Day 1 Depart USA
- Flying over the floating villages and gardens at Inle Lake
- Assisting the preparation and sharing of a meal with the Intha people
- Floating over the plains and pagodas of Bagan at sunrise
- Dinner by candlelight amidst Bagan’s ancient temples
You board your aircraft for the overnight flight to Myanmar (Burma) and its capital, Yangon (Rangoon)
Day 2 En Route
During your flight you will cross the International Date Line technically "losing" a day but you will regain it on your return flight.
Day 3 Arrival in Rangoon
Upon arrival in Yangon you will be met by your guide who will facilitate the collection of luggage and the transfer to your car which will take you to your landmark hotel. Yangon, formerly known as Rangoon, was founded by King Alaungpaya on the site of a small town called Dagon when he conquered lower Myanmar in 1755. He changed its name to Yangon, which means "end of Strife" but was anglicized as Rangoon by the British when they annexed Myanmar in 1885. It is still a relatively quiet and charming city. Moreover its colonial and spiritual heritage makes it one of the most fascinating and authentic capitals of South East Asia. In the afternoon you will be taken on a private city tour including the National Museum, the 210 foot reclining Buddha at Kyaukhtatgyi Pagoda and, at the end of the day, Myanmar's holiest monument, the Shwedagon Pagoda with its golden stupa covered with 60 tons of pure gold leaf. Enjoy a quiet dinner in your hotel's justly admired restaurant.
Day 4 Heho and the Antique Bus to Pindaya
After breakfast your guide and driver will escort you to the airport for the flight to Heho. Upon arrival you will be met your guide and taken in a restored antique bus dating back to the colonial period to the small town of Pindaya. You check into your hotel and have the afternoon to relax. As the evening approaches, gather beneath the magnificent Banyan trees for a welcome bonfire dinner.
Day 5 Catching the Early Morning Thermals
You will transfer by the antique bus to the balloon launch location. The morning flight over Pindaya is a serene experience during which you drift over stunning scenery as the sun is rising. Watch the town below come to life as you fly above the town, tranquil Botoloke Lake, and the surrounding areas. After landing, your guide will take you to the Pindaya Caves, known locally as "Shwe U Min", a visit to the caves is a great chance to learn about the culture, lifestyle and religious beliefs of the Burmese people. The caves contain thousands of Buddha images of various shapes and sizes, the first of which were installed in the 11th Century. With your guide you wind your way through the labyrinth. You will have a picnic lunch as you travel to Nyaung Shwe in the antique bus. This village is the gateway to Inle Lake and a trip by private motorboat takes you to your lake front hotel. As you cruise across the water, enjoy the spectacular scenery. Pass villages built on stilts, leg-rowing Intha fishermen, and floating gardens which are anchored to the lake's bottom with bamboo poles. As the sun begins to set enjoy a scenic canoe trip as you tour the calm waters around the Intha village in a traditional canoe which is steered in the local leg-rowing style. This evening's dinner is a special experience as you dine on delicious traditional Shan cuisine whilst enjoying a cultural show.
Day 6 Time Aloft and Time at The Market
After breakfast you board a private motorboat to the launch site for your balloon flight. Flying over Inle Lake in a hot air balloon is one of the most beautiful ways to see the area. The skilled pilots use their knowledge of the winds to steer the balloon over the floating villages and gardens. You will see the morning fishermen looking for the first catch of the day and boats laden with produce on their way to the market. At higher altitude you will be amazed at the sweeping views of the lake's villages and intricate network of canals.. After landing, your guide will take you to the local market where you buy cooking ingredients which will be used to prepare your lunch. You will then go to an Inthar house where the host family will introduce you to the techniques and methods of their traditional cooking. After preparing the lunch, join the family to dine together on your creations. This evening enjoy a unique dining experience in your hotel's wine cellar.
Day 7 One More Lake Flight and Then off to Bagan
This morning you have another chance to fly above Inle Lake. Enjoy the beautiful scenery and panoramic views as you coast above the lake and its surroundings. After landing take the opportunity to enjoy the resort's pool or perhaps visit the spa? You will transfer to the mainland and have lunch at View Point restaurant before taking the antique bus one more time to Heho airport and the flight to Bagan. Upon arrival you are met by both your guide and your new pilots and escorted to the hotel. Get to know your pilots over dinner on the terrace.
Day 8 Ballooning over Bagan
Before sunrise, you will be picked up from your hotel and transferred to the departure point. While sipping coffee and having a croissant, watch the crew inflate the balloons and prepare for the flight. After a thorough safety briefing, climb in to your balloon's gondola and take-off! Depending on the weather, the flight will be between 45 minutes to an hour. You will coast over the plains of Bagan at a speed of around 15 miles an hour and drift past ancient temples in the serene morning air. After your flight you will visit key sights around Bagan enjoying a picnic lunch along the way. In the afternoon you will be taken to a boat jetty where you embark on a sunset dinner cruise. Travel along the Irrawaddy River where you will be rewarded with views of river life as well as seeing the temples from a different perspective. This evening's farewell dinner is a magical experience as you dine by candlelight in the grounds of one of Bagan's ancient temples. Enjoy a cultural show and a traditional Bagan dance performance with a beautiful pagoda as a backdrop.
Day 9 One Last Flight
This morning you have one more opportunity to float above the plains and the ruins with panoramic views of the Irrawaddy River. Upon landing you visit a lacquerware factory to observe the process of creating beautiful lacquerware. The intricate craftsmanship of the Bagan workshops is often regarded as the best in the world. After lunch at the Sunset Garden Restaurant, transfer to the airport for the flight to Rangoon. This evening, say goodbye to Burma with dinner at one of the country's finest restaurants, Le Planteur.
Day 10 Ancient Yangon and Colonial Rangoon
This morning, enjoy a visit to Shwedagon Pagoda, the most revered Buddhist Temple in Burma. The central stupa is 270 feet tall and gilded with gold leaf. Inside you will get a private tour of the priceless ancient artifacts, works of art and historic memorabilia which will help you gain insight into the country's history and culture. You will then continue to the city center, stopping at the glittering Sule Paya and tranquil Mahabandoola Park as well as walking past the fading colonial-era courthouse and city hall. After lunch you will visit Bogyoke Market, formerly known as Scott's Market, where you can browse through the wide selection of Myanmar handicrafts. You will then be taken to the airport for the flight to Bangkok. Upon arrival in Bangkok you are escorted by our representative to a hotel at the airport where you have dinner and spend the night.
Day 11 Return to USA
Since you are already at the airport, you have the chance to have a leisurely breakfast before meeting your guide who will assist you with the transfer to the airport and check-in. You regain the day lost previously arriving back the same afternoon.
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Disclaimer: Pins in map may not be accurate if Google Maps cannot find the exact address. In this case an approximation is made.
Tour Location / Places Visiteds
Yangon (Rangoon), Pinday, Inle Lake, Bagan, Suvarnabhumi Airport