Expat Holidays Thailand

Myanmar Active Adventure Tour

  • BAGAN-001
  • BALLOON OVER BAGAN 001
  • INLE-001
  • KAYAKING ON INLE LAKE 001
  • DHALA BY BIKE 002
  • TREKKING FROM KALAW TO INLE LAKE 002
  • TREKKING FROM KALAW TO INLE LAKE 003
  • KALAW MARKET
  • KAYAKING ON INLE LAKE 002
  • BALLOON OVER BAGAN 002
  • DHALA BY BIKE 001
  • DHALA BY BIKE 003
  • DHALA BY BIKE 004

As Myanmar experiences new beginnings and opens up its arms to new opportunities, now is the time to experience what is has to offer! If you want to feel fresh cool mountain air as you kayak on Inle Lake or bike around thousand year old temples of Bagan, than this Myanmar adventure and discovery tour is for you! Ideally for individuals, couples and families who love to explore and discover while keeping active, this tour can also be customized to suit your individual travel style and preferred activity level.

Route: Mandalay – Bagan – Kalaw – Inle Lake – Yangon
Holiday highlights
  • Explore ancient cities of Amarapura and Ava by bike
  • Boat trip Mandalay – Bagan
  • Biking around ancient temples in Bagan
  • 3 day 2 night trekking tour around Kalaw and Inle Lake
  • Kayaking and boat trip on Inle Lake
  • Exploring Yangon by bike
Brief itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Mandalay and bike tour around Amarapura and Ava

Day 2: Boat cruise to Bagan

Day 3: Biking around Bagan

Day 4: Fly to Inle and start trekking

Day 5: Trekking

Day 6: Trekking

Day 7: Kayaking and boat trip around Inle Lake

Day 8: Fly to Yangon and biking tour

Day 9: Departure

Recommended for

Couples, solo travelers, families who like to be active and don’t mind moving around.

DAY 1 / MANDALAY ARRIVAL

Welcome to Mandalay! Upon arrival meet your local guide and transfer to your hotel.

In the early afternoon transfer out of the hustle and bustle of the city to our biking start point. The ride starts out passing through farms and villages where, instead of fighting traffic, we will be encountering friendly smiling locals and farm animals wandering around the roadside. We’ll stop in the home town of Mayor U Bein, for whom the bridge was named, to learn about the Muslim community there and their 200-year history in the area. Continue along shady paths through Ava, also known as Inwa, getting a bit of a rest as we cross the small canal by ferry boat. From here we continue toward U Bein Bridge. One of Myanmar’s most iconic sites, U Bein is a teak bridge spanning more than 2 kilometres over Taung Ta Man Lake and watching the sunset from the lake shores is a memorable way to end the day. After soaking in the views we drive back to Mandalay arriving around 19.00. (This biking trip is easy-moderate: total cycling distance is 20 km on flat, mostly sealed roads but at times a bit bumpy)

Meals this day: none

DAY 2 / MANDALAY – LOCAL BOAT TO BAGAN

An early morning transfer takes you to a jetty on the banks of the Irrawaddy River where your private river boat is waiting for boarding. The vessel has both shaded and open seating areas as well as western-style toilets. After everyone has boarded, the ship will cast off for a full day of cruising.

Depending on the water conditions there may be an opportunity during the day to go ashore for a village walk however this is subject to the captain’s discretion for safety reasons. Leaving the city of Mandalay behind you will quickly be traveling on stretches of water lined with farms or wild foliage. Temple spires or riverside monuments appear sporadically along the way and villages appear in what seems to be the middle of nowhere. On the water itself you will likely pass by boats transporting goods, petrol or wood up and down the river, fishermen patiently casting their nets again and again or the occasional gathering of local villagers on the banks washing or playing in the refreshing water.

In the late afternoon the boat begins to approach Bagan and this is truly the most magical part of the journey as slowly temples begin to appear in the distance and seemingly multiply as you get closer. Depending on the water level the entire cruise takes 8-10 hours and generally dock at Bagan’s Nyaung U jetty around 18.00.

Here you will collect your entry ticket to the Archeological Zone and transfer to your hotel for check in (without guide).

Meals this day: breakfast, lunch

DAY 3 / BAGAN BIKING AND HORSE CART RIDING

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)

After breakfast at your hotel, your guide and driver will pick you up to start your Bagan biking excursion.  Option of using normal or electric bikes.  Explore the Old Bagan starting with a visit of the renowned Shwezigon Pagoda, constructed by King Anawrahta in the early 11th century as a religious memorial. Travel over dusty lanes and tree shaded roads past temples and monasteries to a small village. At one of the monasteries you will participate in a special traditional Buddhist ceremony.

In the afternoon you will journey on 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. Take pleasure in an extraordinary sunset from the upper terrace of one of the surrounding temples.

Meals this day: breakfast

DAY 4 / BAGAN – HEHO – START TREKKING TOUR – THA YET PU – WA GYI MAYAUNG

Early in the morning transfer to Bagan airport for a short flight to Heho – gateway to Inle Lake.

