Overview

Pro Vacation offers you a unique insight into life in Myanmar’s interiors, where ancient pagodas and colonial architecture find common ground, natural beauty is at its pristine best and centuries of tradition still hold fast. Our Myanmar trekking and hiking tour opens the pathways to some of Asia’s most stunning monuments and fascinating cultures. You will see intricate face tattoos, ‘giraffe’ women and imposing pagodas with thousands of Buddha statues; you will discover the backwaters of the Thanlwin River and twisting lanes of small villages which house some very friendly locals; you will explore floating vegetable gardens and walk through a colonial hill station; you will interact with the biggest land mammals on earth at an elephant camp and hike to the summit of Golden Rock for a panoramic view of beauty beyond compare. Let nature and culture take your breath away on this amazing 18-day Myanmar trekking and hiking tour.

Hiking level: Easy
17 Nights 18 Days 14 Dec, 15 Dec, 16 Dec, and more Yangon, Yangon Region
Inclusions/Exclusions
What we'll give. What we won't

What is included in the tour

  • Air-conditioned transfers and entrance fees as mentioned
  • Transfer from base camp to upper camp
  • Local guides fluent in English for tours, transfers and treks
  • Boat service for Hpa-an to Mawlamyine, Lake Inle and Rakhine
  • Potable water and wet towels
  • Baggage handling, room tax, service charges

