Classic Myanmar Adventure
As a relative newcomer to adventure travel, exploring the mysterious nation of Myanmar (also known as Burma) often feels like setting foot on a foreign, untouched planet. With few other travellers to contend with, the natural and man-made wonders of this underexplored part of Southeast Asia often feel like they’ve been placed here just for you. And what wonders they are: Inle Lake’s unique floating gardens, the staggering imperial ruins of ancient Bagan, the incomparable palaces of Mandalay, and enveloping forests throughout. Unknown pleasures await – come find them.
Shwedagon Pagoda visit (Yangon). Mandalay combo entry ticket (includes most sights in Mandalay). Golden Rock visit. Amarapura visit. Sagaing visit. Bagan Archaeological Zone guided tour. Irrawaddy River boat trip. Inle Lake boat tour including floating villages (half-day). Shwemawdaw Stupa visit. Mingun boat trip. U Bein Bridge visit. Mahagandayong Monastery visit. Sagaing Hills Meditation Centre visit. Mt Popa visit. Hilltribe hike (half-day). Internal flights. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
Explore intriguing Yangon, visit the Shwedagon Pagoda, stroll Mandalay’s temples, float down the Irrawaddy River, experience the ancient ruins of Bagan, relax at Inle Lake
The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.
VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.
While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.
Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
Group Leader Description
All G Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of our Chief Experience Officers (CEO). The aim of the CEO is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting- we think it’s the best of both worlds.
Group Size Notes
Max 15, avg 12
Private bus, public bus, plane, boat, bicycle, walking.
About our Transportation
Private and Public Buses, Planes, Boats, Bicycle, Foot
All local flights are included in the cost of your tour unless otherwise noted. It is important that we have your passport information at the time of booking in order to process these tickets. Internal flight tickets are issued locally and will be given to you prior to the flight departure.
We believe single travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and single travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.
Hotels (12 nts), simple guesthouse (1 nt).
My Own Room
Day 1 of the “Full Itinerary” section provides an example of the hotels used on this trip.
For your departure specific joining hotel please refer to your tour voucher, your MyG account, the G Adventures App or consult your travel agent.
If you have not purchased an arrival transfer, upon arrival at Yangon International Airport the easiest way to get to the hotel is by taxi. There is a registered taxi stand at the exit gate of the arrivals hall where fixed rates can be paid. The airport is located approximately 30 minutes from the city centre and the rates are approximately 10-15 USD
If you have a pre-booked transfer, please look for the G Adventures representative, who will be holding a G Adventures sign at the arrival halls. If you are unable to locate our G Adventures representative, please wait up to 30 minutes, call our local staff on our emergency number, or take a taxi to the joining point hotel.
We don’t expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, as soon as possible please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your CEO (if you are not on a group tour please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier). If you are unable to get in touch with your CEO, please refer to our emergency contact details. If you have pre-booked an airport transfer and have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.
Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call the G Adventures Local Office and then our G Adventures Local Representative (if one is listed below). If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.
If you have purchased an arrival through G Adventures or if an arrival transfer is included in the cost of your tour, please note that:
Your arrival transfer has been arranged based on flight information provided to us. If you are advised of a flight schedule change within 48 hours of your scheduled arrival time, we will do our best to rearrange your arrival transfer however we cannot guarantee this. If your arrival transfer does not arrive within 30 minutes after you have exited the arrivals area please take a taxi to your start point hotel.
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Office Bangkok, Thailand
During Office hours (Weekdays, 9am-5pm Local Time)
From outside Thailand: +66 2 381 5574
From within Thailand: 02 381 5574
After hours emergency number:
From outside Thailand: +66 87 049 6074
From within Thailand: 087 049 6074
G Adventures Local Representative (Burma)
Emergency Number: +95 1 293 464
If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.
Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999
What to Take
What you need to bring depends on the trip you have chosen and the countries or regions you are planning to visit. We suggest that you pack as lightly as possible as your are expected to carry your own luggage. As a rule we try not to have to walk more than 15-20 mintues with your bags which is why we recommend keeping the weight of your bags between 10-15kg/22-30lb. Suitcases are not recommended for G Adventures trips! Most travellers carry a backpack or rolling bag of small to medium size (no XXL ones please!) as they need to fit with you in buses or on trains. You will also need a day pack/bag to carry water, cameras and other electronics like ipods and mobile phones. If your trip involves overnights in homestays, villages or camping then you usually have the opportunity to rent sleeping bags if need be instead of bringing them with you.
