Hsipaw shan village trek adventureGokteik Viaduct

Off-the-beaten-path Myanmar

Find the road less travelled with Mundo Asia’s epic adventure itinerary filled with off-the-beaten-track experiences, like riding a train across the technological marvel Gokteik Viaduct, trekking through the Shan Hills of Kalaw and Hsipaw, cycling through the temples and villages of Bagan, and feel the history of colonialism in little-visited Salay.

Language spoken on tour

English

Places visited

Mandalay Pyin Oo Lwin Gokteik Viaduct Hsipaw Amarapura Sagaing Bagan Mount Popa Salay Heho Pindaya Kalaw Inle Lake Yangon
Days

15

Type of tour

Private

Hotel

From

US$2574

highlights

Itinerary

Day 1 : Welcome to Mandalay

Welcome to Mandalay, the cultural heart of the country, filled with Buddhist monasteries, exotic temples and glittering pagodas. Upon arrival to Myanmar, our driver will transfer you from the airport to your hotel in the city center. Your day is free at leisure to explore the sites of Mandalay on your own or to relax at the hotel until the evening performance at the Mandalay Marionette Theatre where you can see the traditional art form of puppetry alive and well.

Meals: No meals

Accomodation: Eastern Palace Hotel

Day 2 : Trip to colonial hill-station of Pyin Oo Lwin

Escape the heat of Mandalay with a trip to the colonial hill-station of Pyin Oo Lwin, located about a 90-minute drive away. Admire the colonial architecture before visiting the gorgeous National Kandawgyi Botanical Gardens. After the gardens, explore one of the most extensive Buddhist cave complexes in the world, Peik Chin Myuang. From here we will hike down to hidden waterfalls and lagoons, where you can bask in the beautiful scenery or even take a refreshing swim.

Check-in to your accommodation in the early afternoon and have free time to discover the small town on your own.  Get an early night’s sleep as tomorrow we will embark on an adventurous train ride through the Shan State.

Meals: Breakfast

Accomodation: Aureum Palace Hotel & Resort Bagan

Day 3 : Take a train ride through Shan State to Hsipaw

An early-morning transfer brings you to the Maymyo Train Station for a train ride through the rolling hills and rural villages of the Shan State to Hsipaw. See colourful markets and interact with locals in your car as you make your way towards the incredible Gokteik Viaduct. Stretching across a 300 metre-deep gorge over a century ago, it was the second highest bridge in the world when first built and a technological marvel. The view from the train is nerve-wracking as it is fascinating. Get off the train in Hsipaw, the former royal capital of the Shan Princes, and check-in to your hotel for some much-needed relaxation and rest.

Meals: Breakfast

Accomodation: Hsipaw Resort

Day 4 : Breathe in the fresh air of the Shan State

Trek through the panoramic scenery of rice fields, Shan villages, and sleepy wooden monasteries in Hsipaw this morning, stopping at a local tea plantation for a simple lunch. Be charmed by the hazy mountains, lush teak forests, and bright blue skies as you continue the trek, stopping at a small village homestay in the evening to enjoy Shan cooking and hospitality.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accomodation: Hsipaw Resort

Day 5 : Kayak on the Dotthawaddy River

Learn about local plants and their medicinal uses today from your guide as you continue trekking around Hsipaw. Kayak on the Dotthawaddy River before meeting your homestay for the night, getting a chance to learn more about the culture and traditions of the diverse Shan people.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accomodation: Hsipaw Resort

Day 6 : Journey by car to Mandalay

Return to Hsipaw this morning and return south to Mandalay by car. Upon arrival to Mandalay in the late afternoon, check-in to your hotel and enjoy the day free at leisure.

Meals: Breakfast

Accomodation: Eastern Palace Hotel

Day 7 : Observe the daily life of the local people in the iconic U-Bein Bridge

Begin your exploration of the past with a visit to the ancient capitals Sagaing, and Amarapura on this half-day tour from Mandalay.

Stroll across the iconic U-Bein Bridge in Amarapura, to observe the comings and goings of the local people. It’s also possible to take a small rowboat ride in the lake to enjoy a different angle of the longest teak bridge in the world. Gaze at the beautiful handmade silk weavings at a local workshop before learning more about the national religion in the living center of Buddhism, Sagaing, where there are over 600 white-coloured pagodas and monasteries housing over 3,000 monks and 100 meditation centers.

Return to Mandalay in the early afternoon and transfer to the airport for an afternoon flight to the impressive archaeological site of Bagan.