What is NOT included in the tour

  • Domestic flights, train tickets, sedan chair to ascend/descend mountain
  • Visas, travel insurance and personal expenses
  • Throughout guide surcharges (any language)
  • Alcohol and any meals or services not mentioned in the schedule
  • Peak season compulsory gala dinners
Highlights
What makes this tour special
  • Drives through countryside to Bago and Hpa-An
  • Explore natural caves, monasteries and local villages
  • Visit the Green Hill Valley Elephant Camp
  • Discover Yangon’s colonial heritage and Kakku’s stunning pagoda complex
  • See unique Chin face tattoos and learn about WWII prisoners
  • Hike to Golden Rock summit and boat trips
Itinerary
Day 1: Yangon Airport - Bago
  • The tour guide on your Myanmar trekking and hiking tour will welcome you at the hotel after your transfer from Yangon International Airport. Your exciting trip begins in Bago, about an hour from Yangon, and we begin with an introduction to guardian spirits or ‘nats’ at a tree shrine and a village specialising in handicraft bamboo ware along the way.
  • You can acknowledge the sacrifice of more than 6300 soldiers at the Allied War Graves Cemetery which also houses a memorial to an additional 27,000. Enjoy dinner together at the Royal Taste Restaurant
  • Your accommodation for the night is a deluxe room at Han Thar Garden Resort in Bago or a similar property in the city.
  • Meals: Dinner is provided
Day 2: Bago - Kyaiktiyo (Golden Rock)
  • We begin your Myanmar trekking and hiking tour with a visit to a pilgrimage site that has attracted devotees for more than a thousand years. The 55-meter long reclining Shwethalyaung Buddha image is located at Shwemawdaw Pagoda, which is taller than Yangon’s impressive Shwedagon Pagoda.
  • You will have lunch at a local restaurant in Kin Pun about three hours away, and then head to Golden Rock at Kyaikhtiyo in a two-part journey - first by truck and then on foot. This is one of Myanmar’s most sacred pilgrimage site and its beauty is amplified majestically by the rays of the setting sun.
  • Your accommodation for the night is a deluxe room at Han Thar Garden Resort in Bago or a similar property in the city.
  • Meals: Dinner is provided
  • Please note: It will be helpful to carry a light duffle bag or overnight pack as your luggage will remain at base camp.
Day 3: Kyaiktiyo - Thaton - Hpa-An
  • Today, you will discover shrines in natural caves and peaceful monastery life around 115kms away from Kyaiktiyo. We first return to base camp in Kyaiktiyo and head to Hpa-an, stopping first in Thaton from where the Mon emperors ruled their kingdom. On the way, you will enjoy a traditional lunch at a local restaurant.
  • A stop at the Bayintnyi Caves about half an hour from Thaton reveals a mine of fascinating Buddha statues located in a cave. There are also natural hot springs known for their mineral properties. Position yourself at the entrance of the cave for an enchanting view of paddy fields that stretch as far as the eye can see. You will also notice terracotta votive tablets of varying sizes stuck to the cave ceiling.
  • Later, cross a bridge without a railing to a tiny island that houses the Kyauk Kalat Monastery which is serenity personified. Indulge in tranquility as you stroll on the banks of the Salween river in Hpa-an in the evening.
  • Your accommodation for the night is a deluxe room at Hotel Zwekabin in Hpa-an or a similar property in the city.
  • Meals: Breakfast and lunch is provided
Day 4: Hpa-An - Mawlamyine
  • Dip into local life today as markets and villages reveal their inner workings and friendly folk welcome you. Your day begins with a pleasant two-hour boat trip on the Thanlin River that showcases Myanmar’s lush riverine vegetation and peacefulness. Half-way to Mawlamyine, the boat will drop you off at Kadow, where you can walk through the twisting village lanes and strike up a conversation with the locals. Our guide will show you the U Nar Aut Monastery where you can learn more about the life of Buddha through intricate reliefs. If you prefer to take it slow, you can hire a motorbike taxi to take you there.
  • On arrival in Mawlamyine, the capital of Mon State, you will first enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before heading off sightseeing with our guide. We will take you to the bustling local Zegyi market and then head to Mudon, about an hour away. You will note the acres of rubber plantations and seasonal fruit on the way, growing thickly thanks to the fertile soil in the region. Peeking through, you will spot a huge reclining Buddha that has recently been added to the landscape.
  • Two religions come face to face at Kyauk Alone where a Buddhist stupa and Hindu temple sit opposite each other. After lunch, a trip to the Mon State National Museum will throw up interesting information about culture and life in the region through traditional musical instruments, ancient Mon scripts and clothes. Later, you will stop at the pagodas dedicated to Mahamuni and Kyaikthanlan, also known as Kipling Pagoda, as well as Seindon Mibaya Kyaung, where the wife of King Mindon took shelter. Since these are built on a mountain range, sweeping views of the surrounding countryside particularly beautiful at sunset are on display.
  • Your accommodation for the night is a deluxe room at Cinderella Hotel in Mawlamyine or a similar property in the city.
