Classic Myanmar Explorer
Myanmar's cultural and natural highlights, experienced in complete style and luxury
Personalised journeys from start to finish
Save an acre of rainforest each time you travel
Every detail taken care of
- Completely private tours of Mandalay, Bagan, Inle Lake, Yangon and U Bein Bridge
- Private tour options in Ngapali Beach
- Luxury accommodation throughout
- Meet and greet airport service
- Full support from your Travel Concierge before, during and after your trip
At a glance
The perfect introduction to Myanmar, this classic and luxurious journey shows you the best of this fascinating country. Visit its natural wonders and authentic cultural gems alongside your expert guide on seamless bespoke tours.
Arriving in religious Mandalay, you have two nights here to acquaint yourself with the traditional culture and history of Myanmar, before being surrounded by the countless temples and stupas of Bagan where, as well as a sun rise hot air balloon flight, you’ll visit local markets and villages.
Next are the calm waters of Inle Lake where you can watch fishermen use their distinctive leg rowing technique and discover floating villages and even a vineyard. Hop south to laid back Ngapali for some relaxing beach time on beautiful Bay of Bengal, before rounding off with a few more touches of intriguing Buddhist culture, street food and art in bustling Yangon.
Example Trip Itinerary
Meet and greet at Mandalay airport
Private transfer from Mandalay airport to hotel
Accommodation in Mandalay
- 20 rooms
- 3 restaurants, 2 bars
- Spa, sauna, fitness centre & lighted tennis court
- Outdoor pool
Sitting on the eastern outskirts of Mandalay, about fifteen minutes drive from the city centre, this pleasant low-rise boutique hotel of just twenty rooms has an impressive set of facilities and a super team of staff. The rooms, and indeed most of hotel, is decorated with the typical and heavy use of teakwood with vibrant splashes of colour and ornate Burmese artefacts and furnishings. Alongside the traditional you have the modern, in the form of Wi-Fi, air conditioning, satellite TV, gym, sauna, spa and outdoor swimming pool. For a boutique hotel of this size there is an admirable three restaurants that each specialise in Burmese, Thai and European food for a very spoiling choice of daily dining options.
- 206 guestrooms and suites
- Five restaurants
- Swimming pool
- Two tennis courts
- Fitness centre
- Function facilities
Sitting at the foot of the Mercure Mandalay Hill, this luxury resort is a wonderful place to stay during a trip to the cultural city of Mandalay. Sweeping views of mesmerizing pagodas surround this ornate hotel which is based in twelve acres of landscaped gardens, with all rooms and suites enjoying views of the pagodas, the Royal Palace, Mandalay Hill, or the city. The handsomely designed accommodation here ranges from superior and deluxe rooms to lavish suites and the impressive Mandalar Villa. All varieties of guestrooms provide visitors with the space, modern-day essentials and complete comfort they’ll need to make their stay a pleasant one. Guests have a range of dining options to choose from, including international cuisine with a culture show at the garden restaurant, tasty tapas at Kipling’s Lounge, and delicious Chinese food at Ming’s. Massages at the spa and the gorgeous pool area offer opportunities for unwinding, while the fitness centre and tennis courts ensure active types get their exercise fix.
Immortalised by Rudyard Kipling’s romantic poem, Burma’s second-largest city Mandalay is filled with exotic temples and pretty pagodas, and is regarded as the traditional and religious heart of the country. The vast number of monasteries make this former royal city a haven for Buddhism, with Mandalay’s Kuthodaw Pagoda harbouring the complete Buddhist scriptures, the largest book in the world.
This evening you will head to the top of Mandalay Hill as the sun begins to set to enjoy magnificent views of the city and Irrawaddy River.
Your expert guide will collect you from your hotel in the morning to begin a full day's private excursion to discover the beguiling history, culture, religion and local life of Mandalay's royal capitals.
The famous U Bein bridge was constructed in around 1850 out of 984 teak posts that were once part of the deserted Inwa Palace. Its 1.2 kilometers (1300 yards) length make it the world’s longest teak span. Enjoy a sunset stroll along the bridge and the fabulous views of the surrounding farms and streams.
