Details

Unique Experiences: ● Soft landing and fine explorations in urban Yangon including a closer look at life behind the scene.
● Trek the unexplored Shan State to get closer to remote villages, the curious local smiles and open hearts.
● Cross the heart-stirring Goteik Viaduct by train and see Pyin Oo Lwin (formerly Maymyo), a beautiful colonial hill-station.
● Explore Mandalay by bicycle in the morning to get behind the scene of the city.
Participants: Small Group Exploration spiced with Shared Group Experiences – normally no more than 2-5 people on the tour, yet part of the itinerary/day tours are Shared Group Experiences:
Bike Tour in Mandalay: Up to 10 participants
Note that you can book 1 person on this program, but we cannot guarantee more participants on the overall tour.
Trip Length: 10 Day(s) 9 Night(s)
Tour Departure Dates: Departure on Monday, Wednesday & Fridays. Other days available upon request.
Travel Season: All year. The best time to visit is from November to February when it is dry and temperatures are at their lowest. Day temperatures are around 20-25 degrees, while night temperatures in December – January can drop to below 10 degrees. The rainy season runs from the end of May until the end of September and can bring heavy and regular rainfall. From Mar to May the temperature can rise to above 40 degrees.
Type of Transportation: Public Bus, Local motorbike or Tuk Tuk, Train, Taxi (local), Private car and Bicycle.
Type of Accommodation: 1 Night in Overnight Bus From Yangon to Hsipaw. 8 Nights in Standard Room with Air Con, Private Bathroom and Toilet and Breakfast Included.
Physical Rate: 4 /5
Child Policy: Child age: 2-11 years.
Child price: Refer to rates.
Please be aware of: Trekking and biking is generally not recommended for children below 11 years. As an alternative horse cart or tuk tuk can be arranged at no extra charge. Please let us know in advance to allow for arrangement.
Included in Price: Meals: 8 x breakfast, 1 x lunch.
Accommodation: 1 night in overnight bus and 8 nights at various hotels.
Transportation: Yangon – Hsipaw – Kyaukme – Pyin Oo Lwin – Mandalay. Various tours and transfers according to itinerary.
Tours/Explorations : According to itinerary.

There is no overall guide on the tour. There will be drivers who speak limited English and English-speaking tour guides according to itinerary.
Excluded from Price: ● Drinks
● Tips for your guides
● Tours and activities not mentioned in the itinerary
● Entrance fees where applicable
● Visa to Myanmar
● Onwards journey from Mandalay
● Self-transfers and free day transportation highlighted in the itinerary
All other expenses not stated as included in the above
Shan State - Near Hsipaw - Monk Smoking

Mandalay - Wooden Bridge - Sunset

Yangon - Democracy Newspaper

Shan State - Railway - Gokteik-Viaduct

Itinerary

Day 1: Yangon
Yangon. It oozes of exotic spices, the British colonial era and years in solitude. Now, a good mix of past and present, so clearly of Asian heritage and so very much its own. After being transferred from the airport, spend the rest of your day wandering Yangon’s downtown on your own. Take in the city from above by climbing Sakura Tower where you will find a restaurant on the 22 nd floor. Or simply stroll the city roads to get closer to life at street level.

Practicalities:
Accommodation: Overnight at central hotel in Yangon.
Transport and Guide: Your guide will meet you in Yangon airport and transfer you to your hotel (remember to make us aware of your arrival time and details in advance).

Day 2: Yangon. Morning tour of the markets, give alms to the monks and have mohinga for breakfast.
What’s happening in the streets of Yangon when most other people are still sleeping or taking their shower? You’re going to find out soon. Your guide will take you through the morning traffic to Yangon's main fish market. Located on the Yangon River, the offloading point is alive 24 hours a day and will also be bustling when you arrive. Chilly ice block trucks, fish piled in colorfull plastic baskets and hard working young guys making their way through the market with today's catch.
Continue to a 24 hours open vegetable market and try the famous Burmese breakfast called Mohinga (a mild fish soup with noodles and crackers). By that time the monks are walking through the streets of Yangon to collect their alms and you will wait for them to pass and donate a bit of food to them. Walk through the fruit and vegetable market before heading back to your hotel (around 09:30 am) to have your full western breakfast.