  • Meals: Breakfast and lunch is provided
Day 5: Mawlamyine - Thanbyuzayat - Kyaikkami - Mawlamyine
  • The fifth day of your Myanmar trekking and hiking tour presents a circuitous route around the region that merges colonial-era monuments with religious sites. First you will visit the location of the world’s largest reclining Buddha which is still being constructed at Win Sein Toya. The next stop has a rather solemn past, Thanbyuzayat, where around 16000 prisoners of war from the Allied forces died after from forced labour by the Japanese military. It is also called the Death Railway and there are 3771 graves being maintained at the Thanbyuzayat War Cemetery till today.
  • From here, we drive you to Kyaikkami, where the British enjoyed sunshine and the sea at a resort called Amherst. Close by is the legendary site of the Ye-le Pagoda Buddha which is believed to have floated to Myanmar from Sri Lanka on a raft and beached itself at this spot. The shrine has the appearance of a boat and can be reached by crossing a two-tiered bridge, the lower bit of which is submerged by rising tides. Enjoy a delicious lunch at a local restaurant on Setse beach.
  • After you return to Mawlamyine, you can stop at the small museum (if it is open) to satisfy your questions on local history and visit the local market. Our guide will show you excellent spots to take memorable images around the city, including a mosque, some churches and colonial-style houses.
  • Your accommodation for the night is a deluxe room at Cinderella Hotel in Mawlamyine or a similar property in the city.
  • Meals: Breakfast and lunch is provided
Day 6: Mawlamyine - Yangon
  • If you are feeling a little adventurous, take the train ride back to Yangon (optional). It leaves at 8.30hrs and arrives at around 18.00hrs, but do note that the train is slow and the trail a bit uneven, making for a slightly bumpy ride. A few of the wagons have air-conditioning.
  • Otherwise, we will drive you back to Yangon. It is a day-long drive with a lunch stop at a local restaurant.
  • Your accommodation for the night is a superior room at the Ibis Style Yangon Stadium Hotel in Yangon or a similar property in the city.
  • Meals: Breakfast and lunch is provided
Day 7: Yangon Walking Tour
  • Today, your Myanmar trekking and hiking tour gives you an insight into one of the countr y’s most historically prominent cities. You will be driven to the famous Strand Road from where our local guide will take you around the city for a glimpse of daily life.
  • From the crowded Yangon harbour filled with street vendors, trishaws, porters carrying sacks of produce and passengers waiting for ferries, you will head to the narrow lanes of Chinatown bordered by houses and shops with old-school wooden shutters. The colours, sounds and aromas of Chinese medicine shops, a Chinese temple and the market selling vegetables, fish, fruit and meat fill the pathways of 17th to 21st Streets.
  • Further down on 26th Street this trekking tour will take you past the old Moseah Yeshua Synagogue towards the Indian Quarter where you will find heaps of aromatic spices and other ingredients in road-side shops. For photo ops, Shwe Bontha Street is perfect as shady sidewalks, tea shops by the street and imposing colonial buildings merge together to form beautiful scenes. The most interesting part of this street is its local stock exchange-style gold trading among the merchants who work in the area.
  • From here, your guide will take you into the sector that houses some of the most impressive range of colonial buildings in south east Asia, built in the early 20th century. At its centre is Sule Pagoda and our guide will work you through the grid pattern to Mahabandoola Garden and City Hall, which was earlier Asia’s largest department store. The majestic High Court building is another sight to behold, following which you will head to Pansodan Street to the Myanmar Port Authority building passing dozens of stalls selling second-hand or photocopied books.
  • Your final stop on today’s trekking tour is the Strand Hotel, with its impressive colonial design and delightful refreshments within. Following lunch at a local restaurant, you will be driven back to your hotel.
  • Your accommodation for the night is a superior room at the Ibis Style Yangon Stadium Hotel in Yangon or a similar property in the city.
  • Meals: Breakfast and lunch is provided
Day 8: Yangon - Heho - Elephant Camp
  • Early the next morning, you will be taken to the airport for your domestic flight to Heho, from where you will be driven to the Green Hill Valley Elephant Camp via the town of Kalaw.
  • At the hour-long visit to Magwe’s elephant camp, the friendly team will help you understand more about the project while you enjoy some refreshments. Take a short walk down to the river to get closely connected with the elephants here who love being fed and bathed. You can join in and splash them with water! The camp also has a forest conservation programme which you can support by planting a teak tree.
  • Your walk back to the camp lodge is rewarded with a scrumptious lunch overlooking the green valley below as birds and butterflies flit about in the orchids. At erstwhile hill station of Kalaw on the drive back, you will get a glimpse of life in the old days with stops at the small railway station, market and a drive through the sleepy shaded lanes bordered by red brick and warm wood colonial cottages.
