Discover the wonders of a rich and rare land! This comprehensive adventure reveals Myanmar's authentic and intact tribal cultures, majestic floating gardens of Inle Lake, the grandeur of Yangon's gold-plated Shwedagon Pagoda, mysterious Pindaya Buddhist Caves, and thousands of 800-year old temples beside the Irrawaddy River at Bagan. Taking the road less traveled, experience village life firsthand and see enduring traditional practices, like those of Inle Lake's renowned leg-rower fishermen. Hike Myanmar's rural countryside to the remote hill-tribe villages, enjoying encounters with gentle, gracious people that will etch lifelong memories.
Explore Myanmar's beautiful architectural treasures, from Bagan's ancient Buddhist temples to Yangon's sacred Shwedagon Pagoda
Discover Inle Lake's floating gardens, lively markets, centuries-old hilltop stupas, and traditional leg-rower fishermen
Hike forested trails to tribal villages and experience authentic hill-tribe life, largely unchanged for centuries
Upon arrival in Yangon International Airport, meet an MT Sobek representative and transfer to the hotel. Settle in, then receive a trip briefing in the evening, followed by a welcome dinner.
Depart this morning from Yangon and fly to Kengtung (Kyaing Tong). In the event of flight schedule changes, fly to Tachilek and then drive four hours to Kengtung. Kengtung is a beautiful area with great trekking and an intriguing variety of temples, thanks to the diverse population of ethnic tribes in the region. Upon arrival, check into your hotel, and then enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.
Shortly after breakfast, take a 45-minute drive to the starting point of today's strenuous trek, which leads you along steep, forested tracks that link villages of the Pin Tauk Lahu, Eng, and Akha hill tribes. The Eng are particularly unique and are found only here. Striking in appearance, they're known for their black clothes and the custom of blackening their teeth with tree bark and betel nut. Enjoy a hearty picnic lunch along the way, and finish the hike in the late afternoon, when you return to your hotel in Kengtung.
After breakfast at the hotel, walk to the town's historical attractions and exquisite monasteries: Wat Sonkhan, Maha Myat Muni and Wat Inn. After touring these fascinating sights, depart Kengtung for your flight to Heho. Upon arrival, enjoy lunch before the drive to your charming hotel situated on Inle Lake.
Today explore scenic Inle Lake, famous for its floating villages and traditional leg-rower fishermen. These fishermen perform the acrobatic task of standing on one leg while rowing with the other, leaving a hand free to maneuver their large, conical fishing baskets. The lake's edge is dotted with villages, monasteries, and beautiful hotels, all perched gracefully atop wooden stilts. Visit Indein village and its hundreds of Shan-style stupas, and see the panoramic lake view from Shweinndein Pagoda. Take an afternoon stroll in Khaung Daing and meet friendly villagers working in their cottage food-related industries.
Enjoy a full day exploring Inle Lake. Stroll the lively Indein market, then walk among hundreds of hilltop stupas - some of which are centuries old. Visit Phaung Daw Oo, a lovely Buddhist pagoda known for its gold leaf-covered Buddhas, and stilt-supported Nga Phe Chaung monastery. See the floating gardens of the local leg-rower fishermen's village, tradespeople at work in Nampan village, and silk weavers in Inn Paw Khong. Optionally, further explore the lake's peaceful villages by canoe. Sit down with locals for a cup of tea before returning to your hotel.
Journey to Pindaya, passing through Pa-O tribal farmland of the scenic Shan Plateau. The area offers spectacular views of enchanting pagodas and pastoral scenes. In Pindaya, walk to the nearby Htutni Da-Nu tribe's village, then continue to the Pindaya Buddhist Caves. These are the largest such caves in Myanmar, and a popular meditation site for local Burmese. Discover a dazzling assortment of over 7,000 Buddha statues, as guides share local myths and legends. Then walk among hundred-year-old banyan trees to Singaung village, where you learn all about making bamboo umbrellas.
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel and the remainder of the morning at your leisure. In the afternoon, transfer to the Heho airport for your flight to the temple-studded plains of Bagan. Upon arrival, transfer to the stunning Thiripyitsaya Sanctuary Resort, perched on the banks of the Irrawaddy River. You'll have plenty of time to enjoy this beautiful hotel's amenities during your two-night stay, whether it's unwinding at the nature spa, enjoying a drink at the bar, or simply strolling the resort grounds.
