Expat Holidays Thailand

Family Fun in Myanmar

  • NPL BEACH 01
  • BAGAN-001
  • COOKING CLASS IN BAGAN 03
  • ELEPHANT CAMP 02
  • BALLOON OVER BAGAN 001
  • MT. POPA 03
  • INLE-001
  • DHALA BY BIKE 003
  • NGAPALI BEACH 001
  • NGAPALI BEACH 002
  • YANGON-001
  • NPL BEACH 02
  • COOKING CLASS IN BAGAN 02

This Myanmar family tour is tailor-made for families with younger kids who want to explore as much of the country as possible, while keeping a slower pace and variety of activities to keep the kids (and parents!) entertained throughout the holiday.  After exploring all the must-sees of Myanmar, this family tour ends with relaxation time in Ngpali Beach.

As with all of our tours, this itinerary can be tailored to suit your requirements – one more or less day here and there, more free time, different sightseeing options, different accommodations, etc.

Route: Yangon – Bagan – Mt. Popa – Kalaw – Inle Lake – Yangon
Holiday highlights
  • Sunset picnic in Kandawgyi park in Yangon
  • Cooking class in a local home in Bagan
  • Horse cart riding around Bagan temples
  • Mt. Popa tour
  • Green Hill Valley Elephant Conservation Project
  • Scenic train ride Kalaw – Inle
  • Boat tour around Inle Lake
  • Beach time in Ngpali
Brief itinerary

Day 1: Yangon arrival

Day 2: Yangon exploration

Day 3: Yangon – Bagan

Day 4: Bagan

Day 5: Bagan – Mt. Popa

Day 6: Mt. Popa – Bagan

Day 7: Bagan – Heho – Kalaw

Day 8: Kalaw – Indein – Inle Lake

Day 9: Inle Lake

Day 10: Inle Lake – Heho – Ngpali Beach

Day 11: Beach time until flight to Yangon for departure

Recommended for

Families with younger or older kids. For families who are more active and want to include some trekking, biking, kayaking and other activities please refer to our Mynmar Active Adventure Tour and let us suggest how we can customize your Mynamar family holiday!

DAY 1 / YANGON ARRIVAL

Welcome to Yangon! Upon arrival meet your local guide and transfer to your hotel.  Rest of the day is free at leisure, or depending on your flight time, we can suggest some activities.

Meals this day: none

DAY 2 / YANGON

Today you will delve in to Myanmar’s culture with a full day excursion around Yangon.

Set off with your local guide and transfer to Yangon’s Central Station where you will board the “Circular Train”. This slow-moving train is used as a commuter train by main locals as it circles the outskirts of the city and stops in dozens of neighbourhoods. As you travel around, enjoy the buzz on board as vendors hop on and off and look out the windows to get a clear overview of the city (train ride is about 20 minutes, please take note that the trains are very simple, and used by many locals during the day). Disembark in the suburbs and visit the bustling market where locals come to buy colorful fruits, fresh vegetables and chat with the friendly vendors. Transfer back to town and free time to relax before your afternoon excursion.

This afternoon we will use another local transportation method to explore Dhala, a small village on the opposite bank of the Yangon River. A multi-level ferry shuttles locals back and forth between the village and the city and we’ll join them for the 15 minute journey across the water. It’s a fascinating way to see the contrast between the modern city and local suburbs. Upon reaching Dhala travel by trishaw through the side streets, stopping to meet with friendly locals or explore the monasteries and markets in the area. Return via ferry to Yangon in the late afternoon and transfer to your hotel.

OPTION: PICNIC IN THE ROYAL PARK

Head to Kandawgyi Park, a favorite place for local families to gather to play or relax after work or on the weekends. It’s beautiful lake and views of Shwedagon Pagoda make it an ideal place for a picnic. Arrive as the sun is setting, casting its rays on an illuminated Shwedagon Pagoda, and head to your picnic location where a mat and food has been laid out. Snack on delicious dishes, enjoy a glass of local beer or wine from one of the country’s vineyards and interact with the local families.

 

Meals this day: breakfast

DAY 3 / YANGON – BAGAN

It’s an early start this morning as you transfer to the airport for a flight north to Bagan. Bagan was one of the greatest cities in Myanmar from the 9th to 13th centuries and more than 2000 brick monuments were built, most of which remain standing today. It is truly a remarkable place. Upon arrival you will be greeted at the airport and transferred to you hotel for check in.

