Overview

Myanmar has a ​distinct natural and cultural heritage that is hard to rival. With our soft adventure tour, you will experience hiking and trekking through some of the most beautiful countrysides and forest regions in Asia, to places where you can observe life in the villages at its traditional best. Time stands still as you leave the bustle of city life behind with relaxing meditation and yoga classes, watch farmers tend to their fields and catch a glimpse of protected forests from more than 4700 feet up. You will get up close and personal with local fauna - interacting with elephants and watching dolphins ‘communicating’ with fishermen. You will also take a pleasant boat ride down the river, visit typical villages on its banks and in the hills, and stay overnight on a wooden boat. Our soft adventure tour intertwines hiking and trekking in Myanmar with visits to serene Buddhist temples and pagodas, cultural dances by locals and delicious local cuisine.

Hiking level: Moderate
8 Nights 9 Days 08 Dec, 09 Dec, 10 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
  • On board and monastery accommodation with linen, mattresses, mosquito nets
  • Local guides fluent in English for tours, treks and hikes
  • Cultural dance and scheduled yoga/meditation classes
  • Potable water and wet towels
  • Baggage handling, room tax, service charges

What is NOT included in the tour

  • Domestic flights, bicycle/horse ride/ox cart rentals
  • 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
  • Discover colonial towns and traditional villages
  • Hike through the hills and visit majestic temples
  • Experience authentic village life and learn yoga and meditation
  • Meet elephants and watch fishermen and dolphins work together
  • See the world’s largest bronze bell and interact with friendly locals
Itinerary
Day 1: Heho - Kalaw
  • On your arrival at Heho airport, we transfer you first to visit a colonial summer getaway - Kalaw - about an hour’s drive. Here, the friendly staff will receive you with welcome drinks and show you to your rooms. After settling in, you can enjoy a delicious vegetarian meal and relax with a stroll around the locality or a little bit of rest and recovery.
  • To ease you into your soft adventure visit to Myanmar with the upcoming trekking and hiking tour, you will receive a full body massage that lasts 90 minutes. Your introductory yoga class will begin at 17.00hrs where you can learn how to balance your body and mind with fluid, calming postures. Yoga helps calm the mind and increase flexibility. You will also learn more about meditation, which relieves your mind of worry or anxiety by freeing it of thoughts. An experienced practitioner will guide you through the process of rejuvenating your body and mind. The day ends with a nutritious vegetarian dinner at the hotel restaurant.
  • Your accommodation for the night is Kalaw Hill Lodge.
  • Meals: Lunch and dinner are provided
Day 2: Heho - Green Hill Valley Elephant Camp - Kalaw
  • Today, you will have your first taste of Myanmar’s thriving fauna. We trans fer you through hilly countryside to Green Hill Valley where you can observe and interact with the gentle giants that are integral to the biodiversity of this region. 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.
  • After your meal, we head to Kalaw for the night. Your accommodation is Kalaw Hill Lodge.
  • Meals: Breakfast and lunch are provided
Day 3: Farms
  • Your day begins bright and early with a meditation session to free your mind and bring you into a peaceful zone. Following half an hour of this, you will have a yoga session, followed by a late breakfast, at about 9.00hrs.
  • Today’s itinerary includes a tour of the vegetable garden at the hotel where you can pet their friendly animals, followed by a visit to the agricultural sites in the area so you can observe how traditional farmers in the region tend to their fields. Experience local religious practices through a stop at shrines dedicated to spirits called ‘nats’. Nearby are acres of farmland where you can watch buffalos working with farmers as they cultivate crops and plant pine trees. Interact with the locals by feeding their animals or learning how to milk cows. If you like, you can get a chance to hop onto an ox cart for a ride around the village.
  • A vegetarian lunch awaits you at the hotel, following which you will have a yoga class and meditation session. Dinner is served after this.
  • Your accommodation is Kalaw Hill Lodge.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner are provided
Day 4: Community Hiking Trail
  • A yoga class and some meditation begin your day before a sumptuous breakfast. Our Myanmar soft adventure trip includes a half-day hiking tour that offers you a close look at the villages in the region. We first stop at a local Buddhist monastery where you can speak to the head monk and understand more about the Buddhist way of life and teachings of Lord Buddha.
  • After a stop at the local library, you will strike out on your easy hiking tour to the village of Namthe, inhabited by the Danu tribe. Walk around the village to understand more about how they live. A local house will serve you a taste of rice and plum wine before you head to a nearby Nepalese village to sample their traditional lunch.
  • Afterwards, you will head back to the hotel for a yoga and meditation session before enjoying a vegetarian dinner.
  • Your accommodation is Kalaw Hill Lodge.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner are provided
Day 5: Kalaw - Sin Taung
