Burma - The Golden Land

16 days from £4240 per person

Burma is one of the most charming countries in the world. Full to the brim with historic treasures, a distinct culture and incredibly diverse natural beauty, this itinerary focuses on the classic cultural and scenic highlights of this 'Golden Land'. Begin in capital Yangon, home to the splendid Shwedagon Pagoda before visiting the ancient royal cities outside of Mandalay. Enjoy a memorable two-night cruise on the Irrawaddy River between Mandalay and Bagan – the latter the location of thousands of stupas that dot the flood plain of the Irrawaddy providing one of the finest views in Asia. End your journey relaxing alongside the floating villages of Inle Lake and the white-sand beaches of Ngapali.

Journey Highlights

Formerly the capital of Burma, Amarapura is south of Mandalay and next to the Irrawaddy River. U Bein bridge, the longest teak bridge in the world, uses wood from the old palace.

Ancient Bagan lies on the eastern bank of the Ayerarwady River and is known for the Archaeological Area where over 2000 Buddhist monuments tower over the plains.

A freshwater lake set amongst the Shan Hills, Inle Lake has many local villages. Local fishermen have a distinct rowing style using a leg to control the oar through the reed-covered water.

Day 1 Depart the UK

Today depart the UK on the Emirates flight to Dubai. (N)

Day 2 Arrive Dubai
Dubai to Yangon – by air

Arrive into Dubai and connect to Yangon where you will be met and transferred to the Savoy Hotel for a two night stay. Alternatively upgrade to The Strand Hotel or the Belmond Governor’s Residence Hotel. Located in fertile delta close to the Andaman Sea, Yangon is a relaxed city of charming tree-lined streets, crumbling colonial architecture and glistening pagodas. In the afternoon travel into the city with your guide for a brief walk through the colonial centre and welcome cup of tea from one of the many street cafes. (N)

Day 3 Yangon

Today tour Yangon with your guide. Places of interest include Chaukhtatgyi Paya, a colossal reclining Buddha, the National Museum, beautiful Kandawgyi Lake and the mesmerising Shwedagon Pagoda. This 2,500 year old Buddhist temple is resplendent in over 60 tonnes of gold leaf, is the most sacred of all Buddhist sites in Myanmar and was described by Kipling as ‘a golden mystery’. Explore the many shrines and stay for sunset to admire the view. (B)

Day 4 Yangon to Mandalay

After breakfast you will be met and taken to Yangon Airport in good time to catch your onward flight to Mandalay. On arrival you will be met and transferred to the Hotel by the Red Canal for a two night stay. Alternatively upgrade to the Mandalay Hill Resort. In the afternoon visit Mahamuni Paya which houses the highly venerated Mahamuni Buddha image and then the Shewenandaw Kyaung before climbing Mandalay Hill to enjoy the sunset. (N)

Day 5 Mandalay – visit Amarapura and Inwa

After breakfast visit the 18th century capital of Amarapura located 11kms south of the city. Founded in 1783, Amarapura lost its status as capital city in 1857 to Mandalay, however, pagodas such as Pahtodawgyi Paya and Kyauktawgyi Paya still remain as do numerous palace ruins and U Bein’s Bridge – a 1.2km long footbridge made entirely of 984 teak posts. Later continue to the ancient city of Inwa. For a long time Inwa was capital of northern Myanmar and subsequently the Burmese Kingdom from the 14th century to the 18th century. Return to Mandalay in the late afternoon. (B)

Day 6 Depart Mandalay

After a morning at leisure you will be taken to Saggai Lay Kyun Man Aung Jetty by 1130 hours to board the RV Katha Pandaw or RV Zawgyi Pandaw for the two night Irrawaddy River cruise between Mandalay and Bagan. The river between these two ancient cities defines the country and the small port towns, such as Pakokku, and tiny villages that line the riverbank epitomise Burmese life. The remainder of the day will be spent cruising the Irrawaddy. (B/L/D)

Day 7 Irrawaddy River

This morning cruise downstream and disembark at the rural village of Yandabo, which is well known for its production of terracotta pottery from the riverbank clay. There will also be an opportunity to take time to visit the Pandaw School which was built with past donations from Pandaw passengers. Re-boarding the vessel and continue on, passing the confluence with the Chindwin River, and in the evening enjoy a tour of the small riverside town of Pakokku by trishaw. (B/L/D)

Day 8 Arrive Bagan

Following breakfast, arrive in Bagan by 0900 hours and disembark at Ayer Jetty. Here you will be met and taken to the Bagan Thande Hotel for a two night stay. Alternatively upgrade to either the Thiripyitsaya Sanctuary Hotel or the Hotel at Tharabar Gate. The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Bagan is one of the most important archaeological sites in Asia. Here thousands of temples and pagodas dot the vast flood plain of the Irrawaddy River and later enjoy a full day of sightseeing in and around this remarkable place with your guide. (B)

