Overview

For more than three weeks, you will uncover Myanmar’s best kept secrets - its flourishing avian life, spellbinding natural beauty ​and exquisite local crafts. You will also visit famous and lesser known monuments that have stood the test of time and bring a little bit of the past to the present. The focus of this 22-day Myanmar trekking, hiking and birdwatching tour include a four-night stay at the Natma Taung National Park also known as Mount Victoria, a pleasant and scenic cruise down the Ayeyarwady River to Mandalay and a relaxing stay at the tranquil Ngapali beach. Our treks through the lush countryside and hinterlands bring you not just picturesque views but also sights of a large variety of birds, including some very rare species, as well as endemic and near-endemic ones too. Our Myanmar trekking, hiking and birdwatching tour also gives you a deep insight into the local culture and history of the region with visits to some of the most important religious monuments, traditional handicraft workshops, untouched villages and even a wartime memorial site. 

Hiking level: Moderate
21 Nights 22 Days 18 Nov, 19 Nov, 20 Nov, 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
  • Boat fees, balloon ride and cruise cabin
  • Local guides (including specialised birding guide)* fluent in English for tours, treks and hikes
  • Potable water and wet towels
  • Baggage handling, room tax, service charges

What is NOT included in the tour

  • Domestic flights
  • 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
  • Birdwatching at Hlawgar National Park and Kalaw
  • Long-tailed boat ride on Lake Inle
  • Four-night trip to Mount Victoria to see rare birds
  • Two-night cruise to Mandalay’s cultural hotspots
  • Bagan’s lush countryside
  • Hike to Myinmahti village
Itinerary
Day 1: Arrival Yangon
  • You will be transferred to your hotel on your arrival in Yangon. Our first stop on this 22-day Myanmar trekking, hiking and birdwatching tour is at one of the most beautiful religious monuments in the world. The glittering gold dome of the Shwedagon Pagoda is covered with 60 tons of pure gold and is imposing at 98 metres above the base. The 2500-year-old site draws hundreds of locals to pray and make offerings. Watch the rays of the setting sun light up the central golden stupa which is considered the heart of Buddhist Myanmar.
  • Your accommodation for the night is a deluxe ROH room at Chatrium Hotel or a similar property in the city.
  • Meals: No meals are provided
Day 2: Yangon - Hlawga National Park
  • Today, you will get your first glimpse of the vibrant and colourful avian life that make their home in Myanmar. W e start early in the morning with an hour’s drive to Hlawga Wildlife Park for a birdwatching tour.
  • Here, you will have the opportunity to spot bee-eaters (green, blue-tailed and chestnut-headed), drongos (lesser racket-tailed and greater racket tailed), bulbuls (red-vented, black-crested, black-headed, stripe-throated with red eyes, red-whiskered and endemic streak-eared which is not found elsewhere in the world), babblers (puff-throated and chestnut-capped), sun birds (purple, ruby-cheeked and olive-backed), green-billed malkohas, racket-tailed tree pies, white rumped shamas, laughing thrushes (white-crested and lesser neck-laced), scarlet-backed flowerpeckers, red jungle fowl and the rather uncommon pale-capped pigeons.
  • At the park’s water bodies, you can spot a variety of species that inhabit this ecosystem, including little ringed plovers, common moorhens, oriental darters, cotton pygmy geese, ducks (lesser whistling and spot-billed), white-breasted waterhens, and red-wattled lapwings.
  • There are also migratory birds that visit the region seasonally, some of which include warblers (greenish and yellow-browed), black-naped orioles, painted storks, oriental reeds, Asian openbills, forest wagtails, spotted redshanks, ospreys and black-winged cuckoo shrikes.
  • We offer you a delicious packed lunch for your trek through the park.
  • Your accommodation for the night is a deluxe ROH room at Chatrium Hotel or a similar property in the city.
  • Meals: Breakfast and lunch are provided
Day 3: Yangon - Bagan
  • We divide the third day of your Myanmar tour into visits to architectural landmarks and riverine birdwatching on the Ayeyarwady river. For this, we transfer you to Yangon Airport for a domestic flight to Bagan, where a sweeping plain of about 26 square kilometres is dotted with breathtaking temples and pagodas of red brick. These were built during 1057-1287 AD, and you will notice striking murals and beautiful Buddha statues. For a view of the surrounding countryside filled with these ancient temples, head to the top of the hill.
