An Insider's Myanmar

Experience overview

Delving deep into this diverse country, An Insider's Myanmar takes in the bustle of Yangon and Mandalay, Bagan’s awe-inspiring UNESCO World Heritage temples, and the beauty of Inle Lake, then steps off the well-trodden trail into the Kalaw hills, and south into remote Kayah State, only recently opened up to visitors.

At a glance


    Marvel at the sunset from U Bein Bridge

    Fish in harmony with Irrawaddy Dolphins

    Wind through Po Win Taung’s caves

    Overnight in a mountain monastery

    Mingle in a Padaung community

    Learn to cook delicious Burmese cuisine



  • Discover Maeklong Railway Market & Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
  • Chef’s Table at Blue Elephant
  • Northern Thai Style Cooking Class at Baan Book Pratana
  • nteract with Elephants at Patara
  • Explore Phi Phi Island & Bamboo Island by private speed boat

Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket

Culinary highlights

Beach holidays

Exotic islands

Sample Itinerary

Day 1
Arrive Mandalay, afternoon city tour

On arrival in Myanmar, you'll be met by your private guide, who will accompany you to your Mandalay hotel.

Enjoy an afternoon touring some of the city's key sites with a personalised guided programme. Wander around the eclectic stalls at Zaycho Market, stop at the Kuthodaw Pagoda to read a few pages from the world's largest 'book' (an entire Buddhist canon recorded on 729 stone tablets!), watch devotees add gold leaf to the Buddha at the Mahamuni Paya, and see the historic wooden palace of Shwe Nan Daw.

Day 2
Irrawaddy Dolphin cooperative experience, overnight in a riverbank yurt

We have partnered with a local NGO to create a unique experience taking visitors out on the river with local fishermen, to raise awareness of the critically endangered Irrawaddy Dolphin. There’s no guarantee you’ll see dolphins, but your involvement provides vital support to the community, helping preserve the cultural heritage of cooperative fishing with the dolphins, and looking out for their welfare. Sail upstream on board a small river cruiser, which will be your home for the next 24 hours. Meet the fishermen, and learn about their lifestyle and why the conservation of Myanmar’s Irrawaddy dolphins is so important. Visit several riverside villages and discover more about the region’s cottage industries, including bamboo hat making and pottery, and enjoy a simple lunch on deck with the boatmen, keeping your eyes peeled for dolphins while you eat. End the day moored on a secluded sandbank at sunset, to enjoy a simple dinner and reflect on the day with a chilled beer.

Day 3
Boat trip with the fishermen, visit riverside villages

Rise early for the best chance to spot the dolphins out on the river while it’s still quiet. With the benefit of decades of experience in these waters, the fishermen will know when dolphins are nearby, and pause the boat if and when they make an appearance. Learn how the fishermen prepare and cast their nets, and how their extraordinary cooperative fishing tradition works, before heading back downstream. Disembark at Mingun to explore some key sites, such as King Bodawpaya’s unfinished temple and the mighty Mingun Bell, before enjoying the cruise back to Mandalay.

Day 4
Drive to Bagan, via Mount Popa

Mount Popa was a sacred site long before Buddhist monks established their beautiful monastery on a cinder plug near its peak. Legend tells that the mountain is home to 37 ‘Nats’ - traditional spirits that are worshipped throughout Myanmar in tandem with Buddhism. The mountain is a popular pilgrimage site, and its slopes are scattered with shrines. The view from the peak is spectacular - certainly worth the effort of climbing the 800 steps to get there! Trek to the nearby villages of Popa Taungyar and Myaukywa for an insight into traditional rural life, and chat with a local family over tea (with your guide acting as translator). Make the pleasant afternoon drive to Bagan, passing through peanut and sesame plantations, and maybe pausing en route to learn about local palm sugar and peanut oil production. The remainder of your day in Bagan is at leisure.