Meals: Breakfast

Accomodation: Bagan Thiripyitsaya Sanctuary Resort

Day 8 : oin a half-day cycle tour through Bagan's important sites

Start your morning early before the heat of the day hits with a half-day cycling tour visiting the many important sites of Bagan, starting with Ananda and Dhamayangi Temple. Keep pedaling through small villages filled with local markets, simple shops, and people going about their business before returning to town to stop at the ancient Buddhist Shwezigone Pagoda and Gu Byauk Gi Pagoda with its beautiful mural paintings. Pause for lunch in a local restaurant and return to your hotel for a much-needed rest and cool down in some air-conditioning.

As the heat begins to fade, a guide will bring you to Shwe Sandaw Pagoda for awe-inspiring sunset views, ending a perfectly magical day of exploring Bagan.

Meals: Breakfast

Accomodation: Bagan Thiripyitsaya Sanctuary Resort

Day 9 : Visit a monastery located at the top of an extinct volcano, Mount Popa

Depart from the hotel this morning after breakfast and travel 1.5 hours south to the legendary Mount Popa, a monastery located at the top of an extinct volcano and revered by locals as the home to 37 spirits.

Upon arrival to Mount Popa, options include climbing the 777 stairs to the top of the hill to explore the monastery, complete with its beautiful flowers, plants, and butterflies, or admiring the view from another vantage point easily accessible by car. Enjoy an early lunch with a view and continue on to quiet Salay along the Irrawaddy River. Experience the vintage world of a British-Colonial trading company at a restored riverside warehouse filled with antiques from colonial times and sip tea and munch on snacks at the gorgeous colonial Salay House before returning to Bagan in the late afternoon.

Meals: Breakfast

Accomodation: Bagan Thiripyitsaya Sanctuary Resort

Day 10 : A day at leisure in Kalaw after one-hour morning flight

This morning take a one-hour flight from Bagan’s Nyuang-U Airport to Heho in the Shan State. Upon arrival to Heho, our driver will transport you to Kalaw, a former British Hill Station via the wonderful Pindaya Caves, known for the thousands of revered Buddhist images kept inside.  Arrive to beautiful Kalaw in the early afternoon in time to check-in to your hotel and enjoy an afternoon free at leisure to meander around the small town.

Meals: Breakfast

Accomodation: Royal Kalaw Hills Resort

Day 11 : Enjoy a tasty Shan-styled meal after trekking

Walk through fields of ginger, chili peppers, mustard seeds, garlic and corn as you venture out into the hills of Kalaw on a day-trek. Pass by local displays of a typical day in the country as men and women work in the fields. Upon arrival to a small village, enjoy a tasty Shan-styled lunch and the warm hospitality of the area before returning to Kalaw town in the afternoon.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Accomodation: Royal Kalaw Hills Resort

Day 12 : Explore the 5000 hidden stupas of Kakku

Travel deep into the Shan hills today to the hidden ‘forest of temples’ of Kakku. Cross local minority villages and untouched scenery before reaching Kakku where more than 5000 stupas from the 11th century rise high from the ground to the sky. Wander through the mysterious ruins before the driver drops you off at your hotel in Inle Lake in the early afternoon. Spend an afternoon at leisure enjoying the beautiful scenery of Inle Lake and joining any activities that interest you independently.

Meals: Breakfast

Accomodation: Royal Kalaw Hills Resort

Day 13 : Experience the unique lifestyle of villagers in the gorgeous Inle Lake

Visit the gorgeous Inle Lake today by boat and view the powerful image of fisherman gliding along the water with their unusual rowing techniques, casting glittering nets to find food. Pass by villages inhabited by local people with the houses built on stilts and floating gardens before reaching Indein Village, home to the Pa O minority tribe and also one of five villages who host the weekly morning market. This market is visited by all lake inhabitants and the surrounding hill tribes and gives us a first-hand look into daily life and work in the region.

Return to your boat and visit Nga Hpe Chaung Monastery, well-known for not only its Shan-style Buddha statues but also the resident cats who have been trained to do various tricks. Stop by Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, the lake’s main shrine, before visiting a cheroot workshop where Burmese cigars are rolled out by hand and a workshop where the iconic Shan parasols are carefully created.

Spend the rest of your afternoon relaxing at your hotel and breathing in the fresh air of this lovely region.

Say good-bye to Inle Lake and transfer to Heho Airport for a short return flight to Yangon.

Meals: Breakfast

Accomodation: Rose Garden Hotel Yangon

Day 14 : Spend the day touring Yangon's glittering attractions

Start your day in the busy streets of India Town in the downtown area of Yangon. The morning market will be a buzz with vendors and buyers alike and gives an excellent insight into everyday life in Myanmar’s most populated city.

Just a short distance from Little India is the Yangon Central Train Station, where we will board the famous circle line commuter train to experience a real-life look into the daily life of the inhabitants of Yangon. Though the round-trip journey takes 3 hours, we will only be riding for 45 minutes to the district of Hledan, where we disembark and continue to Chaukhtatgyi Paya, home to a 70-meter-long reclining Buddha.