  • Your tour begins with a visit to a throbbing local market in Bagan, before our guide introduces you to the significant religious sites in the area. Among these are the 13th century Gubyaukgyi or Wetkyi Inn temple that narrates the life of Buddha through intricate murals and the imposing gold gilded 11th century Shwezigon Pagoda built by King Anawrahta. You will also stop at one of Bagan’s largest temples that features a gold tip reaching 51 metres high, a variety of seated figures and four large standing Buddhas.
  • Next, your Myanmar trekking, hiking and birdwatching tour takes you on a pleasant boat ride on the Ayeyarwady river. Here, you can look out for a wide variety of birds including long-billed pipits, sand larks, river lapwings, pied kingfishers, martins (plain and sand), white-tailed stonechats, laggar falcons, small pratincoles and spot-billed ducks.
  • Migratory birds also make this area their home and you should be able to spot common greenshanks, common teals, common kestrels, grey herons, grey plovers, northern shovellers, Temminck’s stint, harriers, northern pintails, great cormorants, ruddy shelducks, spotted redshanks, rare greater spotted eagles and the world’s fastest bird - peregrine falcons.
  • We take you back to your accommodation in Bagan for the night, a deluxe garden view room at Thiripyitsaya Sanctuary Resort or a similar property in the vicinity.
  • Meals: Breakfast is provided
Day 4: Bagan - Mount Victoria (Natma Taung) National Park
  • Today we make the drive for the four-night leg of your Myanmar trekking, hiking and birdwatching tour up to Mount Victoria. The drive - which includes a lunch stop - lasts eight hours and if the opportunity permits, we can attempt a bit of birdwatching on the way to see hooded treepies, white-eyed buzzards, minivets (Jerdon’s, small, scarlet and rosy), white-rumped falcons, woodpeckers, parakeets (Alexandrine, grey-headed, rose-ringed, red-breasted and blossom-headed) and chestnut-bellied nuthatches. Dinner is served at a local restaurant.
  • Your accommodation for the night is a deluxe room at The Floral Breeze Hotel in Kampelet or a similar property in the vicinity.
  • Note: The Mount Victoria section is a full adventure tour as conditions include bad roads, sub-standard hotels and frequent power outages. Please also note that schedules are subject to change on account of transportation issues, weather and other conditions.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner are provided
Day 5: Mount Victoria (Natma Taung) National Park
  • Mount Victoria is also called Natma Taung National Park and is one of the best places for birdwatching in Myanmar. It presents the perfect opportunity to see a variety of near-endemic and totally endemic species including the Burmese tit (earlier classified with the  black-browed tit), white-browed nuthatch, Assam thrush (earlier classified with the chestnut-crowned laughingthrush), Mount Victoria babax (earlier classified with the Chinese babax), Chin Hills wren-babbler (earlier classified with the long-tailed wren-babbler), black-throated prinia (earlier classified with the hill prinia), buff-breasted parrotbill (earlier classified as black-throated parrotbill), laughing thrushes (stripe, blue-winged and brown-capped), treecreepers (bar-tailed and Hume’s), Indian blue robin, nuthatches (chestnut-vented and white tailed), Whistler’s warbler, yellow-billed blue magpie, grey-sided thrush, tits (black-bibbed, black-throated and green-backed), Hodgson’s frogmouth, spotted forktail, crimson-faced liocichla (earlier classified with red-faced liocichla), barwings (streak-throated and rusty-fronted), minlas (red-tailed and bar-throated), fulvetta (Nepal, rusty-capped and white-browed), spot-winged grosbeak, spot-breasted parrotbill, fire-tailed sunbird, spotted forktail, scimitars (streak-breasted and sickle-billed), wrens (pygmy and scaly-breasted), rare warblers (bush and broad-billed), Himalayan cutia, blue-winged siva, yellow-breasted greenfinch, striated bulbul, stripe-throated yuhina, chestnut-headed tesia, grey sibia, black-eared shrike and black-headed shrike babblers and others.
  • Along the way, you will enjoy lunch and later, a traditional dinner at a local restaurant.
  • Your accommodation for the night is a deluxe room at The Floral Breeze Hotel in Kampelet or a similar property in the vicinity.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner are provided
Day 6: Mount Victoria (Natma Taung) National Park
  • Today is another day focused on a birdwatching tour through Mount Victoria. You will spend the whole day looking for the gorgeous species of birds that inhabit this region. Along the way, you will enjoy lunch and later, a traditional dinner at a local restaurant.