Private transfer to Mandalay airport
Flight from Mandalay to Bagan
Private transfer from Bagan airport to your hotel
Accommodation in Bagan (Pagan)
- 83 rooms, including four suites
- Butler service
- Two dining areas
- Pool bar
Set in the ancient city of temples, Bagan, the Hotel @ Tharabar Gate is a charming, relaxing base within walking or cycling distance of the pagodas for which Bagan is famed. There are 83 guestrooms on offer at the Hotel @ Tharabar Gate, all decked out in traditional materials, like polished teak wood, but with the modern additions of air-conditioning, mini-bars and TVs. The private gardens and unique hand-painted walls add enchanting, personal touches of character to the accommodation. You can dine in the hotel’s lush, tropical gardens or in the main restaurant, and the cuisine served ranges from local Myanmar to western and Asian dishes. We love the pool bar for a chilled cocktail after a day exploring the temples around the hotel, and the spa offers traditional massages, perfect for sore legs and feet.
- 82 rooms and three suites
- Restaurant and two bars
- Swimming pool
Close to Bagan’s ancient wonders, this charming, stylish hotel offers an excellent location for those wishing to experience the world’s most enchanting temples and pagodas. After a day of exploring the 11th-century marvels, guests can relax in their chic, comfortable rooms which are styled in an old, colonial fashion, featuring giant, leather-strapped travelling chests at the foot of each bed, brass tripod lamps, and gorgeous bathrooms. Each room has a private balcony, too. Continue your relaxation at Bagan Lodge’s spa where a variety of massages and treatments are available, while the pool offers another tranquil spot in which to unwind with a leisurely swim, or a refreshing cocktail at the pool bar. The open-air Tiffin Box restaurant ensures all culinary desires are covered, serving up both authentic Burmese cuisine and western dishes.
- 114 guestrooms
- Four restaurants and bars
- Two swimming pools
- Art gallery
- Complimentary entry to the viewing tower
Aureum Palace is set in Bagan, home to majestic temples and ancient pagodas. Soak up these magical, sweeping views from the never-ending infinity pool where you can dine poolside, and watch the sun set over a fiery, shrine-filled landscape from the viewing tower, one of the highest platforms in Bagan. Within the spectacular grounds of 27 acres of tropical gardens and lake sit Aureum Palace’s spacious and decadent accommodations. These range from deluxe rooms to two bedroom lakeside villas. All boast elegantly romantic interiors, with the most lavish enjoying Jacuzzis, private swimming pools, plus entire living and dining areas. Artefacts, antiquities and local artwork adorn this expansive resort which is home to a vast list of facilities from the heavenly spa to an art gallery to an impressive gym and four different dining options. Meals can be taken both indoors and al-fresco with cuisines ranging from Asian to continental dishes. What’s more, the service at Aureum Palace is truly supreme: full-time, personal butlers are available and cultural entertainment is also on offer.
Just as magnificent as the world’s most famous archaeological sites, but with distinctly less visitors, Bagan is an astonishing ancient city and one of Myanmar’s top highlights. Its green plains are strewn with thousands of temples and pagodas, the spires of which rise majestically above the tree tops.
Built by kings during the 11th and 12th centuries, these age-old wonders which sit by the Irrawaddy River, are unforgettable when experienced from a hot air balloon as the sun rises over the temple spires and the rural villages come into view below.
Start your tour of Bagan with a visit to the golden stupa of Shwezigon Pagoda for an introduction in to Bagan’s rich history. Continue to a number of famous temples. Then travel by horse cart for a tour passing Thatbyinnyu, the highest temple in Bagan. Enjoy an unforgettable sunset over the plains from the upper terrace of one of the temples.
Start the day with visit to the colourful Nyaung Oo Market where villagers gather every day to buy and sell their produce and other goods. Continue to Myinkaba village and take a short walking tour to explore the temples of Manuha and Nan Paya.