Upon landing, we’ll start exploring the temples, villages and riverside of Bagan. Start with an elevated temple where you can climb atop to see panoramic views of the Bagan plains. This viewpoint will give you a taste of the sheer number of temples as well as some of their distinctive styles. Continue to various other temples dotted around the temple plains, including highlights such as Ananda and Shwesandaw, to experience a variety of architectural styles and artistic wonder of a bygone era. Traveling amid the temples you will get a taste of rural Bagan life in this ‘living museum’ setting where farmers and families work amongst the monuments.

After a short siesta back at your hotel, you will board a private river boat and set off upriver on a sunset cruise. Sitting either under the shade or on the open-deck you’ll be treated to fabulous views as you cruise down the Irrawaddy River. The views of Bagan from the river are particularly spectacular and offer a different perspective from the land based tours. As the sun begins to sink slowly from view, stop at a sandbank where you will learn how to play the cane ball, a popular local sport with families. Enjoy a game with locals and your family before re-joining your boat and cruising back to Bagan. From the jetty, transfer back to you hotel for the evening.

Meals this day: breakfast

DAY 4 / BAGAN

OPTION: HOT AIR BALLOON RIDE OVER BAGAN

The morning will start off with an exciting hot-air balloon ride above the Bagan countryside. You will observe one-of-a-kind views when the sun begins to rise over the Irrawaddy River and various stupas in the region. You’re simply not going to find many other opportunities like this on Earth. (Only available from October/November through March)

Transfer to a local home for a Myanmar traditional cooking experience. Your friendly host will great you and explain her market finds of the day, and if you’re in luck, some seasonal vegetables native to Bagan region will be on the menu. Share cooking methods, stories and some laughs as you prepare your lunch. After 1:30 – 2 hours of cooking, it’s time to enjoy the meal together in the home garden.

In the late afternoon, you will continue your journey by horse cart for an excursion that passes Thatbyinnyu, the tallest temple in Bagan, gigantic Dhammayangyi Temple noted for its remarkable brickwork, and of course, Sulamani Temple. Cap off the day watching the sun set from an elevated pagoda.

Meals this day: breakfast, lunch

DAY 5 / BAGAN – MT. POPA

After breakfast we set off on the scenic drive to Mount Popa (50 km, 1.5 hours). The local people believe Mount Popa is home to the nats, 37 spirits worshiped by the Burmese, and thus it is a popular pilgrimage site.
As you drive away from Bagan you will pass through a flat, dry zone- one of the driest areas of the country- before starting to ascend in to the hills. Mount Popa is actually an extinct volcano rising more than 1500 meters in elevation. As you approach, in the distance you will see ‘Taung Kalat’, the sharp volcanic plug believed to be the nats home. Depending on the time, you may head to your hotel first for check in and to enjoy the views over the temple plain. Then head to the base of Taung Kalat where 777 steps take you to the top. You’ll be joined by local families and other worshipers who come to pay homage to the nats– as well as a few cheeky monkeys who live at Popa. Although the final climb to Popa’s summit is optional, it is strongly recommended as the views over the Myingyan Plain are truly magnificent.

Return to your hotel in the late afternoon and enjoy the fresh air, spring-fed swimming pool and tranquil setting of the resort.

Meals this day: breakfast

DAY 6 / MT. POPA – BAGAN

This morning is free at your leisure. You may wish to take a short walk through the surrounding forest, particularly if you are a bird-watcher, or enjoy additional time at the swimming pool.

Return to Bagan this afternoon. On the way back, stop in the countryside at a toddy farm. Here you will see the local farmers at work harvesting the juice from the toddy trees and then processing it in to various forms such as alcohol, sugar and molasses.  Continue to Bagan and check in to your hotel.  Rest of the day is free at leisure.

Meals this day: breakfast

DAY 7 / BAGAN – HEHO – KALAW

A short domestic flight in the mornign takes you in to the Shan hills and the town of Heho.

Transfer by road through the winding hills to the village of Magwe, around 25 kilometres from Kalaw (2 hours total drive time). Arrive at the Green Hill Valley Elephant Project, a ‘retirement’ home for logging elephants whose aim is to protect local ecology, elephants and traditions of the regions’ people. The activities for visitors are intended to expose the natural beauty of the area as well as the explain the importance of elephants and their mahouts in Myanmar.