  • Your accommodation for the night is a deluxe room at The Floral Breeze Hotel in Kampelet or a similar property in the vicinity.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner are provided
Day 7: Mount Victoria (Natma Taung) National Park
  • Enjoy another day catching glimpses of avian species on this Myanmar trekking, hiking and birdwatching tour through Mount Victoria. Along the way, you will enjoy lunch and later, a traditional dinner at a local restaurant.
  • Your accommodation for the night is a deluxe room at The Floral Breeze Hotel in Kampelet or a similar property in the vicinity.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner are provided
Day 8: Mount Victoria (Natma Taung) National Park - Bagan
  • We head back to Bagan today on a drive that will take you via Saw, and past two elephant camps. If the season is right, you might be able to spot them working. A picnic lunch will be served en-route. Arrival in Bagan is slated for the late afternoon.
  • Your accommodation for the night is a deluxe garden view room at Thiripyitsaya Sanctuary Resort in Bagan or a similar property in the vicinity.
  • Meals: Breakfast and lunch are provided
Day 9: Bagan Temples
  • Today, you will immerse yourself in culture, history and tradition with a t rip around the temples and workshops of Bagan. You can choose either a bicycle or a horse cart to explore the nearby Myinkaba village, including the delicate stucco on the Gubyaukgyi temple and the Mon-style Nanpaya temple with its beautiful carvings in stone. At Manuha Pagoda, you will spot the four famous Buddha images. A little further is the 11th century Pyat Shwegu pagoda which features ancient Mon writings on frescoes, and also the Myazedi stupa which houses Myanmar’s most well-known Rosetta Stone with engravings in four languages.
  • Later, we will take you to a Moe Moe lacquerware workshop where you can watch artisans create Bagan’s masterpieces. At Abeyadana Temple in the same area, you will be able to spot connections with India through its frescoes depicting Bodhisattvas and various mythological deities. At Dhammayangyi, observe the imposing brick structure built without mortar way back in 1170 AD. Bagan is also famous for its two-storied Bamar-style temples, and we will take you to Sulamani which features four seated Buddhas. End the day with a glimpse of the shimmering sunset from the top of a temple.
  • Your accommodation for the night is a deluxe garden view room at Thiripyitsaya Sanctuary Resort in Bagan or a similar property in the vicinity.
  • Meals: Breakfast is provided
Day 10: Bagan Balloon Ride - Rv Paukan Cruise To Mandalay
  • Enjoy a breathtaking view of the ancient city of Bagan from above with a hot air balloon ride at sunrise. At 5.30hrs, you will leave your hotel for the launch site, and enjoy refreshments and take photographs as the balloons inflate.
  • You will be able to see over a thousand Buddhist temples dotting the green landscape as the sun rises over the Ayeyarwady River. The tour ends wherever the wind prompts a descent and you can toast this memorable tour with a glass of sparkling wine before heading back to your hotel.
  • Later, we head to the jetty on the Ayeyarwady River to board the RV Paukan by 11.30hrs. It casts off at noon and lunch is served by 13.00hrs. As you sail down the river, we make a stop at a typical river-side village to get a quick peek into their lives. Dinner is served on board.
  • Your accommodation for the night is a main deck cabin on the RV Paukan.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner are provided
Day 11: Rv Paukan Cruise
  • It’s a relaxing day on board the RV Paukan as you sail down the river with stops to visit Yandabo village where they make beautiful pottery. This is also the site of the 1826 peace treaty signing of First Anglo-Burmese war. After lunch on board, you will visit either the Ywar Thit Gyi or Pauk Myaing Pauk Taw villages to moor for the night. Dinner is served on board.
  • Your accommodation for the night is a main deck cabin on the RV Paukan.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner are provided
Day 12:  Mandalay
  • At 9.30hrs, the RV Paukan cruise will reach the beautiful town of Mandalay, and you will disembark at either Sagaing jetty (Thursdays only) or Gawein jetty (Sundays only). A sparkling treasure awaits in the form of a gold Buddha image at the Mahamuni Pagoda. Our guide will also take you to watch traditional crafts coming to life at local workshops making Kalaga tapestries of razor-thin gold leaf as well as stone carving and bronze casting.
