    Anonymous

    Discover Myanmar

    This tour provided a wonderful overview of Myanmar - citylife; temples; countryside; friendly, welcoming people and generally, delicious food. In order for this to happen, there were many early morning starts and long days - an 8.00 am start was considered a luxury! The transportation and connections were excellent, including the internal flights. Overall, the hotels were better than expected. The tour has left us with a desire to explore Mayanmar further.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It is difficult to single out one thing. The 8,000 Buddha images in the Pindaya limestone caves and meditation chambers is unlike anything we have seen in Asia. Using local guides for the trek around Kalaw allowed us to have many questions on crops, farming and countrylife answered. The boat cruise and cycle to minority villages at Inle Lake provided yet another insight into this diverse country.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    This was Aung's 3rd Exodus tour. He is from Yangon, and was kind. He gave a very amusing demonstration of how to wear a sarong, and taught us to ask for the 'Happy House' (toilet!). Whilst his knowledge at scheduled stops was well delivered, ad hoc information along the way would have been welcome. Some questions seemed to be lost in translation.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    We did not need as much money as expected. I would suggest buying souvenirs, clothes, etc. when you see them, as there might not be a second chance. Always carry a lightweight torch - you may venture out in daylight, but not return until dark. The People's Park, opposite the Shwedagon Pagoda is a great place to see Yangon flora and fauna, a lake, fountains and many young people/families. I took the support vehicle back after lunch on the Kalaw trek because it was getting hot. The support vehicle took 45 minutes along an incredibly bumpy road, The remaining hikers arrived back at the hotel just 25 minutes after me. The bikes and helmets provided at Inle Lake were good, and a mechanic was available to make adjustments. I am an experienced rider, but did not find the pace 'leisurely'. It was getting hot, and 6 of the 9 riders took a boat back. Happy Hour at the hostel next to the Inle Lake hotel was a fun place! The beer in the café in the Yangon Hotel is expensive, instead turn left out of the hotel to the Seafood restaurant. Always ask for chicken off the bone, unless you are comfortable with many bones and splinters.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We are independent travellers, but chose to go on an organised tour to Myanmar because of time and travel restrictions. The group was fun, and many were repeat Exodus clients. We were impressed with Exodus.
  • Reviewed March 2017
    Richard Wiles

    Discover Myanmar

    Overall an enjoyable holiday but could have been better had our guide had more experience and informative.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Hot air balloon over Bagan and travelling by boat on Inle Lake.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We realise that the country has only recently started to develop its tourist industry and we went there with that in mind. Our leader, Aung, was personable with a reasonable command of English and he was very obliging on all occasions, Whilst he was knowledgeable and informative on the religious and ancient history of the country he was reticent to tell us much about the recent history and general information about the country. We felt that we came away with little real insight of the country. This was possibly due to his limited experience of dealing with well travelled Europeans and not understanding our aspirations.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    When meals are not arranged for the evenings obtain from the leader his recommendations for suitable restaurants locally because they differ considerably in quality. Be aware that you will be on the go for at least 4 hours at time with no refreshment breaks. Also you may travel in small pick up trucks at times and have to climb lots of steps; all good fun but it could be difficult if you have restricted movement. From a personal viewpoint, a short coffee/tea break morning and afternoon, at the expense of a pagoda or two, would have been appreciated.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The first restaurant in Yangon organised by Exodus offered food that in our opinion was awful; we think that one of us had sliced pig's ears when ordering "pig meat" and others who ordered chicken received bones with very little meat. Later the food improved when we learnt what to ask for .

    Reply from Exodus

    Reply from Exodus

    We would like to thank Richard for his review, although we are very sorry to learn that he felt the tour leader lacked experience and could have been more informative. Aung has been working as a tour leader for 3 years and we have received positive feedback about him from his previous Exodus trips. Richard’s comments have been shared with Aung and we will discuss with him how he can continue to improve his local knowledge and language skills for future trips.

  • Reviewed March 2017
    Wendy Powell

    Fabulous Myanmar

    This is a full on trip around Myanmar. Be prepared for some very early morning starts and little or no down time,but it's worth it as Myanmar has a lot to offer. The country is full of surprises from the beautiful Inle Lake with the fantastic boat rides around the various villages, to the areas around Kalaw with stunning scenery. The temperature can drop considerably in the Kalaw region so take something warm, but what a fab heated pool to counteract the change in temperature; if you are lucky enough to stay in the Pine Hill Resort. Here we went on a fantastic walk with 2 local guides, and spent time with the local villagers eating a scrumptious lunch. I found I didn't spend as much money as specified in the trip notes. Take dollars as pounds are hard to change,make sure they are pristeen but initially change up $200 and see how you go.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I loved Inle lake; the visits to the pagodas, the bird life, the locals and the unforgettable Padoun tribal women. We did a mornings cycle ride,but it was so hot we decided to get a boat back to our hotel and it was absolutely lovely,egrets filling the skies as the boat pushed its way through the reeds.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Aung was relatively inexperienced as a guide,he said it was his 3rd trip. He was a fantastic time keeper, and organised everything down to the last minute. However we felt he didn't always consider the needs of the group and this could have been the language barrier and not fully understanding what we were asking. This will hopefully come in time and also the needs of the idiosyncratic English tourists.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Use repellant,especially in Inle Lake area. Take something warm for the Kalaw area. Early nights to counteract the early starts. Take dollars not pounds.
  • Reviewed March 2017
    Derek Gross