Later this afternoon, after a rest back at your hotel, continue to the rural village of Minnanthu, one of Bagan’s least visited areas. Here you will explore temples such as Payathonzu, Lemyentha and Nandamannya before heading to the riverside pier. Board a local boat for a slow cruise down the Irrawaddy River. As you cruise the waters, observe the lifestyle of the fishermen and riverside villagers as well as enjoying the unique perspective of Bagan’s temples.
Start your morning one of the most iconic travel experiences in Myanmar, a hot-air balloon flight over the plains of Bagan. Enjoy the fabulous views as the sun rises over the endless stupas and Irrawaddy River.
Private transfer to Bagan airport
Flight from Bagan to Heho
Transfer from Heho Airport to Inle Lake, visiting Pindaya en route, an impressive cave that is home to over 8000 golden buddha statues.
Accommodation in Inle Lake
- 27 villas
- Restaurant & bar
- Organic vegetable garden
Tucked away under the ‘Blue Mountains’ of the Shan Plateau along the eastern shores of Lake Inle, the Villa Inle Resort offers a private and romantic experience, with some wonderful cultural attractions in the nearby area. The 27 spacious villas of the resort are made to blend harmoniously with the natural environment, favouring a traditional design and local materials. High ceilings, sweeping silk curtains and expansive teak flooring give these villas a luxurious feel and make for a blissful couple’s hideaway; large bathtubs, private terraces with lake views and soft lighting complete the experience. The hotel also proudly participates in a conservation programme, planting trees in the nearby area, using recycled materials wherever possible, and growing their own organic plants for use in the kitchen.
- 45 chalets
- Restaurant, bar and wine cellar
- Artisan’s Village
Found on the eastside of Inle Lake, this traditionally designed resort houses idyllic wooden chalets with magnificently scenic views. While some look out to the flourishing garden and others overlook the mountains, many of the rooms enjoy lovely lake terraces where you can sit back and watch fisherman pass by. Besides scenic vistas, the accommodation also provides cosy comfort thanks to fireplaces and lots of mod cons. All culinary tastes are covered here with the restaurant serving a range of Chinese, vegetarian, European, Thai and traditional Shan dishes. However for a truly atmospheric experience, you can dine in the resort’s wine cave where an Inle Long Boat acts as a table and romantic seclusion is perfectly created. With an on-site artisan’s village there’s heaps to get involved with at this environmentally conscious property. Try your hand at Shan Paper making, wood carving or meditation – what’s more the lake offers plenty to do and the town of Nyaung Shwe is just a twenty minute boat ride away.
- 97 rooms and suites
- Restaurant and bar
Located in Maing Thauk Village, half of which is set on dry land while the other half sits on stilts over the waters on Inle Lake, the Inle Sanctum Resort blends a minimalist monastic style with all manner of modern comforts. 96 bedrooms range from stand-alone villas located in the resort grounds to rooms within the main building. All are beautifully designed featuring natural wood floors, high ceilings and spacious bathrooms. The Cloister is part-bar, part-lounge, serving traditional favourites and a wide selection of Myanmar-brewed beers or enjoy an afternoon cocktail, whilst The Refectory serves a delicious menu from noodles to fresh garden salads, taking inspiration from traditional Myanmar dishes. After a day exploring the lake and its fascinating surroundings, the Sanctuary Spa offers a chance to fully unwind with a range of treatments and therapies.
- 66 spacious villas
- Restaurant and bar
- Swimming pool
Aureum Palace Resort & Spa is set in a beautiful location, perched on the eastern edge of Inle Lake, twinned with excellent service. 66 spacious private villas, built over the shores and lake itself, are elegantly decorated in a contemporary Shan style, with large bathrooms, a separate living area and decking area perfect for watching the sun set in the west over the water. A wonderful location from which to explore the lake or visit the hill tribes on guided treks, guests can also relax at the exceptional spa or cool off in the pool. With indoor and outdoor seating, the resort’s restaurant offers scenic views of Inle Lake to go with local Shan specialties, Burmese dishes and even familiar international options.
This scenic highland lake naturally attracts many who seek to spend a couple of nights relaxing by the tranquil waters and mountainous surroundings, while discovering the unique, local traditions.