  • See the ‘world’s largest book’ at Kuthodaw Pagoda, a volume of 729 marble slabs engraved with Theravada Buddhist scriptures. In a spectacular end to the day, we stop at the famous Shwenandaw Monastery, a splendid structure carved in teak and the only structure of the Royal Palace that survived the bombings of the Second World War. Climb up Mandalay Hill to watch the sunset caught in the sparkling glass-studded walls of the temple.
  • Your accommodation for the night is a deluxe room at Hotel Shwe Pyi Thar in Mandalay or a similar property in the vicinity.
  • Meals: Breakfast is provided
Day 13: Mandalay - Shwe Bo - Kyauk Myaung - Mandalay
  • Mandalay and its surroundings are filled with traditional crafts of all sorts. In the morning, we drive you northwest through the beautiful countryside to Shwebo, that lies sandwiched between the Mu River and the Ayeyarwady River. Here you will watch skilled workers create beautiful earthenware, before heading 45 minutes on to Kyauk Myaung where the famed glazed earthen pots and jars come to life before your eyes. You will trek through the lanes to workshops where locals mould pots after pots and catch a glimpse of this skilled traditional process up close. We drive back to your hotel in Mandalay.
  • Your accommodation for the night is a deluxe room at Hotel Shwe Pyi Thar in Mandalay or a similar property in the vicinity.
  • Meals: Breakfast is provided
Day 14: Mandalay - Heho - Kalaw (Hiking)
  • Today we take you back towards the hinterlands to immerse yourself in the pristine n atural beauty that is intrinsic to Myanmar. We head to Heho (transfers included), from where a 50km drive brings you to Kalaw. Here, you will find a cute little railways station, and you can walk up the hill to have a look at an old Catholic church if it is open.
  • In the afternoon, we will take you on a three-hour hike to Myinmahti, which includes a gradual elevation on a shale road through a forest and then on to a flat path. The tranquil pine forests filled with birdsong then give way to fields of tomatoes, beans, mountain rice, potatoes and other vegetables grown by the villagers of the Taunggyi, Lutpyin and Ywa-pu villagers with help of their oxen and buffalo. It is an agricultural economy here and villagers belong to the Danu ethnic group. This leg of the Myanmar trekking, hiking and birdwatching tour brings you an insight into how the locals live in this region. At Myinmahti, an interesting pagoda with a 200m long limestone cave marks the end of the day’s hike. We will drive you back to Kalaw from here.
  • Your accommodation for the night is a deluxe village at Kalaw Hill Lodge in Kalaw or a similar property in the vicinity.
  • Meals: Breakfast and lunch are provided
Day 15: Kalaw (Birdwatching)
  • In this lush region, there are myriad opportunities for birdwatching in Myanmar. We take you on a full-day tour of Kalaw’s birding hotspots where you can spot Indochinese cuckoo shrikes, speckled piculets, scimitars (white-browed and rusty-cheeked), red-billed blue magpies, white-crowned forktails, black-headed greenfinches, silver eared laughing thrushes (earlier classified as chestnut-crowned laughing thrushes), streaked wrens, bulbuls (sooty-headed, ashy, brown-breasted, mountain, and black), black-breasted thrushes, grey-cheeked fulvettas, spectacled barwings, white-browed laughing thrushes, broadbills (long-tailed and silver-breasted), silver-eared mesia, white-browed shrike babblers, Bianchi’s warblers, and velvet-fronted nuthatches.
  • You may also spot the Burmese yuhina, giant nuthatch and dark-back sibia, which are all almost entirely found only in Myanmar. Enjoy a packed lunch on your birdwatching tour.
  • Your accommodation for the night is a deluxe room at Kalaw Hill Lodge in Kalaw or a similar property in the vicinity.
  • Meals: Breakfast and lunch are provided
Day 16: Kalaw - Lake Inle - Indaing
  • Today, our Myanmar trekking, hiking and birdwatching tour takes you on a leisurely morning walk before heading out on a pleasant lake for an evening of riverside beauty. First, you will stop at the local market in Kalaw where you can look through the produce brought in by people from the minority communities. Later, a two-hour drive through the countryside of the Shan Plateau brings you to Nyaung Shwe, where a private boat takes you to your hotel on the banks of Lake Inle.
  • A picturesque afternoon awaits on a long-tailed boat to Indaing and the western end of this beautiful water body. You will pass the lake’s largest village - Ywama - with its numerous channels and stilt houses made of local teak. As you drift through a canal bordered by trees, a stunning scene appears of farmers going about their daily work against the majestic backdrop of the Shan Hills.
