Experience the best of Myanmar. See historic Yangon, before moving on to the beautiful scenery of Bagan. Discover Mandalay see ancient capitals and visit amazing Inle Lake.


8 Days, 7 Nights     FROM US$ 1088 PER PERSON

See the best of Myanmar, with river cruises, visits to unseen areas and be immersed in local communities, developing a strong connection with the captivating country as you go that will last for eternity.

Start in historic Yangon and its old colonial buildings, formerly known as ’Rangoon’ in its days of British rule. Join the locals at a tea shop to drink tea or coffee and try out their delicious snacks.

Walk to Shwedagon pagoda, the most revered in all of Myanmar. Fly to the ancient capital, Bagan and visit a cave temple filled with exquisite murals. See the amazing sunset from the upper terrace of a temple. Go to one of Bagan’s lesser-known areas and take a cruise down the Irrawaddy River to witness everyday riverside life.

Get back on the road to see the next former capital; Amarapura. Mahagandayon monastery here is home to over 1,000 monks. Walk along the world’s longest teak bridge, constructed from 984 teak posts that were once part of a palace. Head out onto magnificent Inle Lake in a private motorboat, passing floating garden houses built on stilts and the famous ’leg-rowing’ fishermen of the lake.

Take a ride through the city’s outskirts on Yangon’s circular train. Finally, have a stroll around Bogyoke Market, filled with handmade goods and curiosities; the perfect place for gift shopping.


Each of our itineraries can be tailored to your requirements, allowing us to create the perfect holiday just for you. Contact us with your holiday ideas, no matter how big or small, and our destination based teams will start planning a unique and personalized trip.

The Backyard Travel Team,


Cruise down the Irrawaddy River seeing everyday life as you pass huts, villages and fishermen
Ride the circular train around Yangon for a unique cultural insight into everyday life
Visit Inle Lake and experience one of Asia’s most captivating societies sustained entirely by the lake beneath their stilted homes

Daily Itinerary

Daily Itinerary

  • Start
  • Day 1: Yangon

    Upon arrival in Yangon, you will be met by your English-speaking local guide who will warmly welcome you and escort you to your hand-picked hotel.

    Formerly known as Rangoon, Yangon is a quaint, charming city blessed with a combination of colonial-style buildings and a spiritual heritage that makes it one of the most compelling cities in Asia.

    Start with a visit to Kyauktawgyi Pagoda, where you’ll get a chance to see a glimpse into Buddhist life as locals pay respect to the impressive 37-ft-high marble Buddha. The pagoda houses some fascinating murals depicting the life of Buddha which your expert Backyard Travel guide will be happy to explain. Next you will make a brief pit stop to recharge at a local tea shop that’s a favorite of the locals. A popular place at all hours of the day, this bustling shop is adorned with original wood carving decorations and here you can enjoy a freshly roasted coffee or brewed tea as you take in the uniqueness of a Yangon tea shop. Afterwards, your local Backyard Travel guide will take you to the green expanse of Kandawgyi Garden. The park is a popular place for people to come, relax and enjoy the fresh air and houses as well as the Karaweik barge, a replica of the Royal Barge. Within the gardens you’ll also find a large lake with scenic views of the inspiring Shwedagon Pagoda.

    You’ll end your penultimate day at Shwedagon Pagoda, where your guide will explain the history of the temple while taking a walk around the huge complex and its 65 stupas.

    The central stupa of Shwedagon Pagoda stands 90-meters tall and gilded with gold-leaf and is Myanmar’s most revered structure.

    Your evening will then be free to spend at your leisure, be sure to ask your Backyard Travel guide for an expert recommendation for a delicious restaurant to end the first day of your tour in style.

  • Day 2: Yangon-Bagan

    After breakfast you’ll fly to the ancient city of Bagan. At the airport you will be met by your local Backyard Travel guide who will escort you to one of the temples constructed during Bagan’s reign as the nation’s capital.

    The elevated temple provides picturesque panoramic views of the plains of Bagan, a wonderful sight that’s best appreciated from a high viewpoint which will give you a good understanding of the city’s layout and structure.

    Next you’ll pay visit to a traditional lacquer-ware shop where you will have the chance to observe the intricate process of one of Myanmar’s most famous handicrafts. After learning the tricks of the local trade, you’ll move on to Ananda Temple, one of Bagan’s most iconic and beautiful temples which contains four unique Buddha images, each one facing a different cardinal direction (North, East, South, and West).

    Built in 1105 AD during the reign of King Kyanzittha, the temple is nicknamed ‘Westminster Abbey of Myanmar’. Here your local guide will show you two of the Buddha images located within the temple that seem to have expressions that change depending on the distance you view the statue from!The tour continues by horse cart past Thatbyinnyu, followed by the highest temple in Bagan, Dhammayangi Temple and finally the Sulamani Temple. You’ll then have the opportunity to enjoy an unforgettable moment as you witness sunset from the upper terrace of one of the temples.

    Your evening is then free to spend at your own leisure. Should you wish to explore Bagan by night, don’t hesitate to ask your expert guide for any recommendation on restaurants or where’s best to experience the local atmosphere.