Lunch at local restaurant before taking a 2-hour gentle walking tour the historic downtown, passing by the post office, Mahabandoola Garden and Independence Monument.

Stop for at the stylish colonial Strand Hotel and choose between an English or Burmese afternoon-tea set to rest after a busy day of sightseeing, returning to your hotel to freshen up for an evening dinner at Karaweik Palace, a glittering replica of the Pyi Gyi Mon Royal Barge which was used by Burmese kings of old to travel around the kingdom. Feast on an international buffet as you watch a glamourous cultural show featuring traditional dances and elaborate costumes.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Accomodation: Rose Garden Hotel Yangon

Day 15 : Time to say good-bye

Your day is free until your transfer to Yangon Airport for your onward booked travel arrangements.

Meals: Breakfast

Calculate best rate

Departure date
Adult
Language
Per person
$2574
Total
$5148
$2574
$5148
* Price is estimated and inclusive of single supplement. For child rates, please contact us!

Best price guarantee

When you travel with Mundo Asia through any of our destinations, we're confident you'll return with memories that truly last a lifetime. That's why we are proud to promise you a best price guarantee with unbeatable prices for the highest quality and value. If you are able to find our exact program and product for a lower price on another website, we will refund you the price difference (terms and conditions apply).

Why book this tour

  •  Take a train across the Gokteik Viaduct, an architectural marvel spanning the massive Gokteik Gorge
  • Trek through undiscovered Kalaw and Hsipaw to authentic Shan minority homestays
  • Investigate over 5000 stupasa in mysterious Kakku’s forest of temples
  • Premium value at an affordable price
  • 5% off total package when you book and pay deposit 60 days before arrival

Tour information

General information

Hotel

Important notes

Services included

  • Accommodation in twin/double room with daily breakfast
  • Domestic flights (economy class) as mentioned
  • Tours as per itinerary with local English speaking guide
  • All transfers and transportation with air-conditioned vehicles
  • All boat trips as program
  • All entrance fees as program
  • Meals as indicated in the program
  • A bottle of mineral water per day tour

Services exclude

  • Airfares (international) and airport taxes
  • Early check-in or late check-out
  • Personal expenses & tips
  • Meals other than mentioned in the program
  • Visa fees, travel insurances
  • Additional transfer required due to emergency situation
  • All services which are not mentioned in “services included”

 

General information

Services included

  • Accommodation in twin/double room with daily breakfast
  • Domestic flights (economy class) as mentioned
  • Tours as per itinerary with local English speaking guide
  • All transfers and transportation with air-conditioned vehicles
  • All boat trips as program
  • All entrance fees as program
  • Meals as indicated in the program
  • A bottle of mineral water per day tour

Services exclude

  • Airfares (international) and airport taxes
  • Early check-in or late check-out
  • Personal expenses & tips
  • Meals other than mentioned in the program
  • Visa fees, travel insurances
  • Additional transfer required due to emergency situation
  • All services which are not mentioned in “services included”

 

Hotel
Important notes

About this tour

  • This trip includes two long journeys via train over the impressive Gokteik Viaduct from Pyin Oo Lwin to Hsipaw on day 3 and a return car journey from Hsipaw to Mandalay on day 6. This is the best and only way to access these remote locations, but we promise you that the experiences make it more than worthwhile
  • This trip includes soft adventure activities on days 4, 5, 8, 11 and 12 with gentle day hikes and cycling tours. Terrain can be uneven, muddy or loose underfoot. Although these activities are possible for most travellers, a moderate level of fitness and a comfortable pair of shoes will help increase your enjoyment of this experience.
  • Generally speaking, Myanmar is a hot and humid country, although it can be much cooler in winter. If you don’t tolerate the heat well, perhaps consider taking a trip in the cooler winter months from November - February
  • This trip includes 2 homestays with local families on day 4 and 5 around Hsipaw. You will sleep on mattresses on the floor in a mixed-gender dormitory style with shared bathrooms.
  • Myanmar is a conservative country so take care to pack loose, lightweight, long clothing to be respectful and keep cool in the predominantly hot climate
  • This package requires a visa to Myanmar

 

How to book

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If you see a package that is already perfect, just click “book now” and fill in the details to start your journey!

Easy payment

Mundo Asia prides itself on its easy payment methods including by credit card, Onepay, PayPal, bank transfer, and in some cases, cash. Please refer to our booking terms and conditions for more information.

Flexible cancellation policy

Worried about cancellation fees? The only payment required is a 30% deposit of the total fees once all services are confirmed after the planning stages. In addition, Mundo Asia has a flexible cancellation policy which you can learn more about in our booking terms and conditions for more information.

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