You’ll be greeted by the local team at the camp rest house and, while having a refreshing drink, will be given a briefing on the camp’s background and activities. From here it is a short (5-10 minutes) walk to the river where the elephants may be bathing or foraging for food. Encountering these animals in their natural environment is a truly special treat. You will then have the opportunity to climb on the back of an elephant and explore the forest. The indigenous flora and fauna includes dozens of bird species, butterflies and a variety of orchids.

Enjoy lunch of locally-grown produce and then visit the re-forestation project where, if you wish, you can get your hands dirty and plant a sapling.

After saying goodbye to your hosts at Green Hill Valley, drive to Kalaw (1 hour) in the late afternoon and transfer to your hotel for check-in.

(NOTE: As the elephants are allowed to roam free and are not kept chained at night, there is a rare occurrence where the elephants are not around.  This project is aimed at preserving the natural ways of life of these animals and their mahouts and not developed as a ‘zoo’. Similarly, the program may need to be altered in the case of severe rain)

Meals this day: breakfast, lunch

DAY 8 / KALAW  – INDEIN – INLE LAKE

OPTION: SCENIC LOCAL TRAIN RIDE KALAW – HEHO

If you like a bit of adventure, there is an option to travel by local train from Kalaw – Heho (2-3 hours) The train route is very scenic, passing through mountains and farm fields and it will also offer further insight into local life.  You will hardly see any other tourists on this train!

This morning take a scenic drive (92km – 02:30 hours) to Nyaung Shwe, the gateway village to Inle Lake. Along the way, if you wish, stop in to see rural workshops that specialize in traditional Shan paper and unique handcrafted umbrellas.

From Nyaung Shwe you will board a private motorboat and go to Inle Lake, one of Myanmar’s most spectacular and breathtaking sights. Its calm waters are dotted with floating vegetation and fishing canoes, to which scenic hills provide the perfect backdrop. Observe the daily activities of the local leg-rowing fishermen and see their ‘floating gardens’, which are built up from strips of water hyacinth, earth and anchored to the bottom of the lake with bamboo poles.

Visit Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, which contains five sacred images of Buddha decorated in gold leaf. There are also many traditional crafts originating on Inle Lake and, should you wish, we can stop for a visit to one making incredible woven items from lotus silk, boat builders (depending on the time of year), a cigar making workshop, blacksmiths or even silver smiths.

After lunch, a 1-hour boat ride down a small canal will take you to the Pa-Oh village of Indein, positioned on the western shores of Inle Lake. Take a leisurely stroll around the village before ascending the moss-covered stairway to the top of a hill. Once you’ve arrived at the summit, you will be greeted buy an iconic Buddha image which sits enshrined among hundreds of stupa ruins and overgrown shrubbery. Then it’s time to embark on a 45 minutes trek to Sae Ma village. Along the way, you’ll enjoy the natural beauty and panoramic vistas of the area while basking under the shade of the bamboo grooves in the area. Upon arrival at the village, observe the daily lifestyles of the rural inhabitants.

On your boat ride back, should time allow, stop at the Inthar Heritage House to learn more about the history and culture of the lake’s indigenous people and enjoy a delicious coffee and cake. As an exciting day comes to close transfer back to your hotel for some well-deserved relaxation.

Meals this day: breakfast

 DAY 9 / INLE LAKE

After moving around during previous days, today is a free day to relax and enjoy the views of the lake and your resort’s facilities.  If you wish to further explore the area, we can suggest some excursions

Meals this day: breakfast

 DAY 10 / INLE LAKE – HEHO – THANDWE – NGPALI BEACH

Free at leisure until transfer back to Heho airport for a direct flight to Thandawe.  Upon arrival transfer (20-30 min) to Ngpali Beach.

Meals this day: breakfast

 DAY 11 UNTIL DEPARTURE / NGPALI BEACH

Depending on how much time you have, the rest of your family holiday is spent relaxing at the beach.

You can chill out on the white beach and swim in the crystal waters, or ride a bike to the nearest village and stroll through the alleys while watching the lively and colorful local life flowing and fishermen placidly coming back from their fishing trips.

If you want to explore the marine life a little further, join a boat trip and snorkel or dive close to one of the many islands off the coast. You’ll be overwhelmed by the bright and shiny colors of underwater life.

Meals this day: breakfast

 LAST DAY / NGPALI BEACH – THANDWE – YANGON – DEPARTURE

Free at leisure until transfer back to Thandwe airport for a direct flight to Yangon where you will connect to your departure flight.