  • Day 3: Bagan

    After breakfast this morning, you’ll embark upon a guided tour led by your expert Backyard Travel guide. First you’ll visit the colorful Nyaung Oo Market where villagers from local hill tribes gather every day to buy and sell their produce and other handmade goods.

    After experiencing the bustling market, you’ll continue to Myinkabar, a small, local village which contains many fascinating temples. Upon reaching the village you’ll explore the religious sites, including an unusual temple with inscriptions written in the stone in four different languages.

    At this point you can choose to further explore Bagan or head back to your hotel to avoid the midday sun.

    In the afternoon, go to one of Bagan’s lesser-known areas, Minnanthu to the east of Bagan. An agricultural village, Minnanthu specializes in sesame and peanut oil production. You’ll have time to look around the peaceful area, taking in the temples of Nandamannya, Lemyentha and Payathonzu before heading to the pier to board a local boat.

    You’ll then cruise down the Irrawaddy River, taking the chance to see everyday life on the river as you float past villages, wooden huts and fishermen plying their trade.

    You’ll return to your hotel with the rest of the evening to spend at your leisure. If you’d like to visit a delicious local restaurant, be sure to ask your local Backyard Travel guide who will be happy to share their expert knowledge.Optional: Balloon Above Bagan. If you’re making your trip between October and March, you can enjoy an extra-special ‘once in a lifetime’ experience with an unforgettable hot air balloon ride over the temples of Bagan at dawn.

  • Day 4: Bagan-Mandalay

    After breakfast you’ll be picked up from your hotel and transferred to the airport for your onward flight to Mandalay, where you will be met by your next local Backyard Travel guide.

    Your investigation of Mandalay will begin with a sightseeing tour, first stopping at Mahamuni Pagoda. The legendary pagoda is home to one of Myanmar’s most revered Buddha images which have been covered with so many layers of gold leaf over the years that they now have an almost lumpy surface.

    While in Mandalay you will have the opportunity to visit several workshops and learn about the city’s traditional industries, such as kalaga tapestry production and wood carving which have remained unchanged for centuries.

    You’ll also have the chance to make your own marionette (small puppet) at a local shop. You can choose the marionette’s face, body and clothes to create your own unique souvenir.

    In the afternoon you will visit the Kuthodaw Pagoda, nicknamed the ‘World’s Biggest Book’ because of the 729 stone slabs of Buddhist scriptures, before heading to the Shwenandaw Monastery, the only building of the Royal Palace built in the 19th century still standing and its famous for its exquisite wooden carvings.

    To round off your day of sightseeing you’ll then take a 45-minute walk up the 900 stairs to the top of Mandalay Hill as the sun begins to set - a walk commonly made by locals who often make a pilgrimage to the peak. By the time you reach the summit the sun will be putting on a show as it dips down behind the city - Mother Nature giving you a breathtaking moment to savor forever.

  • Day 5: Mandalay

    After breakfast you’ll set off on a day trip to explore the former capitals of Sagaing, Ava and Amarapura.

    First you’ll cross the Irrawaddy River to Sagaing; known as the religious center of Myanmar in the northwest of the country bordering India. Sagaing is home to over 3,000 monks and 600 pagodas, and you’ll have the opportunity to meet some of these monks as you visit eminent pagodas like U Min Thone Sae and Swan Oo Pon Nya Shin. While in Sagaing you’ll have the chance to spend time at a typical Burmese market, selling a range of goods including local handicrafts. You’ll also stop at a pottery village to see the process of water pots being hand-crafted by experts.

    After Sagaing you’ll continue by private vehicle on to Ava, a former capital of the Burmese Kingdom from 1364 to 1841. Your guide will then take you on a leisurely tour of the quaint streets by local horse cart, allowing you to experience everyday life in the countryside as you visit the old wooden Bagaya Monastery and the remains of the Royal Palace and Fort.

    Next you’ll go to visit Amarapura where your first stop will be at a silk weaving workshop, followed by Mahagandayon monastery, one of the largest teaching monasteries in Myanmar and home to over 1,000 monks.

    You’ll round off your leisurely day on a rowing boat to the world’s longest teak bridge, constructed using almost 1,000 teak posts that were once part of the Inwa Palace. While at the 1.2km U Bein Bridge you’ll have the chance to stroll along the iconic structure and - should you arrive in time - experience a scenic sunset down behind the bridge...

    An iconic Myanmar moment.

    Your expert Backyard Travel guide will then return you to Mandalay, where you’ll be free to spend the evening at your own leisure.Optional: For a unique insight into local Buddhism practices, we advise you to wake up early and take a taxi ride to Mahamuni Pagoda to see the monks wash the face and brush the teeth of the temple’s golden Buddha image - an intimate view of the fascinating nuances of Buddhism.

  • Day 6: Mandalay-Heho-Inle Lake

    After breakfast you’ll take a short flight to Heho this morning. From here, it is a scenic one-hour drive to the village of Nyaung Shwe, the gateway to the magnificent Inle Lake.