Day 5
Bagan temples and village cycle tour

Start your cycle tour in Myinkaba Village, home of the Myinkaba Hpayar pagoda built by the legendary ruler King Anawrahta. Visit the nearly 1000-year-old Manuha temple, and Nan-Paya, believed to be the palace of King Manuha, who introduced the first lacquerware artisans to the region. See the Dhammayazika Pagoda, the largest pentagonal stupa in Bagan, lined with terracotta friezes illustrating scenes from the Jataka tales. Stop at Anauk Pwasaw to see the traditional Myanma rattan houses, cattle carts, and local handicrafts, then continue to Minanthu village for lunch. Visit the interconnected shrines of Payathonzu Pagoda, the abandoned yet ornate construction of Tayok Pye, and a wooden monastery with beautifully decorated stone steps in Taungbi village. Head to Nat Taung Kyaung, another wooden monastery, considered to be the oldest and finest example of its kind in the region, before cycling back to Bagan.

Day 6
Travel to Sale via Chauk market.

Head out of Bagan on a scenic rural drive to the town of Chauk. Famous for oil and natural gas production, the town has grown from a tiny village to a thriving regional centre, and you’ll see ‘nodding donkeys’ and working pipelines during your visit. A world away from the major tourist sights, this is a great opportunity to see down-to-earth Myanmar life and mix with the locals, as you visit the vibrant central market and stop for a cuppa in a traditional tea shop. Continue on to the ancient town of Sale, and the Salay River View Inn: a family-run property in the heart of the town. Get hands on with a cooking class, take traditional Myanmar tea with your hosts, or just chill out and connect with the community.



Day 7
Farm village visit and Sale highlights

Head to a farming village just across the river to experience the rhythm of daily life in this agricultural area, then return to Sale to soak up the serene pace as you explore the town’s temples and highlights.

Day 8
Day-long drive to Kalaw

Settle back and enjoy central Myanmar’s atmospheric scenery on the 6 to 7-hour drive to Kalaw. Your guide will suggest a few good places to stop along the way, such as Meikhtila lake and market, or the railway station in Thazin, where you can stretch your legs and explore.

Day 9
A day with the elephants at Green Hill Valley

Travel through the Shan Hills to the Green Hill Valley Elephant Camp at Magwe. This inspiring project is a retirement camp for elephants that were once worked in the region’s logging industry. Set within a beautiful conservation area known for its orchids, teak, bamboo forest and butterflies, the Green Hill Valley area is also excellent for trekking. On arrival, meet the team for an introductory overview of the project, the conservation, and their work within the local community. Walk a short way to the elephant village to meet the mighty residents, and assist the mahouts in feeding them, before following them down to the river to participate in the elephant bathing. Re-plantation is another major focus at Green Hill Valley, and you’ll have the chance to contribute by planting a local tree.

Day 10
Journey to Sagar via Nyaung Shwe

Start your day at the bustling Kalaw market before heading off towards Nyaung Shwe on the shores of beautiful Inle Lake. Pause in atmospheric Nyaung Shwe for a break, and maybe a quick bite in one of its many eateries, before bumping along the road for a couple more hours to Mawbi Village, where you’ll board a boat to Sagar at the southern end of Inle Lake. Linked by a tributary to the main body of water, and well away from the tourist hotspots, it's one of the most beautiful places in the Shan State. The mountains create a picturesque backdrop for the small villages and leg-rowing fishermen on the water. Stay at the stunning Inle Sanctuary Phayartaung, a stilted eco-lodge set on the end of the lake in the tiny Phayartaung village.



Day 11
Explore Phayartaung village

The best way to explore the region around Phayartaung is on foot, hiking between villages to meet different communities and immerse yourself in the local culture. Visit a Pa-O village, a Shan village and an Inntha village to see pagodas, traditional weaving and handmade jewellery, and trek through the countryside to remote waterfalls and hot springs.


Day 12
Continue exploring around Sagar

Continue exploring the surrounding countryside by bike, cycling a little further afield to visit more tribal communities, including Pa-O, Shan, Kayah and Inntha villages. Wonder at the pagodas that rise dramatically out of the landscape, visit a Kayah holy site and hot springs, try your hand at making rice crackers and rice wine, and float out onto the water with a gentle boat trip across the lake.

Day 13
Fly to Yangon, Go Local experience

Transfer to Heho Airport by, boat and car in time for your flight to Yangon, where the rest of your day will be at leisure. In the evening, it’s time to ‘Go Local’. Take a stroll with one of our local Burmese friends, stopping for a drink in a local café or bar, immersing yourself further into the country’s culture, and seeing a side of Yangon that only locals know. Perhaps enjoy some street food and live music, join your companion at their local temple, or even share a drink or meal with their family or friends.