Meals this day: breakfast

Best time to go

Myanmar is tropical and influenced by the monsoons and there are distinct 3 seasons. Travel is possible throughout the year however it is better to plan your trip to some places with the following in mind:

Best travel time is the winter (November – February) when it is dry and rather cool (20-30°C) and little humidity. It seldom rains in these months. In the mountain areas of the Shan and Chin states, it can get very cold at night and the northern state of Kachin often experiences snow during this period. Warm clothing is advised for those travelling to Myanmar during this period, particularly as some hotels and restaurants are not well insulated.

The hot season (March – May) temperatures are in the range 30-35°C. Some places become extremely hot. Bagan and Mandalay reach temperatures up to 45°C while the Shan & Chin states may still have comfortable temperature around 20°C to 30°C. However it is very pleasant in the mountains during this period. This is the best season for trekking in the mountains or a boat trip at the Gulf of Bengal.

Rainy season (May – October) has temperatures between 25-35 °C with high humidity. In the evenings temperature falls to 20 °C.  But in the north and central Burma the temperature falls to as low as 10 °C. The South West monsoon during this time brings heavy rainfalls, mostly on the coast. It is advisable to avoid coastal areas during these months. There is rain in upper Myanmar at this time but not nearly as much. The rain greens everything and nature lovers find this the best time to visit.

Myanmar_Weather

Myanmar visa information

All Myanmar visa must now be obtained online here or at your local embassy.

Extension options

Extend this trip with some relaxation at Ngpali Beach in South Myanmar.

Tailor – made

All of our suggested itineraries are based on holidays that have been very popular with our clients.  However we strongly believe that each holiday should be unique to the traveler.  Absolutely anything in our itineraries can be tailored to suit your requirements, travel style and budget.  Simply contact us and let us design your custom holiday!

Private

We never mix groups during holidays.  All the holidays are arranged for your group only so you can travel at your own pace.

Independent travel

The most consistent feedback from our clients is how amazing our guides are!  We strongly believe that having a guide can add some much value to your travel experience.  With that said, we totally understand that some travelers prefer to explore independently.  If this is your travel style – we can still help you!  We can arrange your holiday without guides, suggest activities that you will enjoy, advise the best way to get around, how much to pay for things, etc.  We simply help you plan a logical itinerary, book accommodation and necessary transfers along the way.

Planning process

We work together with you until you are 100% satisfied with your itinerary.

  • Initial contact by phone or email to ask you some questions to help us fully understand your travel style, requirements, budget etc.
  • We send you a detailed itinerary proposal with prices
  • You review, and if needed, reply with requested changes.
  • We send you updated proposal.
  • Continue this process until you are 100% happy with and accept the proposal.

Prices often vary due to travel period, best accommodation rates during that period, number of persons traveling, etc.  Please send us your holiday requirements and and approximate budget (if you have one in mind) and we will get back to you with a detailed quotation right away.

Free planning. No booking fees.

Our philosophy is simple: our tours will not cost clients more than if they arrange the same tour themselves.  We do not charge any ‘fees’ whatsoever.  How do we make profit?  Our profit comes from suppliers we use – hotels, transport, tour companies, etc.  Rates we get as a travel agency are much lower than direct booking (or booking website) rates.  This allows us to offer tours to our clients at lower prices, or at worst the same, as they would be if booking all the services directly.  To simplify – you save money, time and receive our expert advice for free.

Please provide as much information as possible.  We respond to most requests right away during work hours and always within 12 hours.

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Hotel options for this holiday

These are popular hotels that we have used for this holiday.  If you have other hotels in mind, or would like more options let us know.

Location Superior hotels (room type) Premium hotels (room type) Deluxe hotels (room type)
Yangon Hotel Reno (deluxe) Kandawgyi Palace (deluxe) The Strand Hotel (superior suite)
Bagan Shwe Yee Pwint (bagan room) Areindmar (deluxe) Aureum Palace Resort (orchid villa)
Mt. Popa Mt. Popa Resort (deluxe taungklat view) Mt. Popa Resort (deluxe taungklat view) Mt. Popa Resort (deluxe taungklat view)
Kalaw Pine Hill (deluxe) Amara Moutain (deluxe) Amara Mountain (deluxe)
Lake Inle Amata (deluxe) Pristine Lotus Inle (inle lotus villa) Villa Inle (lakefront villa)