  • We take you to the jetty at Indaing, from where a 15-minute walk brings you to the village proper. Ruins from the 14th-18th century Nyaung Ohak pagoda are visible here, and other ancient sites add a certain charm to the area, left as they are with plants and even small trees pressing through their structure. Head to Shwe Inn Thein Paya through a shaded walkway bordered by souvenir stalls, to see a zedi complex comprising centuries-old structures and several new ones. After your return to the jetty, we take you back to your hotel by boat.
  • Your accommodation for the night is a junior suite at Novotel Inle Lake Hotel on the banks of the river or a similar property in the vicinity.
  • Meals: Breakfast and lunch are provided
Day 17: Lake Inle (Birdwatching)
  • You will discover more avian life today with a whole day dedicated to our birdwatching tour of Myanmar. Lake Inle is home to some of the country’s rarest bird species including Sarus cranes and Jerdon’s bushchat.
  • Other beautiful birds you can spot in the lake surroundings include the clamorous reed warbler, purple swamphen, jacanas (pheasant-tailed and bronze-winged), bitterns (yellow and cinnamon), collared mynas, crakes (black-tailed and ruddy-breasted), blue-eared kingfisher, striated grassbird, glossy ibis, oriental pratincole, plaintive cuckoo, prinias (yellow-bellied and plain), black-winged stilt, and ducks (spot-billed and lesser whistling).
  • Roosting colonies are a sight to behold in the evenings, among which you will see clusters of Chinese and Indian ponds, mynas (jungle, white-vented, collared and common), little cormorants, starlings (black-collared, vinous-breasted, Asian pied and chestnut-tailed), black-crowned night herons, and egrets (cattle, little and intermediate).
  • Your accommodation for the night is a junior suite at Novotel Inle Lake Hotel on the banks of the river or a similar property in the vicinity.
  • Meals: Breakfast and lunch are provided
Day 18: 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. You will see how the Intha grow fruit and vegetables on floating gardens and stop by Nga Phe Kyaung Monastery, the oldest monastery on the lake with statues that are hundreds of years old.
  • Today’s tour also includes a stop at the Phaung Daw Oo pagoda, where five Buddha statues are covered in gold, and you can observe locals praying in the region’s holiest religious site. One interesting site not to miss is the Intha Heritage House, where a colony of privately-owned Burmese cats live. The gorgeous creatures were once owned by royal families and those who looked after Myanmar’s temples.
  • In Nampan and Inpawkhon villages by the lakeside, you can watch the traditional way of making boats and weaving silk using wooden looms. A visit to a cheroot workshop and a blacksmith’s forge along the way will give you an insight into the occupations followed by locals for decades.
  • Your accommodation for the night is a junior suite at Novotel Inle Lake Hotel on the banks of the river or a similar property in the vicinity.
  • Meals: Breakfast and lunch are provided
Day 19: Lake Inle - Heho - Thandwe - Ngapali Beach
  • To offset the intensity of this trekking, hiking and birdwatching tour of Myanmar, we take you to the quiet Ngapali beach where you can relax and soak in the tranquillity and sunshine of this tropical paradise. To get to Ngapali, we transfer you to Heho airport for a domestic flight to Thandwe, where your hotel will provide transport to your room for the next few days.
  • Your accommodation for the night is a deluxe room at Sandoway Resort at Ngapali beach or a similar property in the vicinity.
  • Meals: Breakfast is provided
Day 20: Ngapali Beach
  • You have the entire day at your leisure. Your accommodation for the night is a deluxe room at Sandoway Resort at Ngapali beach or a similar property in the vicinity.
  • Meals: Breakfast is provided
Day 21: Ngapali Beach
  • You have the entire day at your leisure. Your accommodation for the night is a deluxe room at Sandoway Resort at Ngapali beach or a similar property in the vicinity.
  • Meals: Breakfast is provided
Day 22: Ngapali Beach - Thandwe - Yangon Departure
  • Your hotel will drive you to Thandwe airport for your domestic flight to Yangon, where you can drive to the city centre and visit the Sule Pagoda that is covered in gold. You will have a guide and car at your disposal until your international flight leaves that day.
  • Meals: Breakfast is provided
Pickup point
Directions.
Yangon, Myanmar (Burma) View on Map