You will have the rest of the day and evening at your convenience to explore Yangon’s backstreets and colourful street life. Pay a visit to the magnificent Shwedagon Pagoda and marvel over the city's colonial heritage. Hang out at a corner when the sun sets and be seated for a spicy roadside dinner surrounded by nothing but friendliness and smiles.

Practicalities:
Meals: Breakfast included.
Accommodation: Overnight at central hotel in Yangon.
Transport and Guide: Your guide will pick you up at 06:30 and together you go by van to the markets.
Transport not included: Transport during your free day explorations.

Day 3: Yangon – Hsipaw (Shan State). Free day in Yangon before heading into the Shan State.
Appreciate a slow morning on your free day to further explore quirky and colonial Yangon. Seek towards the local Morning Market for a colourful morning rush, and stroll by the Strand Hotel to be swept back to the colonial past. Stock up for your overnight bus ride with delicacies and snacks from the street stalls and local mom and pop stores.

Wave goodbye for now to Yangon and leave the bustling city behind as your overnight bus slowly takes you from urban to outskirts.

Practicalities:
Meals: Breakfast is included.
Accommodation: Overnight aircon bus.
Transport and Guide: You will be picked up from your hotel by your guide in Yangon at 14:00 and transferred to Yangon bus station. Your public overnight aircon bus to Hsipaw departs at 17:00 . Expected arrival in Hsipaw tomorrow at 06:00 in the morning.

Day 4: Hsipaw (Shan State). Walking tour to get a peek behind the facade of the city.
As you arrive Hsipaw it will be just in time for the perfect sunrise over the Shan State. Still a bit tired you will appreciate a pre-arranged Tuk Tuk to take you to your hotel. To rest your head for a couple of hours before new adventures are rolled out in front of you.

When you are ready, your guide will take you on a 3-hour walking tour. To give you a fine introduction to and share his knowledge of a city and state that only few travellers will visit. Get behind the scene of this once Shan Royal city and appreciate the slowness, the tribal culture and the change in ambience.

After your walk the rest of the day is free for you to explore the city further.

Practicalities:
Accommodation: Overnight at hotel in Hsipaw (early check-in possible).
Transport and Guide: You will be picked up by Tuk Tuk (driver will have your name at a signboard) at Hsipaw bus station (arrival around 06:00) and transferred to your hotel.

Day 5: Hsipaw. Free day for self-explorations.
A free day just for you. And the dusty Shan town of Hsipaw is the right spot to have enough free time. Most travellers love the ambience here, the early morning mist that surrounds the landscape until the sun takes over, novice monks walking the morning streets collecting alms. The splendid market with a fine mix of ethnic minorities. Just a short stroll out of town and beauty explodes. Fine small monasteries, life along the river, the fine rolling hills. Hsipaw is close to magic.

Practicalities:
Meals: Breakfast is included.
Accommodation: Overnight at hotel in Hsipaw.
Transport not included: Any transportation used on your free day explorations in Hsipaw. If you want to rent a motorbike or Tuk Tuk expect to pay around 15.000 Kyat for a day.

Day 6: Hsipaw – Kyaukme. Trekking in the hills around Kyaukme, past tea plantations and into remote villages.
Go for an adventurous yet short ride on a local bus, which will bring you to Kyaukme, a village known for its unspoilt trekking options. From Kyaukme, trek into the remoteness of the Shan and Palaung hill villages. Into the rolling green hills covered in mist. With tea plantations as far as the eye can see, village people caring for the fields, picking the tealeaves when the time is just right. Wave to curious kids and give hand to friendly locals on the way. This is a day that truly will take you away from the tourist trail and into the Burmese life in the hill country, to life as it is really lived.

Practicalities:
Meals: Breakfast and lunch included.
Accommodation: Overnight at hotel in Kyaukme.
Transport and Guide: Local bus from Hsipaw to Kyaukme. Your local hotel host will walk you to the bus station where your seat is arranged in advanced (no ticket).

Day 7: Kyaukme – Pyin Oo Lwin (May Myo). A slow-paced train ride taking you across the stunning Goteik Bridge.
On you go to one of your biggest Shan State adventures. A slow-paced train ride from Kyaukme to Pyin Oo Lwin, taking you across Goteik Bridge, one of Burma’s most stunning manmade marvels. Built by the British more than 100 years ago it is the highest bridge in Burma, stretching almost 700 meters across the viaduct below.