Day 9 Bagan to Mount Popa – 56kms (one way)

Leaving Bagan, travel inland for a full day visit to Mount Popa. This scenic drive through the rural heartland of central Burma provides a wonderful opportunity to see, and visit, some of the small villages that line the route. Formed by an ancient volcanic eruption, Mt Popa towers over the surrounding landscape. Believed to be home to spirit Gods known as ‘Nats’, the hill-top temple and shrines that surround the main complex attract pilgrims from far and wide. Undertake the steep climb to the summit and later in the afternoon return to Bagan. (B/L)

Day 10 Bagan to Heho – by air
Heho to Inle Lake – 34kms

This morning fly to Heho. On arrival continue by car to the shores of Inle Lake and board a local long-tail boat which will be your transport for the duration of your stay here. Home to the local Intha people, Inle Lake is famous for its stilt villages, floating crops and local fisherman that row in a unique ‘one-legged’ style. Stunningly beautiful, this hidden gem highlights the diversity of Burma and is far removed from the country’s increasingly busy cities. On your arrival stay for two nights at the Inle Princess Resort or upgrade to the Inle Lake View Resort. (B)

Day 11 Inle Lake

Today explore Inle Lake with your guide including a memorable visit to the small village of Indein which is home to enchanting 17th century pagodas, the Nyaung Ohak Monastery and numerous local craftsmen. After lunch visit further villages to witness silk and lotus weaving and cheroot making before winding your way back to the hotel through unique vegetable gardens of grass and earth that float on the lake surface. (B)

Day 12 Inle Lake to Heho – 34kms
Heho to Thandwe – by air

This morning, after breakfast, return to Heho Airport in good time to catch your onward flight to Thandwe and Ngapali Beach. Stay for three nights at the Amata Resort & Spa or upgrade to either the Bayview Beach Resort or the Sandoway Resort. Here, golden sand beaches, palm trees and the clear green waters of the Bay of Bengal create an idyllic setting in which to relax before departing the country. (B)

Day 13 Ngapali Beach
Day 14 Ngapali Beach

At leisure to relax and enjoy Ngapali Beach. (B)

Day 15 Thandwe to Yangon – by air

After breakfast return to Thandwe Airport in good time to catch your onward flight to Yangon. On your arrival you will be met and transferred to the Savoy Hotel for an overnight stay. Alternatively upgrade to The Strand Hotel or the Belmond Governor’s Residence Hotel. Later you will have an opportunity to visit the famous, and historic, Scott Market for some last minute shopping. (B)

Day 16 Yangon to Dubai – by air
Dubai to UK

In the early hours of the morning you will be met and transferred back to Yangon Airport in good time to catch your onward Emirates flight to Dubai. On your arrival in Dubai connect onto the Emirates flight to the UK. (N)


KEY: N = No meals B = Breakfast L = Lunch D = Dinner

Ngwe Saung

Set over 14 acres adjacent to Ngwe Saung Beach, the Bay of Bengal Resort is a luxury property that combines contemporary design with traditional st...

Ngapali Beach

Bayview Beach Resort is a four star boutique property located on palm-fringed Ngapali Beach, bordering the Bay of Bengal.  It consistently receives ...


As the name would suggest, this boutique hotel is located by the landmark Red Canal, just moments from Mandalay’s main attractions including Mandal...

Inle Lake

Nestled in a tranquil inlet on Inle Lake’s eastern shore and surrounded by nature and the peaks of the Blue Mountains, Inle Princess Resort is argu...

Ngapali Beach

Set in an enviable position on beautiful Ngapali Beach, this is a boutique-style resort with 32 villas set in a horseshoe shape facing the Bay of Ben...


Nestled in the heart of mystical Mandalay, just a couple of minutes from the very centre and a 10 minute drive from Mandalay Hill and Mahuamuni Pagod...


One of Yangon’s most iconic hotels, the majestic Strand is a beautiful Victorian property that was originally built in 1901 and has since been care...

What's included

  • International flights from the UK
  • Domestic flights
  • Private car and driver
  • Sightseeing with an accompanying English speaking guide
  • Hotel accommodation and taxes

What's not included

  • Cost of visas
  • Travel Insurance
  • Expenses of a personal nature

Guide to Price

The price above is a guide and can vary according to selected airlines, hotels and season. If you wish to travel alone we will be very happy to assist you with your arrangements and will provide a proposal on request

What To Do Next?

We can design a unique journey to suit you as our tours are totally tailor made. By combining your own ideas with our knowledge and experience we can help you to create your own unique journey tailored exactly to your requirements Once you have formulated your ideas, or if you require some advice, please call us or simply request a quotation

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Experts in Private Guided Journeys

For over 27 years Pettitts has led the field in arranging unique tailor-made journeys. Our expert well-travelled team have first-hand knowledge of our destinations and no two itineraries we prepare are the same. Please call us for more information or complete our enquiry form to request a quotation.

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