Holiday includes

  • Accommodation with daily breakfast
  • Meals as mentioned in the program
  • Activities and sightseeing as mentioned in the program
  • Local English speaking station guides (different guides in each destination – one guide per town)
  • Ground transportation with air conditioned vehicle with drivers on touring days
  • Entrance fees for visits mentioned in the program (except camera fees)
  • Private motorized boat on Inle Lake

Holiday excludes

  • International and domestic airfare (quoted separately)
  • Any meals not mentioned in the program
  • Personal expenses
  • Travel insurance

Map

About our holidays

Tailor – made

All of our suggested itineraries are based on holidays that have been very popular with our clients.  However we strongly believe that each holiday should be unique to the traveler.  Absolutely anything in our itineraries can be tailored to suit your requirements, travel style and budget.  Simply contact us and let us design your custom holiday!

Private

We never mix groups during holidays.  All the holidays are arranged for your group only so you can travel at your own pace.

Prices

Prices can vary often due to things such as travel period, best accommodation rates during that period, number of persons traveling, etc.  Please send us your holiday requirements and and approximate budget (if you have one in mind) and we will get back to you with a detailed quotation right away.

Request a quote or more information

Your Name (required)

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Your Telephone (required)

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Testimonials

  • My husband and I have been living in SE Asia for 3.5 years and have used Lenny’s services on many occasions! From a night in Bangkok, to Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, to arranging everything for a trip for my in-laws, he’s been able to manage it all quickly and efficiently! He is very thorough and provides clear details that ensure you have a magnificent experience. I tell everyone I know about Lenny and his services! I highly recommend getting in touch with him to plan your next SE Asia trip!

    Laurie Ranz, expats based in Bangladesh
  • Thank you Lenny and team for making our trip to Thailand so memorable! All the transfers and tours were exactly as described and we felt at ease the whole trip knowing your team were working away making sure we enjoyed it. Thanks for all the recommendations and especially the elephant tour, definite highlight! We’ve already passed your details to others because we know our friends and family will be in good hands when booking their trips through you. Thank you again for taking such good care of us!

    Reena Mandora from UK – Bangkok and North Thailand tour
  • Lenny, I just wanted to pass along some words of thanks. You have done a fantastic job assisting us with our retirement vacation that you tailored to our needs. 6 weeks in Asia was was ambitious but was made stress free through your help. Our hotels were gems, in great locations, with a staff that were more than helpful. Transfers to and from the airport were perfect. It was nice to see a smiling face there for us in each new location that we visited. I would highly recommend this service to anyone looking to book. Your communication to us was amazing (I couldn’t imagine how it could be any better). We always knew what was happening in the next few days. It was nice to have the safety net of being able to get in touch with the owner of Expat Holidays knowing that we would have a response to our inquiry in a short period of time. Our guides were knowledgeable and were easily able to communicate with us. Special thanks to our guide, Mr. Sophy, from Siem Reap. He went above and beyond. Finally, even though we made a few last minute changes, they always went off without a hitch from your end.
    We will be recommending Expat to our friends and family (our daughter is already talking about coming back to this part of the world) when we get home.

    Rob Kruse from Canada – Thailand & Indochina tour in 2016
  • We were a group of 8 touring from South Africa. We contacted Lenny and from day 1 everything he advised us on turned out perfectly. He accommodated our every need and structured our trip according to what we wanted. Lenny even made the effort to meet us at our hotel in Bangkok, for a meet and greet. It is always good meeting the person behind all the arrangements. Everything was well arranged and on time, from our day trips to our transfers to either hotel, airport or train station. The accommodation was also top class. I would highly recommend Lenny and Expat Holidays Thailand, to anyone considering traveling to this beautiful country and its very friendly people. We certainly will be back in the future and will make use of Lenny’s services again. Thank you Lenny, for a great experience.

    Ingrid Bailey from South Africa – Thailand family tour in 2016
  • This company is absolutely amazing. Our tour was organized perfectly from the first minute to the last. The itinerary, the varieties of sightseeing, the service deserve the top prize. Our guide Peter and our driver were very attentive. Peter is knowledgeable, with a sense of humor, and very cheerful. Our accommodation was excellent. I am dreaming now about going back to Thailand and explore more with Expat Holidays Thailand. They are the best!

    Elena Yzgur from USA – 2 day tour of Bangkok and Ayutthaya from a cruise ship