Known for their unusual leg-rowing technique, the regional Intha people use traditional boats for transport and live in wooden stilt-house villages. Moving along the water, you can visit some of the lake’s floating markets to buy locally woven blankets and other keepsakes.
This morning you’ll be transferred to Nyaung Shwe to visit temples and nunneries in town around the town. Explore the local market, temples and nunneries before heading out of the town centre towards the lake’s rural eastern shores. There are many fields in this area and, depending on the time of year, you will be able to see farmers planting or harvesting their crops.
Your guide will collect and transfer you to Red Mountain Estate, one of Myanmar’s finest vineyards. Along the drive look out for farmers who may be planting or harvesting depending on the time of year. At the vineyard you will enjoy a wine tasting, lunch and wonderful panoramic lake and mountain views.
After breakfast, visit the lake’s morning market. The market rotates its location around the lake’s villages in a 5 day rhythm and is visited by lake inhabitants and surrounding hill tribes who come to sell and trade their wares. Continue past villages inhabited by the Intha people who build their houses on stilts and floating gardens built up from strips of water hyacinth and mud and anchored to the bottom with bamboo poles. You will also see the leg rowing fishermen of the lake who steer their boats with incredible balance. The trip will also include some sightseeing at some of the lake’s most renowned sites. Stop at the Nga Hpe Chaung Monastery famous for its dozens of Shan Buddha statues as well as the resident cats which have been trained to jump through hoops. Continue to Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, the lake’s main sanctuary, which contains 5 sacred Buddha images, and proceed to the village of Inpawkhone to observe the traditional silk weaving techniques of Innthar people. Inpawkhone is also known for its weaving from the stems of lotus flowers, a time consuming process that results in high quality materials famous throughout the country. We will also visit a cheroot factory where the local Burmese cigars are rolled by hand.
Private transfer to Heho airport
Flight from Bagan to Thandwe airport
Private transfer from Thandwe to Ngapali Beach
Accommodation in Ngapali Beach
- 32 air-conditioned villas
- Beachside location
- Restaurant with terrace
Ngapali Bay Villas & Spa is located on a stretch of quiet beach, overlooking the Bay of Bengal. It’s a peaceful and private spot to unwind on Myanmar’s most popular beach, and is easy to access at only thirty minutes from Thandwe Airport. There are 32 air-conditioned villas that make up the accommodation, all with views of the water, and created with teak wood and marble. Each villa is full of unique antiques and artworks, with four varieties available: some have private plunge pools, whereas others are sat right on the beach. The Frangipani Spa perfectly compliments the chilled-out vibe at Ngapali Bay, with four treatment rooms and massages, body scrubs and facials on offer. The ‘After Sun Treatment’ with lavender oil is ideal at the end of a day catching a few too many rays by the pool! Ngapali Bay’s restaurant takes full advantage of the water-side setting and serves fresh seafood out on the terrace that overlooks the beach, along regional dishes. Taking in the view across the water at sunset from the bar is the perfect ending to a day at Ngapali.
- 42 cottages
- Restaurant & bar
- Swimming pool
- Bicycle rental
Set by the calm Bay of Bengal, Aureum Palace Ngapali is a great place to spend a few days relaxing and unwinding after or before a tour of enchanting Myanmar. The 42 teak cottages each have private balconies that face either the lush gardens or the glittering sea. There are three categories: Executive, Ocean View and Garden View. All have outdoor jacuzzis, but the Executive cottages go one better with their private pools. The Nature Spa delivers a variety of massages from its pavilion on the beach: try the traditional Myanmar massage which focuses on compression points without the need for oil. If you’re more of an active type, you can delve straight into any of the excursions and trips from Aureum, which range from snorkelling and fishing to cooking lessons and ox-cart or bicycle rides. Ocean Bay Restaurant has fabulous sea views and serves Burmese and western dishes with plenty of fresh seafood on the menu. You can also dine at the Poolside Bar, or enjoy a healthy salad at the Garden Salad Bar. Meanwhile, the boat-shaped Ye’ Hlay Bar will keep you well-hydrated with cocktails and refreshments.