-Cash, credit and debit cards
-Watch and alarm clock
-Reusable water bottle
-Small travel towel and swim wear
-Sturdy walking shoes
-Fleece jacket or warm layer
-Windproof rain jacket
-Windproof rain gear
-Waterproof backpack cover
-Clothes that cover knees and shoulders (long pants/sarong)
-Camera with extra memory cards and batteries
Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap. Aboard the expedition ship Explorer laundry facilities are provided at a charge. Aboard the Amazon Explorer laundry facilities are provided free of charge for each passenger once a week.
Please note that visas for Myanmar/Burma are the responsibility of the individual traveler – most countries must obtain a visa prior to travel. The visa requirements vary depending on nationality, you can find the full details at the Foreign Services website for your country, or at the Myanmar embassy/consulate closest to you.
Please visit http://evisa.moip.gov.mm/ for the full details of the E-Visa approval letter process.
The cost of the visa is approximately $50 USD.
When filling in the form please enter the following:
Purpose of Entry: Tourism
Address in Myanmar: please use the start hotel for your tour (listed in the Joining Hotel section)
Agency Name: SunBird Tours
Agency Contact Number: 0095 1 293464/ 294050
The approval process may take up to 5 business days and the letter is valid for 90 days from the date of issue. Once the evisa approval letter is received by email, print out the approval letter and bring it with you to present upon arrival.
Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip:
We recommend roughly 300-350 USD for spending money on this trip. This can be exchanged on Day 1 in Yangon with some advice from your CEO. This allowance would cover food, drinks, camera fees and most optional activities (except for the hot air balloon). If you are a keen shopper and/or drinker, we recommend budgeting a bit more for those activities.
Please bring ONLY new, MINT CONDITION US dollars to Myanmar with you. Be specific with your bank when buying cash. If you are in the US, please be sure to go to your bank and request NEW bills- older bills with wrinkles, tears, rips, creases or marks will not be accepted.
During this tour the local currencies you will use are the Burmese Kyat and the US Dollar. As currency exchange rates in South East Asia do fluctuate, we ask that you refer to the following website for the most up to date daily exchange rates: www.xe.com for each of the above mentioned currencies.
ATMs are available in every major town in Burma but they are not always accessible, may not be functioning or may be closed. We recommend bringing MINT CONDITION US dollars to Burma and exchanging it on arrival. See “Spending Money” for more information on budgeting.
Travellers cheques can be tricky, timely and expensive to exchange. While we do not recommend that you bring them as your primary source of funds, it is great to have one or two cheques in case of emergency. Thomas Cook or American Express travellers’ cheques in US currency are the easiest to exchange. Cash advances can also be made with some banks but are time consuming and tend to have high fees attached. Credit cards can be used at some upmarket restaurants, and at some larger stores if shopping for big items. When purchasing US dollars please make sure that the notes are new and in good condition. Notes older than 2003, or with any tears or blemishes may not be accepted. Be fussy with your bank when buying cash!
Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $250 (or equivalent) as an ‘emergency’ fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!
You may be required to pay a departure tax of USD10 upon leaving Myanmar.
It is customary in Asia to tip service providers such as waiters, at approximately 10%, depending on the service. Tipping is expected – though not compulsory – and shows an expression of satisfaction with the people who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are several times during the trip where there is opportunity to tip the local guides or drivers we use. You may do this individually, or your CEO will offer to collect the money and tip as a group. Recommendations for tipping drivers and local guides would range from $1.5-$3.5 USD per person per day depending on the quality and length of the service; ask your CEO for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture. Also at the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures CEO did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline $20-25 USD per person, per week can be used.
All prices listed are in US Dollars (USD), per person (unless stated otherwise), and are subject to change as services are provided by third party operators.
Hot Air Balloon- 290 USD
Bicycle hire- 5 USD
Bagan Archaeology Museum- 5 USD
Horse cart- 15 USD
Red Mountain Winery- 10 USD
Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.
You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medical requirements. Please be aware that sometimes we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities, and for legal reasons our CEO’s are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. In Asia pharmacies tend to stock the same western drugs as you get at home but they are usually produced locally so please bring the full drug name with you when trying to purchase a prescription drug. When selecting your trip please carefully read the brochure and itinerary and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please refer to the Physical and Culture Shock ratings for trip specific information. G Adventures reserves the right to exclude any traveller from all or part of a trip without refund if in the reasonable opinion of our CEO they are unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group.
Safety and Security
Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government’s advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers’ cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home – you won’t need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your CEO has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Your CEO will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.
