Overview

Not enough is said of Myanmar’s raw pristine beauty. Our overland drive and island discovery tour will give you the chance to witness this in person as you traverse undulating terrains covered in lush greenery, look for pagodas peeking through the scenery and observe the interesting lives of locals in the region. You will visit religious sites hidden in caves, enjoy panoramic sunsets on one of Myanmar’s most holy places, stop by bustling local hives of activity, go snorkeling by a white sandy beach and take in the sights and sounds of this beautiful country. Our overland drive in Myanmar will showcase rugged mountains and erstwhile restricted zones, while our island discovery tour will take you to a beach far off the tourist path. From majestic towering Buddha statues and temples gilded in gold to cashew nut workshops and betel plantations, we show you Myanmar as it exists in the heart of its locals - pure and heartwarming.

8 Nights 9 Days 16 Oct, 17 Oct, 18 Oct, and more Yangon, Yangon Region
Inclusions/Exclusions
What we'll give. What we won't

What is included in the tour

  • Transfers and sightseeing (sometimes non-air conditioned)
  • Entrance fees as mentioned and transfer on open truck
  • Local guides fluent in English for tours, treks and hikes
  • Life jackets and snorkeling gear
  • Potable water and wet towels
  • Baggage handling, room tax, service charges

What is NOT included in the tour

  • Domestic flights and sedan chair at upper camp
  • 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
  • Scenic overland drive from Thailand to Myanmar
  • Hike or truck ride to Golden Rock
  • Enchanting off-beat beaches in south Myanmar
  • Renowned religious sites and typical rural life
  • Colonial grandeur of Yangon and beautiful Shwedagon
Itinerary
Day 1: Myawaddy Border - Hpa-An
  • You will enter the beautiful country of Myanmar at the Mae Sot-Myawaddy check point. Your arrival time here in the morning or the afternoon can be scheduled according to your Thai itinerary.
  • From here, get your first glimpses of the enchanting natural beauty of the mountains on your two-hour overland drive to Hpa-An, where we drop you off at your hotel.
  • Your accommodation for the night is the Kayin Cottage at Hpa-An Lodge or a similar property in the city.
  • Meals: No meals are provided
Day 2: Hpa-An - Kyaiktiyo
  • The first stop for today is the Kawh Goon Cave where you will notice dozens upon dozens of tiny terracotta votive tablets of varying sizes stuck to the ceiling. Later, cross a bridge without a railing to a tiny island that houses the interestingly-shaped Kyauk Kalat Monastery which is serenity personified.
  • From here, we head on a three-hour drive to Kyaiktiyo to see the Golden Rock. To get here, you will be dropped at Kin Pun, where the journey to the site is undertaken in two parts - by truck and 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 the Mountain Top Hotel or a similar property in the vicinity.
  • Meals: Breakfast is provided
Day 3: Kyaiktiyo - Bago -Yangon
  • Today, you will learn more how Buddhism is practised in this region. After breakfast, you could choose to either walk 4kms down the hill or travel in a sedan chair to the spot where an open truck takes you to Kin Pun. Your driver awaits you here to take you to one of Myanmar’s most spectacular religious sites which is more than a thousand years old.
  • A 55-metre long reclining Shwethalyaung Buddha image is located at Shwemawdaw Pagoda, which is taller than Yangon’s impressive Shwedagon Pagoda at its tip. Nearby is the residential Kyakhatwine Monastery where monks learn Buddhist literature. At lunch time, you will observe a peculiar ritual of all the monks come in to collect rice, money and other donations before sitting down at small round tables.
  • You will also see the ordination hall - called Maha Kalyani Sima - and the great stupa - called Mahazedi - from where you can enjoy panoramic views across the countryside.
  • We visit Kyaik Pun Pagoda to see its huge Buddha statues on the way to Yangon where we drop you at your hotel.
  • Your accommodation for the night is a superior room at the Rose Garden Hotel or a similar property in Yangon.
  • Meals: Breakfast is provided
Day 4: Yangon
  • Yangon is one of Myanmar’s most historically rich cities. Our guide takes you out early with a drive to the famous Strand Road before heading to Yangon harbour where the hustle and bustle of people jostle for ferries heading to Pathein in the delta and other towns on the banks of the Ayeyarwady River.
  • We will also take you along the Yangon river to Botahtaung Pagoda that reportedly houses Buddha relics. An overland drive then takes you through the colonial district of the region filled with beautiful architecture, Chinatown and the Indian quarter where you can get a glimpse of the colour and aromas of these neighbourhoods. Don’t miss out on taking photographs at the 2000-year-old Sule Pagoda that is covered in gold.
  • Finally, we head to the majestic Shwedagon Temple, a 2500-year-old site that 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. You can walk around the site to explore the details of the myriad beautiful statues and buildings surrounding it, or simply watch the world go by as dusk turns to night.
  • Your accommodation for the night is a superior room at the Rose Garden Hotel or a similar property in Yangon.
  • Meals: Breakfast is provided
Day 5: Yangon - Myeik
  • We go back in time with an overland drive to Myeik, which has been one of the co untry’s biggest port and fishing towns for centuries. Its history goes back to the early 17th century when the East Indian Trading Company unloaded their ships at its ports, from where goods would go into the interiors to Tanintharyi and on to Siam Ayutthaya which was the capital in those days.
  • Residents call this city Beik, and here they manufacture anything needed to be used in the fishing industry. To get a glimpse into its workings, we visit a soft shell crab and lobster farm. Take trip to the past with a leisurely walk into the colonial quarter towards the Royal Pearl trading shop which has been in the same family for a decade and a half. Here you can learn how pearls are cultivate and the arduous process that is part of the industry.
  • Later that afternoon, we head to the jetty at Seik Nge where you will take a traditional wooden boat to see a beautiful reclining Buddha statue on Pahtaw Island. After a short walk around the island, you will head to the top of the hill from where you can enjoy an absolutely stunning sunset.
  • Your accommodation for the night is a superior room at the Grand Jade Hotel or a similar property in city.
  • Meals: No meals are provided
Day 6: Mergui Archipelago Day Trip
  • You will head for some RnR in Myanmar’s stunning south where a cluster of beautiful, unexplored islands creates the perfect off-beat holiday location. After breakfast, we will transfer you to the main jetty at Seik Nge, with a quick stop at a village enroute so you can see how the fisherfolk in this area live.
  • From the jetty, we take a beautiful cruise over clear waters to a beach where you can go snorkeling. Here, you can relax on the white sandy beach, discover the teeming underwater life or engage in beach sports. Lots of fresh fruit and cold drinks are part of the delicious packed lunch served on the beach. We return to Myeik in the afternoon.
  • Your accommodation for the night is a superior room at the Grand Jade Hotel or a similar property in city.
  • Meals: Breakfast and lunch are provided
Day 7: Myeik - Dawei Overland
  • Today we leave early for an overland drive to Dawei on a stretch that was prohibited to foreigners and restricted for locals for a very long time. In the old days, residents of surrounding areas would have to show a permit to pass the road, and would use planes and ferries as their means of transport instead. To get a deeper insight into the lives of locals in the area, we take an old ferry crossing just outside Myeik.
  • During our overland drive in Myanmar, we will stop for lunch and see myriad tiny villages pass by. We will make intermittent stops so you can get a glimpse of daily life as it throbs by. You will learn lots of trivia about the region in general, and also about villages, particularly one that is named Eat No Rice.
  • On reaching Dawei, you will notice its connect to colonial rule through its picturesque architecture. Formerly known as Tavoy, it was one of the first cities to attract English settlers after the First Anglo-Burmese war of 1826.
  • You can enjoy some refreshments in your hotel after checking in, and if there is time, we will take you to see the Tanintharyi Regional Museum, a mine of information particularly about the Sea Gypsy people and artifacts related to the area. It houses portraits, bronze coins, vases and and towering ancient statues of Buddha made of wood. The other alternative is a pleasant walk along the picturesque river front.
  • Your accommodation for the night is a superior room at the Grand Jade Hotel or a similar property in city.
  • Meals: Breakfast is provided
Day 8: Dawei - San Maria
  • It’s almost the end of your Myanmar overland drive and island discovery tour, but there is still more we have to show you. We will give you a tour of the various occupations connected with this region for a better understanding of how people live and work in the area.
  • On the way to the beautiful San Maria beach, we stop at a family-owned cashew nut business, where you can observe the hard work that goes into peeling a single nut, one of the most coveted health food items in the world. As we drive onward to the beach, you will pass by acres upon acres of rubber plantations which are a main source of income for many people in the area.
  • Another tree planted as a cash crop is betel nut, especially in the Tanintharyi Division. Many of the betel nuts are exported to India which is a huge consumer of this fruit. At a fishing village we will stop at, you will learn more about dried fish, which is another big industry in this area.
  • For lunch, we stop at a local restaurant overlooking the Myaw Yit Pagoda which can be reached via a bridge. Then we head to San Maria, one of the few beaches still undiscovered by mass tourism. You can take a relaxing stroll or go into the cool sea for a pleasant swim.
  • On our return, we stop at a hot spring where you can wash the salt off and feel the supposed healing benefits of the 60C water.
  • For a picturesque evening, we head to the popular Maung Ma Gan beach where you can relax with a sundowner and delicious seafood dinner before enjoying the sunset. We head back for the night.
  • Your accommodation for the night is a superior room at the Grand Jade Hotel or a similar property in city.
  • Meals: Breakfast is provided
Day 9: Market Stroll - Yangon
  • After breakfast at your hotel, you can use the time until your departure to visit the busy main market and perhaps shop for some souvenirs to take home with you. Our guide will also show you traditional medicine which continues to be widely used today. To see pottery products being made, visit the potters’ village just five minutes from the hotel, and spend the rest of your time enjoying the beautiful city of Yangon before you depart.
  • We provide you a transfer to the airport.
  • 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 prior to booking are calculated 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