- 87 bungalows and cabanas
- Restaurant and lounge
- Swimming pool
Just a 30-minute drive from Thandwe Airport, Amata is a sleekly designed resort with excellent dining options on the pretty beach of Ngapali. The 87 bungalows and cabanas are made of teak wood, bamboo and rattan, effortlessly fitting in with the beautiful sandy shores of Ngapali Beach. There are four room types, some with wonderful sea views, others set in the gardens shrouded by thick vegetation for a private retreat. From fresh seafood to traditional Burmese curries, there’s a selection of eastern and western dishes on offer at the Dwarawaddy Restaurant, which also boasts a sushi bar. After dinner, you can head to the Kissapanadi lounge and bar for a cold beer or cocktail to leisurely draw the day to a close. After you’ve exhausted the activities on offer – which range from golfing at the nearby nine-hole course to kayaking off Ngapali Beach – you can head to Amata Spa for a variety of local and international massages and treatments: the ideal accompaniment to a chilled beach escape in Myanmar.
A beach retreat might not be what you first think of when considering a holiday in Myanmar, but arriving in Ngapali, you'll find a wonderful stretch of palm trees and fine, white sand lining the clear, azure-blue waters of the Bay of Bengal. The main draw of Ngapali is the serene, unspoiled beach, which is blissfully devoid of piles of resorts and noisy bars, making this a real hidden gem of Southeast Asia.
Private transfer from Ngapali Beach to Thandwe airport
Flight from Thandwe airport to Yangon
Private transfer from Yangon airport to your hotel
Accommodation in Yangon (Rangoon)
- Restaurant, cafe, bar & lounge
- Business centre
A relic of Myanmar‘s colonial history dating back to 1901, The Strand played host to Rudyard Kipling during his journey through then-Burma, amongst many other famed writers and travellers. Today, many things have changed – there’s Wi-Fi in all the rooms and the complimentary mini-bars are refreshed daily – but the hotel’s elegant charm and the first-rate, attentive service remain constant with butlers manning every floor 24-hours-a-day, each armed with an unfailingly sunny and helpful disposition. The four suites types are spacious and airy, with teak wood floors, antiques to decorate, ceiling fans, and floor-to-ceiling windows. The hotel also features a spa, where travellers can go for a massage to ease away jetlag or perhaps to prepare for a long flight. Guests can dine in the sophisticated Strand Grill, with its black-and-white marble floor, chandeliers, and local music accompanying the international cuisine. The Strand Cafe is a little more casual, and the breakfast menu offers a fantastic choice of cereals, pancakes and eggs, to name but a few options: we recommend the eggs benedict. Being an old colonial hotel, it’s no surprise that high tea is also on offer, later in the evening, you can join the local expats in the grand bar for a cold G&T.
- 30 rooms and suites
- Massage rooms
- Swimming pool
- Business centre
Overlooking Yangon’s famous Shwedagon Pagoda, The Savoy is a boutique hotel in an old colonial mansion, just ten minutes away from the city centre. Service is a stand-out feature, with enthusiastically helpful staff available 24 hours a day. The rooms are very spacious, with wooden floors, polished wooden furnishings, and large windows; the suites have living areas, and are the best options for those staying for more than a couple of days, where the extra space will be appreciated. Complimentary Wi-Fi is available in all rooms and suites. The pool and adjacent lounge area make for great places to unwind away from the city bustle. You can dine at Kipling’s Restaurant, which serves a combination of western and regional cuisine, complimented by a view of Shwedagon Pagoda; there’s also a terrace, so you can make the most of the balmy evenings. Le Bistrot offers French food and is situated right next to the pool, affording guests a peaceful al fresco dining spot. For a more upbeat atmosphere, Captain’s Bar has live music on a weekly basis.
