Magical Myanmar: From Colonial Yangon to Mythic Mandalay


Above: Buddhist nuns in Myamar going home from their studies  


This journey into one of Asia’s surpassingly beautiful former Buddhist kingdoms begins with a your arrival in the Asian hub of Bangkok, a sophisticated metropolis with an ancient heart. Then fly to Yangon, the old capital of the land celebrated by Rudyard Kipling, whose Shwedagon Pagoda the author described as “[A] golden mystery . . . a beautiful winking wonder that blazed in the sun.” Next, a quick hop and a step over to the fabulous Plain of Temples in Bagan, followed by fabled Mandalay by the River Irrawady concludes your travel extension before of after your Bhutan journey. Includes all regional and domestic flights and (optional) hotel arrangements in Bangkok before the extension.


Famous U-Bein Bridge, one of the most photographed sites in Burma, or Myanmar.


FLY INTO YANGON, the old capital of Burma (or Myanmar, as it is now known). Explore the city filled with tree-shaded boulevards and shimmering stupas floating above the treetops. The city became the capital in 1885, when the British completed the conquest of Upper Myanmar and Mandalay's brief period as capital of the last Burmese kingdom ended. Among the many highlights of your time in the city will be musuems, Baiyoke market and fabulous Shwedagon  Pagoda.

One of the most famous sites in Myanmar, the fabled 

Shwedagon Pagoda.


Next, take a short domestic flight to explore the vast and fascinating area of Bagan and discover its uique stories and temples. The spectacular plains of Bagan stretch out on either shore of the Ayeyarwaddy (Rudyard Kipling’s Irrawady) River and is dotted with over 2,000 temple structures dating back over 800 years. Spend the day exploring the temples and hearing the fascinating history and stories behind these imposing structures; visit a lacquerware workshop to learn about the intricate process of lacquer that Myanmar is famous for. At the end of the day, enjoy a panoramic view of the sun setting over the plains of Bagan from one of the ancient pagodas. 

Aerial view of the storied temples of Bagan.


The last capital of royal Burma, Mandalay is still one of the largest cities in Myanmar, and a cultural and spiritual centre.  Neighbouring Sagaing is home to over sixty per cent of the country's monks, while the artisans of Mandalay continue to turn out the finest crafts in Myanmar.  In the morning, head to Amarapura, also a former royal capital, and visit Mahagandayon Monastery; in the morning, monks and novices line up to receive their daily offering of alms and food from faithful Buddhists.  Pause to enjoy the atmosphere of U Bein Bridge, a picturesque teak bridge which extends over one kilometre across Taungthaman Lake, and the highlight of any visit to Amarapura, before closing the day with a spectacular sunset over Mandalay Hill. 

A fiery sunset over the river Irrawady in Mandalay, the kind of scene that likely inspired Rudyard Kipling to wax poetic: "On the road to Mandalay, Where the flyin'-fishes play, An' the dawn comes up like thunder outer China 'crost the Bay!"


On the final leg of your journey through Myanmar, take the domestic flight from Mandalay to Heho and drive from there to picturesque Inle Lake. Enjoy a boat ride on Inle Lake and discover its calm serenity, still waters and colourful brush strokes of floating vegetation and slow moving fishing canoes. Rolling high hills hug the lake on all sides, as the lake's shore and islands host 17 villages on stilts, mostly inhabited by the Intha people. Enjoy the awe inspiring scenery and meditate on the one of a kind skill of the local fishermen who make use of their legs in a unique rowing technique to glide themselves gracefully around the lake. Visit the enchanting floating gardens, a teeming market and an Intha village around the lake. The day also includes a visit to the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, Inn Paw Khon Village (Lotus and silk weaving villages) and the Nga Phe Kyaung Monastery.

One of the famous leg-rowing boatmen of Inle Lake.


Drive from Inle Lake to Heho today, followed by a short return flightto Yangon for an overnight before flying back to Bangkok in time for your following mornings flight to Bhutan or return home (depending on your extension booking selection pre-or post-Bhutan).

Boatman ferrying passengers on the fabled Irrawady River.



Fly from Bangkok to the colonial (former) capital of Yangon | Take a walking tour of the city's tree-lined boulevards, markets and museums | Fly to Bagan and explore its fabled plains and ancient temples | Fly to  Mandalay and see famous U Bein Bridge and take in a fabulous sunset view from Mandalay Hill| Fly to Heho and Drive to Inle Lake to learn about the Intha people who live on its shores and waters| Return to Heho and fly to Yangon| Fly from Yangon to Bangkok| Overnight in Bangkok before flying to Bhutan (if you choose a pre-trip extension) or prepare for your return flight home (if you choose a post-trip extension.) 


A produce and dry goods market in Myanmar. 




Your journey through Myanmar includes the old colonial capital of Yangon, the fabled plains and temples of Bagan, storied Mandalay, Heho, Inle Lake and fascinating Intha culture before a return to Yangon and Bangkok.


The Karaweik Palace Barge on the esat shore of the Kandawgyi Lake in Yangon, Myanmar.



We have hand-picked the following hotels and lodges  for their comfort, location, and their charming blend of local culture and style.

*Please click on the gallery images of the featured lodges below for more on the main lodges on this itinerary.


Sitting area at the Chatrium  Hotel in Yangon.




