Myanmar Family Adventure

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Overview

Far-flung and recently open to tourism, the truth is that the Burmese friendliness and fondness for children, plus all the colorful distractions in here will definitely open young minds wide up - from the stilted villages to the majestic temples, the floating markets, the beautiful dresses of the hill tribes, the memorable cycling and long-tail boat rides… Myanmar is definitely a destination that will charm both children and adults!

ITINERARY AT A GLANCE

Day 1: Arrival in Yangon

Day 2: Exploring Yangon

Day 3: Flight to Mandalay - Snake temple - Cruise to Mingun & Ava - U Bein Bridge 

Day 4: Cycling Mandalay – Bagan  

Day 5: Exploring Bagan

Day 6: Bagan Jeep Safari & Optional Air-Balloon

Day 7: Flight to Kalaw - Half day Trek

Day 8: Kalaw – Inle Lake (by local train)

Day 9: Inle Lake - Indein - Floating gardens - Traditional Workshops

Day 10: Inle Lake: Trek to Pa O villages 

Day 11: Inle - Flight Heho-Yangon

Arrival in Yangon

Day 1 Arrival in Yangon

Meals: not included | Accommodation: Shwe Yee Hotel, Deluxe room (Yangon)
 

We will be met by our guide and driver at the International airport and taken to our hotel. Depending on your arrival time, you can visit to the National Museum as an introduction to the culture and beauty of Myanmar.

Exploring Yangon

Day 2 Exploring Yangon

Meals: breakfast, dinner | Accommodation: Shwe Yee Hotel, Deluxe room (Yangon)

Let’s get started with our exploration of Yangon by the Shwedagon Pagoda and its stunning golden façade. We will access through the back door of the pagoda to learn about its rich history from our local guide, while getting amazed by the hustle and bustle and the smells and sounds as we walk amongst the workshops, markets, and monasteries surrounding this Burmese iconic monument. 

We will enjoy a cup of tea and a steaming bowl of mohinga – the traditional breakfast of the Burmese people and watch how the locals make offerings to the monks at the pagoda and if you dare, we can also be told about our future by a fortune-teller!

After lunch, we will wander through downtown on a walking excursion through the back streets where we can see how families live in Myanmar and probably run across at least one game of street soccer – don’t be shy and jump in!

Before or after dinner, we will attend a classical story about Nats - Burmese spirits - in traditional style: by puppets! The art of Puppetry Yoke Thé, the Burmese name for marionette puppetry, has flourished since the 17th century. Dinner will be at LinkAge, a restaurant run by an NGO that trains disadvantaged street kids in food and beverage education.
 

Flight to Mandalay - Snake Temple – Cruise to Mingun & Ava – U Bein Bridge

Day 3 Flight to Mandalay - Snake Temple – Cruise to Mingun & Ava – U Bein Bridge

Meals: breakfast, lunch | Accommodation: The Home Hotel, Superior room (Mandalay)

Transfer to the airport for a short morning flight to Mandalay, where we will visit the Paleik Snake Temple, where real pythons writhe around Buddha statues. 

We will take a boat to glide upstream from Mandalay to Mingun to visit the Mingun Pagoda and a local monastic school and orphanage that provides free primary level education. We will continue downstream, enjoying a picnic lunch before arriving in Ava, whose ruins used to be majestic buildings built during Ava’s 400-year reign.  We will enjoy a family cycling ride through ancient temple ruins. These ruins were formerly majestic buildings built during Ava’s 400-year reign as  yanmar’s capital.

Afterwards, we will head to another beautiful ancient capital, Amarapura, famous for its textile industries. There, we will visit a cottage industry workshop to learn how Myanmar longyis and traditional fabrics are woven. Continuing to the U Bein Bridge, a simple yet remarkable teak structure that spans 1,2km over Taungtaman Lake, we will have the option to be rowed onto its calm waters. The silhouette of U Bein Bridge while the sun sets, is a magical experience and a photographer’s dream.

We will return to Mandalay to explore the lively Yadanabon market.