  • Your accommodation is the deluxe room at Royal Kalaw Hill Hotel or a similar property in the vicinity.
  • Meals: Breakfast and lunch are provided
Day 9: Kalaw - Pinlong - Loikaw
  • Today will be filled with views of the gorgeous Myanmar countryside from your window as we drive you to Loikaw, Kayah State. The day-long drive is interspersed with lunch at the Green Tea Forest Restaurant in Pinlong where you can view the captivating images taken by the owner who is a photographer renowned in the region.
  • Loikaw is located up in the Karen Hills, named after the locals who are also called Kayah. It overlooks the tranquil Pilu River.
  • Your accommodation is the deluxe room at Kayah Resort or a similar property in the vicinity.
  • Meals: Breakfast and lunch are provided
Day 10: Loikaw
  • Our Myanmar trekking and hiking tour takes you into the hea rt of the Padaung community, known for their ‘long-necked women’ or ‘giraffe women’, who traditionally sported numerous brass rings around their necks and ankles, one added each year from the time they were six or seven.
  • You will first begin with a walk around Loikaw, taking in the sights and sounds of its morning market and the interesting displays at Kayah State Cultural Museum. The latter is a treasure trove of information about the local Kayah people, including their musical instruments, traditional clothes, silverware and bronze drums used for wedding and funeral ceremonies.
  • Head next to the Thirimingala Pagoda which stands high up on a rock. Also called Taung Kwe Zedi, its steep steps are worth the climb for a spectacular view of the city and the hills that surround it. Enjoy a picnic lunch here.
  • From Loikaw, you will head by car to the villages of Pan Pae from where a 45-minute walk brings you to the first village where you can catch a glimpse the Padaung women. The tradition began to keep the women safe from kidnappers, and has faded out today, but you will still see a few elderly women wearing the rings.
  • The trekking and hiking tour also brings you to Chikel village’s Tazaungdaing Standing Posts connected with ancient fertility rites. If time permits and you have the inclination, you can trek on to the next village about 45 minutes away.
  • Our car will take you back to Loikaw. Your accommodation is the deluxe room at Kayah Resort or a similar property in the vicinity.
  • Meals: Breakfast and lunch are provided
Day 11: Loikaw - Sagar
  • Immerse yourself in local culture today with visits to weaving workshops in Loikaw where you can watch the Kayah Longyi patterns come to life before your eyes. We will then drive you to Phekhone for a picturesque hour-long trip down the backwaters to Sagar, a little village on the southern banks of Lake Inle. This route is far off the tourist map and you will find the surroundings perfectly serene and pristine.
  • The village of Sagar has stood the test of time and locals continue to make wagon wheels and live as they have for decades. Here, you can engage with the friendly Pa O, Shan and Intha people to learn more about how they live.
  • Nearby are beautiful stupas and other ancient monuments at the Tha Gaung Relic Pagoda. Enjoy a typical Burmese lunch at Little Lodge in Samkar.
  • Your accommodation is at A Little Lodge of Samkar (Sagar House) or a similar property in the vicinity.
  • Meals: Breakfast and lunch are provided
Day 12: Lake Inle Boat Trip
  • Connect with heritage with a visit (if it coincides with the schedule) to the five-day rotating market where ethnic Pa O, Danu and Intha people conduct their trade. Close by is Lake Inle with lush hills in the distance, a glassy surface through which vegetation peeks and the peculiar skill of Intha fishermen who row with one leg. If time permits, you will stop for some traditional Shan tea at and visit the neat bamboo huts in the nearby village of Paupkar. Lunch is served at Mr Toe’s Restaurant after which you will visit the holiest pagoda in the region - Phaung Daw Oo - which houses five gold-leaf Buddha statues.
  • The boat trip continues after a stop at Nampam village to watch how the locals construct boats, and at Impaukhon village to see a silk-weaving workshop, a cheroot-making facility and a blacksmith’s forge at Impaukhon village. Back on the boat, you will see how the Intha grow fruit and vegetables on floating gardens and stop by Nga Phe Kyaung, the oldest monastery on the lake with statues that are hundreds of years old.
  • Your accommodation is the superior room at Golden Island Cottages, Nampan or a similar property on Lake Inle.
  • Meals: Breakfast and lunch are provided
Day 13: Lake Inle - Taunggyi - Kakku - Lake Inle
  • Today, you will discover the lost site of Kakku where myriad tiny stupas surround the main pagoda that the local Pa O believe is more than 2000 years old. To get here, you will be driven from your hotel first to Taunggyi along roads bordered by evergreen pines. Up in the hills, Taunggyi was previously used by the British as a summer getaway and till today is the site of a local market filled with ethnic minorities selling their wares and young women deftly producing hundreds of cheroots every day. It takes another two hours across the pristine countryside by car to Kakku where you can walk around the site and marvel at the detailed stucco and Buddha images at the ancient temple. After lunch at Hlaing Khone Restaurant, our guide will take you to a Pa O village and monastery before you head back to your deluxe room at Hotel Nyaung Shwe or a similar property in Nyaung Shwe.