Accommodation is subject to availability. If the listed properties are fully booked, alternatives will be offered. Occasionally guest numbers, the time or season of booking, renovations & repair and/or other unforeseen circumstances beyond our control may make them unavailable. In such circumstances, we always rebook our confirmed guests at resorts, hotels and lodges of equal or comparable value. Therefore, please take the Featured List of Lodges & Accommodations for your trip to mean either the establishments named in this document “or resorts, hotels or lodges of equal or comparable standard and/or value."






Magical Myanmar



7 days Round-trip from Bangkok, Thailand includes flights shown on itinerary)



Can be arranged before or after your Bhutan journey


US$3,200 per person, double occupancy* 


Includes: round-trip flights from Bangkok and any domestic flights or inter-country regional flights and transfers, all taxes, surcharges, accommodations, guides, transportation services, entrances and land costs*




Included Services
•    English-speaking guide.
•    Accommodation in hotels as mentioned above or equivalent.
•    Meals according to itinerary / Breakfast box in lieu of ABF when early morning flight
•    Flight ticket(s) as mentioned in the itinerary.
•    Flight from  Bangkok to Yangon
•    Flight from  Yangon to Bagan
•    Flight from  Bagan to Mandalay

•    Flight from  Mandalay to Heho

  • Flight from Heho to Yangon

  • Flight from Yangon to Bangkok

•    Current fuel surcharges are included, however, these are subject to change prior to tour start date.
•    Boat ticket(s) according to the itinerary.
•    Ground transportation in private A/C vehicle.
•    1 complimentary bottle of drinking water and 1 cold towel per person per half day tour/ 2 bottles of water and 2 cold towels per person per full day tour.
•    Sightseeing incl. admission fees according to itinerary.
•    International and domestic airport taxes included in ticket.

Excluded Services

  • Visa fees, drinks, personal expenses.

Local visa costs, where applicable, are not covered and are the responsibility of the trip member; not all meals are included in order to let guests explore and try some local restaurants on their own - please consult your extension itinerary to see which meals are included and which ones are not.

Local visa costs, where applicable, are not covered and are the responsibility of the trip member; not all meals are included in order to let guests explore and try some local restaurants on their own - please consult your extension itinerary to see which meals are included and which ones are not.

Cancellation Policy

Please see our Trip Cancellation & Refund Policy in print copy (downloadable above) or ask for it by email.



Round-trip flights from Bangkok, Thailand, and any inter-country regional flights as well as domestic internal flights are included



From US$ 3,200pp doubles; includes all high-end Featured Lodges shown above, tours, regional flights into and out of Bangkok, and 4 domestic flights within Myanmar also included. Breakfasts are included but most lunches and dinners are on your own so you can explore the local cuisine according to your taste and comfort level.

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Depart your home city for Bangkok, Thailand. Thai visas are automatically granted to US citizens and EU citizens on arrival for up to 15 days per entry.


For regional travel between Bangkok and our travel extension destinations all logistical arrangements, including round-trip flights from Bangkok, will covered under the trip cost. The flights and transfers and tour logistics in each country will be handled through our regional partners, and extension tour activities and highlights as described on our extension itineraries will be guided by experienced local guides who are licensed and government-approved in each country where our travel extensions are offered.

In some cases, you may have to prearrange your own visas to the countries listed on the extension journey (such as Myanmar).  Other countries like Laos and Cambodia will grant visas on arrival at all the major airports where you land, for a nominal fee ranging approximately between US$30 to US$50.

Bhutan Himalaya Expeditions is responsible for all your flights, hotels and other logistical arrangements for Bhutan. Please let us know at the time of booking your travel extension journey whether you would like to take the travel extension before or after your trip to Bhutan with us. Please note we do not require that you participate in our Travel Extensions in order to be eligible for our Bhutan journeys. Regional Travel Extensions and our featured journeys in Bhutan are priced separately.

Your Bhutan journey with us begins with your arrival in Paro and closes with your departure from the Paro Airport. Passports should be valid up to 6 months after the last date of your travel in the region. If you need to renew or request a new passport, please let us know in advance so we can send you the proper reminders and resource information.

The national airline, Druk Air, offers flights daily from Bangkok to Bhutan, and less frequently from major Indian cities Delhi and Kolkata (formerly Calcutta). Bhutan Himalaya staff will make your round trip flight arrangements to Bhutan from Bangkok, Thailand, or India.


Please note that while we design our travel extension itineraries with our regional partners to complement our Bhutan journeys, travel extensions are not operated or guided by Bhutan Himalaya Expeditions. All regional travel between Bangkok and our travel extension destinations, all logistical arrangements for the extensions, including round-trip flights from Bangkok, regional flights and domestic flights and transport, airport transfers as well as tour logistics in each country are handled by our regional partners. Travel extension tour activities and highlights as described on our extension itineraries are guided by experienced local guides who are licensed and government-approved in each country where our travel extensions are offered.

PROGRAM ACCURACY DISCLAIMER: While this is an accurate representation of this travel extension journey at the time of printing actual activities and arrangements during your journey may vary due to unexpected weather and/or changes in local conditions beyond our control. We may also change or modify the journey to best serve the needs of the journey and in response to space availability at our featured hotels and resorts, or the spaces available on regional flights. When modifications are made we will make our best efforts to distribute an updated itinerary prior to your arrival with all the changes. Please note, however, that this may not always be possible for a variety of reasons. In all instances we strive to always improve the quality of the featured journey through such changes if any are deemed necessary.


If you have any further questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to send us a message, or call us at 1.805.534.9224 during normal business hours. We look forward to sharing the happiness of the Bhutan Himalaya with you soon!


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