It is not the fastest mode of transport, but definitely the most beautiful. You will disembark in Pyin Oo Lwin or Maymyo as it is also named. This was the hill station that the British withdrew to during colonial days, when the heat got too overwhelming in Mandalay. Though the town has developed Pyin Oo Lwin still has some of its old ambience, and a lively market, and the nostalgic yet famous horse drawn carriages. Pyin Oo Lwin has some lovely parks and orchards, and in summer there is an abundance of fruits for sale. A fine place to explore for the curious soul.

Practicalities:
Meals: Breakfast is included.
Accommodation: Overnight at hotel in Pyin Oo Lwin.
Transport and Guide: Remember to get your train tickets in the morning, either delivered by your guide or waiting for you in the hotel reception. Your train leaves from Kyaukme station at 11:30 and is expected to arrive in Pyin Oo Lwin around 16:00 (delay happens).
Transport not included: Self-transfer from your hotel in Kyaukme to Kyaukme train station. We recommend going by motorbike or Tuk Tuk, which normally takes around 10 minutes and costs around 3000 Kyat.
Self-transfer from Pyin Oo Lwin train station to your Pyin Oo Lwin hotel. We recommend going by motorbike or Tuk Tuk, which normally takes around 15 minutes and costs around 3000 Kyat.

Day 8: Pyin Oo Lwin – Mandalay. Time for self-explorations in Mandalay.
From the hill country follow the colonial trail downhill to Mandalay. Don’t forget to ask the driver to stop at the viewpoint at Mile 21 before you leave the mountains behind.

The name Mandalay has a touch of old colonial days, Kipling, a fragment in a song. But today Mandalay is a modern metropolis, and the Chinese influence is enormous here. The hill above Mandalay is with its fine pagodas and monasteries a pilgrimage place for devoted Buddhists. The cuisine here is fine; the nightlife is possibly the liveliest in Burma. But you can also find small local markets, old teashops, and slowness. And you have the entire afternoon and evening free to explore just that.

Practicalities:
Meals: Breakfast is included.
Accommodation: Overnight at hotel in Mandalay.
Transport and Guide: You will be picked up from your hotel and go by shared taxi from Pyin Oo Lwin to Mandalay for about 2 hours. Note that your driver may speak limited English.

Day 9: Mandalay. Bike tour in the outskirts of Mandalay.
“Magnificent Mandalay Mornings”. By bike. Escape the hustle and bustle of the dusty city and discover the tranquillity and charm of the Mandalay countryside. You will visit fresh markets, cottage industry, farming villages and return to Mandalay after having made a genuine connection to the Myanmar outskirts, life beyond the cityscape.

You will have the rest of the day at your convenience to explore urban Mandalay. Hire a blue “bemo” and explore the U-Bein bridge for sunset. As the sun casts it last rays and the locals cross the bridge there is no place more beautiful than being in one of the small boats. A magnificent view that will stay with you forever.
Practicalities:
Meals: Breakfast is included.
Accommodation: Overnight at hotel in Mandalay.
Transport and Guide: Transfer by motorbike (your driver may speak limited English) from your hotel to and from the starting point of the bike tour. Bike Mandalay in the morning with your guide. Expect to be back at your hotel around noon.

Day 10: Mandalay. Continue on your own to your next destination.
Wake up for a slow morning, free for you to do as you please. Venture into the small backstreets of sleepy Mandalay. Watch the city come to life, the locals opening up the store gate, and the first mug of tea being stirred.

Remember to check out before 12.00 noon and prepare to leave Burma behind or set of for more Burma explorations.
Practicalities:
Meals: Breakfast is included.

We recommend to combine this tour with…:
Classic Burma Spice – A round-trip of the classics, Mandalay, Bagan and Inle, yet with the Go Beyond spice added. You can start this tour in Mandalay; just ask us for details.

Map

Locations Visited:
Yangon, Hsipaw, Kyaukme, Pyin Oo Lwin/May Myo, Mandalay
Start City:
Yangon
End City:
Mandalay

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