From Heho airport, transfer by car to Tha Yet Pu, a Pa-O tribal village which you reach by an hour car journey. Leaving your luggage with the driver to transfer to your Inle Lake hotel, set off on a one hour hike to the Danu tribe village of Kan Par Ni village. Along the way you will see evidence of the staple produce of the area – potatoes, ginger, rice and wheat. Spend around an hour at the village meeting the friendly locals and watching the traditional pottery making and blacksmithing. A further one hour trek will take you to the village of Sue Pan Inn where you will stop for lunch. This afternoon is a light hike of around 1.5 hours to your overnight destination, War Gyi Myaung. If you still have energy, it’s recommended to cross the paddy fields and climb the small nearby hill to take advantage of the dramatic panoramic view of the Inle Lake shimmering in the sun. Overnight stay in homestay or monastery.

(Total walking time: 5 hrs.)

Meals this day: breakfast, lunch, dinner

DAY 5 / TREKKING – THA YET MAYAUNG

This morning enjoy breakfast at your host family house and observe the morning activities of the village. The early morning hours are some of the busiest as farmers and vendors take advantage of the cooler temperatures to get their work done. Its then time to set off on another great day of trekking. A two hour hike brings you to the village of Taung Boe Hla where you will have the chance to look around a small monastery. From here you will pass through lush forest and cross streams by bamboo bridges to reach the village of Sale Kyit where you will stop for lunch. A two hour trek this afternoon will take you to your overnight destination of Tha Yet Myaung. This quiet village is a relaxing place to spend the evening. Overnight stay in homestay or monastery.

(Total walking time: 5 hrs.)

Meals this day: breakfast, lunch, dinner

DAY 6 / TREKKING – INDEIN – INLE LAKE

For your last day of trekking, set off early for a 4.5 hour hike to Indein. As you walk, you will pass many of the ubiquitous cheroot leaf plantations that litter the region. These leaves are used to roll local cigars which are very popular throughout Myanmar. You will also walk through several villages of both the Inthar and Pa-O tribes, two of the larger ethnic groups in the Inle region and with unique local dress, language and traditions.

Early this afternoon you will reach Indein, one of the most amazing sites around the shore of the lake consisting of hundreds of small stupas which are overrun by moss and greenery. After a look around Indein a boat will be waiting to transfer you to your hotel.

(Total walking time: 4.5 – 5 hrs.)

Meals this day: breakfast

DAY 7 / INLE LAKE KAYAKING AND BOAT TOUR

After breakfast enjoy a scenic boat ride from your hotel until you reach the starting point (around 45 min depending on your hotel location) of your kayaking adventure near Impakhone village. Located right next to a small restaurant you can jump at the chance to have a quiet cup of coffee and some snacks and get changed before embarking on your kayaking expedition (around 9AM). Equipped with life jackets you will start kayaking southbound the narrow waterways of the lake. Feel close to nature as you move on the tranquil waters flanked by high mountains passing by small weaving villages on stilts, vegetable farms, one-hut schools and one leg rowing fishermen that have become the symbol of the local Intha tribe. After around one hour and half paddling stop at a floating village and take a well-deserved break (water and soft drinks provided). The last leg of your journey (about 45 minutes) takes you to the village of Taung Tho from where you will head back by motor boat and continue visiting all the must-sees around the lake.

Meals this day: breakfast

DAY 8 / HEHO – YANGON – BIKING IN DHALA

Early morning transfer to Heho airport for a flight to Yangon

Upon arrival at the airport you will be warmly welcomed by your guide who will take you to Pansodan Jetty to get on a local, two-deck ferry in order to cross the Yangon River to Dhala, a charming low-lying township. Since Dhala does not have  a direct bridge to Yangon, the ferry is the main mode of commuting and thus the area around the jetty- and the boat itself!- is an extremely vibrant market where many locals come to do their trading and sell snacks and other items to the ferry passengers. Upon disembark the boat in Dhala you will travel by trishaw throughout the town, which includes a visit to the colourful local market, Buddhist temples and rural neighbourhoods with plenty of opportunities to interact with the local residents. This trip is an absolute pleasure for people that like to take lots of photos, it is chock-full of beautiful scenery and amazing splendour. Have a drink on the terrace of the local tea shop at the jetty and watch the action while you take in the historical skyline of Yangon which has not changed in decades. Return to Yangon by boat in the afternoon.  Rest of the day is free at leisure.

Afterwards, you continue uptown in order to make a quick stop by the Royal Lake located in Kandawgyi Park which is very popular with local residents, especially around sunset. Catch a view of Karaweik Hall, a reproduction of a royal barge and enjoy a spectacular view of the Golden Shwedagon Pagoda. No Myanmar expedition can be considered truly great if it’s lacking a visit to the legendary Shwedagon Pagoda.

Meals this day: breakfast

 DAY 9 / YANGON – DEPARTURE

If your departure flight is not too early, today is a great time to explore more of Yangon on foot and the old colonial buildings.  If you wish, our guide can join you for this tour.  In due time transfer to airport for 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 Bawga Theddhi (superior) Tharabar Gate (deluxe) Aureum Palace Resort (orchid villa)
Mandalay Yadanarpon Dynasty (superior) Mandalay Hill (superior palace view) Rupar Mandalar (premier suite)
Trekking Local homestay or monestary Local homestay or monestary Local homestay or monestary
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
  • Mandalay – Bagan boat
  • Trekking from Kalaw to 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)

Your Email (required)

Your Telephone (required)

Subject

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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