Protests and Demonstrations- Protests and demonstrations, even those that are well intended, have the potential to turn violent with no warning. Counter protests can also turn violent. Action by security forces to disperse demonstrators and protesters may occur at any time. If you are in an area where demonstrators or protesters are gathering, avoid the temptation of staying for a good photo opportunity and leave the area immediately.
Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards) have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).
Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk.
We take all prudent measures in relation to your safety. For ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling, please visit:
Our small group adventures bring together people of all ages. It is very important you are aware that, as a minimum, an average level of fitness and mobility’ is required to undertake our easiest programs. Travellers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own luggage at a minimum. Travellers with a pre-existing medical condition are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. This is to ensure that travellers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen trip. While our CEOs work hard to ensure that all our travellers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day’s activities unaided. Please refer to the physical ratings in this Trip Details document for more information.
The medical questionnaire can be found online at:
A Couple of Rules
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your CEO, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all clients must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of USD 200,000 for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.
Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation
Through our commitment to responsible tourism we have developed the Planeterra Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of people and communities around the world through support of international charities, local organizations and community projects in the places that we visit on our tours. G Adventures matches all individual donations and pays all administration costs, which means that 100% of each donation is doubled and goes directly to support our projects. For more information about Planeterra and the projects we support, or to make a donation, please visit www.planeterra.org
Planeterra Dollar-A-Day Program
Our Dollar-A-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to help us give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar per day for the duration of their tour. 100% of these proceeds will go directly to support our G Adventures for Good projects.
To participate in this program please indicate at the time of booking that you would like to participate in G Adventures’ Dollar-A-Day program, either by clicking the check box online, or by advising your G Adventures specialist or travel agent. (Note: Donation will be charged in the currency of your booking)
Travel Forum - The Watering Hole
Be sure to stop by The Watering Hole, our adventure travel forum. If you’re interested in meeting others booked on your upcoming trip, check out the Departure Lounge section of our forum and introduce yourself. Otherwise, just drop in at anytime to share some travel tips, ask questions, meet other travellers and quench your thirst for travel. Our forum is located at wateringhole.gadventures.com.
Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides.
Allow USD240-315 for meals not included.
13 breakfasts, 1 lunch
PRODUCT_LINE: ABCB, ID: 22778
Terms, conditions and restrictions apply; pricing, availability, and other details subject to change and/ or apply to US or Canadian residents. Please confirm details and booking information with your travel advisor.
Day 1 Yangon
Arrive at any time.
Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting
Day 2 Yangon/Kyaiktiyo (1B)
Start the day with a visit to the famous golden stupa of the Shwedagon Pagoda, the “heart” of Buddhist Myanmar.
Later, travel through the delta and over the Sittang River to Kyaikhtiyo. From Kinpun, the pilgrimage road runs 10km to the 1200m high pagoda on the famous Golden Rock. Take a typical Myanma passenger truck to a camp. Walk about one hour from here to the Golden Rock.
At the summit, a simple but well located hotel awaits.
Overnight on Golden Rock.
Shwedagon Pagoda Visit
Golden Rock Hike Ascent
Private Vehicle (4.00 hour(s), 180km)
Hop in the this typically Myanma truck from the base camp village to the starting point of the hike.
Passenger truck (0.75 hour(s), 11km)
Day 3 Kyaiktiyo/Yangon (1B)
Start the descent from Golden Rock in the early morning to retrace your steps back to Yangon before travelling to Bago.
Golden Rock Hike Descent
Reclining Buddha Visit
Passenger truck (0.75 hour(s), 11km)
Private Vehicle (4.00 hour(s), 180km)
Day 4 Yangon/Mandalay (1B)
Fly to Mandalay and visit the famous Golden Monastery (Shwenandaw), the only building still standing from the one hundred plus that once stood on the palace grounds. From here, visit the Kuthodaw Pagoda and look at its 729 marble slabs displaying the entire Buddhist canon.
After lunch, explore the Mahamuni Temple which houses the country´s holiest Buddha image, the 3.5m tall Arakan Buddha, made of bronze and gold leaf.
Later, visit the workshops of gold leaf and marble carvers. Opt to climb to the top of Mandalay Hill for a bird´s eye view and a visit to the Shwe Kyin Monastery for sunset.