At Golden Rock, please remember:

  • Driving in private vehicles to base camp is prohibited. The open trucks available have narrow benches at the back.
  • The pagoda platform can get slippery in rain or mist
  • Gilding is done at the pagoda once every three years when the rock is covered in scaffolding. The work schedule is unavailable and there is no prior notice of work
  • The walk up to Golden Rock hotel takes 45 minutes and back down is half an hour. The footpath can get slippery during the monsoons.
  • Carry a torch for power cuts and a light duffle bag as your main luggage remains at base camp
  • Only Mountain Top Hotel has views of sunsets and sunrises. Mountain Top is at the summit of Golden Rock, while Golden Rock Hotel is close to upper camp. Other hotels are near base camp. Our schedule to drive up and down can be adjusted based on where you stay.

Points to note for Mergui Archipelago

  • The schedule is dependent on tide and weather conditions and subject to road conditions, flight timings, and room availability. There may be a supplement in such cases.
  • Other customers may join the tour.
  • Please consider this leg of the trip an adventure tour as south Myanmar has underdeveloped tourist infrastructure. While we attempt to bring you the best services and accommodations, there may be delays, changes or facilities that do not reach up to expectations.
  • Unforeseen circumstances may cause us to change the tour schedule without prior notice.
Pickup point
Directions.
Yangon, Myanmar (Burma) View on Map