Tribes, Temples, and Treasures


Reflections in Inle Lake

“This is Burma, and it will be quite unlike any land you know about...” Rudyard Kipling

Myanmar is more unspoiled than neighboring countries with colorful tribes, stunning scenery, and an unsurpassed tradition of art and architecture.  After our own research and experience with outfitters and service providers, tourism in Burma is possible in ways that support the local suppliers to the greatest extent possible.  Above all, our interactions with friends in Myanmar will help you form your own conclusions about this lovely, and complex country.  The people of Myanmar are warm, gracious, smart, humorous, and amazingly resilient.  For inspiration, see the Myanmar Photo Album and for detailed lists of restaurants, shops, hotels, books, see the Myanmar Resource List.


Experiences - unique and irresistible:

  1. Thingyan New Year Festival - celebrate the Lunar New Year with all of Myanmar

  2. House Building on Inle Lake

  3. Wine Tasting at Red Mountain Vineyard near Inle Lake

  4. Off-road day biking tour to Syriam on the Yangon River

  5. Taunggyi Balloon Festival - October - November - hundreds of paper balloons released at once

Read the sample itinerary below to start your planning for your own custom trip to this fascinating country.

Day 01 - Arrive Yangon

Upon arrival in the morning from your international flights transfer to the hotel for a start to sightseeing in Yangon, including Colonial downtown Yangon, Chaukhtatkyi reclining Buddha, the landmark Shwedagone Pagoda, Bogyoke Aung San Market (Scott’s Market) and the Chinatown farmer’s market. Stop at the small shop on 13th street to start your appreciation of Myanmar’s superb lacquerware.  In late afternoon, gather at the verandah bar at the hotel for a welcome reception and dinner in the garden.

Day 02 Yangon - Heho - Inle Lake

After breakfast transfer to Yangon airport for a flight to Heho.  On the drive through the picturesque hilly region to Inle Lake, watch villagers at work.  Arriving at Inle Lake, board a long boat and slowly motor down the lake to see the fishermen with conical nets using their free leg to position their boats.  Stop at several floating villages and enjoy the landmark Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, the Ngaphaechaun Monastery, and selected local silk weaving centers.  Inle Lake has a unique tradition of using the lotus plant for a weaving fiber.

Day 03 - Inle Lake and environs

After breakfast drive to Indein village and visit the traditional 5-day market of Lake Inle area, with tribal villagers in colorful dress.   Enjoy a scenic trip up a narrow creek to the idyllic site of Indein with it’s 17th century ruins of pagodas in an “indiana Jones” type setting, a literal “forest” of spires, walking along trails in bamboo groves.  Return to Inle Lake for relaxation and bird watching from your deck before dinner.

Day 04 - Inle Lake - Mandalay

After breakfast at the hotel, transfer to Nampan village to visit the biggest market of Lake Inle area, including the floating garden to the Shan paper production cottages, where paper is made out of raspberry barks.  Transfer back to the hotel for check out for your flight to Mandalay.  Upon arrival in Mandalay and welcome, transfer to the traditionally designed, but newly constructed hotel, a quiet oasis in the bustle and chaos of Mandalay.

Day 05 - Mandalay - Amarapura - Sagain - Mandalay

After breakfast at the hotel, visit the ancient towns of Amarapura and Sagain as well as sights in Mandalay:  Mahagandayone monastery of 1500 monks, the world longest teak bridge, U Bein, silversmithing in Sagain, the scenic U-Min-Thoun-Se Temple, the landmark Mahamuni temple, typical gold leaf art in Mandalay.  Finish with sunset views over Mandalay Hill.  Overnight in Mandalay.

Day 06 - Embark Pandaw Cruise to sail to Bagan

After breakfast at the hotel, visit the Landmark Mahamuni temple on the way to the jetty to embark on a Pandaw Cruise at 11am.  The cruise departs Mandalay at noon with cruising through lunch and the afternoon.   Enjoy the cruise and scenery along the Irrawaddy River.  Dinner on board.  Overnight on board.

Day 07 - Pandaw cruises on Irrawaddy River

Breakfast on board and cruise on Pandaw with a shore excursion to the villages of Yandabo in the morning and Ohn-Ne-Choung Village in the afternoon.  Lunch and dinner on board.  Overnight on board the Pandaw Cruise.

Day 08- Pandaw Cruise to Bagan

Breakfast on board, arriving at Bagan for transfer to the hotel.  After check-in, see beautiful, charming Bagan:  the beautiful Ananda temple, lacquer ware handicrafts, a horse cart ride among the ancient temple, sunset and panoramic view from a fairly high temple.  Overnight in Bagan.

Day 09 - Bagan Activities

After a hotel breakfast, continue sightseeing in Bagan, seeing Nyaung Oo farmers market, landmark Shwe Zi Gone Temple, unique Manuha and Nanpaya temples, and a stroll around the Wet Kyiln Village.  Consider an optional cooking class starting with the chef’s guidance selecting produce at the market.  Overnight in Bagan.

Day 10 - Bagan to Yangon

Breakfast at the hotel followed by transfer to the airport for flights to Yangon.  Overnight in Yangon.

Day 11 - Yangon and Home

Bogyoke Aung San Market.  In the late afternoon, transfer to Yangon International Airport for connections to international flights.

Consider extensions to relaxing Ngapali Beach or to the colorful Ethnic Villages in the Golden Triangle of Myanmar.

Silk and Stones Travel tours are designed for very small groups, using suppliers and partnerships with local providers, and with sensitivity to the unique environmental, ecological, and cultural opportunities in each country.  Silk and Stones Travel brings the best of travel to unusual places with comfort, safety, and with cultural and environmental sensitivity.  Click on the following to learn about the  group tour itineraries, or to gain insights for designing private, custom trips.

For additional help planning your trip, please see Organization, Resources, Packing List, Application, and Terms and Conditions.  For additional suggestions on Myanmar shops, restaurants, activities, check the Myanmar Resources pages.