    Your local Backyard Travel guide will meet you at you’re the airport and escort you to board your own private motorboat, which you’ll use to explore the lake. The boat is decked out with cushioned seats, lifejackets and umbrellas for protection from the sun or rain, depending on the season, as well as blankets in the winter.

    The lake provides sustenance to the local hill tribes of the region and is the center of the areas ecosystem. A deep body of water, the freshwater lake is surrounded by the looming Shan Mountains and is home to floating gardens and rural villages, all of which can be explored by boat.

    You’ll head to the center of Inle Lake in your private vessel, passing floating garden houses built on stilts inhabited by the local Intha People, and the famous ‘leg-rowing’ fishermen who make their living from the lake’s plentiful supply of fish.

    Continue to the lake’s main Buddhist site, the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, home to five small gilded images of Buddha. The statues, which range in size from nine - 18 inches, are essentially solid gold and have been so covered in gold leaf during merit-making that their shape is no longer determinable.

    Finally, you will continue by boat to Inpawkhone where you can observe Intha locals engaged in the art of traditional silk weaving. This area is well known for its weaving of lotus stems. You’ll also have the chance visit a cheroot factory, where cigars are still made by hand in the traditional way.

    If time permits, you may have some time to enjoy a short walk through one of the quaint lakeside villages before returning to your hotel.

  • Day 7: In Dein

    After breakfast, your day will start at a morning market (the earlier your departure time the better), that changes its location around the lake on a five-day basis. Here the communities which inhabit the lake region, including local hill tribes such as the Pa-Oh, Intha and Shan people, all come to trade their handmade wares and farmed goods with each other.

    The markets are bustling hives of activity with many interesting sights on offer. If you are here on a dark moon or full moon however, there may not be a market depending on the lunar cycle.

    Next you’ll have the chance to visit the fascinating area of Indein, located on the southwestern shores of the lake. You can explore the area on foot, strolling around the village and wander through the beautiful Alaung Sitthou area. Alaung Sitthou is filled with picturesque stupas and provides magnificent views of the lake.

    Afterwards, you’ll head to the airport in Heho for your onward flight to Yangon where you will meet your next local guide at the airport who will escort you to your hotel to check-in.

  • Day 8: Yangon

    This morning, take a ride on Yangon’s circular train; a journey which lasts around 30 minutes and takes you through the city’s outskirts. The train also makes a stop at Kyi Myin Daing Market and Insein Township Market, which is one of the city’s best fresh markets. The break will allow you to look around and chat to the friendly vendors, soaking up the atmosphere amid the stalls, investigating the fresh fruits, meat and hand-made produce on sale before returning to Yangon by private vehicle.

    Later you will have the chance to visit to Bogyoke Market, also known as ‘Scott Market’ after its founder George Scott who established the market in 1926. A major bazaar in Yangon, here you’ll find a bountiful haven of hand-made knick-knacks, jewelry stands, clothing stalls and art galleries. (Note: Bogyoke Market is closed on Mondays and public holidays.)Your local Backyard Travel guide will ensure you reach the airport in time to catch your onward flight.

All of our Tours can be Tailored, Just Ask!

Tour Details

All of our itineraries can be tailored to your requirements, allowing us to create the perfect holiday just for you. Contact us with your holiday ideas, no matter how big or small, and we’ll start planning your unique personalized trip!

Tour prices are a guideline only, and are based on two persons travelling together, sharing a double or twin room in luxury accommodation. Each tour price and can be adjusted depending on budget, activities included and standard of accommodation desired.

Tour and airfare prices include all applicable taxes and are subject to change without prior notice until services are booked.

You, your holiday and booking direct: Backyard Travel are on the ground year-round in Asia, which means you are booking direct with a local travel company, allowing you to save on the cost of your holiday. Our tailor-made tours are designed by local Travel Specialists who investigate every aspect of the trip themselves, giving you a unique view of each destination.

 Included in this Backyard Travel tour:

Accommodation with daily breakfast at selected hotels
Private tours, transfers and all services as mentioned in the itinerary
Services of a private driver and air-conditioned vehicles
Service of English speaking guides in every location
Entrance fees for all mentioned sights visited
Meals as mentioned in the itinerary

 Not included in this Backyard Travel tour:

Domestic and international flights
Departure taxes if applicable
Meals other than those mentioned in the itinerary
Early check-in and late check-out at hotels
Personal expenses (such as laundry, telephone, drinks, etc.)
Tips for guides and drivers
Personal travel insurance
Visa fees (contact us for further information)

Why Backyard Travel?

Our experienced travel specialists possess years of local insider knowledge, because they live here.
We have offices in all of our destinations in asia, fully staffed and open all year-round.
With backyard travel you are booking direct, allowing you to save and benefit local residents.

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Our advantage lies in having local expertise to create unique, bespoke tours. Whether you’re looking to cruise down Asia’s tranquil rivers, bike the peaceful rural roads, or eat at bustling night markets, Backyard Travel’s in-country Travel Specialists can plan your ideal trip. Send us a message about your ideas, and we'll send you our best suggestions.




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