- 45 rooms & three suites
- Restaurant, lounge & bar
- In-room spa
- Outdoor swimming pool
- Lotus ponds & gardens
Set in verdant gardens, the restored teak mansion of the Governor’s Residence dates back to the 1920s, capturing a by-gone era with its classic design, manicured lawns, and location in the desirable embassy district of Yangon. As you’d expect from a Belmond hotel, the 45 rooms are spacious and tastefully appointed, with teak floors, earthy-toned silks and hand-carved furniture. Alternatively, you can choose from one the hotel’s three suites and benefit from a palatial amount of space and views of the private lotus garden. The Governor’s Residence offers a range of dining options, from the Mandalay Restaurant, serving local cuisine, to aromatic curries at the Burmese Curry Table, and on balmy evening, you can sip a refreshing cocktail in the open-air Mindon Lounge.
- 334 guestrooms
- Two restaurants
- Bar & lounge
- Outdoor pool
- Jacuzzi, sauna & steam rooms
For those looking for a smart hotel in the centre of Yangon, Sule Shangri-La Yangon is a good choice; the hotel is conveniently located right by Aung San Market and just a five-minute walk from the Sule Pagoda. Of the 334 rooms and suites, we recommend securing a room on the higher floors for the best city views and less street noise. The accommodation features quick and complimentary Wi-Fi access, full-size bathtubs, and satellite TV. The suites have living rooms, rainforest showers, and guests also get complimentary access to the Club Lounge. International food is on offer at the casual Café Sule, while the restaurant Summer Palace serves Cantonese cuisine. The Gallery Bar has a cozy pub vibe, in which to enjoy an evening drink, and high tea is laid on between 2.30pm and 5.30pm in the elegant Peacock Lounge. An outdoor swimming pool, Jacuzzi, sauna, steam room, and beauty centre provide ample opportunities for unwinding in the hotel, while the fitness room will mean gym bunnies won’t have to forego their morning workouts.
The gateway to Myanmar, Yangon is the country’s main hub for business, transport and culture, dotted with lush parks and pretty lakes. Though this is a vibrant and busy city, Yangon has not yet been infiltrated with global brands or corporations, and instead boasts friendly locals and lively street markets, amid the grand old buildings of the colonial era with the golden Shwedagon Pagoda its centrepiece
Named ‘The Garden City of the East’, Yangon blends a wealth of activity and tradition with verdant pockets of tropical trees and evergreen scenery. As night falls, the scents and flavours of Chinatown seem to intensify, making this a fantastic place to wander and explore, while daytime visits to the shaded parks and museums offer a welcome respite from the heat.
Explore Yangon on this half-day walking tour around the central districts of downtown. Highlights include City Hall, the old railway station and the former Minister’s office where General Aung San was assassinated. Interspersed in the guided walk are various religious sites such as the St Mary’s Cathedral, built in 1899, and the Buddhist landmarks of Sule Paya and Botataung Pagoda.
By walking through the streets you’ll also have a chance to witness the lifestyles of the locals - from the busy bus and boat stations to the tea shops and hidden street markets. There are plenty of chances to interact with Yangon residents and learn more about the Burmese culture. Finally, stop for a cup of tea or coffee at a popular local tea shop.
This evening you will be taken to the Shwedagon Pagoda to see it glitter in the light of oil lamps. This special lighting ceremony takes place with the locals as night falls and incense and seemingly endless rows of golden light fills the air.
Step back in time and discover the rich culture and past of Myanmar with this guided day trip through Yangon's art and antiques scene. Visit shops filled with remnants of Myanmar's past and seek out hidden gems, enjoy lunch at a 100 year old colonial mansion and explore the city's art galleries.
The Chinatown neighborhood is extremely lively in the evening and we’ll take a short walking tour along 19th Street, famous for its barbeque restaurants. Dozens of vendors set up satay stalls and other snack stalls here in the evening and it is a popular spot for locals to gather, have a drink and chat with friends. Enjoy a dinner of delicious grilled meats, seafood and vegetable dishes with traditional dipping sauces and side dishes
Private transfer from hotel to Yangon airport
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Classic Myanmar Explorer
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We create fully personalised trips from start to finish, working with you to pick locations, accommodation and guides that suit you.
Each time you travel with us, you preserve an acre of precious rainforest through our partnerships.
From in-depth private tours to restaurant reservations, we take care of every detail so you can make the most of your journey.