Day 14
Circle train, Sule Pagoda, walking tour, Shwedagon Pagoda

Make a beeline for the bustling streets of India Town in the heart of downtown Yangon. Explore the lively morning market, then board the city’s ‘circular railway’ at Yangon’s Central Station. Weave through the city’s lively and colourful local neighbourhoods, before disembarking at Hledan to visit the huge reclining Buddha. Head downtown to the Sule Pagoda, and perhaps stop to chat with one of the fortune-tellers based there, before walking to Mahabandoola Park and Burma’s Independence Monument. Wander along the banks of the Yangon River to see some historic architecture, including the literary Strand Hotel, once home to the likes of Orwell, Kipling and Somerset Maugham. Mingle with the locals over a cup of sweet chai in a traditional tea shop, and visit the magnificent 2,000 year old Shwedagon Pagoda - one of the most significant religious sites in Myanmar. Explore the surrounding shrines as the city’s residents make their daily prayers, and investigate the makeshift food markets that spring up there as evening draws in.


Day 15
Depart Yangon

Enjoy a morning at leisure until it’s time to catch your onward flight.

Booking Policy

  • English speaking, local guide
  • All accommodation listed
  • Land transportation by private air-conditioned vehicles
  • Any domestic flights listed (unless marked otherwise)
  • All admission fees at attractions, temples and activities as mentioned in the itinerary
  • All meals listed
  • Entry visas
  • International airport departure taxes
  • Any meals not listed in the itinerary
  • Drinks, other than water on activity days
  • Personal expenses (laundry, telephone, drinks, tip...)
  • Travel insurance
  • All other services not listed in 'inclusive'    

Please note: During high season periods (such as Christmas and New Year) hotels often levy a surcharge and these are not included in the above prices. Your consultant will be happy to advise you of these.

Personalised design
We’ll plan your trip around your specific interests, tastes and preferences, providing helpful tips and honest advice based on firsthand knowledge of the destionation.
Authentic Experience
Our expert guides and brilliant travel concierges are hand-picked to provide a genuine experience, bringing you destination to life with care and passion.
Responsible Travel
Our luxury trips are designed with responsible travel principles that priorities travel experiences that are both good for you and good for the planet.
It is easy to customize your An Insider's Myanmar tours with us

What our clients say about us

Feb 2023
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An amazing trip out together by Stephen at My Way Travel! This was our second trip ( went to Vietnam and Cambodia 2019). Stephen is great to work with- very flexible and listens to what we wanted to do. This trip was originally scheduled for April 2020. A honest company that asked if I wanted my deposit back and I said no - that I would use it in a future trip! How many companies around the world did this???? We had great guides In Bangkok and Chiang Rai and Chiang Rai. Fon was full of energy and fun in Bangkok. Ann was one of the best guides I have ever had- she took us to a couple of places not noted on the tour. We went for a hike at a waterfall and visited the cave where the Thai boys were rescued in the cave. Both Ann and Fon gave us wonderful suggestions for restaurants. I would absolutely recommend Stephen and My Way Travel! We plan to use him again in planning Bali!
April 18, 2023
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Our group of 26 people traveled to Japan & Thailand with My Way Travel, and had an incredible time. This was our third trip with My Way Travel and the trip was planned perfectly with every detail accounted for. Our tour guides were exceptional in every way. They exuded a warmth and friendliness that immediately put us at ease, making our trip more enjoyable. Not only were they amiable, but they also had extensive knowledge about the places we visited. We would highly recommend My Way Travel to anyone planning a trip to Asia.
July 28, 2023
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We have just returned from a 16 Day/15 Night trip to southeast Asia including stops in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand planned by Stephen at My Way Travel. We reached out to My Way Travel with quite a tall order asking them to arrange a trip for us that included visiting 9 cities in 15 nights! From the first point of contact, our experience with My Way Travel was absolutely fantastic. Stephen was very attentive and let us customize our tour however we pleased. All of the hotels he booked for us were incredible and the tour guides and drivers made us feel like family. It was very easy to keep in touch with Stephen throughout our trip via Whatsapp. The only thing we really needed during our trip was to add baggage for one of our flights and he was able to take care of it the day before we arrived at the airport. All the drivers/guides showed up on time and made transferring from airport to hotel to tour to wherever extremely easy. I will definitely recommend this company to anyone that plans on traveling to Asia.
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