  • Meals: Breakfast and lunch are provided
Day 14: Heho - Yangon - Sittwe - Mrauk U
  • Today, you will prepare to move back in time to the ancient city of Mrauk U. To get here, we will pick you up from your hotel at Lake Inle by boat and take you to Heho airport to board your flight to Sittwe, transiting at Yangon.
  • A private boat awaits you at Sittwe (transfer from airport by car included) for a leisurely 4-5 hour sail on the Kaledon River to Mrauk U during which time you will enjoy lunch on board.
  • Your accommodation is the deluxe room at Mrauk U Hotel or a similar property in the city.
  • Meals: Breakfast and lunch are provided
Day 15: Mrauk U
  • Rediscover the past glory of what was once one of Asia’s wealthiest cities before two catastrophic earthquakes and war ravaged it. Earlier known as Myo Haung, Mrauk U was a commercial port and the capital of the Arakan Kingdom - today’s Rakhine State. Significant ruins still remain within the town an d continue to add a historic charm and majestic aura to today’s bustling local markets, pretty wooden homes and friendly residents.
  • You can walk to the various sites around town, although some might need transport to get to by way of bullock cart or vehicle. Don’t miss the colourful plate-like tiles on the front wall of Laungbankpyauk Pagoda and colours of Mrauk U’s main market. It is certainly breathtaking to take in the 90,000 Buddha images at Koe Thaung Pagoda nearby, the largest shrine in the city. You will find the images in a tunnel carved from rock under a large octagonal tower.
  • Enjoy a hearty lunch at the Royal City Guest House before continuing on to the Shittaung Pagoda, one of the best preserved sites in the city. Here, there are around 80,000 Buddha images, the layout reminiscent of Borobudur in Indonesia, with its platform-like structure around the central stupa. A walk through the pagoda unravels interior passages featuring reliefs and images hidden in niches.
  • You can compare the layout with the linear design of the octagonal Andaw Pagoda nearby. Dukkanthein ordination hall is also an interesting stop, architecture-wise, as the laterite and sandstone construction appears almost like a huge bunker on the outside. Bask in the rays of the setting sun on the hill at Haridaung Pagoda.
  • Your accommodation is the deluxe room at Mrauk U Hotel or a similar property in the city.
  • Meals: Breakfast and lunch are provided
Day 16: Mrauk U - Chin Tattoo Villages - Mrauk U
  • Learn more about local culture with a visit to the Chin area in Rakhine State. For this, we will take you to the Lay Myo river for a 2.5-hour boat trip into the three rustic villages that are also known as ‘tattoo villages’. Here, you will observe the intricate facial tattoos of the Chin women, and visit a weaver to see stunning Chin textile patterns. Enjoy a packed lunch at the village before heading back to Mrauk U by boat.
  • Your accommodation is the deluxe room at Mrauk U Hotel or a similar property on in the city.
  • Meals: Breakfast and lunch are provided
Day 17: Mrauk U - Sittwe - Yangon
  • We take your seaward on the Kaladan River on your journey back to Yangon. Soak in the scenery as it changes downriver to the sea on your 4-5 hour trip by private boat (transfer to jetty included). You will enjoy lunch on the boat before stopping at the fish market and Cultural Museum (if open) at Sittwe. We will drive you to the airport for your flight to Yangon.
  • Your accommodation is the superior room at Ibis Style Yangon Stadium Hotel or a similar property in the city.
  • Meals: Breakfast and lunch are provided
Day 18: Yangon
  • You have the day at leisure before your transfer to the international airport for your flight home.
  • Meals: Breakfast is provided

Points to note

  • December 15 - January 15, and April 13-17 is peak season. There may be additional charges during Christmas, New Year and the Water Festival
  • You will be notified of compulsory gala dinner charges when booking
  • Hotel prices can be adjusted for higher or lower categories on request. Featured hotels are subject to availability during booking, and you will be notified of any deposits when booking
  • Domestic airfares quoted based on averages and are subject to change. The most convenient flight is booked and final price confirmed once tickets are issued based on class of seat and availability

For Mrauk U

  • This is a soft adventure tour with erratic electricity even in hotels for cost-saving. While we try to ensure our standard package cars, the Mrauk U tour might use older models without air-conditioning. Itineraries are subject to change on account of transport issues, weather, etc.
  • Carry insect repellent and wear long comfortable cotton clothing to protect yourself as Mrauk U is located near forested zones. These conditions mean few tourists visit the area, leaving it quite pristine.
  • May to October attracts heavy monsoon storms so travel to Rakhine State is advisable only from November to April when it’s drier.
Pickup point
Directions.
Yangon, Myanmar (Burma) View on Map