Shwenandaw Kyaung (Golden Palace Monastery) Visit
Kuthodaw Pagoda Visit
Mahamuni Pagoda (Buddha Temple) Visit
Shwe Kyin Monastery Visit
Plane (1.50 hour(s))
Day 5 Mandalay (1B)
Head out in the morning to visit the former capital of Amarapura (Sanskrit for “Beautiful Town”). Walk over the world´s longest teak bridge, U Bein, and visit Sagaing Hill for fascinating views over the pagodas and monasteries dotting the landscape down to the Ayeyarwady River.
In the afternoon travel by boat along the mighty Ayeyarwady River, enjoying sights of washerwomen, buffalo carts, and daily life along the riverbank. Visit the village of Mingun before returning to Mandalay for the evening.
U Bein Bridge Walk
Sagaing Hill Visit
Hop the boat to Mingun village for the 1 hr ride across. After, take the same route back to Mandalay (2 hrs roundtrip).
Boat (1.00 hour(s), 10km)
Day 6 Mandalay/Bagan (1B)
Enjoy a slower pace as you travel by local public boat along the Ayeyarwady River, Myanmar’s ‘Super Highway’. Sightsee from the boat before arriving in Bagan.
When water levels are insufficient for the boat, we will use a bus for this part of the journey. Boat cancellations typically happen between April and September.
Ayeyarwady River Cruise
Riverboat (11.00-13.00 hours)
Private Vehicle (0.50-1.00 hours)
Day 7 Bagan (1B)
In the morning, wander through the marketplace of Nyaung Oo and get a glimpse of the lifestyle of the Myanma people. Next, visit Shwezigon Pagoda, the only golden pagoda in the Bagan area. Continue to the caves of Kyanzittha Umin.
In Gubyaukgyi, a perfect Indian-style temple, view hundreds of frescoes illustrating stories of the Buddha. Finally, visit the huge Htilominlo Temple.
In the afternoon, explore Manuha Temple before checking out the elaborate stone engravings at Nanpaya Temple.
Head south to witness the beautiful Abeyadama Temple and finally the Lawkananda Pagoda, a landmark of Ayeyarwady fishermen.
Visit traditional manufacturers of unique Bagan lacquerware and relax at one of the pagodas as the sun sets over Bagan.
Nyaung Oo Marketplace
Htilominlo Temple Visit
Manuha Temple Visit
Bagan Lacquerware Manufacturers Visit
Day 8 Bagan (1B)
If you plan to take a hot air balloon ride in Bagan, this is the best day to do it. Keep in mind this should be reserved in advance and the ballooning season is from Oct 1 to March 31 every year.
Day 9 Bagan/Kalaw (1B)
Leave early to reach Kalaw. Journey through sun-parched plains sprinkled with Palmyra palms to the ‘Mountain of Deities’, Popa.
Climb a staircase (about 20 mins) up the huge volcanic rock to see shrines for Nats (celestial spirits of Myanma mythology) and small temples dedicated to the Buddha. On the climb up, pass many food stalls and shops selling herbal remedies.
Continue to Kalaw for the evening.
Toddy Palm Farm Visit
Mount Popa Visit
After two hours, stop for a visit to Mt Popa. Continue on for another six to reach Kalaw.
Private Vehicle (8.00 hour(s), 260km)
Day 10 Kalaw (1B, 1L)
Explore the countryside whilst enjoying the cooler air at 1320m above sea level. Pass through tea plantations, citrus groves and tribal villages.
In the afternoon, enjoy free time to explore Kalaw’s vibrant market or visit Aung Chan Tha Zedi, with its sparkling gold and silver glass mosaics, or the Hnee Pagoda with its 500-year-old bamboo Buddha.
Day 11 Kalaw/Inle Lake (1B)
Drive to Pindaya along an interesting route through the hills and across the Shan Plateau through fields of garlic, sesame, and vegetables, with many small Pa-O and Danu villages.
Continue on to Nyaungshwe—the biggest village and former capital of the local Shan Kings at Inle Lake.
Pindaya Caves Visit
Private Vehicle (1.50-2.00 hours)
Arrive to Nyuanshwe, the largest village in the Inle Lake area.
Private Vehicle (1.50-2.50 hours)
Day 12 Inle Lake (1B)
Visit some of the intriguing floating villages and investigate the great Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda with its five holy Buddha images.
Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Visit
Day 13 Inle Lake/Yangon (1B)
After breakfast, board a flight back Yangon. The afternoon is free to explore the markets and sights of Yangon with plenty of time for some last minute shopping before an optional final dinner together.
Private Vehicle (1.00 hour(s), 30km)
Plane (1.00 hour(s))
Private Vehicle (1.00 hour(s), 16km)
Day 14 Yangon (1B)
Depart any time.