Cycling in Mandalay – Bagan

Day 4 Cycling in Mandalay – Bagan

Meals: breakfast, lunch | Accommodation: Thazin Garden Hotel, Deluxe room (Bagan)

We will leave our hotel early this morning to cycle through back lanes and get out of town before the city awakens. Passing through different markets and neighborhoods and quickly entering the countryside where farmers tend to their fields and villagers carry out their daily routines that have remained largely unchanged for decades. Water buffalo lazily roll in the mud, goats nibble at the foliage, and friendly locals wave you down to stop and shake hands. 

Wandering through a typical Myanmar village, we will experience the local life-style, be able to taste some local products and observe the traditional bamboo weaving. On your way back to town, we will take a break at a tea shop and return to the city before being transferred to the airport for our flight to Bagan.

Bagan exploration

Day 5 Bagan exploration

Meals: breakfast, lunch | Accommodation: Thazin Garden Hotel, Deluxe room (Bagan)

We will head in the morning to the ancient sector of Bagan till the village of Minnanthu. We will spend some time around these awe-inspiring ruins that are a local favourite – quiet, deserted, and just as deserving of praise as other more famous areas of Bagan. 

We will have a special lunch in this historical setting after a morning of temple exploration while our guide will keep on explaining us about life in Bagan.

After an exclusive morning at the temples of Minnanthu, we will journey to what is perhaps Myanmar’s most famous and iconic site. Bagan is dotted with red-stoned temples, 2,200 of which remain of the original 13,000 built there between the 9th and 13th centuries. The best way to explore this vast complex of forest and ruins is on two wheels (with vehicle support), so we will get on our bikes and head to The Shwezigon pagoda, an extraordinary example of the early Bagan stile, is located near the Nyanung Oo Market. The market is just a short pedal from the unique, centuries-old teakwood Nat Htaunt Monastery, located in a fishing village on the banks of the Ayerwaddy River. In the afternoon, we will wander among more ancient temples: Htilo Minlo, Dhamayangyi, Ananda, Wetgyi-In Gubyaukgyi, and Thatbyinnyu.

Our amazing day will conclude with boat ride down the mighty Ayerwaddy River to watch the sunset and enjoy a cocktail, some fruit juice or snacks.
 

Bagan Jeep Safari & Optional Balloon

Day 6 Bagan Jeep Safari & Optional Balloon

Meals: breakfast, lunch | Accommodation: Thazin Garden Hotel, Deluxe room (Bagan)

After breakfast we will get on a 4x4 jeep and leave the tourist zone to reach some villages whose communities will be starting with their daily activities.

It will be a nice drive around several villages in which we will be walking around and meeting local families to get a glance of Myanmar’s rural life.  We will return to hotel around mid-day to enjoy the rest of the day at leisure. 

Optional activity: Balloon Flight over Bagan
Available between October & March (from 5:30 - 8:30 am, approx)

Imagine floating over thousand year old pagodas and the mighty Ayeyarwaddy River, as the sun rises slowly from the horizon over the misty fields and temples. The magic of Bagan has inspired visitors for centuries. One of the most remarkable sights in Asia, where ancient temples dot the landscape as far as the eye can see. The flight duration is approx. 45min to 1hr depending on wind and air currents and other factors. 
Please get in touch with your Handspan travel consultant to check the respective supplement for this activity, informing about the number of people who would like to take part in it.

Bagan – Flight to Heho – Kalaw – Half day trek 

Day 7 Bagan – Flight to Heho – Kalaw – Half day trek 

Meals: breakfast, lunch | Accommodation: Dream Villa Hotel, Superior room (Kalaw)

We will board an early morning flight to Heho, from where we will headto Kalaw, a peaceful town surrounded by pine forest that was once a favorite hill station for the British. The Palaung, Pa-O, Taung-Yo, and Dha Nu hill tribes come here to buy and sell at the Kalaw market. 