    Discover Myanmar (Burma) holiday

    Myanmar is just gearing up for tourism, currently the hotels are in place and the basic infrastructure is there. As with similar tours of the Far East you will be become templed out , but they are impressive The people are friendly and willing to haggle over the price One strange thing is they drive Right Hand drive cars/buses on the right hand side of the road (Think about that a bit), this means that when getting out of a Coach your stepping into the road

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I did not feel there was a single inspirational moment, as this tour was similar to others I had in the far east. But I did feel the entire tour did show Myanmar at its best, the people were great and all the sites worth visiting

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our Group Leader was brilliant, he was always on the go and willing to help with everything , this included assisting the ladies with the shopping in the markets. He had 1001 stories for each site, he also took us to very good non-tourist sites (slightly of the beaten track, but well worth it) The fun thing about him was, although his English was extremely good , his favourite word was "Everybody" which gave us all some amusement

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The trip notes from Exodus suggested we would require more spending money than we actually needed, this may change when more tourists arrive. We only needed about half of what we expected to use Meals, Beer and Market items were not to expensive, we needed to pay for most thing in Kyats ( pronounced Jets) , Dollars (small denominations) were only useful in a few places, but worth having available, Although we were running a tip kitty, we were never to sure what was a suitable tip if we were tip room porters as the exchange rate was 1366 K to the Dollar
  • Reviewed February 2017
    Angela Morton

    A country offering more than expected!

    A thoroughly enjoyable trip. Almost everything was great: the logistics, the group, the accommodation, the food; the transport and the included sight-seeing. A very economical trip. Food and drinks, local transport, laundry, additional sight-seeing fees (camera & entrance) are all cheap. For me, the number of VERY early starts was disappointing! I feel it would have been a more relaxing trip if the three flights could have been later in the day.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Great moments: Inle Lake day trip was excellent, with a wide variety of things to see and do. All the local markets were superb, again with such wonderful opportunities to observe (and photograph) the local people and produce. Bagan and Kalaw were both delightful (though very different): small and easy to get around, both with a slightly '60s 'hippie' vibe! The local staff at hotels were fabulous: so polite, helpful and delighted that you have visited their country. Everywhere I felt totally safe. And having travelled in neighbouring countries (India, Thailand, China) on many occasions, I was impressed with the cleanliness and order of the place (especially the toilets in public places). And I saw little sigh of abject poverty of the undignified sort where people are forced to beg. People seemed to be always busy with something, and not sitting idly around.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ko ko Aye was very efficient; never got flustered ever (but then he had a group of mature adults that gave him no problems!) Apart from one occasion, I thought his leading was very good and the information he provided was adequate (often too much is given and passengers 'glaze over' and switch off!) He had a good sense of humour, and when the scenery outside was dull, he told us 'funny stories' which made us shriek with laughter! He even tried to teach us a bit of the local lingo, but didn't get further than "Mingalabar"!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I changed a large sum of money at the airport, thinking there would be problems later: there weren't! ATMs and money changers were just about everywhere. (But do make sure that your notes are not scuffed in any way though no need to be brand new!) Take a small case with few clothing, as laundry can be done at most hotels for very little, and there is a cheap laundry near the hotel in Nyuangshwe at Inle Lake. (I went in Feb and it's dusty so you get dirty quickly.) Sandals that are easy and quick to take off/put on are a must for all the temples & pagodas visited. Also carry an old, wet facecloth in a small plastic bag in your daypack to wipe off your feet on exit. Saves on wet wipes/litter. The cloth can be rinsed out in the evening ready for the next day.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Yes. What I had anticipated as a highlight turned out to be the low light: the hiking at Kalaw. I had read the trip notes where it said we would be on centuries-old well-trodden paths through plantations, groves and local villages, having opportunities to interact with locals. Our tour leader explained that the morning walk was about 3-4 hours of moderate terrain, while the afternoon section was 2-3 hours of less taxing terrain. Those who wished to do the afternoon only could take transport to the lunch stop, and walk from there back to Kalaw. This I opted to do. A tuk-tuk collected the non-walkers at 11am and drove along a busy, dusty road through mainly uninhabited hillsides until we got to the lunch stop at 12.30 (positively covered in dust!). After lunch with the rest of the morning group, it transpired that the afternoon walk was NOT on centuries-old well-trodden paths through plantations, groves and local villages, having opportunities to interact with locals!! It was along the busy, dusty and unpopulated road that we had driven to get to the lunch stop!! I felt ENTIRELY cheated of an opportunity to enjoy the natural local way of life and nature. At NO stage - either in the trip notes or by the tour leader - was it make clear that the morning section is the 'ethnic appreciation' part and the afternoon is just a dusty dull slog back to town. I was furious that the ONLY info provided by the tour leader regarding the difference between morning and afternoon walking was the gradient and time. So beware: make sure you ask for a DETAILED outline of exactly what type of surfaces you will be walking on, as well as if you pass through villages and fields etc for each section of the day. Ask if you will be walking along an unpaved road!! I could easily have done the morning walk if I had been given the appropriate information beforehand.
  • Reviewed January 2017
    Isabel Draper