Gracefully lining the shores of the muddy Irrawaddy River, thousands of peaceful, scenic Buddhist temples make up the spectacular and ancient city of Bagan. Covering an area of about 25 square miles, the temples range from grand structures to simple places of worship. Bike to Bagan's highlights, including Htilominlo Temple, the finest example of late 12th-century stucco carving; Tharabar Gate, a ninth-century city wall; Myingaba Gubyaukgyi, with its fine early-12th-century murals; Minanthu Village; Phayar Thonesu Temple; and stunning Ananda Temple, built by King Kyansit around 1105, during Bagan's heyday.
Visit a vibrant local vegetable market before continuing to the astounding gold-gilt temple of Shwezigon Pagoda. Completed in 1102, Shwezigon is considered the prototype for all Burmese stupas - and some believe it enshrines holy relics of the Gautama Buddha. Journey to Kyaukgu Umin, an elaborate three-tiered cave temple built into sandstone cliffs that contains beautiful stone devotional sculptures. From here stroll down to the banks of the Irrawaddy and board long-tail boats for the return trip to Bagan. Enjoy lunch and visit a toddy palm farm before flying back to Yangon.
Immerse yourself in the bustling energy of Yangon, noticing the striking contrast of modern skyscrapers, Victorian-era structures, and ancient pagodas. Witness Yangon's ethnic diversity as you pass churches, mosques, synagogues, Burmese pagodas, and Hindu and Chinese temples. Visit stimulating Bogyoke Market, have tea at the elegant Strand Hotel, and then experience one of Buddhism's most sacred sites - the majestic Shwedagon Pagoda, believed to enshrine relics from four different Buddhas. Witness the temple at sunset, when evening light glints off the gold-plated, jewel-encrusted dome. Finish the evening with a festive farewell dinner.
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your homebound flight.
MT Sobek has been leading groups through Myanmar since the 90's and our Hidden Myanmar itinerary has become a popular classic.
In the company of our expert local guides you have the opportunity to feel like an insider in Myanmar, not just a tourist.
This cultural adventure gets to the heart of the country by taking the road less traveled, while managing to pack in top sights along the way.
Our expert guides and trip leaders are truly the key to our trips' success. Many are locals who live in-country year-round; others have made it their second home—all are passionate, enthusiastic and endlessly knowledgeable. Meet a few of the guides that might be on your trip.
Cultural touring by private van, with easy to moderate walks exploring historical wonders including the Yangon's gold-plated Shwedagon Pagoda and Bagan's ancient temples.
Elegant modern hotels and comfortable traditional inns, all with modern amenities. Includes three nights at the boutique Pristine Lotus Resort.
Daytime temperatures will range from 80F to 90F and night temperatures will range from the high 50's - 70's F. Rain is unlikely.
Our MTS representative will meet you on arrival at Yangon International Airport.
Yes, American citizens need a visa for Myanmar. You have two options: an e-visa or applying for a visa through the Myanmar Embassy.
No, just US dollars cash and there are a few ATM machines.
No. We and our local partners are careful not to use any government-owned accommodations, restaurants or transportation companies.
It costs $340 and you should book it 6 months in advance for Christmas/NYE season and 3 months in advance for November or February.
Myanmar National Airlines for Kengtong sectors and Air KBZ for other sectors.
Yes! This trip helps support the Parami Foundation in building classrooms and water wells for schools. It also helps sponsor students from rural areas with travel and board to gain an education.
Make any of our trips a custom adventure or start from scratch. Take two itineraries and match them up to create a unique third. Add extras and extensions and more...if you can imagine it, we can make it happen!
"Excellent trip-one of the best I've taken. Our guides were superb and did lots of things that brought us closer to the world of the Burmese peoples in the areas we visited."
MT Sobek Guest, Hidden Myanmar
"I would absolutely recommend MT Sobek's Hidden Myanmar trip. The destination is interesting, the itinerary is excellent, and the people are very friendly."
MT Sobek Guest, Hidden Myanmar