After lunch, we will drive towards the northwest and stop at junction A, from where we will take a footpath to follow some trail through a beautiful scenery. After approx. 1½ hrs we will arrive at Pane Hne Pin, a  Palaung Tribal Village whose residents live in long houses, shared by 4-5 families. From Pane Hne Pin we will hike for another ½ hour to the View Point, where we will enjoy a panoramic view over Kalaw area before returning to Pane Hne Pin and walk for another ½  h to reach junction B , where our car will be waiting to bring us back to Kalaw.

Kalaw – Inle Lake by Local train 

Day 8 Kalaw – Inle Lake by Local train 

Meals: breakfast, lunch | Accommodation: Mount Inle Hotel, Superior room (Nyaung Shwe)

After breakfast we will stroll around Kalaw, visiting the bustling morning market of Kalaw where we will see different tribes coming from the hills to sell their products, and perhaps walk up the hill to see the old Catholic church (if open).

Then, we will drive to the picturesque colonial train station in Kalaw to board the 'slow train' from Kalaw to Shwe Nyaung (depart at 09:00 am in the morning), a truly scenic trip through the forested slopes of the Shan Hills and pretty patchwork fields. The train is very simple and a local mean of transport - our open window carriage will count on wooden-slatted benches shared with villagers laden with fruit and vegetables to sell. At country stops vendors of snacks and drinks will offer their goods through the open windows. Upon our arrival in Nyaung Shwe, we will be transferred to our hotel.

Inle Lake – Floating Garden – Indein – Traditional Workshops

Day 9 Inle Lake – Floating Garden – Indein – Traditional Workshops

Meals: breakfast, lunch | Accommodation: Mount Inle Hotel, Superior room (Nyaung Shwe)

We will take in the morning a small boat, passing through floating gardens, watching farmers tending their crops as they paddle up and down trellised rows. As the reeds fall behind and the jungle closes in, we will arrive to the village of Indein, surrounded by hundreds of pagodas. 

Walking through stairways originally constructed from 403 wooden pillars through temple ruins and pagodas we will reach the hilltop. After enjoying the view, we will walk along one of the many creeks passing through rice fields to the village of Sae Ma. 

We will walk back along the creek to Indein and cruise over to a local family’s home, perched high above the lake on stilts. We will be welcomed by our hosts and then treated to a traditional Burmese meal! 

Afterwards, we will visit the traditional village of Paukpar, with neat rows of bamboo houses and the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, the holiest religious site in southern Shan State. We will also visit the boat construction workshop at Nampan village and stop to see some traditional handicrafts - silk weaving on wooden handlooms in Inpawkhon village, a cheroot-maker's workshop and a blacksmith's forge. Then, we will continue by boat to the Nga Phe Kyaung Monastery, one of the oldest monasteries on the lake. We will return to the hotel by boat as the sun sets and the light softens over the lake. 
 

Trek to Pa O Villages

Day 10 Trek to Pa O Villages

Meals: breakfast, lunch | Accommodation: Mount Inle Hotel, Superior room (Nyaung Shwe)

One of the distinctive hill tribes from Shan State are the Pa O, known for their navy blue clothes, colorful red or orange turban and their good farming and trading skills. During this day trekking we will get to know life as the Pa O live it.

We will start with a boat ride from our hotel on the lake and begin with a 2, 5 hours walk (a bit uphill) to arrive in a Pa O village where we will have time to talk with the monks, stroll around and be invited to wear the traditional Pa O dress. 

After another 30-minute walk (mainly flat), we will get to a new village where a traditional Pa O lunch will be served with dishes like ginger soup, pumpkin leave salad and sukini leave salad. Time to relax and prepare for the afternoon walk which will take us about 2, 5 hour with stunning views over the lake and plantations with different crops like ginger, garlic and turmeric. Just before boarding the boat on our way back to the hotel, we will stop to enjoy another beautiful panorama over the lake as a reward after our Pa O trek.

Day 11 Inle - Flight to Yangon

Meals: breakfast | Accommodation: not included

We will bid farewell to the Inle Lake before being transferred to Heho airport to board your flight to Yangon.
 

PRICE

*This is sample itinerary with no selection of accommodation and/or domestic air tickets. Please contact our travel consultant at info@handspan.com to tailor this itinerary to your personal specifications.
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