  • Today, we head into the town of Kalaw before heading off to visit a village of Nepalese settlers whose forefathers arrived here more than a hundred years ago. To get to Kalaw, you will trek through protected pine forests on a mule path that takes you past some interesting architecture. One of these is a Buddhist monastery, followed by buildings constructed during the British rule that reflect their particular style. Among these is an Anglican Church built in 1906.
  • In the town of Kalaw, you will can meet members of the various tribes at its central market place. It’s a five-day market of hustle, bustle and colour where you can observe the unique weaves and traditional costumes of the hill tribes as well as intricate traditional jewellery.
  • After enjoying lunch in the city, we head to Kalaw railway station where a train takes you to Sin Taung. To get here, catch the train heading to Thazi. Sin Taung means mountain shaped like an elephant and you will notice its similarity with the world’s largest land mammal. Its elevation is about 4425 feet above sea level and it is home to a community that descended from Gurkha soldiers from Nepal brought here by the British.
  • The community built a beautiful Nepalese temple, now more than a hundred years old and an old railway station. Don’t miss the spectacular view of the valley below from the pagoda on the hill. Your day ends with a tasty Nepalese meal as you enjoy a delightful community cultural show.
  • Your accommodation for the night is a dormitory at a local home.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner are provided
Day 6: Sin Taung - Hinkha Gone - View Point - Mandalay
  • Our soft adventure tour gets a little challenging today with a hiking trip uphill. Following a hearty breakfast, you will walk to Hinkha Gone about 4kms away. It is a continuous walk uphill to an elevation of 4767 feet above sea level where you turn northwards onto a ridge for some of the most spectacular views in the region. With the carpet of protected forests on one side, you can look out across the valley from your vantage point more than 4700 feet above sea level.
  • After lunch here, you can enjoy the view for a while before continuing your trek down a dirt road before heading south to the tropical scarf forests. This entire walk lasts about an hour and 20 minutes before you get to the reservoir built by the British about 80 years ago. It continues to feed the town with a refreshing supply of fresh water. Here, you can pause for a while to soak in the pristine beauty, peacefulness and the sound of bird calls. You will also observe a variety of orchid species growing naturally on the trees above.
  • From here, head down to Nanthe, a Nepalese village about two hours away. It begins with a trek through thick forests which break open into fields where you can stop to chat with local farmers. It’s only a 20-minute hike from here back to the lodge.
  • Your accommodation for the night is a dormitory at a local home.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner are provided
  • Note: Total walking time is about 5-6 hours
Day 7: Mandalay - Mingun - Myit Kyan Gi
  • At this point, we take you to the heart of Myanmar, its agricultural community and other local occupations, some using methods seen nowhere else in the world. You will be transferred first to Mandalay jetty where a private wooden boat takes you on a pleasant three-hour sail up the Ayeyarwady River to the village of Shein-ma-kar. An interesting local market sits on the river bank, and after a short visit here, you will be served a delicious lunch on board.
  • From here, you will sail to Myit-kan-gyi where you can take a walk around the village to see its peculiar stilt houses and monasteries nestled among the trees and farmlands. Look for Sa-Gyin Hill in the distance, from where Myanmar quarries beautiful white marble for use within the country and for export to China.
  • In the evening, it is time to head towards the riverbank to observe the fascinating way local fishermen and the Ayeyarwady dolphins communicate with each other so the former can catch fish and the latter can eat the ones that escape the net. After a beautiful sunset by the river, you will spend the night on board the private wooden boat (non air-conditioned).
  • Meals: Lunch and dinner are provided
Day 8: Kann Phyu - Mingun - Mandalay
  • Wake early this morning to get another chance to observe the interesting collaboration between river dolphins and fishermen. You can also visit the Kann-phyu village nearby, which has a tranquil meditation centre and a home for the elderly. From here, we sail back to Mandalay.
  • On the way, we make stops to see the world’s largest intact bronze bell - the Mingun Bell, which weighs 87 tonnes and the spellbinding Ma Thein Tan or Hsinbyume Paya pagoda. We will also see the Mingun pagoda which is shaping up to be the biggest in the world. Lunch is served on board. We arrive in Mandalay in the late afternoon and you will get transferred to your hotel.
  • Meals: Breakfast and lunch are provided
Day 9: Mandalay - Heho Departure
  • We transfer you to Mandalay airport for your domestic flight to Heho.
  • 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 the Elephant Camp, please remember:

  • To wear sunscreen and carry a hat
  • Use insect repellent and wear long-sleeved shirts, long trousers and good walking shoes.
  • Follow the camp manager’s instructions when interacting with the elephants

For the Ayeyarwady dolphin-fisherman observation, please remember:

  • Wear a life jacket at all times
  • Stay clear of the dolphins’ path and move away cautiously if approached
  • Do not try to swim with, touch or throw things at the dolphins
  • Use only sign-language when observing the fishing
  • Do not throw non-biodegradable items into the river
Pickup point
Directions.
Yangon, Myanmar (Burma) View on Map