    Discover Myanmar

    The tourists have found Myanmar but it's still one of the least developed countries I've ever been to; bags of local colour, a photographer's dream. Go soon, it's changing fast!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Having my photo taken, not once, but twice by locals, I was such an exotic species for them!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Brilliant; not only conscientious and well-organised but had a British sense of humour. (Quite something in a Burmese accent).

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go soon, still in time but it's changing fast!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The locals are still unspoilt so hold back the pens and sweets and money for beggars and hopefully things won't deteriorate too much. Don't buy from child sellers so they've less incentive to miss school.
  • Reviewed December 2016
    Neil Frankum

    Discover Myanmar

    An enjoyable trip. Whilst you are clearly following the 'tourist trail', there are few enough tourists that you still feel that you are seeing the real country, and it doesn't take much effort to get to spots where there are no other tourists around. You visit a lot of temples, but they were all so varied that I didn't get bored of visiting more.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The boat trip on Inle Lake was probably the highlight, as it was so varied, and a 'different experience' to see all the villages on stilts in the lake. Also enjoyed the afternoon off in Bagan, where we hired bikes and went to visit some of the smaller, off the beaten track, temples and pagodas, completely free of other tourists.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Lae was a mine of useful information on the history and culture of the country. Always cheerful, and well organised. Kept the tour going at a nice pace where you had just the right amount of time to explore or do your own thing at each stop after the organised tour bit had been done.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you have ear plugs for the boat trip on Inle Lake, the boat engines are very noisy. Be prepared for lots of walking around in bare feet in all the temples. The majority of the hotels had sockets compatible with both UK and european plugs, so charging camera batteries is no problem. Good wifi in all the hotels except Nyaung Shwe (which was OK for EMail but dropped out regularly, though I think that was true for the whole town). Same day laundry service in Kalaw did good job, so you can pack light. If on the group flight via KL, note that the connecting flight goes from the other terminal, and most of the departure boards don't list the flights from the other terminal. You can't take liquids onto the flight here, even those bought in the airport, unlike the UK.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A nicely paced, varied, and enjoyable introduction to a country that has a lot to offer.
  • Reviewed December 2016
    Katy MacDonald

    Myanmar - a country in 2 weeks

    A brilliant trip showing the main highlights and areas of a big country. Lots of travelling but all locations visited were worth it.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Too many to list, but the 2 days spent on the water - river cruise and Lake Inle were probably the best. Sunrises and sunset over fabulous views made the early starts worthwhile.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Lae was brilliant. full of knowledge about her country, and keen to tell stories of Kings and their pagodas, the culture and politics, whilst keeping a large group in check.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Most of the stops on the days out have a toilet but many are of the squat style - I would recommend a Shewee or similar for the ladies. Some in the temple loos have to be visited bare foot.... The boats on Inle Lake are very noisy and ear plugs would have made it more comfortable. It is also the custom to play very loud music all night for a wedding - and these seem to occur every night! The food is great - and if you don't want hot spicy then you can order most dishes 'no spice' and then add chilli to your own taste. Weatherspoons in Bagan, and Grand Hotel in Yangon do an amazing cheese burger. I managed a gluten free diet with little issue as most dishes are rice based, and the crackers are tofu. There is reasonable wifi in all the hotels, and most restaurants and some temples also have free wifi. Laundry can be done at all the hotels and most were a same day service.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you play Pokemon Go, most temples have free wifi and are a source of pokestops and creatures... A trip to the National Museum on the last day is worth it. A bike tour of Bagan is well worth it as you get to explore the ruins at your own pace.

Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

Trips you might also like

Philippines Adventure

Discover emerald rice fields, smoldering volcanoes and colonial architecture

Guided Group, Tailormade Adventures

Discovery & Wildlife
13 days
From 2 855 €
Activity Rating - Leisurely/Moderate
Leisurely / Moderate
5 / 5
 from 
Add to wishlist

Discover Sri Lanka

Spend two weeks exploring the delights of this diverse and inspiring island

Guided Group, Tailormade Adventures

Discovery & Wildlife
15 days
From 1 625 €
Activity Rating - Leisurely/Moderate
Leisurely / Moderate
4.6 / 5
 from 
Add to wishlist
Call us on 015 407 558